“You lied to me. You betrayed me. All I did was love you…despite the doubts and suspicions planted in my head from colleagues, I chose to trust you and you betrayed me. I chose to forgive you for your infidelity but this is the last straw. I could forgive you for everything else even it meant you bankrupting me. But for treating me like a fool, I can’t and I won’t,” He said, raising his trembling hand and pointing his gun at her.
“Fitz, please….don’t do this. I’m sor…” The shot was fired.
I woke up with a frightened scream. I felt goose bumps all over my body and I was shaking all over. I touched my forehead and felt beads of sweat. My heart was racing and I was out of breath. I touched the sides of my head as I could hear the pounding of my heart resonating there as well. I looked at my side and Fitz was gone. He must have left early for work. I sighed.
I dragged myself out of bed and splashed water on my face. I stared at myself in the mirror and muttered, “What have you done to yourself, Emily?”
I groaned when I felt a sharp pain in my tummy.
“What the hell?!” I asked no one in particular when the pain had subsided. I grabbed the sink tightly for support. What was happening? Panic was rising within me but I wasn’t going to let it get the better part of me. I was stronger than that.
I checked my phone and there was the usual checkup text from Karen. I replied and lay down.
When I woke up, it was past eleven. Took my shower, ate breakfast and settled myself in front of the computer in the study room. Karen had asked me to do the online course registration and I was glad to find myself useful even though the task would take less than half an hour. I arched a brow whiles skimming through the courses. Some of the titles reeked of loads of work and long boring lectures. Whew, can’t wait to put all this behind me, I thought as I started clicking on the courses.
“Done, done and done,” I said with the last three clicks. I smiled proudly as if I had just saved the world from a catastrophe. This is what boredom and idleness does to you. You register for school courses and you feel heroic.
I was about getting up from the chair when my phone rang. Oh, it’s my sweet, caring baby daddy.
“Hello,” I said sweetly.
“Hi love; how are you feeling today?”
“Great. Feeling a little bored but I’m great.”
“Oh really? Then you wouldn’t mind helping me out with a song. That should keep you busy.”
“Help you how?”
“I’m going to send you a demo of my recent work. You take a listen and try and refine the lyrics for me.”
“Refine? I’m no songwriter, Adam.”
“But you are; in your special way, you are. And let me know what you think.”
“What’s in it for me?”
“Oh she wants a reward…let’s see…what do you want?”
“I don’t know…surprise me.” Adam chuckled.
“I will. How’s the little one?”
“Hope you both slept well last night.”
“Yes, we…” Flashes of the nightmare I had in the morning came to mind. I groaned when that same sharp pain slashed through me.
“Emily, are you okay?”
“Yeah, just felt something. I’ll be fine.”
“Was it the baby kicking?” I hadn’t even thought of that. But it wouldn’t hurt this bad, would it?
“Can’t tell for sure.”
“If the pain is really uncomfortable, get the driver to take you to the hospital and call me. I’ll meet you there.”
“Okay. Send me your demo.”
“Hope you like it.”
“I always do.” I ended the call.
“You lied to me. You betrayed me. All I did was love you…” My heart missed a beat. Why did that dream feel so real and why was it haunting her? Were her days being numbered?
“Aaaarrrrrgghhh…” This certainly didn’t feel like fetal kicks. Before I could fully recover from that inner assault, another sharp pang hit me. Tears gathered in my eyes and I lost my breath. I fumbled for my phone. I succeeded in calling the driver to get the car ready. The interval between the pangs were diminishing fast. I struggled to get up and then walk downstairs. The driver must have sensed the distress in my voice because he came inside and helped me into the car.
When I had recovered a little, I called Adam.
“The pain is getting too much so I’m going to the hospital.”
“I’ll meet you there.” The call ended. Then I called Karen.
“Hey…was just about to call you. How are you holding up?” I told her my latest misery.
“Should I come over to the hospital?”
“But you have to be at work, don’t you?”
“Come on, this is an emergency. And besides, this is my last week here. I can just ask for permission and come be with you. We are in this together, remember?”
“All right; I’ll see you there.” I ended the call.
There was one last person to call; perhaps should have been the first but just when I touched the screen, another slashing pain seized me and I dropped the phone.
God, please don’t let me die like this.
By the time we arrived at the hospital, I felt like I was dying.
“Have you called your husband?” The driver asked as he killed the engine. I shook my head, breathing heavily.
“Should I call him?” I nodded.
“Help me inside first.”
I opened my eyes weakly.
“Hey…you’re awake. How are you feeling?” Adam asked.
“Much better,” I said faintly. I turned my neck, expecting to see Karen.
“She stepped out to get some water.”
