I’m at our favorite place -- that coffee shop that puts those little cookies on the plate next to your cup, the ones in the shape of daisies. You told me to meet you here, but, of course, you forgot. Maybe I should have figured you would, but I always expected the best from you, better than what you could ever deliver. You never loved me properly. Or, that’s what everyone is always telling me, including you, in the way you leave dirty dishes crusting in my sink before disappearing for days at a time, or the way you hug me smelling like another woman’s perfume and whisper how I am so good for you, or the way you put your feet on the coffee table that I inherited from my grandmother which is some kind of family heirloom. Even after I explained to you how important the thing was to my family, you kept on putting your feet on it, leaving these huge nicks in the shape of the heels of your boots. My mother calls me just to ask me about the table. You laughed when I told you, your heels digging into the soft wood.
I haven’t started my period, which is why I asked you to meet me. I didn’t mention that over the phone because I figured you would never show up if I did. I just told you how much I missed you and how much I wanted to feel the weight of your palms on my skin because it had been a few weeks since I had seen you. I even told you that I knew you were with Cathy or Cathleen or whatever her name was, but that I didn’t mind if you showed up with strands of her hair caught in the buttons of your shirt or the bruise of her fingertips on your collarbone. You told me that you would love to see me, that you were sorry for what had happened -- how you had called me selfish for wanting you to myself. You told me that now that you had some distance, you understood why I was completely dependent upon you. I didn’t bother to correct you.
I wasn’t dependent on you, just in love and stupid and possibly pregnant, all the things my mother had warned me about before I moved here. All of the things she had been warning me about since I was old enough to be told: in the way she would cluck her tongue whenever my shirt was too tight or my shorts too short, in the way she would run her hand through my hair splayed out across my pillow at night before I fell asleep and tell me that I was strong and independent and that men were never good at serious, in the way she would stare into my eyes each time I came home after a night out looking for the reflection of the boys’ eyes that she knew I had been with even though I always lied and told her I was with friends.
Anyways, now, here I am, in a coffee shop with people all around me, afraid to drink the cup of coffee that’s sitting in front of me because I read on the internet that caffeine is bad for babies, even though I’m not actually sure that I’m pregnant. Those pregnancy tests are only 98% accurate or something like that. The thing is, if I am pregnant, I’m afraid that you will try to convince me that I’m not fit to be a mom. That you will point out how I barely pay my rent as it is, how sometimes all I eat is cereal for days at a time, how you’re not sure I ever really learned how to properly take care of my teeth seeing as you’ve never been able to find floss or toothpaste in any of the drawers of my bathroom. I’ve told you multiple times that baking soda works just fine, but you refuse to believe me and usually bring a small tube of your own toothpaste with you when you stay over. Or, you used to. I always thought it was weird how you refused to leave it behind.
You see, all I wanted to do was let you know that your genes will be carried on by these small, developing cells that I’m pretty sure are growing inside of me right now. I’ve already talked to my mom and she is on her way to get me and move me and this little maybe that the two of us created in with her. Oh and the coffee table too. She’s really going to lose it when she sees those marks. I just thought you might like to know.