The next morning when I wake up Nathan has already left for work.
After breakfast, I try to complete whatever is on today’s agenda. By afternoon I have finished most of today’s work. Even though Nathan hasn't called yet, but almost every hour I am getting sorry notes from him with a single rose.
He annoys me then does something like this which makes it difficult to stay angry at him. I know when he gets angry he sometimes tends to say some hurtful things without even realizing. But the moment he realizes his mistake, he does everything to ask for forgiveness.
Picking up the phone, I decide to call him. However, even before I can call him my phone starts to ring showing Natalie’s name.
“Hey!” I answer the phone.
“Hi, I hope I am not disturbing you,” Natalie says, making me frown as she has never asked such a question before.
“No,” I reply, “Is everything alright, Li?”
“Yeah, everything is perfectly fine.” She tries to sound convincing but fails, or maybe it is that I know her too well to pick that something is bothering her.
“I just wanted to talk to you, I don’t know just felt like talking.” She sighs, confirming my suspicion that there is something by which she is troubled.
“Ryan, doing well?” I ask, trying to figure out what has caused her to worry.
“Oh, yeah, he is fine. He is such a beautiful boy. Always smiling, always happy.” The loving and gentle tone of her voice brings a smile to my face.
“What’s the matter, Li? I can feel you are bothered by something,” I ask softly, hoping that she will share with me her worry.
“I will be at your place in one hour.” I interrupt her making her laugh which brings some relief to my heart.
“I will be waiting for you with all the unhealthy food.” She laughs, and after talking some nonsense we hang up.
When I call Nathan, he doesn’t answer and the call is directed towards his voicemail. After trying a few more times, I leave him a voicemail informing that I am going to Natalie’s house.
Pulling my car in the driveway of the quaint looking two-story house, I cut off my engine.
A few months back Natalie and Miles got married and moved into this house which they have bought a year back. They wanted to buy a house which is cozy and not very big. And this house fits perfectly with their demand. Natalie wanted to remodel the house all by herself and she did a fantastic job.
I even joked that she has finally put her interior designing degree to some good use.
Unbuckling the little Knight from his seat, I carry him to the front door. But before I can ring the doorbell, Natalie opens the door welcoming us with her usual big smile... and yeah, Noel disappears from my arms.
Closing the door behind, I follow the duo inside the house. Ryan grins widely and leaves chewing the corner of his bouncer and starts crawling towards me. It takes everything in me not to sweep him up in my arms as I wait for him to reach me.
In a few days, he is turning one. Now he can stand on his own and even he can walk with support. But he is a fast crawler and I am a proud Godmother.
Leaning down, I clap my hands motioning him to come forward.
“Good boy.” Picking him up, I give him a big hug and smack his chubby cheek as he giggles loudly.
While Natalie is putting both of the boys for a nap, I make two cups of coffee.
Noel has his own stuff here, so whenever I come here I hardly need to bring anything along with myself. In fact, Miles has kept a crib in Ryan’s nursery for Noel. Ryan is also such a sweetheart he keeps bringing his toys to Noel, especially, when Noel cries he tries to console him by hugging.
“After nearly getting scratched from Ryan for distancing him from Noel, I have managed to put both of them to sleep.” Natalie slumps on the couch, “I fucking deserve a medal.”
“I should admonish you for using the f-word, but I know how much liberated we feel by expressing ourselves without censoring our words.” I laugh as she joins me.
Soon her laugh subsides and I notice the lost look in her eyes, which she is trying to hide from me the moment I saw her.
“What’s wrong?” I softly ask while gently rubbing her hand, after placing the cup on the side table.
“I don’t know.” She sighs covering her head with her hands, “I am just scared.”
“Scared? Why?” I frown.
“You know, that I love Ryan. Probably more than anyone in this world.” Her voices crack, and she takes a deep breath to control her emotions.
I smile knowing full well, what she means and how she feels. Every mother is this world feels this way.
“Two days ago, I thought I was pregnant,” she says quietly, “But, I was not able to feel happy about it. I was scared of disappointing Ryan as a mother.” She looks at me with tear-filled eyes.
“I was was terrified, that what if this baby comes and Ryan feels that I love him less because he is not my biological son? Or worse what if he feels abandoned because of this baby?” She silently breaks down, as I try to process what she is saying.
“I love him and I don’t want him to ever feel that he is not loved. I may not have given him birth, but I love him so much that I can’t bear the thought of him being insecure of another baby because he has to share his mother.”
Wrapping my arms around her, I let her cry as I hold her.
When Natalie loves someone she loves them fiercely and will do anything for them. But, this is Natalie, a mother, who loves her Ryan so much that she will sacrifice everything for the sake of him. Even her own flesh and blood.
“Look at me.” Holding her shoulders I force her to look at me, “Answer me truthfully, if Ryan was your biological son, even then you would have felt this way?”
“I... maybe.” Wiping her tears, she gives me a perplexed look.
“Yes or no?” I sternly ask her.
“No.” She shakes her head after thinking for a moment.
