“Really?” he says, and his hand playing with my hair stops. “Why?”
“I’ve never wanted kids,” I say nonchalantly as the words burn my mouth. “So getting married isn’t that much of a goal.”
“You’ll change your mind,” he says. “You’ll get the itch,” he says, laughing.
“No itch,” I say and then turn over on my side, looking at my bag on his chair in his bedroom, blinking away the lurking tears. “What time is the dinner tomorrow?” I ask him about the team dinner we are having.
“We have to be there at seven,” he says, turning to hug me and kiss my shoulder. “You brought clothes, right?”
“Yup,” I say, faking a yawn. “Goodnight.”
“Night, doll face,” he says, kissing my neck as I listen to him drift off to sleep. My eyes watch the stars blinking in the sky. He’s going to get married one day, I think to myself. My stomach feels as if someone just kicked me. He’s going to lie in this bed with another woman and make babies. I get out of bed, going to the bathroom. Closing the door, I allow the tears to fall. “Next week,” I tell myself. “Next week, I’ll let him go.”
I walk back to the bed, getting back under the covers. Placing my head on his chest, I feel his arm coming around to hug me. “You okay?” he mumbles.
“Yeah, fine,” I answer when he kisses my forehead. I close my eyes and listen to his heartbeat, falling into a rough night’s sleep.
“Are you almost ready?” I hear Gabe yell from downstairs.
“Yes,” I yell, pulling on my white jeans, the waist tighter than usual. “Fuck, I need to start working out,” I say, grabbing the light peach shirt that matches. I slip it over my head, pulling it down on my shoulders. Thank god, the shirt flows around so I can leave the jeans unbuttoned. I slip on the brown heels and head downstairs. “My pants don’t fit me,” I say once I get into the living room. I lift my shirt to show him that I can’t button my jeans.
“Where is the rest of your shirt?” he asks while I look at him. He’s wearing tight blue slacks with a white button-down shirt with blue lines and a gray thin sweater on top, which molds to his chest. His sleeves pushed up.
“What’s wrong with my shirt?” I say, looking down.
“Your shoulders are all out,” he says, leaning down and kissing one. “You should become a nun, so I won’t have to glare at anyone when they look at you.”
I throw my head back and laugh. “Let’s go before you cut this shirt, too.” I walk to the door with him grabbing my ass. “You need to stop that. We are going out in public.”
He groans. “I fucking hate this shit. We really need to negotiate that rule.”
I walk down the stairs still laughing. “It’s the only rule we have.”
He opens his door and gets in. “No, we also have the no sleepovers on a work night.”
I lean over to kiss him. “Okay, fine. We can throw out the sleepover rule.”
“Really?” he asks all happy.
“No, but we could think about it,” I say while he grabs my hand. “Are we picking up anyone else?”
“Nope,” he says, turning down the street and reaching to turn on the radio. I look out the window at the water crashing into the shore.
When we get to the restaurant, I make sure not to walk too close to him, especially once we make it to the table where Ava and Corrine are waiting for us. “Hey,” I say while they both look at us. “You guys the only ones here?”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“Yes, Emma just texted that she and Mia are carpooling together, and Alan is going to be picking up Olivia.”
“Perfect,” I say, sitting down in the chair facing them. Gabe pulls out the chair next to me and sits down.
“This place is supposed to be good,” he says, grabbing the menu. “Brody brought Darla here for their anniversary.”
“Aww, isn’t that sweet,” Ava says. “They are so cute. That is relationship goals.”
“Word,” Corrine says. “How long have they been married?” she asks Gabe who puts his menu down.
“I think five years,” he says, grabbing the glass of water and drinking from it.
“I swear, their kids are going to be the cutest in the world,” Ava says. “I can’t wait to have kids.”
“Oh, yeah, I’ve wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl. I used to wrap bags of carrots in a blanket and pretend it was a baby.”
We all laugh. “I mean, I want kids,” Corrine says, “but like not now now. Maybe in about five years, ten max.”
I nod at them. “I guess I’m the opposite,” I tell them. “I never want kids.”
“Really?” Ava says, and then Emma and Mia arrive.