I knocked on the door to Maddy’s house as I wiped my face to dry up my tears. “Hey what are you doing here?” Maddy asked yawning.
“I left Kellan.” I heard a cup drop in the kitchen and shatter on the floor. Maddy gaped at me.
“What?” She asked shocked. I nodded as I fought the urge to cry again.
“I left him. I packed up when he was at work and was ready when he came home.” She pulled her robe around her tighter as a breeze blew on us.
“Come in, it’s cold.” I picked up the car seat and walked in as Bob came walking into the room.
“I put the water on for some tea.” I nodded as I put my bag down on the floor.
“Do you think we can stay here while I get back on my feet?” I asked her as I took a tissue off the table to blow my nose.
“Of course, Sweetheart. You can stay in your old room.” She pulled me into a hug as I tried to calm down.
“I’ll go get your bags.” Bob said clearing his throat. He gave me a quick rub on my back before walking out.
“Come sit down, Char.” She sat me on a stool in the kitchen as she got cups for the tea. “What happened? Did you talk to Kellan?” I nodded.
“I did. He cheated on her with me.” I looked down sadly as she handed me my cup of tea. “He wanted a paternity test.” She stared at me wide eyed. “So I left. I said we would work out visitation for Jamie.” I took a sip of my tea. I shook my head. “Hurt me once, shame on me. Hurt me twice, shame on you. Hurt my baby, and I will kill you.” I gave a humorless laugh.
“Oh Charlotte.” She gave me a sad look.
“I thought he changed. But I guess he didn’t. Everything he told me was a lie. Everything.” I shook my head. “How can I ever trust him? He lied about every little thing he said in New Hampshire.” I put my face in my hands. “I hate myself for falling for it.” I felt arms wrap around my shoulders as I sobbed into my hands.“Why do I have to love him?” I cried.
“I know baby.” Maddy rubbed my back leaning her cheek against my head. “Love hurts so much.”
“Why did he have to hurt me?” I sobbed quietly. “Why did I have to believe him?”
“You were pregnant with his baby. You wanted it to be real. You still do.” I shook my head.
“No, I don’t want to see him. I hate him.” I picked my head up to look at her. She wiped my cheek.
“You don’t mean that. You’re just hurt and tired. You could never hate a person.” I sniffled as she picked up a tissue handing it to me. I blew my nose as she pushed my hair behind my ear. “Why don’t you go set up for Jamie and change while I make her a bottle?” I shook my head.
“I think I’ll just breast feed.” I smiled weakly at her as I wiped my face with my sleeves.
“Okay. I’ll bring you a glass of water.” I walked into the front room to see Bob holding Jamie as she stared up at him. He looked up as I walked in.
“Hey.” He gave me a weak smile.
“Hey, Sweetheart.” He rocked Jamie as she gave a whimper. “I put everything upstairs. We’ll get through this, Baby.” I could feel the tears coming on. “I know, Baby. But we’re here to help. Do you want a hug?” I nodded at him as he pulled me into a one armed hug. “I’m sorry, Baby.” He sighed leaning his chin on my head. “I’m always going to be here for you no matter how my kids screw up.” He whispered as Jamie moved in his arms to get closer to me. “I promised your parents when they left that I would take care of you. I always will.” I looked up at him as he smiled. “You’re my baby too. He screwed up bring time with you.” I nodded leaning my head on his shoulder.
“Is there something wrong with me?” He rubbed my shoulder.
“Of course not. My son is just an idiot.” He kissed my head. “He doesn’t know what he’s losing.” He sighed. Bob was always my second Dad especially after my parents moved to Africa. I really think that’s the reason why they let me stay. I already thought of them as parents. They gave me my career. They gave me a home for most of my High School and College career.
“Bobby.” He stroked my hair.
“Come on let’s get you settled in.” He handed me a squirming baby as she rubbed her face on his chest. “Little baby here wants her Mommy.” I put Jamie on my shoulder as I wiped my nose again. “Come on.” He pulled me gently upstairs. I walked into my old room and sat down on the bed and sighed. Bob pulled out the pack and play and set it up so I could lay Jamie down after her feeding. “Do you need anything else?” He asked as I laid Jamie on the bed pulling her pants off making her kick her legs happily. I picked up my bag pulling out some pajamas as Bob put the other bags in my closet.
“Thank you.” I smiled at him as I felt the pain of a head ache coming on. Bob kissed my head before leaning down to kiss Jamie making her give a breathless sigh. Maddy came in putting my glass of water on the nightstand.
