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I choose to skip classes today. Alex has already told my professors I'm sick and won't be in. Not that they care. College isn’t like high school. You’re not on their time. You’re on your own. You pay for the classes either way so whether you show up or not is entirely up to you. Pass or fail… that’s up to you too.
I manage once again to get Alex out of the door on time. Although he does grumble, he tells me he forgives me the moment I make him a “real” omelet with ham and cheese, home fries and coffee (robust and caffeinated for him). I figure I can make myself a cup of decaf later, but oh how I wish I could join him because, despite the sleep I got, I still felt under the weather.
So, I shove him out the door and clean up the dishes. Alex already took care of the sofa bed, so there isn't much else to do but crack open some books and do some school work.
I really have to be certain not to let all this life drama cause me to fall behind. First, because I need to keep a 4.0-grade average so I don’t lose my scholarship and second, because it’s just too easy to fall behind. The work never stops coming and I could soon become overwhelmed or downright buried.
I buckle down and get to it, so by lunch, I am ready for a break. I sit at the coffee table again to eat. I really wish I hadn't lost it last night. We were having such an enjoyable evening.
It was kind of cute seeing how Alex and William interacted before it got into the serious talk. It had become evident by their stories that they’ve known one another for a long time. I had been shocked to discover that they had practically grown up together.
When I had asked the nagging question of why hadn’t I met Alex sooner, seeing as I’ve known William for four years now, William’s face had changed. “It's nothing personal, Cat,” he had told me. “Well, nothing personal against you. I just…” he had looked away for a second and had seemed almost embarrassed to voice his thoughts aloud.
I had seen Alex give him a nod in my direction, in the way of encouragement to continue. William had looked at me and had seemed a bit awkward, which was really strange for him. William is never afraid to tell you what he is thinking even at a detriment to himself.
“You just…” I had urged.
“I just didn’t want to share you with anyone. I know that sounds strange and selfish but you were the first person outside of Alex to treat me like a real person instead of…” He had used air quotes. “A gay guy.”
“It’s the reason I didn't offer take you to the gayborhood with me or to hang out in the gay clubs. I didn’t want our friendship turning into my being the token gay guy you can talk to your friends about. I wanted to be your friend, a real friend.”
I had reached out and had taken his hand in mine. “I couldn’t possibly ask for better,” I had told him, which had solidified my feelings about telling him everything right then and there because that’s what friends do. They don’t lie or keep secrets from one another. They’re there for one another, and care when they are needed most.
After thinking back over the evening, it strikes me what a good friend Alex has become in such a short time. I look over to the bookshelf and realize his picture is gone. In fact, all of the pictures of him are gone. I wonder if Alex had felt embarrassed having that many pictures of himself around the apartment when William came over and so he put them away?
My reminder for my appointment goes off on my phone, shaking me out of my revelry. I am nearly caught up on my work so I am feeling pretty good about myself before heading out the door.
As always, I sit in the office and wait about 30 minutes to be called in. The nurse hands me a urine cup and tells me once it’s filled to come back to the room where they will take my weight and blood pressure.
Nothing like being asked to pee on demand to make your bladder suddenly seize up and dry out like the Sahara Desert. Somehow I manage though and so go to the back room where she asks me to step up on the scale. I’m shocked to discover I’ve gained nearly 5 lbs since the last time I got weighed.
The nurse sees my face and laughs a little. “You better get used to that,” she tells me and I sit down for her to take my blood pressure. She pulls the cuff off. “A little high but nothing to be worried about.”
I am not surprised. Reality just keeps smacking me in the face. Everything is going to change, my body, my entire life; nothing is ever going to be the same again.
“Cat? Cat, sweetie you’re in exam room 3.” She walks me out to the hall. “Get undressed, put the gown on, opening in the front and there’s a blanket to put over your legs. The doctor will be with you shortly.”
I go into the room in a bit of a daze. I dress in the paper gown, which I always hate. Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable than sitting way up high with your legs dangling between two metal stir-ups, wearing an open front paper gown with a paper blanket over your legs, while waiting for someone to examine you in probably the most intimate way a doctor could.
5lbs? My hand rests on my stomach. I still fit in my clothes. I don't feel different. My breasts are a little sore but outside of that I still feel like me, but it's all a lie, ever since I'd seen the word pregnant on that screen everything has changed.
“Liam and I are over. I moved out of my dorm. I moved in with some stranger…” I think about Alex and how wonderful he’s been to me and immediately change my thought to…“I moved in with a friend. I’m missing school… I gained 5lbs. And it’s just going to keep coming.” I can't even picture myself pregnant.