The One Where Monica Has Issues
--Monica couldn't believe her eyes. She just stood there, staring at the little white plastic object, her heart beating just a bit faster. Now what? Chandler. She would have to tell Chandler. She dreaded that conversation, knowing he would probably panic. She wanted to panic.
She came out of the bathroom just as Chandler was walking through the door, coming home from work…
"Hello my beautiful bride!" he greeted her enthusiastically, with the term of endearment he used every day since the day they were married…
"Ok. Don't panic." She instructed, sounding panicked…
He smiled, stopping in mid stride… "Ah. Words that instill calm…"
"Ok, funny. But I need you to be serious for a minute."
"Ok, Monica, what's up?" He tossed his briefcase on the couch and stood before her, giving her his full attention…
"Ok. You know how I've been all moody lately?"
"And you know how I've been all sick and stuff?"
"And then you told me to go to the doctor cause it might be a flu bug or something?" Her eyes were getting wider with every question, looking like she was ready to explode…
"Yeah, yeah… I remember all that. Monica, if you don't tell me soon, I think your eyes might actually pop out of your head."
"Right. Ok. Now, don't freak…"
"Ok, this is where I came in. Tell me already."
"Chandler, I'm pregnant."
All the color seemed to drain from Chandler's face as he pondered those words, and Monica began to fidget, watching him, becoming even more nervous because he wasn't responding…
"Ok, are you freaking?" she asked him, her tone on the edge of frustration… "Cause I told you not to freak…"
"No, no… I'm not freaking. Do I look like I'm freaking?" he sounded intense, and it didn't go unnoticed…
"You look like you might be on the inside… yeah."
"Well, I'm not. I'm… in shock."
"Yeah, ok. Me too… but are you angry?"
"What? No! Why would I be angry?"
"Well, cause, I know you wanted to wait. And this isn't exactly waiting--"
"Well, yeah, I WANTED to wait." he interrupted... "But, you know, it's not like, written in stone or anything."
"So, you're not upset?"
"No! I'm surprised! But… how could I be upset with you?" He wrapped his arms around her and held her… "You're having my baby!"
She let out a nervous chuckle, relieved… "I know! I told you, remember?"
--Monica was excited to tell everyone, especially since Chandler took the news so well, but he was apprehensive about saying anything to anyone right away…
"I just think it would be better to wait. You know, till you're further along…"
"Chandler, I can't keep this bottled up!"
"But, what if something, you know… happens?"
"Like what? You mean, like, I lose the baby?"
"Well, yeah. I'm not saying you will! But, it does happen… sometimes. A guy I know at work, his wife got pregnant, and he went around telling everyone in the office and family and stuff… then, he went home one day… and--"
"Oh, don't tell me! She had a miscarriage?"
"No, actually, he came home to find a 'Dear John' letter. Apparently, she fell in love with her obstetrician!"
"And you think I'M gonna do that?!"
"Well, no, not exactly! Ok, bad example. I just, I don't know… think we should wait. A while…"
"Well, for how long?"
"I don't know… 3 months?"
"Three months? I have to wait 3 months? I can't wait 3 months!"
Joey walked in, casually heading for the fridge… "Wait 3 months for what?"
Chandler and Monica just looked at each other, silently trying to decide on a believable reply…
"I don't want… to have to wait 3 months… for… uhhh…" Monica stammered, at a loss for what to say…
"For Girl Scout Cookies!" Chandler jumped in, finishing for her. She threw him a look that expressed just how lame she thought that excuse was, but Joey bought it…
"No way! Really?! Man, I don't wanna wait 3 months for that either! Why oh why are we made to suffer?!"
"What's up with you?" Ross asked as he entered the apartment, directing the question at Joey…
"It's gonna be another 3 months before Girl Scout Cookies!"
Ross just looked at him a moment, then moved on without responding… "So, what's up with you guys?"
"Nothing! Nothing's up! Why? Why did you ask us that?" Monica was jumpy, and Ross and Joey stopped what they were doing to look at her, odd expressions on their faces.
"Easy there Monica…" Chandler put his arm around her, calming her… "He just asked a SIMPLE question…"
She laughed, a little too hard… "Right! A simple question deserves a simple answer!" she reasoned… "Nothing is up Ross. What's up with you?"
He looked at her, confusion on his face at first, but he quickly moved on… "Oh, well, this guy at work said that this bone fragment from the Cretaceous period was really from the Jurassic period--"
"Ok, I was just being polite…" Monica cut him off, heading for the bathroom…
"Hey! Before you hole up in there…" Joey rang out, getting Monica's attention… "I gotta use it!"
