Monday, February 28, 2011

Up to Speed

(Author's note: You have all been SO patient with me so there will be four posts this week. One every day for the rest of the week, excluding the weekend, so check back often! Thanks for bearing with me!)

Molly and I went shopping and I told her all about Anna and the twins.

“Wow! I can’t believe stuff like that still happens!”

“I know!” I said, “I was telling my mom about it and she was surprised, too. My mom is a twin and there weren’t any reliable ultrasounds when she was born so she was a surprise just like Weatherly was.”

“They decided on Weatherly, huh?”

“Yeah. I like it. It’s unique and pretty. Jennifer is also a good name, but it’s pretty common.”

“I like it, too. Are Theo and Anna absolutely exhausted?”

“Oh, of course,” I said trying on a pair neon green heels, “but they’re managing. The gift Zoey arranged with Anna’s work friends is really what’s saving them, I think.”

“That was SUCH a good idea.”

“I know! I think it’ll definitely be something I try to give whenever someone I know is about to have a baby.”

“No more diaper cakes?” Molly joked.

“I don’t think chasing rolled up diapers down a busy street is really my thing.”

I didn’t end up getting the shoes but I did end up getting a nice pair of jeans and some new underwear sets.

“Oh, Sean is going to like that one.” Molly said pointing to a black lace bra I threw over my arm.


“How are things going with you two?” She said carefully.

“Uh…well…fine. He’s going on tour soon, though, so that’s sort of the elephant in the room we sort of avoid talking about.”

“Oh. How are you handling his impending departure?” She asked.

“Actually…” I said thinking about it, “I think I’m fine. I think Sean is the one that’s worried. He’s been really busy preparing for the tour so I don’t think he’s been able to really think about his feelings but at the same time he’s being constantly reminded of the tour and the fact that he needs to kind of sort them out before he leaves. I’m used to being away from people I love, I mean my brother has been in Afghanistan for months and my dad was deployed a lot when I was a kid, so this isn’t my first ball game. Plus, Sean will be able to visit sporadically which should help him deal with the distance, I think.”

That’s good! How is your brother doing, Faith?”

We left the store at that point and headed across the street to a sandwich place for some lunch.

“Oh, he’s doing okay. He’s a bit bored, though, as usual. I’ve been sending him regular care packages but the word on the street is that he should be heading out, soon. We’re expecting him home in mid-April sometime. My mom is pretty worried, though.”


“Well, with everything that’s been happening in Egypt and now Libya, we’re not sure if he’s going to be sent there on a humanitarian mission. She’s worried that he’ll come home and then have to leave within days to go somewhere else.”

“But there are minimum time requirements before deployments, aren’t there?”

“Yeah,” I said taking a bite of my sandwich, “but if he came home and then was sent somewhere like Egypt it wouldn’t be considered a deployment, it would be considered a humanitarian mission so the minimum time requirements don’t count.”

“Do you know if that’s likely?”

“I have no idea, my brother says it’s possible but I think the situation in Libya would have to get really bad before we sent in troops. My brother’s specialty is sort of important. Who knows at this point? One thing is for sure, though, this stuff in Libya is going to get worse.”

“Oh, I know, the guy in charge is totally batshit crazy.”

“Molly, you have no idea. We’re publishing a story tomorrow that talks about just how crazy he is. There’s suspected drug use, all sorts of weird statements, and don’t even get me started about his all-female guard that never leaves his side. He’s like a soap opera character.”

“Ew. That sounds so creepy.”

“I know!”

Molly and I finished lunch and continued shopping. She picked up some cute summer dresses and I found a nice pair of wedge sandals and a pleated skirt that will go with some nice work-clothes I’ve got lying around.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Zoey and I decided to go buy Theo and Anna some extra diapers, a car seat, and some more baby clothes just to get them started (they’ll reimburse us for it all…can I just say: It is really expensive to have a baby) while Anna and Theo got acquainted with their new babies. They wouldn’t have been able to leave the hospital without the baby seat, so we picked up some extra stuff for them while we were buying the car seat.

When we came back, Anna’s parents left to go sleep at Anna and Theo’s house for awhile and Theo started putting the car seat together.

