This quote could not be more true! This is why I’ve been writing for the better part of 16-17 years now!
Enjoy edition #10!
“Mary Anne, why didn’t you alert me sooner? Mr. Laton is extremely important. And I’m just learning of this meeting not 10 minutes before it’s supposed to begin?” John struggled to keep his voice from rising to a shrill level.
“Sir – I tried to – but you were in a meeting – and …” Her voice trailed off as John rushed past her and into the front of the office. She heard him greet Mr. Laton as if nothing were wrong and then seconds later the soft click of the doorknob as he closed the door behind them.
Evelyn paled as Mary Anne turned to face her. She struggled to form her words. “Mary Anne, I’m sorry, I didn’t know …”
Mary Anne looked as if she would burst into tears at any second. “Evelyn, I … I …”
Evelyn’s face fell. She steeled herself, not prepared at all for whatever Mary Anne was trying to say.
“I tried to find John to tell him ahead of time. I had forgotten about the meeting until 12:20, and by then you both had disappeared for your meeting. I searched all over to find you, then, well …”
Evelyn swallowed her tongue. “Mary Anne, where did you look?”
“Well, naturally I checked the conference rooms, since John had mentioned it was a design meeting. Then when those were empty I rode all the elevators to see if you were coming back down. Then I remembered the 6th floor and the empty workspaces …” She shuddered.
Evelyn’s eyes went wide. “Mary Anne, did you actually go to the 6th floor?” Mary Anne could only nod.
Evelyn’s hands slid down her face. “Oh, my God. I am so, so sorry. How horrible of me, of us.”
Mary Anne’s eyes glistened with tears. “I’m happy for you, really, I am. I’m just sad because I think I’ll be single again before Christmas …”
Evelyn reached for a tissue. Mary Anne dabbed her eyes. Neither of them spoke for a minute and a half.
Evelyn finally broke the silence. “What you witnessed was not professional at all. Truthfully, it’s been happening every day for weeks. We always thought we’d be caught, but not by, well, one of the team …”
She had to laugh. “It’s been fun, but not appropriate. I will not tell John that you saw us today, but I will tell him that I’ve been having feelings that it’s not professional or appropriate, that it needs to stay at home, in private. I guess that’s why they’re called ‘private parts,’ huh?”
Both girls broke into almost uncontrollably giggles, and then remembered where they were. Mary Anne had always admired Evelyn’s sense of humor in disparaging times.
“Besides, this little situation that’s happened almost cost us something crucial to the company today, quite literally.” She gestured her head toward John’s door, where she could hear the faint but seemingly lively discussion of the two businessmen.
As she turned to face Mary Anne again, Evelyn sighed, gave her head a little shake, her eyes downcast. She breathed in deeply before saying, “I just hope, for John’s sake, that the meeting goes well.”
Mary Anne gave Evelyn a quick hug, then lobbed their makeup-stained tissues into the kitchenette wastebasket with a swish – She was quite the athlete – and grinned. They both got back to work with sighs of relief, feeling like they’d dodged a major bullet.
The planning continued almost uninterrupted. After the meeting with Mr. Layton, everyone had extra motivation to press on toward the vision and the dream. John knew that these things took time, especially since they were a very young company. But he was determined to construct the first house of the neighborhood before the company’s two-year anniversary.
By the picnic that marked 1 ½ years of JLA Construction, the team had completed their preliminary designs of three of the houses. The community space and playground were all but complete.
The groundbreaking ceremony, complete with the mayor and almost everyone involved in real estate within 100 miles of JLA’s headquarters, was set for March 1. Everything was going swimmingly – That is, until Mary Anne discovered something about Evelyn.
Mary Anne didn’t notice immediately. She just thought Evelyn had been drinking more water and eating better, to slim down a little for the groundbreaking ceremony. Besides, she knew that their engagement wasn’t very far off – They had been rock solid since John had stopped drinking. She was surprised that John hadn’t already proposed, but Mary Anne figured that he would surprise her at the groundbreaking. Evelyn would be the one with the big surprise in store.
Mary Anne became alarmed when Evelyn appeared to start putting on weight, not lose any. She thought it was stress, everyone had been under immense stress and pressure as the groundbreaking ceremony was fast approaching.
Suddenly, just three weeks before the groundbreaking ceremony, Evelyn couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. She hurled what little was in her stomach into the kitchenette sink. Mary Anne heard the unpleasant sounds and the light bulb came on.
She waited for Evelyn to calm down and clean up. Once Evelyn passed Mary Anne’s desk, Mary Anne snatched her elbow.
“Evelyn, you’re pregnant – Aren’t you?”
One tear rolled down Evelyn’s cheek. Mary Anne helped her swipe it away, and they rushed off to the bathroom.
“How far along are you? Does John know? What are you going to do?” Mary Anne’s questions came fast and loud.
Evelyn shushed her, looking nervous. Once she knew they were completely alone, she relaxed a little.
“You’re the first to know. I think I’m four months along now. I want to tell John, but I’m absolutely terrified!”
