Attention: Briefly NSFW.
Springtime.. The first week of May, to be more accurate. Yesterday was the last day of class for everyone at the campus and summer break had officially started today. Jody had surprisingly kept to her word about keeping her distance from me until the end of the school year, but today I woke up nervous, knowing that she’d call me today since our time apart had came to an end and it was only a matter of time before she’d try to contact me. Lucky for me, I remembered to turn off my phone last night before going to bed so any of her calls or texts this morning wouldn’t wake either Isaiah or I. I felt a little bad about still trying to keep Jody a secret from him even though he knew about her, but I just didn’t want to burden him.
Isaiah and I have been doing amazing. His bar was doing well, bringing in more and more money each month and we bought our own condo together a few weeks ago. Well, more like he bought the condo, I just kind of tagged along.. He asked if I wanted to live together and I agreed, even offering to move into his old place with him so he could save his money, but he insisted that we get something together, something new and a little bigger than what he had. I felt guilty that he had spent so much money for us, but I guess it wasn’t too bad since he’d make the money back whenever he sold the old condo. He told me he’s been wanting a bigger place, anyways, but I think he was just saying that so I’d feel better about him paying for it.
We chose a two-level condo closer to the center of town that resided over a coffee shop and every morning I would get up before Isaiah, throw on some clothes and go downstairs to get coffee for the both of us. I had become such a regular customer that the barista’s knew exactly who I was and what two kinds of coffee I always got, making the brews fresh without me even needing to tell them my order and just seeing my face walk through the doors told them exactly what I wanted.
I wasn’t much of a decorator, I mostly let Isaiah do what he wanted with the whole place, but he coaxed me into doing the hallway when you first enter, as well as the living room to the left of that hallway. Every other room I let him do whatever he wanted, I was just happy to be living with him and getting the chance to see him whenever I got home from school or whenever he got home from work. It took some getting used to, but moving in together really gave us a chance to get a lot closer to one another and I was happy where I was at with my life. Well, I guess it wasn’t too hard to get used to, seeing as I slept over at his old place a lot before officially moving in together.. I was still deciding what to do about my Residency, too, starting in late August, but I wasn’t going to think about that too much today.
After putting Isaiah’s coffee down onto the nightstand next to his side of the bed, I went to the balcony outside of our bedroom, basking in the perfect weather to drink coffee to in the morning. The sun was bright, but it hadn’t hit the balcony yet, my eyes going from the clear sky to the small courtyard below where people drank coffee and ate their breakfast pastries before going to class or going to work, or even just enjoying the morning on a day off. A blonde woman in a sundress and sunhat sat at one of the tables I could see best, watching her read to herself with her coffee and pastry sitting upon her table and I’m sure she was enjoying today just as much as I was.
I shut my eyes as I enjoyed the outside, smelling the air that came up from below me and the scent of fresh pastries and ground coffee beans filled my nose and it all made me feel a little euphoric every time I inhaled. I had never mentioned this to Isaiah when we were first looking at the condo with the Realtor, but once I could smell the scent of sweet pastries hit me when I opened the door to the balcony, I was sold on it. The smell brought me back to when I was a little boy, always smelling the sweet delights within my mother’s bakery and I never got tired of the wholesome, sugary scent. Maybe that was the reason for my new fixation with coffee and loving to stand on the balcony every morning drinking it, as well as drinking in the smell of cinnamon buns, croissants and fresh pies being baked directly below me.
I heard the door to the balcony being opened and I knew Isaiah was coming out to join me, hearing his footsteps and feeling his hands gently wrapping around my waist from behind, “Good morning,” he spoke softly against my neck and I could feel the hair at my nape standing on end.
“Morning..” I replied.
“I’ll never get tired of waking up to the smell of coffee and seeing you out here on the balcony every morning,” he continued with the same soft tone and a smile ran across my lips as he held me, “Though one of these mornings I’d like to wake up with you still in bed,” he somewhat joked.
