The Best Lesson Learned(3)

By: Charlie Conwell

She doesn’t get to say anymore. I scream and give her a hug. “Oh my God, this is brilliant news! I’m so happy for you both. You’re going to be a mom!”

The smile on her face is so big that I can see how excited she is about it. “What did you want advice about?”

She gets up, goes to her handbag, pulls out a small box and comes back to me. “I want your advice on how to give her this.”

She opens the box and there inside is a beautiful sparkling diamond ring.

“How do I ask the mother of my child and the owner of my heart to marry me?”

I get so excited that I start flapping and bouncing on the seat. After a few minutes of sheer excitement, I settle down enough to answer her question.

“Beth, you’re one of the most romantic people I have ever met. All you have to do is let your heart speak and it will guide you to the perfect moment and the perfect proposal. Now, what’s the real reason you wanted advice?”

“I’m nervous, this is something huge that we talked about a number of times before. Now, we are pregnant and it’s real. It’s here, I’m going to be a mom and it scares me. What if I screw this up?”

“Beth relax, you’re not going to screw anything up. You’re strong together and you both want the same thing. You have nothing to worry about, Beth. I have never seen two people so well matched before. You were made for each other and I have every confidence that you will be a great wife and mother.”

“How are you so confident?”

I shake my head and move beside her. “Beth, you’ve been a mom to Cory for the past two years just as much as Orla and me. He adores you and when your son or daughter is born, they will have a new instant friend and you will have me as an aunt. With the kind-hearted person you are, you’re everything anyone could ask for in a wife and Yvonne knows that. She loves you and worships the ground you walk on. Stop worrying and relax. Enjoy this time and get excited about asking her to be your wife.”

She calms down somewhat, we talk about proposal ideas and after another three cups of tea, we are both yawning. We call it a night and as I pass Cory’s room, I look in on him. He’s in a peaceful sleep laying across the bed. I have never seen a child move so much in his sleep.

I lay down on my bed after getting undressed and check my phone. There are no messages from Orla. I send her a goodnight text but don’t receive anything back. It takes me a while to sleep with thoughts of what Orla is doing, how she hurt Cory and how she didn’t tell me that she would be away for work. There were problems with us in the past, though I thought we had moved past that. Obviously, I was wrong.

Chapter 2

The rest of the week goes by the same, with Orla not answering any texts or calls from me. I’m becoming more stressed and when I come home at night, I’m irritable.

I try to put on a happy face for Cory, but it’s getting harder. Beth has noticed the change in my behaviour. On Friday night, after putting Cory to bed and promising him that we are going to the fair the next day, I go back to the living room and Beth has two bottles of beer opened waiting for me.

“Kim, what’s going on? I haven’t seen you stressed like this in such a long time. What’s Orla done or not done this time?”

I take a drink from my bottle and lean back on the sofa. Beth has become my best friend and has been there through everything with me over the last two years. I sigh and turn my head to look at her. She waits patiently for me to start talking.

“I haven’t heard from Orla since she left. She hasn’t returned one text or call nor checked on Cory. I don’t know when she’s due back. Cory asks about her every night before he goes to sleep. He isn’t used to not getting a call from her while she’s gone.”

“Kim, this isn’t good enough, she did this before and you know she was cheating on you. You worked so hard to get by that and make it work for the three of you. Do you think she is doing the same again?”

There it is, my fear spoken out loud. Since the last time, Orla promised me that she would never do it again. I worked so hard on our relationship and she regained my trust. Cory was only one and since then, things were better between us. I must have taken too long to answer because Beth tuts and raises her voice.