To control my calm and relax my alert heartbeat, I felt I was failing, I just wanted to get out of this Bermuda triangle I had entered, and of which only I knew. The whole story unfolds too fast for me to analyze. Ever since Jake appeared, contradictory feelings have been juggling in my heart, and my mind was just telling me that everything that happens is immoral, unconventional, and outrageous.
“Hello, John!” I only answered after the second call.
“Kate, Thank God! I was starting to worry. Are you okay?”
The worry in his voice had made me go back to earth, to remember that I have a fiancé who loves me unspeakably, and to whom I will soon give a child. I had learned from Dr. Hyden that the little baby would be born between July and August, which meant that I needed to schedule the wedding in Spring.
I always loved a wedding in Spring, when the cherry trees bloom.
“Sure! I just wanted to go for a walk. But I will come immediately.”
I couldn't tell him what the purpose of this walk was, I had to hide the truth from him, otherwise I risked an argument with John, which was out of the question. The last few days had been wonderful, and that is how I was going to be. I still loved John, no doubt! I loved him from the first date, and with each passing day, the love became even stronger. But when Jake was around, something was going on inside me that was bothering me, like the radio frequencies changing chaotically.
And that is what I needed to found out.
Why did his presence still impact me? Why did his whole body leave water in my mouth and the desire to touch and love him grew in me?
Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Is love shared equally, or does one receive more, the other less? Or maybe we were confusing feelings, and it wasn't love for Jake? Is it possible that the first love will never be forgotten?
Yes, that was it, without a doubt! I had to unravel the mystery that consumed me day and night, ever since he reappeared in my life.
“Honey, it's snowing so nice. How about we go to the mountains this weekend?”
Just when I wanted to tell him that is not snowing, because I was really outside, and he was in the office, probably looking out the window, the first snowflakes began to fall briskly, dancing on their way to the ground. Realizing in a few seconds what he said, it seemed to me a wonderful and welcome proposal. I needed to go far, somewhere quiet, and it could be just me and John.
“Are you serious?”
“Yes! I have not been to the cottage in a long time. I think it is a good time to go there.”
We talked on the phone, all the way back to the office, setting the date of departure to the cottage, what itinerary we would have, when we would inform our parents about the pregnancy, what gifts we would order for each, although our visit to the mall had already provided gifts for everyone, but we were at the peak of happiness and we felt generous.
The company's recent activity was hectic and busy, so they failed to finish the conference with other potential clients in Canada, remaining in the conference room, presenting their project.
John insisted I go home and assured me he would come as soon as possible. I sat comfortably on the sofa in the living room, buttoning the channels of the television stations, where nothing interesting caught my attention.
One TV show by Wheel of Fortune, on the other, a lot of miracle pans were presented, and suddenly my attention returned to an old series that was still running.
A girl dressed in a tight-fitting dress appeared on the screen, revealing half her breasts, and was walking like a cat sniffing its prey to her boss's office. That is when I realized that John needed a new secretary, and that's how it made me shudder just thinking about it. I jumped like that when the phone started ringing, without checking who it was.
“John?” I wanted to tell her as soon as possible that I could not stand the thought of a new secretary. Hell, I was his secretary and look where I have come!
“No! It is Rebecca. But what happened? You look pretty shaken.”
“I really am!”
After I told her what I had seen on TV and about John's need for a new secretary, Rebecca chuckled, assuring me that this would not happen and that I would probably become paranoid out of too much love.
“You can never know what is going on!”
“Don't you trust him?” Rebecca's tone was reprimanding. “For God's sake, this man is crazy about you, he's not my favorite person in the world, but I'm sure he wouldn't try anything with any woman.”
“It doesn't even compare, it's different! He will see her every day, enough hours.”
I was trying to convince myself that this was really going to happen, as if he had already found a sexy secretary who wanted a successful man.
“Kate, calm down! You just must talk to him about this problem.”
I nodded as if she was seeing me at the other end.
“I called you to ask about the files Jake gave you.”
I had forgotten the files on the cafe table, in my haste to get out of there. And only now did I remember them.
“Rebecca, I forgot to take the files from Jake's. I am sorry!”
“Keep calm! Jake came to dinner and told me everything.”
“Everything?” I asked her outraged as soon as she told me. If Jake told Rebecca about the pregnancy, he would hear about me, and he wouldn't like it.
“Yes, because you hurried to the office about an emergency.” she answered me relaxed. “But it is not a problem. I will give it to you on Saturday, at the Christmas fair. The meeting is still valid, right?”
“Sure! I cannot wait, and besides, we can't break our tradition, can we?” we both chuckled.
The sound of the key in the lock on the front door let me know that John had arrived home. I said goodbye to Rebecca and headed for John. I jumped into his arms as soon as he hung his coat on the hanger.
