Rocco was already up and had made himself a mug of coffee. It was 7am.
"Morning," I replied with a yawn. One more day at work, and then I had two days off. Maybe I should leave early and go on a surprise visit to New York? Seriously, I couldn't go another week without Bambi. I needed her, and in more ways than one.
"You're up early?"
"Yeah... I couldn't sleep," he answered, tired. At least he seemed to be in a better state than yesterday.
"Yeah. I might have a couple of things to do," he said, and smirked.
"Sounds good. Are you seeing your friends?"
He continued to smirk.
"I guess you could say so."
What's with him? Did Hunter change his mind and decided to be with him, after all?
"So you're staying for the weekend?" I continued.
"Nah. I'm going back to New York tonight. Last plane."
Maybe I should book the same flight? Then again, I wasn't sure how Martina would react if I just suddenly showed up.
"So, how did things work out with that baby mama of yours?"
Rocco shrugged and tried to drink without burning his tongue.
"The baby wasn't mine. I knew it the second I saw her, and I got it confirmed with a test later on."
I laughed before I added a tiny detail.
"Do you know what I did? I drove to her house for one thing only, and that was to shove the damn paper in her face. Then I went to grab a beer to celebrate."
"Savage," Rocco chuckled.
"Right? I don't want no damn kid."
He turned silent for a couple of minutes and looked thoughtful.
"You know Marty's always dreamed of having a big family, right?"
"Typical women," I groaned, but Rocco seemed serious.
"No, I mean it, dad. She's always talked about how much she adores her nephews and nieces, and that she wants at least three kids."
That caught me off guard. We'd never talked about stuff like that. Maybe she'd changed her mind about it?
Idiot. You know damn well she hasn't said anything, because she knows how you feel about the topic.
"Fuck..." I mumbled to myself. And when Rocco looked at me strangely, I was quick to pretend like nothing. But it wasn't nothing. It was actually a big deal. Maybe our relationship would be a compromise that eventually would tear us apart? Because lord knows that I would never change my mind. No. Things were good as they were.
"I was thinking that I might join you tonight. To New York, I mean," I said, trying to change the topic somewhat, but I frowned a bit when Rocco protested.
"No, I don't think that's a good idea."
"Because... Uhm. The plane is full."
I raised my eyebrows in surprise, and noticed that his gaze wavered a bit.
"Yeah, it is. I got the last ticket."
"Hm," I said, and scratched my neck.
"Maybe I should get an earlier flight, then."
"Nope. Full. Everything is full," he said matter-of-factly.
"The whole day."
"But..." I started, but he cut me off.
"There's a big arrangement. Like... A fashion show. All the flights and hotels are full. So unless you booked a long time ago, you can't get any tickets."
"But you got one?" I frowned, and earned a dead-panned look.
"Hello? How do you think I know this? Because I got the last one."
Okay. That sounded convincing. Maybe I should continue begging Martina to come here, after all. I didn't know if she was busy or not, but she surely deserved a couple of days off after working as much as she'd done lately.
"Hey, dad?" Rocco said after a while, and I was pulled out of my daydream about Martina.
"Remember what we talked about yesterday?"
Nope, because we talked about a lot.
"When I said that Marty saved me?"
"She saved me by marrying me. I didn't... You know... Myself."
He was talking about suicide. He didn't try to kill himself. Then how...?
"It was grandpa. He tried to kill me."
He signed the divorce papers!
My soon to be ex-husband finally signed, and I'd never been more relieved after receiving a text message than I was last night. But he gave me an ultimatum, though. He wanted to talk to me first, which I'd declined for so long. I didn't have anything more to say to him. But to get the papers, I needed to go to San Francisco. That made me nervous. Still, I booked a flight early the next morning.
