I postponed my dinner plan with Hannah because I don’t feel like going. After this long tiring day, I just want to go home and maybe have some homemade meal.
Moreover, this headache is making me dizzy. Leaning my head against the cab window, I close my eyes as I am on my way to pick up Noel from Alice and Richard’s house.
Even while feeling low and tired, I can’t stop myself from smiling as I remember the way Noel surprised me by crawling. He looked extremely adorable and clueless like he doesn’t know what he is doing but even then he is enjoying it.
Soon he will not be a baby anymore.
“You are not looking good,” Alice says as she opens the door while looking at me with worry, “I don’t think you should go home by yourself, I will ask the driver to drop you home then tomorrow I will send your car.”
“Nothing to worry about, I am just tired that’s all.” I smile at her reassuringly as we walk into the house.
“Did he crawl today?” I ask feeling excited as Richard comes carrying Noel who is knocked out in his arms.
“Are you talking about Richard?” She smiles playfully, “Yeah, he crawled all around the house.”
“Don’t make fun of me, I was teaching him to crawl.” Richard glares at her lightheartedly.
I laugh along with Alice as I notice blankets sprawled on the floors of the living room.
Noel’s crawling practice area.
“I think this stubborn child will only crawl when his mom is around.” Alice fondly looks at Noel.
After spending some time with them, I drive back home feeling a bit better.
I don’t know what talk I and Nathan are going to have when I will reach home. Whatever it is, I am not looking forward to it.
By the time I unlock the door Noel is up and squirming in my arms demanding to be put down.
“Patience child,” I sternly say while carrying him inside as he starts whimpering.
When I close the door, I find Nathan’s travel bag near the door as if he has dropped it there when he got back home.
Biting my lip, I inhale a deep breath feeling tension rising inside me. Frankly speaking, it is not just about forgetting my birthday it is about priorities.
Work is important but the family can’t take a backseat. He needs to understand this, otherwise, he will only have regret when he will look back.
My heart clenches when I watch him sitting in the living room with his head in his hands, still in his work clothes, in a disheveled form. A bouquet of roses lying near his feet beside him.
I just want to walk into his arms, to be surrounded in his comforting warmth, however, the anger in me is stopping me from doing so.
I lost my internal battle to my anger as this feeling is consuming my senses.
Well, this and hunger.
Noel let out a loud wail seeming to be angry when I don’t let him go. Nathan’s head snaps up as if he has just realized he is not alone, giving me a view of his troubled eyes.
His eyes lock with mine, a silent pleading passes through his gaze. Sighing, I walk toward the playmat which is in the living room and put down Noel on it. His cries instantly cease as horse hanging above his playmat gets his undivided attention.
Without saying anything to Nathan I walk past him towards the kitchen, as he steps toward me trying to say something but then shuts his mouth.
Opening the fridge I look for some ingredients with which I make something real quick, but I feel bile rising in my throat when the smell of cake reaches my nose. Immediately, I take it from the fridge and throw it in the bin, all while holding my breath.
It has definitely turned bad because it has been smelling horrible. I should have kept it immediately inside the fridge after I had returned home yesterday.
“Umm... you don’t have to cook.” Nathan’s hesitant voice comes from behind me, “We can order something.”
“You can order for yourself, as I am making my food.” I glare at him while my eyes start to tear up. I had to throw my away cake and it is also his fault. If I had not been angry at him then I would have finished it yesterday.
“I am sorry.” He pleads, “I wish I had some good excuse, but as much as it hurts me to say, I did forget your birthday.” He swallows and stares down, his tone is full of regret.
“When I remembered at night it was too late, as I have already boarded on the plane and then there was no way I could have contacted you.” He shrugs defeatedly.
Now, I understand why his phone was unreachable in the morning as he was on the flight back home.
“There was a lot going on and I was so tied up with my commitments, that it just slipped out of my mind.” He nervously runs his hand through his hair, “It never came to my mind as it was...” he trails off trying to explain himself.
“Not important.” I nod my head and completes his sentence.
“No...” He shakes his head, “You know, Abigail, it is not like that.” He frowns.
“I know, it was not like that.” I look away from his face and shrug.
“Why are you saying like this?” He frowns and takes a step towards me, only making me two steps back.
“Abigail...” The pain in his voice pierces my heart.
But I don’t think I will be able to say what I have to if he comes near me.
“You need to learn to balance, otherwise, things will fall out of your hands.” I raise my eyebrows and shrug, “Balance is missing from your life.”
“You think I am not trying?” He looks at me in disbelief. “Abigail, you need to relax, I know did a mistake and you are angry at me, but-”
“Things change with time, you can’t love someone as much as you have loved them yesterday and it’s okay.” I swallow, wrapping my arms around myself, “Your life can’t revolve around me, you have different priorities now, and I completely understand, Nathan.” I look at him only to find him staring at my face with an unreadable expression.
“Work is important but your family should not suffer because of your work. And your family is suffering.” Closing my eyes, I take a moment to compose myself.
“Forget about me, Nathan, because you will always find me standing beside you, whenever you will turn around.” I bite inside of my cheeks, “But time will never wait for you, once it is gone... it is gone. Don’t let Noel get used to your absence because then one day you will have to become used to his absence.”
“Yesterday, he started crawling.” I smile as tears roll down my cheeks, “But you were not there to share this moment with me.”
Taking out my phone from my pocket, I play the video as I hand him my phone.
Wordlessly, he takes the phone as I watch his face fills with pride and happiness then sadness replaces his features as he swallows while his gaze is fixed at the screen.
“He is holding up himself so well. He is so fast.” He chuckles with a hint of sadness present in his voice.
“This will not be the last time you will be missing out on these milestones of his life if you don’t correct yourself now.” Looking up, I wipe my tears and take a deep breath gathering my courage to tell him what has been going on in my mind for the past couple of days.
"Nathan, I have decided something."
His eyes move away from the screen and lock with mine.
"I think we should just take a break." My heart crashes inside my chest saying these words out loud, "Because I can't do this." My voice breaks as I shake my head.
"All this is a torture and I am not ready to tolerate this shit." I hastily wipe my tears, as my emotions are all over the place. I am hurt, angry, and I just want to cry.
I just don't feel like myself.
Please say that you still love me and you will not let me go.
When I lift my tear-filled eyes to him, the agony present in his gaze wants me to take back all my words. But he is not the only one who is feeling this hurt.
"Shit, when did it go this much out of hand?" He lets out a bitter laugh as his voice wavers.
"I don't know." I sniffle and whisper.
Turning his face away, he rakes his hand through his hair and sighs.
Abruptly, he eliminates the distance between us in two long strides and pulls me to him. Wrapping his arms around me, he tightly holds me against his chest, allowing me to hear his rapid heartbeat. Tears of relief and happiness flow down my face just by being in his arms.
"Never, ever, say this again," he sternly says. "Whatever problems we will have, we will sort it together. But we are never going to stay apart. Never, Abigail." Leaning away he looks into my eyes.
"I love you and nothing can come between us. I will just not allow it." He raises his eyebrows and nods his head slowly.
Holding his face in my palm, I wipe the tear which escapes from his eye and pull his face to mine. Instantly, his lips crash against mine as he kisses me fiercely while holding me flush against him.