I reached out to touch his small body which was all bundled up in blankets. I wanted to see his face. But as I reached my arm out, he squirmed away from my touch. I tried again and again to touch him but I couldn’t.
I walked to the other side of the crib where Cris stood, I looked down at my baby to see his face but instead of an angelic, innocent face looking back, I saw Irina’s judging face glowering at me. I rubbed at my eyes, no, I had to be imagining it. But when I looked down again, her face was still staring back at me.
At first I could feel the tears as they ran down my cheeks, but soon enough I could hear my loud sobs. Cris turned to me and wrapped his arms around me, rubbing my back soothingly. I buried my face in his chest, I felt awful and hurt. Not only did my baby not want me, but I couldn’t look at him without feeling guilty. My sobs only became louder as I probably soaked Cris’s shirt, “Shh, Sammy,” he spoke soothingly, “Are you okay dear?”
“Are you okay dear?” the old lady sitting on the airplane seat next to me asked as she placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder, “You were crying in your sleep.”
In my sleep, I let out a sigh of relief; it was a nightmare, only a nightmare.
“Oh, I’m fine, it was just a nightmare,” or maybe it was a sign, I thought as I wiped my wet cheeks, no I shouldn’t look into it too much. It was just a nightmare, I reassured myself.
“Aight Missus, ya cleared ya can be going through now,” the security officer said as he handed back my passport.
“Thank you,” I pulled my suitcase off the table and took out the handle as I pulled it behind me. I walked to the arrivals area; I looked around the almost empty area when I spied Nani. He sat slumped in one of the uncomfortable waiting room chairs, playing on his phone with his back to the door I was standing at. I walked nervously towards him. I stopped next to him and tapped him on the shoulder, “Yes?” He asked looking up, “Oh,” he said loudly when he realised who I was; he stood up “Sammy?” He asked; before I even nodded he continued, “Wow, I was expecting you to be very pregnant by now, you know, big belly and all?” He laughed, “How many months?” He asked as he took my suitcase from me.
“Um, I dunno. I still haven’t seen a doctor. That was one of the first things I need to do in Manchester.”
“Oh that’s no problem. I found a number for a gynaecologist near your apartment. You can get an appointment there whenever you like. I left any important numbers on your kitchen table.”
“Aw thank you Nani. But you know, I only agreed to this, you taking care of me thing, because Cris was pestering me about it. So you don’t have to do anything. I don’t want to be a burden you have to take care of.” He stopped at a fancy sports car which I’d probably be impressed by if I knew anything about cars.
“I don’t have to take care of you, I want to. Trust me, it’ll help keep me busy during the summer break, I can’t go on holiday because of my injury and I’m stuck here. So it’s no problem,” he opened the boot and put my bag in there, I opened the door and sat down and by the time I had my seatbelt on he was sitting in the driver’s seat and had the car running. “So,” he said changing the topic, “Why are you here on your own? Shouldn’t the father of the baby be here too?”
“Didn’t Cris tell you?”
“No, he only told me that he had a friend who was coming to Manchester and that he wanted me to take care of her because she was pregnant. He didn’t mention who the father was.”
“Oh, um, it was a…the father is…” I stuttered.
“Oh,” he exclaimed as something dawned on him, “I get it. It was a one-nighter? Don’t worry; you don’t have to explain yourself to me.”
“No, it wasn’t,” I almost shouted, “It was a – a surrogacy. My best friend couldn’t have kids and her and her husband wanted children, so I offered to, well you know, have the baby.”
“Oh,” he shrugged, “that’s nice of you.” Before he could take a breath he continued, “Are you a Manchester United fan?” He smiled eagerly.
I tried to stop myself from looking too smug as I spoke, “No, I’m a Liverpool fan till death.”
“Cris didn’t warn me about this,” He laughed lightly, “Next time we play them I’ll be sure to invite you to the match.”