“How are you?” I asked Anna while setting aside some flowers and a congratulations balloon Zoey and I got her.

“I’m tired, but really, really happy.” She said.

Anna looked tired but the smile on her face was impossible to ignore. The babies were hanging out in the nursery because Anna fed them and she needed some serious rest after her super long labor (I think the total was 46 hours; the twins are 6 minutes apart).

“What did you end up naming them?” Zoey asked.

“Andrew and Jennifer.”

“We’re still debating, though. It’s not official.” Theo said coming back around the corner of Anna’s room.

“Theo doesn’t like ‘Jennifer’.” Anna said rolling her eyes.

“I want to call her Weatherly.”

“Well, both would be fine, either way. They are both pretty.” I said.

“We actually wanted to talk to both of you.” Anna said.

Theo sat next to her and took her hand.

“Okay.” Zoey said sitting in a chair next to me.

“We originally asked Faith to be the godmother of our baby but now that we have two and we’d like both of you to be the godparents to the twins.”

Zoey was visibly touched to be asked and she immediately gave them both a hug before accepting. I’m going to be Jennifer/Weatherly’s godmother and Zoey is going to be Andrew’s. Anna was starting to nod off after a few minutes so we said goodbye and headed to the nursery to see our little friends.

You guys. They are SO CUTE. I’m a godmother! I called Sean and let him know that Anna was doing well, that I got to see the twins, and that I wanted a baby, like, now.

“Uh, shouldn’t we wait until I make an honest woman out of you?” He joked.

“But I want one noooow!” I fake-whined.

“Faith. 46 hours of labor.”


I decided that babies could wait.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I’m absolutely exhausted so this is going to be fairly short. When I got back to the hospital after a quick nap and change of clothes, Anna still hadn’t progressed very far in her labor. Zoey had gone home for a nap and a change of clothes as well and she came back about 15 minutes after me.

To be honest it was all really boring. Zoey and I waited in the lounge because there was a limit on how many people were allowed in Anna’s room and her family had flown in the minute they heard and were camped out in her room with Theo. Theo would come in occasionally to update us and drink some coffee. We ran across the street to a diner to get everyone dinner at one point. Zoey and I ate there so we could get out of the sanitizing lights of the hospital. We both had bags under our eyes.

“She has been in labor for 36 hours. You’d think SOMETHING would have happened by now.” Zoey whined.

I agreed. Having a baby is certainly boring (when you aren’t the one having the baby, I would assume). After 8 more hours Anna FINALLY started to progress with some pitocin to aid her. Theo came running into the room within 15 minutes of him telling us she was at 10 centimeters to announce the birth.

“It’s a boy!”

Zoey and I hugged Theo and gave many congratulations.

“Anna is experiencing a problem, though, her placenta won’t drop. I’ll keep you guys updated.” Theo ran out of the room before we could freak out.

“That’s not a big deal, right, Faith?” Zoey turned to me.

We were both pretty pale.

“I…I don’t know.”

Suddenly Theo came back and nearly wiped out trying to throw himself through the doorway to the lounge.

“Is she okay!?” Zoey and I asked at the same time.

Theo’s face was in shock. He was sweating and his eyes were wide.

“She...we…there was another baby in there!” He sputtered.

“WHAT?” Zoey looked dumbfounded.

“We have a girl! And a boy!”

“How does that even happen?” I asked, equally dumbfounded.

“The second baby was really high up, they mistook her for the placenta, the heart beat was never found because the…twins, “Theo sounded shocked that he could even say the word, “I guess their heartbeats were totally in sync.”

Theo looked like he was going to pass out.

“Theo?” Zoey said moving him to a couch covered in plastic, “Is this common?”

“It happens, but ultrasounds usually catch it. Oh my God we have to buy another car seat! And more diapers! And a double wide stroller! And-”

“We’ll go get you a car seat, Theo, you should probably go back in there.” I said, “But, first, how is Anna?”

“Are you kidding? She’s ECSTATIC!”

I’ll write more soon, but I’m falling asleep at my laptop and need to go to bed!

