Ethan Phillips POV
I couldn’t believe it, Nina was pregnant. No wonder that she looked so scared to talk to me that day, and I completely blew it.
Am I angry that she didn’t tell me? Hell yes. I would be a moron not to be mad at her, but I also understand why she didn’t.
Her relationship with her father….
She must’ve been so scared that I’d bail on her because she was pregnant. God, I really screwed up. Why did I have to be such an asshole when it came to showing my feelings, why was I so scared that she’d run if I told her how I felt. She told me she loved me all the time. I know if she had known; she would’ve let me explain what really happened. No, I had to be the asshole who made her keep our relationship from everyone. She did it, no questions asked because she loved me.
I knew one thing for sure, I wasn’t going to let her go again. Not now, not when I see her sitting there with our kids. I wonder what happened with Lukas, though. What Lilly said the thing about their birthday being a sad day for Nina, but that he’s here is making me wonder if something bad happened.
I walk toward the shields where I know that the principal is standing. Nina is still singing, and I don’t want her to wonder why I’m not there. ‘Mr. Taylor?’ I whisper. He looks questionably at me. ‘Ethan? What’s wrong?’ I sigh, ‘I need to talk to you, like right now.’ I say with urgency. I walk out of the gym, pacing in the hallway hoping that he’ll follow me.
The door closes behind me. ‘Look, uhm, I need to quit.’ I tell him as I turn around. His eyes widen. ‘Why?’ I guess this is the only time I can tell the truth. ‘Do you accept my resignation?’ I ask, because even I am not so stupid to understand how the world works. I don’t want to get a bad reputation, just because I fell in love. I am a damn good teacher, just because I fell in love doesn’t mean I did anything wrong. ‘Sure, I think I have time to find another English teacher, but I want to know why?’ ‘I’m moving away.’ Like that, with a snap of my finger, I made up my mind.
He sighs, ‘More specific?’ ‘Okay, the truth? Do you remember the rumors of me dating a student?’ I ask him and he nods furiously. ‘They were true?’ I give him a nod. ‘Yes, they were, and I lost the love of my life because of that slut Michelle.’ I say with a rage filled voice. He stumbles back because of my forwardness. I was always professional, even when he told me that I didn’t need to be.
‘You dated a student? You do know that it’s illegal right?’ ‘No, it’s not. It’s just against school policy. And I just quit.’ He sighs, ‘I can’t promise you there won’t be consequences.’ I roll my eyes, ‘Like me losing my job? She won’t press charges, or she would have years ago.’
‘Fine, I guess you have a point there.’ He states with a laugh, ‘But, I’ve got to ask. Who was the student?’ I sigh, ‘Nina Clark.’ I tell him with tears in my eyes, ‘So those kids.’ I give him a nod. He gasps and clamps his mouth with his hand. So, you know how I feel, now. ‘They are mine, I missed out on 6 years of their lives and 7 with Nina. I guess that’s more than punishment enough, don’t you?’
‘God Ethan, and all that because of Michelle?’ I nod again. ‘Just, let me go please. I want to see and be with my family.’ He gives me a pat on the shoulder. ‘Of course, go get your girl and to those unearthly incredibly talented beautiful kids.’ He says with a smile.
Who would’ve thought that a principal would be okay with all that? But then again, I did have a point.
I walk back into the gym. Nina is searching for me. I know she does, I can feel it. I see as they are still singing together. Another song that I always loved. I’m lucky she included me so much in their lives, in any way she could.
‘I am so sorry.’ She mouths as her eyes meet mine, but I don’t care about her apologies. I understand now, I understand it all. Even if I know I shouldn’t, I do. I love her, I do, and I understand.
‘Okay, last song.’ She says, ‘What song do you want me to sing?’ She asks the crowd.
A girl, I know as Emily, puts her hands up. ‘What about “Little miracle?”’ She states, I know that song. It’s heartbreaking, I never imagined NINA being my Nina. I should’ve known, though. But then again, I should’ve known so many things.
‘Do you guys want to make me cry?’ She says jokingly. ‘Okay, my Little miracle.’ Lukas' head jerks up. ‘What mummy?’ He asks, Nina starts laughing, ‘They want me to sing your song.’ His eyes lit up. ‘It always makes you cry.’ He says sadly.