“I’m a light sleeper.. Once the sun starts coming out, it lights up the room and wakes me up, so I can’t sleep anymore,” I pointed out.
“Then we should get thicker curtains,” he added and I chuckled softly, turning around within his grasp and facing him.
Isaiah slowly leaned in, kissing my lips for a long moment before pulling away and I knew the look in his eyes, squinting mine suspiciously towards him.
“..What?” I asked and he grinned.
“Nothing.. I’m just wondering if it’s wrong of me to ask for morning sex on the balcony..?” He questioned innocently and I felt my face get warm.
“It’s broad daylight and there’s people outside down there,” I pointed out in a shy manner, but that only seemed to get him to retract half of his statement and I watched as he reached for my cup, taking it out of my hand.
“Fine, then come back to bed.. Let your coffee get cold,” he implied, setting down my coffee on the railing and I couldn’t help but smile more, feeling him then pulling me eagerly back inside to our bedroom.
We kissed passionately as he undressed me and soon fell onto our bed, Isaiah climbing over me and I adored every length he went to to make me feel comfortable with him every single time. Our first time was when we had first moved in together and as much as that took some getting used to as well as getting used to living together, it soon became an almost-every-day activity, or whenever we had time. But, with it now being summer break for me with classes, we had all morning and all afternoon together before he would leave to open the bar and we practically jumped at each chance we got to spend time together in bed.
I knew this wasn’t like me, I knew I had moved fast with Isaiah, but I was okay with it.. I wasn’t forced into anything, I chose to do everything that I’ve done with him and he still has never pressured me in any of my decisions. I knew I was different and had changed, but I also knew it was a good thing and I never ignored an opportunity that I felt would only make things better for me.. For us.. In the short morning I had been awake, it had only gotten gradually better with the help of my coffee, the smell of the cafe, the pleasure from Isaiah.. I grew less anxious, less worried and way less tense as I basked in what I had and I learned to let myself get lost in moments like this.. To enjoy them to the fullest extent and Isaiah always helped clear my head whenever I felt like that without him ever even needing to know I was troubled. It felt a little less like lying, at least I didn’t think I was, it felt more like just withholding information that I didn’t want him to worry about.
After we had forgotten the world around us for a long while, we stayed in bed for a good portion of the morning, relaxing together and we talked about what the day ahead of us held.
“When are James and Katalina coming over?” Isaiah wondered.
“I have someone coming to see my old place around two-thirty, so I have at least fifteen minutes to hang out before I need to leave, show them the condo, and be on time to open the bar by three,” he answered and I smiled.
“Great, hopefully you can get an offer today,” I hesitated a moment before continuing, “I hope you and Kat get along, too.. She’s hard to deal with at first and I’m sure she’s going to ask you a million questions before you leave, but just bare with it.. If it’s too much and you want to leave earlier than you need to, I’ll understand.. I can cover for you,” I somewhat joked and he laughed softly.
“No need.. I’ll just put on my charm and answer every question she has,” he replied simply and I liked the attitude he had towards meeting someone as difficult as Kat.. He was right though, his charm alone is what drew me to him in the first place, I didn’t see how anyone wouldn’t be able to like him.
I had told James about Isaiah a few weeks before we had moved in together and he was a little shocked at first, but he got used to the idea and even rejoiced in the fact that I had found someone I could get this close with despite my circumstances with Jody. Isaiah and James had already met once before without Kat, but I knew he would understand and be more accepting than she would at first and they actually hit it off right away.. James was everything I could wish for in a best friend and he was excited to come over to see our place for the first time, but I wasn’t quite sure how Kat would react.. Ever since New Year’s, leaving Kat and James alone together to spend the night with Isaiah paid off and that night James had finally told Kat how he felt about her. They’ve been dating ever since and I was incredibly happy for them, but now that they were a lot closer, I admitted that I took advantage of that fact..
