Mitch burst into the office and slammed the door, startling Lucia.
“You called my boss to order me back home? You really want me out of here that much?”
“Stop shouting, Mitch. This is an office not some noisy pub.”
“You’re not going to get rid of me that easily, Monique,” he assured her and walked out.
Lucia entered her matrimonial home with a grocery bag.
“Honey, I got us the ice-cream you love so much,” Lucia said, dropping her keys onto the key plate.
“Welcome home, Mrs.” Mitch greeted. Lucia paused.
“And what are you doing here?”
“Your husband invited me over. There’s going to be a big football match within the hour so he suggested that we watch it together.”
“Let me help you.”
“Don’t touch me.” Mitch’s hand stayed on the bag as he stared at her.
“What will it take for you to leave us alone?” Lucia asked. Ted came downstairs.
“Hi honey; I thought I heard your voice.” Mitch took the grocery bag from her, earning himself a hot glare from Lucia. He walked into the kitchen. Ted gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“How’s your old man?”
“As fine as he could ever be. You didn’t tell me you were bringing a visitor over.”
“Who, Mitch? I wouldn’t call him a visitor.”
“I know; you know what I mean. I thought we were going to spend the evening chatting and watching TV. I got us ice-cream for crying out loud!”
“I’m sorry, honey. There’s a big football match coming on today and I wanted a guy company. Besides, you don’t like football.”
“Who said? I love football!” Ted raised a brow.
“Which one is showing tonight, EPL or the champions’ league?”
“Oh okay; so you know something about football. But I really want to spend this time with Mitch. It has been a while since I spent time with a buddy.”
Lucia put on a sad face.
“Okay, do you prefer that I kick him out? Because I can easily do that.” Lucia glanced over his shoulder and saw Mitch leaning against the door, with arms crossed, staring at her. She swallowed.
“Fine; you win. But next time, it will be us…alone.”
“Got it. You’re the best,” he said and kissed her on the cheek. Lucia smiled.
“Come on, buddy; it’s almost time,” Ted called out to Mitch.
“I’ll be upstairs.”
“Okay sweetie.” Lucia went upstairs.
“I didn’t disrupt any plans you two might have made, did I?” Mitch inquired.
“Don’t worry; I’ll make it up to her. Come on, sit down.”
Lucia took a shower and then walked into the kitchen for a cup of tea. She decided to keep herself up to date with world news via internet on her tablet. When she was done with her tea and cookies, she washed the mug. She startled when she turned around and saw Mitch.
“You scared me,” Lucia said, trying to find her breath, her hand on her chest.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to. Just came for drinks for the two of us.” He opened the refrigerator and took two cans out and closed it shut.
“You’re turning out to be a worse nightmare than Anita and I never thought that was even possible.”
“You must really care about me to be bothered this much about my presence,” Mitch said. Lucia shook her head.
“Does your brain function upside down? Your mental process is beyond deranged. You need help,” Lucia said, about to walk past him.
“I know there is something between us,” he stopped her by placing his hand on her tummy. Lucia froze.
“Oh yeah, what makes you think that?” Lucia asked, staring hard at him.
“Mitch, where are the drinks, man?” Ted called out.
“The next time you touch me, I’m going to tell my husband and we both know it will not turn out pleasantly,” Lucia threatened and walked out. She went over to where Ted was seated and kissed his forehead.
“Coming to bed anytime soon?” She asked.
“Unfortunately, it’s going into extra time. So I might come in the next…”
“Thirty minutes, I know. I’ll try and wait for you but if I don’t, know that I love you, okay?”
“Yes sweetie.” She kissed him. Their hands slowly parted as Lucia walked away. Mitch walked in and saw Lucia walking up the stairs.
“At least she responded,” Mitch muttered to himself. He sat down beside his friend and handed over a can to Ted.
The following day, Lucia drove to the Peace General Hospital and went to see the obstetrician.
“You and the baby are completely healthy,” she said with a broad smile.
“Um…I have a problem, though.”
“What is it?”
“You see, my husband and I have been having some problems concerning this baby.”
“What kind of problems?”
