• Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 18-Blood, Sirens, and a Text Message

    I run out of the bedroom, towards the living room. Susan is screaming bloody murder, her body stiff as a board.

    “Stop screaming!” I yell, grabbing her shoulders.

    Suddenly quiet, she points down to the sofa cushions. There’s nothing there. I’m confused. I sit Susan down on the sofa and grab a glass of water from the kitchen. I hand her the glass and watch her take a very long sip.

    “I…I…don’t know what’s going on with me. These dreams are really fucking with me. I swear I saw blood on the sofa right after I saw Yelena staring at me.”

    Yelena? Blood? What the hell is she eating before she goes to sleep?I can’t take four more months of this.

    “You’re going to the doctor and I don’t mean the OB-GYN.”

    Susan cocks her head to the side.

    “A head doctor? Really?!?! I’m not crazy! I know what the fuck I…”

    She faints. I elevate her feet and grab her phone to dial 9-1-1. As I speak to the dispatcher, she comes to.

    “Don’t move. An ambulance is on its way,” I instruct.

    Refusing to listen, Susan attempts to sit up. As she puts her left leg on the ground, I notice that there’s blood running down her right leg. With my free hand, I aggressively push her back down on the sofa.

    “Lie down Susan!!! You’re bleeding!!”

    I can hear sirens outside. I call the concierge to let him know that the ambulance is coming. I check on Susan. Her forehead is hot, she’s sweating, and a blood-stained spot  is forming on the sofa cushion. The concierge and paramedics are knocking on the door. Opening the door, I step aside and watch them tend to Susan.

    “Ashley, grab my purse, laptop, and phone,” she instructs with the oxygen mask on her face.

    Ignoring her, I quickly text my mother and Susan’s mother to let them know that we’re going to the hospital. Susan’s not going to be happy, but if she won’t see a stranger, perhaps she’ll talk to her mother.

    “Hello? Did you not hear me?”

    “I have your phone and purse. Work should be the last thing on your mind when your health is at risk.”

    Once Susan get situated on the gurney, everyone heads out towards the emergency elevator. As I follow them down the hall, the notification light on my phone is blinking. It’s a text from Yelena.

    “How’s Susan doing?”

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 17-Karma, is that you?

    For 13 nights in a row, I’ve had a dream that some mystical force enters our home and steals the spirit of our baby, forcing me to miscarry. As soon as I start to bleed, I wake up from the dream. My blood pressure has been elevated every night since that first dream.

    Usually, I just lie awake in the bed but tonight, I decided to get some work done.

    I slip out of the bed and walk into the living room. Stretching out on the sofa, I grab my laptop and start working.

    “I’m making a doctor’s appointment. You’ve been up for the past three days in a row,” she whispers in my ear.

    Scared, I start flailing my arms and legs. I knock over my glass of water and accidentally hit Ashley in the face.

    “Do you have to sneak up on me Silent Ninja? I’m already jumpy as it is.”

    Ashley giggles while rubbing her cheek.

    “I’m sorry love. I rolled over and realized that you weren’t in the bed…again. Is heartburn keeping you up at night?”

    I wish it was heartburn. Guess this would be the time to tell her.

    “I’m having this reoccurring dream that some mystical force steals the spirit of our baby and I miscarry.”

    Ashley just stands there, blinking her eyes in disbelief.

    “I don’t know how to respond. Have you spoken to your parents about it?”

    I sigh. Under no circumstances do I want to tell my Buddhism-practicing parents about this dream.

    “No I haven’t and I don’t intend on telling them,” I respond without looking up from the screen.

    “Fine, don’t tell them. I’m making a doctor’s appointment later,” she says walking back to bed.

    After working for two hours, I start to doze off. I wake up to what feels like the warmth of the sun on my face. I open my eyes and see Yelena, eyes red with rage. I wake up screaming.

    Heart is racing, body is drenched in sweat. I feel something warm trickling down my leg. Upset that I peed on myself, I look back at the sofa. The spot isn’t yellow. It’s red.


  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 16-$50,000 Sigh of Relief

    It’s crazy how fast the past three months have flown by. Susan is currently 20 weeks along and last week we found out we are having a girl. She finally decided to slow down with work and relax. I’m fighting the urge to fill this condo with all baby everything.

    “I would soooooo love a foot massage right now,” Susan asks, wiggling her toes on the sofa.

    “Coming!” I respond, grabbing the bowl of fruit salad.

    As I rub her feet, I see that my notification light on the phone is blinking. I glance at Susan. Head turned to the side, she’s dozing off. Definitely doesn’t take much these days. I stop massaging and check my phone. It’s an email from Nick.