I asked James to tell Kat about Isaiah for me before she came over.. I knew he would be able to convince her to he nice, maybe even convince her to be open minded for once before she arrived and met the man I was dating and although I was nervous about them coming over, I had faith in James and I knew he would properly prep Kat for this introduction I knew would be awkward.. James, however, understood why I was reluctant to tell Kat and he told me he would try his best to keep her from being rude if she ever felt the need to be.. But, I still couldn’t help but feel nervous, even with James’ help.
Two o-clock came faster than we thought and Oliver and I waited in the hallway together, watching him pace around anxiously as I sat within the small couch.
“Relax, Oliver, I’m sure it’s going to be fine.. From what you’ve told me, I know exactly how to handle her potential criticism.. I’ve dealt with criticism ever since I came out, so I’m ready.. Stop being so nervous,” I tried to calm him down, but it didn’t seem to be much help.
“You don’t know her.. You only know what I’ve told you, but she’s completely different in person.. She’s exactly like my Uncle and.. It’s just.. I don’t know.. That’s not really a good thing.. And I just can’t help it, I’m sorry..” He stressed.
“Hey,” I called out, but he continued pacing, “Oliver!” I called out louder and he stopped, looking towards me and I smirked slightly as I motioned with my fingers for him to come towards me, “Come here.”
Oliver slowly stepped up to me, standing between my knees and I slid my hands up to his hips, holding him gingerly as he panicked a little, “It’s going to be fine,” I expressed soothingly as he looked down at me, “She’s going to love me.. Every question she has, I’ll answer with complete honesty and if she doesn’t like it, then we can talk about it roughly in bed later when I get home, so either way, tonight is going to end good,” I implied flirtatiously and I noticed him smile shyly, “So.. Stop being so nervous..” I repeated again and he nodded, watching him take a gentle, deep breath and I could tell he was finally beginning to loosen up a little.
Was it wrong of me to love how nervous he was? He was so cute as I watched him pace around the condo, but once he felt my hands upon him and I had tried to talk him down from being anxious, he seemed better.. At least a little bit. I had heard a lot about his cousin Katalina from Oliver himself, but I still had yet to meet her and as much as I was a little reluctant to introduce myself solely based on how he portrayed her being difficult, I knew I could persuade her into accepting me as part of his life.
After a few more minutes, the clock reading just passed two, there was a knock on our door and I kept the optimistic grin on my lips as he nervously approached the door and opened it for his family. From what I had gathered about him and from what little he talked about with me, I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to meet his Uncle and I knew for a fact I’d never meet his parents, so his cousin and his best friend were his only family in my eyes. I had seen his beautiful sister, Camilla, in my bar before and she was nothing but nice to me as far as letting Oliver and I get closer.. I had never formally met her, but, the fact that Oliver had felt strong enough to introduce me to what family he did have meant more than I could express and I was actually excited to put forth a good impression towards his cousin.
I stood from the small sofa in the hallway and let my hands slide over my outfit, making sure it laid correctly so I appeared acceptable and I watched the door reveal who stood behind it.
James came in first with all smiles as he greeted Oliver, “Hey! This place is great! It’s right over a cafe, I can smell the croissants from here,” he expressed happily and he then noticed me after he had greeted Oliver, “Hey, great to see you again,” he expressed and I nodded in agreement as his stuck out his hand for me to shake and I obliged respectively.
“Likewise, my friend. Glad you could come,” I replied and I looked passed James to see a gorgeous blonde woman following him inside, “Wow.. Good job, Jimmy..” I complimented and James couldn’t help but smile uncontrollably.
“Tell me about it..” He joked to me quietly and I chuckled as I approached whom I could assume was Katalina.
Oliver shut the door behind her and I watched as his blue eyes met mine, telling me without words that he was crossing his fingers and I smiled at him as I then approached his cousin. Katalina looked around the condo at first, her vibrant green eyes then looking to me and she still had yet to put even a slight smirk on her lips. She wore a beautiful dress that complimented her body in all the right ways, though a little too revealing for my taste, knowing she was a woman with high standards, seemingly to me the type of girl who always wants to ‘dress to impress’, as well as a sense of egotistical grace in her judgmental stare, yet I knew exactly how to treat her.