“Thank God, Karen is coming with some.”
“Hey…you’re alive! I’d have been mad at you if you had left without saying goodbye to me first.” I smiled weakly. Adam gave me some water to sip.
“What did the doctor say?” I asked them.
“Well, nothing yet. He said he’d wait for your husband to arrive first. But now that you’ve come to, I’m sure he’ll spill.”
“Yeah, please let him know I’m awake.”
“Of course.” He gave my hand a gentle squeeze and walked away.
“You gave me the scare of my life when I saw you on the hospital bed like that. What do you think could be the problem?”
“I don’t know. It started just this morning after I had this nightmare about Fitz about to shoot me.”
“You know why.”
“Maybe we should confess.”
“You think it’s a warning, huh?” Karen nodded, biting her lip. I sighed. Adam rejoined us.
“A nurse told me he went to check up on another patient. So I left a message with her to let him know you’ve come around.”
“How much pain was she in when you were bringing her here?” Fitz asked his driver.
“Quite a lot, it seems but she was quickly attended to when the hospital staff took over.”
“Good.” Fitz walked to the counter and inquired about his wife.
“Are you her husband?”
“I am; are you the doctor attending to her?”
“I am. Come with me; I’ll take you to her.”
“Thanks, doctor. What happened to her?”
“Still trying to diagnose that. The fetus was in distress.”
“Have you called Fitz? Does he know you’re here?” Karen asked me.
“Yeah, the driver called him, I think.”
“Whoa, then I probably shouldn’t be here,” Adam said.
“Yeah, you might be right. He might come in anytime from now.” I held his hand. I saw his face lose its glow.
“I’m sorry that you can’t be my side when it is your right to be. I promise to take care of myself and our child.” Adam’s hand glossed over my tummy.
“Let me know when you get out of here.”
“I will,” I assured him.
“I so wish I could share such moments with you and our baby.”
“I know.” He leaned forward and kissed my forehead.
Fitz froze in his tracks at who and what he just saw. His throat suddenly felt dry.
“Let’s go in. Your wife’s bed is just here.” Instead of taking a step forward, he took two backwards.
“Is there anything wrong, sir?”
“Who is that guy beside her?”
“I don’t know…seems pretty close to her. A good friend or a cousin perhaps?” Fitz nodded.
“You know what, why don’t you go in and take care of her? I’ll come back and see her.”
“You’re sure? If you want to be alone with her, I could ask her friends to excuse you.”
“Oh no. It’s okay. Just take care of her,” Fitz said and turned to leave.
“The doctor is here,” Adam said. He approached us.
“How are you feeling?”
“Much better, thank you. What is happening to me?”
“You seem fine; all test results came out fine. But your baby seemed to be in great distress when you arrived.”
“Is something going on at home?”
“No, everything is fine. Why do you ask?”
“Well, your husband just left.” We all turned to gaze at the door.
“What do you mean, he left?”
“Oh my God, he saw me,” Adam muttered.
“He said he’d come back.”
“You mean, he turned back and left without seeing me?”
“Please don’t get excited. You need to keep calm so your baby can do same. I suggest you have a little rest.”
“Thanks, doctor,” Karen said. He nodded and walked away.
“Why would he…?” I asked, my voice shaking.
“This is my fault. I should have left earlier,” Adam said.
“You shouldn’t have been here at all,” Karen said in an accusatory tone.
“Hey! It’s my baby inside her. I have every right to be here.”
“No, it’s not. Technically and legally I’m sure, it’s Fitz’s.”
“Enough, you two! This is not the time nor place. Please get me my phone.”
Fitz glanced at his phone that had begun to ring. He ignored it and stepped harder on the accelerator.
“He’s not picking up. Oh God, what did he see?”
“Nothing short of Mr. Romantic over here touching your tummy and kissing your forehead, I’m sure,” Karen said flatly. Adam glared at her. She glared back.
I tried his number again.
Fitz entered his house pumped up in hot rage. He walked straight to the bar and poured himself a stiff drink. He downed it all in one gulp and landed the glass down sharply. Not satisfied, he poured himself another one and downed it in one go.
She lied to me. They both did. Took me for a fool. This happened under my very nose but I was so blind I couldn’t see it. How could I not? I can’t believe I allowed a little girl to fool me like this, he thought bitterly as he gulped another glass down. He could imagine them laughing at him.
He paused when he felt a sharp pain in his chest. He clutched his chest and groaned. Before he knew what was going on, he was on the floor. He was going to die; after everything he had been through, it had to take a young woman like Emily to end his life.
“Fitz, please pick up, please pick up,” I muttered fervently like a prayer.
“Emily…” was the last word he breathed out before darkness engulfed him.