I stayed cemented in that same position, slouched on the sofa, for over an hour. I can’t remember what happened after that because I had fallen asleep only to wake up to the sound of the doorbell.
It must have been Nani so I stood up, my head feeling numb, pushed my hair down a little and walked to the door. I glanced at the clock before i opened the door, it was 3:49! I was asleep for almost 5 hours.
Dios mio. I opened the door and instead of Nani’s face I was shocked to see Juan standing at my doorstep, in England! What is he doing here? And suddenly my brain came back to life and I remembered the phone call.
Ugh, I’m so screwed.
She was a mess, her hair was tangled, she had bags under her eyes and she looked worried. I walked into her apartment and hugged her; she was shocked and didn’t hug me back.
But something was wrong. Normally when I hugged Sammy I could feel what she felt, think what she thought, but this time when I hugged her, I couldn’t. It was as if there was a brick wall between us.
So I hugged her harder hoping that it’d break down the wall. But this wasn’t a breakable wall. I couldn’t huff and puff and it’ll fall down. I had to uncover why the wall was there first before I go demolishing it because maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and maybe I won’t like what I find.
“How did you get here?” she asked.
“I sailed the seven seas-” I began, “I got on the first plane to England as soon as you called.” I said seriously.
“I mean, how did you find me?”
“I called Cris to get Nani’s number from him and then I called Nani to get your address.” she walked to the couch and sat down. I sat next to her, “Sammy do you wanna talk?” I asked putting an arm around her. She shook her head vehemently, “What was that phone call about then?”
“I-I missed you that’s all. Doesn’t mean you had to get on a freaking plane,” she stood up almost screaming at me, “and come rushing to my aid. I don’t need anyone; I’m fine and the baby’s fine and I wish everyone would just leave me alone,” she continued but she slapped a hand over her mouth once she was done.
I stood up facing her, “The baby’s is fine?” I asked her shocked. I looked at her for an answer, but I didn’t get one, “Sammy,” I grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her, “Sammy, you’re pregnant.” It wasn’t a question, it was more of a statement but I still wanted to hear her say, ‘No Juan you idiot, my baby is a pet kitten or puppy! You silly idiot!’
But instead she looked down and replied with a feeble, “Yes.”
I let go of her shoulders, my chest tightened and I struggled for air but I wasn’t going to stop until I got an answer out of her. I looked down at her stomach and then I looked her straight in the eyes, “Who’s the father?” I held her gaze for a moment, “Sammy,” I wheezed when I didn’t get an answer.
“Juan, sit down, you don’t have your puffer. Please sit,” She ordered.
“WHO’S THE GODDAMN FATHER,” I shouted in between deep breaths.
Sammy placed a hand on my stomach trying to push me down to sit on the couch, “Juan –” she began.
But I pushed her hand away and she looked up at me straight into my eyes. And I knew straight away who the father was. She didn’t need to tell me, “Cris,” It all made sense, the shiftiness around Cris and Irina, her wanting to study in England again even though she’d finished university 2 years ago. Why would Nani be helping her? Cris. Why would she come to Manchester in particular? Cris. How could I have missed the signs? How did I not notice? This was all happening under my nose and I knew nothing of it.
I took one shuddering breath before collapsing on to the couch.
I wrung my hands worriedly; I was standing in the doorway of the room where they were attending to Juan. Normally he would have shooed me away, Juan hated me seeing him at his most vulnerable. But this time Juan simply glanced at me from the corner of his eyes and looked away. I held his suit jacket that one of the nurses had handed me to hold. I played with the collar of it not wanting to watch them as they attended to Juan. It was the first time I had seen him have an asthma attack, he used to have them a lot when we were kids but my mum made sure I never saw him while he was having one. He had them a whole lot less frequently as he got older though. I leant back on the wall, this was all my fault. I knew he wouldn’t take the news well and I had to go and blurt it out.
Nani was standing by the doorway too and he noticed the tears that were welling in my eyes, “Sammy, he’ll be alright,” He soothed.
I nodded; I wasn’t as worried about Juan’s asthma attack as I was about his reaction to the pregnancy.
One of the nurses approached me, “Ma’am, Juan needs to carry his puffer at all times, he said his puffer is in Spain, so here is a replacement puffer.” She handed me a little blue pipe looking puffer, “Make sure he gets rest, relaxes and takes care of himself for the next few days. His chest and ribs will hurt him a lot as this was an extremely severe asthma attack.”
