As if abandoning her wasn’t good enough, Justin had refused to answer Gisela’s calls or reply to her texts. She wouldn’t go on like this. Adjusting a pillow under her head, she put a bookmark on
the novel she’d been reading and fingered her phone.
If u don’t come in 30 mins, I kill myself and Coral.
After a few seconds, her cell chimed. A message from Justin.
Do nothing stupid. On my way.
Oh! That simple. Why hadn’t she thought of this trick before? She jumped out of bed and hit the shower. After putting on hot pants, so short they barely covered her butt cheeks, and a sleeveless
top, she moved to the dressing table. He’d be here any moment, and she must hurry. Meticulously, she applied lip gloss and a trace of eye shadow. Then reclined on the bed and opened the page she’d
been reading. A soft wind blew on the outside and every minute, she expected his car to pull up. Once in a while, fancying she’d heard it, she’d peep through the window only to realize she’d been
A few minutes later and boom! His car's familiar vroom. She dropped the book, got up, and looked at herself in the mirror once more. She licked her lips to give them a wet shine and sat in an
armchair next to the bed, with the book in her hand. Her heart throbbed as she longed to see the expression on his face. Was he worried for them or he simply came out of anger? Regardless, she must
put an end to this awkward position he’d put her in.
She heard the doorbell, the steps of the maidservant, his steps then mingled with hers, and finally, his alone, headed her way. She took a deep breath to still her heart, which pounded hard and
made her lips quiver.
“What has come over you?” he asked even before he’d fully entered.
“I’m fine, thanks for asking.”
“I’m not here for games.” He stepped closer, never taking his eyes off her. “What part of ‘it’s over between us’ don’t you understand?”
“Excuse me? What makes you think you have the right to end it? Don’t I have a say in this?”
“A say?” He sneered. “As who? You are not my wife.”
His assumed right to play with her emotions and freedom to do as he pleased wounded her. “You can’t hurt my feelings and just walk away.” Her hands clenched into fists. “You leave me no choice, but
to fight for myself and you won’t have it pretty.”
He twirled the car key in his hand and suddenly removed the key holder bearing her image and put it on the bedside. “What will you do?”
She leveled her gaze on him. “Oh, my God! Justin. Is it you?”
He pinched his eyebrows. “You’re the one who spoiled everything. I had big plans for us until— “
She sensed a softness in his voice and realized being tender and less confrontational might bear fruit. “Can we just talk things over.” She fiddled with the strap of her top. “Honestly, how am I
supposed to live without you?”
“Please don’t make things more difficult than they already are.”
She moved to the bed and patted the space next to her. “Please come have a seat.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“You made me fall crazy in love with you.” She took the key holder and twirled it in her fingers. “I believed everything you told me, then all at once, you cut me off. How am I supposed to cope?”
He scrunched up his nose and sat next to her. “I meant everything I said, but you betrayed me.”
“Why would you judge me over my past, which I can’t change?”
“Anyway, things are different now, and it’s not as easy as you may think.”
“Is it about Katelyn? I won’t come in your way. Whatever you decide, please be fair to me as well.”
He stroked his mustache. “What am I supposed to do?”
“I’m okay with whatever works for you. So long as we’re both happy.”
She just didn’t get it. What in the world made him think he could leave her whenever he pleased? She wasn’t his play toy to be discarded at will. But before she did something stupid, she’d appeal
to his kindness because she knew he pitied her—no, loved her, but his wounded pride stood in the way. Things would go back to the way they used to be if only the paternity test would prove Thomas
to be his child. Speaking of which, what happened? The test results should be out by now.
“Well, how is Thomas?” he asked.
She directed his hand to her her waist. “Much better with you around, but it’s not been easy. Ah, did you get the results?”
“No, there was a slight problem. They need to take another sample.”
Hmm! The results must’ve confirmed Thomas to be your son, and you’re embarrassed to admit it.
She took out a bottle from his collection of whiskeys he’d bought while they were at the coast and poured him a tot. “Just the way you like it. Neat.”
He wiped his brow with the back of his hand and sipped. “Some ice cubes please.”
She fetched the ice cubes. “What went through your mind when you got my text? You thought I was joking, right?”
“Of course. Don’t ever send such alarming texts.”
She pushed a stool next to him. “I was serious.”
“You’d seriously thought of killing Thomas and committing suicide?”
“If I can’t be with you, I’d rather die.”
