I wait in the car for Ana. Something is very wrong with her, I just know it. It isn't like her to reply to emails like that, no matter how busy she is. I stare absently at the doors to SIP, willing her to walk out next, and then I see her.
I scoot over to the next seat, and sit up a little straighter when she opens the door.
'Hi,' I say warily. I try to gauge her emotions from her face, but she seems to have mastered my impassive look.
'Hi,' she responds quietly, too quietly. Oh shit, what have I done now?
'What's wrong?' I ask and am immediately irritated when she shakes her hair and tells me nothing. Does she think I'm blind? I watch her face as she seems to have an internal battle with herself and I decide to probe further. She is really starting to worry me now.
'Is work alright?' She says that it's fine and again I feel my irritation rise.
'Ana, what's wrong,' I ask in the tone of voice that I know usually has her telling me whatever it is right away.
'I've just missed you that's all, and I've been worried about Ray.'
Oh thank god. Of course she's been worried about Ray, I'm an idiot for not have guessed it before. I tell her what mom told me earlier and then notice that she is looking a bit pale, so I ask the question I think I have asked her a million times in all the time I've known her.
'Have you eaten today,' my irritation returns when I see colour stain her cheeks. 'Ana,' I warn.
She shuts her eyes as if shaking her head at some nagging thought and then says 'I'll eat this evening. I haven't really had time.'
Dammit Ana. My irritation bursts and I say something snarky about adding feeding her to the security details list of instructions.
'I'm sorry, I'll eat' She says tiredly, 'It's just been a weird day, moving dad and all.'
I know what she's doing, and dammit it's working. I press my lips together to stop myself saying anything else and we both return to staring blankly out the window.
The rest of the journey passes somewhat more companionably. I tell her I'm meant to be going to Taiwan, and ask her to come with me. As I knew she would, she declines on the grounds that she needs to work. I both try to reassure her about my going away and press her for information. For all she said about Ray being the problem, I know that she is keeping something from me. I wish she'd tell me what it is.
To my relief Ana seemed to perk up a bit when we went to see Ray. She always seems more relaxed around him that she is around most other people. As a result I tend to watch her more closely when she is with him, and so didn't miss the moment she began to withdraw back into herself when it was time for us to leave. By the time we reach Escala she is once again nearly silent and brooding.
I shoot her glances while we eat Gail's excellently prepared food. While I am as usual eating everything that is one my plate, she just seems to be pushing hers around her plate. This is getting ridiculous. I drop my fork onto my plate with some force and turn to look at her fully.
'Dammit Ana, will you tell me what's wrong?' I push my plate away, and then make an effort to soften my tone, 'Please you're driving me crazy.'
For what seems like an eternity I sit there looking at her. I am still watching her when I see the resolve form in her face and she looks up at me, all steely determination.
My entire body stiffens. Did she just tell me she was pregnant? Surely I've heard that wrong.
'What?' I whisper in a hoarse voice. I am sure that by now there is no colour at all left in my face.
'I'm pregnant,' she repeats and it is as though my brain is thrown into overdrive.
But we used contraception. We should have been safe, and I know that what I say next is possibly the most stupid thing to say in this situation of all time but I can't stop myself.
Colour once again stains her cheeks and she gives me a sarcastic 'How do you think' look in response. Usually I would fully understand why she is giving me this look but I am not in a rational mood right now. My initial shock is rapidly transforming into anger and an overwhelming panic.
'You're shot,' I spit the words out at her and she flinches but right now I don't give a fuck, 'Did you forget your shot.'
She just stares at me, and if I had been in a reasonable state of mind I would be able to see that right now she is probably paralysed by my reaction but instead her impassive stare just makes me madder.
'Christ Ana,' I bellow and bring my fist down onto the table, hard and then get up from the dining chair, nearly turning it over in my haste to try and escape from the inescapable situation.
'You have one thing. ONE THING to remember. Shit, I don't fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid.' In the back of my mind there is a small voice telling me that I need to stop, but that is not the part of my mind that is currently in charge of my mouth. She gasps at my harsh words and I think she tries and fails to say something else. She looks down at her fingers like she does whenever she is uncomfortable or upset and mumbles out an apology.
'Sorry!' I shout back incredulous, 'Fuck!'
'I know the timings not very good …'
'Not very good? We've known each other five fucking minutes. I wanted to show you the fucking world and now … Fuck … Diapers and vomit and shit,'
I close my eyes and the little reasonable guy in my brain is now sneering at me. Nice one, now you just look like a shallow idiot. You should really try to calm down before she starts to get pissed at you too.
I try to reign in my temper, I really do but it is just not a battle I can win. The shock of the news, along with my overwhelming fear of this whole situation has thrown me back in time, and just like then I cannot deal with everything that's going on.
'Did you forget? Tell me?' I spit at her, still with my eyes shut, 'Or did you do this on purpose?'
Whoah there. I know she didn't do this on purpose. I think now that I am trying to make her angry at me. Oh fuck I am going to pay for that snide little remark later. The reasonable guy in me is attempting to stop the flow of words escaping me but in vain.
'No,' She whispers and once again, I can tell she is keeping something back.
'I thought we'd agreed on this.'
She starts to stutter out an apology again, but I am too far gone to care.
'This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn't come along and fuck everything up.'
She blanches at my words and pleads with me not to shout at her, tears beginning to fall from her eyes.
'Don't start with water works now Fuck'. My reasonable side cringes at my words pleading with me to remember that I love this woman who I'm currently verbally abusing.
Images of all the way I could fuck up as a father run through my head and I manically run my hand through my hair, pulling at it savagely, I think in an attempt to forcefully make myself regain control on the situation.
