Jennifer slept with her back facing me. All night, I could tell she wanted me to touch her. Rub the womb that held my child, caress the face that would laugh or smile at my child's kicks and moves, and kiss the lips that would soon cry out when welcoming my child into the world, but I couldn't. Out of guilt and the lack of affection I had for her. Here I am lying next to a woman who I don't even love, yet she's carrying my child. Here I am lying next to a woman who wants me to show affection towards her and the child she carries. Here I am making the same mistake my brothers and father did. Here I am getting what I deserve. I turned over and looked at the clock to find that it was eight in the morning. I sat up and checked my phone. Two missed calls from Janet and Jermaine. That should have been expected. I got nothing from Victoria. No texts or calls. I assume she did not let the boys call to check on me. I should have expected that. I got up and went to take a long shower. Hopefully the hot water doesn't go out or Jennifer will be quite upset. As I stood under the showerhead, many thoughts consumed me, but one thought in particular alarmed me. The mere thought that Victoria would even consider taking my boys from me. I'd fight long and hard to make sure such a thing wouldn't happen. But knowing Victoria, she'd fight long and hard to make sure it would happen. Considering all the hell I put her through. I got out the shower, wrapped a towel around my waist and went back to the bedroom.
Jennifer woke up and rubbed her eyes, "oh! Good morning, Michael."
"Morning." I said quickly.
"What has you up so early?"
"Stress." I pulled my pants up.
Jennifer looked down, "it's because of me, isn't it?"
"Just a little bit. Don't worry about it." I kissed her forehead and went outside to get one of my bags. I brought in the SAKS bag and placed it on the couch to sort through my clothes.
"You brought your clothes?" She asked me as she went to the kitchen.
"Yeah, um, come here really quick."
She hurried to my side, "what's up?"
"I was wondering if I could stay here for a while, if you don't mind."
"Sure, I don't mind. What's going on?"
"My wife is upset with me." I sighed.
"Why is she upset with you?"
"It's nothing really."
"Are you sure you don't want to talk about it?"
Jennifer pressed her lips together, "how long will you be staying?"
"Until I sort this mess out. Then I'll be gone."
"For good?" Her voice shook with worry.
"Of course not. You're carrying my child. I can't leave for good."
"Oh, right..." She nodded.
"Have you gone to the doctor to see how the baby is doing?" My voice trembled. I can't believe I'm having a child with someone other than Victoria...
"I have. He said that the baby is doing well so far. I'm in the beginning of the whole process, so ultrasound pictures should come soon, I suppose." She shrugged.
"Have you been with child before?" Jennifer shook her head 'no." "Oh." I bit my lip. Great. Her first child will be coming from me. "The best advice I can give to you is don't be scared. Don't get stressed out either. From what I know, that can kill the baby."
"I'm already a father. When I went through this with Victoria, I learned a lot."
"Thank you." I nodded and began to finish sorting through my bag. "Does Victoria know about this? Is that why you don't want to go home?"
"No." I sighed.
"Be honest, Michael."
"I'm being honest with you, Jennifer. She knows nothing about this."
"Does anyone know?"
"A friend of mine."
"One of your other girls?" She scoffed.
"No, she's just a friend of mine. I'm going to step out for a moment to get some fresh air." I said as I grabbed some clean clothes and got dressed. As soon as I got to the car, I sped off and drove towards Encino.