“Here you go, Charlotte.” I smiled at her as I pulled the pack and play up to the bed.
“Thank you, both of you.” They smiled at me.
“Don’t worry about it sweetheart.” Maddy put the diaper bag next to the crib. “We’re just down the hall if you need anything at all. Just call to us.” I nodded at them smiling.
“Thank you so much. We won’t be here long. Just till I can get back on my feet and get an apartment. I’ll need to come off my maternity leave early and take on some more hours.” Bob shook his head.
“Not now, we’ll talk about this tomorrow. You need to get some sleep. You had a tough day. Get some rest now.” I nodded as he closed the door. I looked at Jamie as she sucked on her hand. I picked her up putting her on my knees as I leaned back on the bed.
“Mommy will always love you Jamie. Even if Daddy doesn’t. Mommy will. I will always take care of you my little angel. Whether Daddy wants you or not, I will always want you.” I leaned down to kiss her nose. “I promise I will do the best I can to take care of you. We’ll figure it out, Sugar.” She whimpered as I pulled down my shirt for her to breast feed. “I promise.” I whispered quietly to myself as I closed my eyes to think….
I rang the doorbell to the house taking a deep breath. The door opened and Kellan stared at me before rubbing his eyes. “Hey.” I cleared my throat as he opened the door more so he was standing in the doorway.
“Hey.” He looked terrible. He didn’t look like he slept much; his eyes were blood shot and red. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and I knew he still had bedhead. He ran a hand through his hair squinting at me. “What are you doing here?” His voice was raspy. I felt terrible. He’s been crying.
“I promised you I would help set up the nursery.” I couldn’t look any better. I couldn’t sleep through the night no matter how hard I tried. It wasn’t because I had to wake up every 3 hours for a feeding, no it was because I was just getting dreams. Dreams I would wake up crying to. Jamie slept better than I did. “Did they deliver the furniture?” He opened the door inviting me in.
“They came a couple hours ago.” He cleared his throat loudly trying to get the rasp out. “I have them in the room. I was going to put them up later.” I nodded slowly not knowing what to say. “Would you like something to drink?” He turned to look at me. I wasn’t mad at him anymore. I couldn’t be. He looked pained, haunted even. There wasn’t much left in his eyes.
“Tea would be nice.” I whispered looking away from the scorching blue that seemed to follow everywhere I looked. He walked into the kitchen to put on the tea pot. I walk in behind him standing in the door way. He picked up an empty bottle of whiskey and put it into the recycling. “It’s not like you to drink.” He looked everywhere but at me.
“Yeah well, my girlfriend just left me and took my daughter with her.” I looked down at my hands blinking back the tears as he put his hands flat on the counter. We stayed in the awkward moment of silence listening to the water boiling on the stove. “Where are you guys staying?” He finally looked at me in the time I’ve been standing here.
“With your parents for the moment.” I nodded as the water started to boil. I watch him take it off and pull out a cup.
“I’m glad you have somewhere comfortable to stay.” He cleared his throat as he poured himself a cup of coffee. “Milk and sugar?” He asked already taking it out.
“Yes please.” I whispered running a hand through my hair as he handed me the cup. “She was good last night. I think she missed you though.” I watched him take a deep breath.
“I didn’t mean for this to happen, Char.” He turned to look at me, the tears brimming in his eyes. “I never wanted us to be like this.” I took a cautious sip of my tea to see if it was too hot. “Not where we can’t even talk to each other.” I looked down at the caramel color liquid in my cup.
“I did do a lot of thinking last night, Kellan.” He gave me a hopeful look. “How can I trust you?” His shoulder slumped.
“I don’t expect you too.” He swallowed loudly. “I didn’t think you’d leave.” He looked back at me. “I didn’t think it’d hurt this much.”
“You didn’t even fight for me. You didn’t say anything. You didn’t tell me to stay.” I watched the tear roll down his cheek.
“I couldn’t think of anything to say. I couldn’t breathe. I was losing the best thing I had. The two most important people in my life.” The next tear followed its sibling. “I couldn’t think of anything to change your mind. I couldn’t think of anything to take what I did back. There are no words to take this hurt away, Charlotte.” I shook my head as the traitor tears ran down my face without my permission. He walked closer to me. “I’m so sorry. For everything I did.” He caught my tear on his finger. “I didn’t have anything that would keep you here. I don’t deserve you.” He shook his head as more tears rolled down his cheek. “Please, forgive me.” He pressed his lips to my forehead. “I’m begging you, please.” I felt his tears hit my cheeks. “Please, please, forgive me.”
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