He drained the glass with a single gulp and placed it on the stool. “Don’t say that. Thomas needs you.”
“And I need you.” She poured him another shot. “We both need you.”
He ran a finger through his mustache. “Of course I can’t just walk away as if nothing happened between us. I’ll get you a good job or start for you a business of your choice. Whatever you decide.”
“Babe, all those things without you in my life mean nothing.”
Justin gobbled the drink and poured himself some more, almost to the brim. “But you know I’m married.”
“If so,” said Gisela, her voice shaking, “why don’t you do as other married men do?”
“They take care of both sides.”
“Sorry. I can’t do that. What we did was wrong from the very beginning, but that doesn’t mean we continue messing up. I want to make things right.”
She pouted, and her dimples deepened. “Is abandoning your responsibility making things right? You now have two families and it’s not messing up when you take care of both of us.”
He straightened, and his tone was as cold as ice. “That would’ve made sense if I was Thomas’s father. I’m not.”
“You are his father. Why don’t you want to show me the results of the paternity test?”
“I told you there was a problem, and the test wasn’t done.”
“What problem?” She squirmed. “I’m tired. Let’s do another test to confirm this once and for all?”
“Fine. I’ll call the doctor.”
“Whatever the outcome, you still have a responsibility to us.”
“You made me leave Ken for you. So if you think Thomas is his baby, you’re responsible for breaking up a family. You just can’t walk away from us.”
He thumped the glass on the stool and stood. “Enough! Do you still care for that block head? Go look for him.”
Yes! That hurt. Jealous? You still love me.
She grabbed his arm. “Don’t you dare walk out of me. I’ll kill this baby if he’s the one making you hate me.”
“Are you crazy?” He grabbed the glass of whisky and sat back. “What do you want from me?”
We either go back to our life as before, or I end things tragically.
The maidservant knocked at the door, Thomas crying in her hands.
“Will he breastfeed or I give him bottled milk?” asked the maid.
“Just give him bottled milk.” Gisela closed the door behind her.
“Everything has become distasteful to me because of you.” She sat beside him. “You’re so cruel. Heartless. You’re even making me hate my baby for destroying our happiness.”
He wiped his fingers on his corduroy pants. “You can’t hate an innocent baby.”
“So you’re judging me?” She raked her hair with her fingers. “Yes, I hate him and don’t pretend. You hate him too.”
Elbows on his knees and the glass of whisky tightly held in his hands, he leaned forward and sighed. “My God! What did I get myself into?”
“You’re the one who’s chosen to destroy our happiness.”
“Is this happiness to you?”
She took the glass from his hands and sipped. “You hate me. Everything in me repels you now, right?”
“I don’t hate you, but you’re pushing me away.” He took the glass from her. “You’re not supposed to drink when breastfeeding.”
“Oh, you still care? Thanks. You started this, and I’m not the problem here.” She stroked his shoulder. “We still can be happy again. I’m not asking you to leave your wife.”
“But how can I do this? I’ve made up with Katelyn.”
She poked his shoulder. “Congratulations. You’re so smart. If you managed to convince her to take you back, making her understand you’ve got another family won’t be that difficult. She knows about
us.” She placed her hands flat on her knees. “Jokes aside, I’ve never seen someone with a noble heart like her, she’ll understand.”
His gaze shifted from her face to her hands then back, and he swallowed. “I regret meeting you.”
Just when she was beginning to think he was calming down, he says this? She was hurt to the quick. “You’re the worst person I’ve ever met. Cold. The only person you love is yourself. Now you
pretend to love Katelyn, but it’s all pretense. It’s mere talk, and talk, and talk!”
He lifted the glass to his lips. “Please leave Katelyn out of this.”
“Honestly, why are you being so cold to me?”
“I’m not cold.”
“Yes, you’re cold, and you hate me.” She wrung her hands. “I’m a bitch now, an inconvenience. You’re missing your wife and can’t wait to go to her, right?”
“Please stop putting words in my mouth.”
“I cannot forgive you for this. Trust me, you’ll regret this and I’ll make sure you don’t have a chance to do this to any other innocent girl.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“I don’t care how you look at it.”
Weird thoughts crossed her mind. What was at first a trick, threatened to take a firm grip in her heart. Actually, what if she carried out her threat and killed the baby and herself? That would be
the best punishment Justin deserved. This idea settled in her mind—either they get back together or it ends tragically.
She jerked and looked intently at him. “It’s clear you don’t love me, and I can’t force you.”
