I looked at my surrounding as I kept my handbag on the bed and then back at the glass door towards the balcony. Never had I ever thought that I would be returning back to the same place where I used to live and be in a hotel room. Nothing changed in the city and people around me seemed to be moved on with their lives but it was really nice being able to meet my former colleagues.
I made my way towards the balcony as I slid the glass door open and walked out carefully. I was on the twenty-second floor and I looked down towards the street to find a nasty traffic jam and people honking like crazy. The weather was nice and cool but the sun shone brightly as I smiled and went back in.
There was a big mirror in the room which reflected my figure and as I stood right before it, a sigh escaped my mouth as I kept my hand on my belly. I was two months pregnant and surely I did put on some weight which I was afraid that Caleb would notice immediately. Though I acted normal, my heart was racing against my chest when he said I had gained some weight.
I took the flight right away wanting to be with him. I wanted to share with him that I was pregnant with his child and I have a wish to be with him. But, I was not sure how he would react. We were meeting after two months and I was sure he would ever expect me to reveal such a thing. I was scared what if I scared him and what if he was not ready. I can’t even think of my life without him.
I knew that there was a lot on his plate and I didn’t wanted to add more to his troubles but I had a baby growing inside my belly and he needed to know. I was also worried about my studies and also that vile woman, Giselle who haunted me in my dreams. Just a thought of her wanting to hurt my child or Caleb made me angry and I was shocked how suddenly within no time, I had grown motherly instincts and was being protective of my child.
If anything I knew, I wanted the child. Sure, I was in no way planning to get pregnant or raise a kid or even start my family but it happened. And now, I am really happy and want to share it with it, Caleb. I was also worried about my studies. I had no idea how I was going to cope up with motherhood and my diploma. There was no way, I was going to back down from my studies but there was also no way I would ever neglect my child.
I simply didn’t have any idea what to do.
If only I could get some advice from someone then it would have been nice. Time like this makes me miss my parents a lot. I wondered how they would have reacted when I told them that I was pregnant and they had successfully become grandparents to my kid. My mother would have definitely advised me about motherhood and I wouldn’t been this stressful.
I turned to my side as I raised my shirt up to look at my belly. It already had a small bump and kept my hand on my belly with a smile on my face when the door opened and Caleb got in as he looked my way raising an eyebrow.
“What are you doing?” he asked as I shook my head and pulled my shirt down as I walked to the bed and sat on it.
“Are you seriously worried that I told you you have put on some weight?” he joked as he placed a bag on the table and walked up to me.
“You are beautiful. Don’t worry about such things. I really love the way you are,” he said as he bent down and kissed my forehead.
“But you are right though! I did gain some weight. I should start a diet!” I told him and he huffed.
“No need! You are fine the way you are! Don’t go to such extents,” he sat next to me and I hugged him.
“So will you still love me if I grow fat like a cow?” I asked and he chuckled.
“Even if you become an elephant, my love for you won’t change,” he told me and I grinned.
“But I can’t tell the same for you!” I told him and he furrowed his eyebrows in confusion as he looked down at me.
“What do you mean?” he asked and I pinched his cheeks.
“I loved you only because you are handsome. If you grow fat or old soon then I don’t know if I am still going to love you!” I told him and there was a minute of silence between us as we continued to stare at each other and then he spoke: “Take it back!” he whispered and I grinned shaking my head no.
“Take your words back!”
“Say you will love me even if I grow fat, old or bald!” he argued and I laughed.
“You added bald. You are right though! You will grow bald one day and that would be the last day for me to love you, baldy!” I joked and he pushed me on the bed and got up on me. Immediately, my hands wrapped up on my belly in a protective instinct as he squinted his eyes at me for my action.
“What’s wrong?” he questioned as he got off me and I adjusted my shirt as I sat back up.
“Menstrual period cramps!” I lied.