“Maybe because then he doesn’t have anything to be insecure about, because he is not any different than my other children.” She scrunches up her eyebrows, putting her thoughts in words.
“See? This is the problem.” I give her a pointed look, “You say you love him like your own, then why are you treating him any different?”
“Giving birth has nothing to do with a mother’s love, Li,” I say softly, “Remember, what you said to me when you told me your decision of adopting Ryan?”
“I want to be Ryan’s Beth.” She fondly smiles with a distant look in her eyes.
“So, has mom ever made you feel any different from Hannah or me?” Raising my eyebrows, I ask her.
“No, Beth always treated me like I am her own.” She smiles and this time her eyes shine with the love for mom.
“So, how can you be Ryan’s Beth when you are doubting yourself and your love for him?” I place a hand on her shoulder.
“Even now when Ryan is just a baby, I have seen how much love he has for everyone...how much he loves Noel. He is not an insecure baby. He becomes so happy when Noel is playing with you or when Miles picks Noel up, before him. When he loves Noel so much, then just imagine how much he is going to love his siblings? He can never be jealous of his siblings, he will be the best big brother they can have.” I sigh, slightly smiling.
“Even when sometimes you would not able to give him your attention, this wouldn’t mean that you love him any less. He would need to learn this and this doesn’t have anything to do only with his siblings. Maybe you need to focus on something else like it can be your work, your husband, your own self, or whatever the situation demands.”
“Now, when in future if you get pregnant, be happy about it. Instead of letting negative thoughts invade your mind. Just think about the beautiful addition to your already perfect family.” Pulling her to myself, I hug her tightly.
“I love you, Abby. I don’t know what I would without you.” She returns my hug and lightly laughs.
“Are you planning to have more babies?” She asks wiggling her eyebrows, and I get my Li back.
“Nathan is still traumatized by Noel’s birth experience, so he says that he doesn’t want me to go through that pain again.” Shaking my head, I smile softly thinking about the man who never fails to show how much he loves me.
“But, yeah, we want more babies. Even though Nathan says he doesn’t want, but I know deep down he wishes to have more.”
“So, neither we are trying for them or preventing them. Lets the fate decide that for us.” My cheeks heat up involuntarily thinking about how much trouble I went through to convince Nathan.
“Okay, I don’t want to know why you are blushing because it will be damn awkward for me when I will meet Nathan next time.” She cringes, making me laugh loudly.
Very quietly, just like a ninja, I open the front door not to disturb the sleeping bomb in my arms.
Honestly, sometimes I even hold my breath in fear of waking him up.
The smell of roses welcomes me when I step into the house. My eyes land on the large roses bouquet sitting on the center table in our living room.
“You took your sweet time returning home.” Nathan smiles, looking at me.
My eyebrows raise in surprise, finding him at home as for the past few weeks he doesn’t come home early.
“I didn’t know you would come early today.” I shrug then turn back to the living room where the blanket is spread over the carpet with pillows lying on it and another blanket is kept on the couch.
“What is this about?” I ask pointing at blankets and pillows.
“Nothing,” he says, while gently taking Noel who is tuckered up, “Just we are just going to have some Nathan and Abigail time.”
“Oh, don’t you dare wake up.” He rocks Noel as he stirs scrunching up his face, “Mommy and daddy are taking a break for some time. So keeping on dreaming about milk, and sleep peacefully.”
Placing Noel in the foldable crib in the living room he turns to me.
“Finally, no more mommy daddy, no more work, just me and you.” He grins looking relieved, making me lightly laugh.
“Only Nathan and Abigail.” He places his hands on my waist, still smiling.
“So, only Nathan what have you planned?” I arch an eyebrow, already feeling excited about this sudden plan.
“Actually, for a change I haven’t planned anything, we will just go with the flow.” He throws his arm over my shoulder as I start walking to the bedroom.
“What do you want to do?” Nathan asks.
“I don’t know, this is your department, you plan everything.” I frown, shrugging slightly.
“I am fine with anything, as long as I get to spend more time with you.” I give him a small smile.
Guilt and regret flash in his eyes, as he outstretches his arms for me. Happily walking into his arms I wrap my arms tightly around him.
“I miss spending time with you, too.” He kisses my head, “I love you so much, but sometimes I feel I fail to express myself. I feel like I don’t tell you this enough, that how much you mean to me.”
He doesn't need to say anything, as my heart knows he loves me as much I love him.
“Just a few months more, then everything will be fine.” He reassures, “We will go on a long vacation, away from everything, just us.”
Bringing his face down, I lightly kiss him.
“I love you,” I whisper gazing into his eyes, which have so much affection in them.
Relationship not only relies on trust but also on understanding. Sometimes we have to understand what our partner needs. Sometimes it just the reassurance of knowing that we are with them, a little encouragement from our part to let them chase what their heart wants.
For me, everything else becomes meaningless in front of Nathan. I would willingly sacrifice my happiness if it brings a smile on his face. The only thing which I can’t bear is sharing him, and nowadays I feel I am forced to share him with his work. But I know this is a matter of some time, then everything will be back to normal as Nathan has said.
And I believe and trust him.