I fell in love with the unborn child of a girl I just met

Her name is Charlotte. The baby, I mean. And I didn’t notice her at first.

It was raining and I was running into the car of a girl I first contacted just 30 minutes ago. I hopped into the car, said nice to meet you, buckled up, and we drove off. I thanked her for driving last minute; an incorrect email address meant that she didn’t know she was elected as the carpool leader until I messaged her just before we were supposed to leave. There were supposed to be 4 of us carpooling together but two dropped out, so it was just the two of us, or so I thought.

We were on a 40 mile journey through rush hour LA traffic to a networking event where prospective employees of our company could ask us questions and for advice on how to get their foot in the door. I was in it for the free food.

She used Waze, confident in the navigational app’s ability to shave off a considerable amount of time off our commute. I didn’t trust Waze after my own sketchy experiences with it, but for some reason, I trusted her.

A few minutes into the drive she mentioned that she was pregnant. I immediately looked down at her belly and noticed a bump. She was pregnant. Like actually pregnant. Like there was a human thing growing inside of her.

“We just found out it was a girl,” she smiled. “We’re going to name her Charlotte.” Wow. A baby girl. A baby girl named Charlotte. I thought back to when my mother was pregnant with my now 11 year-old sister. I remember how excited I was and how real she became once my mom named her Camryn. Now that this baby had a name, she was very real to me as well.

Suddenly the same excited feelings I had when my sister was in my mom’s tummy came rushing back. My new friend was going to have her first child! How wonderful! How beautiful! And it was a girl! I’ve always wanted daughters. What a blessing!

At one point she asked me if I was high because of all the weird psuedo-philosophical thoughts I was sharing about babies, and life, and humanity. I wasn’t. I was just excited for her and she was excited too which made me even more excited.

She talked about all the things she looked forward to doing with Charlotte. They were all mundane things like going to the grocery store or sitting in traffic, but these mundane experiences would be made fresh because everything would be brand new for the baby. She joked that she should always be able to take the carpool lane now because technically there’s always a second person in the car.

I was on the verge of happy tears during several moments of our conversation. There are a handful of pregnant ladies roaming around the office at work. I don’t know why I had such an emotional reaction to learning that the kind girl driving the car was also with child. Maybe it was the confined space, as if I was forced to confront the reality of the baby’s existence, trapped in the car for two hours. When a pregnant woman waddles by my desk, they’re gone in seconds and I don’t have to think about it anymore.

The car ride was truly an adventure, with all the crazy twists and turns that Waze took us on. We took a detour through a Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru where I got to see her pregnant appetite in action. She opened up about her life and I opened up about mine. The event itself was forgettable, but I can tell you I’ve never had more fun driving in the pouring rain in bumper to bumper traffic. We both shared how we almost didn’t go to the event. To think, I almost missed out on such a blessing.

5 hours since I first contacted her, she dropped me off next to my car in the overflow parking lot at work. There was a light drizzle; you could see tiny specks of water softly falling to the ground under the beams of the street lights. I said goodbye to my new pregnant companion and to baby Charlotte. My mind was still reeling as I drove home and then as I went to bed and even now two days later.

I’m excited for baby Charlotte. It makes me happy to know that she is going to have a mother who loves her so much. I love Charlotte now too, or at least the idea of her. And I hope I get to meet her one day.

Marcus Garrett is the creator of Top Shelf Gaming, an editorial website that seeks to use the power of video games to impact online and local communities. He enjoys playing guitar, taking naps, and eating tacos. His idea of a perfect day is one where he gets to do all three. Follow him on Twitter @marcus_media.