There was a weird silence prevailing between us as we ate in silence but I could feel glancing at me every now and then. Perhaps, he was getting odd vibes from me but I couldn’t help it. My kale, black bean, and avocado burrito bowl were so delicious that I couldn’t stop myself from ravishing it as I chomped on my food feeling the aroma of the food.
I didn’t understand if it was the pregnancy or I was really that hungry after taking a long flight. I looked up at him and smiled with food in my mouth as he smiled back keeping his fork down just simply staring at me.
“Are you hungry?” he asked and I nodded focussing on my food.
“Do you want anything else? I will order it for you,” he said and that made me look down at my food. I was nowhere full. I knew I was already starting to eat like a cow but I couldn’t help it.
“Can you order me a sugar snap pea and carrot soba noodles?" I asked as all of a sudden I had a craving to eat some noodles. He looked down at my plate and smiled nodding as he reached for his phone.
"And also an apple pie, please?" I added and went back to finish my food but as I looked back at him he was already staring at me and dialed the number as he ordered my food. Fifteen minutes later, there was a knock on the door and he went up to get my food.
"This smells really nice," he said and I looked back to find him going through the dish that I had ordered. I gave him a look and he grinned as he came next to me and placed the dish down before me.
"Relax! I am not going to eat it. I'm already full! You can have it all on your own," he chuckled and I looked back at my food before happily chomping it down.
As I took the last bite of my dessert, I moaned in pleasure savoring the sweet taste for the last time and kept the fork down exhaling out-breath, feeling contented.
"Are you done?" I heard him from somewhere in my hotel room and I hummed in response. I felt his presence from behind me as he leaned down and held my shoulder and whispered near my ears: "Seeing you eat like that has made me hungry,"
His hands traveled down and clasped my hands as he placed a kiss on my neck.
"Caleb," I said as I got up and he turned me around. His eyes staring only at my lips as he moved forward for a kiss but I took a side step as I walked towards the bed stretching my arms feeling tired.
"Sang!" he exclaimed as he walked behind me wanting to get my attention.
"Don't even think about that. I am really tired today. I want to sleep," I told him and heard his groan.
"Alright, I shall give you a nice massage," he looked excited as he made his way to me but I signaled him to stop and he scowled at me.
"It's alright. I don't need a massage but some sleep," I told him and chuckled rolling my eyes when he dramatically stomped his feet and walked to the other side of the bed and sat down.
"We are meeting after two months, can you even imagine how much I have missed you?" he told me and I nodded pulling the cover.
"Just a nod? Sang I want to have sex with you," he told me bluntly as I eyed him and slipped down on the bed.
"I am tired," I told him and he groaned which made me giggle as I turned around away from him not wanting to show him my face as I muffled my laughs and felt him slipping next to me and he wrapped his arms on my torso pulling me closer to him as he sighed next to my ear.
"Fine! We will have it rougher when you are not tired," he whispered and even though I wanted to slap him, I resisted the urge and intertwined our fingers, closing my eyes as I let sleep take over me. But I did feel him kissing my neck as I fell into a deep sleep.
A frustrated breath escaped my mouth as I applied the concealer on my neck where it had dark, big, visible hickeys. I could see Caleb's grinning and cheeky face from the bathroom's mirror and I glared at him.
We were going out and the first thing I saw in the morning was the hickeys that covered my neck. I wanted to slap him hard. He did it knowingly even though he knew we were going out the next day.
"Why do you even bother?" I heard his voice and snorted at him.
"Jeez! It's your fault! If only you had allowed me to make lov-"
"Caleb, it's only eight in the morning. Don't start talking about sex now,"
"So what's wrong with talking about sex in the morning? It can happen any time," he argued and all I did was shake my head at him as I got out of the bathroom and he jumped off hugging me from the back.
"What's wrong with you hu? Why are you running away from me?" he asked and I kept quiet knowing he would eventually give up pestering me.