I took it from her, “Thanks,” I looked up at the bed Juan was sitting on. He was sliding off of the thin mattress and standing up. He looked weak as he walked slowly over to us, Nani started walking over to the elevator waiting for us. I looked at Juan as he stopped at the doorway to take his jacket from me and slip it on, “Juan-“ I began.
“Callate, Por favor,” He snapped walking ahead of me.
I sighed and walked behind him to the elevator Nani was holding open for us. “Hey mate,” Nani smiled to Juan, “I’m Nani, how you feeling?”
“Fine,” Juan breathed; I could tell he hadn’t fully recovered his breath yet, “I’m Juan.”
Nani held his hand out for Juan to shake, “Nice meeting you,” he smiled.
Juan shook Nani’s hand briefly, “Likewise.”
The elevator stopped at the underground car park and Nani guided us to his car. He unlocked the car and took his seat. This time I took the seat in the back next to Juan, I sat next one window and Juan the other. I pulled my seatbelt on and looked out my window. Nani pulled out of the car park and drove out onto the street.
Juan lent one hand on the middle seat. I lent my hand out and placed it on top of his, Juan turned to me and looked at me. I mouthed a sincere, “I’m sorry,” but Juan just turned around and looked out of his window moving his hand out from under mine. I sighed and leant my head on the window.
Juan was always forgiving; he could never hold a grudge. Even if the other person was in the wrong he would simply shrug it off and move on. He always believed in being the better person and apologising even if he had done nothing wrong. I had always admired that about him, he was always happy, and he could come out from a bad situation with a positive attitude. The only time he had been mellow and down like he was now was when our mother died. I hated being the cause of it.
He never could give me the silent treatment. Like any other siblings we fought a lot and we’d yell and shout but we’d always forget about no matter how serious it was. And by serious I meant forgetting to record the Liverpool match for him while he was at work, or if he used my laptop without asking. Not I’m-pregnant-with-my-best-friends-husbands-child-and-I-kept-it-a-secret-from-him kind of serious. And I had no idea how he would react, would he forgive me and move on? Or was this too serious for that?
Nani pulled up in front of my apartment building, I thanked him and opened my door and hopping out. Juan got out of his side of the car and walked over to my side waiting for me as I pulled my keys out of my pocket. We walked silently into the entrance and entered the elevator silently. We reached my floor and got out, I stood at the door and opened it switching on the lights. Juan walked over to the couch and sat down. I closed the door and walked over to the couch and sat down next to him.
We sat like that for five minutes all that could be heard was Juan’s breathing which was still a tiny bit wheezy. I lent my head on his shoulder and took a deep breath.
Sammy lent her head on my shoulder and took a deep breath. She stayed like that for a few minutes before she started shaking a little bit. I looked at her face and saw the tears streaming down her cheeks and I felt awful. I placed my arm around her and she scooted closer placing her head on my chest, he wet cheeks dampening my shirt.
Sammy was the one suffering the most and here I was sulking and being a jerk. I took a deep breath and looked down at her, “I’m sorry Sammy.”
She looked up at me, “Sorry? Why are you sorry?” She asked.
“I’m being a difficult asshole.”
“I don’t blame you,” she sighed.
“I don’t even know the full story and I’m already judging you.”
“We should talk about this later,” she sat up wiping the tears from her cheeks, “you need to rest.”
I nodded, “Do you have a guest room?”
“No, you can have my bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.”
I shook my head, “Nu-uh, we can share the bed.”
She smiled a little, “No way, you hog the bed.”
I stood up and she stood next to me, “I’ve got a solution.”
She sighed and guided me to her bedroom, I walked closely behind her, she pushed the door open and walked in standing by the bed, “What’s your amazing solution?”
I picked up three pillows and placed them running straight through the middle. “There,” I said, “A wall between us.”
I turned to Sammy who was smiling, “Fine,” she gave in turning to her chair to pick up her pyjamas. “You didn’t bring any clothes…What are you going to sleep in?” She asked.
“My boxers of course,” I laughed, “It’s boiling; you want me to sleep in a suit instead?”
“Fine,” She walked to the bathroom to change.
I threw myself on the bed still wearing my suit. I saw Sammy’s phone which was on the bedside table flash; I leant over the pillow wall to pick it up. Looking at the number my eyes widened and my jaw set in anger, “Hola,” I answered rudely.
“Sammy?” He asked feebly.
“No you hijo de puta, it’s Juan.”
