I’d only just sat down with some shitty rom-com when I heard a knock. Who the hell would be coming over?
…Actually, I had an idea of it, considering the annoyed texts I’d received from Clarissa this morning. She’d emailed me over a week ago about her fifty-fourth birthday. I hadn’t seen her in months, not since my twenty-third, and that was months ago.
Probably-Clarissa knocked again.
Motherfucker, I am not ready for this…it’s gonna be fucking terrible, I thought. The littlest things set her off, and now I’d made the biggest mistake of all. She’d just start screaming and I’d just have to stand there and take it like I have all my damn life…
I’m not in the mood…
“I can get that!” Alexis offered from the kitchen. “You should probably like…stay off your feet and stuff. I don’t know much, but…yeah. Door.”
Quit caring. And for the love of God don’t answer it.
“Sarai’s latest roommate, I suppose?” Clarissa’s snotty, barking voice made me cringe. I wanted to disappear.
I stood anyway.
Alexis was taken aback. “Yeah, that’s…that’s me. You’re her aunt?”
“Obviously. Now where-” Her eyes flickered down to my very obvious baby bump, and then up to meet my eyes. I could see her nostrils flaring, her brows and eyes narrowing, and the pure venom in her glare. That rage was pretty familiar. Sickening, too.
Fuck, this would be bad.
“Excuse me, but could we have some privacy? My niece and I?” The tightened jaw. The choked-up angry tone. Fuuuuck. I was already on edge. My feet tapped nervously and I twisted my hands a little.
“I – well, I’ve kind of got pasta cooking here – but sure…” I could barely stand the pitying look she gave me as she went into her bedroom. Ugh, what did she think?
She walked away and Clarissa sat me down.
Clarissa rounded on me the second Alexis’s door closed. “I think it’s obvious you have a lot of explaining to do, Sarai! I mean…God, what is wrong with you and just what the hell are you doing?” She was screaming right at me and it wasn’t surprising, but it was fucking painful.
There’s a lot wrong with you, she’s right. I jeered the words at myself.
“You know you’re not ready for this, don’t you?” She rubbed her forehead. “God, it’s like Kendra all over again-”
I felt a little of my own rage bubbling up inside me. “Don’t talk about my mom-”
“Right, sorry…I guess that isn’t relevant.”
Damn right it isn’t.
“Nope.” I mumbled.
“Why wouldn’t you say anything? If you’re going to go through with…this…” She gestured at my stomach and screwed up her face. Her disgust was evident. “…then surely you’d tell someone?”
“I did.” I answered. “Alexis knows.”
“And who’s the damn father?” she snapped.
“None of your business!” I cried. “Why are you even here? You clearly don’t give a shit about me! Could you just leave?”
Of course she stayed put. “Now Sarai,” she began, in a patronising, poison-honey tone. “There’s no need to throw a tantrum. Of course I care. I just want to know if you’ve thought about this…properly.”
“I’ve definitely thought, and that’s wh-”
“About yourself.” Clarissa cut me off. “Of course you’d think it’s a great idea, wouldn’t you? Just think about your child? I swear, you’re just chasing some dream…that really, no-one would have expected you to have. Because, really, how could you possibly take care of a child? Just take a look at yourself!”
There was thick, tense silence in the air for a few seconds. I felt tears coming and I bit my lip, willing them to stop. I couldn’t let her see me cry.
Did she think I was that stupid? I know I can’t do this…that’s why I made arrangements already. All she did was fuck up my evening and make me feel bad.
I shut up that cruel inner voice, wiped my eyes and raised my head, fixing my eyes on hers. “I’m giving him up for adoption.” You didn’t let me mention that, you stupid cow, because you were too busy reminding me that I’m some unworthy failure mistake of a niece who you didn’t even want. “And I don’t want to come to your fucking party.”
Clarissa stood up. She sneered at me. “One sensible decision. Oh good job, Sarai. And for what it’s worth, I don’t want you there if you’re like this.” She gestured at my stomach, turned on her heel and left the apartment.
I wanted to forget the whole conversation and watch my film but I broke.
I wished I could justify it as hormones, but it was more than that. And I started thinking to myself…that never leads anywhere good.
I guess she said what she really thought.
Am I really…ruined now? That’s what she implied, isn’t it? No-one will want me…it doesn’t even matter; no-one does right now. Whatever.
She’s a bitch but she’s right so stop fucking crying about it.
I was still crying as Alexis made her way back to her precious pasta. She opened her mouth a few times, like she was going to ask something, but then thought better of it.
Well…that was good, wasn’t it…why would I want to talk about this? And why would she want to listen?
So far this was a lot better than Clarissa’s fifty-fourth. And Dianne agreed with me.
She was the one who had asked me to grab dinner in lieu of attending, and I actually said yes. I know…but it really seemed like she wanted to hang out with me. Maybe I upset her all that time ago. Maybe…
“Hey, we’ve had some actual damn fun tonight.” Dianne smiled.
I laughed. “Yeah, we have. Uh…thanks, Dianne.”
“No problem.” she said.