There was a thing that struck me when we settled on me staying in a hotel room when my boyfriend a penthouse in the city. He didn't take me to his house but instead brought me to a hotel and even though I wanted to ask him the reason, I didn't. I waited when he was going to tell me on his own. If he did, it would be good. If he didn't then god only knows I am supposed to behave.
"Sangavi Carter!" he yelled at me as I glared back at him throwing the make up box on the bed.
"What?" I asked irritated and he narrowed his eyes at me.
"Nothing," he looked elsewhere and I watched as he walked towards the balcony and away from my sight. All of a sudden I had a sudden urge to smack his face, hard. I don't know why but never had I ever had such an urge ever and I would be happy if I really be able to smack him.
I rolled down the windows as I let the wind hit my face and with a smile on my face I looked out of our car towards the old street where I used to live. I looked back at Caleb to find him driving politely and as he glanced at me, he gave me a smile.
"Do you miss this place?" he asked and I shook my head.
"Not that much! I just like to see the place again but I don't think that I have missed the place," I told him truthfully and heard no reply and that made me look back at him and I found him driving silently with a scowl on his face.
"It reminds me, I didn't miss you at all," I told him and smirked as he pursed his lips.
"That's because you didn't leave me alone. If you had! Then perhaps I would've missed you,"
A thousand-watt smile appeared on his face and I leaned towards him placing a kiss on his cheek as he drove us towards somewhere, I didn't even know. Earlier, he had asked me to get ready and he told me he is going to take me to his friend's. He said it was important for me to meet his friend and as I had no idea what was going on, I tailed him and here we were.
My fingers trailed on the picture of Giselle as it took some minutes to digest what Nathan, Caleb's friend told me. I got to know everything that from these past few months Caleb hired a private detective to search for Giselle. And he succeeded in finding her and got to know her backstory.
So, she has been living her life as Melanie Hill. Not only that but she killed the real Melanie taking up her identity. This woman was vile and dangerous and top to that she had been following my social media sites. I was a fool to not know that. She succeeded in tracing my location from my social media account and came all the way to France but at the same time, I had to fly back to the US.
It was also why Caleb called me so frantically. He was also ready to fly back to Paris but as I was here, he looked at ease.
"That bitch has been stalking me," I mumbled and Caleb held my hand as he squeezed them and I gave him a reassuring smile telling him that I was alright.
"We were so close to her but she traveled all the way to France. Now, it will hard to relocate her again," I heard Nathan and I looked back at my phone.
"She has been following me in social media account for so long. It's been four years since she is with me but why now? Why did she attack me all of a sudden? You know what I have got an idea!" I told them and watched as they looked at me intently.
"Why should we go after her when we can use a bait for her to come right before me,"
"What do you mean?" Caleb asked as he looked confused and to answer his question, I showed him my phone and then a look of understanding passed through their face.
"Let's use my social media accounts as a bait. She thinks she is smart and perhaps she doesn't even know that we already know how she is keeping her eye on me. Let's take advantage of this," I said and they nodded as Nathan smirked and Caleb smiled at me.
"But that doesn't mean that you are going back to Paris now. She is in France and that means she already had her way to find you and perhaps by now, she would have already traced where you even live. Until and unless we catch her, you are not going back," Caleb told me and I gawked at him.
"What? Are you insane? What about my university?"
"Send them a leave mail," he said and I crossed my arms over my chest as I huffed at him and sat back on the couch while Nathan looked between us and shook his head.
I was standing right before the door and I had no idea why all of a sudden I felt so nervous and sweaty. I heard him chuckling and glared at him as he raised his hands in surrender.
"Can you just relax? It's just my mom. She will be ecstatic to meet you," he told me and I looked at my shoes.
We were traveling back to the hotel when he got a phone call and in that phone call, he got an order from his mother who got to know that I was here. She demanded him to bring me home and Caleb literally begged me wanting me to meet his mother so that his mom would leave his back.
I was terribly out of ideas.