We sat in awkward silence for most of the car ride. I stared out the window which I had opened completely, taking in my new surroundings. It wasn’t that different to Madrid, the architecture was a mixture of modern and ancient buildings. The only difference was that Manchester was much greener. As the fresh air blew through my hair I could already feel my eyes water and nose start running. I’d have to get some Demazin for that, I noted as I closed my window a little and pulled back some hair that had flown out of my pony tail.
“So, Sammy,” Nani began, “Do you need anything in your first days in Manchester?”
“Well, I need a job. And I need to see a doctor. And as long as there is a market near my apartment I’ll be able to survive.”
“I sorted the doctor, and you’re lucky that your apartment is very close to the city centre. But the job…I dunno. What did you study?”
“I only just finished a degree in Commerce Law. And I had a job in a little office in Madrid.”
“The thing is, not many businesses would employ a pregnant woman because they’d have to pay for her maternal leave.” Nani turned smoothly into a small street full of fancy looking apartment buildings that had been designed beautifully.
“But I won’t take maternal leave. I’m giving the baby away – away to its parents once he’s born.” I stuttered whenever it came to the touchy subject of giving the baby to Cris.
“Oh, well then that should make finding a job easier. You should have a look in the paper you might find some job openings. I’ve got todays paper in the backseat if you want to have a look.”
“Thanks I said as I turned to the backseat and picked up the paper from the seat. As I looked at the front page I realised how long it had been since I’d read something in English. I mean, I spoke it quite frequently but since I finished my course in Uni, which was all in English, I hadn’t read anything English. I skimmed the front page. It was one of those articles on a study about the benefits of wine. But a short article in the corner caught my eye.
Manchester’s Very Own Bad Boy Cristiano Ronaldo with His New Wifey on Their Honeymoon. I read the title. Exclusive pictures on page 45.
I flipped through the newspaper rushing to get to page 45. But just as Cristiano’s lean figure came to view on the page, I closed the newspaper and shoved it in my handbag. Nani interrupted, “Welcome to your new home.” He pulled up in front of a fancy, gigantic apartment building. Cris had said that he chose an apartment in a nice area but I wasn’t expecting such a grand place like this. I opened the door and I stepped out of the car taking my handbag with me. I could tell my jaw was open because Nani commented, “Nice place indeed.” He whistled lowly as he walked to the boot to take out my suitcase. He took a pair of keys out of his pocket. “Here’s your keys, it’s on the 16th floor.” I took them from his hand, I was still speechless. This place made my old flat in Madrid look like squalor. “Come on.” He motioned as I walked with him into what you could call the lobby. There were a couple of fancy elevators in the entrance. I pressed on the up arrow and the doors slid open, I stepped in and Nani walked in behind me carrying my suitcase.
The elevator moved up quickly and smoothly and my ears popped a little at the start. The elevator doors opened to a hallway with a door at each end. “This one is yours,” Nani pointed to the door on the left as he stepped out of the elevator.
I walked to the door and put the key in the hole but it would turn. I took it out and tried again. I fumbled with the keys; I couldn’t get them into the hole. “Ugh,” I said frustrated.
“Here, I’ll do it.” Nani put down the suitcase down and took the keys from my hand. With one try he unlocked the door and pushed it open. “Welcome home,” he smiled.
“Thank you.” I smiled walking in and putting my handbag down on the ground next to the door.
I looked around the apartment. It was breathtaking, it was beautiful. The kitchen, dining and living rooms were all opened up to each other. The furniture was even more beautiful. Thank god the furniture came with the apartment rent. The couch was stylish and white and the kitchen was very modern and chic. I pushed open the door to the bathroom which was pristine and white. I opened the next door which was down a short hallway. It was a beautiful bedroom with a king bed, dresser, bedside tables and a wardrobe. I walked out to Nani; a huge smile plastered on my face, “Wow,” I breathed, “It’s beautiful!”
“Fit for a king,” Nani smiled.
An adrenaline ran through me. I just wanted to skip around my new apartment. I wanted to dance around in my underwear. I wanted to scream and shout, sing and laugh. But I kept all these emotions bubbling undercover. I could wait till I was alone. I walked over to the kitchen and read through the numbers Nani had written on a piece of paper. His handwriting scrawly and childlike, “Pedro’s Pizza?” I looked up at him questioningly.
