AN: YAY A NEW STORY! You don't know how happy I am that I finished a story. I've probably had, like, 10 stories that I've started and this was the lucky one to actually be completed and posted. It took quite a few months to write it, but I finished it nonetheless! This story has 12 chapters plus an epilogue, making it my longest so far. :-). So please read it and give me your honest-to-God thoughts on it.
Title: With You
Summary: Troy is married with a small daughter. Gabriella is married and pregnant. They didn't keep in touch after school following a nasty break-up, but everyone knows that true love never dies.
Chapter: Chapter 1
Beep, beep, beep!
Gabriella Richards groaned. She rolled over onto her side and slammed her hand on the top of her alarm clock, silencing it. She pried her eyes open and saw that it was already eight o' clock.
Another sleepless night...
She threw the covers away from her body and stretched groggily. Looking behind her, she wasn't surprised to see that her husband, Nathaniel, was already gone. He usually would leave around six in the morning for work and return after midnight. The only times they ever got to see each other were right before he went to sleep.
Gabriella could never sleep at night due to the child squirming around in her uterus. She smiled down at her stomach, covered with a lacy white nightgown, and rubbed it lovingly. Inside of her was her and Nathaniel's first child, sex unknown. They wanted to wait until the delivery to find out that special detail. And they only had two months left.
She stumbled out of bed and turned on the shower. After peeling out of her nightgown, she stepped into the shower and let the hot, soothing water wash over her body. She looked down and just saw her massive belly. She chuckled a little. Long since had the days gone by when she could still see her feet.
After her shower, she dressed into a pink, maternity sundress. She blew dry and sprayed her curling solution onto her hair, put in a couple of diamond studs Nathaniel had given her for their first wedding anniversary, applied some light makeup, and then padded barefoot into her kitchen.
She found a healthy breakfast containing a bowl of corn flakes, strawberries, and orange juice waiting for her on the table – courtesy of the maid, Danielle. She quickly ate it before slipping into a pair of matching pink sandals. She was going to go to the baby store that day to pick out furniture for the baby.
Gabriella pulled out of the driveway in her black BMW (a gift from Jonathan for her previous – twenty-sixth – birthday) and took a quick glance at her large house before driving off.
Okay, truth be told, Nathaniel was rich. Filthy rich. He worked in their family business, founded by his great-grandfather, and Nathaniel was paid very well. And when his father dies – which could very well be soon, as the poor man had cancer – Nathaniel was set to inherit millions from him. As if he didn't already make seven figures.
Gabriella liked being rich. It wasn't like she went around buying only the best and most expensive things, but it was nice to know that the chance of running out of money was very slim. She had to admit it. Because, come on, who wouldn't like that? But, truthfully, sometimes she wished she could trade all of her money and expensive possessions for a husband that was around more often; a husband that wouldn't hang up on her when she called to excitedly tell him the first time the baby moved; a husband that actually cared about her.
She pulled into Babies R Us, which was located some five miles from her house in Buffalo, New York, and parked in one of the special 'Expectant Mothers' parking spaces. She grabbed her purse and walked towards the entrance of the store.
Gabriella always got excited when she entered the baby store, and had to exercise great self-control in order to not buy everything in the store. She already had a few baby's outfits, all in yellow or green, and some toys. Now she was here for furniture: the crib, changing table, stroller, dresser, and highchair. Nathaniel had told her last night to get whatever she wanted, since he 'wouldn't be much help.' Gabriella had been slightly put down, because she'd always dreamed that her husband would want to be as much a part of his child's life than she did, but things don't always work out the way you imagined them to.
She walked down the an aisle, trying to find a nice, uni-sex stroller, when she ran smack-dab into a man checking out little girl strollers.
Gabriella went flying backwards, but the man caught her before she hit the ground. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry!" he exclaimed. "Did I hurt you at all?" he asked, concerned, as he heaved her upright.
She put her hand to her stomach, breathing heavily, but didn't seem to suspect any damage. "No, no, it's alright." She looked down and brushed herself off, before she heard a voice say, "Gabriella?"
She turned around and saw that it was none other than Troy Bolton who she'd run into, looking aghast at the sight of her. In his hand was a pink stuffed puppy.
"H-hey, Troy," Gabriella said, dazed. "It's, uh, good to see you." I guess.
Troy cleared his throat uncomfortably. "You too."
There was a pause. "So, um, what are you doing here?"
He help up the toy in his hand and answered, "Buying things for my daughter."
"No, I mean, here. In Buffalo."
"Oh." He gave her a puzzled look. "Well, I live here."
"For how long?"
"About a year. We moved here right after Lauren, our daughter, was born." He flushed with pride. "She's thirteen months old."
Gabriella, however, focused on the first part of the statement. "We?"
"Me and my wife..." said Troy in a slow, demeaning voice. Gabriella felt jealousy boil up inside of her.
"Oh, of course." Gabriella let out a small, embarrassed laugh.
"And I see you're expecting." Troy gestured towards her protruding belly.
"Yup," she said happily, placing a hand on her stomach. "Seven months."
"How long have you been married for?"
"A year and a half. What about you?"
There was a long, awkward silence between them. Gabriella looked at the ground near Troy's shoes, stroking her stomach – a habit she'd grown accustomed to over the last few months – until she felt movement underneath her hand.