I didn't know what to tell him. It was so easy earlier to refuse him when I broke up with him. But what could I do? His mother wanted to meet me and I couldn't even refuse him, thinking what would he think.
It wasn't as if I didn't wish to meet his mother but I was really scared. What if she got to know that I am pregnant. And worse, what if she doesn't like me? Will she accept me knowing about my past and someone is after me wanting to kill me? There were two people who already got hurt because of me. What if she thinks because of me Caleb would get hurt?
My knees trembled as I thought about it again and again. I was in a position to even think of losing Caleb. If anything, I was dying to know what he thinks of starting a life with me.
"Are you even listening?" he asked and I nodded.
"C'mon it can't be that bad!" he joked and that made me sigh.
"You say that! At least you don't to meet anyone from my family," I remarked and his eyes widened when the door opened and I looked back.
There stood a woman shorter than me in a blue colored dress. She had green eyes and she seemed she had aged with grace. A little wrinkle at the side of her eyes and loving green eyes. A smile played on her lips as she engulfed me for a hug, without warning. I was caught off-guard but soon I returned the hug as I put my hands on her back and heard her smiling.
"I can't believe this! I told you I want to meet her just yesterday and you brought her today. You are such a good boy," she joked as she talked to Caleb. He hummed in response as he entered first and walked past us as his mother, guided me in and the whole way I smiled as I kept looking at her.
Memories of last time came back to my mind. I couldn't believe how upset I was, the last time when I went out from his house. We fought and I went out angry and upset. Who would've thought that I would return back but with a child in my womb?
"Have a seat dear," she said and I smiled as I sat on the couch.
"Oh look! You are so beautiful," she told me as a compliment as she sat beside me, taking my hand on her hand.
"Thank you, ma'am. You are so nice. You are even prettier than me," I told her and she smiled widely and I noticed Caleb sitting on the dining table chair looking our way squinting his eyes.
"Oh please, don't call me ma'am. Call me Ruth," she said and then she looked back at Caleb who huffed in response.
"Too much sweetness," he remarked and I saw as she glared at him.
"I think he doesn't like me being in here," I joked and watched as his eyes widened and this time Ruth was the one who huffed at me.
"Don't talk too much boy! Go and bring us some tea," she told him and I couldn't help but choke out as I heard that.
"Tea?" I asked and she shrugged.
"He makes good tea," she told me and I looked back at Caleb who looked annoyed as he rolled up his sleeves and muttering something under his breath walked towards the kitchen.
I looked back at Ruth who was giggling at her son's sight and at that particular moment I understood, I was worried for nothing. She looked so warm and friendly. Like an easy person to hang out with.
The whole evening, I had a lot of fun as I ended up being close to Ruth. She was so energetic and she made fun of Caleb and his father and became sad telling me of her only wish to have a daughter. She even joked she would've happily given Caleb for an exchange with a female baby but she didn't get anyone. Caleb would occasionally glare her way. He ended up making dinner as we helped him with the kitchen chores and as I was setting the table, I saw Ruth bringing the dishes to the table looking happy as ever.
"I hope you are enjoying here," I heard Caleb as he made his way to me and kissed me on my cheek when Ruth wasn't looking. I nodded at him and together we sat to dine. I looked between Ruth and Caleb and noticed how similar they looked.
I got to know that Ruth is actually an interior designer by profession and when I googled her name she is a very famous designer and I was amazed how famous she was. I told her about my designing course and how I ended up taking the course. I got to know that Caleb didn't tell her anything about my family so I thought of it as the right time, as I told her that I was actually trying to live both my mother's dream and mine of becoming a jewelry designer.
She looked sympathetic when she learned I had lost my parents at a young age and completely opposite to what I had actually thought of, how she would react she was actually better than that. She called me strong for being able to live my life on my own from a young age and for being able to find my mother's dream. She looked happy and I hoped she didn't have any problem with me in the future as well.
