Karen laughed heartily. I sighed.
“It wasn’t funny at all, Karen. No matter how hard I try, I don’t understand why a man of such high repute like Fitz would confide in a celebrity acquaintance about his marital issues. Seriously, what am I missing?” I said, deeply aggravated.
“So Fitz tells Adam about the child that he has taken upon himself to father to the father of the baby? Interesting,” Karen said after she recovered from her laughter fit.
“I don’t know things went from complicated to out of control. Every day presents its own twists and I feel like I’m slowly losing my control over the situation.”
“You just need Adam’s assurance that he won’t spill the beans.”
“Like what, call for a lawyer to draw up a non-disclosure contract and ask Adam to sign?” I asked.
“Whoa…that sounds like a good idea actually but that would seem too demanding to Adam; it would be like asking him to denounce his child.”
“Well, that’s exactly what I need him to do, Karen. I don’t want him waving his rights over the child when he’s born. My marriage is hanging in the balance as it is.”
“And what would you be offering him in return? You don’t expect him to append his signature on such a legal document without any compensation, right?”
“What are you insinuating, that he’d ask me to pay him?”
“That would be the obvious reaction, Em. But since your hubby is already raining his bucks on him, I’m sure he’d want something else from you.”
“Like sex?” I was shocked at what she was getting at.
“Would you be surprised?”
“I’m his sponsor’s wife. And Adam is an honourable guy. I doubt he’d demand that of me.”
“If I were you, I’d prepare myself mentally for anything at all that is if you want to go ahead with formally asking him to sever ties with his unborn child.”
My head was beginning to ache. I rubbed my forehead.
“I hope we come up with something less formal then. I hope I’ll be seeing you at the dinner party tonight.”
“Oh yeah. I’ve already picked out my dress. James and I will represent…live.” I chuckled.
“Good. I need to see you.”
“Awww…missing me already?”
“As if you haven’t as well.” Karen laughed.
“Tell your parents that I said hi,” I said.
“Sure; my mum asked of you yesterday. You should pass by one of these days. We could relive some of our sleepover moments.”
“Will definitely do that. I’ll check out Fitz’s travel schedule and then we’ll plan something. I’ll leave you now. Need to get a nap. See you tonight, dear.”
“Looking forward to it, Em. Bye.” The call ended. I put the phone down and closed my eyes…welcoming peaceful sleep.
Fitz’s jaws dropped as he watched me come downstairs in my glittering lacy black dress.
“I take it by your open mouth that you like what you see?” I asked, knowing very well what his answer would be.
“I love it, Emily. You look ravishing.” I walked towards him and wrapped my arm around his.
“I am Mrs. Fitz Daniels and I must dress the part, don’t you think?”
“And you have, my dear,” he said proudly and kissed my cheek.
“Shall we?” He nodded and we left the house.
My phone beeped. I unlocked the screen and opened the message.
“It seems Karen and James have arrived,” I said.
“Oh okay; we are a few minutes out. Tell her to settle down. You will come and find her when we arrive.” I nodded and started typing. He put his arm around me.
“I’m sorry about telling Adam…”
“Please Fitz, don’t ruin this beautiful night for me. Just let it go.”
“I can’t if you stay mad at me.” I looked at him.
“I’m not mad at you, Fitz. I admit I was a bit upset but I’m not mad. Who am I to stay mad at you? I’m here because of your good graces. I wouldn’t dare jeopardize that because you told someone of my mischief.” He smiled.
“Thank you, Emily.”
We soon arrived and entered the banquet hall. We greeted a couple of Fitz’s colleagues and we were shown our table. Fitz whispered in my ear, reminding me to go find Karen. I nodded and threw my gaze around. Where was she?
My phone rang. I answered it.
“Hey…I’m coming to you.” I signalled Fitz and walked away.
“You look amazing, Em!” Karen said as she hugged me.
“You look gorgeous yourself, Karen,” I said as we admired each other’s dress.