(Author's Note: Hi new readers! I hope you enjoy the blog, I welcome criticism in the comments as long as it's respectful. Thanks to the lovely people who recommended me!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Double Whamy

I was invited to go out for drinks with a few work friends after we were all done for the day and I decided to go because I had so much fun the last time and because Dina and Suzy were going to be there and we haven’t had much time to catch up since the holidays (they’ve both been really busy with deadlines what with the revolutions going on in the Middle East and Africa [for Dina] and Charlie Sheen [for Suzy] and the hot mess he’s become). I had a few paperwork things to finish with Steve so we got there about an hour late but the party was in full swing!

Dina and Suzy were dancing with some other work friends to old 80’s music pumping out of the jukebox and waved at me as Steve and I sat down with our group. Riley, one of the politics writers was sitting next to Stormy, who I sat down next to. Steve sat across from me next to Tom. Suzy is adamant that they are dating but for a gossip writer she seems to be wrong a lot with the office gossip, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt but still suspicious. I’m positive that Steve would have told me by now if they were, after all, he helped me write the policy guidelines requiring all employees to make their relationships known.

A few people were buzzed and bordering on tipsy by the time Steve and I got there. I knew Dina definitely was because she normally doesn’t let loose like she was on the dance floor. She came over to me out of breath and tossed her arms around me.

“Faaaaaaiiiith!!!! I’ve missed yooou! I feel like we never talk anymore!”

“I miss you, too Dina, we should get lunch regularly again. Is your husband going to come pick you up?”

“Yeeess! We need shots!” She twirled around her chair and dragged Suzy off the dance floor and to the bar to go get more shots. I was laughing as I watched them. It was nice to see them having so much fun, especially with how hard they’ve been working, lately. I settled into a martini and relaxed. I’d had a long day and was enjoying listening to the various conversations between my co-workers when I noticed Stormy doing the same thing.

“How are you, Stormy?” I asked leaning forward so he could hear me over the jukebox.

“I’m doing okay. I was wondering if I could talk to you about something. Can we go outside?”

“Sure.” I said downing my martini, grabbing my purse, and standing up.

When we were outside it became pretty apparent just how loud the music was inside, my ear were ringing in the sudden quiet. It had become dark outside and I realized just how hungry I was.

“Um, this is sort of awkward…but do you want to grab a slice of pizza across the street?”

I stared at Stormy with confusion.

“I thought we talked about this, Stormy, I’m in a-”

“It’s not a date.” He said trying to reassure me, “It just might be a long conversation.”

I shrugged and followed him across the street to a pizza place. We paid for our slices and sat at a table before he started.

“I need your advice.”

“Okay…” I said taking a bite.

“I don’t want to be a news anchor anymore. I want to be a journalist full-time for the paper.”

“Oh.” I was pretty shocked.

Stormy has definitely gone through a personality change since working at the paper. He was really cocky and full of himself, not to mention a womanizer and generally a creep. But I think he’s become more professional since we’ve worked together and he’s been taking his writing more seriously as of late. At the same time, this is a problem. Veronica has mentioned in the past what an asset he is to the nightly news as an anchor and I KNOW she is going to flip when he tells her.

“Writing again has really made me realized why I got into this field and I don’t want to be a newscaster anymore. I want to write. I want to be a journalist again. I know Veronica is going to be majorly pissed so I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to approach her.”

“Well, Rose her secretary would probably be the best person to ask. I would recommend, though, that you make an appointment with Veronica because she’s so busy. She also probably won’t appreciate you just sticking your head into her office and dropping this huge bomb on her, especially since ratings have been…taxing lately.”

The nightly news Sean and Veronica were working on (and the sponsor of our paper) wasn’t doing as well in the ratings department. Veronica said that it’s because there was too much coverage over celebrities and that we should do more serious stories but her bosses aren’t buying it and are reluctant to listen to her suggestions. It’s made Veronica very stressed out and Stormy’s decision really couldn’t be coming at a worse time for her.

“But you really should contact Rose about how to talk to Veronica.” I said.

Stormy looked crestfallen. I think he’d wanted to avoid that because he and Rose had a relationship that ended very, very badly, from what I’ve heard.

