You don't get to become president without spending a majority of your life being predictable and planning your days. It's no secret that at some point in their lives, every presidential hopeful whips themselves into disciplinary shape and focuses on school, their grades, their future, and their career path. I was no different. I micro-managed and organized my schedule almost down to the minute. I had a notebook I carried among all of my most important work and files to scribble goals and the best trajectory to milestones and victories. It was such a fail-safe method.
As soon as the wave of nausea came over me back in Oliver's office before the holiday break, I knew I had stumbled and missed a beat. I was instantly suspicious that I was pregnant, and I realized that I had fallen completely out of my routine. When we had arrived back home that evening, I had raced to the bathroom to check my pill pack and silently scolded myself for just how many I had missed. For a woman as career-driven and hellishly busy as I was, you'd think I'd have a different method of birth control that was more efficient than remembering medication every day. It was something I meant to have changed for ages, but since relationships were non-existent and any casual encounters I had were few-and-far between, it was damn near impossible for me to forget something so important. When Roman and I began sniffing around one another for something more, I admit I had a lapse in judgement and something as basic as swallowing a pill every morning became non-existent. I can't help it and I have zero excuse to try and stutter or stumble over. I was blinded by Roman. Once he was in my life, he became my whole universe. We never discussed protection, a family, marriage, or even living together. Those all fell under this weird, silent agreement we seemed to have. I knew he loved me fiercely and damn if I didn't feel the same. My relationship with Roman was the most spontaneous thing I had ever done in probably the last decade, but so help me if I didn't feel breathless just thinking about how liberated I felt having him in my life.
That's why, when I found myself shopping with my family in a quiet beach town in New Jersey over Christmas, I also found myself in a rare moment alone in a drug store. Without doing my usual over-thinking, I scooped up a couple of tests, and while I hid behind my beanie hat and dark sunglasses, I made my purchase and kept it hidden from everyone I loved the most. When I found myself alone once more in the middle of the night while the house slept, I snuck out of bed and took each test in turn to be sure.
It may be cliche to say, but I knew what the results would be even before I locked myself in the bathroom. I knew it as soon as I saw the looks on Oliver and Roman's faces while we worked a couple of weeks prior. I knew what I saw when I witnessed the concern etched across each of their features, and I also knew that they weren't registering what I just had. Somehow, having the gut feeling and the knowledge that my life was about to change more than I had ever expected up until this point made me feel like I finally achieved all the happiness I had ever wished for in my life. Our relationship was new, but I was confident that Roman was it for me, and once my brain got in gear to do the math and connect the dots, I somehow felt serene, elated, and anxious all at once knowing that our intensity just created the best thing that could ever happen to us.
I felt my second wave of calm when I planned how I would tell Roman. It was near-impossible to keep a secret, even for a short while, but I knew I wanted it to be intimate and personal. Not much about my life was my own anymore, so I wanted to keep this exceedingly special moment just between us as best I could. It was strange, but as soon as the tests displayed what I had known all along, I decided when, where, and how I would protect this innocent, little being, and how we would tell everyone who mattered before we shared the news with the world.
I was fairly confident in how Roman would react to the news. Perhaps that sounded slightly narcissistic, but it was simple really. Deep in my heart, I believed this little surprise would bring us closer, as if that were possible. In recent days, I found myself waking up and thanking my lucky stars, not that I would soon be occupying the White House and all of my lifelong dreams had come true, but because I had Roman and we were forming this fantastic, perfect life together at lightning speed, and rather than terrifying me, it made my heart skip a beat. He and this baby were everything I never planned for myself and all I wanted was more.
Once we rang in our blissful New Year with our bundle of joy, we were jetting back to Washington to make final preparations for Inauguration Day. A big part of me didn't want to leave the little nest we created in our townhouse in Georgetown, but bigger things were on the very-near horizon. Roman and I decided almost instantly after I broke the news that we would keep our little one top secret and strictly between the two of us until we were surrounded by our loved ones. We'd enjoy a slow dance or a million during our Inaugural Balls, and after we made it back to Pennsylvania Avenue to party privately with our family and friends, we'd announce our impending arrival.
What I should have predicted and planned a little better was Roman's crackdown on my life. I couldn't fault the poor guy, but it would be difficult to keep such a monumental secret when he was being a total helicopter boyfriend. That was saying a lot considering his day job. Instead, I basked in the extra attention. I surrendered to back massages, foot rubs, tender, passionate, slow sex anytime I desired, languid breakfasts in bed, steaming cups of herbal teas being brought to my desk while I worked, or even a hand on my shoulder and silent reassurance as I sat in meetings or on phone calls. I wasn't sure what I had done right in my life to deserve such a wonderful man, but I sure as shit refused to question my good fortune.
As we settled back into our hectic routine, I had to take a few deep breaths every now and again and come to terms with the perfection my life had become. All the things I hadn't wished or strived for in my ridiculously structured life had found their way into my soul and now I couldn't imagine my future in any other way.
After a particularly long day in early January, exhaustion and the bitter weather got the best of me and I was able to lose myself in my favorite part of pregnant life so far; drifting into a deep, peaceful slumber with Roman's strong body wrapped around my own. His large palms rested protectively over my lower abdomen and caressed where our sweet treasure grew.
Life was good.
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