“This is one fine occasion. Thanks for inviting us.”
“Oh don’t mention it, Karen. What are sisters for if not to share our joys and sorrows?”
“Uh huh, bittersweet is the best taste, isn’t it? Come say hi to James and I’ll go with you and greet Fitz.” I agreed and walked to her table.
“Hi James, you’re looking fine tonight.”
“And you’re looking like royalty, Emily. This life suits you well,” James said.
“Thanks, James. Karen wants to say hi to my husband. I promise not to keep her away for long.”
“I hope so, Em,” he said coolly with a smile. I touched his shoulder and walked away with Karen. Fitz got up when he saw us coming.
“Fitz,” Karen said sweetly as she approached him.
“You’re looking beautiful tonight, Karen. You two are catching everyone’s attention.” Karen and I shared a smile. They hugged.
“I do hope you have a good time tonight.”
“Oh I’m counting on it. I’ll leave you two. We’ll catch up later,” Karen said to me. I nodded and sat down.
After a couple of brief speeches, the MC called for one of the artistes on the bill to come perform. I held my breath when you-know-who walked on stage. I glanced at Fitz whose face had broken into a proud smile.
“I would be surprised if you said you had no hand in bringing Adam here.”
“I have said no such thing.” I shook my head and sipped my wine.
“I think it would be good fortune if we named our son after Adam…” I glared at him, making sure I gave him my darkest one.
“Don’t even think about it, Fitz. We’re not naming him Adam,” I protested.
He rubbed my back to calm me down but each rub made me more irritated.
“Don’t get excited, Emily. It was just a comment not a final decision so calm down.”
“I’m not excited. My hormones are perfectly quiet. You’re the one working my last nerve. I don’t want to hear about this again.”
“Yes ma’am.” The room was filled with claps of applause when Adam ended his song. He gave the audience one of his charming smiles in acknowledgement and walked off the stage.
I saw him coming our way and I got up.
“Need to use the ladies’ room. I’ll be right back,” I said and quickly walked away. I headed towards Karen’s table and she looked up at me. She said something to James and got up. I took her hand and we walked away.
“Good evening, Mr. Daniels,” Adam greeted with a handshake.
“Hi Adam; that was a heart-warming performance,” Fitz complimented.
“Thanks, sir. And where’s…your wife? I thought I saw her.”
“Yeah, she excused herself not too long ago. She must have gone to her friend’s table over there.”
“Oh okay, I’ve other people to go greet so I’ll see you later, sir.”
“Sure, Adam. Have fun.” He went over to other tables whiles keeping an eye out for any sign of his baby’s mama. When he couldn’t go on with the charade, he gave up and headed to the washroom area. She must be there, he thought.
He saw Karen and I coming out of the bathroom.
“Hi,” he said. We stopped talking and glanced at him.
“Hi Adam; your song was really nice.”
“Thanks Karen; the inspiration was someone really special.”
“I could tell,” Karen said with a sideways glance at me. I gave her one of my meaningful glances which she understood perfectly.
“I’ll see you when you get back,” she said and walked away.
“What do you want?” I asked in a tone devoid of all emotion.
“I just wanted to see how you looked tonight and I must say, you look breathtakingly marvellous.”
“Thanks Adam and your voice seems to be getting better and better with each performance. I’m impressed.”
“All thanks to you.”
“Oh no, this is all you, Adam; your hard work and great talent. Okay, so enjoy the rest of the evening. I’ll see you around,” I said and started to walk past him but his hold on my arm stopped me. I looked at him curiously.
“If I knew that day we were together would be the last time, I’d have taken my time to savour the feel of your body.” I yanked my arm away.
“Don’t you miss it?” he asked softly. I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Adam, what happened between us was as a result of poor judgment mainly on my part. I am a married woman.”
“But not a happy one, are you?”
“I am hap…”
“Don’t try to lie to me. I know getting married to a man like Mr. Daniels gives you a sense of security but being with me gives you the sense of belonging.” He touched my face and I felt my heart flutter.