“The thing is, we didn’t really plan for it and so it is causing some friction since it kind of messes with what we’ve planned together in the short term. So I was thinking, since it is still pretty young, could you help me flush it out?”
“Are you really sure you want to do this?” she asked, concern written all over her face. Lucia nodded.
“Not really but I have to do this for the sake of my marriage. We can always try again when we are both ready.”
“Of course. I advise you go and sleep on it and if you’re still convinced that’s what you really want to do, then we’ll see what to do.”
“Thanks, doctor. I appreciate it.” Lucia got up and left the room. She met Dr. Grant.
“Lucia! What are you doing here?”
“Dr. Grant! I came to see the obstetrician. I hope all is well.”
“It is and how’s married life?”
“As sweet as it should be. I’ve to run; I’ve got some errands to run.”
“Sure; please send my regards to Ted, okay?”
“I surely will. See you later, Dr. Grant,” Lucia said and walked away. The obstetrician came out of the room.
“You just attended to a close friend of mine and a former employee of this hospital. I hope she and the baby are fine,” Dr. Grant inquired.
“They are but…”
“But what?” She sighed.
“I have to respect the doctor-patient confidentiality deal.”
“I know but if there’s a problem, I could help.”
“Yeah, perhaps you could talk her out of it.”
“Out of what?” Dr. Grant asked.
Ted, Mitch and Lucia sat together at the conference table going over the agreement reached between Lucia and Mr. Wilson.
“I wish to amend clause 4.1.2 if it is okay with you,” Ted proposed.
“But your wife was okay with it…”
“It’s okay, Mr. Tudor. My husband understands the intricacies of this business more than I do. Whatever he wants changed, it’s fine with me,” Lucia said.
“Okay fine.” Mitch stole a glance at Lucia but she avoided the glance.
“Great! It was a pleasure doing business with you, Mitch,” Ted said, shaking hands with him.
“The pleasure is all mine, Ted.” Mitch extended his hand to Lucia. Lucia took a moment to stare at his hand before taking it. Ted’s phone rang.
“Father…sure, I have it in my drawer. Let me take a look at it. Excuse me, guys,” he said and walked out. Lucia got up to leave. Mitch stopped her by the arm. Lucia looked at her arm and then at him.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“I think we need to talk, Monique.”
“Let go of me!” She got herself out of his grip. “And we have nothing to talk about.”
“Oh but I know we do. You’ve been giving me attitude ever since I arrived. And I think I know why. I know your type.”
“Oh you do? And what type am I?”
“The kind who feigns hostility to disguise their real feelings.”
“And what feelings might that be?”
“Desire…passion…love?” Lucia scoffed.
“You must have been a lover of romantic fantasies. I feel nothing for you, Mitch. I’m sorry if I led you on back then but that wasn’t my intention. As you can see, I’m happily married to your friend.”
“Happily married is overrated, Monique and you know it. We did have a connection and we did share some intimate moments. Do you really not remember any of that?”
“I am sorry you feel that way. I was frustrated and worn out and obviously drunk so I might have said some things but I’m better now. We are good now.”
“What about what happened between us?” Mitch asked, holding her arm again.
“What do you mean?” Lucia asked, her heart pounding, afraid of his answer.
Anita walked in and froze when she saw the scene. Mitch let go of Lucia.
“Anything I can do for you, Anita?” Lucia asked.
“Ted asked me to update him on something…is everything all right here?”
“Yes it is. Ted is in his office. You’ll find him there.”
“Okay, thanks.” Anita took a moment to size Mitch up and then walked out.
“Anita? Is she the Anita you talked to me about?”
“I told you about Anita? I must have been really drunk. But anyway, whatever I said then doesn’t matter now. It must have been the wine.”
“It is said that drunk people always speak the truth.”
“But I don’t think I said I loved you, did I? So stop tormenting yourself and drop this nonsense.” Lucia started to walk out.
“You’re pregnant.” Lucia froze in her tracks. He walked towards her.
“You think everything is all right between you two but…”
“When will you be leaving?” Lucia asked, turning around to face him.
“What? You want me to leave?”
“Isn’t your job done here? We are almost through with the contract review. And I want you on a plane even before we get to the last page,” Lucia said and walked out. Mitch sighed.
