She almost cried when David's voice came on the other end of the line, "Hello?"
"Dear spirits! You're okay! I've been worried sick...." David went off on tangent about trying to call her every day, but he had been unable to get through. She listened as he rambled on about things she had missed and questions about her. He never really paused long enough for her to answer those questions before rolling into more. Sometimes he sounded angry, or irritated about her not contacting him, but mostly he seemed relieved. He must have realised that he was babbling because suddenly he stopped.
"Rose? Are you okay, really?"
"Yes, I'm fine. I really am sorry I haven't called you. I've wanted to." Rosetta took a big breath. "David I have something to say. In addition to 'I'm sorry', you need to know.."
"What? What's wrong?"
"Okay maybe it's best if we talk face to face. Um. Would you come to your old house? That's where I've been staying."
"Yes. Yes I'll be there soon." David said. Rosetta didn't get another word in before she heard the click indicating that he had hung up.
She stared at the phone in her hand a moment thinking about how wonderful it was to hear him. Then it hit her that he was on his way over and she got nervous. What was going to happen? Would he be angry? Would he be calm? She figured him being calm would be more nerve racking than anything else. It would be about an hour before he got there, so she gussied up and started making some food to pass the time and calm her down.
"You're pregnant!" He stepped up close to her and took her hands.
"I know. Trust me I know, but before we get into that - I want you to know... I'm so sorry. I was stupid for ever leaving and not talking to you first. You don't know how much I regret what I did. I wanted to come back to you right away... not sure why I didn't. I never meant to hurt you. I'm sorry. I love you. Know that, okay? I love you, no matter how stupid I am, that never changes. It was just... I was just going through a mid life crisis I guess. I know that now. It was crazy and irrational. I just got overwhelmed and thought that... I couldn't breathe." She finished lamely. She would have gotten are her knees in front of him had she not been so pregnant.
David listened as she talked.
"I didn't do anything too crazy though. I mean I did get a new job, and I bought a new car, lots of new clothes, and most of my savings is gone, but that's okay." She paused in her rambling. "I know I don't have the right to ask you to welcome me back with open arms, but I can always hope. I made some new friends, but they couldn't fill the void I've felt since I left you."
She dropped his hands, "David. Really I'm sorry. I never ever stopped loving you and I've wished every day that I could take it all back. But I was afraid you wouldn't let me." Finally she stopped talking long enough for him to say something.
"Rose... I'm not sure what to say. I mean, yeah I wish we could rewind time too." He hesitated a second. "Did you leave because..." He wasn't sure how to phrase what he wanted to know. He changed a quick glance down at her expanded belly.
It dawned on her what he was trying to get at, or at least she thought she knew. She realized she hadn't explained that part yet. Rosetta put her hand on his shoulder and looked at him. "The morning I found out I was pregnant is the morning I left. Honestly, at that time, it was something I wasn't ready for - but instead of just trying to run away, I should have talked to you. I'm so sorry. It just felt like my whole world crashed and was just too much. I thought at first I didn't want this but after a while, I realized how much I did want this baby, and how much I loved it already. That made it harder still to think about coming back, I was afraid you would think the baby wasn't yours." She made sure to look him in the eyes. "This baby is yours, and if you want to be, you are going to be a father."
David felt a rush of relief at her words. He had been a little concerned about that, but didn't really think she would have moved on so quickly. A wave of confusion swept over him, but was quickly replaced by pride. He still loved her more than anything in the world, nothing was going to change that. Especially now that she was carrying his child.
"I understand if you say no. I get that, really. You've not had any time to prepare at all. I've had all this time and I'm still not prepared. Even if you say no, can I just know... David, do you still love me?"
David blinked. Letting out the breath he had been holding, he bent and lightly placed his hand on her stomach and looked at her. "Rose there is no way in the world I could ever not love you. You're my life. Yes you did break my heart when you left, but that's not going to break my feelings for you, not ever. People make mistakes. We're only human. Escpecially when your scared, you can't think right. This baby? Our baby. Yes I love him or her just as much. As for being ready for this - yes! I've been wanting a baby with you for as long as we've been together. I know you're probably expecting me to make you fight for my heart again, but - surprise - you don't need to. You still have it. Forever."
Rosetta smiled at him and swallowed back the lump in her throat threatening tears. She said that she needed to sit down and took him by the hand, leading into the bedroom she used. There was a rocker in there that helped her back.
As he followed her in, he glanced around. "Uh. Did you do something to the house? I don't remember it being this.... roomy. Or bright."
