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Why Are We Still Friends

By Rachel

Copyright 2014


Chapter 34

“You’ve been avoiding me.” Nick said as we settled down at a table in the food court.

“I haven’t been avoiding you. I’ve been busy with work and school.” I commented, while dipping a fry into cheese sauce. It had been a week since I talked to anybody.

“Excuses, excuses.” Nick watched me. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine.” I replied sharply. Ignoring Nick, I dove into my bacon double cheeseburger.

Nick took a bite out of his salad. “You know a baby isn’t going to go away.”

“Gee, I never learned that in nursing school. Thanks for the info.” I slurped my drink.

We sat in a silence, both of us lost in our thoughts. I loved Nick dearly, but I didn’t want to talk about the pregnancy. I was trying to deal with the breakup, but Brian wasn’t making it easy. He wouldn’t stop calling, but I never answered the phone.

Nick placed his fork on the table. “I’m worried about you, Lexi. You can’t ignore the situation.”

I couldn’t look at him. “I’m not ignoring the situation.” I said meekly. “It’s all I think about.”

Before Nick started to speak, Bella walked over to our table. She looked pissed. “I see how it is. You’re too busy to return my calls, but you can spend time with Nick.”

“I’ve been busy.” I could barely get the words out.

“Yet you have time to spend with Nick.” Bella flopped down in a chair. She glanced at my food. It was all junk food, which I hardly ever ate.

“Lexi is going through a lot right now. She doesn’t need you throwing a fit about not returning your phone call. Just chill out Bella.” Nick defended me. I glared at him. Most women would think it was sweet, but not me. Now I had to explain to my sister-in-law what was wrong.

“Lexi, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?” She asked going into mommy mode.

“I’m fine. I don’t want to talk about it.” I grabbed my tray and made my way toward the garbage cans.

I took a deep breath and counted to ten. It still wasn’t enough. I needed to regain control of the situation. Ten more breaths and I turned around, walking back to the table. Nick and Bella were in a heated discussion.

“Would the two of you stop arguing about me? I don’t need the added stress.” I took Nick’s hand. “Give me a few minutes with Bella. Go to that sporting goods store you’ve been talking about. I’ll catch up with you.”

Nick stood up and pulled me close. “If you need me, I’m here for you. Don’t get yourself worked up.” He gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and walked away.

As I sat down, Bella got to the point. “When did Nick become your protector?”

“He’s not my protector.” I mumbled. This was not a conversation I wanted to have in the middle of a food court, but I didn’t have much choice. Bella would grill me until I told her everything.

“That’s not what it looked like to me.” She tapped her perfect manicured nails on the table. “Why aren’t you with Brian and why is Nick treating you like you’re a fragile bird?”

I let out the breath I was holding. It was time to face the truth. Bella was trustworthy. She never spilled my secrets to my brother. “Brian and I broke up.”

“WHAT?” She screeched. I looked to see if anyone was staring at us. No one was around.

“Keep it down, Bella. There are some trust issues between us. I can’t be with someone I don’t trust. Things between us are rough and I told him we needed time apart.” I stated sadly.

“Lexi, I’m sorry. You don’t deserve to be treated that way. I never thought Brian would be the one to break your heart. He’s always been the most upstanding guy. Seriously, I saw the two of you getting married and having a houseful of kids.”

“Yeah, well that isn’t going to happen.” I said ruefully. Marriage to Brian was never going to happen. “I’m better off alone.”

Bella scooted closer to me and gave me a hug. “All relationships go through a rough patch now and again. If you and Brian are truly meant to be together, it will all work out. Just give it time.”

“NO! It’s over between us!” I snipped. All of a sudden I was angered by Brian and his deception. We would never be a couple again.

“Lexi, calm down. There’s no need to make a scene. I’m sorry I brought it up. You’re definitely upset by it.” Bella stated calmly. I knew she was shocked by my outburst. To tell you the truth, I was surprised by it myself.

I wouldn’t look at Bella, instead I watched the shoppers milling around. If I could go and turn back time, I would. Then I wouldn’t be in the mess that I’m in. Everything was falling apart.

“So what’s the deal with Nick? I thought the two of you weren’t speaking.”

I forgot how long it had been since I talked to Bella. She still thought Nick and I were fighting. “Nick and Anna broke up. He was the only one around when I passed out. Now he thinks he has to take care of me.”

“Well, I’m glad that you two are friends again. Nick is different with you. He’s more protective. He seems…gentler with you. I assume he knows about the breakup.” She commented.

“He knows. Bella…there’s more.” I whispered. Why was I so afraid to tell her? Yeah, I didn’t want her to look at me with pity or disappointment. I did everything by the book, but this is the one time I screwed up. Oh, how I screwed up.

“You know you can tell me anything. It doesn’t leave here.”

“I trust you, Bella….I’m…pregnant.” I bit my lip nervously, waiting for her reaction.

“Oh Lexi. Are you happy about it?” She patted my arm.

“I want to be happy about it. It’s just a lot to take in. It changes everything.” I replied honestly. I felt calmer getting my thoughts out.

“A baby does change everything. Does Brian know?” She watched me as I shook my head. “Sweetheart, he needs to know. You can’t wait nine months and spring it on him.”

“I know. I didn’t find out until after I ended things with him. I’m trying to wrap my head around the whole thing before I tell him. I won’t lie to Brian.” I said adamantly. There was no way I would hide the truth from him.

“I take it Nick knows.”

“He was there when I found out. He’s trying to be a good friend.” I smiled thinking about how overprotective Nick was being. I could just imagine how he’d react if he got a girl pregnant.

“I’m glad that you two made up. You need each other. Lexi, I’m here for you. If you have any questions about pregnancy just ask.” We both stood up.

I gave Bella a hug. “Thanks. I appreciate it. It felt good talking. I better go find Nick. Tell AJ I said hi, and give the kids a kiss for me.”

We both went our separate ways. Talking to Bella seemed to help. I was in a better mood. Maybe now Nick wouldn’t treat me like I was going to break.