This last night I slept in his bed, as if nothing has happened, as if this wasn’t our last night together. I remember his hand resting on my belly while he hugged me, sleeping, but maybe I was just putting too much significance into a random gesture.
When we parted, it was for good. We still talked every morning, but the routine was soon disturbed by me starting work later, so our conversations got briefer.
“My friend asked me why you won’t join us on our board gsame evenings anymore.”
“I told her that you found out you were pregnant and can’t see me because of the child’s father.”
I had always suspected that he had told his friends we were officially together, so I didn’t comment on this lack of caution. In fact I missed his friends. I had felt welcome in this group right from the start.
“She still wants to see me? Why isn’t she angry with me. I know I would be if someone hurt you.”
“She is not angry.”
“And why would she think you would be interested at all in a woman with another man’s child.”
“She knows me.”
“Well, if you could just try being a little less perfect. That’s be great.”
In August the Witcher visited me in my hometown, in the Knight’s absence but with his knowledge. After all, there has never been a problem with me inviting male friends.
The two of them met for the first time months later, when I was already on maternity leave. The Knight’s first comment was something in the line of “Wow, I didn’t expect him to be this tall”, to which I replied “I told you he was an elf”. We had a board game evening at our place and after the Witcher had left the Knight asked me: “Why doesn’t he have a girlfriend? If he would just try he could be rolling in pussy.”* “He doesn’t go out much”, I said.
To me it was clear that we were only friends now. During my pregnancy my thoughts were fixed elsewhere, mainly on my own belly, and after some time I managed not missing him anymore. Not seeing him all too often facilitated that process. We still sat together at every meeting at the institute and followed each other around during breaks, but it was different. I even told him about my wedding preparations, though I know it was not a nice thing to do. The Knight often remarked on my cruelty, but only in a playfull way. He didn’t know the sad hard truth behind it all.
*I apologize for the Knight’s crude phrasing.