Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"Don't freak out, it's me.  It's just me.  It's fine, I promise."

His voice was soothing, softer than I remembered.  I looked up at his face in the darkness, surprised by his look of concern.  He reached out to touch my shoulder and I flinched.  My nerves were shot and I had lost total awareness of my surroundings.  What was I thinking, sitting out here alone so late at night?  Anyone could've come up and I never would have noticed.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you.  You've been sitting out here for almost two hours.  I've been keeping an eye on you but it's getting cold, you're not even wearing a coat.  Are you okay?"

I burst into fresh tears at his kindness.  Big, ugly sobs escaped me.  I could barely shake my head, indicating that no, I'm not okay.

Rob sat down on the bench next to me, placing a hand on my shoulder.  He made soothing sounds, assuring me it was okay to cry, I could talk to him, let's get out of the cold.  I sniffled, wiping my tears on my sleeve, shaking my head.  I didn't want to go inside just yet.  He murmured that he'd just sit with me, then.  He draped an arm around my shoulders and I leaned into him, relaxing slightly. He was virtually a stranger to me, but somehow, I felt safe.  Secure.  Calm.

"Shh, Shh.  You're fine," he whispered.  I shivered, finally noticing just how cold I was. He rubbed the tops of my arms, chasing the chill away, inviting me in to his warm apartment so we could talk if I wanted.  I nodded meekly, taking his hand as he led the way.

I sat down on his couch, pulling my knees up to my chest.  Well, at least that was my attempt. My belly made that more difficult than I'd expected.  I looked around his place.  The layout was identical to Kate's, but it felt more like a home than a dorm room.  It was very neat and cozy.

Rob presented me with a fleece blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.  I smiled, thanking him for looking out for me, yet again.  I wrapped myself up, sipping appreciatively from the steaming mug.  He sat near me on the couch, a modest amount of space between us.  Thank god he was a nice guy and not a creep preying on a vulnerable woman.

"So, what's going on? If you're ready to talk, that is. No pressure.  I'm gonna guess breakup or relationship issues?  Something to do with that dude a few weeks ago?"

"Something like that.  Ugh, it's a long story.  A very long, complicated story," I began, slightly hesitant.  Rob had already acted as a savior and I wasn't sure I wanted to burden him with the issues of my life.

"I've got time, if you wanna tell it.  I haven't seen your girlfriend around lately, figured you two might be having problems."

"Ugh. Yeah.  There's that and everything else.  Drama with my ex and the new girlfriend." I gave him a short recap, glossing over gritty details and simply stating facts: we broke up, we tried to make it work -spoiler alert, it didn't-, he'd shown up drunk and belligerent and now his new girl was harassing me.  Add in Kate driving me crazy at home, and voila.  Here we are.  I didn't even mention pregnancy issues, hormones, Eric or Manda's insinuation that they'd take my baby.

He nodded thoughtfully.

"That's definitely a lot to deal with.  You don't need him or his new girl in your life.  They're parasites.  I'm sure you and Kate can work things out, though!"

I sighed.

"Eh, it doesn't matter.  She's stubborn, I'm not assertive.  I'm moving out soon.  I'm sure we'll still be best friends, but space and time apart are totally needed at this point.  I love her to death but she just isn't very understanding, sometimes."

"You're willing to throw in the towel, though?  I mean, you two seemed so happy.  Obviously you haven't been together long, if you just left your ex like 4 months ago?"

Suddenly, it struck me that Rob thought Kate and I were together.  I couldn't help myself, I burst out laughing.  It felt amazing to laugh.  I laughed until I cried, Rob looking at me like I had lost my mind.  He'd referred to Kate as my girlfriend more than once, and I hadn't corrected him because a lot of gals refer to their friends as girlfriends.  I never realized he thought we were an item.

"Oh, man.  We're not gay!  Kate's just my friend, I've been crashing with her!  You didn't think she's my baby-daddy, did you?" the laughter wouldnt stop.  Rob looked at me like I'd grown three heads and punched him in the gut.

"Whoa.  Oh shit, I really misread things.  Hold up, you're pregnant?"

That set me off into another fit of laughter.  How did he not notice?  We'd mostly seen each other in passing but I was very aware of how I looked.

"Uh, yeah.  Like 18 weeks.  Did you just think I was fat or something?"

Rob looked embarrassed.  He shrugged, studying my body.  I realized then that most times I'd seen him in passing, I'd been wearing hoodies or clothes that kind of disguised my expanding midsection.  I suppose I did just look chubby if you didn't know I was knocked up.

I unzipped my hoodie, revealing my tight shirt underneath.  Rob's eyes bulged, and he, too, started to laugh.

"God, I feel like an idiot!" he exclaimed between laughs.   That set me off again and we sat on his couch for another hour, laughing and getting to know each other.  Turns out, his older sister is a lawyer.  I had explained the details of Manda's message and he offered to talk to his sister, Rebecca, and set up a meeting between us.  I graciously accepted the offer.

Rob offered to walk me over to Kate's, which I thought was really sweet. It never seemed like he had been hitting on me and it felt really, really good to make a new friend.

I glanced up at the night sky one more time, and thanked the universe for putting Rob in my life just when I needed someone most.


  1. Cute! I had a feeling Rob was going to become part of the story. mum

  2. Aww, I really liked this post. Rob is a great guy and seems like someone that will be an awesome friend. Can't wait to read more:)