I was supposed to go to Raleigh for thanksgiving. But being that I’ve been in a bit of a slump emotionally (long story), and my break not being really as long as I would’ve liked, I decided to stay put.
During my lunch break, I texted my friend King to know if he was still coming into town.
“Sure am, mate.” he replied.
I went over to Coop’s place once I got off at 5pm, and we loaded up the FIFA. At some point, several wins later, King showed up. All three of us were soon going at the football video game, generally having a boys evening, when I got a text from Nicole. “I’m in town, Papi.”
I wanted to ignore it. Nicole really wasn’t that high up on my priorities any more and I had just gotten off a terrible week with Olya. I wasn’t in the mood for what I knew seeing Nicole would bring. All the old wounds we’d reopen. But shit, I had no choice but to go see her. She was only in town for a few days, so whatever came of it, I could deal.
I texted her back, and made plans to meet up. After another hour, I was too distracted and kept losing game after game. I gave up, handed the controller to Coop, then got in my car and headed over to the hotel Nicole said she was in. Once I got there, I shot her a text. “I’m outside.”
“Come to Room 217” she replied. I took the elevator, and found her room right across from it. The door flew open at my first knock, and there she was. For a few moments, both of us just stood there and stared at each other. “You look well”, she whispered. I grabbed her hips and pulled her into my body. Our lips connected and the world started to recede. She pressed harder against my chest and our kiss deepened. I closed my eyes, feeling the familiar rush of lust but then the anger I had buried for so long resurfaced along with it and I slowly pushed her off.
“We need to talk,” I said.
“Sure,” she said without the barest change in expression. She stood aside to let me into the room, a slight smirk hanging on the corner of her lips. “What do you want to talk about?”
“You know exactly what I want to talk about,” I shot back.
She laughed and walked over to where I stood next to the bed, swaying her hips with each step. Her body was as lithe and sensual as ever, and despite everything, I felt myself reacting. She pushed me into the bed, then sprang on top of me. She pulled off her silk tank top, exposing her body to my view. My eyes traced the lines from her perky a cup breasts and hard brown nipples to the narrow dip of her waist and the black lace panties stretched around the flare of her wide hips. She leaned forward, pressing her hands against my chest and lowered her lips to my ears, her breath softly caressing my neck.
“Can’t it wait?” she whispered, then clasped my ear lobe gently between her teeth. I groaned mentally, recalling the many memories we had made and started to wonder if indeed our conversation couldn’t wait. But I had to know.
“No it can’t, Nicole.” I said, and slowly pushed her down to the side. “You disappeared from your school in the middle of the semester, without any explanation. I understand I’m not your boyfriend so you don’t owe me any explanations but you and I were…” I hesitated, trying to find the right words.
“Fucking?” she volunteered, and the smirk was back on her face. That was the problem with Nicole. She was incredibly spoiled and as shallow as a dried river bed. Nothing ever seemed serious to her, except sex.
“I appreciate the levity, Nicole,” I said dryly. “But fact remains that you disappeared for months without a word, and then when you resurface, you’re in a different school on the other side of the country. Who fucking does that?!” I was trying, unsuccessfully, to keep the hurt from my voice. She and I had started out as friends with benefits, but somewhere along the lines, I fell in love. I had told her that just three days before she disappeared, and for a long time I had agonized because I knew I had something to do with her leaving. After five days of not hearing from her and her phone not going through, I started to worry that maybe something had happened. But her friend, Maya told me she had left her a note that she’d be gone for a very long time. That was all I knew for almost eight months before she popped up on Facebook, with a status update that showed she was now in UC Berkeley. “No matter how you felt about things, how could you do something like that?” I asked again, turning over to look into her eyes this time.
Her expression changed. The smirk was gone from her face, and a pensive look took its place. I had never seen her that way before. “So you didn’t know at all?” she asked, and I thought I saw tears in her eyes before she looked away.
She sighed, deeply. “I guess Maya did a great job keeping my secret.” She was still looking away from me.
I sat up. “What secret? What are you talking about, Nicky?”
She turned towards me, and there was a look of both sadness and apprehension in her eyes. “I was in love with you too, you know…”
“That was it?!” I asked, incredulously. “You ran away so I wouldn’t find out..”
“No,” she cut in. “It’s not that.”
I sat back in silence, waiting.
She squirmed, then sighed again. “I found out, the next day, that I was pregnant.”
The shock was like a punch to my stomach. I remembered then, the night months before that conversation, when we didn’t use protection. “That night..”
She nodded. “I was four months gone.”
My hands shook. It all suddenly made sense, and then a gnawing fear suddenly welled up in me. “Where is the baby?”
She started to shake her head, and her eyes filled with tears again.
I sprang up from the bed. “Where?!”
“I’m sorry,” she said, in a voice choking with tears and emotion. “I’m sorry..”
The blood flowed to my head and the vein pulsed in my temple. I closed my eyes and took three deep breaths, trying to remain calm.
I felt her hand on my arm, and I recoiled sharply. “Don’t fucking touch me!” I hissed. “Tell me what you did..”
“I’m sorry, E, please.”
“Tell me.” I repeated. My voice was suddenly calm, eerily so even to my ears.
“I..I got rid of it.” she stammered, then looked up at me with a plea in her eyes. “I’m sorry.”
My ears were ringing, and the room around me was spinning. I grabbed her by the neck, and lifted her to her feet.
“You’re not sorry yet, Nicole. You’re about to be.”
To Be Continued.