"Oh yeah. Yes. I was trying to keep my mind off things. I expanded some of the rooms and put up wallpaper. Even got some new furniture to fill it up. I hadn't really planned on staying here, but I really wasn't sure how you would take to all this."
"Well, it looks good. I guess."
Rosetta looked at him and squinted a little. "Hey, do you want to tell me why you wanted to live in a shack this small after your parents died?" She flinched at the last part of the question, wondering if maybe she was too forward about it.
David looked at the floor. "I didn't do too well when they left me, and I didn't want anyone to really know... where I came from. Not that I'm ashamed of it, but see my parents were big celebrities. Well known everywhere. I think the stress of that drove them to an earlier grave than they would have had. I hate everything about being popular, I blame that for them being taken away from me. So, since I was starting to be as well known as them, I decided to hide away. For the most part it worked. I saw no more paparazzi, they no longer crowded my front door wanting to ask me a million questions about my parents or what I was going to do with my life now. It was peace. I was happier. Still very lonely but able to deal with the loss better without being hounded."
Rosetta stood up and got close to him. "I'm sorry you had to go through that David. I'm glad you found a way to escape the life you no longer wanted. I'm also very sorry you lost both of your parents so soon. That was tough I'm sure."
"Thank you." David couldn't resist anymore, with her being so close he just to kiss her. He'd been dying to since he barged into this place but held back so they could talk.
Rosetta had been dreaming about the next chance to kiss him. She never dreamed that it would be so soon. She thought maybe he'd be too angry at her for a while. It felt even better than she remembered. Her skin tingled from the top of her head all the way to her toes. That moment of joy was soon taken over by a feeling of guilt. Feeling the love in that kiss made her feel miserable for doing what she did to him. She promised herself that she would make up for it if he allowed. He still hadn't suggested she come back home. She was still hoping. Even though he had said she still had his heart and he wasn't planning on punishing her, her guilt was punishment enough. She was doing it to herself, and she couldn't help it.
"Hey, let me rub your back for you. I can help. I'm a magician remember? Good with my hands, turn around."
She acquiesced and gave him her back to massage. He worked on all her muscles and all the knots he felt under his fingers. While he was working on her, making her relax, he decided to ask her the same question she had asked him. "Do you still love me Rose?"
She stood up all the way and turned around, interrupting the massage. "Everyday, in all ways."
He kissed her again then, passionately, and whispered that he had missed her. "Are you ready to come back home?" David softly asked.
She started crying then, really bawling. She couldn't speak because she was sobbing so hard, she could only nod. David hugged her again, just holding her in his arms. He lay down on the bed with her until her tears subsided, but by then sleep had overcome her. She slept in her husbands embrace all night long.
The next morning the two of them packed what stuff she had and left to go back to their house. They brought all the things Rosetta had purchased while on her own as well, including the rocking chair and crib and a couple of stuffed bears. David's truck had come in handy. Since she had bought a new car as well, Rosetta and David drove back separately.
I just can't believe I'm going back home. I'm so happy about it, but I feel miserable. I'd like to never go through a breakdown like that again, ever. I fear this baby might come out emotionally unstable because of all the crying I've done. David is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'll never hurt him like that again. I couldn't. I wouldn't think I had any more tears left, but here some are streaming down my face. At least they are tears of happiness this time. Even with the guilt mixed in there.
Later that afternoon, at the house, most of the things were unpacked and put away. She was on her way out to get one more load when the first pain hit.
"OH! Dear spirits that hurt. David I think we should go to the hospital. This baby's on the way I think, a couple of weeks early. Maybe. I'm not sure our exact conception day."
David rushed into the living room to help her, but when he saw her gripping her abdomen in pain he started to feel helpless. He had always considered himself to be brave, but faced with something he didn't know the slightest thing about, he found his courage faltering.
"What do you want me to do? What do I do?"
"Nothing special, just.. drive."
"Oh right, okay yeah that would help." He grabbed his keys and followed her out the door, he helped her into the new car since it was lower to the ground and easier for a pregnant woman. David hopped in the driver seat, as she buckled herself in, and started it up. His tires kicked up dirt as he hit the gas pedal, almost as if he had surprised the car, and it wasn't ready to move yet. He smiled apologetically at Rosetta before trying again, more gently this time.
