He's been ranting like a true housewife, reminding me of my mom so much I bet he'd fit right in her circle. It's refreshing to see this side of him. He has all those DILF package, too bad he's married and gay.
Though he certainly got my uterus vibrating again, itching to fill it with something so we'd have one Pao each.
Huh, if only I can get pregnant that easy.
Which reminds me I'm due for my woman-part check up. Living with endometriosis is exhausting, sometimes I just wanna accept the fate, telling myself I'm absolutely okay with these fibroids risking my life to the point of killing me silently, just like what happened eight years ago at the airport. It will be a super painful death but at least I don't have to worry anymore.
But then I meet things in life. Things that make me don't want to leave this world. Things like my love to my job, my gratitude to my besties for keeping me alive the best they can with all the support, and right now, to watch adorable Pao grow up, wondering if she's gonna resemble Owen even when she's 20.
"Pao's having her birthday party next week."
"Can you come? Papa says we're gonna have so many minions! Can you come, Tia? Pleaseeeee?" Again, that puppy eyes. Making me weak all over.
"Pleaseeeee?" Owen copies her move and now I have Owen 1.0 and Owen 2.0 pleading their case with the same exact facial expression.
"I don't know... I need to check my calendar first." I need to find an excuse asap.
"You can bring whoever you have plan with. What's his name? Santiago? You can bring him as well."
I play with the end of my ponytail, twisting it round and round as I watch the little girl next to him finishes her gelato.
"Are you free tonight? Join us for dinner?"
"Hm?" Why is he doing this? Stop forcing my hands, I'm doing him a favor since Pao asked me directly for a gelato. But that's it. I'm not gonna start being friends with him. I need to take care of my heart.
"I'll cook your favorite." You think I care about that?
"Papa, I'm done!" Thank God for Pao's interruption when she announces while showing the empty bowl, "Can we go to the playground now?"
"Alright. But you'll go with Nancy okay? I have something to discuss with Tia." Excuse me?
A minute later Pao leaves with her nanny Nancy and two of the bodyguards, making it super awkward for me to sit outside the gelato shop just with my ex-husband.
"Do you wanna talk here or go somewhere else?"
"Here is fine." Because it's gonna be a short one. I don't intend to stay here more than five minutes.
"Okay." He nods, then keeps quiet for some time. Perhaps gathering courage to say whatever he wants to say. An apology perhaps? Explaining why he left just like that?
I mean, yeah we did agree to take some time apart. We did say goodbye before he left to the airport. But I stepped out of the house with the thought we'd reconvene in a few weeks. I never thought he'd slap me with a divorce paper instead.
Kimmie's voice from our phone call this morning rings in my head, "There's a reason God sends an ex back to your life. To see if you're still... stupid."
"How are you? How's work?"
... did he just do that? Initiate a small conversation? Really?
And yes, I am stupid. So let's speed this up to make me feel less stupid.
"Can we skip this and go straight to what you wanted to talk to me about?" I undo my loose ponytail then let my hair fall, a second later I scoop my hair again and tie it into a tight, high ponytail.
"You're blonde again."
I roll my eyes at his comment, "Yes, Captain Obvious."
"You look good both blonde and brunette." He smiles after throwing that same compliment I've heard since a million years ago.
I've colored my hair blonde since I was 18 but once we went for our second IVF cycle, I stopped coloring, afraid if the hair dye is too strong, if the chemical will affect the process. My doctors gave me their green light but I was not risking it, hence keeping my natural hair color for a few years.
Until I've recovered from my depression at Stockholm. Back to being a blondie, start working, go out on a date, doing whatever I can to be normal again. To feel normal again.
Our conversation dies, and both of us keep watching the people who're walking in front of the gelato shop.
"I hope you can come next week."
"I don't think I can." I don't want to.
"Why? At least drop by to say happy birthday to her."
"No." Why should I when I'm trying to keep a distance from you or anyone related to you.
"I don't want you in my life anymore, Owen."
I can clearly see the pained expression both in his face and body movement. My heart feels for his change of emotion but I had to do it. I had to rip the bandage off.
"I think it's best if we live life separately from now on. I don't wanna see you anymore."
What Owen did to me four years ago, well, I feel like I'm repeating the same thing with Pao.
