Life is strange. I never thought after two years, I will be seeing Dominic or his child. I wished i never met Dominic. Gazing at the pic of Adriana with a rounded stomach and Dominic’s arms around her, I thought about the first day I met Adriana.
“Dad, can I go play near the lake please.”
“Yes but be careful. Don’t go near the water.”
“OK. Thanks dad.”
I placed my Hello Kitty bag on the ground and removed my barbie to comb her hair. I looked behind me as someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was a girl around my age, smiling brightly at me.
“Hey I am Adriana and you are?”
“I am Christine.”
“Can we be friends? I don’t have any friends as I am new here”
“Of course.” I squealed and hugged her tightly.
I knocked twice on the door, waiting for his reply.
I entered the office and watched as he closed his laptop, motioning for me to sit down.
I sat down and put my hands on my lap, cracking my knuckles.
“You are nervous.”
I looked into his hazel eyes and placed my hands on the desk.
“I agree to take care of him.”
He looked shocked as if he didn’t expect me to say so.
“OK. Did you eat?”
“I asked if you ate. U didn’t come down for breakfast.”
“Yes. I did just a few minutes ago.”
I nodded at him and got up to leave.
“Wait!” I looked back at him and raised my eyebrows in question. “I am sorry about last night. I shouldn’t have-“
“You don’t need to apologize. Even after two years, I am still used to hearing you shout, curse and insult me.”
I gave him one last look and as the door closed behind me, I leaned against it and breathed deeply.
It has been two months since I am taking care of Tiago. He is a cute, patient and adorable baby who never fails to make me smile everyday. I already informed dad and Samuel about my sudden disappearance, giving the excuse that I went to visit a sick old friend. Dominic has also started going to the office to work instead of being at home.
Nonetheless, nothing was as heartbreaking as the news that I got last Friday.
I looked up from the book and almost gasped at the blood on Dominic’s hand.
“Nothing. It’s just a cut from a piece of glass”
I rushed to the bathroom and took the first aid box. Sitting down beside him, I took his hand and cleaned the blood, applying some cream on it.
“What did you want to tell me?”
I left his hand and closed the first aid box. Looking up at him, I waited for him to speak.
“You still care about me.”
“I am sure this is not what you came here to tell me.” I whispered looking down.
He gripped my chin and lifted my head up, leaning in close. “Christine, I miss-“
I got up, stepping away from him. “Don’t do this please.”
He growled and said,”Fine. I came here to tell you that you can leave after 4 months because Adriana’s mum called, saying she wants to meet Tiago. Since she is ready to accept him, I thought of giving him to her to look after while I am at work.”
“What? You are going away with Tiago?”
“Yes. I just came to look for someone trustworthy to look after him.”
“Look for someone or kidnap someone” I said sarcastically.
“Would you have come if I told you to?”
I glared at him and sneered, “Is that all? You can get out now.”
Tiago is the cutest baby I have ever met. My hands were stretched open, coaxing him to walk on his own. I smile as I watch him stumble and let out a cute giggle. I lift him up and cradle him to my chest, singing the lullaby I had taught Dominic.
“You know before my mum died, she taught me the lullaby she used to sing to me.” I said hugging him tightly.
We were at my place and we were on the couch, cuddling each other.
“Really baby? I would love to hear it.” He said as he made a trail of kisses up my neck.
Closing my eyes, I sang the song, ignoring the stench of alcohol coming from him.
“Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine
Little one when you play
Don’t you mind what you say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine
If they knew sweet little you
They’d end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they’d give…”
“You smell different today. Did you buy a new perfume for me? Actually you smell like Christine.”
“What? Babe, I am Christine.”
He seems to snap out of his drunken self and looked at me, laughing nervously,”Yes baby, I am just drunk.”
He hugged me and closed his eyes, muttering “Sing me the lullaby. I want to hear it again.”
“Baby mine, don’t you cry…..”
I closed my eyes and opened them, laughing at Tiago who is now passed out in my arms.
Dominic has been home since one hour and after watching us for a while, he stomped to his office. He was not like before, he still had the same attitude and anger but he seemed more reserve. I understood his feelings though he thinks I am being oblivious to the way he stops in the staircase to watch Adriana’s pictures. He loved her a lot. He always did.
“Why the hell did you put my clothes in the washing machine?” Dominic shouted, gripping my arms painfully.
“You told me to wash your clothes yesterday so I thought you meant all.”
“I told you clearly to wash the clothes in the basket not the ones on the chair.” He tightened his hands and tears blurred my vision.
“Dominic, you are hurting me.”
“As if I give a damn!” He pushed me on the ground and walked out, stomping towards the front door.
I stared at the ceiling, unable to sleep after the nightmare I had. I turned on my side, closing my eyes to try and sleep again.
I jumped up terrified as I heard a huge clash. I rushed to Tiago’s room, releasing a breath of relief as I saw that he was safe and sound, sleeping peacefully.
I climbed downstairs, not wanting to wake up Dominic after the long day that he had. As I stepped outside, I heard another clash coming from the garden and a groan from a familiar voice.
I ran to the back of the house and gasped in surprise at the scene in front of me. Dominic was on on the ground drunk with bottles of beer around him. I rushed towards him and sat on my knees next to him.
“Dominic, are you OK?” I said, looking at him with concern.
He sat up and took me by surprise as he hugged me tightly, saying in a hoarse voice, “No I am not OK. I miss her so much. She’s no more with me, I want her back Christine. I want her back!”
I rubbed his back and felt my eyes welling up. “I miss her too but I am sure she would want you to be strong at this moment.”
“I can’t be fucking strong all the time. I am human. I have damn emotions too.”
I gently pushed him away from me and whispered,” I agree but for Tiago’s sake, you need to be stronger. He misses his dad. You need to be with him. He is Adriana’s last memory.”
He cupped my cheek and leaned closer until out nose collided, “I missed you too Christine. I wished you never left. We could have stayed friends.”
I took a deep angry breath and let it out, deciding that maybe in his drunken state, he has forgotten that he was the one who pushed me away.
I looked at him as he fell limp in my arms and held him close, giving him a kiss on his cheek.