Lucia giggled as Ted kissed her tummy.
“I can’t wait for your tummy to get bigger so I can feel the baby kicking.”
“And I am not really looking forward to the tummy getting bigger part.” She ran her fingers through his hair. He kissed her tummy again.
“It tickles,” Lucia giggled. He kissed her neck.
“When is your friend going back home?”
“Mitch? I don’t know…right after we are done with the review, I’m sure. He doesn’t have anything to do with this place.”
“Huh. And when will it be over, the review I mean?”
“The next two to three days. But he might stay a little longer for us to reacquaint ourselves.” He tried kissing her but she backed away.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing…I’m not in the mood tonight. I have some things on my mind.”
“Is something bothering you?”
“Kind of but I’ll be fine. But not tonight; rain check, please?” He nodded.
“Of course. But if there’s anything bothering you, please don’t hesitate to tell me. I don’t like to see you distracted.”
“Sure, my love.” They lay down and Ted wrapped his arms around her.
“Goodnight,” Ted said, kissing her neck.
“So Monique and that friend of yours seem to be close,” Anita pointed out.
“Who, Mitch? That’s understandable. They worked hand in hand when Lucia went over to their company. And now she knows he’s my old time friend. Of course they are bound to bond.”
“Uh huh, close enough for him to invade her personal space?” Ted looked up at her.
“What are you insinuating, Anita?”
“You know I am your friend, right? Despite our past, you still consider me your friend, don’t you Ted?”
“Just tell me what’s going on in your head. You were talking about invasion of personal space?”
“Yeah, something like touching?”
“You saw him touching my wife?”
“Her arm not her face, Ted. I might be wrong but it kind of looked intimate. Are you sure there isn’t another player in the game? You know I like to be the only third person in your relationship. I don’t like to share my position,” Anita said with a wink. Ted shook his head.
“Get out of here before you start messing with my head, Anita. Your company stings more than a bee.” She laughed as she got up.
“But you love it, don’t you? I’ll start working on these files immediately.” She walked out of his office. Mitch walked in.
“That’s one hot lady you have here in the office, TB. Are you sure she’s here just for her professional competence?”
“Shut up, Mitch. My relationship with her is none of your business.”
“Aha! I knew we were friends for a reason. We’re alike.”
“I am nothing like you, Mitch.” Mitch sat down.
“If you say so. So you don’t mind I reach for her short skirt?” He asked jokingly.
“You can take it off if you want but that’s how far you go as far as this office is concerned.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Monique? She told you I’m harassing her?”
“Of course not! I respect you both too much to even think of that.”
“For old times’ sake, I hope so, Mitch. Just don’t extend your charming demeanors towards my wife.”
“I hear you. You don’t see me as a threat, do you Ted?”
“No and the second I do, you’ll be out of here,” Ted warned.
“Duly noted,” Mitch said with a nod and smile.
Mitch and Anita were chatting and Anita was giggling like a teen. Lucia walked past them into the office.
“What do you say to dinner today after work?” Mitch asked.
“Fine by me.”
“Great. I’ll see you then.” He walked into the office. Lucia looked up.
“I can see you’re bonding with the hottest lady in the building,” Lucia said.
“I am the bonding type. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Mind? I’m glad and I’d be in your debt if you could succeed in making her fall in love with you.”
“In other words out of love with your husband. But I saw the look in your eyes when you saw us together. You’re jealous.” Lucia’s eyes widened.
“You do have a very dysfunctional imagination, Mitch and that bothers me. Why on earth would I be jealous of you when I have a perfect husband with whom I fall in love every single day?” Lucia asked.
“Because I made you feel something you have missed for a long time. I know we have something so I’m going to stay to prove it. But if you prove me wrong, then I will leave because after all, I have nothing to live for here.”
“What about Anita?”
“If she proves to be worthy, I might take her with me. For your own good and sanity, you wouldn’t want me to stay here with her, would you?” Mitch said and walked out. Lucia sighed.
“He must get out of here!” Lucia picked up her phone and called Mr. Wilson.
