Claire’s face paled. She then had this sudden urge to empty the contents of her gut. Ian had been acting suspiciously for a couple of weeks, and she knew why. She had hoped she was wrong about him, but despite his best efforts to hide it from her, years of playing detective in her relationships had sharpened her skills. Everything changed after the positive test results. The stakes were higher. A short while with his phone was all she needed to weed out the “threat” to her relationship.
“Hi Patty, can I call you that or do you prefer Patricia?” Claire asked.
“Patty is fine.”
“Okay, Patty. I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m the woman whose man you’re canoodling with all over town,” said Claire.
Patty froze. She briefly considered ending the call, but Claire interrupted her thoughts.
“Please don’t hang up. I need to talk to you woman to woman.”
“I’m not sure this is a good idea.”
“I need you to hear me out. I’m pregnant and I don’t want to raise this child without a father; I need you to leave Ian alone,” Claire said in a tone that sounded more of a demand than a plea.
“That’s going to be difficult,” Patty responded.
“Because I am six weeks pregnant too,” Patty told Claire.
The line went silent for a few minutes. Even sharp-mouthed Claire was dumbfounded. The news caught her by surprise. This wasn’t how she envisioned this conversation. In fact, this was not how she had pictured her life- fighting over a man with another woman.
“Is the child his?” Claire asked Patty.
“Don’t insult me!”
“Who knows how many other relationships you’re wrecking!” Claire retorted.
“Lady, you called me and Ian came on to me, so clearly he was looking for something you couldn’t give him.”
The conversation went south after that. Eventually, Patty hung up but not before they hurled insults at each other. It was apparent none of them was going to back down. Both wanted to keep their pregnancies and wanted to keep Ian for themselves.
After the epic failure of that conversation with Ian’s side piece, Claire was furious. She hated Ian for cheating on her, but she was determined not to lose him. She needed a plan to get Patty out of the picture. The most important thing would be to tell Ian about her pregnancy before Patty and then use it as leverage.
On the other hand, Patty was a ball of emotions after that phone call. After discovering she was pregnant, she wasn’t sure what to do, but now that she had told Claire, she needed to decide on the next move. Ian hadn’t been her ideal choice at first. She had been dating Frank when Ian came along. There was also a slight chance that the child could be Frank’s, but given a choice between Frank and Ian, Ian was the better choice. She asked Ian to meet her.
Ian went about his day’s activities as usual unaware of the storm that awaited him. He had been with Claire for almost four years. Together they had helped each other climb the corporate ladder. Additionally, Claire had shrewd business acumen. He knew without her help, it would have taken him longer to get to where he was financially. However, Patty was like a breath of fresh air. She made him laugh and tap into his inner child. He enjoyed having both of them in his life. He treated them well, and at least he didn’t have to tell them his secret- not yet, anyway.
When he got to the house, he found Claire seated and waiting for him.
“We need to talk,” said Claire.
“Okay, can I first take a shower?”
“No,” said Claire as she placed the pregnancy results in front of him.
Ian’s eyes widened, and he almost fell off his chair.
“How did this happen?” Ian asked.
“What do you mean? How do people make babies?” Claire asked, annoyed.
Ian left. Immediately he walked out, and Patty called him.
“Patty, I’m having quite a long day, can I call you back later?”
“Actually, this cannot wait. I’m pregnant Ian,” Patty said.
He didn’t get to hear anything else she said because he zoned out after the word pregnant. He called one of his boys and went over to his place.
“Hey, Ian, come in,” Kevin said as he opened the door.
“Man, the devil is on my case today,” said Ian.
“Claire and Patty are both pregnant.”
“We need a drink for this,” Kevin said as he went to the kitchen.
“Dude, you got two women pregnant at the same time?” Kevin asked Ian with a bit of a chuckle.
“No?” Kevin asked, looking confused.
“I’m not responsible for either. I had an injury when I was 19 that left me impaired.”
“I take it they don’t know?”
“Nope. You’re the first person I’ve told besides my family,” Ian responded.
“Oh, wait, so both your girlfriend and side piece have been cheating on you.” Kevin couldn’t contain his laughter.
“Dude, it’s not that funny,” Ian said.
“Actually it is, sounds like you all thought you were outsmarting each other but fell flat on your faces. So what now?”
“I can’t take responsibility for the kids, obviously. But I can’t believe Claire would do me dirty like that,” Ian said, sounding hurt.
“You had Patty too.”
“No, you are all in the wrong. Anyway, what’s done is done. How will you tell them?”
“That’s cold even for you.”
“Okay, I’ll meet them.”
Ian decided first to meet Patty.
“Patty, I’m not the father of your child.”
“Ian, are you choosing Claire’s kid over mine?” Patty asked.
“Claire’s child? How do you know about that?” Ian asked.
“She called me to confront me over our affair.”
“What else did she say?”
“She told me to stay away from you. Can we get back to the main issue- my child?” Patty said desperately.
“Patty, that is not my child and you know that. I suggest you take it up with the other party involved.”
Patty didn’t put up a fight. It was time to talk with Claire.
Claire was still furious.
“How far along are you?”
“Eight weeks, why? Now you care about your child?” Claire asked.
“I just needed to know when you cheated on me,” said Ian.
That statement took Claire by surprise. Guilt was written all over her face.
“You have no right to get angry at me when you’ve had Patty around for quite a while. I was only getting even.”
“Speaking of Patty, why would you call her?”
“Because I didn’t want anything distracting you from taking care of your child,” Claire responded.
“Well, I guess you’ll have to have that discussion with whoever fathered your child because that child isn’t mine.”
“Ian, I will not let you neglect your child!”
“Claire, I cannot sire children.”
“Wow, that’s a new low even for you. Why would you say that just to get out of this?”
“Claire, look at me. I would never joke about something like that. I had an accident in my late teens and I cannot father children.”
Claire fainted. When she came to, she started crying. She had had a one-night stand when she finally confirmed Ian’s infidelity, which must have been how she got pregnant. The lies, secrets and betrayal had led them to that moment.
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