    Paperwork has been signed.

    I breathe a sigh of relief. Guess it was loud because Susan starts to stir. I put the phone down.

    “Just because I’m sleeping doesn’t mean you stop rubbing,” she mumbles.

    I laugh. She never skips a beat.

    “Are you hungry? I made a fruit salad with mint and balsamic vinegar.”

    Susan’s eyes light up.

    “We’re always hungry, however, I need to pee first,” she announces, sitting up.

    I watch her walk down the hall out of sight before I sneak a few bites of salad. Not too bad for someone who can’t boil water.  I hear the door open and quickly put the bowl back on the coffee table. Susan shuffles back into the living room. She’s rubbing her temples.

    “These sonofabitch headaches suck! I hate them more than dizziness, leg cramps, and heartburn combined.”

    “I’ll grab a lavender eye pillow from the bathroom.”

    “Ahhhh love, thank you! I wouldn’t want to be having a baby with anyone else,” she exclaims, kissing me on the cheek. The faint smell of coconut tickles my nose.

    I grab my phone and continue reading.

    Being $50,000 richer feels mighty good. Thanks.

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 15-Notifications

    The red notification light on my phone is blinking. I knew it was an email from Nick. As much as I want to answer it, I don’t want to potentially ruin this moment that Ashley and I having. This shit is stressful. I mute the TV so I can check  my phone.


    I appreciate you informing me of your pregnancy. Nobody has been informed on my end in regards to your email

    and I have no intention of telling anyone else. I know that you and Ashley will do one hell of a job raising the baby.

    Have your lawyer contact me so that I can sign the necessary paperwork to relinquish my parental rights.

    All the best, 


    I exhale and turn to Ashley.

    “He’s going to sign over his rights.”

    Speechless, Ashley begins to cry. I wipe the tears off her face.

    “Baby, I promise these are tears of joy. I was mentally prepared for a fight. This is a HUGE weight lifted off of our shoulders.”

    We continue to enjoy the moment until we fall asleep on the sofa. Dreams turned into nightmares, waking me up. As Ashley sleeps across my lap, I lightly comb her hair with my fingers. Never in a thousand years would I have imagined that we would be here. I’ve put Ashley through a lot and I just want this pregnancy to proceed as smoothly as possible.

    Ashley stirs.

    “How long have you been awake?” she asks groggily.

    I trace the outline of her eyes with my finger.

    “For about an hour. My mind wouldn’t let me rest.”

    Sitting up, Ashley rubs my belly. I may be crazy, but I swear I felt a rumble in my belly and it wasn’t hunger related.

    “Holy shit balls, the baby kicked!!”

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 14-Well Played

    The door slams. Yelena left. I walk out of the den and into the living room. Susan is in the middle of the room, stifling laughter.

    “End scene!” I yell while curtsying.

    Susan grabs my hand and spins me around.

    “I can’t believe we pulled that off,” she loudly whispers, face red from laughter.

    I start twirling my hair around my fingers a la Yelena.

    “I will have your preggo ass locked up!”

    Susan hollers, spinning onto the couch.

    It sucks having to terminate our friendship with Yelena this way. It took a while to realize that Yelena’s only loyal to herself. Friendships are a matter of convenience. She could give a rat’s ass less if she burns a bridge. It feels good to beat someone at their own game, especially when they don’t know that they’re playing.

    “When are you going to send this email to Nick?”

    Susan takes her phone out of her back pocket. No matter where she is, that electronic umbilical cord is never too far away.

    “Right now,” she declares, fingers steady typing. “We don’t need to wait any longer.”

    Hunger pangs kick in. I only ate a bagel today. Guess adrenaline was masking the pangs.

    “Aren’t you hungry love?” I ask, rubbing Susan’s belly.

    Looking up from her phone, Susan raises her eyebrow.

    “Nom, nom, nom!!” she yells, pretending to put food in her mouth.

    I order Thai and hop in the shower. As soon as I turn off the water, Susan knocks on the door.

    “Come read the email before I send it.”

    I pause. Feeling the beginnings of anxiety, I take a deep breath.

    “Sure love.”

    Susan passes the phone to me. Wiping water out of my eyes, I sit on the side of the tub to read.


    I’m 8 weeks pregnant and keeping the baby. Let me know whether or not
    you wish to have an active role in the child’s life and I’ll have my lawyer contact you.

    “Well played love,” I respond, handing the phone back to her.

    “E-mail sent. Now we can enjoy our night.”

    I put on PJs while Susan answers the delivery man’s knock on the door. The condo suddenly smells delicious.