“Honey! Take it easy.” He said carefully, as he positioned his palms better under my buttocks to support me better.
“I missed you so much!” I wrapped his cheeks with my palms, and I sprinkled kisses on his lips, on his forehead, while he laughed amused by my affectionate reaction.
“Did something happen, Kate?” he asked me in the same amused tone.
“Yes!” I answered shyly and the expression on his face suddenly changed into a serious and curious one, waiting for answers.
After I told him what an inappropriate and completely useless idea it seems to me to hire a secretary, he burst into an uncontrollable and unstoppable laugh. For almost a minute, he chuckled at the subject, while I watched him without making a gesture as if I were sharing his feelings.
I wanted to make him understand that for me it was serious and important.
“God, Kate! How can you think of such a thing? I assume the hormones are to blame.”
He had gotten up from the carpet, where we had sat down before I could tell him about my madness, which he had called it, and headed for the kitchen. Turning his head toward me, I could see his grim smile and his look that made him look attractive.
“Come over here!” he said in an authoritative tone, nodding.
I followed him, obeying his command.
“So, what are we cooking tonight?” He opened a refrigerator, analyzing each food separately.
“I don't think you'll find anything there. I didn't go shopping.”
“We should tell Clara to do our shopping.”
“John, I don't think it makes sense ... “ And without finishing what I had to say, the pain made me whimper. Instinctively, I turned my hand to my belly, stroking it lightly. John had come to me immediately, scared.
“It hurts! I answered through gritted teeth.
“Just breathe! Let's go to bed.” He carried me into my arms and led me to the couch. Then he withdrew to his office with hurried steps, visibly agitated. The pain was gone, but I still could not feel myself leaving the couch.
“I talked to Dr. Hayden. He said that it is quite normal to have pain, but only not to be frequent and lasting. You didn't have that did you?” I shook my head no.
“They disappeared in a few seconds after you left.”
Leaning on his knees beside me, he pulled my hand into his.
My John was worried and scared, I knew that for sure. I knew him and I knew every look.
His eyes were glassy, and he was shaking my hand in a chaotic and agitated manner.
“Kate, I can't stand anything happening to you or our baby. I love you both so much.”
“That's why I called the doctor here.” He said he would arrive in a maximum of one hour.
“But, John, I'm fine now. And I did not think a doctor like Mr. Hayden would make home visits.”
“Well, for us it does! Now come here, in my arms.” I could feel the strongly sandalwood essences, mixed with the smell of tobacco.
He used to smoke a cigar with his father after each successful transaction, to celebrate. And tonight, it had clearly been a success.
Soon the doctor had arrived, and I had learned that John had threatened him and spoken to him almost hysterically on the phone, which gave him no choice. He had to come, even if it turned out to be just a little panic, without severe causes.
That evening I did not make love, instead John had insisted on preparing my bathtub for a relaxing bath and then offering me a massage. As his hands caroled over my body, I thought that nothing could be more pleasing than that. Immersed in thoughts, I closed my eyes in the hope that they would disappear. But they followed me in dreams. Suddenly, I saw myself standing in front of the altar, in a large and beautiful church on the way out, decorated with divine paintings representing different saints from the Bible.
Next to me was John, in an immaculate black suit, an ivory cotton shirt, smiling at me with much love. It was a perfect dream, I thought.
The music resounded throughout the holy room, and my gaze was directed to the place where the wonderful music waves resounded. It was an imposing organ that stoically withstood the test of time.
The priest who was to marry us had appeared, but the whole room was empty. The benches on which the guests were to be placed shone in the light that made its way through the small windows and stained-glass windows.
Turning to John to ask him why no one was with us, a terrible bang echoed, disturbing the whole atmosphere, the organ's song stopped abruptly. In the doorway, a male figure was outlined, but I could not see his face.
The sun was too strong, for a wave of heat had entered with the man. His footsteps made the floor creak beneath him as he advanced. I could not make a sound, John's hand holding me until now was gone, as was the priest who had disappeared. But the heavy, heavy footsteps of the man who had stormed into the church could still be heard. I waited curiously and scared to see her face.
“Kate, baby!” John's voice had returned, and then I realized that it had all been a dream, in which I could not see the person behind the figure that had made me shiver.
“John, I had a weird dream.”
My throat was dry, and small beads of perspiration had gathered on my forehead.
“You are in my arms! And everything will be fine. I promise. His skin was smooth and firm, and the warmth of his body gave me the confidence I needed, that he could give me protection regardless of the cause, and unconditional love.
It was all I needed.
It was still dark in the room, I did not know what time it was, but as if through telepathy, John had hugged me even tighter in his arms, telling me that he would be watching me all night, and that I still had many hours of sleep.
The next day, I forgot about that awful dream.