“They make the best pizzas and I thought the number would come in handy for the first few days until you get settled.” He walked over to the fridge and opened it, “I stocked the fridge with any necessities, milk, bread, cheese, vegetables. And there are some other basics in your pantry.” I walked over next to him. Necessities? I wouldn’t buy some of this thing if I wanted to even. Nani really had gone all out and I was touched. “Thank you so much!” I turned to him as he closed the fridge, “This is all – all so nice of you, thank you. You’re such a nice guy,” I gave him a small hug, “for a Manc that is.” I laughed.
“It’s no problem,” he chuckled.
I let go of him and turned around. “Oh yeah! I have to call everyone in Spain and let them know I arrived safely.”
“Well then, I’ll leave you to it. Get some rest and if you need anything my number is on that sheet on the kitchen table. If you need to exchange some Euros to Pounds I can take you to a bank.”
“Oh, I did that in the airport.”
“Well, that’s good. I live a few blocks away. If you need anything I’ll be here as fast as I can.”
“Thanks again Nani.” I smiled.
“Call me tomorrow. Bye,” He turned to walk away, “Ah, I remembered. Your home number is 436-783-98. It’s on that sheet of paper too if you want to give it to your family and friends in Spain. We can buy you a mobile number tomorrow or something. Bye.”
“Sure, bye.” I walked him to the door and he walked out and closed the door behind him. I opened my handbag and pulled out my mobile. I found Juan’s mobile number and I picked up the home phone and dialled it.
It rang a couple of times before he answered, “Hola, Juan Manuel hablando, como estas?”
“Juanito!” I exclaimed. Even though he was older than me by 3 years, he was the same age as Cris; I still called him, ‘Little Juan.’
“SAMMY,” He shouted, “How was your flight?”
“It was good. How are you?” I asked.
“Good, good. Tell me, how was Nani? He better have been nice to you or I’ll break his leg.”
“Yes, he was wonderful. He’s so kind and cheerful. He’s done everything, stocked me up with food, gave me emergency numbers and he’s really doing a great job of helping me settle.”
“That’s good, I was starting to imagine the many ways I could have broken his leg,” He let out a chuckle, “But Sam-my,” he turned serious, “you can’t forget about Alvaro. Just because you’re in England…” He began.
I interrupted him, “Juan, he’s just being nice. I don’t like him that way. And he’s probably not going to mess with me because he’s probably scared of Cris,” I laughed.
“Cris,” he huffed.
“He was a jerk after you left. I wanted to smash his sorry ass. I was like I’m going to miss my little sis and he went all it’s what’s good for her, blah blah. Jerk, how does he know what’s good for you!” Juan was extremely pissed, I could tell from the tone of his voice.
“Aw, Juanito. Don’t worry about him.”
“Have you called him or Irina yet?” He changed the topic.
“No, I’ll call them after you.”
“What about Alvaro?” He teased.
“Haha Juan, yes, I’ll call him.” I sighed, “Kay Juan, I’ll let you go now. You’re probably at work, no?”
“Yeah I am. Adios mi Corazon.”
“Tell Aunty Nora I said hi. Adios Juanito.” I hung up.
I searched through my mobile for Alvaro’s number. I was avoiding having to call Irina and Cris. If I called Irina did I ask to talk to Cris? What if I called Cris and Irina was there?
I rang Alvaro’s number and it rang and rang until he finally picked up, “Hello,” he said.
I smiled to myself as I hear him chuckle into the phone, “Sammy! I was waiting for your call. I just couldn’t find the handset. Sorry.”
“It’s okay, miss me already?” I asked flirtatiously.
“I’m going crazy,” he laughed.
I giggled. I felt like a teenager flirting with a boy she fancied. And boy did it feel good. Ever since that night I hadn’t acted my age. I had to be level-headed, reasonable, careful and what not. But with Alvaro, I could feel things normal for a twenty three year old to feel. I felt light.
“So am I,” I smiled to myself.
“How you settling in?” He asked.
“Good. Nani’s been a great help.”
