Married By Christmas – A Short Story (Part 1)

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There was no backing out once I was in Nicolai’s house. Even if I turned around, which I didn’t want to, it was too late. I was an orphan with nowhere else to go. Channeling all the confidence I could muster, I walked the last steps towards the door of the mansion; noting the conspicuous absence of Christmas decorations. I had expected some preppy schoolboy to meet me at the door when I called but the Nicolai that walked out of those gigantic doors was all man complete with a concrete spine and gold shoes that clicked on the hardwood floors as he walked. This certainly was not the Nicolai that used to eat paper in elementary school. Certainly wasn’t the Nicolai that stuttered when he asked me to prom nor was it the awkward boy that said goodbye seven years ago when he went off to college. No, this was a man and I was aware of his presence in a way that made my insides burn like molten chocolate.
 
“Elizabeth,” even my name sounded like an exhale of fresh air coming from his mouth, his plump pink lips looking as kissable as I remembered. His physique was tall and the top buttons on his shirt were undone, revealing a shadow of soft looking dark body hair. Chest hair that would make a woman think dirty thoughts. And he knew it.
“Come with me. I’ll show you to your room. You must be tired.” “I’m sorry for your loss. When I heard about the accident…” I didn’t want to hear any more about the unfortunate event that brought me to his doorsteps but I was entranced by his deep voice. On my inside, chaos reigned: My organs were doing back flips; my knees had turned to ketchup; all the blood was drained from my head. But outwardly I presented a facade of aloofness; I acted like his presence didn’t affect me the same as it had on prom night when we lost our virginities to each other at the back of his dad’s truck.
Wordlessly I followed him into the huge kitchen and took a seat on a high stool near the kitchen counter. Moving around with ease, he put some leftover pizza in the microwave and tossed a peanut in his mouth as he sat across from me. “I know you don’t want to talk about what happened between us or what happened to your parents but I want you to know that I’m here for you,” he said. Trying and failing to recollect how many times I’d heard something similar in the three months since my parents’ death, I nodded. I was numb from the stress of my journey and the overwhelming effect that his presence had on me.
Just as I was about to express my gratitude to him for letting me stay with him, my phone rang and my best friend, Angela’s name flashed across the screen. Panicking, I excused myself and I picked up immediately. Without letting her say anything, I attacked, “How is Dan? Is he sick? Do you need me to come back right now? I knew I should not have left him behind. What have I done?” Her laughter at the other end brought me back to life with an unceremonious thump and I heaved a sigh of relief. “If you’re laughing, I take it he’s fine?”
Angela said, “He’s better than ever, mama bear. In fact he just woke up and wanted to speak with you, ask you how you’re enjoying your stay over there so far, if Nicolai is making you uncomfortable.. You know how protective your son is. I bet if he knew that the man in question was his father, he won’t feel like this. When are you going to tell Nicolai that you had his child?” I missed Angela so much, especially how she could carry on a conversation on her own and you’d still feel like you’re in it. Talking to her calmed me and I scolded her playfully. “Angela!” “Oh sorry. Am I doing it again? Talking your ears off? You know it’s only because I miss you. If you hadn’t gone to Atlanta to make up with Nicolai and left me to babysit, we wouldn’t be having this conversation over the phone right not. Typical Angela “Angela!” I scolded again and this time she kept quiet. “He left, remember? Nicolai left and he never came back once since then. Enough about this already. You said Dan wanted to talk to me? You can’t possibly know how much I miss my little boy”
“Oh yeah. He’s riding his bicycle with his friends. We’ll call you back later. Take care of yourself, eh? And tell Nicolai while you’re at it. You’d be surprised”
We said our goodbyes and I went back into the kitchen where Nicolai was waiting for me with a scowl on his face. “Tell me about your son. Or should I say our son”
Uh-oh
 
“When were you going to tell me? Were you ever going to tell me? Why are you even here? If you didn’t think I had a right to know that the woman I’ve loved all my life had my child, why are you here? I’m tired of you and your father playing games with me. When I got your call, I thought you had finally come back to your senses after all these years but I see now that you’re just here to mess with my head again.” Shocked speechless, I looked on. He came closer to me and I instantly took a step back. “Do I scare you, Bee?” He took a step back towards his former position at the counter and ran his hands through his hair, what he always did when he was feeling frustrated.
“Nicolai..”
“No Bee. Don’t.” Even though we were both unhappy at best at that moment, I couldn’t help the desire, swift and strong that was pulling hard at me on hearing him call me Bee after all these years. I watched him pick up the anyway warmed leftover pizza and set it in front me. “Eat. Then we’ll talk. I can’t do this with you right now,” and he moved to walk away.
“Nicolai,” I stopped him, “His name is Daniel like we discussed when we were 15. Remember? He’s six years old and he’s the love of my life.” I sped through the response.
For a moment, he stood at the door, like he was going to turn around, but then he shook his head and kept walking, leaving me with the echo of his footsteps. I couldn’t help the flare of irritation at that, as I glared at the pizza like it was my problem. Picking up a slice, I took an unladylike bite and chewed, pretending I was grinding his bones between my teeth. My mind instead presented me with a picture of his lips. I shooed it away immediately. I couldn’t think like that.
Once I was done, I cleared the table and left the kitchen. No sign of Nicolai. I walked up the stair case and called out for him and his muffled reply came, “In the study!” I carefully followed the sound of his voice to a heavy oak door…
 
TO BE CONTINUED
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS LOVELIES!
Don’t think I’ve forgotten our little “game”. I might be posting my own version later today in the spirit of yuletide and whatnot.
Also, I have been experiencing the worst case of writer’s block that there could be on earth so i would sincerely appreciate any help I can get to finish this story. I feel like I never finish any story and it’s beginning to weigh me down.  If you’d like to do a collabo with me and help me finish this, I would be eternally grateful to you. Just indicate in the section  below and I’ll send you an email before we proceed.
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