My daughter’s sweet voice woke me up. I felt her hands on my face and smiled before blinking a few times to adjust my eyes to the brightness of the room.
I was exhausted from my night shift in the hospital yesterday, but seeing her or being around her can boost my energy very high. After all, she was my vitality in this life.
When I hugged her, I forgot all my worries. She made me forget the pain of my past and gave me a reason to smile again.
“Good morning!” I told her with a smile before pulling her closer and kissing her cheeks. Her giggles made my smile bigger. I loved seeing my baby laugh.
“Who will turn three today?” I asked her sweetly. “Mommy!” she giggled and clapped her hands, which made me laugh. “No, mama was one twenty-four years ago, now she’s twenty-five,” I said to her, sitting up and pulling her onto my lap.
Now that I was straightening up in bed, I noticed that her cheeks were a little red. “Do you have a fever?” I mumbled with a frown before kissing her forehead. My lips felt hot against her forehead.
“Okay, I think you need a shower to cool off,” I muttered. “And if you’re not getting better, we’ll go to the hospital.”
“No,” she said, pouting. I didn’t like the idea of spending her birthday in the hospital either, but we wouldn’t have a choice if her fever didn’t go down.
“Let’s have a shower then,” I said with a smile and carried her into the bathroom. I put her down before taking her clothes off and putting her into the shower.
I set the water temperature and hang the shower head on the hook before applying some shower gel to her body. Then I applied shampoo on her head and began to gently scrub her head.
“Mom, are you going to work today? It’s my birthday?” she asked and I could see the hope in her eyes. “No, I’m staying with you today! All day! I don’t want to miss my baby’s birthday,” I smiled and kissed her cheek, which made her smile and her eyes sparkled with happiness.
I took off from work today and gave her nanny free for today to celebrate her third birthday with her. My baby was turning three and I wanted to be with her. I couldn’t spend a lot of time with her because of my hospital shift.
When I was on nightshifts, I would come home early in the morning and I would be exhausted as hell. And when I worked regularly and came home in the evening, she fell asleep. I wouldn’t lie, it was hard to be a single parent.
I wanted to take best care of her. That was also one of the reasons I left my maternity leave early and applied for my fellowship at the same hospital as Emma and started working, leaving my baby at home with a nanny.
Sometimes I felt bad that I couldn’t give my baby the attention that she needed. I knew babies needed a lot of attention and love. And I tried to spend as much time with her as possible, but I also had to keep ourselves financially stable.
I couldn’t rely on Bob for the rest of my life. He’d done enough for me already. Now he also had a son with Emma. And I didn’t want to bother them with my problems anymore. They deserved to be happy and have some peace after everything that happened because of me.
That was also the reason why I moved out of their house almost a year ago. They were always there for me and supported me in whatever they could, but I knew they needed some privacy too.
I couldn’t live alone when we first moved to the UK because I had anxiety issues and felt paranoid. I felt lonely and scared after everything that happened to me. Every time I closed my eyes I saw his face and felt like he was coming to trap me again.
I’ve had nightmares, lots of nightmares. But the fact that I wasn’t alone helped me get rid of my nightmares. I knew I had Bob and Emma by my side, I knew he couldn’t take me easily when I was with them. I felt safe staying in their house for almost a year. Then I had Zia and holding her in my arms helped me to overcome all my nightmares.
She made me strong again. She made me feel alive. She was the reason for my high spirit in life. I would do anything for her. I wanted the best for her. I wanted to give her the life that I couldn’t have, and I knew couldn’t do that when I was living in my fear and paranoia.
That’s why I knew I had to move on in life. Therefore, I moved into the house next to Ben’s and Emma’s and started building a life for my daughter and me.
And over time, I even realized that my fears were ridiculous. More than two years had passed and I didn’t hear from him. If he didn’t show up in almost two years, he wouldn’t show up anytime soon either, would he? And I still didn’t know if he was alive or not. The jump off the cliff was fatal. Maybe he was dead? But his dead would be all over the news considering he was a well-known businessman. Maybe he was still alive?
Maybe he hit his head while jumping and forgot about us? Maybe he couldn’t find us? After all, Bob was an excellent hacker who worked for my father in the past. He was one of the best at his job and if he made us disappear we would be hard to find. There was another man who was as good at his job as Bob, but he was dead. Esmeralda said she shot him.
So, there was no reason for me to be afraid of him. I was safe. My daughter and I were safe. He had no chance of finding me and drawing me back into this terrible life. I got rid of him. He was no longer a part of our lives and I would do anything to keep it that way.
“Mom, I’m clean,” she muttered with a sweet frown on her face as I still scrubbed her head while I was lost in my thoughts. “Oh! I’m sorry, baby,” I said with a sigh, turning off the water.
Then I got her out of the shower and helped her put on her pink bathrobe. “Why do you look so cute? You are so cute that I want to kiss you again and again,” I said while crouching in front of her and drying her hair with a towel.