“This is Isaiah..” Oliver introduced me and I picked up her hand, kissing the top of it and she seemed rather baffled at how I had already treated her.
“The pleasure is completely mine, I’m sure.. You are absolutely stunning, Katalina, it’s great to meet you finally,” I complimented and already she seemed a little swayed by me, yet I could still feel the vibe from her that she wasn’t one hundred percent sold.
“It’s nice to meet you, as well,” she expressed, though I could see her unimpressed green eyes looking to James that stood behind me as if saying ‘now what?’, but I helped in deciding that for her.
“Oliver, why don’t you show James around the place? I’m sure he’d love to see it,” I expressed and I could tell just by the expression Oliver gave me that he knew Katalina was in good hands, watching as he nodded and the two of them walked more into the condo towards the living room as Kat and I stayed within the opening hallway, “Can I get you anything? Water, juice, wine, beer?” I asked and she smirked only slightly, but I caught on to it as hard as she tried to hide it.
“James told me you were a bartender, but I never expected you to be doing your job at home,” she replied and I chuckled softly.
“I only wait on people outside of my job that I desperately want to impress, so you should take up my offer while I’m off the clock,” I replied and I watched her grin a little more.
“Wine suits me just fine,” she replied and I nodded, motioning her towards the kitchen and she followed me.
I pulled out my most expensive wine from our hanging rack and as I uncorked it, Katalina spoke softly behind me as I poured her a glass, “So.. You and Oliver are together, huh?” She questioned and I smirked.
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied simply.
“Are you in love with him?” She asked next and I stood there for a moment, but I then continued on and corked the bottle, placing it back within the rack and I turned towards her, handing Katalina her drink and she took it with a skeptical expression.
“I am,” I answered, watching her take a sip of her wine and smirk, thinking that she liked my answer, but I was far from correct.
“Doesn’t quite answer my question,” she continued, her expression then falling into a bored and unimpressed way and I grew nervous for the first time tonight, “You can give me a better answer than that, can’t you?” She wondered. I knew now that my charm wasn’t going to suffice when it came to Katalina, she was much more difficult to please, but I would still make an effort to try and persuade her the best I could.
“Yes, I love him.. He’s my everything, he has been since I met him and I can’t fully express into words how much he means to me. I actually told him on New Year’s Eve that I loved him.. Still do, always will, and if he was by my side for the rest of my life, I’d be perfectly fine with that,” I continued and her expression slowly grew less intimidating, “Now, have I answered your question good enough?” I asked and she smiled genuinely for the first time.
“You have. Thank you for being so specific,” she replied and I bowed my head just slightly towards her as to say ‘you’re welcome’.
I watched her step closer to me, setting her glass down on the counter and the expression she gave me still made it seem as if she wasn’t done with me yet, “So.. How do you feel about Oliver having a baby with someone else?” She asked and my expression went a little reluctant towards the subject, “He has told you about that, yes?” She asked.
“Yeah.. He has. I’m letting him deal with it however he wants to and whether he decides if he wants it or not, I’m going to support whatever he chooses,” I answered and she seemed pleased enough.
“So, if he ends up wanting the baby, sharing custody, or whatever the case, you’ll help him raise it?” She questioned next and I nodded.
“Yes, ma’am,” I confirmed.
“Would you marry him?”
“I’d love nothing more.”
“Then why haven’t you?”
“I don’t think Oliver’s quite ready for that..”
“Do you want kids, perhaps a little later on down the road with him?” She questioned next and I chuckled softly.
“I still have yet to discuss that with him, but.. I don’t see why not,” I replied and her expression seemed as if she was out of questions to ask me.
“Have I met your expectations?”