“I miss our times together and these days I can’t seem to put off the memory of you losing yourself to me…” I pulled myself away when his other hand landed on my waist.
“What do you think you’re doing? My husband and your sponsor is seated in that hall. He could appear any moment from now. Why would you want to compromise your good relationship with him just because you want to remind yourself of the past?”
“I was thinking…of why Mr. Daniels would accept another child as his own and an interesting theory came to mind.”
“Let me tell you the reason and spare yourself the burden: he loves me enough to overlook my indiscretion and have a family with me.”
“Or it could be his whole story of having had a vasectomy was nothing but a lie.”
I arched a brow. “And why would he do that?”
“Maybe…a vasectomy is just his safe word for his…sterility.”
“What? Wow…you must really have lots of idle time on your hands if you could cook up such a ridiculous theory. He has been so good to you and you think this ill of him?” I asked, not bothering to conceal the disgust in my voice.
“Hey…there’s no need to feel so defensive, Emily. Most men are suffering from it.”
“Not my husband. Now if you would excuse me,” I said and walked past him, my emotions on their all-time high. One of the guests met me on the way and I gave a nod in acknowledgement and entered the hall.
“Are you okay?” Fitz asked when I sat down, took my glass and sipped.
“Yeah, I am.” Throughout the rest of the night, Fitz noticed that I wasn’t in my cheerful mood any more. But he didn’t want to upset me any further so he let it be for which I was grateful.
When the dinner ended, I walked over to Karen’s table.
A colleague slightly older than Fitz walked up to him.
“Hey…been a while. How’s life?” Fitz asked.
“Managing. That pretty young lady is your wife, huh?”
“Yep; mine only. She looks amazing, doesn’t she?” Fitz gloated.
“She does. But I hope you have got a tight leash on her.”
“What do you mean?”
“I saw her chatting with that young artiste in front of the washroom and it seemed quite intimate.”
“You mean, Adam? Oh yeah, they are kind of close. I personally made sure of that,” Fitz said dismissively.
“That might be a huge error on your part, Fitz. For men like us, it is an open secret that these young girls like to be with us for the money and security we give them but their hearts always belong to the cute young men. So you better watch out,” he said with a tap on his shoulder and walked away.
Fitz sipped his wine quietly. Hmm, this man has given me quite a lot to ponder on, he thought.
On our way home, we both sat quietly, each absorbed in one’s own thoughts.
Was it possible that there’s more to the story about Adam and Emily’s friendship? Fitz’s thoughts wandered to how confusing it all was: Emily acting okay around Adam but being adamant about him sponsoring his career. Was just the usual love-hate relationship or was it all a charade?
Could what Adam had said be true? Could Fitz be sterile? There’s one way to find out, I thought to myself.
When we retired to bed, Fitz picked up his iPad and started scanning through his emails. After a moment’s hesitation, I spoke up.
“Honey, I’ve been thinking. I know accepting me and this baby was not an easy decision for you. And I appreciate your big heart. But I also know you would want your own children as a man. So, how about we make our own immediately after this one?”
“You want to have a baby marathon?” he asked.
“I’m serious, Fitz. I think this would help make our marriage more stable. So I believe it’s about time that you had your vasectomy reversed so that…”
“When I told your parents that we were expecting our first child, I meant it, Emily. So don’t worry about it being biologically mine or not.”
“I know but…”
“Why not wait till this one is out of the way before we revisit this topic?” he asked in a tone declaring the end of the subject. I nodded.
“Of course. Goodnight then.”
“Goodnight.” I turned away from him and sighed.
Was Adam right? I thought.
Why does she want my vasectomy reversed? So she could go ahead and fool around and pin the next pregnancy on me? Could she be sleeping with Adam? And if she was, is the baby his? The thoughts kept racing through Fitz’s mind. He put off his device and put off his bedside lamp. He had to sleep before those crazy thoughts gave him a headache.