His phone chimed. He pulled it out, and after briefly scanning the screen, returned it in the breast pocket.
“Is it Katelyn?”
She started toward the door.
“Excuse me,” he said when she’d reached the doorway. “I got to go.”
She turned around. “Oh, she wants you back home? Tell her to give you a few more minutes.”
“Gisela, we can’t go on like this.”
She opened the door. “I’ll be right back.”
He stood. “This is getting unbearable!”
“Don’t leave. You—you will be sorry if you dare to,” she spoke over her shoulder and went out.
Thomas, calm in the house help’s hands, stared aimlessly at his mother with his big eyes. She sent the nanny away, asking her to come back later in the evening, then returned to the bedroom with
the baby in her hands. If Justin thought she was playing games, he was grossly mistaken.
It started raining.
Lightning struck and the thunder bellowed. She sat in the armchair with Thomas in her hands, eyes fixed on Justin. Going over her life, she wouldn’t understand its meaning. Envy for the dead
possessed her soul, making her revel at the thought of committing suicide. This was the best way out of her position. For a moment, she pitied Justin, picturing the look of horror on his face when
he’d be explaining to the cops what happened to the two bodies of the mother and her baby.
But before she died, should she not apologize to Ken? Nope, he was also heartless, just like all other men. Martha had told him Thomas was his son, but he’d sent Gisela a text, telling her he
wanted nothing to do with either her or the baby. Or maybe she should let Thomas live? Out of guilt, Justin might adopt him even if he turns out not to be his child. Yes, he was a good man. So many
things ran through her mind. She thought about God and the afterlife.
As a little child growing up, it’d been implanted in her heart people who committed suicide went to hell. This didn’t scare her anymore. What difference would it make? She’d be moving from one hell
to another. Maybe the other would have less anguish. She’d soon find out. She fought back tears that threatened to spill. This wasn’t the time to get emotional. It might weaken her resolve.
The sound of a car pulling up on the outside distracted her. She peeped out of the window and saw Kevin and Irene coming out of the car; he carrying a colt.
Oh, Irene had also given birth! How happy they looked, with their other kids running up to them. But deep down, she knew father and mother didn’t really love each other as much as they portrayed.
To her, the only love that existed was from God to man. Men hated each other and only pretended to love one another with an ill motive of satisfying their evil desires. They even hated and blamed
God for their self-imposed sufferings. But maybe God also hated men--some of them, at least. Probably that’s why the other day he left some, including mothers with babes on their breasts, to starve
to death while their leaders enjoyed life with choice meats and the finest wines.
She snickered, thinking of how the world would judge her.
Oh, such a young and beautiful girl, she’d have found another man to marry her even with her child!
They could say whatever they wanted—her beauty wouldn’t mend the brokenness of her heart.
She remembered Olivia. Poor girl. Wants to get married just because she had good sex with Ryan the other day? If she only knew that was how far it’d get! Sex was only sweet when illegitimate, but
once consummated, it lost all its charm. And Ryan? Damned boy, he should have remained a celibate in that goddam society. Those spiritual brothers of his, whom everyone thought unhappy, in fact
were happier than everyone else.
Justin poured himself more whisky. “We can’t just sit here and look at each other.”
“Then why not have sex?” She laughed. “Oh, sorry. That’s not funny. I’ll be done in a bit.” She tossed Thomas into his hands, knocking away his drink, before running from the bedroom.
Her heart softened when she heard Thomas crying behind. She wouldn’t hurt her baby. Tears flowed freely down her cheeks. By the time Justin got to the kitchen, with Thomas in his hands, she
was already armed with a kitchen knife. Thomas’s cries resounded in her heart, and her hands trembled.
She lifted the knife, but Thomas’s cries weakened her hands. “I’m ending this.”
“Please don’t. We can still be happy together.” He put the baby on the sink slab and moved closer. “Are you not the one who said you loved me? Now you wanna leave me?”
She lowered the knife close to her tummy, Thomas’s screams weakening her more and more. “But you don’t love me— “
“Wait, babe, you know that’s not true. I love you.” He grabbed her and she didn’t resist, but flung herself in his arms, crying.
She took the baby and pressed him to her breasts. “Sorry, my sweetheart. Mum is so sorry. I won’t leave you.” She turned to Justin. “You can leave us alone. Just tell the doctor I’ll go there
tomorrow with the baby to do the paternity test. I’ll never bother you again if he’s not your baby. I promise.”
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