“You pass.. I’m sure this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways just to be clear. I love Oliver, he’s my family and if you ever hurt him, I’ll cut you open in your sleep and use your intestines for garland over my fireplace,” she spoke with determination and a rather unpleasant look in her eyes. I definitely knew she wasn’t joking..
“You don’t have a fireplace,” I attempted to joke and she stepped up closer towards me, my smirk leaving my lips quickly.
“I’ll install one just for that occasion,” she threatened and I swallowed roughly, regaining a little of my composure and I nodded.
“Point taken,” I replied and she seemed pleased with how our first meeting went. Katalina had proved to be an intimidating, powerful young woman and although I didn’t spook easily, she actually made me a little nervous. Oliver was right, she was difficult to deal with, but now that we had gotten passed the hard part, I felt it was nothing but smooth sailing from here on out.
After I had shown James around the condo, we ended up coming back downstairs and I noticed Isaiah and Kat walking out from the kitchen, assuming they were done talking and I looked to Isaiah anxiously, though I was glad to see that he seemed happy.
“Well..?” I wondered and Isaiah smiled.
“I got the stamp of approval,” he replied and I let out a relieved sigh, happy now that both James and Kat liked Isaiah, “I wish I could stay longer, but sadly, I need to leave and go show someone around my old place, as well as get to the bar by three, so..” Isaiah continued.
“Well, it was great meeting you,” Kat began and Isaiah smiled.
“Likewise, my dear,” he replied, Kat and James then left the hallway to give Isaiah and I some privacy.
I stepped up to Isaiah after James and Kat had gone into the living room and he still seemed happy, “So..? What kind of questions did she ask you? I hope nothing too personal..” I asked with worry and he shook his head.
“Nothing bad, she just pretty much asked how serious I was about you, then threatened me if I ever hurt you.. Typical protective behavior from a family member, nothing I can’t handle,” he assured me, feeling his arms slowly wrap around my waist, “I gotta go, though.. Have fun with them tonight, I should be home around nine-thirty or so. I love you,” he added and I smiled, feeling him then pull me closer and he kissed me for a long moment before pulling away and leaving.
Even after all that we’ve been through, I still had never repeated those three words back to him.. I do love him, more than I could ever show, yet I had no idea why I hadn’t said it yet. Maybe I was waiting for the right time, or maybe I was just scared to because once I say it, I can’t ever take it back, but why would I want to do such a thing, anyways? I knew that just before he left, if I had said it then, it wouldn’t mean much and I would most likely completely blindside him, so maybe I really was just waiting for the right moment.. Whenever I got around to doing it, I wanted it to be special and I wanted him to be home and done with work for the day, not right before he left to go somewhere when we wouldn’t see one another for hours.. After I would say it, I’d want to spend the rest of the night in bed with him, maybe I even wanted a little liquid courage in me first, too, just to calm my nerves.. But, either way, it wasn’t the right time yet.
I eventually walked out of the hallway and into the living room to see Kat standing and James sitting on the couch in front of the television, noticing Kat look at me first, “He’s handsome, he’s very sweet, too, I can see why you like him… He seems pretty serious about you,” Kat began and I was glad that she was already complimenting Isaiah.
“He really is great.. I’m glad you both like him,” I replied.
“See? I knew you would,” James pointed out to Kat and I kept my smile as I watched her roll her eyes.
“So,” Kat began again, “What’s the whole situation with Jody if you and Isaiah are together?” She brought up and I grew a little nervous, “Since I haven’t been able to talk to you and all the information I’ve been getting is from James, I want to hear what you have to say about it.. How did she take it?” She wondered and I sighed.
“She didn’t..” I replied quietly.
“As in.. You haven’t told her?” Kat asked and I nodded, “Oliver.. To this day, she still thinks you two are as good as can be,” Kat pointed out and James spoke before I could.
“Because she’s fuckin’ psychotic..” He said under his breath, though both Kat and I heard it.
