This chapter deals with a sensitive subject.
It was a knife in my heart. Nicky’s words were like fire burning up my very existence.
“Excuse me?” I asked, my voice choking. “Did you just say what I think you said?”
“I’m getting rid of it,” Nicky said again. Her face was twisted slightly, as if she was trying to figure out what to feel.
“You–” I stopped myself. I couldn’t very well say ‘you can’t’. She would just blow up. If I threatened to get the law involved, I would lose. The only thing I could possibly do was try to talk her out of it. “You didn’t tell me. Why?”
“I knew how you’d react,” she said simply.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked, slowly and carefully.
“I don’t want kids!” Nicky shouted. “You know I don’t want kids!”
“Then I’ll take the baby,” I said, pleading with her. “I’ll pay for everything. The hospital bills, the food you need, a maid for your house to clean up–I’ll pay for massages at the spas, new clothes, everything.” I looked at her face and saw she was growing annoyed. “After the baby is born, you’ll never have to see us again.”
“I don’t want to give birth.”
“Nicky, you can’t do this to me! You can’t just take away my child, my baby! I will pay for everything, I will give you anything you need just please! I am begging you, let me have my baby!”
“No.” Her voice was cold and distant. “No. Jacob, no. I’ve made my decision about this.”
“How can you just go and do this, knowing how much a baby means to me?!”
“And can’t you realize how much I can’t go through with it?” She let out a long breath then slouched back away from me. “You told me you lived in this century, well prove it to me.”
I looked down. “Even after that night on the beach, I never realized how much you hated me.”
“And I haven’t hated you as much as I do now! Stop trying to force me to do things your way.”
“I am so stupid…” I balled my fists up and pressed them against my face. “If I had just not proposed… would you be making this decision?”
She was silent, just staring at me for quite some time. I felt like an idiot… if I hadn’t proposed… She might have told me, she would have told me… I’d be a father…
I was very shocked when she said, “Yes. I would be making this decision.”
“The same decision,” I said flatly. Nicky bowed her head low and whispered something. “What was that?”
“Jacob, I made this decision before,” she said, though not much louder.
I staggered back as if she had physically hit me. “When…?”
She shrugged and toed the ground. “A couple months after our trip to France.”
She told me she was sick, I thought, remembering exactly when she meant. She had been ‘sick’ for two weeks with something contagious, or so she had said. I hadn’t seen her during that time and was worried about her health. She had–she had lied to me. Again.
I could not handle this anymore.
“YOU WITCH!” I screamed, my voice loud enough to be heard down the block. Nicky looked panicked as a few people nearby turned to see what the commotion was.
“Jacob, calm down–“
“I WILL NOT CALM DOWN!” I yelled. “You have hurt me, you broke my heart, but that just wasn’t enough for you. Now you have to–to destroy my entire life! You ripped my heart to shreds and now you’re ripping my entire life to shreds!”
“For goodness sakes, Nicky, do you have no heart at all? Did you ever, EVER, think about my feelings about this?! Were you really so cold-hearted that you LIED to me and told me you were ill when you were really pregnant with my baby, MY BABY, and you–you–“
“I can’t even imagine what was going through your head, not even bothering to tell me you were pregnant the first time! You kept something like THAT a secret for almost two years? How… how could you be so cruel to me, Nicole?!”
Her slap cut me off from saying anything else. My cheek stung violently and I slowly touched the sore spot, glowering at her.
“This was exactly why I didn’t tell you,” she said, spitting on the ground by my feet. “I knew you’d act all high-and-mighty about this. But I thought maybe I should tell you the truth. But you just go and attack me. I should have just never told you.”
“Nothing I say will help, will it?” I asked, daggers practically flying out of my eyes at her. “Nothing, nothing I do or say. You’ll just do this. For a second time. With my baby.”
“Yes, Jacob. A second time, with your baby.”
“Stop, don’t even bother. Save your breath. I am going through with this.”
“Despite what I want?”
“Honestly, Jacob, I don’t care what you want anymore. And if you try to stop me, I will sue you for everything you’ve got. I’ll have the cops arrested you for hurting me, if you so much as lay one finger on me.”
“You are more than a witch, Nicky Dowe. You’re a demon.”
She opened her mouth but then I glared so angrily at her it stopped her. She slowly closed her mouth and merely watched in silence as I walked off, defeated.
When I got home, I tore off my clothes and got into the shower, trying to scrub off her vile words. I scrubbed myself so raw that my skin hurt when I stumbled out of the shower.
She can’t be doing this to me…
I threw on clothes, barely even seeing what I was doing.
How could she do this?
Once I was dressed, I stood in the middle of my house, frozen, not sure what to do now.
Why would she treat me like this?
There was nothing.
“Elouia, I can’t work for a while…. Nicky… Nicky…”
“Jacob, what is it?”
I couldn’t answer, I just cried, clinging to the phone like it was my only connection to something other than the pit of darkness threatening to engulf me. Elouia said something but I had no idea what. Then the phone went dead. She had hung up on me. I dropped the phone and slid down to the ground, hugging my knees tightly, feeling like I was drowning.
Elouia showed up within minutes. She pulled me up and held me tightly, rubbing my back and making soothing sounds. She helped me over to my bed and helped me lay down. Soon I felt a cold cloth wiping my face and I was brought back to reality. I looked bleakly up at her.
“What did I do to deserve this?” I moaned.
She put her hand over mine. “You did nothing wrong, Jacob.”
How come I couldn’t believe her?
Elouia stayed with me, doing a bit of cleaning, never saying anything to me. After a couple hours I was able to tell her what had happened.
She held onto me as tightly as I held onto her, as I cried until there was nothing left. She made more soothing noises but didn’t say anything. She knew there was nothing that could be said. It would be false words, noise in the dark.
All she could do was hold me, and she did; never letting go.
Elouia stayed with me all night. When she wasn’t holding me, she kept close to me. When I lay on the couch, she sat next to it with a hand on my arm. When I sat on the floor, she leaned gently against my back. She was my thread, my lifesaver. Without her I felt as though I would slip down into the nothingness.
At some point she helped undress me and put me in bed. I obeyed and just lay curled up, unable to move, too afraid to sleep. If I closed my eyes and went into that darkness, would I ever come out?
I must have fallen asleep because everything was dark when I heard Elouia talking. She sounded heated. I squinted slightly and saw she was on my phone.
“…did to him!” she hissed out, trying to keep her voice low as to not wake me up. “No, I will not shut up!…He’s my friend, he’s like family, of course it’s my business considering he can barely even move….No, you look here, you little brat, you have destr–…” Whoever was on the other line had hung up.
I sat up, swinging my legs out of bed. “Who was that?” I asked, knowing perfectly well who it was.
Elouia looked over at me and then looked down. “It was her. I’m sorry for telling her off like that but…”
“What did she want?” I looked up, hoping that Nicky had changed her mind but Elouia was never one to be able to hide her feelings and she didn’t have any need to say the words
Nicky had called to let me know that it was done.