2 weeks later:
I looked down at the keys in my hand as I handed them over to my landlord, Pablo, “Gracias Angelita, God be with you,” He said taking the keys out of my hands and engulfing me in a bear hug, “Take care in England. Come back to visit.”
I smiled against the old man’s chest my face squashed by the force of his hug, “Of course I’ll visit Pablo. This is only a temporary thing.” My smile faltered as he let go of me and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.
This was it. Once I got into the taxi and arrived at the airport there was no turning back. I had to do this, even though I dreaded the thought of having to see Irina, Juan and Cris at the airport to bid me farewell. I had to do this. I had to.
All of the players had left the locker room now. I took a deep breath and pushed the door open. I saw Cristiano sitting on the bench in front of the lockers. I stood at the doorway, “Hey,” I said my voice echoing in the locker room.
“Hey, how you feeling?” He nodded towards my stomach.
“I’m fine. So…” I began, “We gonna talk here?”
“Yeah,” he slid to the side of the bench pushing away a towel, giving me room to sit, “Here, sit.”
I sat down next to him and looked down at my hands, “Have you thought about everything?”
He nodded, “But I just wanna say that you were right. I can’t keep walking out. We need to do something about it and now. That’s why I think your right,” he took a deep breath, “you going away is the only solution to this disaster. But we need to plan this properly or it’ll backfire on us.”
I nodded to the taxi driver as I pulled my seatbelt across my chest. The summer sun was shining through the window. Ah, I was going to miss the Spanish summer, long nights in Ibiza, beautiful days spent on the beach. And now I was off to gloomy England where summer, as I was told, was nowhere near as amazing to Spain’s. But then again, this was all my own doing.
The next few months were going to be hard, not only would the pregnancy be hard enough but the fact that I was going through it all alone. Even if Cris had told Nani to keep an eye on me and help me settle in Manchester, I didn’t even know him, I only knew of him.
I went through the plan I had with Cris in my head. I was going to go to Manchester, once I landed Nani would be waiting at the airport to take me to the apartment I managed to find at such short notice. Then I decided that because I didn’t want to be twiddling my thumbs all day I would get a job and I was going to start my search from my second day in Manchester. Nani was supposed to make sure that I didn’t need anything that I was settled and I was happy, or at least that’s what Cris has reassured me time and time again.
“I’ll talk to Nani, he can sort out a place to stay, find the best hospital and make sure you settle in well,” he assured me.
“Hey, you don’t need to do that,” I said watching him strip off his sweaty t-shirt. My cheeks burned with shame as I realised that he had probably stripped of his shirt in the same way on ‘that night’.
“Yes I do, I mean, I got us into this mess in the first place.”
“Excuse me Cris, but it’s not like it was all done on your part. I obviously played a part in it too. And I don’t mind being independent in England and taking care of myself.”
“I’m not saying you can’t take care of yourself,” he spoke as he slid on a clean black and obviously bedazzled t-shirt, “but I think you’re forgetting that’s my baby in your stomach too and I want to make sure that they’re alright in there.” He said his eyes glowing with care for the unborn child.
“Okay,” I agreed reluctantly, I was about to continue when I heard a knock at the door.
“Ah, mierda, I forgot my phone in the locker room, “I said as I stopped rummaging through my bag and looked up to Sergio, “I’ll just go get it. I’ll see you tomorrow, adios,” I dashed off to the locker room in a hurry.
I stopped at the door before I entered, I wasn’t one to eavesdrop into other people’s conversations but I recognised both voices – Cristiano and Sammy. And the conversation going on was strange – the only way to describe it.
“…you’re forgetting that my baby in your stomach too and I want to make sure that they’re alright in there,” Cristiano said firmly.
“Okay,” I heard Sammy reply.
What? “My baby”? “Your stomach”? Something was terribly wrong. And while every fibre in my body told me to turn on my heels and walk away, I didn’t want to know about this or get involved in this, it’s too complicated – stuff my phone – I found myself raising my hand and knocking against the metal door.
I heard Sammy gasp before Cristiano asked a reluctant, “Yes, who is it?”
“Hey, it’s just me I need my phone, but if I’m intruding on anything it’s alright I can leave,” I was prepared to turn around even though a thousand and one questions were running through my head.
“NO –I mean, no, it’s okay. Come in, I was just chatting with Sammy.”
I twisted the door knob and walked in, I looked at Sammy who was standing at the end of the bench looking preoccupied. Then I turned my attention to Cristiano, “Hey, what are you guys doing here?”
“We we’re – we we’re just leaving,” Cristiano stuttered standing up and picking up his bag, “I’ll see you later Sammy. Alvaro,” He nodded to me walking passed me.
“Hey can I have a word with you, Cristiano?” I signalled to him as I walked out next to him, “CRIS,” I whispered loudly, “I HEARD WHAT YOU WERE SAYING IN THERE. Is – Is Sammy pregnant with your child?”
“SHH,” He whispered back, “It’s a long story and I’m in no mood to talk about it now. I’ll talk to you about it later, but just SHUT UP. No one, you hear me, NO ONE can find out.”
“I’m not telling anyone, but Cris, you’ve fucked up big time.”
“Don’t you think I know that,” he said before turning on his heels and walking away.
I took a deep breath before turning back to the locker room to fetch my phone. When I pushed the door open I realised Sammy was still there except now she was sitting on the bench her head in her hands. I walked up to her passing my locker and plucking my phone out. I tapped her on the shoulder lightly, “Hey, you okay?” I asked her as she jolted in shock.
“Yeah I’m fine,” she struggled to get the words out.
“You look worried?” I asked raising an eyebrow at her.
“Oh, it was – just because – um, I realised that I was meant to ask Cris for a ride home,” She shrugged.
“Oh, well that shouldn’t be any problem, I can give you a ride.” I smiled weakly at her.
“No, that’s not necessary, I can call a cab.”
“Oh don’t be difficult just come,” I said giving her a soft shove of the bench.
She laughed standing up, “Fine,” she sighed, “My address is…”
Authors note: This chapter maybe a little confusing but, the first part is in the “now” the second in the “past” from Sammy and Alvaro’s Point of Views. If it’s confusing Lemme know, and I’ll clarify. Anyway, enjoy. And notice the jumps in time in the story ;) FEEDBACK IS WELCOME.