“Mom! Stop it!” she giggled, which made me laugh. “On one condition! I’ll stop when you brush your teeth,” I said, picking her up to sit her on the counter by the sink.
“I brush my teeth every day, mom,” she said with a cheesy smile as I put toothpaste on her brush before handing it to her.
“I know,” I said, kissing her head before putting toothpaste on my brush and started brushing my teeth.
When we finished I took two glasses and filled them with water before rinsing out our mouths. “What do you want for breakfast? I’ll do whatever you want,” I told her as I carried her back to our bedroom and put her on the bed. I kissed her forehead and thank god she wasn’t as hot as before. It seemed like we didn’t need to go to the hospital.
She had her own room, but she preferred to sleep with me and I didn’t mind at all. I loved cuddling her in my sleep.
“Pancakes?” she asked me with a smile as I took some clothes out of the closet for her and put them on the bed.
“Good choice! You want to watch TV while I make the pancakes?” I asked after putting them on and she nodded with a smile. “Then go! And call mom if you can’t open the TV!”
“Thank you, mommy,” she said, and hurried out of the room. I watched her leave with a smile before getting dressed and going into the kitchen. I would shower in the evening because I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible.
When I was in the kitchen, I started cooking without wasting time. I mixed all of the ingredients before making the pancakes.
The moment I did the last pancake, the doorbell rang. “Mom, door!” Zia screamed from the living room. “I know,” I muttered with a sigh as I put the last pancake on the plate before heading to the door.
“Oh, and baby?” I stopped and looked at her as I passed the living room. “Yes, mom,” she said before looking at me from the TV. “No screaming in the house,” I said with a raised brow.
“Okay, mommy,” she said before the doorbell rang again. “Mommy, the door bell is ringing.”
“I know baby,” I sighed before heading to the door. When I opened it I saw a tired looking Bob with Boris in his arms and a smiling Emma. “What happened to you?” I asked.
“Boris,” he yawned and gave him to me before going into the living room. “What did you do to him?” I asked Emma as I followed him into the living room. “He literally looks like a...zombie.”
“He’s just over-dramatic, I didn’t do anything to him, it was his turn to watch Boris during the night and he woke him up more than usual,” she rolled her eyes, which made me laugh.
“Go to your daddy, come on”, I put him on the floor and he walked slowly to Bob who was lying on the couch and Zia was now sitting on his torso.
“You know he likes to sleep,” I told her as I went into the kitchen. “I know, he loved taking naps with me while I was pregnant.” She shook her head with a smile before we went into the kitchen. “You made pancakes?” she asked.
“Yes, Zia wanted to start her birthday with pancakes,” I said, taking plates and glasses out of the cupboard before putting them on a tray. “I hope you didn’t have breakfast? I made a lot of pancakes.”
“No, we haven’t,” she smiled. “Great! Could you bring in the pancakes, Nutella, and jam, please?” I asked her while I was carrying the tray with plates and glasses into the living room and started setting the table.
“Do you make your guests work?” she asked me while she put the pancakes, the Nutella and the jam on the table. “You are not my guests, you are my family,” I winked at her.
“Okay, you’re right,” she smiled and helped me get the table ready. Emma took Boris, who was trying to climb onto the couch to reach his sleeping father, and put him on Zia’s old baby high chair. She didn’t use it anymore, but I kept it home for Boris.
“Come on, baby,” I said to Zia and took her in my arms before letting her sit on a chair at the table. I put a pillow under her seat, so she could reach the table and eat comfortably.
“Do I smell food?” Bob asked, sniffing the air with his eyes closed. “Yes, and if you don’t get your ass up and have breakfast with us, you won’t get any,” Emma said to him.
“I’m coming!” he said and got off the couch before hurrying to the table. “You really made them? They taste delicious!”
“Darling, please, could you stop talking with your mouth full and show some manners?” Emma asked as he chewed like a cow.
“I warned you that he was far from a gentleman when you married him,” I shrugged jokingly. “I know I should marry you instead of him,” she winked at me.
“I have heard that!” Bob said before looking at me. “Stay away from my wife, Hooker!” We still didn’t have enough money to change our names. We bought two beautiful houses and furnished them a bit expensive. In the end, there was no more money for some fake IDs with decent names.
“It’s not me, it’s your wife who can’t stay away from me,” I mocked him. “I’m really scared sometimes that she’s going to leave me because of you,” he told me with a grunt that made me burst out laughter.
“Are you serious? Are you jealous because of me?” I asked him with tears in my eyes, this shit was just too funny.
“Okay. You won’t fight for me on Zia’s birthday! You can fight for me another day,” she said with a grin while feeding Boris. “Today is special, it is the birthday of our princess. Anything special you want for your birthday, princess?”
“Yes!” she said and clapped her hands. “What does my baby want for her birthday?” I asked her with the same excitement.
“I want a daddy!” she said with a big smile that made my smile fall and my heart clench.
I did my best to be enough for her, but she was still looking for a father. And I was so sorry that I couldn’t be enough for her.
I’ve never been good for anyone. And it seemed like I failed as a mother too.