“That’s good. At least I can rest assured that you’re in good hands.”
I sighed, “You should tell Juan that. He’s so worried about me. He tries to act like he isn’t. But I know he is.”
“Aw, that’s cute,” he paused, “Have you called Cris yet?”
“Uh, um, no.” I faltered.
“Sammy, you shouldn’t put it off. You need to call him and tell him you’re well and that Nani’s taking care of you, he’s probably worried sick.”
“I know, but if I call Irina and ask her if I can talk to Cris I can’t say anything and if I call Cris and Irina’s there it’d be so weird.”
“Hmm, how about you call Irina, ask to talk to Cris then if he’s there you talk to him normally. If he’s not you can call him and talk to him properly. And if you can’t talk to him properly call him another time. When we’re at training or something.”
“Okay,” I agreed reluctantly, “When do you have training?”
“11am to 1pm. Call after 1 by a little so we’d be in the training rooms.”
“Alright,” I sighed, “I’ll call Irina now. Bye Alvaro.”
“Bye Mi Amor,” he blew a kiss into the phone, “call me soon, miss you.”
I blew him back a kiss, “I will.”
Irina answered straight away, “Hello,” she answered.
“Oh my gosh, Sammy. Hi, how are you? How’s was Nani? Lemme tell Cris it’s you he’ll be relieved, he was so worried about you.” I could tell she was walking as she talked.
“Is he there?”
“Yeah, just a second. Cris, it’s Sammy!”
“How is she?” I could hear him ask even though his voice was muffled.
“So Sammy, how’s England?” Irina asked me.
“It’s good, it’s good.”
“How was Nani?”
“He was a great help.”
“And your apartment?”
“It’s amazing. You should see the view from the windows it’s breath taking!”
“I’m jelly!” She laughed.
“I can’t talk long. I already called Juan and Alvaro and my phone bill is probably already massive.”
“Aw, are you calling from a home phone?”
“Yeah, I need to by a mobile line.”
“Oh okay, well Cris wants a quick word with you. Bye honey, talk soon!”
“Bye,” I said.
“Sammy,” Cris voice was concerned.
“Cris,” I winced at the bitterness in my voice. I didn’t mean to be bitter but for some reason Cris was getting on my nerves.
“How are you?”
“Good,” I shrugged although he couldn’t see it.
“Was Nani helpful?”
“Yes, he was wonderful.”
“And is everything good?”
“Yes, yes,” I said irritably.
“Can I have your number, so I can call you later,” He asked in a whisper.
“Sure,” I walked over to the table and read it off the paper, “436-783-98. Can you give that number to Juan and Alvaro, please, I forgot to. I got to go Cris, call me if you want. Bye.”
“I’ll call soon, bye.”
I hung up and walked to my handbag to pull out my mobile charger and iPod. As I pulled out the Blackberry’s charger the newspaper fell out and opened to Page 45 by pure coincidence.
I stood with the charger in my hand and the newspaper spread on the floor and I felt a pang of sadness rush through me. I looked at the photos; Cris was on his honeymoon having the time of his life while at the same time I had been at home wallowing in guilt. And even now; Cris is in Spain unaffected and here I am moving countries stuck with the burden of our mistake for the next nine months. It wasn’t fair. I stepped on the newspaper as I walked to my bedroom. I threw the charger on the bed and let out a loud, “Fuck you,” which came from deep, deep inside me, under all the hurt, confusion and guilt. I threw myself on the bed and cried myself to sleep.
Authors Note: Tumblr is being weird and not showing the italic fonts. I’m sorry if this confuses you because you can’t tell the difference between her speech and thoughts.
The first time I posted this chapter it was all one paragraph, I hope it isn’t this time but if it is I’m sorry, I can’t fix it. And my net is being hell slow and annoying.
I realise my story doesn’t run with reality because Cristiano Jr was born June 17 while Sammy is pregnant at this time which means the baby will be born before June 17. I’m sorry about this. I try to make it run as much as possible with reality but it doesn’t always work. SORRY.
Feedback is welcome. Enjoy!