Chapter Twenty-Two

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The following three months fall into a routine for me.

Throwing up in the morning and working.

Morning sickness has got to be the worst thing ever. I woke up almost everyday, running straight to the toilet. I hated throwing up. It was the most exhausting thing ever. I started locking my door every night, I didn't want Colton to walk in and see me throwing up. It smelled gross. Although most of the time it was just gooey and clear.

I am able to find a part time job at the hospital. Colton is not thrilled about it but we are able to come to a compromise. They are only giving me three days until the baby is born, then I will be working full time. I am happy about the arrangement and very excited to actually start working as a nurse. My specialty, ironically, is labor and delivery and I watch a woman give birth on my very first day...let's just say that the love for my job is one of those things where it is fascinating to watch on other people and would prefer it if I didn't have to go through it but it's too late for that so I just ignore it.

The other nurses are very nice and so excited when I tell them that I am actually pregnant. It didn't occur to me that I'm going to have to tell them I gave it up for adoption later after the baby is born.

Living with Colton is...interesting. He actually spends less time there after our conversation and on some days, I don't even see him. I try not to care but it's impossible. So I just resign to be the stupid girl who fell for the wrong guy. He never misses my appointments to the doctor, though so I know I can always count on that. I try to keep myself busy with my job and helping Elizabeth plan her wedding.

I begin to show in September, the fourth month. Of course, it is not that big but it is big enough to show under my everyday clothes. It's weird. It feels like one night I went to sleep with a flat stomach and in the morning, I was suddenly showing. The tummy makes it real, makes me feel more vulnerable, like I have to watch my every step. It is like a big pile of bricks that hit me with the realization that I really am pregnant.

That morning, I wake up feeling sick. I hurl over the toilet until I throw up.

After I'm done, I get in the shower and change into jeans except I can't wear jeans because they no longer close. So I take them off and put on a skirt that goes down just above my knee. I put on a blouse, comb my hair then head out of my room, to work.

Colton is in the kitchen, resting his hands on the counter. He is wearing his usual uniform: white button down shirt, black dressed pants with black shoes. Somehow, he makes it look unique each time. It's been a while since I've looked at him in the eye and I notice he has a beard growing. Not long, just trimmed enough to look even more handsome, as if he needed it. He looks up at me and I watch as his eyes slowly drift down, to my stomach.

"Emily, you look—" he trails off.

I smile. "I know. It came out of no where right?" What did I just say? "My jeans don't even close anymore. I'm going to have to buy some new clothes."

He straightens up and nods. "We can go today."

I frown. "Uh, you don't have to come with me."

He takes a step closer to me. "I want to."

Why does he do things like this? He ignores me for months and then suddenly volunteers to spend time with me? Does he not realize that it is these kinds of offers that make me think he might like me? Or am I just a big dreamer?

"Uh, okay."

"At what time are you off work?"


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