It’s Tuesday. I pull up to the same copy and print shop I use every tuesday.
The staff is young. All my age, maybe younger.
The manager always seems flustered. I give her a sweet smile. She has no idea who I am. She calls me my bosses name. She thinks I’m her. Secretly I hope she’s googled my boss and thinks I’ve accomplished everything she has. I answer my phone with her name every time I see their number on the caller ID. Why do I do that? Gosh that’s going to be awkward one day.
The boy that works there. He’s cute. I never noticed before today. Or maybe I had but didn’t care.
I walk through the door today in an exceptionally good mood. My goofy smile greets his. He’s helping an older gentleman. No doubt in the middle of the transaction, he steps away to find my order.
I realize in these brief moments how happy I am.
I feel like myself again.
That’s a strange thought.
Who am I?
It’s so foreign to me.
A single mom.
A part time employee.
Someone who birthed another persons baby.
Every one of these things I wasn’t a year ago.
So who am I to say I feel like myself AGAIN?
I guess I feel like the new me.
I walk with a little skip in my step, out of the store.
I like this new me.
But I frown thinking of that first word. A-L-O-N-E.
It’s my least favorite state of being. Well, maybe second to D-E-A-D.
But is dead really a state of being? Or a state of NOT being.
That doesn’t really matter..
I’ve been asked a lot about what my future holds. (if you have a crystal ball, I’d like to know what my future looks like too.)
“I’m ready to be a surrogate again soon,” is my standard answer.
“Will you have any more of your own kids?”
Why does everyone ask that?
“My future is pretty uncertain.” I can recite this speech while doing ten other things.. “WHEN I remarry, I’ll have more children if husband wants them.” ( I hope he does.)
Gosh, there’s that thought that pops up again.
I ADORE being a surrogate. BUT, it’s not the easiest thing to sashay up to an attractive man and announce “Hi, I’m pregnant. But don’t worry. It’s not mine.” (someone suggest I add, “the best part of the situation is that you don’t have to worry about getting me pregnant.” I’ll think about adding that to my pick up line repertoire.)
I’ve actually mentioned it a a few single gentlemen in the past year.
Exactly ONE thought it was fascinating and noble. (did he say noble? If I hadn’t been putty hanging on to the way his lips moved as he spoke and his hands, those hands, I might remember. I remember exactly what he was wearing, does that count? I wondered if the leather jacket he was wearing was soft and supple or that hard stiff leather that somehow makes men feel more manly. And the collar, why was I drawn to the way the color sat on his neck? Do you understand why I can’t remember if noble was the word he used?)
I struggled to keep my knees strong as he gazed. It’s probably just the way he looks at every girl, I try to insure myself. I’m not legally divorced,I’m pregnant with another couples baby. Surely, he doesn’t even know he can pierce through me. He probably just has one of those “looks.” If the way he speaks is any indication. I’m sure his smoldering look is just part of the package. Not something saved for me.
The next time I brought it up, I sat surrounded by people I felt instantly comfortable with, I swallowed the giant lump in my throat and told him (a different “him”) that I was due the week after her. (The girl at the end of the table.) She’s noticeably larger than me. He practically sprays pepsi across the table, turns to me and shouts “YOU’RE PREGNANT.” the kind of shout that makes the busy restaurant hush quickly.
I’m not just pregnant, I’m REALLY pregnant. After 30 weeks, kinda pregnant. I guess I hid it well.
Well, that didn’t go so well. But better to tell him here than in bed later. (i laugh at my thought. Like it would have gone that far..)
This is no easier than I thought it would be.
I should probably just stop watching the pot.
The me that is here now.
I like her.
I hope she finds what she’s looking for.
(What is she looking for??)
That crystal ball, I’ll take that now, please.