I nodded. I needed to eat even if I wasn’t hungry. We left the building, and he took me to a sub shop up a few blocks.
“You still look unwell,” he said when we sat at an outdoor table with our sandwiches.
“Just tired from finishing up everything for school.”
He nodded. “That’s what I want to talk to you about.”
“Craig and I put your name up to be considered for hire. You do good work, and we’d like to keep you on.”
My heart warmed at the news. “Thank you. I’m so glad you think I’m good enough.”
“Yeah, well, the boss has nixed the idea.”
A mixture of anger and sadness threatened to overwhelm me. Of course, he wouldn’t hire me. He can’t have me around.
Niall shook his head as if he couldn’t understand Sebastian’s decision. “Good news is that my sister works for a baby clothes designer in Los Angeles and they need someone with your skills.” He handed me a piece of paper. “Give her a call. You have to jump through all the hiring hoops, but they’re eager to consider you for the job.”
“Los Angeles?” I’d have to move, but maybe that was the best thing for me. I loved New York, and I’d hate being away from my father. But perhaps starting with a clean slate was what I needed.
“That’s where they’re located, but the job they need done you could stay here and telecommute. You’d just need a home office, or you could rent one of those spaces for remote workers.”
That sounded even better. I could work from home and raise my baby. But not in New York, I reminded myself. It would be too easy to see Sebastian when he visited my father. No, I still had to move, but I could remain close enough to see my dad while still avoiding Sebastian.
“The wheels are turning in your head, Hammond. What are you thinking?”
I smiled at him. “I think I’m really grateful that you’ve given me this opportunity.”
“You’re good. And good isn’t as easy to find as you might think.”
That morning, Sebastian pulled the rug out from under my feet, but with Niall’s support, I knew I was going to get my feet firmly planted beneath me again.
“I’m going to call as soon as we get back to the office.”
The call went well, and so I submitted my application online, and agreed that I’d fly out to their office interview. It was wrong to put all my job eggs in this one basket, and yet, I didn’t need the money. I knew my father would help me, and I had a significant trust fund from my mother when she died. I felt so fortunate to not only have a loving father, but the financial means to live while I sorted my messed up life out.
On Thursday, all my classes were in the morning. I turned in my finished thesis and then headed to a doctor appointment I’d made the day before.
The doctor confirmed the pregnancy and then proceeded to tell me about prenatal vitamins and other instructions for a healthy baby.
“I was on the pill, will that have hurt the baby?”
“How long were you on?”
“Only about a month.”
She gave me a look that suggested I somehow messed up that after only a month I was pregnant. “It shouldn’t be a problem, but you’ll want to stop taking them now.”
Tears welled in my eyes as I got ready to ask my next question. “I drank a lot last weekend.”
“Is that a normal thing?”
I shook my head. “I have a glass of wine a couple nights a week, but the weekend was a…” I didn’t know what it was. “We had a lot of champagne.”
“You should stop drinking now, and if you smoke, stop that too.”
“I don’t smoke.”
“Chances are there won’t be a problem if it was just a one-time thing. But it is important that you recognize that everything you do and consume can impact the baby.”
I bobbed my head up and down. “Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it.”
“Good. Now, you can resume a fairly regular life. Sex is fine. Moderate exercise is recommended, although nothing too intense.”
“What about the father?”
I looked down. “He’s… he’s not interested in the baby.”
She pressed her hand over mine. “I’m sorry for that. Do you have anyone who can support you through this?”
“I have money.”
“Besides money. You’ll need emotional support, as well as assistance when the baby is little.”
I nodded. “My father.”
“He’s okay with the pregnancy?”
“He’ll be surprised, but he’ll be supportive.”
“Good. Now, I know you said you had money, but the father does have financial responsibilities.”
I didn’t respond to that. Instead, I asked about other things I could do to have a healthy baby. When I was done, I went to Central Park to the playground. I watched the children playing. Some were on the equipment, while others were playing ball or some other game with their mother or father.