“I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.” I said.

“It’s okay. At least I tried.” He shrugged.

Just then my phone buzzed. I looked down and I had a text from Theo:

Thundercats are Go! Anna is in labor, we’ll be at the hospital in 20 minutes!

I told Stormy I had to go and then hailed a cab. I was at the hospital for about 8 hours. I’ve just popped in to take a nap and change my clothes. I’ll finish telling you all what happens when Anna finally has her baby! (It’s looking like a LOOOOOOONG labor, kids!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Belated Valentine

Sean and I couldn’t go out on Valentine’s day because he had a big meeting about the upcoming tour and then he had to work so we planned to go out some time after Valentine’s day. I spent Valentine’s Day with my favorite little man, Murphy, instead. We watched Titanic and pigged out on Chinese food. It was a good kitty-mommy bonding night. Not going out with Sean on Valentine’s was actually really nice because we didn’t have to fight to get a table at a restaurant or wait in line at the movies or anything when we finally did go out. I definitely think this is something Sean and I should do again next year instead of fighting the Valentine’s crowds.

Our hot date ended up being a dinner and a movie date. We decided on a matinee and Sean was keeping our dinner plans under wraps so I dressed up in a strapless black cocktail dress with a white bow that tied in the back around my waist. The dress had white tulle that peaked out at the hemline and I topped it off with silver dangle earrings and white and block polka-dotted peep toe pumps that had a black accent bow. I added a white ribbon in my hair and grabbed a black cardigan in case the weather got cold.

We went to see True Grit and Sean loved it! I’ve never seen a western before, but I certainly wasn’t bored watching that one. I can see why it was nominated for an Oscar. Afterward, Sean and I went to dinner on a boat! I was really surprised at how extravagant it all was. We were served a three course dinner while the boat floated down the river. It was absolutely beautiful; the city skyline sparkled off the water and provided an unbelievably romantic and peaceful ambience.

“I can’t believe you did all of this.” I said sitting at our table.

It was draped in a deep purple table cloth with silver candle holders in the middle and a low centerpiece of white and pink roses interspersed with small, yellow flowers surrounding the candle holder bases.

“I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to pay me back.” Sean winked at me and sat down.

The food was absolute heaven. We had a bread basket for our first course that had all sorts of warm, fresh baked bread in it and various types of butters. I could have eaten that bread for the rest of my life. For our entrees, we had filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh mixed vegetables, and really good wine. For dessert we had a chocolate fondue set-up with fresh strawberries, vanilla pound cake cubes, pineapple chunks, and cherries for dipping. It was, hands down, the best date I have ever been on.

Once we finished dinner, the boat was still sailing so Sean and I went out onto one of the decks and took in the scenery. I was leaning against the railing and Sean wrapped his arms around me from behind to keep me warm. We stood there in a comfortable silence listening to the water lap against the sides of the boat and smelling the clean breeze coming off the water.

“I love you so much.” He whispered. His voiced seemed almost tinged with sadness.

I turned around and looked deep into his eyes, “I love you, too. Thank you for tonight, it’s been wonderful.”

Sean kissed me with more affection than he has since before my apartment was broken into and we got pretty hot and heavy against the boat railing. It has been so long since Sean has touched me like that, with that much electricity coursing through him, with that much ferocity behind his kisses. The night I had my panic attack pales in comparison to the way he was touching me last night. It was even more needy, even more hungry than I had ever expected and I went with it. After awhile, though, things started to get really out of hand.

“Whoa, there!” I giggled, “We need to wait until we get home.”

“How much longer is this damn boat ride?” He said between laughing and kisses.

He pulled me closer to him and we started dancing. There wasn’t any music but it was still nice, especially since Sean and I don’t really go out dancing all that much.

“I’m really just hiding my boner until the boat docks.” He joked.

I laughed so hard I snorted and then Sean made fun of me for the final 20 minutes of our boat ride. We took a cab back to my place because I needed to feed Murphy and Sean could not keep his hands off of me. It was pretty shocking considering how slow we’ve been taking things. He practically chased me up the stairs to my apartment! I shooed him away once I got into my apartment because Murphy was starving and found him laying across my bed in his boxers when I walked in, in what he thought was a seductive pose. I started laughing and Sean made a mock face of offense.

