Cate is not happy in her marriage and one night she has a random fling with a stranger. Things get complicated when she finds out she is pregnant. 7 years later she runs into the man she cheated on Richard with – his potential business partner. Read Part One here. Part Two can be found here.
After saying hi our daughter Stella waved goodbye to the visitors and rushed back into her room. Richard asked the nanny to ensure that Stella read her storybooks as was her routine. Richard and Henry went to the study while Diana and I were left having a little chit-chat. Diana did most of the talking. I just listened or pretended to anyway. My mind was elsewhere.
After an hour or so, Henry and Richard left the study room. I fortunately or unfortunately did not get a chance to speak to Henry. Richard was convinced that Henry was the right business partner for him and he made sure he told me after Henry and Diana had left. I tried to hold back my panic the best I could since Rose was uncharacteristically unreachable on the phone when I tried to call her several times frantically. After what felt like a day from hell, Richard and I tucked Stella in and prepared to retire to bed. I received a text, I quickly grabbed my phone thinking it is Rose. It wasn’t her.
‘Look I was willing to forget our little slip up in the past. But I am only human and I cannot help but wonder, Is Stella mine? If she is not it is fine. I will leave you in peace but if she is, I need to know.’ Henry’s text read.
I decided not to reply. What was I going to say? I barely slept a wink that day. Tossing and turning was the order of the night. Thank God Richard is a heavy sleeper.
The next morning, I could barely concentrate at work. The other text comes in at around lunchtime.
‘Look, I do not want to cause trouble. I just need to know, I have a right to know.’
I was feeling like I was going to have a meltdown. I decided to call Rose.
‘Why haven’t you been answering my calls? Things are bad, really bad,’ I told her as I caught her up on what had been happening.
‘I think you need to come clean,’ she said once I was done talking.
‘Are you serious? Richard will be heartbroken,’ I answered almost in tears.
‘At this point it is either you spill the beans or Henry will,’
She is not saying what I wanted to hear but she was right. It was clear that I needed to come clean to Richard or Henry would eventually get frustrated and tell him in order to get an answer from me. So just like those many years ago, I set out to tell Richard the truth; Deja Vu. I got home earlier than usual. I asked the nanny to keep Stella in her bedroom and I waited for Richard. The moment Richard walked in, I start talking.
‘We need to talk,’
‘Are we having another baby?’ Richard asked jokingly.
‘You know I care about you and I would never want to hurt you intentionally right?’
Richard’s facial expression changes.
‘A couple of years ago, right before I got pregnant with Stella, I was in a really bad state. I did not know what to do or how to talk to you. And I ended up making the worst mistake of my life.’
‘What are you trying to say?’ Richard asked.
‘I’m sorry Richard…’
‘No… It cant be. You cannot be saying what I think you are saying,’
‘I am really sorry…’ I burst out in tears.
‘Please tell me it’s not tr… Please.’ Richard is furious.
He walked away, tears streaming down his face. Richard hated confrontations especially when he is emotional. All I could think about is the fact that I had not even gotten to the bad part yet and I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. I sat down on the floor for a couple of minutes in a bid to gather the courage I needed to tell him the whole truth. A couple of minutes later, Richard walked back to where I was in the sitting room.
‘Wait, you said right before you had Stella. Does that mean that there is a chance she is not mine?’ Richard asked.
My silence spoke volumes. Richard had heard enough. He walked away to the study and banged the door behind him. I took a small blanket, cuddled up on the couch and started crying. I had made a mess of things. Another text from Henry comes in but I was too sad to even read it. I asked the nanny to take Richards supper into the study. I was sure I was the last face he wants to seed. Just like the previous day I barely got any sleep. I eventually drifted into slumber in the early morning hours. When I finally woke up, I found Richard was gone. I felt so crappy I decided to ask for a day off. I tried calling Richard but to no avail. He ignored all my calls. I decided to just wait until he got back.
In the evening a solemn Richard walked into the house.
‘Hi,’ My attempt at pleasantries fell on deaf ears.
‘Who is he? Do I know him?’
I paused for a while.
‘Henry.’ I answered almost like I was whispering.
‘Wait, Henry the guy we had over? Is this some sick joke? You cheat on me then have your lover do business with me?’
‘No, it is not like that. It happened once and I never saw him again. Your meeting was purely coincidental.’ I jumped in.
‘Well, that explains things huh? You had never planned on me telling me the truth. His return put a kink in your plans and you had to come clean right?’
Richard would not even look at me. He seemed to be repulsed by the mere sight of me.
“Look Cate. I do not know what will happen to us. The one thing I am sure of is that I am not losing my daughter. Yes, my daughter. No test can ever tell me otherwise. So do whatever you need to do but keep that man away from my daughter.’
‘He doesn’t know whether Stella is his or not,’ I replied.
‘Good. Keep it that way. You owe me that.’ Richard walked away from me.
I have never seen Richard so angry before. I just stood there in shock. Was I really going to do this? Possibly hide Stella from her real father? But Richard was the only father she has ever known. What about Henry? I was really confused. After about 2 hours of just staring into thin air, I made my decision. I picked up my phone and texted Henry.
‘Sorry, it took me this long to reply. I was just afraid Richard would catch me. But I have come clean to him now. However, Stella is not yours.’
I press send. It is not the decision I wanted to make but it was the best decision for my family at that moment.
Now I am sitting in the bedroom, staring at the door and thinking about my future with Richard; if we even have a future. My world is crumbling around me, because of one night with a random stranger. But I made my bed, now I must lie on it.