I was starting to miss Richard being around. My actions must have made him not want to see me. I really wished to talk to him; to tell him everything, but that’ll make matters worse. After work, I drove straight to his house, determined to make things right, and hoped he’d be around. Luckily, he was there. I just didn’t know where to start from, but I gathered up courage to speak as he said nothing but listened – it seemed he didn’t care as he upset concentrated on his wine than me.
“Uh, are you even listening?” I asked with shoulders shrugged.
I couldn’t believe he was being so mad at me, till the point he wouldn’t even look at me. “Do you hate me now? Wh-why are you not saying anything? Are you that mad at me that you can’t even look at me?”
“I am not mad at you, Alice. You made your choice, yeah! You don’t have to apologize.” He lowered his glass on the stool and got up from the couch.
“Well, that’s the problem, Richard. I just wasn’t thinking straight. I was confused, okay? I didn’t know what to do.” I tried to explain, and he shook his head and made to walk out on me.
“Richard, please,” I held on to him. “Please don’t go. I’ve missed you these past few days. I don’t know what came over me. Please don’t turn your back on me. I love you. I really do but…”
“But what?!” He shouted and turned sharply. “What Alice?! Is there something I should know?”
I heaved a deep breath and turned around. I wasn’t ready to tell him about my father’s kids. This will break his heart.
“N-nothing.” My legs trembled with heaviness. How am I to tell him that it was my stepfather that got me pregnant? No. No, I can’t do this.
“Well, if you’re not ready to talk, you might as well leave!” He barked with anger in his eyes.
“Yes, Alice. Leave! The door is open for you.”
I couldn’t leave. I had to tell him. “You know, when you left Charlotte, I was really torn apart. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to contact you. Never for once did I not think about you, Richard. I longed to see you again, to be in your arms, to tell you how sorry for making you feel not needed. I wanted to tell you everything. But I was scared of doing so. An-and I was so naive -” The lump in my throat couldn’t let me continue.
He drew closer to me and wrapped his arms around me to my surprise. “Dear, Alice,” He started and I looked up at him.
“Wh-what are you…?”
“Just listen.” He hushed and began.
I’m leaving town and I was hoping that you could come with me. Kentucky’s an amazing place to be; a place to have a whole wondrous adventure. And above all, one where we can start anew – go to college, be never apart. Mother and father said it was okay if you came along, but I just don’t understand why you’re making it seem as if I mean nothing to you. Missing you has become a part of my daily life, and you avoiding me isn’t helping situations You have no idea what each drop of tear costs and I don’t wish for you to know, because the pain I feel is more than you can ever imagine. I miss you so much, Alice, and I hope that some day you will realize how much I have, and will need me as I needed you most.
I really hurt Richard, my heart felt heavy as he read what he wrote in his letter. It was never my intention to hurt him. I only did what I thought was right for. “I’m sorry, Richard. I’m so sorry. I never should have pushed you away.” I sobbed uncontrollably in his arms, regretting everything that I’d done. I had to let out the truth and bottle them up no more – it’s high time I stopped hiding things from him, I thought inwardly and sniffed. “There’s something I need to tell you, Richard. Something I should have told you a long time ago.”
I was ready now – ready to lay my burdens down, with no second thoughts about keeping my mouth shut.
“I was so naive, Richard. I wanted to tell you all about it but was so ashamed of myself.” I said coldly. “I had to move away from Charlotte when I found out that I was pregnant. And luckily, I was able to get a job, and in no time, gained grounds, making me able to cater for my kids.”
“You went through all that?”
“Yes, Richard. I wanted to tell you but…”
“Shh. It’s okay now. it’s all okay.” He embraced me once more.
I was relieved, knowing that I wasn’t carrying the load alone, that I had Richard by my side – and this time, I was determined to marry him.
ONE MONTH LATER
“Where are we going, babe?”
I walked with eyes covered with a blindfold, as I waited for the signal.
“Are we there now? My eyes are starting to get weary.” I whined playfully as he led me on.
“Just one last step. Uh-huh. Yes. Come on, baby. You’re doing it. Just one last… mm-hmm. Yeah… that’s it. Stop!”
“Wait for it -”
The blindfold came off immediately. “Oh-oh my God!” I cried out in surprise as he kissed my cheek.
“Happy birthday, baby.”
“Happy Birthday, Mommy.” Alex and Alexa ran towards me as I stooped to hug them.
“Oh, babies. Richard, how are they here?” I looked at Richard, surprised at seeing them.
They weren’t the only one that graced the occasion. Richard’s parents were there; his sister, Ellen, alongside the other guests – Maya not excluded.
“Uncle Richard asked aunt Maya to bring us Mommy. He wanted to make it a surprise.” Alexa chipped in and I laughed.
“Oh, you guys. I love you so much.” I gave them a kiss and said to Richard, “And I love you more.”
“We love you too, Mommy.” The twins uttered in unison, stopping Richard from saying his.
“Don’t worry. Yours is coming.” He chuckled and kissed my cheek again.
“Everyone! I have something to say,”
I was curious about what he was about to say as he turned to me and got on one knee to my surprise. “Alicia Payne Jones – when I met you, I knew I’d met the perfect one for me. It was only a matter of time until we arrived at this moment, despite the challenges life had to offer. You deserve the very best, someone who will back you up without limits, let you grow without borders, and love you without end. Will you let me be the one?”
Tears of joy trickled down my cheeks as I said yes. “Yes. Yes!” I said happily as he slipped the ring onto my middle finger as everyone clapped and rose petals came falling down on us as we kissed.
