He stared at me with a raised eyebrow. “Sure?”
“Yes, I’m certain.” Not really, but it wasn’t the time to tell him.
During our ride to the Carnival, Elle and Marcus played the “I spy with my little eye” game. My mind was too distracted to join in. Staring out the window, I watched other people drive by in their cars. Some drivers were alone, others were laughing with passengers, some were even singing along to a song. I wondered as I saw their faces fly by if any of them were struggling with the same issues I was: second-year law student, pregnant by a man with a double life.
During the last two months, we spent lots of time together. Jeremy had been staying at Stacy’s house a lot. I didn’t like staying home alone, especially knowing that the black SUV was parked outside. I hadn’t mentioned anything to Marcus about it. The days that Marcus was at my place, it was never there. I’d never seen it near his place as well, so I didn’t want to worry him with my speculations. I was sure it was nothing, but something about that vehicle gave me a bad vibe.
At the office, I hadn’t run into Stephanie. The day after the picture message she was moved to another department. Marcus’ new assistant was a sixty year old woman. Marcus still felt bad about the entire situation. Several times a day he’d hand me his phone, giving me permission to go through it, but I trusted him even with all the females in the office flocking over to him. I didn’t want to base our relationship on having to be a part-time probation officer. I always declined. There has to be trust in a relationship, especially with a little one on the way. Looking down at my belly, I tightly wrapped my arms around myself.
It was going to be hard going to school full time, studying, maintaining my 4.0 GPA, and dealing with pregnancy hormones. I had to tell Marcus, but I didn’t know how. Should I set an appointment to see how far along I am and then tell him, or should I just come out and say it?
My biggest fear was rejection. I knew he’d make a great father, but what if he didn’t want to be a father? Was I prepared to be a single mother? Regardless if he accepted it or not, we’d only known each other for two months; others will think the worst. Knowing Marcus he would say, “Stop worrying about what others may think. Who cares about them?”
It’s true I shouldn’t worry what people will say. There is always someone judging you, no matter how good a person you are. Hell you could be a saint, and still there would be that one person who’ll despise you. That was fine, though being judged by his family? That was something I wouldn’t be able to handle. I had grown to love them so much. It would hurt me to lose them all.
“We’re here!” Elle squealed. She jumped up and down in her seat. Marcus laughed at her. After parking in a spot, we exited and walked to the entrance.
The sun had set, and the light breeze made a beautiful evening for rides. Bright lights from the roller coasters and booths illuminated the entire park. It was extravagant and over the top. It made me feel like I was ten years old again. My father took me to one similar to this, though it was smaller and at a local supermarket parking lot.
“Daddy, look! Can we pleeease go on the Ferris wheel? Please!” I’d pulled on my dad’s hand, and he chuckled at my enthusiasm. Glancing down, his radiant brown eyes beamed at me. I loved the way the sides of his eyes wrinkled when had a huge smile. It was one of those smiles that led to his famous small raspy chuckle.
“It goes really high, Mia, are you sure?”
“Oh yes, daddy, please?” I begged, pressing both my hands together and tucking them toward my chin.
“Okay.” He emphasized with amusement.
Biting my lip, I couldn’t hide my excitement. We walked to the ticket guy. My dad gladly handed over our stubs, and the man let us pass. I practically squealed when we entered the cart. It slowly moved a few feet forward to let a couple in the cart behind us. It continued to move bit by bit until we were all the way on top. Stretching my neck, I looked over to see below us.
“Wow, daddy, the cars look so small from here. And look at all the people; they look like dwarfs!” I giggled.
“Mia, you’re one brave young lady; I’ll tell you that much.” Turning to face him, I beamed for two reasons: one, he kept his promise and brought me to the carnival; two, he referred to me as a young lady and not a little girl.
Tucking myself under his arms I squeezed tightly. “Thank you, daddy, this is the best day ever!”
Sighing at the memory of my father, I held back my tears. It was ten years ago since his death, and I still love him more each day. The older I get, the more I cherish those memories. His love and care for me made me the woman I am today. He taught me to be strong, outspoken, and never trust easily. After losing two important men in my life, I built a wall, not allowing anyone in. Once Marcus stepped into my life, that wall slowly crumbled. Finally I’d found a man that I could trust.
Since Marcus had confessed some of his second life, he’d kept his promise. Although, he worked more than one night a week now, he hadn’t come home drunk like that night. Instead after a job, he would lie next to me in bed and tightly hug me. I’d run my fingers through his hair until he fell asleep. Keeping that small promise to me allowed all my fears about us to vanish. I knew we’d be okay, and there was nothing to fear. I knew that I shouldn’t keep this big secret to myself.
“You okay, babe. You’ve been really quiet.” Marcus wrapped his arm around my shoulder.
Turning my head to him, I smiled. Staring into his concerned expression warmed my heart; he was everything I wanted, needed and more. “Yeah I’m fine, so what do we do first?”
“Ferris wheel!” Elle yelled. I laughed at how much she reminded me of myself.
After a few rides and games at the booth, we were beat! Marcus had Elle thrown over his one shoulder. She was fast asleep as her head and arms swayed side-to-side when he walked. He held an oversized stuffed animal horse on his other arm. I held another two medium-sized stuffed animals. All three Marcus won for her.
When we reached the car, Marcus gently placed her in the backseat and secured her seatbelt. Only the two medium-sized stuffed animals I held fit in the trunk, so the large one lay in the backseat next to Elle. When we got into the car, Marcus took his phone out of the glove compartment. Turning it on, he glanced at it and sighed heavily.
“Shit.” He said while glancing at a message.
“What?” I asked praying it wasn’t Lou. I really wanted to talk to him when we got back home.