Caleb listened to our conversations quietly as he would pass me a smile occasionally and he came and next to me for the dinner.
"I really hope Jenny comes back immediately or I will seriously have to look for a new maid," Ruth commented and that made me look back at Caleb who shook his head no. Immediately, I knew he didn't tell anything about Giselle to his mother and how Jenny was hospitalized because of me.
I chose to keep quiet even though I had an urge to tell her everything. The fork in my hand trembled as I thought of Jenny. She was hospitalized because of me and she is away not having an income again, just because of me. If she gets replaced by Ruth then it will be bad for her and her family and I will be the one responsible for it.
Unknowingly, I was holding the fork tightly when I felt Caleb's hand on my thigh. I stared back at him and he raised his eyebrows at me asking me what was going on with me as he signaled at my fork. I looked back and loosen my grip on the fork as I smiled back at him and shook my head no, assuring him that everything was fine. He looked unsatisfied but thankfully he didn't pressurize me as he ate his food in silence.
Ruth was talking non-stop and there were some points where I lost it but then I was happy that I was getting along well with her.
"So-" she began but stopped in the middle as I looked up at her taking a spoon of rice into my mouth.
"When are you two thinking of the marriage?" she asked and I choked on my food and even heard Caleb choking to water as he coughed and we both helped each other as he wiped his mouth and looked at his mother who looked little out of place.
"Can you just not talk about this now? I told you earlier we are taking it slow. What's your problem?" Caleb told her and I sat their awkwardly in the middle as I listened to them.
"But you two are doing great. I see you get along so well so why do you not think of taking the step further? Your father and I got married just after fifteen days of dating. Can you believe it? Look at us! We are still married and doing just fine," she argued and Caleb sighed.
"Mom it's not about that. I agree that we are getting along well but this is just the starting. I want to explore more in our relationship and give it some time. She is still studying. It will be a problem," Caleb told her and I looked back at Ruth who looked worried.
"No, it won't! She can still continue to study. What's wrong with getting married? And you can explore even after marriage,"
"Mom! The thing is we are not ready. She has dreams, she wants to study and be a designer. While I have a lots of work to do now. I can't give time to a family. And I can't even think of starting my own family at this point in my life. I'm just not ready now," Caleb told her and the fork slipped from my hands as it fell on the ground making a loud sound and I heard them getting quiet.
"Sang?" I heard Caleb's voice and smiled as I looked down at the fork and then back at Ruth.
"Sorry for that," I told her and picked it up as I got up from the table.
"I think, I should leave now," I told them and gave them an awkward smile as I walked back to the sink and washed my mouth and walked back to the living room.
"Wait now? Why now? I'm sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean to -" Ruth came forward looking worried but I shook my head.
"No! It's not that. You have been so nice to me today. I really appreciate it! Thank you, I had a great time. Although I have to leave now, I promise I shall come back to meet you again before I leave for Paris.
"Oh, dear. It was really nice to meet you in person. I hope Caleb takes cares of you," she told me and I smiled at her as I looked back at Caleb who reached for his car keys. He got his jacket and finally, we walked out of his penthouse.
We were quite the whole ride in the elevator and as I got in his car, he spoke for the first time.
"Listen, Sang. I know you are upset. Don't be upset about what happened up there. My mother is really a nag sometimes but she only wants my happiness and she knows its in you. It is why she is so persistent asking me to get married to you," he said and all of a sudden my eyes tore up and I nodded looking out of the window when he started the car and drove off towards the driveway.
The truth was I wasn't even upset about his mother but I was upset with him. He said he is not ready to start a life with me. How am I supposed to tell him that I am already pregnant?
What if he tells me to abort?
He should've at least discussed it with me before putting it all out before his mother.
Dear Lord, why do you put me in this type of situation?
Just what did I ever do to deserve this?