“It’s me, Monique Bourbon. I was wondering, don’t you have need of Mr. Tudor? We are almost done here but I’m sure you can ask him to return if you really have need of him. We don’t want to keep him here when you really need his services,” Lucia said.
“Sure of course. I have a couple of things in wait of him but if he’s virtually free, I’ll call him up.”
“Thanks, Mr. Wilson. Enjoy the rest of your day. Bye, Mr. Wilson.” Lucia hung up and sighed in relief.
“So how did you two meet?” Mitch asked over dinner.
“In a hospital. She was my nurse then.”
“Nurse, huh? I’m not surprised. Ted has always had a thing for dramatic encounters. So did a nurse end up being the heiress of a business guru?”
“It is a long dramatic story and I don’t want to get into that right now,” Lucia said with a tight smile. Mitch nodded.
“So what brings you here?” Lucia asked.
“Well, since you ran back here without finishing up your work, I had to come and deliver the wrapping up documents.” They stared at each other.
“Thank you for that. I’m sorry she left before she had to. She had run out of Teddy love juice so she had to come and top up her dosage,” Ted said lightheartedly with a wink at Lucia. Lucia shook her head with a smile.
“Huh; she must really have a thing for love juices for her to be knocked up this fast,” Mitch said cynically.
“Uh huh, you can say that again,” Ted said proudly, rubbing Lucia’s tummy with his palm. Lucia dropped her fork.
“And I think I’ve lost my appetite,” she said, getting up.
“Are you okay?” Ted asked.
“Oh yeah, you two continue with your meals. I’ll be in the kitchen. Excuse me,” she said and walked away. The two gents glanced at each other.
“Hormones?” Mitch asked. Ted shrugged to imply he had no idea. They continued to chat like the old buddies that they were. Lucia poured herself a glass of juice and sat down. About fifteen minutes later, Ted entered holding two plates. He put them in the sink and sat down beside Lucia.
“Are you okay?” He asked softly, holding her hand. She nodded.
“I’m sorry if we made you uncomfortable with our comments. We can get carried away like that sometimes,” he apologized.
“I understand and I wasn’t really bothered. I just wanted to sit alone for a while.”
“So we’re good?”
“Yes we are.”
“Good; then let’s go and see him off.” He helped her up and they walked to the living room.
“Thanks for dinner, Monique. It was amazing,” Mitch said.
“You’re welcome and it was nice seeing you again.”
“Great so I’ll see you both at the office tomorrow, right?” Mitch asked.
“Sure of course. We can go through the papers together,” Ted replied.
“Good; I’ll be on my then. Goodnight you two,” Mitch said, extending his hand to Lucia for a handshake. She took his hand. He kissed it.
“The charming type, huh?” Lucia asked.
“He did the same thing to my crush back then,” Ted said.
“Are you sure you’re over her? You seem to be still reeling over that.”
“Well, seeing you today has brought back a lot of memories, most of them not pleasant by the way.” Mitch laughed.
“I’m glad we can live past that.” He shook hands with his long time buddy.
“Goodbye.” He left. Ted closed the door.
“It is nice to finally meet someone who knows you apart from Anita, of course,” Lucia said. Ted chuckled and hugged his wife.
“You seem happy. I’m glad to see you this lighthearted.”
“Yes I am happy to see Mitch again. It has been a long time since we saw each other and we didn’t part on good terms so for us to reconnect like this, it is kind of therapeutic. I feel better.”
“I’m happy to hear that.” Ted gazed at his wife.
“And I’m extremely overwhelmed with joy over our baby so forgive me if I go overboard sometimes broadcasting the news,” Ted said.
“I understand and I couldn’t wish for anything less. You’re going to be best daddy ever.”
Lucia was restless the entire night. No matter how hard she tried to think about other things, all her brain was concerned about to process was Mitch and his attitude that evening. His gestures and comments made her uneasy. He seemed like the jovial type but she felt threatened by his presence. Was it real or was it all in her head?
The alarm went off at 6:00a.m. Ted glanced at Lucia who was still asleep. He leaned over and softly said hey into her ears. Lucia squirmed and opened her eyes.
“Good morning, love,” he greeted, kissing her hair.
“What time is it?”
