Let Life Surprise You

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How long can a mother keep the father's identity from her child? Not that long if luck isn't on her side. *** If being a mom was all about popping out a baby after 9 months of pregnancy, life would have been easier for Charlotte Garnett. Alas, it's not the case for her. When her baby has grown into a smart girl and starts questioning the father's absence, Charlotte's parenting is being tested. Her worst fear is having to tell her 7-year-old daughter that she was conceived in a one-night stand with a total stranger. Out of panic, Charlotte chooses to lie, promising herself she will tell the girl the truth when she's a little older. Unfortunately, fate decides to bring the man back into her life when she least expects it. And worse, he's the CEO she's cross with at her new workplace. Hell breaks loose. Charlotte is eventually confronted by her own lies. ----------------------------

Romance / Humor
W. Sparrow
4.8 128 reviews
Age Rating:

Prologue: A Surprise Baby

No matter how prepared I was for the talk, I dreaded the question yet to come.

“Do you want to keep the baby?” Sandy asked, her eyes fixed on my pregnancy record book in her hand. Scrappy handwriting in blue ink read Charlotte Garnett stared back at her.

I glanced down at my belly that was hidden under my maroon hoodie. Last week, I didn’t know there was a bun snuggling inside my womb, depending on me for life. Once the doctor confirmed I was twelve weeks pregnant this morning, my world had turned upside down. My head had been scampering inside a massive maze, not knowing where to go.

“I don’t know,” I said, almost whispering.

There were so many things I wanted to do in life. I loved to challenge myself, I was always intrigued to try stuff most people wouldn’t, and I was open to exploring morally grey areas because I hated to limit myself. My bucket list ideas about what to do before I died got longer every time, but having a baby was never one of them.

“It’s not too late if you want to abort it.” Sandy’s voice faltered. “I mean, it was conceived in one drunken night and you don’t know who the father is. Plus, you’d been drinking until last week when you suspected you were pregnant.” She put back my book on her computer desk, careful not to drop it as if it was the baby itself. “I’m no expert, but carrying a baby in your final year in uni is hard, especially when the father isn’t in the picture. Those are valid reasons, right?”

I pursed my lips, considering my best friend’s advice while trying to see all possibilities. “Maybe I can go back to that frat house and ask around? Maybe I can find that motherfucker.”

Sandy raised her eyebrows. “Ask around how? Something like ‘hey, do you guys know the guy I fucked three months back in one of your parties’?” She scoffed. “Get real, Char. Do you even remember what he looked like? His hair color? His name?”

“No, not really.” I sighed before throwing myself backward onto Sandy’s bed. “I do remember his eyes, though. It’s green, emerald green. And he has quite dark hair.”

“Dark as in black or dark brown?”

“I’m not sure. The room was too dark to notice those trivial things.”

“Any recollection of his name? Nickname maybe?”

I knitted my eyebrows, trying to remember anything useful from that night. Nothing came up and I shook my head.

“Whose name did you scream when you had an orgasm then? Don’t tell me you moaned Ethan’s name.”

I shot my friend with a glare that could freeze a dragon’s throat. “Can we not discuss my orgasm now? A more important matter needs to be addressed. Urgently.”

Sandy put her hands in the air. “Sorry. I was just curious. How could you not remember anything about the guy you banged all night?”

“I was drunk, okay? It was the night Ethan broke up with me. I was so lost and in need of cock,” I said, wincing inwardly after listening to my own answer.

“You got one alright, and you’ve got the bonus, too. There.” Sandy pointed at my belly.

I groaned as I put both my hands over my face. “I swear we used fucking condoms that night. That rubbish.”

“Char, are you sure it’s not Ethan’s?”

“I’m sure as hell. We hadn’t had sex for weeks when we broke up. If it was his, I would’ve been four months preggo.”

Sandy nodded but the frown didn’t leave her face. “Seriously though, even if you found him, what were you going to say to him?”

“That we are pregnant? Maybe we can figure out what to do together?” Granted, I sounded like the dumbest person alive. Or maybe I could blame it on my pregnancy brain.

