We joined my parents to have lunch which was full of excited chats between Fitz and my parents. I couldn’t talk much because I was still in shock. I had lost my appetite too but I decided to occupy myself by chewing down on the food so I wouldn’t have to join the conversation.
“I thought you’d want to wait till you were done with school before starting a family,” my mother said, her gaze directed at me.
“Yeah, that was the plan but you know plans change all the time,” I said with a tight smile.
“It’s all good. I still can’t believe my little girl is such a grown up woman now,” my dad, his tone resonating with pride.
“You brought up a fine young woman, sir. Thank you,” Fitz said and shot a smile at me.
Oh God, when will this charade be over? I groaned.
Like an eternity later, it was time for us to leave. My mother almost squeezed the life out of me in her delight.
“You’re going to give me a grandchild. I am so excited!”
“Mum, you’re suffocating us both.” She laughed as she released me.
“If you need anything, let me know, okay? I could move in with you to help if you want.”
“No thanks, mother. We will manage. We already have a house help.” My mother in my matrimonial home? That would be domestic Armageddon. We bid them farewell and sat in the car. The driver took off. We both sighed.
It was silent for a while, both of us waiting for the other to break the silence. When I couldn’t wait any longer, I blurted out, “What was that?”
“Huh?” He looked at me innocently.
“What happened back there?”
“Announcing the baby? I thought you’d be happy about it.”
“I am…I don’t know how to react to it. I thought we were going to tell my parents something entirely different. What changed your mind?”
“I wanted to give us a second chance.”
“Meaning you’d accept this child as your own?”
“Wasn’t that what you were praying for?”
“It was…but you should have at least given me a heads-up…”
“And miss that look on your face when I said it? No way. That was priceless,” he said, laughing.
“Are you really sure you want to do this?”
“Yeah…under one condition.” I knew it! Something was up his sleeves. He waited for me to say okay.
“If you’d swear to me that you indeed don’t know who the father is.” I swallowed.
“Why is that necessary?”
“Because I don’t want to invest my money and emotions into a child whose father would soon pop up and claim him.” Okay, that made sense.
“I don’t know who the father is, Fitz.”
“And you’re sure none of your male friends would show up to claim the child as his?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” I replied faintly.
“I’m willing to put my bruised feelings aside to keep us together, Emily. Don’t let me regret this later and make me look like a fool,” Fitz warned, his tone suddenly serious.
“You won’t regret this, Fitz. Thank you for having such a big heart. I know I don’t deserve it but I’m grateful. I promise to be a better wife to you.”
“I love you just the way you are, Em,” He said affectionately, kissing my cheek.
“Including my spending habits?”
“Well, it was a bit worrying when we first got together but I think it’s better now that you’ve almost everything.”
“I guess you’re right. Thanks for putting up with me,” I said with a smile. I sighed in relief as I leaned on him. He rubbed his palm against my arm.
“So when are you coming back home?” Fitz asked when the driver pulled up in front of my hostel.
“My last paper is on Friday so maybe Saturday…”
“Why not make it Friday evening? We could celebrate your end of semester together.”
“Hmm…I like the sound of that. I’ll definitely do that. I’ll call you tonight,” I said and kissed him.
“My regards to Karen.”
“I’ll tell her. Take care, honey,” I said and got down. The car drove away.
When I entered the room, I couldn’t help but beam with smiles.
“What happened?” Karen asked anxiously.
“Fitz and I are having a baby.”
“He’ll accept us back…me and the little one here,” I said, rubbing my tummy.
“Really? That’s great news! Thank God for answering our prayers. I kept praying the whole time you were gone that he’d find it in his heart to forgive you and take you back.”
“Then you really must be God’s favourite girl because your prayer did wonders.” I hugged her.
“He had a condition though.” She pulled back and looked at me.
“That the father of the baby won’t show up to claim him one day.”
“Okay…sounds simple but Adam could be a headache if he wants to be.”
“Exactly; I need his compliance and I need it now.”
“What do you have in mind?” Karen asked.
“Nothing at the moment. I’ll think of something. We have to celebrate, don’t you think?”
“Um…Jake and I have plans tonight but I could cancel…”
“Oh no, don’t. I’ve interfered enough. You two have fun. I’ve something in mind to keep me busy,” I assured her. Karen smiled at me.
“I’m so glad this nightmare is over.”
“Yeah, me too. Thank God for me, okay?”
“Thank Him yourself.” I chuckled. “I will.”
Karen and James entered the room later that night when I was video chatting with Fitz. James waved at me and I waved back. They hugged and he left.
“What are you doing?” Karen asked as she walked towards me and plopped herself on my bed.
“Hi Karen,” Fitz greeted when she came into view.
“Hi Fitz! It’s been a long time! How are you?” She said excitedly.
“I’m very well; thank you. We should all hang out some time.”
“That will be great.”
“All right; let me leave you two. I’ll be right back,” I said and got out of my bed. As I walked towards the refrigerator, I heard Karen laughing. I shook my head. Amazing how she had grown so fond of Fitz. I shouldn’t be so surprised because I’ve grown to love him too. I certainly didn’t feel this way when I recited my marital vows to him. Wow, times have changed.
I joined Karen on the bed. She took the glass from me and drank.
“Okay, now that she is back, I’ll sign out now. I’ve an early meeting tomorrow. Goodnight, ladies.”
“Goodnight, love. Sleep tight.”
“You too.” The chat ended. I sighed.
“So all’s good?” Karen asked.
“Better than good. Can’t wait to write my last paper so I can go home. I miss my bed!”
“That’s the only thing you’d miss. Lazy girl.” I laughed.
Friday finally came and thankfully, the paper went well or else it would have ruined my mood the whole day. I was excited to leave campus and so was Karen. Fitz sent the driver to come for me; Karen and James saw me off. I was sure James couldn’t wait for me to leave. Was I such a thorn in his flesh?
When I arrived at Fitz’s house, I could hear music playing. What was going on? My driver took my bag and sent it inside. It was Adam’s song. Has Fitz missed me that much? I smiled to myself and entered.
“My sweetheart is here!” My face broke into a grin as I walked into his open arms. I was finally home…in his arms and I loved it. I heard someone walk in.
“Mr. Daniels…” I turned. It was Adam. I saw him flinch for a moment.
“Adam! What a surprise! What are you doing here?” I asked, looking at Fitz.
“He said he had some pitches for his new release. I know we planned to celebrate alone but I also know how much you love his songs. I thought it would be great to listen to them together for the first time. What do you think?”
I had forgotten how annoyingly fascinated Fitz was of Adam. I feigned one of my broadest sweetest smiles.
“Of course, honey. It’s nice to see you again, Adam,” I said, turning my gaze towards him. He nodded. Fitz held me by the waist.
“We have good news, Adam. We are going to have a baby!”
Oh no. Why did he do that? I saw Adam’s countenance fall. He gazed at me intently.
“Aren’t you going to congratulate us?” I asked, measuring my words carefully.
“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Daniels. You two will make wonderful parents and I can’t wait to see how your baby will look like.”
“I’m sure the baby will look just like Emily,” Fitz said, smiling.
“Or it could look like the father,” Adam said, his eyes still not leaving mine.
“That would be equally beautiful,” I replied, meeting his hard stare with my own.
The war was on; so on.