I heard him take a sharp intake of breath and let out an uneasy laugh, “I’m guessing you know?”
“Yes I do,” I snapped.
“Hmm,” he sighed, “Is Sammy there?”
“She’s in the bathroom,” I replied.
“Can you pass on this message?” He asked.
“Yeah, what is it?” I asked impolitely, this guy didn’t deserve manners.
“Can you tell her to tell her little boyfriend to back off; he almost broke my jaw today.”
“Alvaro punched you?” I asked.
“Yes,” He muttered.
I started laughing bitterly, wheezing for breath when I heard him hang up.
Sammy walked in wearing a tank top and shorts she raised her eyebrows at me, “What’s so funny?” She asked suspiciously.
“Cristiano called, he wants me to pass on this message to you: I Quote, Can you tell your little boyfriend to back off; he almost broke my jaw today.”
She furrowed her eyebrows, “And that’s funny?”
“Oh, come on Sammy, the guy probably deserved it.”
She sighed, “I don’t want Alvaro fighting my battles, I don’t want you to either, when you go back to Spain who cannot touch Cris, okay? Plus, he’s probably going to get in trouble with the coach about it too.”
“Sammy, I’m not going back to Spain,” I said as she eased herself into the bed. I stood up and pulled off my jacket and began unbuttoning my shirt.
“What? You have to Juan, you can’t stay here for nine months, you have a job remember?”
I peeled off my pants and placed them on the chaise at the end of the bed, “You’re not staying here for nine months either,” I said lying in bed again.
Sammy turned to face me, “I can’t go back.”
“You may know, but Irina doesn’t and I don’t plan on telling her either.”
“Come on Sammy you can’t hide here forever. You have family in Spain, you’re child deserves to see his family.” Sammy’s face fell and she blushed looking away from me, “What is it?” I asked turning to face her.
“I-I Uh, I’m not keeping the baby,” She stuttered.
“As soon as the baby is born Cris is taking him or her.”
“You can’t do that.”
“I have to,” she shrugged.
“So, what? Cris gets you into this mess, you run away while he’s acting like nothing ever happened and then he gets the gift of having a child in the end. That’s not right.”
“You and Alvaro both act like Cris has it so easy but he doesn’t, this is as hard for him as it is for me, I’m sure.” She pursed her lips before continuing, “Everything is already planned anyway, Cris and I planned everything and it’s too late to change our minds.”
I narrowed my eyes at her, “Why are you sticking up for him? After all he has done.”
She turned her back to me and switched off her lamp, the only source of light in the room off, the room became pitch black. The only light was a small stream of light entering from under the closed door.
Why was she sticking up for him? Ugh, my conflicted sister. I sighed.
I turned for the millionth time in the past ten minutes. I couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Whether it was due to the fact I was sleeping in a different bed then I was used to or the things I had on my mind I don’t know. But one thing I knew for sure. I wasn’t going to get any sleep until I found out from Sammy what really happened.
I could feel the sheets rustle as Sammy tossed and turned in bed, “Sammy,” I whispered.
“Yeah?” She whispered back.
“Oh good, you’re awake.”
“Did you want something?” She asked. Although it was dark I could tell she was now facing me.
“Can we talk?”
“About the pregnancy, right?”
I knew that Juan would want to know exactly what happened that night but I still hoped he wouldn’t ask. “Yes,” he answered.
I was silent for a moment, biting my lip, I relived that night in my head before I began, “You ask questions and I’ll answer them. It’s easier that way.”
“When?” He simply asked.
“The,” I paused, “The day before the wedding.”
Juan sucked in a sharp breath, “Jeez,” he managed, “How?”
“What do you mean how?” I asked confused.
“How the fuck did you to get into bed? Not what you did in it.”
“We were both drunk. Cris was wasted and I had had a few more drinks then I should have,” I gulped. So far Juan had been quite collected about it all, thank god.
“When did you find out about the pregnancy?”
“Before Irina and Cris came back from their honeymoon by a little.”
“What did Cris do when you told him?”
I thought back to it. Cris really had been great about it all at the start. He may have been a little difficult and walked out on me. But he still showed he cared. But right now, that wasn’t enough. I felt angry towards him all of a sudden and I had no idea why. Then, why was I sticking up for him? “He flew back early, and we talked about it. I came up with this idea of me going overseas. He actually didn’t like it at first but then he agreed because it was the only solution.”
He sighed, “Why am I the last to know?”
“Did you see how you reacted?”