“6 o’clock. Time to get up,” he said, getting out of bed.
“Give me five minutes.”
“Come on Monique, we have to leave early if we are to dodge the rush hour.”
“I’m not coming to the office today.”
“I’ve an appointment with my dad.”
“I thought that was on Thursdays.”
“Yeah, but he asked me to come today. Apparently, I’m the one he trusts enough to handle it.”
“Oh okay.” Ted entered the bathroom. He came out to find Lucia still sleeping.
“Still in bed?”
“I couldn’t sleep last night. I think I caught just a couple of hours’ worth of sleep.”
“Why, what were you thinking about?”
“I don’t know; my brain was working all over the place. I couldn’t shut it down no matter how hard I tried,” she said and yawned.
“I should get your breakfast ready,” she said, getting out of bed.
“No, don’t worry; I’ll have breakfast with Mitch. We’ll have more time to chat then.”
“Oh okay; that sounds like fun.”
“You want to join us before you go and see your daddy?”
“No, no, no; you go ahead. Perhaps another time.”
When he was done, he kissed his wife goodbye and left home. Lucia sighed and lay down in bed. She couldn’t wait for Mitch to leave.
“Hey buddy; you’re in early,” Mitch said when he saw his friend walk in.
“Yeah, I decided to report early so we could go and have breakfast together.”
“That’s great. Where’s your wife? Won’t she be joining us?”
“No; she won’t be coming in today. She’ll go over to her dad’s company today.”
“I see,” Mitch said.
The next day, Ted and Lucia came to work together. Lucia was working alone in the office when the door opened.
“Here you are.” Lucia looked up.
“Hi to you too, Mitch,” Lucia said and resumed working.
“Where have you been hiding?”
“Hiding? I’ve been working, Mitch.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you’re avoiding me.” She glanced at him.
“Avoiding you? And why would I do that?”
“I don’t know; perhaps because you feel uncomfortable around me…is it because of how we left things before you returned home?” Mitch asked.
“I have no idea of what you’re talking about, Mitch.”
“Oh okay, denial…such a genius way to go. Something tells me you’re acting edgy because of the connection we had back then.” Lucia scoffed.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Mitch. There’s no such thing.”
“Oh yeah? That’s not what I…”
“Listen Mitch, I am married to none other to your best friend, the one you betrayed years ago. So if fate has made it possible for you two to patch things up, I wouldn’t mess this second chance up if I were you. If you respect yourself and Ted as a friend, you will back off,” Lucia said firmly.
“And you’re pregnant; you forgot to add that,” Mitch said.
“And yes I’m pregnant so I might not always be in the mood for any silly jokes and innuendoes.”
“You must be high on hormones this morning. And I’m sorry if I offended you in any way. I didn’t mean to. Where’s Ted?”
“Out on an errand.”
“Okay could you tell him…?”
“You can tell him yourself. You have his number, right?”
“Yes I do.” Mitch stared at her as she continued her work.
“Anything else, Mitch?”
“Good.” Mitch stared at her for a moment and walked out.
It surprises me that the world finds pleasurable the things which have the most devastating side effects. People risk their health just to feel high for a brief moment and then suffer the consequences after the effect has waned. Others consume booze as if it is the new substitute for water for whatever sensation it may give them but every heavy drinker would admit that the hangover the next day is a nasty feeling.
So why do people keep on drugging and drinking themselves to death? Is it probably because the pleasure derive from the substances outweigh the aftereffects and so consider it a bearable price to pay? Or perhaps they are not strong willed enough to fight the temptation?
It has been said that it is always better to do/consume things in moderation and everything under or overdone has sure consequences. But I can testify of having so much of something with absolute no aftereffects or hangovers whatsoever. It is knowing God and placing your complete trust and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
You can never have enough of God’s love and it is only His love that can intoxicate you and never leave you so there are no withdrawal syndromes. Booze hangovers only leave faint and often inaccurate memories of what happened at a time but with God’s love, every day is another chance to create another happy memory of what God has done and is doing in your life. And each memory is a happy and cherished one.
