What to Expect When You’re Expecting

When I first found out I was pregnant, I really felt like I was in over my head. I mean, me, a mom? I can barely take care of myself, let alone even imagine taking care of a baby. But thankfully for me, I had my boyfriend’s mom was in my corner. My own mom’s a fuck up and none of my girl friends have kids yet, but the moment Amy found out I was pregnant she immediately came through. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her great advice, so I’ve decided to share it with anyone and everyone that I can!  

1. Be prepared for the mood swings.

I’m already an emotional person but jeez. I literally burst into tears over dropping a tomato. My poor boyfriend, hah. Shawn’s a great guy but has no idea what to do when women start crying, so he just backed out of the kitchen. Moments later, Amy came in with a tissue box and some comforting words. She finished up dinner for me too, and lemme tell you, Amy’s a fantastic cook. Taco Tuesday is now her place.  

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Dark Flower, Chapter Four

Chapter Three

Jon didn’t even have the door all the way open before Barley growled and let out a hostile bark. Instinctively Jon slammed the door back shut before he pressed his eye against the peephole.  

His gut turned as he saw the creature that used to be his landlord stumbling on past. Nate came to a stop before his head rolled over to look right back through that peephole. Cold sweat dripped down Jon’s neck as he felt those bloodshot eyes seemingly stare right back at his.  

Then something crashed in the apartment over and Nate began dragging himself towards the source of the sound, a sound akin to a hiss slipping from his rotting lips as he began to claw at the neighbor’s door.  

Jon swallowed as he slowly stepped away from the door. “Michael, how’s it looking out there?” He asked, getting nothing in response. Gritting his teeth, Jon spun around “Michael, I swear to god-”

Michael jolted out of his thoughts. “Christ, sorry, just… look out there, Jon. Look,” He pulled back the curtain enough to reveal the hell outside.  

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I was hired to transport an exotic pet to its buyer

“Come on, man, it’s an easy three grand. We just gotta drive through the night.”

I stared at Tucker, my best and stupidest friend. “And it’s not drugs? We aren’t transporting coke or something?” I asked.

“No, dude, it’s not illegal,” He rolled his eyes, “and it’s not drugs or people. I asked.”

I chewed on my inner lip as I considered the drawbacks to joining Tucker on another of his poor life decisions. “What is it then?” I asked.

Tucker shrugged. “All the guy said was come by tonight with a friend.”

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The Strangest Roommate I’ve Ever Had

This took place all about three years ago. I was going to college at the time and was living with two of my friends, Phoebe and Macie, along with Macie’s boyfriend Joe. I’d been friends with Phoebe since we were kids but only recently befriended Macie within like a year of agreeing to move in together, and Joe was sort of a last minute addition.

Well, to sum it all up so we’re not here all day, Joe was a jackass. He was a lousy roommate, but he was even worse to Macie, who’s a pretty meek person and a doormat for Jackass Joe. It was the third time Joe was caught sleeping around that Macie finally snapped and broke up with Joe. He responded by taking off and leaving us scrambling for a new roommate so we didn’t end up losing our place. I think it was Macie who posted the ad on our school’s Facebook page as a last ditch resort. It didn’t matter if they smelled like ham or were up all night blasting Marilyn Manson, we just needed someone to pitch in with the bills.

The next day I answered the door to Miss Dorothy Ball.  

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Organ Donor

I just wanted to go to college. That’s not too far out there right?

I’m not going to give you the whole rundown of why I had to resort to what I did. All you need to know is that I didn’t want to end up in debt for the next thirty plus years and I needed to get out of my parent’s house as soon as possible.  

I looked up a bunch of ways to make cash quickly. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else to do it, of course. I’m not a psycho. But it took a little less digging and a little more dumb luck. This was about three years ago. I was applying for jobs at a coffee shop when I saw a black van pull out in front of the place.  

Three girls exited the van, I barely recognized one of them as a former classmate named Kayla, she was so pale and unsteady on her feet. But she was beaming. She strode inside and she ordered something up front, but I couldn’t hear exactly what she said.

I was more distracted by the row of black stitches going up her side.  

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Lump in my Throat

Flight… delayed by another four hours… due… weather conditions…  

I put my headphones back in, resolving that there wasn’t a chance in hell I was getting back to Chicago tonight. I cringed as the left earbud kept crackling and going out, only for it to finally cut out for good and leaving me getting only half the song.  

Frustrated, I yanked them both out, now fully exposed to the noise of an airport terminal. The snoring of the man next to me, somehow sleeping through the chaos. The ‘I’m a platinum member’ complaining loudly to anyone who will listen about how he gave the airline too much money to be stuck in this backwater town. The mom who was talking way too loudly about personal matters on her phone while her three children screeched like banshees and got in everyone’s way. The guy refusing to cover his mouth while sneezing and coughing, and he did both a lot. The arguing couple about how this was ‘all your fault’ and ‘maybe this trip was a mistake’. And in the background of it all, the rain pounding on the roof above us, preventing anyone from taking off.  

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For Better or Worse

“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

I run through vows through my head every time it gets hard. I twist my wedding ring round and around on my finger as I wait in my parked car, waiting for my chance to make things better.  

We only met because I didn’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day six years ago. One of my friends said she knew a guy named Corey who was single and ready to mingle. I figured at worst it’d be a great story- my horrible blind date on Valentine’s day.  

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The Miracle Son

The first time I went to the meetings was when I was about eight. I’d noticed the tattered white tent go up Friday in the unused baseball field, not too far away from my school, but I didn’t really think twice about it. Next day though my mom woke me up bright and early, telling me to comb my hair and put on my good shoes, we were going to see The Miracle Son.

At first I thought she was talking about some weird movie I hadn’t heard about before. But I was quickly disappointed as my mom took me to that tent. There had to be a hundred cars parked up and down the street and in other parts of the field. The muddy ground squelched under my feet as my mom hurried us along to the tent. There wasn’t a single seat left so we stood at the back of the room. I was already grumpy as hell, I had to get up early on a weekend, my nice shoes pinched my toes, and now I had to stand in a drafty tent packed with people. I probably whined about all of that but my mom just shushed and told me to pay attention.

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My Father Was a Serial Killer

Oh boy, this isn’t something I usually talk about. I went through a lot of trouble to make sure no one associates me with Augustus Robert Simmons. I moved states when I turned eighteen. I changed my last name. I tell everyone that my dad was a soldier who lost his life fighting for our country and that I lived with my uncle and aunt since I was nine.

Well, my dad was a soldier, but he left the army before I was even conceived. And after my mom died in a car accident when I was two, he dedicated himself into taking care of me.

I’m not just here to talk about what he did, although I’ll get to that too. I want to talk about what kind of person he was, before he started killing.

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My Brother Benjamin

I was put into foster care when I was about seven years old. My mom failed her drug test for the last time and losing me was the price she had to pay.

It’s not something I talk about often, mostly because until I was adopted by a really great person three years later, my life was in constant upheaval. I’d go week to week wondering when that dark blue van would pull back up into the driveway and it’d be time for me to go to someone else’s house. What would that next house be like? Would I be loved, would I go to sleep with a full stomach without a care in the world? Or would I find myself staring at the ceiling until the sun came up, fearing what the next day would bring?

The Anderson house was the latter. It was one of those houses, the kind that took in all the kids they could for the cash. Momma Anderson was a spending addict, she’d go shopping almost every day and bring home something frivolous and expensive. Daddy Anderson… well, I’d learned quickly that those requests for any of us tiny kiddos to sit on his lap weren’t from a fatherly point of view, if you get my drift.

But that’s where I met Benjamin.

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