I had no idea when tears rolled down my face and all of a sudden I was sobbing. No matter how much I tried to control the tears, still, it spilled and I heard Caleb cursing under his breath as he parked the car at the side of the road.
"Sang are you really that upset? Look, I'm saying sorry to you," he seemed worried and I took the napkins from the box wiping my tears.
"Sang please? Stop crying! I'm sorry," he said and I cried even more as I opened the door and ran out towards a bench just near the bridge from where I could see the river. It was dark but the breeze was cold and street lights illuminated the area. Some people were jogging and while some people sat on the other bench near us gossiping.
Some saw me and I felt when Caleb sat next to me passing me a bottle of water.
"Drink this please?" he asked and I took the bottle from him as I gulped down the water and felt relief. My heart was racing against my chest as I sobbed silently and felt him putting his arm around my shoulder.
"I am not at all upset with your mother," I told him as I looked towards the river. I had no idea how I was going to put it all before him but there was no way I would ever step back from trying.
"I am rather upset with you," I said and whizzed wiping my tears away. I was fidgeting with the bottle when he took it away from me.
"Why?" he asked.
"I can't cook the way you do," I joked and he chuckled as he got closer and placed a kiss on my forehead.
"Thank god! You scared me there. I really thought I had made you upset,"
"You did!" I told him still not looking his way.
"Yes. you said you are not ready to start a family with me," I was honest with my words and heard him taking sharp intakes.
"Wait! I didn't mean it that way. Sang, you got it all wrong. My mom was being persistent and I was trying to save you. I know how badly you want to fulfill your dreams. Did you not leave me to pursue your dreams? I don't want to get in between you and your dreams. Really," he said and I chuckled.
"So now you are trying to get back at me for leaving you for my studies?" I asked and looked back at him as he shook his head.
"You are getting it all wrong! I didn-"
"What if I tell you that you are already in between? What if I tell you that your mother was right. I could still pursue my dreams even after marriage?"
"What if I tell you that I am pregnant with your kid and I came here wanting to start a family with you?" as I said that his eyes widened and the bottle fell from his hand and it rolled down to the road. He looked in shock as I revealed about my pregnancy.
"Caleb, I am two months pregnant. I don't know what you are going through right now and I am sorry for letting you go through this right now even though you said you are not ready but I can't help it! I thought you need to know this. This is your right! Now, I don't even know what I should do," I told him as I put hands on my eyes and cried out louder letting the tears fall of my eyes.
It was terrible. It wasn't even close to what and how I had imagined I would let him know. This was pathetic. I was crying and being so vulnerable and seeing the way he reacted I was no longer sure what he was thinking.
He sat their quietly, probably in shock while I sobbed harder and leaned down on my knees letting all my frustration out. Now, I didn't think of anything. I let it be all on him and I hoped he would guide me through this. Suddenly, I felt his hand on my back.
"I don't know what to do now," I sobbed and he made me looked back at him. He held my face and wiped the tears away. There was a big smile on his face as he pulled me for a hug.
"What do you mean by you don't know what to do? Get ready! We are going to be parents. We will be the best parents ever!" he laughed and I cried harder as I hugged him back after his statement. I was so happy that I couldn't even believe my own ears.
He wasn't even angry, not upset but he was so happy and caring as he hugged me tightly and rocked me in the spot.
"This is got to be a dream!" I heard him.
"This is got to be a dream. I can't believe this. I am going to be a father,"
"Thank you, Sangavi. You are the best thing that has happened to me. I really love you so much and I promise I am going to take care of both you and my baby," he said and as I got back and looked into his eyes.
"Our baby," I corrected and he nodded as I noticed his eyes glistening up.
"Sorry! Our! Our baby," he repeated it again and again as I leaned closer and hugged him again as he engulfed me in a tight hug. The tears were long gone replaced by a happy and wide smile as I looked up at the sky. The stars twinkling and at that moment, I only thought of my parents with a thought in my mind, if they were still looking up at me.