The way we were

“…and the baby’s due in December”, she finished. Smiling. Not even a hint of a bump showing.

He wondered if she was lying. Fabricating an entire baby to make him feel…whatever she’d thought he’d feel. “Wow. You’re having a baby. That’s…insane.”

“I know, right?” She smiled.

They paid the bill and left. Just before her cab pulled up, she touched his arm.
And then, as she always did, said, “Just think. This could have been you and me. This could have been our baby.”

He forced himself to smile and say, “Please, any child of yours is going to be completely yours. Apparently, insanity comes through the mother’s genetics.”

Waving her off, he set off towards home at a gentle pace, his mind on other things.
On her shining face telling him she loved him. On her sobbing face when they broke up. On her face at her wedding to another man, last year. Her smile at the wedding when she said that she wanted to be friends again.

She was wrong.
It couldn’t have ever have been their baby. They wouldn’t have made it this far.
They wouldn’t have ever made it to a wedding.
They wouldn’t have ever been the couple that everyone pointed to as an example.
They wouldn’t have lasted even if he hadn’t passively let her leave him.
The only thing that was they ever had, was a huge misunderstanding.
He couldn’t admit it to her then.
And he wouldn’t admit it to her now.

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