I had refused to go back there because I'd kind of already said goodbye to Aaron. And I say 'kind of' because I just couldn't bring myself to cut him entirely out of my life. Yet. He kept calling and texting me, and I kept missing him and answered. Pathetic, I know. But I was scared that he'd get depressed and suicidal again if I broke up with him the cold and instant way. It was better and easier to let him down over time and from a different part of the country. So when Rocco told me to go there, I immediately got paranoid and thought it was to meet his dad. I didn't want to. Or... I did, but I didn't.
If only I didn't love that darn bastard so much.
I'd booked in at a hotel right outside the city, and I hoped Rocco could meet me there. And I'd specifically told him not to say anything to Aaron. He'd be so hurt if he knew I was there and not came to see him. But I simply wasn't strong enough. I knew that if I did, I'd melt into his arms and stay there. Because that's what I wanted. So badly. Especially now that things were about to blow up in my face.
I dreaded the day I had to tell my parents because I knew they would beg me to stay with Rocco. Telling them that I was pregnant with his father was even worse.
By now, I was five months pregnant and I'd managed to hide my growing baby bump under wide clothes and huge sweaters. I'd avoided my parents as much as I could and isolated myself, blaming it on all the work to save up money, which wasn't really a lie. I sure did work a lot.
Luckily, my boss had given me alternative work tasks so I didn't have to stand and walk as much as you normally do on a shift, because she knew. She was the only one, except for my doctor, who knew I was pregnant. And she also knew how it was to be pregnant while working as a waitress. What she couldn't understand though, was why I tried to keep it a secret. But she kept her promise and didn't tell anyone. I appreciated that.
I wasn't sure if I threw up after the flight because I was nervous or if it was the usual morning sickness. It hadn't bothered me the last couple of weeks, so it was probably nervousness.
What if Rocco tricked me? No, that couldn't be. Last time I checked, he didn't even talk to Aaron anymore. He'd cut him completely out of his life. That thought made me relax, and I made it to the hotel without any more puking. I checked in, took a shower and crash landed on the bed even though it barely was 8 pm. And the last thing I did before I went to sleep was to triple check that my flight back to New York was Saturday, at 9:15 pm.
I was up early the next morning, after sleeping for over ten hours. I couldn't remember last time I'd done that, but I surely remembered last time I wanted to do that, which was pretty much every day of the week. Not that it helped much. I was still tired.
It was a huge relief to be somewhere I was almost certain no one knew me. I got a taste of how it felt to be pregnant and not having to hide it. I even dared to go to the hotel restaurant and have breakfast while wearing a normal t-shirt. Because there was no doubt anymore. It showed.
I made time pass while I wandered between the local stores. San Francisco felt different now. I don't know if it was because Aaron wasn't here or just the simple fact that it wasn't the heart of the city, but it wasn't the same anymore. And the thought made me melancholic.
After I got pregnant, I suddenly got painfully aware of the many expecting mothers around me. Some were discussing baby topics with their friends, some of them just as pregnant as themselves. Others were walking hand in hand with the proud soon-to-be father, picking out baby clothes and things they needed for their little boy or girl, and I caught myself dreaming of how it would be if that was Aaron and I. The answer was that it would be heaven on earth. It would be the ultimate level of happiness, but so far from realistic it was possible to get.
I normally didn't allow myself to think about it, but being in the same city as the man I loved more than anything honestly tore my heart apart. So I cried in secret. I walked around from store to store and let myself get lost in my own head, and it wasn't until a concerned store clerk asked me if I was okay, that I wiped my cheeks and gathered myself. I couldn't meet Rocco with swollen eyes. I didn't want him to believe that I cried over our ruined marriage, because that wasn't the case. Well, maybe a part of it. But honestly, how horrible would it be if I stayed married to him while I knew that I was expecting another man's child? And what's worse; I was pregnant with his brother or sister.