The hospital was a good distance from their home, it took almost an hour to get there. During that time Rosetta's contractions came and went, and each one came quicker than the last. She felt as if someone were slicing her stomach with a dull knife, starting at her navel and slowly moving down to her pelvic bone. She didn't think this was supposed to happen so quickly, being her first pregnancy. This went against everything she had read. Suddenly she feared that they wouldn't make it to the hospital in time. Each time she had any pain she squeezed her eyes shut tight, finally once when she opened them and her eyes came back into focus - the hospital was in sight. She sighed with relief as she realised she wasn't going to deliver the baby in her new car. David had been talking to her, trying to calm her or help her relax a little, but she hadn't heard a word he had said. He parked the car haphazardly in the hospital parking lot. He shouted for help and someone brought around a wheelchair and helped her into it. She was whisked away into the double doors of the emergency entrance with the fretting father trailing close behind.
It was only 2 hours later that their new baby boy was brought into their world, as perfect as could be.
They named him Rylan.
Just as when they came, David drove home, only this time it was a slower trip, there was no rush.
"Wow. Look at him. He's a perfect person wrapped in a small blue blanket. His hands, little fingers are so tiny." David said in awe. He could hardly tear his eyes from the bundle in his wife's arms, but he looked at her to tell her what a wonderful job she had done. "I'm impressed. You were amazing. I've seen a lot of tricks, and that was by far the best."
She smiled at his small joke then brought Rylan up for a snuggle and a closer look. "I know this may sound weird, but I'm so afraid that someones going to come and say he isn't mine. Someones going to come and take him away. It's like this isn't real."
"Oh he's real," David assured her, he put his little finger in the cup of the infants hand, Rylan squeezed it. "And he's all yours. Well mine too. And no one is going to take him."
Rosetta looked at her husband, the father of her child. "I love you." She was feeling guilty again for putting him through what she did and she wanted to reassure him that it was over and she wanted nothing more but to stay with him for ever. She thought he words 'I love you' weren't enough, but they would have to suffice.
David smiled. "That wasn't my impression when you were telling me 'this is all your fault' in the delivery room.
She smiled at him. "Sorry about that. I don't know why I said some of the stuff I did. You ready to hold him?"
He cast a wary eye at her. A hesitant 'yes' escaped his lips. He opened his arms to have her place the baby into them. When she did, he adjusted his grip to hold Rylan properly. David brought his new son up close so he could see better. He studies the little baby's face and eyes. His eyes, though cloudy and unfocused, were just like his mothers and his own. He wondered if they would change.
Rylan started to whine a little bit, so David got nervous and handed him back to his mother. She smiled and took him to feed him. While he was sucking on the bottle the little one fell asleep. The two new parents took Rylan to the bedroom to put him in the crib that Rosetta had purchased. They each tucked him in with a kiss and turned to one another to share a hug.
"Well everything I've read said I better sleep when the baby does, so I'm going to do that. I'm exhausted anyway." Rosetta said.
David nodded at her, "Of course you are. I think I'll join you."
David woke up in the middle of the night fearful that something was wrong with the baby. Nothing was of course, so he drifted back off to sleep. It wasn't too much longer before a small squeak woke him up again though. When he sat up he saw the baby squirming a little in his blanket bundle.
"Hey hey Rylan. Welcome to the morning." David whispered. Rosetta was still sleeping and he wanted her to get as much rest as she needed so he left her alone. "I wonder if your momma would let me put you in my magic act. You're just so cute everyone would love you."
From behind him, he heard Rosetta laugh a sleepy laugh. "I'm sure everyone would, but that answer would be no. I'll not have you poking fake swords at him or pulling him out of your magic hat, dear. He's too small!"
David turned and smiled. "Ah I was just foolin' around, you know. Hey, I want to run out to the store today to buy him some things. You think you guys will be alright by yourselves?" David cast his eyes at the little man in his arms and pulled him up to snuggle.
Rosetta smiled. "I think we'll be just fine. Go ahead. Don't take too long though, we'll miss you." She kissed David's cheek as he handed the baby back to her so he could get ready. She watched him walk away and said a silent 'thank you' for letting her come back to him. She would forever be grateful.
Smiling at her son she gave him eskimo kisses. When he tried to suck on her nose she figured that he was hungry and got him a bottle ready. Rylan sucked it down as quick as could be, but then got fussy. She put him up on her shoulder and pat his back. After he burped he stopped the squirmy whining and settled down in her arms.
"I bet you're daddy is going to spoil you rotten isn't he?"
Rosetta was right. David brought home a ton of toys, a baby swing, a toddler block table, bunches of crayons, a xylophone and more, for his little boy. His truck bed was nearly full with all the things he had found.