“True,” he began, “but Sammy, you can’t stay here. You couldn’t survive 2 days in this country; you have nine more months left. And it’ll be suspicious if you so happen to come home around the same time as a baby rocks up on Cris’s doorstep. So it’s even longer than that.”
I wasn’t going to have any of this talk, “Juan, I can’t go back. It’s not happening. Got it?” I turned my back to him.
Do you think you’ll be able to do it? On your own?” He asked.
“I’m positive I can.”
He sighed, “Then I believe you can too. You’re strong and I know you can do it.”
Juan had left one week later. He had gotten a call from work, they needed him. He was reluctant to go but finally agreed.
“Those pictures aren’t going to capture themselves Mr. Photographer.” I had said as he stood at my doorway in one of the outfits we had bought him the second day for him in England.
“I’m positive,” I hugged him tight and he picked him off the ground a little.
He bent down to my stomach, “I may not see you often and you may live with Cris but I’m still you’re Uncle, got it little guy?”
I started tearing up from such a small action. I wasn’t only losing a son but Juan was losing a nephew or niece and I’m sure it was cutting him up more then he’d like to let on.
I hugged him again and her planted a kiss on my cheek, “Take care of yourself. And little one,” he began looking down at my stomach again, “Take care of Mama for me.”
I walked to the window to watch Juan as he came out of the building and into the taxi that was waiting for him. And as he turned around to the passenger side of the car to get in, I swear I saw him dab at his cheeks wiping away tears.
Then I believe you can too. You’re strong and I know you can do it. I had a new determination and I was convinced I could do this. All. On. My. Own.
I stood at my mirror brushing my hair. It reached all the way down to the curve of my back and it was a hassle brushing it each morning. I never even bothered with styling it anymore, I either had it in a bun with only my bangs sticking out or I had it in a ponytail.
I brushed through the knotted split ends. I wanted a new beginning. Now that I have a new sense of determination, I think I should start this whole pregnancy with my new attitude and spread it into other areas of life. Heck, I might even decide to make me some friends in England.
I looked down at my stomach, remembering Juan who had only two days ago crouched down and spoke to it, a simple action that really touched me. I smiled. I knew what I was going to do, cut my hair. Really short in a very Victoria Beckham style bob. Maybe a bit longer though. I had the face shape for it slim and heart-like. I tied my hair into a bun and walked to my room to find my purse.
The hairdresser that was cutting my hair was cheerful and friendly and she made up for the fact that I had been waiting for over an hour for my haircut. “What kinda look are you going for?” She asked as she washed my hair in the sink.
“Very short. Just at the nape of my neck.”
“That’d look great on you,” She enthused, “You have the face for it.”
“Thanks.” I rested my hands on my belly that had only just begun to show. In a loose fitting shirt you’d think I was only curvy but in the short sleeved blouse I was wearing you could clearly tell it was a baby belly.
“How many months?” She asked as she lead me to a swivel chair.
“Only 6 weeks,” I smiled.
“Have you got any names in mind?”
I gulped, “Uh, no.”
“Keeping it a spur of the moment thing, smart.” She laughed lightly. She picked up a few big clips and clipped the top of my extremely thick hair on to my forehead leaving on a little for her to work with, “You have beautiful think hair,” She said as she began snipping at the bottom, “But we’re gonna have to thin the shit out of it.”
After half an hour of cutting, the hairstyle I was after had begun to take shape. An old lady arrived and stood at the desk at the front waiting for assistance. “I won’t be a moment.” My hairdresser said as she walked off to attend to the woman.
I looked down at the hair on the floor around the chair and smiled. I looked up at my reflection in the mirror. My hair was already up to my shoulders. I felt light and not just physically. It was almost as if cutting my hair had freed me of a burden I was carrying. Just as the hairdresser was walking back towards me, the little baby in my stomach did a somersault in my belly leaving me squirming uncomfortably. It was almost as if he was reminding me, Don’t feel too free of burden’s there’s still me.
Authors Note: YAY, I got it in on time! Hope you guys’ll like it. It kinda drags on forever, but I had to mention what Juans reactions were and what they talked about. Enjoy! FEEDBACK PEEPS.
OH yeah, I might not be able to update this Saturday as my break’ll be over. But we’ll see. I hop I can but if not it’ll be the Saturday after. Sorry. But Saturdays are my day to update, So that as that kind anon suggested if you check my blog you’ll know what day to check :) okthanksbai :)