    “Thai, silk pajamas, and snuggle time!!” I exclaim, dry humping Susan as she grabs plates from the cabinet.

    We hunker down on the sofa, browsing through Netflix for a movie to watch. Between eating and the movie, something catches my eye.

    The notification light on Susan’s phone is blinking.

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 13-Adiós

    “Yep,” I responded, twisting my curls around my finger.

    Susan stared my down. If she wasn’t nauseous every 5 seconds, she would probably choke me out. I wouldn’t put it past her. Ashley smiled and turned back around to face Susan.

    “You…knew?” Susan asks.

    Ashley stands up and walks over to the windows.

    “I knew the day you told Yelena in what you thought was confidence. Were you planning on aborting the baby?”

    Susan coughs, unable to catch her breathe. A few sips of water got her on track.

    “I was planning on aborting the baby, but I told you instead. I didn’t want to run the risk of Blabbering Becky telling the entire world my business,” Susan says, looking dead at me.
    If it wasn’t a crime, I’d beat the brakes off of Susan.

    “Since you want to point fingers, Susan, let me get you together real quick. You repeatedly chastise me for decisions that I’ve made that YOU feel are below your moral compass. Karma has finally showed up and kicked you in your wide ass. Now look at you…pregnant by your ex-boyfriend’s twin brother.”

    My face is hot. Fists are clenched. Ashley smirks before walking down the hall. Susan stands up, and walks over to where I’m standing. Her face is so close to me I can count the pores on her face.

    “I should have known better to trust a known traitor. Ashley may have faith in you, but she’ll soon realize that your spirit is as fake as all those body parts you paid for. I may be pregnant but I will still fuck you up in more ways than one,” she softly whispers in my ear.

    I laugh. Unlike Susan, I don’t whisper shit.

    “There’s a reason why I’m a busy actress. I play my part well. I befriended you, because my best friend loves you. The moment you told me about your escapade with Nick, my tolerance of you ended. Be mad all you want to, but I’m not the star in this clusterfuck production. And if you think of laying a hand on me, I would advise that you think again. I will have your preggo ass locked up.”

    Susan’s silent. She knows she doesn’t want it with me. I leave her in the living room, while I casually walk to my room to pack my shit. Ashley was in the den, working. I gave her a kiss on the cheek before walking out of the front door with my bag.

    This ain’t over.

  • Story Time

    #XD30- Chapter 12-Confessional

    That damn Yelena! Ugh! Now Ashley’s looking at me, ready to attack.

    “Feel free to answer her anytime today Susan. ”

    She is livid. I glance at Yelena. She’s twisting gum around her finger. I’m fighting the urge to connect my fist with her moon face.

    “He doesn’t know…Yelena,” I mutter through clenched teeth.

    The drive back to the condo was silently tense. I get Yelena settled in her room while Ashley proceeds to pace in the living room.

    “Susan, I’m sorry,” Yelena says, making her best attempt to be sorry.

    I say nothing and walk out of the room. Fighting an onset of nausea, I grab a ginger ale and prepare to walk into battle.

    “Two months ago, Derek and I threw that Halloween party that you couldn’t attend. As former costumes, Derek and Nick decided to go as each other.”

    Ashley taps her feet. Her lack of patience is showing.

    “Quite a few games of beer pong and shots of tequila later, I pass out in the bedroom. I don’t know what time Derek passed out next to me, but I do know at some point, we had sex.”

    Ashley sighs.

    “I rolled over the next morning to face Derek and saw an armful of tattoos that weren’t there the night before.”

    I dry heave. I hate being pregnant. Yelena runs out of her room and comes over with a paper grocery bag.


    “Continue,” Ashley demands.

    “At that moment, I realized not only had I slept with Derek’s twin brother, but we didn’t use condoms. For the record, we’ve been tested and are fine.”

    Yelena coughs. Annoyed, Ashley turns in her direction.

    “Did she cover everything?”

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 11-Nick?

    “There’s definitely a baby in there,” the doctor announces, pointing to this bean-shaped dot on the screen.

    I don’t quite know what to say. Susan’s smiling, but I’m sure she’s stressing on the inside. I mean, she’s having a baby with her ex-boyfriend. The same one she left to be with her best friend. That’s kind of a lot going on.

    Susan wipes away a tear. “How far along am I?”

    The doctor pauses.

    “I would say you are around eight weeks.”

    I cough. Wow, eight weeks. I’m trying to contain my excitement, but I really just want to text Mom and Yelena with the news. I manage to send them a text message while Susan was getting dressed. Not 10 seconds after I send it, she turns around.

