I Just Want to See My Baby

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     My heart sank. I felt cold suddenly, and chills spread across my body. My stomach ached now. But no matter how much pain I was in, I couldn't let Ben see it. Judging from the huge idiot grin on his face, he was really happy. And it was my job to be happy for him. I forced a smile on my own face and attempted to put up a convincing façade.

     "Wow, really? That's so great!"

     "Yeah...it is." He paused, "I really like her." He couldn't seem to quit smiling. It was nice to see him as happy as he was. But I was still disappointed because I had begun to get used to the idea that we might get together some day.

     "That's really great, Ben. I'm happy for you." I said, attempting my best genuine smile.

     He paused to study my face for a minute, "Linds...what's wrong?"

     "What do you mean? Nothing's wrong."

     He looked at me a little more sincerely, "Linds. How long have we known each other?"

     I kind of hated the fact that he could make me laugh so easily.

     "Exactly. So I know when something's wrong, and there's something you're not telling me right now."

     I paused as if to contemplate if I wanted to tell him what was wrong, "It's just...classes. I have a couple of professors that I swear, they want to make my life as miserable as possible."

     "Aw, Linds, I'm sorry. I wish there was something I could do to help."

     I attempted a half smile, "It's okay." I paused, "But, hey, uh, why don't you tell me more about this girlfriend of yours? I mean, if she's with you then she's got to be something special."

     Ben laughed at this, "Oh, she is. She's...wonderful. The greatest." He paused to glance at my face, "I, uh...I want you to meet her, Linds."

     What?! I went into panic mode. There was no way I could pull off a façade and pretend to be genuinely happy for him if she were here too. Plus I'd probably get zero alone time with Ben. And I was the best friend who hadn't seen him for months. I still hated missing him the last time he got to come home.

     But no matter how unhappy I was at the time, I still had to try to be happy for him. He looked way too happy for me to ruin that.

     "Well, I'd love to meet her then."

     He smiled widely, "I can't wait to see you when I get home. Love you, Linds" And with that, he signed off.

     "I love you too, Ben. Just...not in the same way." I whispered to myself as a single tear fall down my face.

     In the few days following that conversation, I tried to get excited about at least seeing my best friend again. Even if he was bringing his new girlfriend home with him. And soon, my mind was busy enough with helping to plan my family's annual Christmas party. I remembered that even though Ben had a new girlfriend now, he'd still be my charades partner and we always had so much fun with that. This would be our third year in a row to win-we were that good.

     My excitement was beginning to bubble over at the thought of how much fun we were going to have-girlfriend or not. That is, until I got an unexpected text from Ben saying to get online right away.

     "Hey, what's up?"

     "Linds, I, uh..." He seemed to be searching for the right words.

     "What is it, Ben?"

     "Linds..." he sighed heavily, "I, uh...I'm not going to make it home for Christmas after all."

     "What? Why?"

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