Griffin rolled over in bed & saw the large neon green Post-It note on the
door. He walked over to it & read.
"Griffin, I had a class, I'll be home by eleven, please stay. Love, Julia."
He figured she had a reason for wanting him to stay. She wanted to tell him it was over.
He knew he couldn't deal with that, not after holding her in his arms all night & making love to her.
He grabbed his stuff & left. He figured he could get Bailey & Sarah to help him find a way to save his marriage. After all, they were kinda experts on reviving relationships.
When Julia got back to her dorm, she knew Griffin was gone. His bike was
missing from the parking lot. When she opened the door to her room & didn't
find a note from him, she sat on the bed & started talking to herself.
"I get it, I get it. He left because he changed his mind about us." She put her hand on her stomach. This was one of the first times she actually felt like it might be okay to be pregnant. She lay down & closed her eyes, trying to remember when she & Griffin were happy together. The phone rang, startling her daydreams.
"Hi!" it was Aimee. "Is the Mr. around? I wanna meet him, check out his Harley."
"I don't think it's a Harley, & he left."
"Oh. I'm sorry. Wait, should I be sorry?"
"Yeah. Um, Aimee, do you have anymore classes today?"
"Free as a bird! Woohoo!"
"Can you come over? I kinda don't wanna be alone right now." Julia shocked herself. She was asking someone for help when she needed it! Maybe it's the baby taking over, she thought.
"Sure! I'll be right over! I just wanna pick up some snacks, since we got tomorrow off & all! Want me to rent a movie?"
"If you want, but I'm really more in a talking mood." Again, Julia surprised herself.
"I'll get Beautiful Girls, we can talk through all the girl parts & drool through all the guy parts. See ya!"
Julia hung up, & thought about what she'd just done.
She'd called someone just to talk. She'd never really done that before. Whenever she wanted to talk, she'd just moped around, written in her journal or bugged Bailey or Charlie. It felt strange to think about talking to another girl about her feelings. She'd onlee done that with one other girl. Sarah.
Sarah! She grabbed the phone & dialed her own house first, in case she was already @ work. Claudia answered.
"Hi, Claud, is Sarah there?"
"Hi to you too Jule, no, she doesn't live here you know."
"Jamie & I had a fight, it's no big--Owen no! Put the cake mix down & I'll, Jule, I gotta go, there's chocolate flavoured powder everywhere & Charlie will kill me. Bye!"
Julia pressed the disconnect button & dialed Sarah's apartment. After three rings, the machine picked up.
"You've reached Bailey & Sarah. We're busy right now, but leave a message & we'll get back to you." She waited for the beep & left Sarah a short message about Griffin & their visit & asked her to call her back ASAP. Two minutes later, Aimee was @ her door.
"What's wrong??" Aimee asked when Julia answered. "You look like death. Or a little green, or--"
Julia flew into her tiny bathroom & threw up.
"Pregnant?" Aimee guessed.
Julia came out of the bathroom, walking a little wobbly. "How'd you know?"
"It's not that big of a deal Jule."
"It's....." she sat on the bed & Aimee came all the way in, closing the door & setting the pile of junk food in her hands onto the table. "I guess I just really need to talk about stuff."
Aimee nodded & sat next to Julia, waiting for her to begin.
"I guess I need to just start @ the beginning & let it all pour out," she said, still not sure what she was doing. "We were doing really well until I found out Griffin had lied to me about the shop being in bad shape. He got beat up by a loan shark, & it nearly ruined our second wedding. Then, Charlie got sick & everything went down from there. I hated where I was living, it was a tiny shack where Bailey & I used to play Laser Tag, it wasn't an apartment for a newly married couple. Griffin hated losing the shop, I know he felt like a failure, & I wasn't helping matters. Every penny I made went right back into the debt from the shop, I didn't have money for anything. It was the worst. Then he started to be gone more, & I was so wrapped up in not having a life & taking care of Charlie & Claud & Owen that our relationship just sort of shut down. I wouldn't talk, I didn't know how. He'd say something to me, & I'd just nod or sometimes shrug if off. I don't know what happened, it was just as though my brain or my feelings totally shut down, you know? They didn't allow me to be me. Or @ least, the real me. It was like I built this fence around myself, if I kept everything inside, I'd be okay, but I never have been." she took a deep breath. "When I found out he'd cheated on me, it was like I couldn't deal with it. I didn't want to be anywhere near him, because when I saw him, all I could see was her, & that hurt like hell."