"Your life is such a mess," I mumbled to myself, while looking into the mirror after taking a shower. My tank top was moist from my wet hair, but I didn't care much. It would dry by the time I was meeting Rocco anyway. Hopefully we could agree on selling our apartment and how to split our finances and belongings as well, so I could buy my own place and start preparing for my baby's arrival. I'd only bought a few clothes so far, and it was bothering me more than I was willing to admit that I didn't have any nursery to prepare. I was living in my childhood room in my parent's basement, for Christ sake.
I put on some light makeup, mostly to hide that I'd been crying, and then one of my usual two sized too big hoodies. I wanted to take it off the second I put it on, and I'd already planned the ceremony for the day I could cut it to pieces. It was so warm. And the fact that it was May and getting warmer by each week, didn't make it any better.
"Soon, Martina. Soon," I whispered, and stroked my stomach. Then I took a deep sigh and straightened my back. It was time. Rocco was on his way, and soon I was an independent woman. Painfully single mom, but still... I would manage.
Rocco was almost an hour late, and I was getting pretty annoyed by the time he finally knocked on the door.
"You could at least have texted me to say that you were running late," I said before he could even say hi.
"Yeah. I'm sorry. I was... Well, it was a meeting, and it was kind of inappropriate to use my phone."
"Inappropriate? What kind of meeting?"
"Just something at the police station, but don't worry about that. We're..."
"Police station?" I exclaimed.
"Did something happen? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I am. But I prefer not to talk about it, so please..."
I tried to decipher his body language, but I came out blank. The only thing was that his eyes were a bit red, so either he had slept poorly or he had cried. And I knew that boy never cried, so it had to be lack of sleep. Maybe he'd been out partying last night and got into trouble? Maybe that was why he was involved with the police?
Whatever it was, it wasn't my problem anymore. It didn't stop me from worrying about him though, but not enough to give him a hug. He might notice...
"Okay, so... What did you want to talk about? Did you put the apartment out for sale yet?"
"No. Marty... I want to apologize. I've been a terrible husband. I just didn't realize it until now. I was in denial... I..."
"You're gay, Rocco. Just say it. You never found me attractive. You just did what was expected of you, and..."
"No!" he interrupted.
"That's not true. I... You know. I kind of like both."
He nodded and stared at the carpet. Then he swallowed.
"Gosh, it feels so weird to say it out loud," he chuckled nervously, and I had trouble being mad at him.
"I shouldn't have called mom."
"No, you shouldn't."
"Honestly, Marty. I didn't know she'd bring grandpa. And she told me he was only going to talk to you, so I..."
"Who told you this? Your mother?"
"Then who? I haven't talked to anyone about it. And do you know why? Because I want to forget it!"
I blinked away a few tears and tried not to get upset, but I couldn't stop the short flashbacks of that evil man's hands around my throat. The way he slapped my cheek and left a mark that I had to hide with layers of foundation until it disappeared after a couple of weeks. His hard hands squeezing my already sore breasts and his attempt to rape me.
Thank lord for dad's yearly self defense instructions. I just didn't expect to actually have to use it. Nevertheless; I hoped that old, terrible man struggled both to pee and see for a few days afterwards. But the horrible memories were still stuck in my mind, causing random nightmares where I woke up in a pool of sweat.
"No! You don't want to talk about what happened at the police station, and I don't want to talk about that. Are we clear?"
He nodded silently and seemed sadder than ever. Good. He deserved to feel bad about it.
"Now, let's get to business and get this over with."
So that's what we did. After about one and a half hour everything was sorted out in peace, and I finally had the paper in my hand. The divorce was final and I didn't regret it one tiny bit. I wished Rocco good luck with his life, and especially the part about him coming out as bisexual. I knew he needed that. When his grandfather did what he did to me because of a failed marriage, then I didn't dare to think about what he'd do to Rocco.
Barely five minutes after he'd left, there was another knock on the door. I hadn't ordered any room service, so I immediately assumed it was Rocco who had forgotten something.
"I thought you were in a hurry to get to the airp..." I started to say, but lost my vocabulary the second I saw who it was.
"Bambi? What are you doing here?"