That had been the first time I’d seen Brandon since we’d broken up, and it had been emotional to say the least. I’d stopped dead in my tracks when I saw him sitting at the table, but Bree had told me I needed to do this at some point. I knew she was right, but seeing him again made me want to take him away somewhere and beg him to take me back, even though I’d just told Bree I could never do that to him. I did love Chase, and I knew that if I were to be with anyone, it needed to be him. But I was still completely in love with Brandon. I wouldn’t tell Bree this, but I still thought of him when I thought of my future, if he were to ask me today, I would marry him. But obviously that day would never come now. That thought ripped my heart to a million pieces, even though I’d done this to myself. Throughout the tense five minutes we’d been at the table, I’d watched him for four and a half and I continued to watch him until he was out of the café.
“Bree,” I whispered leaning into her side, “we might need to leave soon before I freak out instead of you.”
As if on cue, Derek’s girlfriend, Maci, and one of her other friends sat down at the table. “Wow Harper, you look amazing today.” Maci said with wide eyes, “I mean, not that you aren’t pretty all the time, but I swear you’re glowing.”
Bree’s intake of breath was audible. Crap. I couldn’t stop myself, I glanced over at Chase and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw he was simply smiling at me. I smiled nervously, but Bree shot out of her chair, causing it to fall backwards.
“We have to go!” She explained while everyone looked at her like she was crazy.
I walked away with her, and once out of earshot finally spoke, “Subtle Breanna. Very subtle.”
“I’m sorry, but I swear I thought someone was going to say something! Can you even believe that just happened?”
“No,” I breathed, “you’re right, it was weird to have them bring up those things within a few minutes of each other. I got nervous for a second there too. Did you notice anyone else at the table? I only looked at Chase. He definitely didn’t get it, but that doesn’t mean no one else did.”
“Just Maci. I’m glad no one brought up the fact that you’re always wearing loose shirts.”
“Honestly Bree, I think we’re the only ones that know that, and it’s because we both decided it was for the best. I think we’re just freaking out because we know I’m…well…you know.”
“Probably. Ugh, only three more days, and then he’ll know.”
I almost started hyperventilating.
“Chill Harper! Breathe.”
“Oh God, I haven’t even thought of how to tell him!” I looked around quickly to make sure no one was staring after my outburst.
“Calm down friend,” Bree stepped closer, “it will be easy, you told everyone else with no problems.”
“That was different, they were easier because I was already upset with myself. But he’s the dad, and though I’m still upset with myself, I’m happy about the baby. Different. So different.”
“What’s different?” Konrad pulled a squealing Bree in for a big kiss.
“God babe! You scared the crap out of me.” She slapped his chest but brought him in for another kiss.
He smiled and looked at me again, “Sup Kid, what’s different?”
“Uh, I just. I just saw Brandon, it was weird.”
He nodded and wrapped his arms around Bree’s waist. “Ready gorgeous?”
Bree looked at me, eyebrow raised, “You good?”
“Yeah! Yeah, I’m fine. See you guys after class.” I flicked my eyes to Konrad who, thankfully, didn’t think anything was wrong. Jeez I needed these three days to fly by, not telling Chase was becoming ridiculously hard, especially with thinking everyone was going to somehow find out.
I saw Chase for the third time the day before my Birthday, and it was when I’d been rushing out of a class to hurl in the next available bathroom. Of course I hadn’t been sick for three days, and then it decides to reappear and he’s right there. I was throwing up violently into the toilet when his hand started making large circles on my back. When the morning sickness had taken full effect and turned into the every-few-hours-sickness, I’d worn my hair in a messy bun every day so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Though it had definitely tapered off, I was grateful I’d been running late so I hadn’t had time to do anything else with my hair. I was already humiliated that he’d just watched that, but having to clean vomit out of my hair in front of him would have made it ten times worse.
“Go away.” I groaned and spit into the toilet.
He walked away but came right back with a cold wet paper towel. “Here you go Princess.” He said softly.
I took it and wiped my face before wiping my mouth and stood up to face him. “Thanks.”
“Are you okay? Do you want me to take you somewhere?”
“No, I’m great.” Weird, I know. But every time I finished throwing up, I felt like nothing had ever happened. Actually I was kind of hungry again.
“Great? You just threw up Harper.”
I looked into his blue eyes and immediately regretted it. Tearing my eyes away I walked to the sink to rinse my mouth out, “I know, and now I feel fine.”
“If you don’t want me to take you, at least let me call Bree so she can take you home. Speaking of, when were you going to tell me you moved into my parent’s house?”
I spit out the water, turned the faucet off and popped a piece of gum in my mouth. I was now always prepared with at least two packs of gum. “Does that bother you?”
“Not at all, but I just found out this morning that you’ve been living there over a month. I would have come around more if I knew you were there and not hiding from me in your dorm.”
“I haven’t been hiding from you Chase.”
He hung his head, “You sure about that?”