"You can't!" she shot back…
Joey just looked at her blankly… "Why?"
"Yeah, why?" Chandler asked. She grabbed his arm and pulled him close, whispering something in his ear… "Oh! She's right! You can't go in there yet!"
Monica ran up ahead and into the bathroom, slamming the door.
"Dude! I have to go!" Joey whined…
"Then, why don't you go across the hall to YOUR bathroom?"
Joey seemed unhappy about that suggestion and he scuffed his shoes on the floor, heading for the door… "I can't… you know, GO… in my bathroom… Rachel keeps yelling at me!"
Just then Rachel walked through the door… "What do I keep yelling at you about?"
"The bathroom…" Joey replied in a hushed tone…
"You know, that really falls under the category: 'Too much information'!" Chandler quipped, turning away.
Joey was on his way out as Phoebe was on her way in…
"Hi Joey!" she greeted him cheerfully…
"Oh, don't leave on my account!" Phoebe told him as she watched him cross the hall to his apartment.
He pointed at his door before opening it… "Bathroom."
She nodded in understanding… "Ah." Then she continued into Chandler and Monica's… "Hey!"
Everyone greeted her… "Hey Pheebs!"
"Guess what I did today!" She asked rhetorically, then spotted Monica slinking out of the bathroom… "Hey! Monica! Guess what I did today!"
"Ummm… I'll guess in a minute. I just need to… go to my room… for a minute…" She continued heading for her bedroom, obviously hiding something behind her back…
"Whatcha got behind your back?" Rachel asked curiously…
"Nothing! Important! Nothing important! I'll be right back…" She ran into the bedroom and slammed the door as she went…
Rachel just shook her head… "What's up with her?"
"Who knows!" Ross replied… "Maybe she's on her period."
Rachel glared, and Chandler laughed… causing all 3 of them to look at him suspiciously…
"What?" he asked, all eyes on him…
"Why is that funny?" Ross asked…
"It's not! I was just… thinking of a joke I heard earlier. Is all."
"Ok, ok…" Phoebe jumped in… "Back to me! Guess what I did today!"
Chandler quickly responded, grateful for the diversion… "What did you do today, Pheebs?"
"I got an 'aura face-lift'!"
Rachel suppressed a laugh… "Ummm… Pheebs? What is an 'aura face-lift?"
"And more importantly, why did your aura NEED a face-lift?" Ross interjected…
"Well, it's been drooping and sagging lately…"
"Your aura has?"
"Yeah. So I went to this spiritual healer I know who's also an 'Aura-Surgeon'. He gave me a MAJOR deal!"
They all pretty much humored her, telling her she looked great, and you could see a difference… no scarring was visible… but in reality they thought such a thing was nonsense. Phoebe was happy though, and they were happy for her…
"You know, since the babies…" she explained… "I have felt sorta… off. You know?"
They nodded… "Sure…" "Yeah…" came the various acknowledgements…
"And I just wanted to do this for so long. You know, being 'with child' can sure change your body AND soul…"
Joey walked in and overheard only part of what Phoebe had said… "What's 'with child'?"
"Pregnant." Was the reply from Chandler…
"Pregnant? Who's pregnant?" Joey asked loudly, just as Monica entered the living room from the bedroom…
"Wha-?? You told them? How could you tell them?!" Monica asked Chandler, misunderstanding the context of Joey's comments…
Chandler frantically waved at Monica, trying to stop her from saying too much, but it was too late…
"What are you talking about?" Ross asked, everyone now looking to Monica to explain her sudden outburst…
"You… didn't tell them…"
Chandler shook his head 'no'. Monica sighed, silently asking Chandler with her expression to just tell everyone her news. After a moment, he nodded… agreeing…
"Ok, we… have some important news." Monica admitted…
"Is this about the close call you had a few months back?…" Rachel piped up… "Cause we already know about that."
"What?" Phoebe turned to look at Rachel… "I didn't know! Why didn't I know? Why am I always the last to know?!"
"Phoebe! I told you! Remember? When we were--"
"No, I don't remember…"
"Wait till I finish?"
"Oh. Right. Ok…"
"Ok, when we were at the store… and we saw that baby… and I said 'Oh, Monica had a close call…'. Remember?"
"Oh! Right! Ok. Go ahead Monica…"
Monica shook her head and continued… "Ok, remember how I was feeling all sick?"