"That had to be awful," Aimee put her hand on Julia's shoulder.
"It was. I felt like I was in this big nightmare I couldn't wake up from. And then, when it all seemed perfect, he ran off, just like that. I don't know what made him do that. I mean, I know he knew I wanted to be in school, but we could have worked it out. We could have made the whole thing work, he just didn't want to make it work. And I don't understand why."
"What happened when you guys were together last night?"
"It was just like how we were before we got married. We were these free spirits. I miss that."
"You can have that back Jule."
"Sure I can. In seven months, we'll have a baby."
"Have you considered an abortion?"
Julia explained about her previous pregnancy & the miscarriage.
"Ummmm, you have to have this baby then."
"It's beginning to feel that way," Julia admitted. "I'm scared to death though."
"Don't be. You'll be okay. I'll be there, & maybe even Griffin--"
"If he wanted to be with me, why did he leave?"
She shrugged. "Who can figure with guys? Maybe he had work or something. Call the guy."
"I called before you came, he lives with my brother. No one was there."
"Julia, do you mind if I speak bluntly?"
"I think you've grown up alot since last fall, & I think you & Griffin should just try to start over. I'm sure if he's working you can get your own place right?"
"Yeah, but what if he doesn't want to?"
"Maybe you need to talk to him face to face again to find out."
Claudia was still cleaning up Owen's mess when Sarah arrived for the day.
"Owen. He dropped an open box of chocolate cake mix & it flew. I used an old rug to cover it when Charlie came down, other than the smell has no idea."
"How'd you explain the smell?"
"I told him it was in the oven. Would you make one? I'll be out of your way soon."
"Sure. Should I ask Owe to help?"
"No! He's watching Batman & he's busy so leave him alone."
"Gotcha," Sarah began to gather the ingredients when Claudia remembered that Julia had called.
"Julia called here for you. You should call her."
"It was prolly nothing, I'll call her later."
"Okay," Claudia said & went back to her cleaning.
Julia was staring @ her calender. It was around midnight & Aimee had gone back to her own room. She was listening to Sarah MacLachlin music quietly as she tried to figure out her due date. She was pretty sure that she was due in & around February. She smiled @ the idea of her baby being born on Valentine's Day. "That would be different," she said aloud. She thought about the upcoming weekend. She wanted to see Griffin, but she also wanted to talk to Charlie & Sarah. She thought they'd both have some good advice. She made a mental note to call them both after breakfast in the morning before falling fast asleep.
Sarah put a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the piece of
chocolate cake she had cut for Owen. She had him sit down @ the table with it
& then went into the living room with Griffin so they could talk.
"How'd it go?"
"I'm not sure. I think she wants to end it for good."
"No, Griffin, I'm sure she--"
"I just got that vibe. I don't know what I should do."
"I can talk to her if you want, feel her out." Sarah offered.
"Thanks, that'd be great."
They heard a glass break upstairs & both looked up.
"Daphne, you all right?" Sarah yelled.
"It was above me!" she yelled back.
Sarah gave Griffin a strange look & they trouped up the stairs, forgetting about Owen & the mess he could possibly be making in the kitchen.
Sarah arrived @ the attic door but didn't know what to do.
"Go on, knock." Griffin prodded.
"I can't. I'd rather peek." she looked the wall up & down. "Bailey told me about a peep hole they used to use to watch Charlie & his girlfriends when they were kids...." she got down on all fours & found one, hidden by a loose wallpaper seam. "Found it." She peered through it & could see Charlie & Kirsten, making love on Claudia's bed.