Saturday morning took me by a pleasant surprise. Daniel and cuddled together, him in his boxers and me in my pink and blue bunny pyjama top and black underwear. I hadn’t a clue it was right around Easter that I was wearing bunny pyjamas because Daniel and I don’t really celebrate Easter beyond digging into chocolate (and getting pimples for me; yup, chocolate hates me, but I will forever love it!). Daniel woke up before me, he’s becoming more of an early bird than me. I envy him in that regard. Anyone’s best bet to wake me up is my shining bright light into my sockets, besides that, if a meteor struck I wouldn’t even notice.
I felt a cold softness on my hip, sliding up my waist and then down my thigh. I wriggled and turned, Daniel held a single red rose up, smiling at me. I smiled back, my shyness coming through as I stretched my arms up and straightened my legs. I pulled back. “Good morning,” I said.
“Morning. For you.”
I took the rose. “Thank you. You have a nice voice.” I didn’t even think to ask when he got the rose.
He crawled into bed and leaned over me for a kiss on my cheek. “You reckon I should go on The Voice? Or American Idol?”
“You’d have all the girls howling.”
Daniel laughed. “Both then.”
“Shut up,” I rolled my eyes.
“Come on,” he slapped my thigh twice, “let’s go.”
“Hey!” I jumped up as he began to retreat, flinging my arms around him and pushing him onto the bed. I hopped on top of him, with my legs on either side. “Why the rush?” I brought the rose to the top of my lip and the delicious scent flared my nostrils.
“We’re going to be late, Anna,” Daniel grinned, just lying there and submitting to me. Putting no effort into getting out from under me.
I chuckled. “Late for what?”
“Don’t tell me you forgot.”
I widened my eyes and froze. “Okay. I won’t.” Shit, what did I forget?
Daniel sighed. “How we’re meeting with the agent? To look for an apartment?”
“Oh, of course I remember. I…remember…” I shrieked unconvincingly.
He wriggled up and bent over. His hand on the back of my neck, he pulled me down into his kiss. His other hand on my waist, steadying me. One last kiss on my chest. “I want you to take this seriously okay? For me?” I furrowed my brows, and before I could respond he held up a hand. “I know. You are. And I know you do. It’s just sometimes I feel like you’re not into this as much as me. Into moving in together I mean. It just gets prolonged each time and I feel like I’m the only one actively seeking out an agent and a place.”
I looked down. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I thought I was being as eager as you are. Maybe it’s not coming off that way?” Ugh, sorry excuse and you know it. He knows it too but he’s too polite to tell me.
He shrugged. “Maybe.” He squeezed my waist and shook me slightly, one hand going back and the other forth. “You still want this, yeah?”
I nodded, vehemently. “I do. I promise, I do.”
“And you want to live in New York City with me?”
I nodded. “But then maybe someday we can go back to California?”
“And live there?” I nodded. He smiled. “Then why did you never tell me that? I’d love to go back and live there someday. I’ve been thinking about it too, but right now, I’m invested in New York City.”
“I’m invested, too.”
He pecked my chest. “Good. I’m glad.” He breathed out in relief. “I know this is an unromantic discussion but I want us both to be clear and on the same page.”
I sat down from the perch on my knees, going down to his level. “I agree. I think we need this.”
“Okay. Good. So, we’re halving the expenses on the new apartment, right?”
I nodded. “Definitely.”
“And when we get married—” I gulped on that word— “I want us to merge it all into one account. Our own expense account for financial obligations, and then our own accounts. For whatever. What do you think of that?”
I chewed on it for a moment. “That sounds reasonable.”
“Unless you want it all in the one account?”
“I think we should try it the first way first, and see how that goes.”
He nodded. “Cool. Okay, let’s go then.” I didn’t move an inch. “What?”
“I just want you to be sure…”
“Of me and…and not having kids. Because I know you said all those things before—”
“Which I meant and still stand by—”
“No, I know,” I nodded in understanding, “I know. It’s just that I want you to be sure. I don’t want you to resent me and I don’t want to feel guilty for taking something like that away from you.”
Daniel narrowed his eyes in thought and tilted his head. “Why don’t you want to have kids?”
“I told you. As harsh as it sounds, I don’t really like them.” It’s about ten percent of the reason.