Because I left without saying goodbye to her, or give my answer regarding her birthday party this weekend. I feel so guilty I can't sleep well at night despite tiring myself with work and spending time at the gym.
By Friday night I slide into his dm and tell him I'll be there for the party. Perhaps giving a proper goodbye to the little girl before I part way for good.
The next day I step foot on the place that holds so many memories of how my relationship with Owen started; the birthday party is held at his mansion. Donning my yellow sundress to match the minion theme, I nervously ring the bell at the entrance door.
I can't believe I'm seeing Margo again after so long. We hug and chat for a while before she directs me to the location of the birthday girl.
The visit that should be twenty minutes tops ends up to be longer because I've been waiting for Owen since the past two hours to say goodbye.
I honestly don't understand how can he not be next to his precious daughter at her birthday party, why would he leave her with the nanny? What could be so much more important than being with her? I thought she's the baby he's been waiting for in his life, why is he abandoning her? For God sake, this is his party, his house, where the hell is he?
Hugo did check up on Pao once in a while but he was also busy mingling with the guests that I feel sorry for the little girl. When she pulls me to join the game they're throwing, I gladly play along to partner up with her. Despite my annoyance at Owen for being missing the whole time, I somehow enjoy my time with her and the other kids.
"Owen." I call him the moment I see him talk to Margo at the kitchen. My bladder is pleading to be emptied but I need to talk to the man before he goes missing again.
He abruptly stops talking to Margo, his hands fly so fast to his face, covering it. At the same time he turns his body to face the wall next to him, backing me.
Margo and I look at each other, totally don't understand why the hell is he behaving that way.
He remains static so I approach him, "What are you doing?"
The silent treatment I'm getting is definitely confusing so I look at Margo again, what's up with him?
She shrugs her shoulders, I don't know Miss Estelle. He was fine just now.
It's weird, and I'm on the brink of peeing myself here. So I look at him again, or should I say, look at his back since he's hiding his front.
"Owen." I call him again, though this time with a warning, you better turn around before I turn you myself.
Oh who am I kidding. He's twice my size.
"Can you turn around?" I spell it out since he seems to be a bit slow today, "Are you okay?"
"You said you don't wanna see me anymore." Huh?
"You're here for Pao, so I'll cover my face. I'll hide my entire body the best I can." That's the reason he's behaving this way? "As long as you stay."
I can't believe this, "Am I talking to an adult or a giant baby?"
He doesn't say anything, perhaps feeling like he's done with the talking after giving that stupid explanation.
"You're being childish."
He doesn't move despite my critic, still showing his back with his forehead sticking to the wall, as if he's blending in with that flat surface. For fuck's sake, you're wearing a bright yellow shirt. The wall is white, you stuck out like a minion among the villains.
"So you're gonna cover your face the entire time I'm here?"
"You're gonna cover your face every time I see her?"
"What if I wanna take her for gelato next week?"
"Are you gonna cover your face too?"
"And if I wanna take her out for lunch? You'll cover your face the entire time?"
"I'll sit at another table."
"What if the restaurant is full?"
"I'll stand at a corner."
"What if there is no available corner for you to stand?"
"I'll hide under the table."
"What if the tablecloth is transparent? I can still see you."
"I'll bring my own tablecloth."
"So you're gonna bring a tablecloth every time we go out?"
I try my best not to laugh but Margo is already cracking up behind me.
"So you're not gonna move until I leave?"
"What if you need to pee?" Because I need to, badly.
"You're not gonna turn around?"
"Because I'm here?"
I sigh, and at the same time pitying Hugo for housing not just one but two babies; one is a real baby while another is an adult baby. Guess which one is more annoying.
"Alright I'll flip a coin. If you get head, you need to turn around. Tail, you can stay this way."
He doesn't say anything, so I continue, "If I flip a coin, what is the chance of you getting head?"
"Hmmm?" I ask again with a cynical hmm which a second later he immediately bursts in laughter once he gets the joke.
"That's not fair," He finally turns his body to face me, "You recycled my line."
"And yet you forgot." I remember how he used that same joke to make me laugh when we were fighting years ago, for it to be both funny and dirty. Now it's just... hm.
Red flag, Estelle. Red flag. This newfound friendship or whatever ship we are calling is waving a huge, crimson-red flag.