Friday, August 06, 2004

Part Eight: Making Plans; Breaking Plans

Eric moved out on my birthday. His plan was to go stay with his folks for a month and just be a bum. Get all the “sitting around not doing anything” out of his system before school started in mid-August. The night before he left, we talked a lot about our “plans” with the baby. We came up with the following agreement: (1) he would take a full load at school, (2) he would get a job to pay for his gas, insurance, personal bills, (3) he would go to counseling, and (4) he would arrange his schedule such that I wouldn’t have to pay for daycare. In exchange, I would support him—i.e.: I would pay all the rent, utilities, etc., buy all the food, and do the cooking.

So the day he moved, I began looking for a new apartment for us. I had a month before he was due to return, but I didn’t want to run out of time, so I found us a condo 4 blocks from the University (so he could walk or ride his bike and save on gas) within a week. I was pretty excited; it was a nice place.

After a week in the house without him, life was so unbearable with just John & Ferne around that I rented a storage unit for myself. I knew I’d be moving into the new condo the first week of August, but I just couldn’t wait another seven whole days to leave that house of hell. So the Saturday after my birthday, I moved all my stuff out. Just three weeks after moving in, I moved again. It was still hot and I was still sick. It was awful; thank god for good friends. My girlfriend Kimberly & her husband stepped up to the plate for me—they let me move into their spare bedroom until the new place was available.

The next day, I drove down to San Jose for Riley’s birthday party (Riley is the son of Eric’s brother and his wife—an incredibly loving and cute kid!). By this time, everyone in his Catholic family knew he was the father and that I was leaving John. Woah—I just glossed right over that. Hmm, there are a couple of posts all to themselves, Eric’s family finding out! Later; let's finish this first.

So the party was nice; uneventful like a kid’s party is supposed to be, then afterward Eric and I went out for coffee. I told him all about the place, brought up a flyer with the floor-plan, and confirmed that I could indeed afford it if I didn’t have to pay daycare costs. He nodded along as though everything was fine, then hit me with, “I’m not coming back. Sorry. I’ve decided to go to school here instead. I met someone last weekend.” (Last weekend? Didn’t you just move back last weekend? What did you do, go out the night you got back & meet someone?) Well, yeah. That’s exactly what he did.

So I went back to Kimberly’s house that night, showed up for work the next day and somehow managed to stumble my way through my job. I also backed out of the rental agreement at the condo, losing my $300 deposit in the process. Between crying and vomiting, I didn’t get a lot else done. Within two weeks, my doctor was so concerned about my emotional health and the baby’s physical health, she had taken me off work. August 7th was my last day of work. The baby was due on December 31st. I was barely a month into my 2nd trimester and I’d already lost about 20 pounds.

Once I got the pass from work, it made my life easier in a lot of ways. For one thing, I didn’t have to impose on the good will of Kimberly & her husband quite as much because I was able to travel; for another thing, between state disability, our company’s supplemental disability policy, and my AFLAC policy (you’ve all seen the commercials—I’m here to tell you, it’s worth it!), I actually brought home about $700.00 a month more on leave than I did while working!

I continued to have doctor appointments at the high-risk clinic in San Francisco every week, each one of which included a sonogram (I ended up having more than 30 sonos during my pregnancy), but I moved around a lot between appointments. I tried to schedule them on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I would have either 5 or 9 days between. On the weeks when I had 9 day intervals, I would go down to Kate’s house. I wasn’t any more comfortable there, but at least I was with my family. On the shorter-intervals, I would stay at Kimberly’s for a few nights and at Tom and Sandy’s the rest of the time (Tom and Sandy are Eric’s parents—they were surprisingly supportive of me during this whole ordeal. As much as they love their son, they could see what I was going through and were worried about the health of their grandchild). The only bad thing about staying in San Jose was that’s where Eric was and I had to see him on a semi-regular basis.

There’s a lot I don’t remember about August. It was a very, very bad month. I do remember though going to the concert with Eric. He came up to Petaluma to go with me. I was surprised by that; I assumed I would take a different friend (actually, I assumed I would take Kimberly), but he said that the tickets were for us, that’s why he bought them (remember, this was my birthday present, the day before he dumped me). You know, we do go into strange places in our heads. Writing that, it sounds like he’s such a self-serving shit-head, but when he said it, it seemed perfectly reasonable and logical, so I was happy to go with him. We had an incredibly wonderful time; in fact, that night during the music was the first time I ever felt Emily kick. I felt little swirls before that, but that night I felt Real KICKS. It was awesome!

September 1st that year was a Friday; I had been on a waiting list to get my own apartment in the same complex as Kimberly and her husband and finally got it. But I was out of town, so I couldn’t move in until I returned on Monday the 4th. The Wednesday night prior to Labor Day Weekend, Eric came with me to Camp Mather, Yosemite for the Strawberry Music Festival. We had made the plans and purchased our tickets way back in April, but I was still surprised that he wanted to come along. Also there were my dad, his wife, Kate & family, my younger sister Teri, and other various family friends. It rained the whole weekend long, but we still had quite a nice time. I love being at Strawberry. A whole village of love and music. Brings the hippy-child out in me.

Eric’s birthday is September 1st, so we celebrated while camping. My dad’s wife let me use the oven in her camper to make him a cake and everyone shared it after dinner Friday night. Nice. Anticlimactic, but nice. I gave him a $50.00 gift card to the greatest music store in the county, as well as some other incidental stuff. What struck me was how quickly my family was willing to remove one man from my life and replace him with another. No questions asked—if this makes Aimee happy, then this is what we’ll support. (God my family is amazing.)

It was an awkward weekend in a lot of respects. On the plus side, I managed to hold down some food almost every day (I was well into my 2nd trimester by this point and had lost 30 pounds); on the other hand, Eric and I had six days together without many interruptions. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I felt large and awkward and gawky; everything I said felt wrong, and I didn’t know how to relate to him anymore. More than anything, I missed my best friend. Through all of this turmoil in my life, my best friend wasn’t there for me and that was the worst. Again I say, thank GOD for my sister Kate!

We returned to Sonoma County on Monday afternoon—we had just enough time to get to the rental office of the apartment complex to pick up my keys, so I was able to spend the night in my own place when we got back. Eric’s classes were on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, so he helped me settle in (I only had my camping gear though, since we didn’t have a chance to get to the storage unit) and then headed back to San Jose and his “girlfriend”. It’s a two hour drive from my home to his parents home.

Two hours and fifteen minutes after Eric left, he called. I figured it was going to be a typical, “Made it home fine” call. It wasn’t. The phone call went something like this,
“Hey, I’m home.”
“Oh, good. Was the traffic ok?”
“Yeah. I drove through the East Bay. It was ok. But I was thinking,”
“Well, I broke it off with Becky. She reminds me too much of Kat.”
(How am I supposed to respond to this?)
“Oh. Sorry, I guess.”
“I’m coming up tomorrow after my classes; I’ll help you move your stuff in. Mind if I stay until Thursday? We need to talk.”
“Uh, yeah. Sure. Whatever.”