“No…” he shook his head, “there’s something else. Something you won’t tell me.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh, Daniel. Have you ever considered that maybe that’s just it?”
I was preparing to get out of bed when he grabbed my thighs and locked me in. “I have, actually. But I know there’s something more. I know you. Come on, tell me.”
“We’re going to be late,” I teased with a brow lifted. Daniel didn’t smile, he just waited. I sighed and looked down. “I…I don’t want to say.”
“Come on,” he urged softly, squeezing me thighs on each syllable.
The entire journey to meet our agent was pretty quiet. I didn’t tell Daniel and the whole time I felt like such a hypocrite. A million times he’s been the one to bottle things up and I’ve been the one to pry it out of him; now the tables have turned.
We met our agent in front of the Gramercy Park. She took us right across the street to an aged, stone building and I immediately knew this would be way out of our budget. I couldn’t say so, though, because it was too soon and our agent wouldn’t even leave our side until 45-minutes into the tour of the house (which has a staircase, mind you!). I strode up the staircase as Daniel wandered off somewhere downstairs, eventually meeting me in the bathroom of the en suite.
“What do you think?” he asked, looking at my reflection in the mirror.
“But no way are we taking this.”
Daniel frowned, dropping his shoulders. “Why not?
“Why not?” I scrunched my face at his displeased reaction. “Umm, we’d struggle to afford this. We’d be living pay check to pay check, if that.”
“It’ll be temporary once I get my pay out.”
“That’s years away, Daniel. I mean, come on, be realistic. The Gramercy? The key to the park for residents only? You know this is way out of our league.”
Daniel sighed in frustration, combing a hand through his hair. “Okay. Let’s go then. Let’s go tell our agent we want our standard taken down a notch.”
I leaned back on the sink, immobile, and not by fear. Daniel just stared at me, waiting for me to move. I looked down, not knowing what his features were set on, but I could feel it was confusion.
I took a deep breath in and out and kept my eyes on the floor. This was the only way I could do this. “I don’t want kids because I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’ll turn out like one of those mothers that abandon their family because it’s too hard or is so overcome that she…she would do the unthinkable. I know I wouldn’t ever do the latter, but I’m scared. I’m scared of my own child hating me like I hate my mother right now. And I don’t want her or him to go through life getting hurt left, right and centre. I’m scared I won’t love my child as much as everyone else says I would if only it were mine.” I squeaked and sniffed, feeling tears well up and splash over as I blinked. One tear dropped directly onto the floor without running down my cheek as my head angled low. “I’m scared I won’t be strong enough to raise a child. My mother once told me to keep a laptop off of my lap because otherwise it will dent my fertility. Ever since then I’ve always put it on my lap, hoping for just that. Hoping I wouldn’t have to tell anyone the real reasons why I don’t want kids, and instead of looking at me with disgust, they’ll pity me.” I finally looked up, Daniel had his eyes entirely focused on me. “And I didn’t want my own boyfriend thinking that I’m such a horrible person for feeling this way. But—” I shrugged— “it’s the way I feel. And I’m sorry.”
I was leaning so hard on the sink that my back started to hurt. I straightened up and swung my arms forward until I held them together. Daniel moved forward, and I thought he was going to say something lowly, but he just pulled me into a hug. My head crashed into his shoulder, my tears ceasing to exist shortly after my explanation. I felt pressure on the top of my head for a moment, then a suctioning smack as Daniel pulled his lips back. I tore from his embrace and he moved back.
“You’re right,” he nodded, “this place is not our style.” He tapped my nose with his index finger and had one arm around my shoulder. “It’s too pretentious don’t you think?” I could only smile at him, my face bright and happy he’s not disappointed, or hiding it well. “I mean, who has their own key to a park?”
“Thank you,” I whispered as I dragged my feet out alongside him.
He shrugged. “What for?”
“For making a joke.”
He smiled. “I know it’s really hard for you right now. We can always talk later. When you’re more ready. And I promise I won’t try to convince you to have a baby.” He held up both hands. I laughed. “There we are. Now that’s what I like to see,” he brushed his thumb over dried tears and soft cheeks. “Now let’s go find this woman before she thinks we’re stealing something.”
***Hey all. I’ve updated two Wattpad stories: Black Silk and His Name Is Jake Saunders. Feel free to check those out. Now I better get back to writing. Happy Easter! See you! Soul xo***