“What?” Kat demanded and James acted as if he hadn’t said anything.
“N-Nothing..” James replied and I watched as he gave me an expression that told me he was nervous for me.
I looked to Kat who now faced me, wanting answers, “She doesn’t know because I haven’t told her.. I feel like she would try to ruin whatever Isaiah and I have so I haven’t said anything..”
“Why the hell would she do that? I’m sure she would understand just fine,” Kat argued a little.
“Kat, she’s obsessed with me.. She has been ever since we met and I’ve told her many times already to leave me the hell alone, that I don’t want anything to do with her, but she won’t stop..” I replied.
“Wow, I wonder why, Oliver..” Kat answered sarcastically, “Maybe it’s because she’s carrying your fucking child?”
“All I wanted was for you to meet Isaiah, to spend time with you two and I wanted tonight to go well, I don’t want to argue about any of this.. It’s no one else’s business but mine, so just back off, all right?” I expressed, turning around and walking towards the kitchen, “I’ll get you two a drink..” I continued, leaving the living room and walking into the kitchen alone. While I stood by the counters, trying to calm down my slight anger towards Kat, I could hear them both harshly whispering in the living room, arguing without me, probably about me, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I knew James was on my side solely because he knew everything about Jody and I’s situation, but I didn’t want to tell Kat in fear that she would overreact or baby me more than she already does. As much as I wouldn’t mind if Kat told Jody off or even beat the shit out of her for what she had done to me, knowing she would if Jody wasn’t pregnant, I wanted to keep Kat away from Jody in fear that she might convince Kat otherwise on what actually happened.. I couldn’t have anyone close to me be on her side through any of this.
I poured a fresh glass of wine for Kat and grabbed a beer from the fridge, going back towards the living room and I noticed their whispering had finally come to a stop when I came back. I handed them their drinks and James seemed to hold a remorseful expression while Kat stared at me as I stood in front of them.
“..What is it, Kat?” I finally asked, noticing she was dying to say something and I knew this argument wasn’t going to be over with until she was done with it.
“Can I please just say one thing before you blow me off like that and we never talk about this again? I barely know anything about this situation and I’m tired of being out of the loop, I want to try and understand all of this, Oliver..” She replied.
“Fine.. Just make it quick,” I answered.
“What about Jody? Does she have absolutely no say in this? Why did you leave her? You two are having a child together and the first thing you do is leave her side when she needs you now more than ever..? For what, Isaiah..? Did he convince you to do all of this or something?”
“No, of course not!” I got angry right away from her questions, knowing that she didn’t want to put the blame on me and the next person to blame was Isaiah who she knew nothing about.
“Kat, come on..” James tried to butt in, too.
“What? I’m just trying to understand.. I feel like I barely know you anymore! And you haven’t exactly made the best decisions in your life, you usually need help, so I’m just asking if you think you’re doing the right thing by leaving the girl you impregnated for some guy that you just met,” she continued and her words only made me angrier.
“Just met..?” I repeated with frustration, “And what the hell say in it do you have, Kat? You said that you feel like you barely know me anymore, but did you ever stop and think that maybe I’ve changed? Maybe even for the better? Maybe even the fact that Isaiah has helped me be able to do that? He’s not brainwashing me or anything, so don’t you dare put any of this on him, because that’s not how it is!” I argued back.
“What the fuck are you going to do about Jody? She’s due in two months, how is that going to work out when you’re living with someone else?”
“I don’t give a shit what Jody wants, she forced me into this situation and there was nothing I could do about it. She’s two-faced, Kat! Why do you think I’ve been avoiding her practically since the day we met? I don’t want to be with her, but she’s psychotic and won’t let me go, even after all of this time, and-”
“How could you blame her?! She’s carrying your child!”
“It’s more complicated than that! Why can’t you just be happy for me instead of jumping down my fucking throat about every little thing that I do that you don’t approve of? How many times do I have to tell you that your not my mother, so stop acting like it?!” I yelled back and Kat held her tongue for a moment. I could tell James didn’t want to be in the room with us arguing, but I knew he was only staying so it didn’t get too out of hand.