Instead of taking drugs and booze as a lame attempt to forget your troubles, why not invite God’s love into your heart today? Let His love flood your heart and although not all days will be easy, you can be assured that His peace will be with you always and not leave you with a nasty and painful hangover.
Most people grow up religious or as believers in certain faiths because they were born into religious families. And they continue in the faith as long as they live with their families but things begin to change when they leave home.
When the teens grow up and leave home for college or move out to look for jobs, they lose contact with family and hence the fellowship. They become more occupied with surviving on their own and making it that they busy themselves trying to fit in among their friends instead of trying harder to get closer to God.
It is easier to walk with God when you have a family who supports and encourages its members to walk steadily with God. Children pick up godly habits like praying, giving, forgiving from their parents and older siblings. They learn to have hope and faith in God when they see their parents still smiling and in confident even in the face of difficult times.
So I believe that it is imperative for parents and older siblings to instil the fear of God into the kids before they become youths. As the Bible rightly puts it, train the child the way he should go and when he grows, he will not depart from it. We all have younger people who look upon us to show them the way. Let’s make it a point to teach them the Way before they become independent and leave home.
Some people lose touch with their faith probably because they were not firmly grounded in the principles of God’s Word in their growing days so a little temptation from the world shakes their faith and within a twinkle of an eye, he has lost his way so far that it is almost hopeless for him to turn back.
Be a pillar for someone; hold someone’s hand and help them grow in the Lord before the darkness of this world snatches him or her away.
Lucia went over to her parents’ house to spend time with her mother. She helped her mother out with lunch in the kitchen. Mrs. Baker watched as her daughter brushed the back of her hand across her forehead.
“Are you okay, honey?”
“Yes mother; it’s the vegetables. The onions are getting to me, that’s all,” she said, sniffing.
“No, you look tired. Do you feel sick, dear?” She asked as she walked to her and felt her forehead with her palm.
“You have a slight temperature. Are you stressed out?”
“Yeah a little; work and managing the home isn’t as easy as you made it seem, mum. You deceived me.”
Mrs. Baker laughed and urged her to sit down. She got her a glass of water which she drank gratefully.
“Are you expecting?”
“Me? No. Why would you even think that? We haven’t been married for long, mother.”
“And who says you have to be to get married? Some people conceive on their wedding night.”
“I sincerely doubt that.”
“Google it. But I’m serious, you should check it out. I think I might have some pregnancy test kits in the bathroom.” Lucia chuckled in disbelief.
“You, why would you still be having some of those? Were you planning on conceiving again?”
“Well, some years back, I felt a little bored so I thought about it but your father was busily traveling around and we never found the time.”
“Aww…I’m sorry to hear that, mum. I would have loved to have a younger sibling and watch you make his or her life a living hell just like you made mine,” Lucia said with a smile, brushing her palm across her back in a consoling manner.
“And that is why you should get pregnant as soon as possible before history repeats itself. I need at least three grandchildren.”
“Three, huh? That is a lot to ask from me, mum. Combining work with…”
“You can always work from home like I do.”
“You’re a stay-at-home mum; you only work when you feel like it.”
“And that can be your life too, honey. You wouldn’t have to worry about money; you know you’ll never have problems with it.”
“You’d never know.”
“Come on…just talk to Ted about it.”
“Now go upstairs and take the test.”
“Seriously mother? I can do that at home.”
“This is your home too, honey. Go on!” Lucia conceded with a smile. She went upstairs to her parents’ room and entered the bathroom. She found the kit and took it out.
“Please don’t be pregnant,” she pleaded with herself.
After waiting a few minutes, she took the stick and gasped.
She came back downstairs.
“Well?” her mother asked her.
“I think it’s broken. I’ll go get myself one and…” she quickly added when her mother was poised to interject, “I’ll let you know the results.”
Lucia was in deep thought as she drove home. Of course she wanted to have a baby. But not now when that night with Mitch was all hazy that she was unsure what exactly happened. She would have been more at ease if she knew the coast was clear; like three months away from now. Then she could be absolutely sure. What should she do?