‘I know it does, but I the song itself isn’t what makes me cry. It’s the memory.’ She explains at him. He nods, ‘I’m still alive mum.’ He says and my breath hitches, “Still alive?”
The students have the same reaction, ‘This song, is a song I wrote after I gave birth to these two beautiful kids. Just when they were born, Lukas stopped breathing.' My breath hitches, 'God, it was the scariest time of my life. I was sobbing and screaming, but after what seemed hours. It was actually a minute. He started breathing again. He had to have surgery and after that he stayed in the hospital for about a month. I was a mess, but I had Lilly. She pulled me through. After that, I wrote the song, because he is my little miracle. He almost died but then he didn’t. So, Luke… Start the tune. I’m going to try and sing it, what about we ask your sister to sing along.’
He died? He actually died. No… And she had to go through that all by herself, because I screwed up. Why didn’t chase after her? Why did I have to be such a moron, I knew there was something on her mind that day. I knew she was keeping a secret, and I knew she ran from something. I should’ve followed my instincts… and fucking followed her.
Lilly shakes her head, and a tear drops. Nina picks her up and pulls her on her lap. Lukas gives her a little kiss. I make my way closer to the stage. Nina sees me and I give her a nod, ‘I’m here, now.’ I tell her in a whisper. Her eyes close and she starts singing.
The feeling of you slipping away.
It’s a feeling I’ll never forget.
I don’t know why, but that day was the day something died in me.
And I had no one to pull me through it.
I’m so lucky you’re still here. It’s a little miracle
I know that I should be happy you’re still here,
But I can’t help but feeling like I saw you die right in front of me.
I feel blessed, feel so blessed that you my little miracle pulled me through.
Without you, I’d never have been who I am today.
My little miracle, I’m so lucky you’re still here.
I know that I should be happy you’re still here,
But I can’ t help but feeling like I saw you die right in front of me.
Her voice hitches, and Lukas stops the tunes to give his mum a hug. Nina gazes my way as a tear trails down her cheek. Not caring that there are people watching. Curiously Lilly looks up to her mum and follows her gaze until it stops when she finds me. Her eyes widen, those beautiful blue eyes. The eyes that reflect my own. I get to see Lukas a bit better and see that he’s the spitting image of me. Blond hair and bright blue eyes. Lilly looks more like Nina than me, except for the eyes.
Lilly jumps up from her mom’s lap, mic in hand, ‘Daddy!’ She shrieks, let’s the mic drop on the floor and runs toward me not caring that the stage is actually of the ground by a foot. I don’t really know what to do, but before she jumps of the stage and falls right on her face. I can’t do anything but run as fast as I can towards her. I see her jump of the stage as I run closer. The students gasp as they see her jumping as well.
Before she can actually fall, I catch her in my arms and bury my head in the crook of her neck. The smell of lime and roses fill my nostrils, she smells like Nina. My Nina.
‘Daddy!’ She sobs in my neck.
God, that was the scariest moment of my life. ‘I’m here Lilly.’ Her sobs get harder, ‘I’m here and I not going anywhere.’ She wraps her little legs around my waist as I see Lukas standing next to Nina looking at us.
I step on stage, hearing all the students’ gasp as I do so. But I couldn't give a damn. I walk over to Nina who is still a bit of a sobbing mess. ‘I’m so sorry.’ She sobs pouring her head in her hands, I just shake my head and pull her close to me. I finally have her in my embrace once again, I kiss her forehead and say: ‘I love you Nina.’ For the first time, which makes her only cry harder.
‘Mummy.’ Lukas asks before she can answer me. Lilly jerks her head up, a tear-stained face looks up to me. She jumps to her mum, like she knew she’d catch her. ‘Lord, Lilly you’re going to give us a heart attack with all that jumping off things and people.’ Nina scolds her. I look to the boy who is grabbing her tightly around her legs, she looks at me and gives me a little nod. Telling me it’s okay. I'm not doing anything without her permission, there was a reason she didn't tell me... she was scared, I don't want to scare her once more.
I crunch down, so that he can look at me.
It’s like suddenly something clicks in his head. I can see it in his eyes, as soon as he sees me because a smile appears on his face. ‘Dad.’ He stutters shaking his head in disbelieve, I give him a small nod. He walks over to me and wraps his arms around me. I pick him up only to feel him cry onto me.
‘Mum made our birthday wish come true. She didn’t even know, we always wanted you daddy. We just wanted you to come to us.’