Beaming at her stomach, she rested both hands on it, waiting for more movement. She felt a kick under her hands and Gabriella couldn't help but giggle. It was amazing to think that her own child was inside of her. "It moved," she said, forgetting whose presence she was in.
"That's great!" Troy's voice came from far away, ripping Gabriella from her thoughts.
She jumped slightly and looked up at him. He was grinning at her.
"Whenever Lauren would kick, I would always keep my hands on Devon's stomach, sometimes for an hour, to see if she'd move again," he confessed. "It drove Devon insane."
Gabriella felt anger ripple inside of her again at the mention of Troy's wife; she hated the fact that she already disliked this woman before they'd even met, but anyone who was married to Troy and had carried his child wouldn't sit well with Gabriella. It wouldn't have driven me insane, she found herself thinking.
"I'm sure your husband does stuff like that, too, huh?" Troy added.
Gabriella sighed. "Well... no. He's not home much." She paused. "Come to think of it, I don't think he's even felt our child kick before." She said it sadly, realizing how good Devon had it to have such a loving, caring, and involved husband.
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Troy earnestly, like he actually meant it.
She shook her head, smiling slightly. "No, don't worry about it. He just works a lot."
Troy nodded. "I see."
There was another awkward pause between them before Gabriella cleared her throat. "Well, I have to go look at some furniture, so..."
"Yeah," said Troy, sounding slightly relieved. "I'll let you go."
Gabriella gave him a small wave and a smile. "See you later."
He nodded in agreement before turning around and disappearing. Upon his departure, Gabriella sighed in relief and leaned against the rack of strollers. She felt so drained having to just talk to Troy. It had been nearly eight years since they'd last seen or spoken to each other, and, frankly, their last meeting had not been a pleasant one.
It was the last day they had to spend together before school started. Gabriella was going east to attend New York University, while Troy was going to West Virginia University. They'd originally been planning on staying together, visiting each other as much as they could during weekends and vacations. Nothing was supposed to change.
That is, until Troy told her he wanted to break up. She'd been stunned and unable to speak, so he'd just kept on going. He said he wanted to be able to go to college without being tied-down, and that they could still be 'friends.' Gabriella had been furious, not just at the fact that he was dumping her, but because he'd been cowardly enough to wait until the last day they saw each other before parting ways. She'd abruptly left the restaurant they were eating at and ignored Troy's shouts to let him drive her home or to stay so they could work it out. But the biggest thing was that he hadn't come after her... that was the clincher.
He never called her, and she never called him. She stayed in touch with her other friends from school, but they'd explained to her that Troy had never returned their calls. His parents had moved to Arizona, so whenever Gabriella and her friends went back to Albuquerque for vacations, they never saw him. As far as any of them knew, Troy had died.
Gabriella sighed again. Well, he's not dead, she told herself. He's just married with a kid.
Even though Gabriella was mad as hell at him for dumping her the way he did and never contacting anyone again, she couldn't help but feel jealous of his wife. As much as she hated to admit it, she still had feelings for Troy, and she felt like a terrible human being to think it. Here she was, a married pregnant woman, having feelings for her old high school sweetheart who'd dumped her on her ass after over two years of dating, never to be heard from again. She should be pissed at even his memory... but she couldn't help it.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Gabriella realized she was still standing in the middle of the stroller section of the store. She shook her head to clear her mind of any thoughts of Troy Bolton and started to look for strollers.
Two hours, and five large boxes containing various items of furniture for the baby, later, Gabriella arrived home. She asked the live-in maid, Danielle, to help her carry in the boxes. Normally Gabriella would never ask to help moving heavy objects, but due to the fact that she had a child growing inside of her, she felt it would be in the best interest of the baby's health to get help.
Danielle was a beautiful girl, with long dirty blonde hair, sparkling green eyes, and olive skin, only one year younger than Gabriella herself. At twenty-five, she'd already been pregnant twice and miscarried both. Her parents had died when she was very young and she'd been a foster child for her entire childhood, living in a total of 51 foster homes before she turned eighteen. She'd had a hard past, being constantly abused. Her first pregnancy had been at sixteen. At eighteen she'd moved in with her boyfriend, living with him until she was twenty-one and he left her. It was in that time she'd had her second miscarriage. For four years after that she steadily tried to find work before finally landing a good job with Nathaniel and Gabriella, where they paid her $10 an hour and a place to live. Danielle repeatedly told Gabriella that she had no interest in leaving her job for a long time, which made Gabriella happy. She was very good friends with Danielle. Since she didn't work, it was only natural for them to become close. And it was mostly because of this reason that Danielle insisted Gabriella not strain her back by carrying in the boxes and to go inside and get a drink of water. She obliged, but reluctantly.
That afternoon, Gabriella and Danielle had fun putting the furniture together and re-arranging the look of the room. The crib and changing table were both white, while the dresser was yellow with picture of bumblebees hand-painted onto the drawers. Gabriella put the yellow sheets she'd bought a few weeks earlier inside the crib. She also arranged all of the clothes she'd previously bought into the drawers. She put a couple of toys in the crib, on the changing table, and a yellow lamp on the dresser. The room had already been painted yellow, so when she and Danielle stood back to admire their work, they were satisfied.
The stroller and highchair remained in the garage, as neither of them would be needed for a few weeks and Gabriella couldn't wait until that moment came.