When she arrived home, Ted was already there. She greeted him with a kiss and headed to kitchen for a glass of water. She suddenly felt oddly uncomfortable. She went to the bathroom. She realized she was bleeding. She did not know to feel about it; she was sad that she just might have lost the baby before Ted even knew about it but she was also happy that the least chance that it could be Mitch’s has been flushed out. Ted knocked on the door.
“Hey honey, are you okay in there?”
“Yeah, I’ll be right out.” She opened the door to find Ted leaning on the wall with crossed arms.
“Is anything the matter?” She asked.
“No; I was just wondering what was up with you considering how you rushed up here.”
“Oh it’s nothing. It’s just a small bleed.”
“You’re bleeding? Ouch.”
“I noticed you were late this month so I was hoping that…” He said, pulling her towards him, “we were pregnant.” Lucia smiled.
“You want us to?” He nodded.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well, I know how much our company means to you and how you want to do everything you can to see it grow and asking this of you might sound a bit selfish.”
“Don’t be silly, Ted; of course not. I’d love to have a baby. Since you were checking up on my cycle, I might as well go see the doctor tomorrow. Who knows, right?” He smiled excitedly.
“You’ll do that?” She nodded.
“Thank you.” He kissed her forehead.
“But let’s not raise our hopes up, okay? If there’s no baby, we can always try again.”
“Sure. I can’t wait for us to be a family.” He kissed her.
Lucia opened her eyes when the door opened. She sat up.
“So I’ve good news for you, Mrs. Bourbon. You are pregnant. The bleeding sometimes happens and it’s normal so there’s no need to worry much about it.”
“Okay. How long is it?”
“Just three weeks.”
“Huh. Thanks, doctor.” She bit her lower lip.
“Where did you say Monique had gone to again?” Mrs. Bourbon asked her son.
“Um…just checking up on a few things. She’ll be here soon,” Ted replied, checking his watch. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Ted opened the door.
“Hi. Am I late?” Lucia asked, coming inside. She kissed his cheek.
“No, they are setting the table. So, what did the doctor say?”
“Is that why you were standing watch by the door awaiting my arrival?” Lucia asked with a laugh.
“Uh huh; I’ve been anxious the whole day. Come on.” Lucia smiled.
“Congratulations Ted Bourbon, you succeeded in knocking me up.” He gasped and hugged her. He lifted her off the ground. She giggled. He put her down.
“Okay, what about the bleed?”
“The doctor says it’s normal. It will stop any time soon.”
“Okay; I am so happy to hear this news, Lucia. You have no idea.”
“I know; I feel the same way.”
“She’s here now, mum,” Ted announced.
“Good; come to the table, everyone. Dinner is ready.”
The whole family sat down and held hands as Mr. Baker said grace.
“I want to make a toast,” Mrs. Bourbon said, raising her glass. They all raised theirs.
“I want to toast to the love, unity and prosperity of our one big family.”
“You can’t take that,” Ted said to Lucia, stopping her when she had brought the glass to her lips.
“Come on, it’s just for tonight,” Lucia said.
“What’s going on?” The couple exchanged a glance. He held her hand.
“We have some news to share with you all,” Ted announced. They all put their glasses down and looked at him in anticipation.
“Well, we are pregnant!” The mothers gasped.
“Congratulations, son!” Mr. Bourbon said.
“This is really good news,” Mr. Baker said.
“So I was right,” Lucia’s mother said. Lucia smiled.
“I think you were.”
“This calls for a toast. Could you let her take just a little sip for the moment?” Mrs. Bourbon asked her son. Lucia glanced at him with pleading eyes. He smiled.
“Sure; just a sip.”
“And now to the heir or heiress of our joint empire.” They clinked their glasses and sipped. They had a hearty time at dinner that night.
Lucia and Ted arrived home exhausted.
“I must say, our parents seem more energetic than we do,” Lucia remarked as she threw herself on the bed.
“I guess our good news inspired that energy. They are going to be grandparents. It is every parent’s dream.” He took off her shoes and hovered over her. She held his tie.
“You’re going to be the best mother for our son, Lucia; I know it.”
“A son, huh? How do you know?”
“It just came out naturally. I’d love to have a daughter too; a toddler version of you running around the house, causing trouble.” She giggled. They kissed.
The office phone rang. Ted answered it.