"I went to the local consignment store and found some really good stuff!" He bragged to his wife. "There's plenty for him here, things to learn with and things to just play with. He picked up a panda bear piggy bank and waved it in her face, "See check this out, isn't this cool?"
She chuckled. "Yeah, it's pretty neat, but... He can't even crawl yet. You didn't have to get all this." She laughed, "You're so sweet. He'll love it all I'm sure. Let's keep the fragile piggy bank up on the shelf though okay?" She leaned forward and kissed his lips gently. She just couldn't stop thinking about kissing him, so glad to be home with him.
"Ah yeah, I know but I just saw all this stuff and thought he had to have it. At least I know he won't find himself wanting."
"I do love this baby swing though, very convenient." Rosetta said as she snuggled Rylan into it.
David, who had sat on the couch, got up to watch him swinging. "So there are two settings, slow and fast and it plays music. I bet he'll like this." David played peek-a-boo with Rylan for a few minutes before sitting back on the couch to watch him from there.
He put his arm around Rosetta and looked at her. "Thanks for bringing him safely into the world Rose. I love you. Him too, I love you both."
She smiled and snuggled under his arm. "I love you too, and I'm also sure he does." The two of them sat there and watched Rylan fling his arms around and try and focus on the things surrounding him. He seemed to enjoy the music and the motion from the swing. Pretty soon he fell fast asleep while his parents watched.
A few days later Rosetta made it out to the garden she used to covet. She hadn't been in it for quite some time and missed it dearly. The baby was taking nap, but since she had the baby monitor she could tell when he woke and go to him. She started at the front and tended to each plants needs with loving care. She even talked to them as she worked. A few of the plants had died, but most were still doing alright, just needed some attention. She pulled each weed and watered until the soil was moist. When she got to the back of her garden she noticed an extension that wasn't there before - in the middle of it was a bee keeping box.
"Oh wow, awesome!" She said, surprised. "This must be where that buzzing noise I heard has been coming from." Rosetta realized she was talking aloud to herself and giggled. On the ground next to the box was a netted hat that she supposed she was to use when taking care of them. After putting the hat on, she pulled up the top of the box and peered inside. Bees darted in and out and circled around her head. The didn't seem to mind her presence so she reached in and took out one of the hives and grabbed a jar that as also next to the box, ready for use. She smiled while she filled the jar up with honey, happy to have her own supply. Honey was for some reason a rare thing in Hidden Springs, it was an ingredient she almost always lacked because she couldn't find any.
Sometimes the bees weren't so cooperative. As a matter of fact they appeared to like David better than Rosetta. Often enough they swarmed on her, stinging every where they could. They sent her running through the garden with arms going wild. David frequently had to help treat bee stings in the oddest of places. What really annoyed Rosetta is when she got one on her butt cheek, she was unable to sit comfortably for a week. She finally decided, after three attacks, that her husband would be the lucky one to tend that bee box since they seemed to like him more.
It had been a few months since Ryan's birth . and the family seemed perfect in every way. David began working in town again. He put on a show at least once a week. He was getting better at his profession and had gotten quite a few promotions. He was learning new tricks every week and pleasing more and more crowds. Since Rylan came along, Rosetta wasn't always available to come see every show, which disappointed her but she came to terms with it quickly.
Rosetta was doing well in her new business career also, though sometimes she missed the Science Facility. She was progressing in her new field, but compared to science it was relatively boring. Not planning on quitting any time though, she continued chugging along. She and David never worked on the same days, or at the same times. A babysitter was never needed for Rylan, since one of them was always home. That made some days hard to see each other, but they always made time for themselves no matter what.
Sonia came to visit to see Rylan at least once a week. She doted on him as if he was her own. Sometimes while David was off working Sonia would come just to keep Rosetta company, or babysit while she showered and took a nap. Rosetta was grateful when her best friend did come over, she was always happy to see her and glad she was willing to watch the baby while she did what she needed to.
"He's just too cute for words." Sonia said. "I've never met a guy I've liked so much."
The two girls laughed. "Yeah he'll steal your heart for sure." Rosetta admitted.
They were watching him in his swing, playing with and giggling at things unseen by the adults. Once or twice he dozed off, making the smallest snoring sounds either of the woman had ever heard. When he woke up he always looked around, looking for his mother. When he didn't see her right away he would cry.
"Aww, he's even cute when he cries." Sonia stated.
To be continued...