Immediately feel the kind of sugary excitement you experience when someone tells you an extremely juicy, necessarily exclusive secret. That regrettably pleasant combination of pride, adrenaline, and so-glad-it’s-not-me relief that you can only experience when someone tells you something bad happened to them. Like when your perfect friend from college calls to say she got laid off. That.
Next, think, “Say you got an abortion.” After that, think, “God, I’m a shitty person, please don’t tell me you got an abortion.” They’re keeping it. Temporary reprieve.
Almost immediately thereafter realize that this means the love of your life is having a baby with someone else. The person who has spent the last ten years telling you he can’t commit to you because he’s not ready to settle down is going to have a baby with a woman he is moving into his house, who is going to make a life with, who he describes as, “Someone I really like, or could maybe even love” though he admits, “I don’t know her that well.”
For the first time, think about under which conditions you’d date someone who had a kid. Think about how maybe being forced to ‘grow up’ will make him see things in perspective. Realize how pathetic this makes you feel/sound.
Cry silently. Sincerely hope he can’t hear you. This isn’t the kind of crying where you deliberately sniffle or let the tears part the blush on your cheeks without wiping them away; you don’t want him to know you care. Well okay, obviously you care, but you want to care on the outside with the sort of stoicism that a Real Adult would have when, say, they discover a suspicious-looking mole.
Struggle to find words. Accidentally interrupt him. Feel flushed. Your mouth is dry. You don’t have anything to say, really. Tell him it’s a bad time and you have to go. Hang up.
Sit in stunned silence for a moment. Stifle the growing realization that you actually don’t care that much, aside from the initial shock. Still, feel committed to taking this opportunity to carry out activities that are symbolic of righteously feeling sorry for one’s self. Put on sweats and lie in a pile of down comforters. Cancel your plans saying you probably won’t get out of bed the rest of the day but you don’t really want to talk about why. Feel wide awake and uncomfortably hot from all the blankets. Get out of bed. Lie on the couch and eat an otherwise embarrassing amount of candy. Turn on Mumford and Sons. Feel fleeting but sincere concern about your own fertility. Turn off Mumford and Sons after one and a half songs. Turn on the TV. Text your friends and ask what’s going on later.
Meet your friends at a dive bar. Convince yourself you’re only going out because you “really need a stiff drink” to deal with this revelation. Use it as an excuse to wear the closest thing to sweatpants you can justifiably wear in public.
Realize that you actually do want to talk about it. You want to talk about it a lot. Discover from running your mouth to all your friends that you care even less than you thought you did when you realized you don’t really care that much. Relish the momentary spotlight anyway. Make increasingly distasteful jokes about babies and pregnancy. Make toasts along similar themes.
Go home. Get in bed and start to compose a drunken, ill-advised e-mail on your cell phone. Have the common sense to realize this is a terrible idea. Delete draft. Feel proud of yourself for being ‘the one with common sense’ not ‘the one whose life totally sucks now.’ Fall asleep.