"Oh my God! You're dying?!" Joey asked, panicked…
"No! Joey! Geez!" Monica snapped back…
"It was just the flu, right?" Ross asked with indifference…
"No, it wasn't the flu…" she told him, irritated… "Why would that be 'important news'? Why would I go out of my way to tell you THAT?"
Joey raised his hand like he was in school, asking permission to speak… "Cause you have to tell everybody everything?"
"No…" Ross interjected… "That would be Rachel…"
"Hey!" Rachel whined at Ross' slam…
"Monica has the compulsive cleaning thing, remember?" Ross added, ignoring Rachel…
Joey snapped his fingers in realization… "That's right! Monica cleans, Rachel gossips!"
"Can we get back to me for a minute?" Monica asked, exasperated. Her request fell on deaf ears as Ross, Rachel, and Joey all started arguing…
"Don't get upset Monica…" Chandler advised her compassionately… "It's bad for the baby."
"Baby?" Phoebe repeated… "What baby?"
That caught everyone's attention, and they all stopped fighting and looked to Monica…
"Our baby." She told them proudly… "We're pregnant!"
A barrage of 'Wow's and 'Oh my God's and 'Congratulations' came from everyone as they hugged Monica and Chandler, excited for the newly married couple.
"But I thought you wanted to wait." Joey directed the comment at Chandler, looking confused. Chandler just shook his head quick and glared…
"It wasn't planned Joey." Monica informed…
"It was an accident?"
"Not an accident, Joey…" Chandler corrected… "It was a surprise."
"What's the difference?"
"Accidents upset you, surprises thrill you."
"Not all surprises thrill you." Phoebe interjected… "I remember when I found my Mother dead… I was sure surprised, but wasn't at all thrilled."
Everyone just looked at her, bewildered expressions on their faces…
"Oh, but 'yay' for your news!" she added cheerfully.
--"Good evening my beautiful bride!" Chandler announced energetically as he bounded through the door…
"What's good about it?!" Monica snapped back, obviously upset… he could tell she had been crying…
"What's wrong?" he asked, dropping his briefcase and rushing to her side…
She quickly shut him out… "Nothing. Everything is fine."
"Everything is NOT fine, Monica, you're crying! What's wrong?"
"I'm just moody, ok?" She dismissed her actions, not wanting to discuss it with Chandler.
He wasn't exactly convinced it was nothing, but he knew when to back off. Even when Monica wasn't pregnant, there were certain lines you didn't cross. When she doesn't want to talk, she doesn't want to talk. Best to just leave it alone. So that's what he did.
"Ok, well, what's for dinner?"
"Dinner?! You want DINNER?!" she barked… "Well, then, go to McDonalds! Cause I'm not cooking!" She stormed off into their room and slammed it, locking it a moment later.
He just stood staring in her direction for a moment… "Mmmm-hmmm… everything is JUST fine…" he mumbled to himself, then headed for the door.
--"I'm telling you Ross, she is upset about something. And it's not just the pregnancy hormone thing either…" Chandler told Ross as he finished eating his dinner…
"What are we talking about?" Rachel asked as she entered Central Perk, overhearing only part of what Chandler had said…
"Monica. We're talking about Moni--"
"I just had to have a MUFFIN for dinner!" Chandler interrupted Ross, obviously upset.
"And, what does that have to do with Monica?" Rachel failed to see the connection…
"Something is wrong with her!"
Rachel dismissed Chandler's concerns… "Well, it's probably just the pregnancy…"
"No, it's more than that."
"Well, ask her what's wrong."
"I did! She says nothing is wrong!"
"Well, then, maybe it's just you." Ross suggested…
"Look, I expected mood swings… and her to be all crabby or whatever. But I'm telling you, something isn't right."
Rachel sat and gave Chandler her undivided attention… "Well, ok, what is she doing?"
Chandler shifted his weight on the couch, turning to face her… "She's agitated all the time!"
"That could be the pregnancy…" Rachel interjected…
"She doesn't want me to touch her… or, or… even look at her!"
"Could also be the pregnancy…"
"She's stopped cleaning and she refused to cook me dinner."
"Wow. Ok, that IS odd. Maybe I should go talk to her…" Rachel stood to leave…
"Hey Rach? If you find out anything… please let me know? Even if she swears you to secrecy?"
--"Monica? It's Rachel…" She walked in the door slowly, as if afraid of what she might find…
"Oh, hey Rach. What's up?" Monica calmly greeted her as she came out of the bedroom…
"Oh, nothing much. What's up with you?"