“For once, why can’t you just be on my side?” I asked and Kat didn’t say anything, “You know what..? Maybe it’s a good thing that I moved out.. I won’t have to deal with you anymore and you won’t feel like you have to baby me every Goddamn second of the day.. How about you just let me worry about my life and you can just get on with yours? I invited you guys over to show you where I’m choosing to take my life and who I’m choosing to spend it with, why can’t you accept it?”
“I just..” She began, but stopped, bowing her head more and I heard her let out a heavy sigh, “I’ve just felt.. I don’t know.. Responsible for you. I consider myself an older sister to you and I’ve been watching out for you all of our lives. I just don’t want you to not be happy, I don’t ever want you to go through what we had to when we were little and I want you to do better for your child than both our Dad’s did. I want you to have a good education, get a good career, have a stable life for your kid to be raised around, and-”
“And you don’t think I can do that with Isaiah?”
“I’m just saying I think it might be hard on the child.”
“Well, I don’t want joint custody or whatever.. She can have it, so why does it matter so much to you..?”
“It?” She asked with slight anger, “You’re just calling the baby an it? A baby isn’t just some object you can dump on someone and have it sit in their living room gathering dust until you decide one day you might want it back. What are you going to do if you ever change your mind? Do you really think Jody would be open to that when you pretty much have told her to fuck off already?”
“I don’t think that my decision will change..”
“But you don’t know that.. What if Isaiah, even down the road, would want to be involved in some way with the child of his.. Partner..?”
“I don’t think he would unless I would.. It’s not his responsibility to worry about it, nor is it yours, it’s mine,” I replied.
“Exactly.. It’s your responsibility.. What are you going to tell them when they’re eleven, or sixteen, whenever they might want to know who you are? Are you going to tell them that you didn’t want them?” She asked, her eyes reading as if she was completely shocked by my behavior, “Whenever they show up on your doorstep, are you going to tell them to leave? If you ever found your dad again, would you want to hear that come from his mouth?” She continued and all of her questions hit me harder than I had thought.. I never even thought about the possibilities in the future of what could happen..
I looked to James and I knew he was more uncomfortable than ever, not looking at either of us and I shied my eyes away towards the ground, “My dad wanted me, this is entirely different..”
“Is it?” She challenged, “Because, from the way I see it.. Your dad left when you were still in grade school, but you’re leaving your child before it’s even born.. What’s worse, Oliver..?” She asked and I didn’t have an answer for her. “What if.. One day, you and Isaiah want a child together, and what if you two decide to have one? Then, later on, your child with Jody wants to get to know their father, so they go in search for him and they come across a happy family with a child of their own. How do you think that’s going to make them feel, seeing their father so happy with someone else that isn’t their mother, happy with a child that isn’t them? Did you ever even think of that..?” Kat continued and every question she was asking was impossible to avoid thinking about.
I hated to admit it, but she was right.. This whole time I’ve been so focused on trying to find happiness for myself that I wasn’t even thinking of Jody and the fact that she was pregnant.. With my baby.. My responsibility.. I wouldn’t say that I was totally convinced just by what she had said, but I knew now that I had a lot more thinking to do, as well as a lot of things to discuss with Isaiah. I even wondered what my parents would say in this situation I’ve put myself in and I wouldn’t think that abandoning my child, no matter how much I hated the mother, would go well with them.. I guess it wasn’t the kids fault that they’re being forced into a situation like this, but.. That’s just it. Why would I force them into something? Jody was the forceful one, Jody was the one that wanted this type of leverage over me, but I didn’t want to juggle around a child like that.. An innocent child.. I realized that by wanting nothing to do with it’s future, I was already determining their future for myself, and I wasn’t that selfish of a person.. Was I?