It was the beat day of my life and I wished it’d never end.
☆ ~~~ ☆ ~~~ ☆ ~~~ ☆
“Guess what, babe!”
“Mm? What’s that?”
I pulled out an envelope from behind me and wiggled it.
“And this is?”
“Just check it out.” I blushed and rolled my eyes at him, as he took it from me.
“You’re pregnant?!” He uttered loudly the moment the envelope came undone.
“My baby is pregnant!!” He dropped the envelope and swooped me into his arms.
I was overjoyed knowing I was carrying another life inside of me – Richard’s baby. I couldn’t wait to tell the twins about it. I knew they were going to be happy about having a sibling.
“You know, this calls for celebration.”
“Uh-huh. What do you have in store this time?” I smiled as he put me down.
“Oh, it’s going to be a surprise.”
“Another one? Awe, Richy. No fair.”
“Oh, I’ll show you what’s not fair,” He carried me again and placed me on the bed.
He got in with me, as I spread my legs for him, ready for him to make love to me. He gave me a light kiss, moving his fingers down my body as they came on top my tum. “You feel that?”
“The baby. He’s moving,” He positioned his hand on my tummy and brought his hear closer. “Wow. We’ve got one ninja in there.”
“Really? How are you sure the baby’s gonna come out as a boy?”
He laughed and kissed my tum. “I just know it.” He said, and made to kiss my bare stomach again, as my phone rang, ruining the moment.
“Just the perfect time,” I shrugged as he got up from me.
I took my annoying phone out of my bag, as I groaned, seeing the name on it. “What are those kids up to now?”
“The twins? They’re calling?”
“Mm-hmm.” I nodded and slid my thumb on the answer sign.
“Mommy!” The twins’ voice got me alerted.
“Babies? Sweethearts, what are you doing with my tablet?”
“Mommy… Mommy, there’s someone in our house. We had a crash and aunt Maya’s not here.” They spoke at the same time as my heart skipped.
“Who’s there, baby? And where are you guys?”
“We’re under the bed, mama. We’re so scared!”
I panicked at my kids being in danger. “Okay. Okay, babies. Don’t go anywhere. Just stay right there. Stay right there, okay? Mommy is coming.”
“I-Ian? Ian, what are you doing in my house? Let go of my kids!”
“That shouldn’t be your major concern. Your kids are safe with me.” He spoke ironically.
“Alice, what’s wrong?”
“Ah. I see your precious Richard is there with you.”
I breathed heavily and got out of bed. “Ian, please don’t hurt my kids. Please!” I begged him. He gave me ten minutes to be there, else he’d kill them.
I rushed home, finding the house empty, with most of our things scattered on the floor, as I realized that he had tricked me.
“You animal! Where have you taken my kids?”
“You mean your kids… or ours?!”
Hot sweat flushed over me at that instant . “Y-you know,”
“I’ve always known, Alicia. What do you think I’ve been doing all these time?”
“You’ve been watching me?”
“Yes. Yes, little girl. You are not smart as you think.”
“You monster! Where have you taken my kids? Where are my babies?!”
“Mommy. Mommy, where are you?”
“Babies? Babies, I’m here. Mommy, is here. Ian, please free my babies. They don’t know anything. They’re just kids. Ian, please!”
“You hear them now, don’t you?” He laughed harder. “Well, that’ll be the last you’ll hear of them.”
“No… no, Ian. Ian, no!”
“No? Well, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll never see your kids again!”
“Ian… Ian, please don’t do this. I’ll do anything. Just please don’t hurt them. Please, stepfather. I beg of you!”
My kids shouldn’t be going through this. It was never their fault. If anyone should be punished, it should be. I had to do something. I had to do something to save my kids.
“Wh-what do you want? Just name your price and I’ll give it to you.”
“Come to Lakeville and I’ll tell you. Oh, and make sure you come alone.” He chuckled and hung up on me.
I rushed into my car and drove off without wasting time, not before I texted Richard where I was headed to.
I looked around for them, finding no one but a dozen oaks, as I heard footsteps approach, making me flinch.
“Mm. Mommy’s here already.” A throat voice spoke and I turned around.
Not seeing my kids with him, I panicked. “Where are my kids?”
“First, I want to make certain that you keep your end of the bargain.”
“What bargain?” I asked.
“To come with me; You and I, with our kids. We can start anew, Alicia… and be one happy family.” He grinned widely.
“That’ll never happen! My kids and I are better off without you!” I huffed at his insane thoughts.
“Is that so? Then you’ll never be able to see them.”
“You bastard! Heh. Well, too bad the police are on their way now. You have no where to go!” I chuckled without fear.
He gritted and pulled a gun on me.
“Hands above your heads!”
The cops landed just when I needed them. Ian was handcuffed and bundled into the black maria, as I watched with no pity. He deserved it. He deserved to pay for every pain he’s ever caused me. And now, he’ll never be able to get a hold of my kids… not anymore!
“Mommy… Uncle Richard!” Alex and Alexa came running towards us as I wrapped my arms around them, happy seeing them again.
I’ve missed them so, and I was glad to have them back in my arms. Thanks to Ian, who was left with no choice but to tell the police where he had taken them. My babies were safe, and there’s no how Ian will come looking for them… ever again.
☆ ~~~ ☆ ~~~ ☆ ~~~ ☆
“Daddy, can I have a stuffed animal?”
“And a pirate ship… Rah!”
“Oh, good Lord. They’ve started.”
Now my story is officially a happy tale to be always remembered.
~ THE END ~