“Laughing isn’t really what a guy wants to hear when a girl sees him in his underwear.” He said reaching for me and untying the bow on my dress.

I kicked my shoes off and fell on top of him after taking the bow out of my hair.

“Sean, you seem really excited but I’m kind of scared.” I said, “I don’t know if I’m ready…can we slow this down like a lot?”

Sean’s face got serious, “Of course. What do you need me to do?”

“Just tell me before you do things? Maybe ask me before you do something so I can prepare for it?”


What followed was some pretty awkward sex full of questions and pauses, but it was still sex. Afterward Sean asked me how I was feeling.

“I’m not sure. I thought I’d be happy when this finally happened but that’s not how I’m feeling.”

Sean’s face fell and I was quick to correct myself.

“It’s not that I’m sad, Sean. I enjoyed it. I just don’t feel as…relieved as I thought I would. I don’t feel like I’m any better, I guess, and that makes me feel disappointed.”

“I understand.”

“Was it bad for you?” I asked suddenly self conscious.

“No. I actually learned a lot about what you like and don’t like.”


“Yeah. It was pretty sexy.”

I gave Sean a kiss and we fell asleep. In hindsight, I still don’t really know what I feel about having sex, finally. I think I might have been thinking too much about what having sex meant in terms of my therapy and progress and therefore I didn’t get into it as much. Dr. Sheehan told me a few sessions ago that sex isn’t just about the act, but the intimacy involved, which is why sexual assaults can be so traumatic. So maybe I didn’t feel the way I expected to because I wasn’t fully connecting with Sean.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We had our girl’s night and it was super fun! We decided to do something different, so we went bowling. Anna used a really light bowl and went slow, but she seemed to have fun. Molly is like a serious pro when it comes to bowling. She whooped all of us! At first she pretended like she wasn’t very good and the rest of us were making fun of her and then she really showed us.

After bowling we took a load off in a little diner that Anna was craving hardcore. Unfortunately, most of our girl’s night consisted of us talking about Elise and the falling out.

“I just can’t believe I didn’t say something sooner!” Anna said.

“It’s okay, none of us wanted to believe how mean she was capable of being.” Zoey tried to comfort Anna.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Molly, you’re probably sick of hearing us complain about Elise. You didn’t know her very well so I’m sure this isn’t the greatest conversation.” I said noticing Molly’s somewhat awkward expression.

“Sort of.” Molly looked pained to admit it but it’s nice she wasn’t going to try and lie about it to make the three of us feel better for completely ignoring her.

We moved on to other subjects over dinner. Molly is going on a date with a guy next weekend. She met him at an audition, he’s a theatre technician and according to her, “dreamy”. Zoey and Wesley are doing well, they’re planning a trip within the next few months as a couple and Zoey is excited about it. She’s also looking forward to Wesley’s birthday and is considering buying him some new camera equipment. Anna and Theo of course are looking forward to the birth of their baby which is coming up very fast! She talked about being nervous to go though labor but that being so pregnant is really uncomfortable. It sounds like Anna is ready to get that baby out of her more than anything. She had to get up to go pee like 100 times during our girl’s night. Poor pregnant lady!

I decided to go spend the night at Sean’s since it was close to the restaurant, he was working until late but I snuggled up in his bed and went to sleep. A few hours later when he got home he slithered under the covers next to me.

“I love coming home and finding a hot girl in my bed.”

“Mmm. Does that happen often?” I whispered without opening my eyes.

“Not as often as it should.” He pulled me to him and we snuggled until I fell back asleep.

Unfortunately, Sean and I still haven’t been able to have sex. I’ve been making a lot of progress in therapy but it’s starting to dawn on me just how big of a step having sex is in the healing process and it will take a bit of time. Sean is being understanding about the lack of sex and I think it’s actually been better for our relationship. We’ve certainly become closer over the past few weeks and he’s been communicating better with me. I think the lack of sex has forced us to really talk about our needs and find solutions to becoming more intimate without sex.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Good Golly Miss Molly!