    “We have a little bit of time before we have to pick up Yelena,” Susan whispers, tracing the outline of my bottom lip with her finger.

    I smirk.

    “Watch it. That’s probably how you got knocked up.”

    “That and a lot of alcohol!” she yells.

    I laugh. I love Susan’s lack of filter. It’s definitely one of the things that attracted me to her. As we walked out of the office, I wrapped my arm around her waist. Susan lets out a deep sigh and let her shoulders fall.

    “I have to tell Derek. He’s not going to make this easy,” she mumbles as we approach the car.

    “Granted, I know he loathes us. But do you think he’s so upset that he’ll drag this out just because?”

    Susan puts on her sunglasses and turns to me.

    “Hell yes.”

    We grab some food en route to the airport, which makes us about 15 minutes late. Of course, Yelena’s flight would arrive on time. We park and head inside the airport. We approach the door to walk in when we hear a familiar voice.

    “Yo, Ashley!! Come here girl!!”

    Without hesitation, I turn around and start running. Yelena, multiple bags in tow, starts picking up the pace. We meet on the sidewalk and exchange hugs and kisses.

    “Yele, I miss you bunches!!!!”

    Brushing her curly hair out of her face, Yelena walks over to Susan and starts rubbing her belly.

    “Does Nick know yet?” she asks, looking directly at Susan.

    Susan’s face turns a shade of red that I thought wasn’t humanly possible. I’m totally lost. Why would Yelena ask Susan if Derek’s brother Nick knows?

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 10-Five Bright, Double-Lined Sticks

    I’m pretty sure that’s not what Ashley wanted to hear. Hell, I definitely don’t want to believe that I may be pregnant. Children aren’t part of our plan and on top of that, I’ve been guzzling alcohol out of sheer denial.

    I really hope it’s nerves and not the development of 10 fingers and toes.

    Ashley’s mouth is still open. I guess her mouth is parched because she finally takes a sip of her beer.

    “P-P-Pregnant? You…we…doctor. ..now, ” she stutters while slowly sitting on the sofa.

    “It’s a possibility Ash. I did have sex with Derek on occasion. You also know that my cycle has been irregular for years.”

    Ashley frantically waves her hand in the air.

    “The mental picture of Derek being the father is not flattering.”

    I laugh.

    “Flattering? Nothing about pregnancy is flattering. I’ll make an appointment tomorrow.”

    “Okay,” she replies, forcing a smile.

    I open the fridge for a snack when Ashley taps me on my shoulder.

    “Oh, before I forget. Yelena is flying in Saturday.”

    I roll my eyes. The last thing I want to deal with is Yelena and her diarrhea of the mouth.

    I take a deep breath.

    “I had a feeling I was pregnant weeks ago and took five pregnancy tests just to make sure.”

    Ashley drops her phone.

    “I’m going to ignore the fact that you withheld this from me. Did all of the tests come back positive?”

    “Five bright, double-lined sticks,” I mumbled.

    Panicked, Ashley starts pacing in the kitchen.

    “Shit, shit, shit!!”

  • Story Time

    #XD30-Chapter 4-Stolen Moments

    “What are we doing?” Ashley asks, placing her head of soft curls on my chest.

    Preferring to live in the moment, I say nothing. Instead, I kiss her on the forehead. Derek left to run errands a half hour ago.

    I hate that our relationship is comprised of stolen moments.

    Frustrated with my response, Ashley moves away from me.

    “You can’t keep ignoring the inevitable Susan. We have to come clean.”

    She’s right. I turn on my side to look at her.

    “You think I don’t know that? ! Exactly how would you like me to break the news?! Hey guys, I’ve been faux dicking Ashley for the past six years. Does that work for you?!”

    Ashley’s eyes narrow. The shit has officially hit the fan.

    “You know what?! I’ll break the news to Derek and Tim Saturday night at my birthday dinner. Don’t care if that works for you…you don’t have a choice.”

    I get out of the bed and start putting my clothes on.

    “Do what you have to do. I should have done it a long time ago.”

    Ashley snorts. She’s so sexy when she’s mad. I walk over to where Ashley’s standing, zipping up her jeans.

    Grabbing her hand, I look into her brown eyes and smile. I can never stay mad at her long. Hand in hand, we walk into the living room together.

    “We’re going to do this Saturday night. Together. I promise.”

    As soon as I finished the last syllable, I hear the key turning the lock on the front door. Ashley quickly lets go of my hand.

    I sashay over to Derek, kissing him on the cheek.

    “Hey honey. What do you want for lunch? ”

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