Mary Anne’s face turned sympathetic and she hugged Evelyn tightly.
“It will be all right. He loves you. I figured something like this would happen sooner or later, the way you two have been going at each other! I think he was going to propose at the groundbreaking, anyway!”
Evelyn scoffed at the suggestion. Mary Anne’s face fell.
“Sorry. You’re right – We have been doing it a lot, but not as much since the Mr. Layton meeting. We went home that night and I set him straight – No more sneaking around at work unless we know for sure we won’t get caught.” Evelyn smiled at the thought.
“I’m just scared. What will John think? Oh, no, I haven’t even told my parents! I don’t want an abortion – I don’t want to be sent away to a place for unwed mothers – I just want to have my baby!”
Mary Anne told her to calm down, and that broke the dam for both of them. She just held Evelyn in her arms in that bathroom stall, stroking her hair as Evelyn bawled her eyes out.
Finally, they wiped their eyes and Mary Anne reached for her stowaway mascara.
“I’m going to tell John this weekend, when we’re at home. Until then, can you keep this confidential? I don’t think anyone else has noticed, but I don’t want to assume anything, either.”
“You’ve got it. Call me this weekend when the dust settles. It will be okay!”
Evelyn sat John down from his puttering that sunny Saturday morning and started crying. John comforted her and just said, “We’re expecting, aren’t we?”
Evelyn sniffled and raised her head. “You knew?”
John smiled. “I knew you’d gained some weight, and then I started thinking about the last time we romped around – The math added up.”
Evelyn sighed. “What do we do?”
John laughed. “Well, I wanted to wait to do this until groundbreaking day, but I guess this is just as good of a time as ever …” He shifted off the loveseat and bended on one knee. “Evelyn Carlson, I love you with everything I have. Will you marry me?”
Evelyn burst into tears and happily said yes. Mary Anne was right about everything.
As soon as John stepped back outside to tend to the windows, Evelyn hurried to the phone. She was so excited that she misdialed Mary Anne’s number five times before she got it right.
“It’s Evelyn. You’ll never believe it! Not only is he actually, truly thrilled about the baby, but he proposed, right in the living room. I’m going to have a baby, and I’m getting married!”
Mary Anne jumped up and down and screamed along with her best friend. “What does the ring look like? I’m sure it’s beautiful. Oh Evelyn, I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to see you on Monday. Enjoy the weekend!”
And enjoy the weekend they did. Evelyn was scared to have full-on sex because she was convinced that it would hurt the baby, but there were other ways that they could pleasure themselves and each other. They reveled in the fact that they were spending their first weekend as parents-to-be and happily engaged. Evelyn couldn’t stop staring between her gorgeous ring, her stomach that was starting to make itself known, and John. She was blissfully happy, even if she had to camp out close to the bathroom the whole weekend. Morning sickness turned into all-the-time sickness. She subsisted on saltines and as much water as her bladder and the growing one would allow.
It was better that John camped out with her, making her as comfortable as possible in the comfiest chair and the softest blanket right outside the bathroom door. She fell asleep all three nights sitting up, with John holding her hand while he was on the floor with a sheet and blanket.
By Monday, she hadn’t slept more than three hours. John could tell that she was absolutely miserable. As the time to go to work got closer, Evelyn insisted on showering and going to the office. But she struggled to get out of the chair and nearly collapsed on the hardwood with her first few steps, like a baby animal just learning to walk. John was there to catch her and ease her back into the chair.
“You’re not going into work today like that. I’ll stay home, too. I want to take care of you, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.” He was such a romantic.
Fighting every urge to say yes, Evelyn finally shook her head, which she instantly regretted. She felt another wave of nausea washing over, threatening to burst any second. She took a deep breath before speaking. “I’m fine, just tired, that’s all.”
John was firm. “No, you won’t be able to concentrate. I’ll tell everyone that you’re under the weather.”
Evelyn looked at him with pleading eyes. “No, it’s time to tell everyone. Mary Anne figured it out on Friday, and I think everyone else is starting to catch on. Just tell them both pieces of news.”
John shook his head and kissed her forehead tenderly. “No, we are going to tell them together, as soon as you’re feeling better. We’re a team, always have been, and we always will be. I’m going to go in for half the day and then send everyone home so I can come straight back to you. It may be half-days for a while, I don’t want to leave you at home like this.”
Evelyn kissed him and then shooed him in the direction of the shower. “Go. You’re already late. And you hate being late.”
As John pulled his rumpled T-shirt over his head in front of her, he laughed. “I do hate being late. But I don’t mind much, especially since I’m taking care of two people.”
Evelyn held on to him as she made her way to the toilet. Fortunately, it was just dry heaves, but that was almost worse. She sat back on her knees and took in the rapidly building steam from John’s shower. She certainly didn’t mind the view she was getting, either. She knew it would be a long while before she’d see him naked in any other capacity, so she wanted to take every chance she got.
Come back next week for more!
Until the next weekend, Laura Beth 🙂