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Usually, I did, but I held back with this, too scared to open the gates and unleash whatever emotion had its hold on me—too scared of what would come out. I just didn’t know if I was more scared about taking my anger out on him or admitting how much of a failure I was. I hated the thought of Kent looking at me differently—like I wasn’t capable of accomplishing everything I set my mind to. He told me countless times how much he loved my ability to make anything happen.
So, I kept it to myself, hoping he’d continue to let it slide each time I lost my temper over something minor. Hell, when he’d called earlier, I’d just pulled into the parking garage and wanted to get upstairs. He’d started talking about his day, and I’d selfishly cut him off, snapping that I’d meet him there. I hadn’t even bothered to say I love you before we hung up. I’d been so focused on getting inside to take the test.
I’d had to know.
Now I wish I hadn’t.
My phone dinged again, pulling my attention back to the screen where I found a message from my best friend, Oaklyn.
Oaklyn: OMG, call me as soon as you can. Not an emergency, but huge news.
Oaklyn: And don’t give me any lame excuse about being busy tonight or tomorrow or any other day. You can make time to call me, bitch. ;*
I hesitated.
Oaklyn was another person who knew me better than anyone, which was why I’d pulled back from her these past few months. She wasn’t nearly as kind as Kent about giving me space to come to her. If she saw me right now, she’d call me out and force me to talk. She’d call me every day to check on me. Usually, I loved the attention, but the last thing I wanted was to be forced to think about not being pregnant every single day. At least, right now, I was able to shove it aside until my period came.
I stared at the message, weighing my options. I could get away with waiting until later to call since I was supposed to be at dinner. I could take some time to pull myself together. Or maybe I called her and used her exciting news to distract me.
Yeah, a distraction sounded perfect right about now.
“Hey, I thought you would be at dinner,” Oaklyn greeted.
“And I thought you would be watching Professor Callum give his speech about the stars. Or was Callum’s seminar with the Physics department an excuse to get out of dinner? Were you hoping to sneak away while you had a babysitter and get kinky together in his classroom like when you first met?”
“Ugh, I wish. He doesn’t give his presentation for another forty-five minutes. Right now, all the other old, crusty professors are carrying on with their speeches. I only promised my husband I’d watch him. Not everyone else.”
“Marry your sexy physics professor, they said,” I joked.
“At least the benefits outweigh the cons.”
“Like sex in the lecture hall?”
“Anywho,” she diverted. I managed a laugh and already felt better about calling her. “Seriously, why aren’t you at dinner?”
“I’m heading there in a minute. I had to run home real quick. Which is good because otherwise, I’d have to wait until tonight to hear your big news.”
“Very true.”
“So? What is it? I’m dying here.”
“Okay! Soooo, this morning, Callum and I were…having our time, and he said something about how I—well, no. Sorry, that’s TMI.”
“Don’t you dare be a prude after that lead up. Tell me all. No filthy detail left behind.”
She grumbled back and forth before finally caving. “Maybe not every detail.”
“Prude,” I joked.
“Anyway, he went down on me and commented about how I tasted and how I hadn’t tasted like that since I was pregnant…”
Before she could finish, the walls started closing.
No. Not right now.
“…and it just clicked. I’d been so busy I hadn’t even realized that I missed my period. So, I took a test and…”
Pressure pushed and pulled like gravity. Blood drained from my veins, leaving me a hollow shell on the verge of crumpling to the floor.
Please, no.
“I’m pregnant,” she squealed.
I knew it was coming. I heard the words whispered through my mind before she even said them. Yet they still hit me like a physical force, and I swayed.
“I-I didn’t know you were trying.” Was that my voice? It sounded so far away—but so normal. Other than the minor stutter, it didn’t even shake. How was it not shaking when my whole body trembled?
“We weren’t. I swear that man could knock me up from another state.”
I closed my eyes, imagining her bouncing on the balls of her feet, vibrating with her excitement.
The tears I just swiped away came back.
I hated them. How dare they fall when my friend’s joy bubbled through the phone? Instead of crying, I should have been squealing right along with her like I had when she found out she was pregnant the first time. I should have been happy for my friend. And I was. But I also wanted to break my phone so I’d never get another call like this again.