“Just think about it, okay..? I know it might seem to you like I’m just nagging or I’m parenting you or whatever, but I hope you can see why I do this for you. I’m not trying to run your life and I’m not trying to ruin it, either, I’m only looking out for you, and just by the look on your face right now, you haven’t thought about any of what I had said yourself before today, have you?” She asked and I shook my head.
“No..” I admitted.
“Oliver..” She said to get my attention and I looked up to her, “I like Isaiah, okay? Hearing you defend him right off the bat tells me that you care about him deeply and I understand that. I’m sorry if I hit the wrong button with what I had said before, but I wanted to make sure that you felt strongly about the decision you had made.. Promise me, though, that you’ll think about the baby more. I don’t care if you still want nothing to do with Jody, but just be a good dad to your child, okay? Be a better dad than what we had,” she encouraged.
“All right.. I’ll think about it more,” I replied and she gave me a smile as if she was proud of me.
“So.. Is the arguing all over and done with?” James wondered and both Kat and I looked towards him.
“Yeah, I think we’re all good now,” Kat answered and James let out a relieved sigh.
“Thank God. Let’s forget about all of this for now and start having fun. We still have to celebrate you moving out and into your own place,” he pointed out, watching him stand with us, “I know we didn’t get you a housewarming gift, but our magnificent presence will have to make due for now,” James joked and I couldn’t help but chuckle, “Anyways, congrats on your new home and I wish Isaiah was here to celebrate with us,” he continued, watching as Kat nodded in agreement to James’ statement.
“Thanks, guys,” I replied genuinely.
James and Kat had dinner with me and after that, we watched a few different shows together on the television, but they left a little after eight and called themselves a cab home. I was left alone to clean up, clearing away the empty beer bottles and tossing them all in the recycling, then cleaning up after dinner and tossing out the bottle of wine that Kat had drank herself. Overall, it was a pretty successful night and I was happy with how it had turned out, even after getting into a heated argument with Kat..
But, she opened my eyes to a lot of things I had never even considered before.. After hearing what she had to say about my baby, I had to admit that she got me wanting to be in the baby’s life more than I had planned to be, or rather, planned to not be.. I already didn’t consider the baby an ‘it’ anymore and even without talking about the baby with Isaiah, I kind of wanted to at least meet him or her when they’re born.. I wondered, too, if Jody would share custody with me..? However, knowing her, it was going to take a lot of persuading to make her reach that type of agreement with me and I wasn’t sure if I would be up for whatever she wanted in return.
I walked out of the kitchen when I was done cleaning and walked through the living room, going out onto the balcony and relaxing in the warm, late-spring air and I could still smell the last batch of baked goods being made below me in the coffee shop before it closed. I anxiously waited for Isaiah to get home, knowing he wouldn’t be home for another hour or so, but I still always looked forward to seeing him again. I even planned on perhaps talking with him about my baby with Jody, hoping that he would be okay with me trying to put forth the effort in raising it now that Kat had persuaded me a little..
The more I thought about it, the more I then began to wonder if Isaiah even wanted children.. Would he be open to helping me raise my child with me? Would he want more with me eventually if things between us got more serious? I also had to ask myself those same questions, too.. Would I want more after I would try to raise the one I was having with Jody, or would it make me want the exact opposite..? I guess I’d have to wait and see before I could answer that question.
I put those thoughts on the back-burner for now, my mind going blank and I looked around below me, still seeing the small courtyard lit and there were a few customers from the coffee shop sitting at the tables. My eyes then went to a woman sitting closest to my view, but my brows furrowed a little when I had noticed it was the same woman from this morning, wearing a sundress and sunhat, a book on the table, no coffee or pastry like she had this morning, but just sitting.
“What the hell..?” I asked myself in a calm whisper.. Had she really been sitting there all day long..?
My eyes then widened suddenly, looking at her golden hair and now that I could see clearer from this balcony instead of the one from our bedroom, I noticed she was pregnant and my heart sank abruptly.