Not tell him?
Wait until I hit the 12th week “probably no miscarriage” mark and then tell him?
Call him up right now, sobbing with the news?
Never talk to him again?
Frankly, I’m not sure how I managed to drive the car back to my apartment without getting in a huge wreck. My mind was racing, but in a slow, steady, muddled kind of a way. Every time it started to rev up and get going, that whole “YOU’RE PREGNANT” thing would get in the way and shock it into stopping.
Skip forward a couple of hours.
Skip forward past me breaking the news in desperation to my sister, and her telling me I’d be an idiot if I didn’t tell The Bean the truth, that very night.
Skip past his phone call telling me he was on his way over, his tired voice complaining about the flu I had passed on to him and how very long his day had been.
Buddy, you have no idea how long your day is about to become.
Fast forward to The Bean plopping himself down in a fever-ridden exhaustion on my couch, eyes closed and neck lolling.
“I feel awful. Unnnngggh….” He groaned theatrically, only half-joking, and blinked over at me wearily as I perched awkwardly on the couch beside him, back uncomfortably straight.
“Yeah? You’re still sick?” I picked at the corner of the pillow beside me, the knees of my jeans, my own fingernails.
“I think I have a fever.” He tipped his head back again, eyes closed. “Is that soup I smell?”
“Huh?” Pick, pick. “Oh. Yeah. Soup. Yeah, I made soup today.”
I opened my mouth to speak, then closed it again.
I picked at the cushion some more, watching him from beneath my eyelashes. C’mon, already. Ask me what’s wrong….
Wait a second… was he asleep? Seriously? I looked over at him, at his slightly gaping mouth and even breathing. Asleep? Couldn’t he see the anxiety radiating off of me in waves?
I opened my mouth and took the plunge.
“So, I got some news today,” I stated loudly, watching him jump slightly as he jolted back to consciousness. I waited for him to open his eyes and focus on me. It took a few seconds (I found out later that his fever really was well over 102), but I finally had his attention, or as much of his attention as he was able to give me.
“Hmm?” He made an effort to sit up slightly and appear vaguely interested.
“Uh, yeah. Pretty decent news. Um. Fairly big, I mean. News, that is. Um. I guess, well…” I trailed off, trying to come up with an angle to soften the blow. Ah-hah! Appeal to his financial side! “Uh, well, you know how you were just complaining about taxes?”
“Well, maybe, uh, I might have a way for you to save money next year.”
“Uh, yeah. Like, maybe in October? A tax break? You know?” I sat there, staring at him, willing him to count the months, do the math, figure it out.
His eyes began closing again. Frustrated, I tried to be a little more direct. “Yeah. You know. Like, a third party tax write-off. As in, ANOTHER PERSON. A tiny, loud tax write-off. In October.” I sat there and watched him try to figure it out…. and watched him fail.
Sigh. “I’m pregnant.”
That got his attention. “Wait. What? Pregnant?” He sat up, staring at me. I edged closer to the end of the couch, putting more space between us.
“Yeah. In October,” I said, gesturing, emphatically. “Plenty of time for the next tax season,” I joked lamely.
He stared at me in fever-ridden confusion, and then said something truly stupid. “But I didn’t even know you in October.”
“The baby will be BORN in October,” I said coldly. Visions of butcher knives being slammed into his eyeballs calmed me slightly, but not by much. “And what do you mean, you didn’t know me in October? Are you trying insinuate something?”
Standing, I began pacing the room, clutching my pillow to my chest as I waited for his answer. I could throw this pillow at him first, and then head for the kitchen… there’s plenty of things that could do some damage if I actually managed to make contact with that STUPID head of his… pots… pans…the refrigerator…
“No, no, no,” The Bean backpedaled, “I was, uh, just confused. I mean, uh. Wow. Pregnant.” He shook his head from side to side, looking puzzled.
Slightly mollified, I sat down lightly on the couch again. “Pregnant.” I’m pretty sure I said it in the same tone of voice as one might say “Head Lice” or “Overdue Parking ticket”.
I buried my face in my hands, looking up as I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Hey, Becky, it’s okay. This is a good thing.” He paused, searching my face. “It’s a good thing, right?”
“I guess,” I said sullenly, glaring at him. I didn’t even know you in October? STUPID MAN. “What are we going to do?”
He wrapped an arm around my shoulders, pulling me against him. “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out.”
I pulled away from him and angrily swiped at the fat tears rolling down my face. “Sure. I guess. Whatever.” Pregnancy hormones— they are truly frightening.
The Bean sighed, and grabbed my hand, holding it. “It’s a good thing,” he reminded me in the calm, easy tones you’d use on crazy people and rabid dogs.
His knee bumped against mine, the heat and weight of it somehow reassuring.
“We don’t have to figure this out right now, Becky. We’ll figure it out as we go.” He paused, took a deep breath, and blew it out shakily. “Pregnant.”
“Yeah. I know. Pregnant.”
His hand tightened, fingers interlacing with mine. We both leaned back, sitting side by side and silent on the beige couch. It was a good thing.