Heartbreak – Chapter 1
I stare at the pregnancy test in my hand. Negative. Thank God. No way am I ready to have a baby. I allow myself a sigh of relief. It’s negative, I think to myself. Ethan and I have been living together for 3 months and everyday has been a new adventure. He is the love of my life but we’re not ready for a baby. I drop the test into the bin and walk out into the lounge area. “Hey babe,” I say casually, “how was work?”
“It was okay I guess. Would you mind getting me a beer?” He asks.
“Sure.” I roll my eyes teasingly even though his eyes are glued to the tv and he won’t see it. Yep, definitely not ready for babies. I pass him one of the many beers in the fridge and sit down on the couch next to him.
“So you know how my period was late?” I ask.
“Not really, but sure.” He replies.
“Did you not listen to me this morning?” He shakes his head, “well, I did a test and I’m not pregnant.” I snap.
He finally looks over at me and I’m shocked at how much he seems to care. He gives me a shy smile and leans over to kiss my forehead like he’s done a million times before. A warmth spreads throughout my body and I lean into his chest as his arm wraps around my shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” he says, “I haven’t been listening to you very well lately and I shouldn’t be letting stress get between us. It’s just that work is really intense right now and my boss is giving me grief about every little thing. I’m sorry.” He gently pulls my chin towards him and plants a soft peck on my lips.
“Hey, let’s go out for dinner tonight. Let’s celebrate.” I suggest. He laughs lightly.
“Let’s just celebrate us.” I smile at him.
“Okay, I’ll book somewhere while you start getting ready,” he says excitedly, “and make sure you wear that red dress!” I giggle as I skip towards the bedroom in a giddy blur.
“I’ll have the smoked salmon with a side of chips and salad, thank you,” Ethan says.
“And I’ll have the chef’s special.” I smile at the waitress. She nods gracefully and walks away. They’re so poised and perfect here. I honestly don’t know how they remain so constantly polite.
“This place is amazing. How did you find it?” I ask.
“Oh, you know, I had some pretty hot dates here back in my day.” He jokes. I smile teasingly back.
“Oh but of course, back when you were 18 and didn’t have a job. How on earth could you afford a place like this? Even at 22 it feels too fabulous for me.” I lance around at the deep maroon walls and the crisp white curtains. The glittery chandeliers gently sway from the summer breeze that enters through the wide glass doors that open onto the street. In response Ethan grabs my hands from across the table and takes them into his. “I don’t care how much it costs. For you, I’d pay for the world.” He slowly raises my right hand to his lips and softly kisses the back of my hand. Sometimes I think he is honestly just too good for me. His romantic flare never fails to reveal itself on nights like this where he is distracted from work and from his family dramas. Just as we begin smiling at each other, the waitress brings over some garlic bread and a bottle of fine wine. Ethan thanks her before raising his glass of red wine in his hand. “A toast,” he says loudly enough so that the people around us can hear, “to my dear Bryton, who never fails to amaze me with her beauty and generosity to a man like me. I love you.” The other tables glance our way as they quieten down.
“I love you too Ethan.” I say. I raise my glass to his and the people around us return to their own conversations. Some days just feel absolutely blessed. We talk for 10 minutes about some of our first interactions before we got together. “Remember after graduation when I asked you if you wanted me to drive you to McDonalds for a cheeseburger after you’d had too many tequila sunrises?” Ethan laughs.
“Yes! Oh man, I was so happy. Cheeseburgers taste absolutely golden when you’ve drunk too much.” We both laugh at our silly high school attempts at grasping for each other’s attention. “Remember when you came into work and I served you and it was so weird because I was nervous and you were freaking out because you were waiting to ask me on a date?” I ask.
“How could I forget myself being such an incoherent mess? I was absolutely terrified. But hey, I guess it worked out for me in the end because here we are 3 years later, still going strong.” We reach across the table for each other’s hands again just as the waitress brings out our meals. Ethan’s smoked salmon looks amazing but no where near as good as my chef’s special. Roast duck and an orange sauce with a potato salad on the side. We eat until we cannot eat anymore. I lean back easily in my chair as I let the food settle in my stomach. “That was amazing.” I say. Ethan nods in agreement. Just as I’m about to say something more, my phone begins to ring. “It’s mum, I’d better answer it.” I walk towards the big open glass doors and lean against the frame as I answer it.
“Hi Mum, what’s up?”
“Honey, it’s your father. He’s had a heart attack.”