What should have been a peaceful maternity leave for bonding with my baby turned into a nightmare thanks to my colleague Emily’s shocking requests. Her audacious behavior pushed our family to its limits and tested our patience like never before.

I’m Katie, and my life has been a whirlwind lately. Between moving in with my husband Mark and preparing for our first child, things have been non-stop.

Mark is my rock—kind, dependable, and occasionally a bit vain. After dating for several years, we married just over a year ago. We were thrilled to start our family, but the transition came with its challenges.

Interestingly, my coworker Emily had been a constant in my life. For the past year, I had been driving her to work since she lived just three minutes away from my previous home.

Even after moving in with Mark, I continued driving Emily because it felt like the right thing to do. She had no one else to help her, so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience.

But things changed when I prepared to go on maternity leave. Emily was in a panic about how she would get to work without my help. She couldn’t drive, and the nearest driving school was two hours away. She had no family nearby, leaving her with limited options.

One day, after another heated conversation about her situation, she pleaded, “Katie, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Can’t you help me out?”

I shook my head sympathetically. “Emily, I can’t drive you while on maternity leave. It’s just not possible.”

A few weeks later, she had a new idea. “Why don’t you ask Mark to drive me?”

I almost laughed at the boldness. “I’m not going to ask him, Emily. He starts work at 7:30 a.m. We’d have to leave by 6:30 a.m. Our jobs are 20 minutes apart, and we live 15 minutes away. It’s not happening.”

She tried to joke, “Well, it’s his fault you’re on maternity leave! You got pregnant because of him!”

I didn’t find it funny. “Emily, this isn’t about blame. It’s just not feasible.”

She seemed disappointed that I didn’t even consider asking him. She guilt-tripped me, saying, “I wouldn’t have taken this job if I knew we couldn’t carpool anymore.”

Then, on the first day of my maternity leave, the doorbell rang at 5:45 a.m. With a sinking feeling, I got up, hoping it wasn’t who I thought it was. Sure enough, Emily stood there, looking desperate.

“Please, just ask him,” she begged.

I sighed. “Emily, we’ve been through this. I can’t ask him.”

Mark, rubbing his eyes, appeared behind me. “What’s going on?”

Emily seized the moment. “Mark, could you give me a ride to work while Katie’s on maternity leave? I have no one else to ask.”

I looked at Mark, hoping he’d back me up. He hesitated, showing his people-pleasing side. “Well, I suppose I could…”

“No, Mark,” I cut in. “It’s not fair to you. You need your sleep, and I need your help with the baby.”

Emily’s face hardened. “Fine, thanks for nothing.”

She turned and left. I felt a mix of relief and guilt, hoping she understood now.

But the issue was far from over. Emily kept pushing, and I knew I hadn’t heard the last of it.

A few days into my maternity leave, I was up early to get baby formula. With sleepy eyes, I opened the front door, only to find our car missing. Panic set in. I called the police, my voice trembling, “Our car’s been stolen!”

Mark rushed in, holding the baby. “What’s happening?”

“Our car… it’s gone,” I said, my heart racing.

As the police took our report, Emily and a man drove up in our car. Relief and anger washed over me.

Emily got out, looking smug. “This is my boyfriend. He’s my ride to work now. Since you wouldn’t help, I figured I’d use your car.”

The audacity left me speechless. She had found our spare key and helped herself.

“You… you took our car?” I finally managed, my voice shaking.

Mark, holding the baby, looked worried. The officers asked if we wanted to press charges. For a moment, Emily panicked.

To my surprise, Mark said, “No, let them go.”

After the police left, there was an awkward silence.

“I knew you’d understand, Mark,” Emily said, trying to exploit his kind nature. “You’re always so helpful.”

Mark stepped forward, his expression firm. “Listen, Emily. I don’t want you near my wife, my child, or our home again. We can’t overlook what you’ve done.”

Emily’s confidence faltered. She looked from Mark to her boyfriend and back. “Okay,” she said, and they left.

That evening, after the shock wore off, Mark and I talked about what had happened.

“I can’t believe she took our car without asking,” I said, still in disbelief.

Mark sighed. “I know. It’s unbelievable. But we need to focus on securing our home now. We’ll change the locks and move the spare key. We can’t let anyone take advantage of us again.”

He also suggested setting up a security system and informing our neighbors in case Emily tried something else.

The next morning, Mark called a locksmith while I stayed inside with the baby. The locksmith’s work was a reassuring reminder of our priorities.

“Thank you for being so strong,” I told Mark as we watched the locksmith finish. “It wasn’t easy to confront Emily.”

Mark squeezed my hand. “Our family comes first. No one can come between us.”

A few days later, while I was nursing the baby, my phone buzzed with a message from Emily: “I’m sorry for everything. I won’t bother you again.”

I showed Mark the message. “Should I reply?”

He glanced at it and shook his head. “No need. Let’s move on.”

I agreed. With Emily behind us, we could focus on our future. After changing the locks and setting up the security system, our home felt safe again.

As weeks passed, we adjusted to our new routine. The ordeal with Emily had tested us, but it also made us stronger.

One evening, as we sat on the couch with our baby sleeping in Mark’s arms, I felt at peace. “We’re going to be okay, aren’t we?” I asked, leaning on Mark’s shoulder.

He kissed my forehead. “Yes, we are. We’ve never been stronger.”

I nodded, grateful for his strength and support. I knew then that we could face anything life threw our way. We just needed each other.

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