Cate realizes she is not happy in her marriage causing her to cheat on her husband Richard and have a one night stand. She decides to keep her infidelity a secret. Things get complicated when she finds out she is pregnant and later runs into the man she cheated on Richard with. Read part one here.
Who was the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant? Rose. You would think Richard but seeing the predicament I was in, such simple joys of life were not an option. And knowing Rose, she could come through with a pep talk. That girl could convince you to jump off a cliff. We all need friends like that, sometimes.
‘So from your tone of voice over the phone, I guess you are not sure who the father is right?’ Rose asked as we walked into the coffee shop.
‘I never thought I would ever find myself in this position,’ I really hated how deep the rabbit hole I had gotten.
‘So what do you want to do?’ Rose had never been one to ask the questions. She was always ready with solutions. So if she had nothing to offer today, I had really gotten myself into a tight spot.
Funny thing is, I knew that this was not a matter of choice. I knew what the right thing was I just wanted someone to talk me out of doing it. This was not just about me and my dirty little secret, there was a child in the mix too. But thinking of all I would stand to lose, how my life would be turned upside down just sent me into emotional turmoil.
‘I am going to tell him. I have to tell him,’ I told Rose.
She just nodded her head. Her silence was deafening. However, I would do the same in her place. the decision had to be mine. So it was settled, I was going to come clean.
That night Richard came home with Pizza, a ‘BTW’ treat for me since he knew I loved it. Sadly, this was one pizza I would not enjoy. We ate as Richard rambled on about how tired he was working at the construction company.
‘I should start my own company,’ Richard said.
‘I have something I need to tell you,’ I interrupted his epiphany.
He turned and stared at me. At that moment as I stared into his eyes, I realized that I was not only quite possibly breaking us apart but I was breaking his heart as well. This news would crush him.
‘ I am pregnant,’ I paused waiting for my mouth to finish the rest of the story.
‘What? When did you find out? I mean why haven’t… Oh, my God, we are having a baby?’ Richard could barely contain his joy.
He stood up, pulled me from my chair and spun me around. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the rest of the story. I mean look at him. So just like that, I changed my mind. I was not going to tell him a thing. I told myself I was doing it for him but looking back, I was doing it more for myself.
So just like any other couple, we started preparing for a baby. The first couple of months were tough. Every time Richard talked about how happy he was to be a father, I felt sick to my stomach. My morning sickness must have been amplified tenfold because of my guilt. Richard even put his plan of quitting his job on hold. However, just like wounds, time healed my guilt-ridden mind. We had ‘our’ beautiful girl, Stella. She was the spitting image of me; a mini-me. Over the years as I watched Richard with Stella, I convinced myself there was no way she was not his. But like I said, the past never stays where it is.
‘Bzz…..bzzz,’ my trip down memory lane is interrupted by my buzzing phone.
‘Hey babe, the show is about to start,’ Richard whispers into his phone.
‘I’m headed there now,’ I whisper back.
After I wash my hands I rush back to my seat. Richard holds my hand and kisses my cheek. As the show starts, I glance at the corner where Henry and his wife are seated. Our eyes meet and we linger for a bit until Richards laughter snaps me out fo my gaze.
After the show, Richard says he would like to speak to Henry a little more. I tell him I will just go ahead to the car since I am feeling a little tired. As I walk to the car, I call my trusty friend- Rose.
‘Oh this is bad,’ Rose comments.
‘I should just come clean before this goes sideways,’ I tell her in a panic.
‘No, no, wait and see how this plays out. It is a business deal. Those often fall apart. You will probably never see Henry again.’
But we do see him again. For some reason Richard is so impressed with Henry’s business ideas, he invites him and his wife over for Sunday brunch. He tells me about it on Saturday and no reasonable excuse is going to get me out of that brunch date. It was like fate was trying to ruin my life. But I resign myself to my fate and take heed to Rose’s counsel. To stay calm and play nice. Henry probably does not even remember me.
On Sunday, we come home from church to find that the nanny has started to make cooking preparations as I had instructed her. Stella runs to her bedroom to continue playing the game she paused before church. Throughout the entire cooking process, I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be fine.
11.30 a.m, the doorbell rings. Richard rushes to open the door. I take off my apron and walk towards the door too. There they stand, Henry and his ever-smiling wife whose name I am yet to find out.
‘Welcome, please have a seat,’ I beckon them,’ food will be ready in just a minute.
‘Thank you. No need to rush,’ Henry’s wife replies as they take their seats.
A little later on I serve the food.
‘I think Stella should eat from her bedroom. No need to involve her in a grownup talk. I am sure she will love eating in her bedroom today,’ Richard whispers to me as we prepare to take our seats.
I am all for the idea. Not because I think Stella will be bored by the grownups but because having her in the room will only make me feel more tensed up. So the nanny takes Stella her food, Surprisingly, things go really well. We talk, chat finally get to know each other’s names. Generally, have a good time. We even exchange numbers saying that we should hang out more. And for a moment, I am not stressed.
As I start clearing the table, Richard excuses himself to pick up a call and Diana( at least I know her name now) asks to use the washroom. After I direct her to the washroom, I head on back to collect the dishes. Henry offers to help out. After a little back an forth, I agree.
‘So Cate is it? I never really got to know your name you know,’ Henry says as we walk to the kitchen.
‘Huh….,’ I try murmuring. I am stunned.
‘Relax. I recognized you the moment I met you. Meeting Richard was purely coincidental. I am not here to ruin your marriage. We all make mistakes,’ Henry says smiling.
I chuckle nervously. At this point, I have a migraine. So he does remember me but he is willing to keep quiet. That’s a good thing right? Then why don’t I feel good?
‘Oh no, you shouldn’t have,’ Richard says as he walks into the kitchen.
‘It was no hustle. I just wanted to help out,’ Henry replies as he walks out of the kitchen.
We all head back to the sitting room where Diana is busy scrolling through her phone.
‘I would like us to talk business while the ladies talk about..well, whatever it is you ladies spend hours talking about,’ Richard says.
We all laugh a little bit. At that moment in time, my worst nightmare comes true. Stella, being the good little girl we have taught her to be, passes by the sitting room as she walks to take her plate to the kitchen.
‘Oh but since she is here, meet my daughter,’ Richard says signalling Stella to come in and say hi.
Stella rushes to put her plate down and then runs into the sitting room.
‘Her name is Stella and she is 6,’ Richard continues.
An excited Stella stretches her hand out to say hi to the two strangers she has just met.
‘6 years old you say?’ Henry confirms with Richard.
‘Yes, she looks a little tall for her age don’t you think? Probably got those genes from her mother. She was also a fast grower,’ Richard jokes.
My heart sinks. My chest feels so tight that I start breathing through my mouth. I can see where Henry is going with his line of questioning. I can not be having another panic attack. No, not right now. Henry looks at me, his mood has changed. I look away.