“Okay, let him in.” He put the phone down. The door opened. Ted raised his head.
“Mr. Bourbon?” Ted stood up.
“Ted? Oh my goodness, I had no idea it was you.”
“Wow! How long has it been, five years?” Ted walked to him and they hugged it out.
“Yeah, kind of. Mr. Wilson sent me here. Wow, we have a lot to catch up on.”
“I totally agree. You should meet my wife.”
“Where is she?” Mitch asked.
“She’s running some errands for her father. She does that from time to time. You’d be the first friend to be introduced to her so far.”
“I see; I used to be your best friend, remember?”
“Uh huh, until you snatched my crush away from me.” Mitch laughed.
“Yeah, that was fun.”
“Anyway, I’d love to invite you to dinner at my place tonight.”
“It would be my pleasure, Ted. So tell me, what have you been up to?”
Lucia arrived home early to prepare dinner after Ted called her, telling her about bringing an old time friend over. This would be the first time; he rarely talked about his friends. She even thought the only friend he had was Anita. It would be nice to meet one of his buddies.
“Honey, we are here!” Ted announced when they entered the house.
“A minute, sweetie.”
“You have a lovely home, TB.”
“Thanks, Mitch. Please make yourself comfortable.” Lucia walked in.
“Hi sweetie…” Her voice got caught in her throat when her eyes fell on Mitch Tudor. She froze in her tracks. Ted walked to her and kissed her cheek.
“Hi darling; this is the friend I was telling you about. He is…”
“Mitch Tudor, we worked together when I went over to Mr. Wilson’s company,” Lucia said, her gaze still locked on Mitch.
“Oh you did; I hope you didn’t try anything funny Mitch because I won’t be forgiving this time,” Ted said jokingly.
“You were never the forgiving type, TB. Nice to meet you again, Monique,” Mitch said, shaking hands with her.
“Likewise. So exactly how close were you two?” Lucia inquired.
“We were best of friends actually,” Mitch replied.
“Then how come you didn’t invite him to our wedding, Ted?”
“We kind of had some falling out. He stole my then girlfriend from me,” Ted said.
“Just to correct his statement, she wasn’t his girlfriend. He just had a crush on her. It was…silly and I apologize. I shouldn’t have taken our friendship for granted like that,” Mitch said.
“But I’m telling you now: stay away from my wife, Mitch or else I’ll kill you.”
“And I believe you.”
“You didn’t make any advances towards my wife, did you Mitch?”
“If I said I didn’t, I’d be lying. You know I lose control around beautiful women,” he replied with a wink at Lucia. Lucia looked away. Ted wrapped his arm around his wife.
“And we are pregnant. How awesome is that?” He said proudly and kissed Lucia’s cheek.
“Already? That was fast,” Mitch remarked, sending a curious glance at Lucia. She flinched.
“Let me attend to the kitchen. I’ll announce it when dinner is ready.”
“Sure, honey.” Lucia excused herself. The men sat down to chat. Lucia exhaled deeply when she got to the kitchen. She didn’t even realize she was holding her breath the entire time. How small could the world be that the guy she ran away from come re-enter her life with full access? And the look he gave her when Ted announced her pregnancy had brought chills down her spine. Did it confirm what she feared? She was in deep trouble.
Life like a buffet has a lot to offer;
Some things look appealing; others not so much;
Some sweet on the outside but sour inside;
Some bitter outside but sweet inside;
All cards are laid on the table for you to choose.
Whatever you choose whether by preference or influence;
It becomes your responsibility;
Quantity does not mean as much as quality;
You can take as much as you want but if you do not know what to do with it;
It will all waste away because it takes just one bad nut to mess up all taste buds.
All things are permissible but not all things are worth it;
Do not go after things not meant for you because you were not made for them;
Do not take what you don’t need to deprive someone who actually needs it;
Pursue things which look good on you; whatever you struggle to keep is not yours;
Let it go and find what is meant for you.
We all cannot be the same people with the same occupations;
We all cannot be in the same social class;
Just as all the fingers cannot have the same length;
Just know your stance and be the best at what you do;
Be the best that the world has seen and not a failed attempt of becoming like someone else.