“We? There is no we. You two aren’t a couple. And what makes you think he remembers you?” Sandy’s question earned a defeated shrug from me. “If he remembers you and what happened that night, he will easily say ‘abort it’. If he doesn’t recognize you, he will think you’re a mad girl who is desperately in need of a random guy to father her child.”

I let out a moan. I hated it when Sandy was right.

The scene of the wild night flashed in my head. I was pissed and disappointed with Ethan because he chose to break up with me instead of working on our problems. I begged him to give me a chance to explain, but his mind was set. The next thing I knew, I agreed with my classmate, Willy, to crash at a frat party on another campus in town. I needed to forget my shitty night.

‘Never go to a frat party and drink your ass off after a messy breakup’. I wished I’d listened to this piece of advice, but I didn’t. As the night wore on, I danced my pain away and chugged down any alcohol within reach. Surprisingly, I didn’t puke from too much drinking, but I got horny. Very horny. The universe was on my side when I bumped into a hot dark-haired guy with a pair of mesmerizing green eyes. Just what I needed, he was in the same mental stage: tipsy and eager to fuck.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, we ended up in one of the empty bedrooms, playing hide the sausage. It was bliss. Despite how much I still wanted Ethan back, the sex helped me numb the stinging pain from the fresh breakup. Until I woke up the next morning, naked, with a painful hangover. I panicked once I noticed a stranger beside me, sleeping and also unclothed.

The next thing I did was get dressed and run.

I groaned again from the memory before rolling myself to the side, burying my face in Sandy’s fluffy throw pillow. “What am I going to do?”

“I would think terminating the pregnancy is a wise choice right now.”

“I don’t know, Sandy. I saw it on the ultrasound monitor this morning. It already looked like a real baby!” I said, my throat tightening from the mental image. “I can’t kill it, or that image will keep burning into my head for the rest of my life.”

“So, you want to keep it.”

Sandy concluded for me, but I couldn’t confirm it either. Instead, a few faces popped up in my head, and I whimpered. “My parents will kill me.”

Sandy, a person who was often on the rational side, stared at me with sympathy, almost pitying me. The look my best friend gave me every time I screwed up, and I hated it. Because I always screwed up. I didn’t need a reminder from anyone else that my life was a mess. A gigantic ball of mess.

“If you want to keep it, you need to figure out how to break the news to them sooner or later. The sooner the better.”

“I know.” I heaved a sigh. “They will be livid for sure. It’ll prove them right that I’m still the impulsive girl who never learns and has no reservations for her future.”

Sandy got up from her chair and plopped down on her bed. She ran her fingers through my brown lock that partly covered my face, brushing it backward gently. “You might be a little bit impulsive but what I see from you is a brave, open-minded, and non-judgmental person. And you give a fucking damn about your future. Don’t let their words get in your head.”

I squeezed Sandy’s hand on my hair and smiled. “You always know how to make me feel better.”

“And you know that whatever decision you make, I will support you. If you want to terminate it, I will be there during the whole process. If you want to keep it, I’ll help however I can until the delivery time.”

Thinking about the labor was enough to make my stomach twist. My vision of life ended where my water broke. I couldn’t see anything beyond that because it was too terrifying. Once realizing that the due date was in six months, I shivered. “How will I raise the baby?”

Sandy frowned. “Huh? Do you want to raise the baby yourself? I thought–”

“I would give it away?” I finished Sandy’s line as a faint jab hit my chest.

Sandy nodded. “I thought you wanted to keep it because you just didn’t have the heart to kill it,” she said, knitting her eyebrows. “You don’t want it in the first place, right? I mean, after the baby is born, you can make another family happy with their new little bundle, and you can move on with your life.”

Ignoring the growing unsettled feeling in me, I admitted that Sandy had her point. My life might be put on pause at this very moment, but I could move on after making sure the baby was in good hands. Because I deserved a future too, hopefully with Ethan back in the picture.

I forced a smile. “I guess I can do that.”

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