Sometimes life gives you options. It gave me an option too, and it was either to keep it or abort, but I chose to keep it. The sound of my first child’s cries echoed in my head every day I look at her. The beauty of her smile. The sound of her small feet tapping on the floor. The contagious laugh whenever I tickle her small body.
I accepted living as a single mother. Even though I need to admit that I was the one who didn’t want to bother him. Less than 3 years ago was when I met him at my college graduation prom party. It was chaotic and getting drunk was definitely on my to-do list.
He was sweet, soft and handsome. I was young, drunk and hungry so we ended up having a child, but he doesn’t know. Neither does he have feelings for me nor do I. I can say he was my one night stand and same goes for him.
Now I’m standing in a supermarket with a cart in front of me and Maze sitting in it with her face facing me. With her small palm, she hit my stomach lightly to grab my attention “mummy”. I quickly look at her while humming as she turns around and points towards a guy.
That person stands in a stun the same as me. As if there were no more frames in the rolling camera, we stare at each other, memories rushing in our brain. He looks at Maze and up at me then tilt his head.
My heart thumps hard against my chest with every step he takes towards me. I clench my hand on the cart harder afraid of the question. Was I selfish for choosing to keep her? Shouldn’t I’ve asked him first? I exhale harshly when he finally reaches me. Please don’t ask me anything relevant to her.
“How cute,” he smiles as he ruffles Maze’s hair, and she giggles in response. I bite my lip as I watch him holding her small fingers. He finally looks up at me. “Hi,” he awkwardly says.
“Hi,” I reply still feeling the awkward tension in the air between us.
He looks back at Maze then back at me, saying “Congratulations I guess.”
I thank him as he asks about her name, and I immediately tell him. “That’s a really nice name,” he responses and goes back to ruffling her hair then caresses her cheek.
“How old is she?” he asks with a wide smile since she threw him a cute smile a second ago.
“2 years old,” I reply, trying to sound neutral, but suddenly the playful smile he had a second ago change into a thin line.
“Husband?” he asks.
I shrug giving a no as an answer. Should I tell him? Can I tell him? How will he react?
“Jimin,” I call out, letting him turn again towards me and stop playing with Maze.
“Yes,” his soft voice is no help.
“It’s the name of her father,” I say with my palms sweating and brain throbbing. I’ve been living well for the past 2 years. She can be handy, but she is calm compared to other children and in return, she is so clingy compared to them too.
His hands suddenly stop caressing her cheek and say, “Is that my baby?”
In a moment of panic, I abruptly carry Maze and start walking out of the market not caring about the stuff I wanted to buy. However, fast pace steps follow me, making me stop with Maze’s eyes a little teary. I pat her back so she calms down, and I turn to look at Jimin, who was panting a little.
“How can you say something that important and just leave like that?” He ruffles his hair and moves a little closer to me, but my body moves on its own and takes a step back in response.
“I’m sorry for bothering you,” I say with eyes shut. Yes, I’m afraid. Having a child is a big responsibility, so I understand his decline.
I turn around as I intend to leave, but his smooth words make me halt, “You should’ve told me. You should’ve contacted me”.
I hug Maze tighter, and he sees that as he takes more steps towards me, but this time I don’t run away. His delicate hand caresses my cheek now as I feel the heat from it. How much I’ve missed that!
“Can we go somewhere to have a serious talk?” he asks as he removes his hand and so I nod in approval.