'You think I'm ready to be a father?' I yell at her, and finally my voice cracks a little, displaying some of the emotion I've been trying to conceal.
'I know neither one of us is ready for this,' she bleats timidly, looking small and defeated, 'But I think you'll make a wonderful father. We'll figure it out.'
'How the fuck do you know.' I yell at her, watching her face lose even more of its colour as I continue to yell at her,'Tell me how?'
She just continues to gaze at me, with wide horrified eyes. My reasonable side is now on bended knee begging me to get out of there before I say anything else I'll regret and finally I listen to him.
'Oh fuck this,' I bellow and hold my hands up in defeat. I walk as fast as I can without running to the foyer and grab my coat, not even looking back at my wife. In a few seconds I am in the elevator heading down to the outside world and the first twinge of guilt begins to take root inside me.
I know where I'm headed as soon as the cool air of Seattle hits my face. I walk to Flynn's office, not really paying attention to where I am going. My head is too full of memories of what I've said and done to Ana in the past hour. I have behaved appallingly and I know it. Guilt swells inside me and I reach for my blackberry. My thumb is just hovering over the call button, when I change my mind. I don't know what I'd say to her. I don't know how to ask her to understand, because in all honesty I don't.
I look up and I am somewhat surprised to find myself standing outside Flynn's office. I suppose I've come here so often in the past that my body just automatically took me here. I sigh and begin to dial a different number into the blackberry. Much to my dismay Flynn doesn't answer his phone. I continue to stand outside his office, just staring at his, as though the building itself can give me some advice. I jump when my phone starts to buzz and look down to see that Flynn is calling me back.
'Flynn?' I say, sounding lost and confused to my own ears.
'Christian, what is it?' he sounds alarmed by my tone, and I don't blame him. I don't think I have sounded like this since Ana left me.
'Can you see me?' I ask, not wanting to answer his question over the phone. He pauses for a beat and then speaks.
'I'm at Simon's parents evening at the moment.' He says, apologetically, 'the soonest I can see you is tomorrow morning.'
I sigh and then thank him. I am swimming in a sea of confusion and panic. The two people on the planet who keep me afloat are either the cause of it or at a parents evening. How very ironic.
Absentmindedly I start to walk again, not paying attention to where my feet are taking me until a very familiar voice snaps me out of my dark reverie.
'Christian?' I look up to see Elena in front of me. Behind her is Esclava. How the fuck did I end up here. This really is not my night. When she gets a good look at my face she takes a step back.
'Christian what is it?' She looks at me with concern, and I don't know what to do. For the first time in a long time I feel the need to talk to her. I don't voice these feelings; instead I just stare blankly at her.
'Would you like a drink?' She asks when I don't answer her and I nod. Across the street from Esclava is a bar that goes by the name of Alex's place. We find a table near the window and soon we are sitting across from each other with a bottle of pinot grigio between us and a glass of wine in front of each of us. For a long time neither of us says anything and once again she is the one who breaks the silence.
'Is it Ana?'
My head snaps up and I glare at her. I am not comfortable talking to her about Ana. Shit Ana. She would be furious if she could see me right now. I lower my head to my hands and she seems to take this as conformation.
'I am sorry she is proving difficult for you.' She says in that honey covered voice that I used to love. In that moment I realise that it now has the opposite effect. My skin crawls and once again I look up at her and I finally speak.
'She is still the best thing that has ever happened to me,' I say quietly, and she smiles, but it doesn't touch her eyes.
'You don't seem happy at the moment.' She croons.
I sigh and decide to tell her an almost truth.
'She wants kids,' I say in a dead voice, 'We had an argument. Married people argue Elena. Surely you remember that.'
She flinches slightly but I ignore her.
'You would have done better with someone else.' She says and anger flares through me. I glare at her, and then my eyes widen as she leans forward and stretches her hand out to touch me. 'You would have done better with me.'
It is as though time freezes. I feel my eyes go wide as I realise what she is about to do, and then realise that I do not want her to touch me. I can't bear it if she touches me. My breath catches and I am paralysed, looking into her face which mirrors my shock as she registers my reaction.
'What the hell are you doing,' I say a little too loudly, causing people from other tables to look our way. She pulls her hand back quickly and goes to say something but I cut her off.
'I love my wife, Elena. I love Ana.' My voice is quieter now, but I try to put as much coldness in the words as I can muster.
She lets out a fake laugh that grates on my nerves. 'I didn't mean anything Christian. You know that I'm happy with Isaac. I wouldn't want anything to happen to you or Ana, I can see how happy she makes you most of the time.'
Bullshit, my reasonable self scoffs at her and narrow my eyes at her.
'I'm sorry Christian,' she says, 'I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression.'
'I think you should go,' I say quietly and she nods and gets to her feet. Only long ingrained habbit makes me stand up along with her as she goes to leave.
'Elena,' I say, not wanting to end things so bitterly between us, 'Will you be ok?'
'I'll be fine Christian. This last month has been hell with you and your mother not talking to me anymore, but I'm getting there. I understand why and I don't bare you or Ana any ill will.'
I don't say anything else, just watch her leave and then sit back down. Within half an hour the bottle on the table is empty and I am feeling a delicious numbness start to spread over me. I order bourbon after that and sit nursing it, and send a quick text.
OK so we know Ana's point of view but am I the only person who thinks there are way too many blanks with this story, and that for once it would be nice to get Christian's point of view without all the weird present tense, third person crap going on at the same time.
Please tell me what you think :) Reviews are always welcome x