“Why are you always unhappy with me?”
“I’m not unhappy with you Arizona, it’s just a frustrating situation.”
“Sorry that I’m so frustrating for you.”
“That’s not fair and you know it! You can’t keep feeling sorry for yourself all the time!”
“Screw you! I’m doing my best! Going to work, cooking, looking after the house! I’m sorry I’m not perfectly happy all the friggen’ time.” I paused, and he stared at me in shock. “I don’t know why you even care anyways. Once the baby is settled you’re just going to go back to your wife. Probably try to take the baby with you.”
“Is that really what you think of me?”
His voice got quiet, face sad. Honestly, I don’t know why I said it. I knew he wouldn’t take the baby. I guess I really didn’t think he was going to stay either. He had a real home with his wife. A comfortable bed…. A bed at all, really. I’d been making him sleep on the couch most nights.
“I don’t know, Dom. I know this really isn’t the life you’d thought you’d have.”
He took my hands in his and stepped closer to me.
“Arizona…. This is not a situation I ever thought I’d be in. I never would’ve thought I’d cheat on my wife.” I glared at him, ready to yell again. “However – I made a decision, and I’m dealing with the consequences.”
“There we go again! I’m just a consequence to you! Something that you have to deal with!”
He sighed, dropping to my belly.
“Honestly Arizona, I can’t promise what’s going to happen to us. We’re two different people in two different parts of our lives. I have been married with children already. I’m past my partying days – but I have a lot of friends still in the crowd. I’m well into my career already, and I enjoy it. And I’m much older than you.”
“Is this supposed to be reassuring?”
“If you let me finish… I don’t know if we’re going to last. But this baby is going to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. And the best thing to happen to you. Even if you don’t know it yet.” He paused again. “The point is I’m not going anywhere any time soon.”
I smiled at him. Although pregnancy was still the most miserable thing I’d ever experienced – I was excited about life that I’d created.
“I just don’t want to do it alone, Dom. I don’t know how to do anything. Like at all. I’m pretty sure I only got my job because my boss thinks I’m hot.”
“Well you are.” He cracked a smile and we laughed together for the first time. “I’m not going anywhere Arizona. I’ll be here for whatever you need, as long as you need. But maybe you can try cooking instead of bartending? Same field – hopefully a better boss?”
“Really? You’ll stay?”
“Of course, Ari. Do you want to make it official? Be my girlfriend? We can be a team.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He wanted to stay with me. Be a team with me. Work together. “Of course, Dom. I’d love to.”
He kissed my cheek and I felt my heart swell. We were going to do this. We were going to be okay. I was going to be okay.
We cuddled up on the couch together, and for the first time since my whole stupid decision, I felt okay. Like the baby wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever done. Like my stupid parents didn’t matter. Like we were moving forward.