Anna’s baby shower was today and I just got back to my apartment. Anna is absolutely ginormous and so adorable in her maternity clothes. Pregnancy looks really good on her and I’m so happy that things are so different compared to last year. Sean was going to meet me there because he was picking up some beers for Theo’s basement party so Molly and I arrived together. Zoey had been there for an hour already, helping Anna set up and greet guests. We got there sort of late because Molly dropped the diaper cake and the top tier came loose. We probably looked ridiculous running down the street trying to pick up the diapers that had burst out of the tier but we got it put back together and made it to the party about 10 minutes late.

As soon as I walked in, I froze. Elise was standing next to a few of Anna’s work friends laughing. I felt blindsided, to be honest. I know Anna tried to avoid having a falling out with Elise but it never really crossed my mind that Elise would be at her baby shower. In hindsight, I probably should have expected it and I should have prepared myself for it. Molly looked at me and the shocked expression on my face before rushing me over to the gift table to drop off our diaper cake.

“What’s going on?” She asked pretending to straighten some of the gifts.

“I didn’t expect Elise to be here.” I whispered back following her lead.

Just then Anna came out and gave both of us hugs (which was difficult considering how large her baby belly is) and invited us to grab some pizza from the kitchen. Molly and I walked into the kitchen as Anna went to join in the conversation with her work friends.

“I’m glad I’m not the only one that wasn’t expecting her to be here.” Zoey said sipping a glass of lemonade and leaning on a kitchen counter.

“Is it that obvious?” I asked pouring Molly and me some lemonade and grabbing a slice of pizza.

“Don’t worry; the shock will wear off soon.” Zoey smirked.

“I take it you guys don’t like Elise?” Molly asked.

“Well, since she arrived, she’s told Anna that pizza was a stupid thing to have at a baby shower and complained because there weren’t any cocktails. She then asked Theo for some of the beer that Sean brought over and then asked Anna why she had a cake instead of a fruit plate because the calories in cake aren’t going to help Anna lose weight. THEN she accused me of purposefully omitting her from the gift everyone at work pitched in on but I have an e-mail from her saying she would buy Anna her own gift. She bought Anna a box of condoms.”

Molly and I were silent after Zoey finished. A beat went by before the three of us burst into laughter at the absolute absurdity of Elise’s behavior.

“That’s really rude.” Molly said when we all calmed down from laughing, “Does she not realize that Anna has a baby in her? Or does she think Anna has just gotten fat?”

“I don’t even know,” Zoey said, “but Elise has always had a fixation on weight and physical appearance.” Zoey’s expression was dark and I knew she was referring to her surprise birthday party a few months ago where Elise insulted Zoey’s weight while simultaneously trying to steal Wesley.

“Is Anna okay?” I asked.

“Um, I think she’s trying to ignore Elise’s comments by convincing herself that Elise is just joking sarcastically, but it’s pretty obvious that Elise is just being rude. To be entirely honest, I’m surprised Anna hasn’t started crying yet.”

Just then, Elise walked into the kitchen.

“Careful with that pizza Faith, you don’t want to get fat.”

Elise stopped at the kitchen island and grabbed another slice when Molly caught her eye.

She stopped and smiled before saying, “I see some of us are a little too far gone for help, though.”

Zoey and I expected Molly to be hurt but she didn’t miss a beat.

“You must be Elise,” she smiled, “I’ve heard a lot about you, apparently you’re not only rude, but you’re also a raging bitch. And I have some news for you, homeskillet, a plastic surgeon can make me look thinner or prettier or whatever else you’ve decided to internally hate about yourself and lash out by critiquing other women for but a plastic surgeon will never be able to fix your absolutely disgusting personality.”

And with that Molly grabbed two more slices from the island, put them on her plate, and walked out while Zoey and I stood there to take in the shocked and horrified look on Elise’s face.

“What are you looking at?” Elise snapped at us.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” I said.

Zoey and I left the kitchen to join Anna and her work friends. We played a few games and cut the cake until Anna sent me downstairs to get Theo do they could open the gifts together.

