"You're late." Vanessa Abrams Archibald said to her soon to be ex husband as she opened the door to her new home. If he didn't co-operate this arrangement was never going to work. Nate ran his hand through his hair and smiled slowly at Vanessa.
-"Sorry major traffic on the road so I had to take the subway. I didn't even get lost." Nate said with a winning smile on his face." But hey I had an amazing teacher." He added winking at her.
Vanessa couldn't resist a small smile that quickly died as she remembered how they had ended up in this situation. Their marriage had been beautiful, passionate and full of sacrifices on both sides. And with one mistake or maybe the accumulation of many he had shattered it all. She let him step into her apartment which wasn't really hers. She had been staying at the Humphrey's old place. They had vacated it a few years ago to move in with the Van Der Woodsen.
Nate looked at his wife, she looked thin, thinner then she had ever been and he knew it was partly due to him. She still looked beautiful even though he noticed that she had straightened her usually curly hair. He grabbed a lock of her hair carefully as she flinched slightly. She didn't say anything she just stared.
-"Your hair. It's straight." Nate said with a tinge of sadness in his voice. His fingers dropping to her cheek stroking it lightly.
What was he getting at?
-"Yeah I didn't like the curls anymore. I wanted something different. But it will go curly soon anyways." She said stepping away from him.
Nate took the news with a pang ,she knew he liked her hair in its natural state. He sighed.
-"I am sorry." he murmured not knowing what else to say. Sorry seemed appropriate. Vanessa shook her head.
"Don't…"she started only to be interrupted by a little girl running into the room. She smiled.
"Daddy!" she screamed as Nate picked her up and spun her around in his arms. She had dark brown curly hair and eyes that screamed ARCHIBALD.
-"Hey baby where you good to mommy. I missed you Ella Ruby Archibald. I missed you. " Nate said in his baby voice that he still used with Ella who had turned three last month.
Nate only got to see her on non-school days.
"I missed you too daddy!" she said and she grabbed his head with her two hands and made him stare at her. They had the same eyes. Vanessa went to get Ella's bag and gave it to Nate. As he reached out to grab it their fingers touched and she shivered. She quickly covered her confusion by responding aggressively.
-"Please don't be late tonight, she has school tomorrow and I don't want her to eat late. You have my number in case of emergency?"
Nate put Ella down and told her to get her favourite doll from the room. Ella didn't waste any time. Nate reached out for Vanessa's hand.
"Hey I know. Don't worry. We have done this before." Nate said pulling her close. She stiffened but relaxed and buried her face in his chest. He smelt good like the aftershave she had bought him for his birthday.
-"Nate we need the closure. For Ella. We need to sit through our problems and decide." Vanessa said ending the embrace.
"Don't do this …" Nate said wide-eyed. What did she mean?
"Me? I am not the problem. You are living with Serena. You slept with her when we were married. YOU did this…" Vanessa whispered (in account if Ella) but in a harsh tone.
-"What are you saying?" Nate asked in small voice that didn't really suit him. Sounded desperate but hey…that's what he was.
"We are done. I had four months to think about it. I am sorry Nate but I want a divorce." Vanessa said softly. Closure. There.
Ella chose this moment to come back with a doll half her size in her hands. She glanced furtively between her parents. She shrugged went to kiss her mommy goodbye and linked her hand with her dad's.
"Daddy are you ok?"
Nate picked her up stealing a last look at Vanessa.
"No baby but I will be. I will be."
Vanessa hadn't been on a date since well about 6 years ago when she had decided it was going to be Nate. The love of her life.
She vaguely remembered the Nate period. Before the drama , the infidelities and she couldn't deny it the happiness. He had given her Ella. Anyways as Dan had said this wasn't really a date. Scott his brother and Vanessa was well " in limbo" . She was wearing a white dress that contrasted with her tanned skin. So well there she was having a date with Dan's brother who also happened to be Serena's brother. Still following?
She noticed Scott already seated at one of the tables.
-"Hey you look beautiful." He said standing up to pull out the chair for her. Vanessa smiled and relaxed. Just a lunch between in limbo people.
"Ella apologize to Serena that was rude." Nate said pointing his finger at Ella who was holding his gaze.
Ella's lower lip quivered slightly announcing fresh tears. Serena rolled her eyes. It was always like this. She really liked Ella and all… but man Nate was gullible. She gave Nate a pointed look and he returned it with a I have no choice look as he picked up his daughter. This time Ella had called Serena a bitch probably from hearing her mother do so with the likes of Jenny or Blair. It infuriated Serena how much Nate still wanted to be involved with those people when they had all turned their back on her.
Blair out of jealousy. Jenny out of loyalty. Dan…Same.
"Nate you are spoiling her, she won't learn ."
"I see her three times a week for two hours. I think I am allowed to spoil her don't you? She knows what she did wasn't nice right Ella?" Nate said. Ella nodded and burying her face in his chest very much like her mother had done a few hours earlier.
-"I see. Well anyways this is your special time so I am going to go seeing as I am not wanted . Later Nate. Bye Ella!!!" She kissed Nate on the cheek and also kissed Ella.
Serena could swear that Ella rolled her eyes.
But three year old girls don't do that do they?
Honestly do they? I have always been a sucker for pairings that don't have a WIDE fandom so...this time it was Nate and Vanessa. As Parents... It's weird!!!!!
I just need to continue writing.
Read and review it keeps me going.