Looking at Chase with his head down, I fought the urge to tell him everything. But now wasn’t the time for all of it, I couldn’t tell him in a dirty bathroom that we were having a baby. “I’ve just been busy, and you haven’t been around much either. You haven’t come to a family day in months.”
He laughed humorlessly, “As before Harper, I’m giving you the time you asked for.”
God I had to stop asking him to give me time, he flat out disappears when I do. Guys need to understand that sometimes, we mean exactly the opposite of what we say. I may need time, but I damn sure want you to show me that you want me. “Oh.”
I grabbed my backpack and waited for him to follow me out of the bathroom. Thankfully no one was around, I’m sure it would look awkward for us both to come out of the girl’s room. We walked out of the building and spotted Bree waiting with Konrad not far away. Her eyes grew wide and she turned to talk to Konrad. I’m sure to prevent another freak out.
“Harper, can you tell me one thing?”
“I’ll tell you anything Chase.” Except for the fact that I’m carrying your baby.
“Have I – have I missed my chance?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean with you, us. Did I miss my chance?” His face was scrunched together, he looked terrified that I would say yes.
I stepped up and wrapped my arms around his waist, “I’m sorry that you would even have to ask that. I wish you knew how much I love you Chase, it’s just been a hard time for me.” He pulled me closer to him and I tried to push my h*ps back without him noticing. “I didn’t know you were still giving me time, I figured I’d already lost you.” My voice caught at the end. Oh my word, I hadn’t realized until those words came out that I actually thought that. Was that the real reason why I hadn’t been able to tell him yet?
“Aw hell baby. That’s not possible.” He kissed the top of my head and squeezed me tight. “What’s been going on? Is it still because of Brandon? Or did something else happen?”
Just then Bree walked up, “We need to go Harper.” She said softly.
I looked at her, hoping she understood that she couldn’t have had better timing. There’s no way I would tell Chase here, but I couldn’t stand to keep talking to him without saying something about the pregnancy. Once again, Chase quickly dropped his arms and stepped back when he saw her. I wanted to roll my eyes but resisted. She heard him say “I love you” last time, and he still thought he had to hide it from her? One more day. One. More. Day.
“See you.” I touched Chase’s arm before turning to Bree.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up!” Bree shouted the next morning.
“Ugh! Bree, we don’t have class for four hours. Go away!”
“No way! It’s your birthday you have to get out of bed!”
Oh right. Birthday. “No one cares, go back to sleep.” I grumbled and pulled the comforter over my head.
“We do, now get your ass up!” She ripped the comforter off the bed completely and threw it to the floor.
“Sometimes, I just want to punch you.”
She beamed a smile at me, “I know. You love me!”
I followed her down the stairs and almost peed myself when Mom and Dad yelled, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARPER!” They were putting pancakes, eggs, bacon and presents on the kitchen table when we walked in.
Jeez, could these people be any more wonderful? First Christmas, now this? We ate together and when the dishes were done I opened my presents. Bree got me three shirts that I could wear now, and when I was “ginormously huge”, Mom and Dad got me another pregnancy book as well as a baby names book, a Juicy bracelet and a green Coach baby bag from all three of them.
How would I ever thank them for so much more than just the presents? “Thank you. You guys are so amazing, I love you all.”
I was bombarded by hugs and I couldn’t help but wish for Chase’s arms too. I smiled when I remembered today was the day. Since Bree and I didn’t have school tomorrow, we were all going out to dinner tonight, then coming back to watch movies. I read through the fourteenth week of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, bookmarked my spot with the most recent ultrasound picture, thumbed through the baby name book then hopped in the shower to get ready for my day. This was the first time I’d been excited about having a birthday, and I wanted to look cute for it. So I took my time with my hair and make-up, making sure I looked perfect for my day, and for when I told Chase. I dressed in my favorite pair of dark Lucky jeans, flip flops and one of the new shirts Bree got me. It was dark gray v-neck, long and form fitting, but seriously stretchy. Yep, I’d for sure be able to wear this throughout the whole pregnancy. I almost took it back off when I saw my defined bump showing through the stretchy material, but figured it was time to stop hiding it. People may not notice that my boobs were getting even bigger, but if anyone looked down, they’d definitely know what was going on. When I walked into the kitchen Mom and Bree were thrilled at my outfit because they knew this could only mean one thing and Mom came up to pat my baby bump.
“See you tonight girls! Love you!” She had the widest smile I’d seen since we told her Chase was the father, and it was undeniably contagious.
We were almost to our first class and I did a double take to a chair sitting outside the door. I slowly walked up and grabbed the bouquet of orange lilies, tucked into the side was a note with my name on the envelope. I looked at Bree who was looking around confused, and I joined in with her. There were people I vaguely knew all over, but other than Bree and Mom, only two guys knew about these. And neither of them were around. I opened the note and a huge smile spread across my face when I read the masculine handwriting.