“Hey guys.” I said coming down the stairs.

Theo had a few friends from the hospital along with Sean crowded around a big screen television. It was halftime and they were chatting about the game so far.

“Hey, I sent you a text to warn you about Elise,” Sean said coming up to me to give me a kiss and whisper in my ear, “but I wasn’t sure if you got it.”

“I didn’t, but it’s okay, you missed Molly totally ripping Elise a new one.” I whispered back.

“Is it time for presents?” Theo asked.

“Yeah, Anna sent me down here, she said it’s fine if Theo just comes upstairs since the game is on but the cake is pretty good, gentlemen, so you might want to consider coming upstairs for a piece.”

We all trooped up the stairs and Anna and Theo started opening gifts. Anna received a breast pump, so many baby clothes, the diaper cake Molly and I brought, a newborn bassinette, a baby lap pillow thing, her parents and in-laws went in on a deluxe baby stroller, and the final gift was the food package Zoey had gotten mutual work friends to go in on. Anna loved everything until Elise made Theo open her gift (the pack of condoms) and then made a suggestive joke about how she wanted to make sure Theo didn’t “knock up” any of his mistresses while Anna isn’t allowed to have sex after giving birth soon.

There was a really uncomfortable silence after that until Sean jumped in.

“Well, so we can still catch the last quarter of the game, guys!”

Theo’s work friends all quickly followed Sean downstairs to try and get off the sinking ship the party had become because of Elise but Theo stayed behind for a few minutes to thank everyone for the gifts. Zoey and I pulled Anna to the side to see how she was doing because her mood had dropped significantly.

“I just don’t understand why she’s being like this.” She said on the verge of tears.

“Probably because she can’t stand that you’re the center of attention.” I said.

“Or because she’s just a really mean person and a bad friend.” Zoey said.

It was harsh, but true. I was trying to be more sensitive but I knew Zoey wanted Anna to finally stop being in denial about Elise and her behavior. If I had been at the party as long as Zoey was and witnessed Elise’s treatment of Anna, I would have been impatient, too.

“But, she’s-” Anna’s face went from being sad, to shocked, to pissed in a matter of milliseconds before she pushed past us.

Zoey and I whipped around to see Anna angrily walking across the room to Elise who was flirtatiously hitting Theo’s chest. Molly came up behind us with a bowl of popcorn.

“This is going to be good, guys.” She said offering us the bowl. Zoey and I both took a handful and started munching on it, prepared to watch.

“That’s IT!” Anna hissed. “You need to leave.”

“Excuse me?” Elise said.

“I want to you to go; you’re ruining my baby shower.”

“Oh, please Anna.” Elise turned back to Theo, giggling.

“I’m serious. I want you to leave and I never want to hear from you again.”

“Anna, what is wrong with you? You’re acting crazy! Is it because of your hormones?”

“NO! It’s because YOU are a…you are a BAD friend and I’m sick and tired of you being mean to me all the time. At first I thought it was because you were feeling left out and not included in our group of friends, but now I realize that you’re actually just a really mean person and I want you to go. Now!”

Elise looked around at the party guests, who were all trying to hide their smiles, as if she expected someone to stand up for her but no one did. I looked over and could see Sean and Theo’s friends’ heads poking over the basement stairs with wide eyes. Elise looked at Zoey and me and narrowed her gaze when she realized we were happily eating popcorn and watching Anna yell at her.

“This is all your fault!” Elise said pointing at the two of us before storming out of Anna and Theo’s house and slamming the door so a picture frame fell off the wall.

Anna watched her go before turning around to the guests and apologizing for yelling. Then we all just moved on after that. It was really nice. Theo and the guys went downstairs (Sean flashed me a thumbs up and mouthed the word “wow” as he followed Theo down the stairs) to finish watching the game and the rest of us played some more games. Before the end of the party, Anna, Zoey, Molly, and I scheduled a last girl’s night before Anna gives birth and I think it will be really great. Elise is no longer a subject of tension between Zoey, Anna, and I and I can’t help but feel like a lot of weight has been lifted from our relationship