Friday, March 14, 2014

Shots Fired

Kate's apartment felt more cramped than usual.  I loved her to death, truly, but sharing a one bedroom with her was becoming tiresome.  My back hurt all the time from sleeping on her couch most nights.  She either came in drunk or quickly became drunk at least five nights a week.  I felt guilty nagging her about leaving the kitchen an absolute mess, so I'd been cleaning up after her constantly.  Ugh, and the smell.  Mostly-empty beer bottles piled up around the counter and dumping them out turned my stomach.  I'd asked her to please, please, please dump them and rinse them when she was finished, I'd gladly take out the trash, but my plea fell on deaf ears.  Sigh.

Two more weeks and I'd be in my own place!  The lease was signed, I'd ordered some furniture and had multiple volunteers to help me move.  I didn't have a lot to move, mostly clothes, as I'd arranged to have my furniture delivered and brought in for me.  The apartment already had appliances, so I was pretty much set.  I was counting down the days, desperate for privacy and cleanliness.  I'm not a neat freak by any means, but I do like coming home to a mostly clean house.

After my appointment, I'd had a quick lunch with Melinda.  She was so sweet and excited to have a grand baby to spoil.  I let her do the honors of revealing the gender to Tom.  I also requested that she inform Michael, as there was no fucking way I would be calling him.

I'd called my own mom and she had been thrilled.  She had told me from the start that she had "a feeling" it would be a girl.  We talked about her coming to visit when the baby came.  I missed my mama.  And my brother.  And my sisters!  Living 1200 miles apart meant I saw them once or twice a year but I loved living in the Midwest.  Of course, I texted Holly, Kate and Eric to let them know after I talked to my mama.  And then I shared my big gender reveal on Facebook.

I'm not the type to share tons of personal details on Facebook and I'm definitely not the type to update every second of my pregnancy.  So far in the past, I'd only posted once that I was expecting, my predicted due date, maybe one or two sonograms and three "bump progress" pictures at the urging and begging of some friends.  My post had garnered lots of "likes" and comments congratulating me.  The attention was nice and I could see why some people seemed addicted to social media.  I felt like a mini-celebrity.

I felt even more like a mini-celeb when I got a new message notification.  Of course, I felt less like a worshipped and loved being and more like a target of vicious gossip and speculation when I saw it was from Manda.  Yes, that Manda.  Gorgeous Manda.  Michael's "friend".  The Manda who slapped me in the face and ultimately brought me to a breaking point in my relationship with Michael.

"it's reaaal cute to see u posting pics of Ur belly.  Yea, I can see them, we have mutual friends u know.  And I'm so excited that Ur having a girl! Michael is thrilled.  He can't wait to spoil his baby girl.  He's told me all about your disgusting activities and we have no doubt that he'll be able to get full custody.  I've always wanted a little girl of my own but I can't have kids so yours will have to do.  Shell be calling me mommy as soon as she can talk.  See ya around, probably in court ;)"

I felt sick.  Furious.  Humiliated.  Rage.  My whole body felt hot, tingly.  My ears were roaring as my heartbeat increased.  I read and re-read what Manda had written.  She had some fucking nerve.  I wanted to pluck her pretty blue eyes out and shove them down her throat.  How dare she?  Obviously, I now had confirmation that she and Michael were a "thing", but that didn't phase me.  I'd figured that out the night I'd woken up to her and Michael canoodling in the kitchen.  She could have him!  She would never, ever take my child.

I paced the apartment, willing myself to be calm.  The walls felt like they were closing in and I could barely breathe.  I was sobbing, angry, shocked, scared.  Was I having a panic attack?  Air.  I need air.  I rushed outside to the stairs of my building.  I took huge, gulping breaths of the cold air.  Inhale, exhale.  Breathe.  Calm.

Finally, I felt like I wasn't going to pass out or throw up or hyperventilate.  I walked in small circles, looking up at the night sky.  It was clear, starry and beautiful.  I walked out to the courtyard and took a seat on the bench there.  I stared up at the sky, begging for calmness and clarity.  I don't know how long I sat there, huddled up in my hoodie, letting my mind wander.  I tried to think of anything but Michael or Manda.  I focused on breathing.  I focused on how happy I'd felt just hours before when I'd seen my little girl.  I looked for constellations or shooting stars or signs from the universe.

I nearly screamed when a figure appeared in the darkness beside me.


  1. Omg!! I jumped when I read that! I do not like cliff hangers! You really really really need to post soon:) I am enjoying your story, so glad you came back!!

  2. Just saying, I wouldn't be opposed to you writing Manda dies in a fiery car crash....what a bitch.

  3. I would copy that message and post it on my FB wall for all of our mutual friends to see. What a complete and total bitch. I'm sure with his police record and restraining order, Michael will get full custody. Yeah, right. She's effin delusional! My fear is they'll get visitation and then run off with the baby.

    On a personal note, if this blog goes down the path where the kid is being used as a pawn or something happens to it because of them, I might have to stop reading. I just can't handle that kind of stuff, even if it is fiction. Too much of that crazy shit happens in real life. Not trying to tell you how to write or what direction to take your blog, just sharing. mum

    1. Mum, I can't believe I'd missed this comment until now! You're right, Manda is definitely delusional. Who knows yet if Michael even realizes what she's doing - we will be hearing more about the two of them soon. As always, I appreciate your input.