They are never a good way to start a relationship. But were a perfect way to end one. “Justin, I am home.” he was sitting on the sofa beside my mother. He shot me a wide smile causing the deep dimple to appear in his cheek. He jumped off the chair and rocketed into my arms.
“Mama.” he squealed as I twirled him around in the air. His laughter filled the room and his eyes, blue like his father’s sparkled with delight.
“Have you been a good boy today?” I asked.
His smile dimmed slightly and he turned to look back at his grandma before looking at me. The impish look he had on his face was all his father’s and he touched my face with his chubby little hands and kissed my nose.
I laughed. “I will take that as a no.” I swung him to one side and carried him on my waist over to my mother. “What did he do today?”
“We went for a stroll and apparently he didn’t like the way my gardenias looked, so he made it his duty to root them all out.” said mum who patted him on his cheek.
"Fwowas...” he said as if he understood what we are talking about.
“And the flowers should stay in the garden. That was very rude Justin.” I said. “Bad baby.”
His eyes dimmed and his mouth turned down. He crawled out of my hand and went to sit by himself in the lone corner of the sofa.
“He’s brooder, just like his father.” said my mother. I knew what was coming next and I got up out of the chair to try and avoid the looming argument. “Which reminds me Lupa, when are you going to tell Justin about his son? The boy needs to know about his baby. It is unfair for the man to go through life not knowing that he has a child out there. And Jace needs a dad to help raise him.”
“I can raise him just fine by myself.” I said turning to look at my baby who was looking at me with curiosity as he must have sensed that we were talking about him. “I’ve been doing fine the last eleven months.”
"No, you were not fine. The first three months you could barely look at him without breaking down into tears.”
“The doctor said that sometimes happens. I already went to therapy for the postpartum depression. I am fine now.”
“Okay Lupa, I agree. You are fine.” she said coming to stand directly in my way. “You are fine, but can you honestly look me in the eyes and tell me that you are happy? That you are not lonely?"
“I am not lonely; I’ve got you and Justin.”
“And what about the happy part?” I sighed. She would not give up. “Justin may have done a lot of things wrong and your time together was not the easiest, but it was the happiest you’ve ever been.” I hated to admit it, but she was right. I ran away thinking that this would be the best thing for me and Jace but sometimes—a lot of times— I questioned myself if I had made the right decision.
The last twenty months hadn’t been the easiest, as I missed him every day. Just having Jace, the splitting image of his dad, reminding me of what I’d given up, didn’t make it any easier. The belief that I was doing the right thing was the only thing that kept me going. It was the only way my baby would be safe. From the moment of his conception, my centre of gravity had shifted. The early parts weren't so easy, but all that changed as soon as I realized how much I loved him.
“What do you want me to do? We live in Spain and he’s in Britain. I can’t just go knocking on his door after all these months and show up out of the blue and say ‘hey remember when I told you that I miscarried, I lied. Meet your son that you didn’t know existed for almost a year!’ He’s probably started moving on with his life and I won’t disrupt it. And like I said, he is in London and we live in Madrid.”
"No he is not.” she said walking back to the sofa and taking Justin in her arms.
"No, he’s not what?” I said turning on my heels to face her.
“He’s not in London. He’s here in Spain. I heard he was in town for business, so I called him for a meeting here. He said that he would come.”
“You did what!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“He will be arriving in about fifteen minutes.” the doorbell went off. “Are you expecting anybody over?” she said raising a brow.
“N-no, no.” I managed to get out as I was struggling with the fact that my mother had ambushed me with this.
"That must be him then. He’s early. I would tell you to go and get the door, but I know you will make a fuss.” she stood with Justin and dropped him in my hands. “Stay!” she said as if speaking to a pet.
It wasn’t like I had anywhere else to run, as she’d trapped me here.
“Mama?” said Justin. His blue eyes searched my face as if he could sense that something was wrong and wanted to know what it was.
"It’s fine baby, everything is fine.” I said kissing him on his forehead before pulling him into my chest.
My hands shook as I thought about all that happened that faithful night more than a year ago. Almost two years since I ran out on Justin, taking his child with me.