The dishwasher whirred from the kitchen as I curled up on the couch, wrapping myself in a faux-fur throw. I turned a page of Celebutante Weekly, attempting to read but not absorbing any of what my eyes passed over. Articles about Botox disasters, celebrity feuds, and new macro-carb diets weren't holding my attention. I skimmed the text several times before giving up and tossing the magazine onto the cream-colored ottoman with a sigh.

Boredom and exhaustion made for a troubling combination; I was too tired to do anything with myself, but too restless to do nothing.

Ethan had encouraged me to come watch the game, but most of the other wives from the team were either pregnant or already had several kids in tow. I wasn't in the mood to dodge the inevitable questions about why we hadn't yet followed suit. But now that I was done cleaning, the condo seemed empty with everyone else gone and part of me was regretting my decision to stay home.

We'd talked about getting a dog after graduation, but then we ended up in a city, living in another apartment, and it didn't seem fair without a yard. Then again, I'd read that certain breeds were okay in smaller spaces as long as you walked them regularly. Plus, Isabelle swore by their dog-sitting service. Maybe the whole pet idea was something to reconsider. Company, even just of the animal persuasion, would be nice at times like this.

A gingerbread candle on the table beside me flickered and the spicy, warm scent wafted over, my stomach protesting in hunger. It was dinnertime and I would be on my own to scrounge up a meal. Delivery for one... again. Cooking for one never seemed worth the hassle.

Plus, I was too tired to go pick up takeout. Suddenly, I was downright exhausted. Caring for two little people all weekend, even with Ethan's help, had completely wiped me out. I was glad I decided against picking up an extra shift tonight to fill the time like I had originally planned. Heck, I couldn't even remember what shifts I was scheduled for this week— afternoons or nights? My brain was scrambled.

Checking my phone's calendar to verify my work schedule, I realized three things: One, I was working nights. Two, I'd completely spaced on the fact that my mother was coming to stay next week. Three, it was now December 12th... and I was late. Two days late, to be precise.

Between the negative pregnancy test on Friday and our tiny visitors taking up most of my brain space, I hadn't even thought about the fact that my imminent period never actually arrived.

After the negative pregnancy test, I'd had some wine with Ethan on Friday night, not thinking about it one way or the other. I gave up drinking when we first started trying, but it began to take so long that abstaining just seemed pointless. Plus, keeping a glass of wine in hand at parties helped stave off nosy questioning.

But now... late. Only a couple of days, of course, but I was never late.

My heart sped up. I'd just had a negative test two days ago. What were the odds, even? Surely, they had to be low.

For accuracy's sake, I knew I should wait and test first thing in the morning. Urine was more concentrated then and the tests would pick up the pregnancy hormone more easily. That is, if the hormone was even there. Was it?

I had to know. I couldn't wait until morning. Not a chance. I dashed into the master bathroom and rummaged under the sink until I found a pregnancy test. Well, let's be real— I had a whole pregnancy test stockpile at this point; it was more a matter of which test to choose. Because I'd done embarrassing amounts of research, I grabbed the box for a test that was one of the most sensitive on the market. It was as accurate as a blood test, or so they claimed.

One small hiccup: I didn't need to pee. But somehow, I forced myself to go anyway. Peeing on demand was a skill that I had perfected over the past few months.

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