"Nothing." She plopped down on the couch and Rachel joined her.
"So, too tired to clean?" Rachel asked as she looked around…
"You try to clean when you're as big as a whale!" Monica snapped back.
"You're not that big…"
"Yes I am!"
"Well, you were bigger in high school, but you still managed to clean. You love to clean."
Monica burst into tears and ran for the bathroom…
"What?! What did I say?" Rachel asked, following her to the bathroom and standing outside the door… "What's wrong?"
Monica didn't answer, but within a minute came out with a box of tissues… "Nothing." She lied, drying her face with crumpled up kleenex.
"C'mon Monica, talk to me!"
"What? No you're not!"
"Yes I am!" Monica exclaimed, sitting on the couch… "I'm fat! Like I was in school! Chandler is going to hate me!"
Rachel joined her… "What? Chandler is NOT going to hate you! He LOVES you!"
"He loves THIN Monica! He hated FAT Monica!"
"That's not true! He was a stupid kid who made one stupid remark! He loves you, Mon, trust me on this."
"I'm only going to get bigger! And bigger! If he doesn't hate the way I look now, he's sure gonna when I gain another 30 pounds!"
"Monica, listen to me… Chandler will never hate you. And even if he DID like 'thin Monica' better, that's not how he feels now. And, after the baby is born, your weight will go back down. And all the hormones that are making you crazy will go away…"
"Do you really think it's the hormones making me think this?!" Monica's voice edged irritation…
Rachel hesitated, not sure if she should answer the question… "Ummm… yeah?"
Monica sighed… "Maybe you're right. I just… I just don't wanna lose him, you know?"
Rachel hugged her friend… "I know…" she whispered consolingly… "You won't…"
--Rachel entered Central Perk later that same night, after her and Monica's nice, long talk…
"Rach!" Chandler greeted her… "Did you find out anything?" he asked anxiously…
"Boy did I!" Rachel took off her coat and sat beside him, taking a breath before continuing… "She thinks she's fat and that you will hate her now that she's gaining weight."
"What?!" Chandler sounded shocked…
"It stems from her 'fat days'… and what you called her that one Thanksgiving…"
Chandler sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose under his glasses… "I'm never gonna live that down…"
"Part of it IS the hormones, but part of it is the insecurities she used to have when she was overweight."
"She doesn't have anything to be insecure about! I love her!"
Rachel nodded… "I told her that."
"I gotta go talk to her…"
"Just don't tell her I talked to you. It's better if she tells you…"
--"I'm home." Chandler announced as he walked through the door.
"Fine." Monica called back out from the bedroom… "You eat?"
"You want me to make you something?" she asked as she entered the living room, her face still red and wet from crying…
"No, Mon, I want you to tell me what's wrong."
"Nothing is wrong."
Chandler took her hand gently and guided her over to the couch, sitting and silently suggesting she join him. "Look, you need to talk to me."
"I NEED to?"
"Well, I would like you to. I'm worried about you…"
"There's no reason to worry. I'm fine. Just… hormonal."
"Are you worried about the baby?" he asked, trying to get her to open up...
"Are you worried about the pregnancy?"
"Are you worried about our relationship?"
Her eyes betrayed her, and he could see the emotion in her stare, even with her gaze planted firmly on the floor.
"Mon, sweetie… is that what's wrong?"
"I'm fat." She whispered, her eyes still focused downward.
"You're not. You're pregnant."
"You don't like me fat."
"Sweetie, I love you. It doesn't matter how much you weigh."
"It mattered in '87."
He sighed and lifted her chin, looking her in the eyes… "Is that what this is about? Cause I was a stupid, insensitive jerk that said something stupid and insensitive over 10 years ago?"
"I just don't want to lose you Chandler. I mean, I knew I was gonna gain weight with the pregnancy, I just didn't think it would bother me this much."
"You are NOT going to lose me Monica. I love you… at 100 pounds or 300 pounds. It doesn't make a difference with the person you are…" he gently tapped her chest… "In here."
She smiled, relieved… "I'm sorry I've been such a bitch…"
He chuckled, holding her hand in his… "You haven't been a bitch… just 'bitch-y'…"
"What's the difference?" she asked, her smile showing him she was not upset at his wisecrack…
"One is a horrible person, one is hormonal…"
"Want some dinner? She asked, standing and heading for the kitchen…
"Dinner would be perfection."
Thanks for reading!