I don’t know if you remember Taryn, Janelle.
I can’t say she made the best first impression.
But, just as I felt some sort of strange bond with Max for his revelation of my imperfections, I felt the same indebtedness to Taryn. And, while Max wanted nothing to do with me, Taryn found me… I don’t know, fascinating? Or maybe she was telling the truth, and was just really into pregnant people and babies.
Either way, since she wanted to hang out with me, I felt obligated to hang out with her. We weren’t close friends, but she was a closer friend than anyone else I had in my life.
So when Apollo, strikingly handsome little man that he was, was born, Taryn was the first one I thought of to call.
She would love meeting the baby, after all. I mean, who wouldn’t—little Apollo was pure perfection. But she would especially.
I don’t know if she was waiting around the corner for me to go into labor or… what. But she got there fast. It felt like I had just hung up the phone when I heard the knocking (and the excited yelling) from downstairs.
Since I had just put Apollo down for a nap (probably not the best choice I could have made, considering all that I knew of Tamryn and her… volume control issues), I met Taryn outside the house.
Apparently, between our few in-face meetings (Taryn preferred to foster her friendships over the phone, when she could interrupt without having to look at the annoyance in people’s eyes (that’s my supposition, at least)) and my pregnancy bump, Taryn hadn’t noticed how much weight I’d lost.
I don’t know what it was about that night. Maybe it was the leftover pregnancy hormones, or the lack of baby of my uterus, kicking all my organs, that made Taryn seem so much more tolerable. Even… inviting? Alluring?
I guess she wasn’t so interested in Apollo after all (although, I had no clue how someone could look at his squishy little face and not be enthralled). Maybe she was feeling the same strange phenomenon that I was that night—for some reason, I was more interesting to her now.
Maybe there was a way to know?
It must have been pregnancy hormones, Janelle. I have no other explanation. I was just so relieved that Apollo was here, and he was perfect, but simultaneously I was still terrified that I was going to fuck it all up, and then here was Taryn, and she was pretty, and she thought I was hot.
Can you blame me for wanting a little break from the stress?
My invitation to a friend to come meet my baby had turned into something more a flirt-a-thon—not quite a date, but not quite not a date.
And I was actually having fun! Not just fleeting moments of flirting in my shop, when I was still half concerned because I should have been moving merchandise. This was pure, unadulterated fun.
And it couldn’t have any consequences. Taryn certainly didn’t have the right parts to make another Apollo.
Unfortunately, my assessment of that wasn’t quite correct. He at least waited until we were finished before he started crying; but, instead of a nice, leisurely post-coital cuddle, I had the unfortunate task of hushing the piercing scream from upstairs.
She said she had somewhere to be early in the morning.
I doubt it.
But honestly, I didn’t mind. This is what I wanted for myself—quick, easy woohooing, with no strings attached. A bit of post-coital intimacy would have been nice, but really, all I was interested in was the—don’t interrupt me, Janelle. I know I was going to say fun again, but the point is that I say it. You don’t get to tell my story.
Anyway, I just wanted the fun part. And that was over with, so I didn’t need or want her to stay.
Nevertheless, as I went upstairs to tend to my wailing son, I couldn’t understand what exactly was wrong with me. I had this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, like something was eating away at my intestines. Something was challenging my good time, wearing away the good feelings I had hoped it would leave behind.
When I stepped through the door to the nursery to gaze down at my son, there was no way I could ignore it—I knew exactly what this was. Concern.
I had invited someone into my house. I knew her, of course, but just barely—I could hardly call her a friend. And I had slept with her, in a room just a short ways away from my son’s.
This wasn’t a habit that I could keep up—especially if I wanted to continue with the no strings attached kind of fun, which typically involved multiple people that you’re not friends with. I couldn’t be bringing virtual strangers into the house with my son—what if they were horrible people? What if they saw his handsome little eyes and chubby little cheeks and decided he might make a killing on the black market or something??
One night stands weren’t sustainable for me, it seemed.
And that damn near crushed me, let me tell you, Janelle.
I’d only had sex twice, with two different people. But I knew from the beginning, and I still knew then, that while flirting and making dirty jokes and selling erotic lingerie to people to facilitate their own sex lives was fun, sex was the ultimate fun. And it killed me to realize that I’d have to be without it—or, at least, find a way around having it at home.
Up until now, all I’d been worried about with Apollo was not fucking up his life. I hadn’t even considered how the adorable little bastard might be fucking up mine.