3l: Hormones

3l (1)
B “Hey there, gorgeous.”

As my pregnancy progressed, the situation with Apollo did not improve. He kept holding on to whatever issues he was having with our home life, and I wasn’t willing to accommodate him. So we were at a stalemate of sorts—I unable to satisfy him, and he unable to understand why not.

As a result, my stress levels were high. And, in combination with my pregnancy, my hormones (and my emotions) were all over the place.

With Apollo, this had meant a lot of vomiting, a lot of spontaneous mood swings, and very little control over my bladder.

With the new pregnancy, it meant I really want funtimes. Like, really really wanted funtimes. (Woohoo, Janelle. I’m talking about lots of Woohoo).

3l (3)
B “Yeah, I’m here all the time! Such a gym buff.”

And it did not matter at all with whom.

3l (6)
B “What about you, cutie? You up for a good time?”

When I look back on it, I’m pretty sure that, for the duration of my entire second pregnancy, I sounded distinctly like a bad pick-up line. A string of very bad pick-up lines.

I regret nothing.

3l (7)
B “It is a coincidence that we both go to the same gym and love the same book and are both astronauts! Crazy, right?”

I don’t know when I got so comfortable with lying…

Probably around the time that Kole and Taryn both decided that we were dating? And neither knew about the other… And I didn’t correct either…

That part I do regret, Janelle. Don’t doubt that. Manipulating people, stringing them along, messing with their feelings… that’s not something that I ever meant to do. All I wanted was a little fun—I never intended for anyone to get hurt along the way.

3l (9)
B “Oh! You think my baby bump is cute! You’re just too kind. I’ve had some people tell me it makes me look fat.”

And, you know… I’m not a great person. A little manipulation, for the purpose of getting compliments and kisses and… other things. That’s not that bad, right? Who is that hurting, in the end? If no one has any expectations?

This girl, whatever her name was (I honestly don’t remember), she didn’t have any expectations.

I don’t think, at least.

I mean, I didn’t come out and say that I was looking for a quick hook-up. But I didn’t say that I was looking for something long-term either… and really, I was hitting on her in the middle of a gym. She probably wasn’t expecting anything at all.

3l (11)

3l (12)

3l (14)
Girl “So, would you maybe want to get dinner tonight?”
3l (13)
B “Um, tonight actually doesn’t work for me? But, if you give me your number, I’ll call you.”

And, on the off chance that someone was expecting anything of me…

3l (15)

I’d just have to say four simple words: “I have a kid.”

And they’d run.

3l (18)
B “How was school?” / Apollo “How were the three friends you kissed?”

In the course of a few months, Apollo had changed a lot. Just like I don’t know how our falling out happened originally, I don’t know how his change was so stark. But suddenly he was more aware of my actions, acknowledging the fact that these weren’t normal friends I was running around with. They were the-reason-I-don’t-have-a-father-friends. They were other-kids-moms-don’t-have-them-friends. They were moms-friends-but-not-my-friends-friends.

He was confused. I could understand that.

I just couldn’t understand how to bring him back to me. How to restore to him that happy smile and bright personality.

3l (20)
Apollo “Are you in love with them?” / B “No, baby. I’m not.”
3l (19)
Apollo “Are you in love with me?” / B “Well, “in love” and “love” are very different, Apollo. But of course I love you, baby. Always and forever. Forever and always.”

But I was discovering, slowly, that there were temporary fixes.

3l (22)
B “Please don’t be angry again tomorrow…”

For a few moments, for an evening, he would smile and hug me and we would laugh. He’d look at me like I was his whole world, and I knew that he was mine—the only person I would risk being attached to, because he was the one person that would never leave.

3l (25)
B “Morning, sunshine!” / Apollo *grunts*

Of course, it was only a temporary fix.

3l (26)
Apollo “She just doesn’t get it!”

And so our days went. He went to school, I went out.

3l (27)
B “Thanks for agreeing to come out with me today. Can I perhaps buy you a drink?”

3l (31)

He went to school, I went out.

3l (37)
B “You’re awfully handsome. How have I never met you before?”

3l (39)

He went to school, I went out.

3l (42)
B “You are so out of my league, you know?”

3l (45)

Day after day after day.

3l (50)
Apollo “She says she loves me. Always and forever. Forever and always. The kiss-friends don’t change that—neither will a baby, right?”
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