“Diane is pregnant.”
His heart stops on his chest, he is sure of it. What he is hearing can’t be true. This must all be a sick joke of faith.
They had tried to have a family for the longest time. They’d tried the natural way and with medical help, but it simply hadn’t happened for them. Work had pulled them further apart, they saw less and less of each other, and though he loved her like he’d never loved and never would love anyone else, he had committed the worst mistake of his life.
He’d cheated on her.
He still can’t believe he actually cheated on her. He can blame it on a thousand things, but the fact remains that he was weak and he risked everything for a roll in the sheets that meant nothing.
He lost everything; he lost the woman he loved, he lost the home they built together, and apparently he lost the chance to be a father.
“Did you hear me Kurt? Diane is pregnant! Did you know about this?” No, he doesn’t know a thing. If it isn’t because one of his best friends is telling him, he wouldn’t know a thing.
“What are you going to do?”
He has to see her.
He knows calling her will result in nothing so he had makes his way to her law firm. It is late but he knows she will still be there.
With her assistant long gone for the day, he slowly moves towards her open door and knocks on it just to alert her to his presence.
She’s sitting at her desk, her head leaned down as she pours over paperwork. He feels bad when his knock makes her jump slightly. Her desk is covering her body so he can’t really see a thing but he does notice some changes on her face. Her cheeks are fuller, her cheekbones not as marked. She seems to have a natural glow to her and her hair seems thick and strong.
“Hey.” He says, his hands back in his pocket. He feels like a kid, like someone who can’t seem to function in front of his crush, except she’s his estranged wife and he’s the reason they’ve separated.
“What are you doing here?” She asks right away, her voice and posture telling him she’s immediately on defense.
“I…”. He could lie. He could say he was in the neighborhood and decided to drop by. He could also tell the truth; that he’d been missing her like crazy and had been hoping to find an excuse to drop by and now he has the perfect excuse. “I heard something and I wanted to see if it was real.”
Diane sighs and takes off her glasses. “I knew she was going to tell you.”
So she had seen his friend at the restaurant. She knew that he would try and find out if it was real. She wasn’t expecting him to actually go, though.
“So it’s true?” He aka her. “You are pregnant.”
Diane nods. He knows she’s carefully gathering her feelings, putting up the wall to protect herself. “How many months?”
Diane doesn’t get up, doesn’t show him her belly. “Seven months.”
It had to have happened on the last time they were together, a couple of nights before his betrayal was exposed to a whole court. The times match.
“Kurt, I don’t expect anything from you.” Diane starts feeling him. “I’m more than capable of taking care of my child.”
“Our child.” He quickly corrects. “Diane… we’ve wanted this for so long.”
“Don’t.” She interrupts him from continuing with a raised hand. She gets up, for the first time showing him her new silhouette, and he can’t help but want to run his hands over her belly.
She’s gorgeous. She has always been slim, since he met her, but now her pregnancy has filled her out. Pregnancy suits her.
She walks, as sure as she has ever walked on those high heels, to the door only to show him out. “You don’t have a claim on this. This is my baby and mine alone. It ceased being your anything the moment you decided to have sex with… that woman.”
“No Kurt.” She says louder, firmer, her eyes filling with tears as she tries to deny her pain. “You are not welcome here. Leave before I have you escorted out.”
He doesn’t want to hurt her further. He doesn’t want to jeopardize her or their child’s health.
It’s two weeks later that he finally meets her for dinner. He has called multiple times, being shut down by her at first, then by her assistant. He didn’t give up, not until he finally got her to agree to meet him for dinner, to talk about the baby.
She has a cute waddle, something he hadn’t detected when he saw her two weeks ago. She’s still carrying high which tells him he has some time to make his case.
“What do you want to know?”
“Everything.” He admits quickly.
Diane takes a sip of her water before smoothing her hands over her belly and folding them underneath the swell. “I’m 30 weeks along. I found out I was pregnant shortly after we separated.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t want to interrupt whatever it was that you had going on with Holly.” She tells him as she raises an eyebrow. She’s gearing up for a fight, he knows it, just as she knows that he had nothing with Holly. “As I said, I can take care of my child. Rest assured I am not going to be suing for child care, I don’t expect you to provide a single thing. You didn’t even have to find out.”
“I have nothing with Holly… she was a mistake. What happened was a mistake.” Kurt states as clearly as he can so that she can see he’s not lying to her. “Diane, I constantly called you, I left you messages begging for forgiveness, I told you I wanted to see you, to explain…”
“Explain what?” Diane interrupted. “That I wasn’t enough? That you weren’t in love anymore? That you were bored?” She questioned. “What was it that you wanted to explain?”
“That I had made a mistake.” He said after visibly deflating. “That I still love you.”
Diane raises a hand to quickly brush away a tear. He knows she doesn’t want to show her feelings, doesn’t want to show how much he’s hurt her. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
Diane takes a deep breath, brushing away a couple of tears. “A girl. Her name is Arabella Lockhart.”
“Named after the first woman lawyer.” She elaborates. “She’s healthy; we’ve done all kinds of tests and they all come back clear. She’s growing well between her developmental bracket. She… she’s perfect.”
“I’m fine too.” She states as shortly as she can.
There’s awkward silence between them where there once was passion. He doesn’t know how to say what he so desperately wants to tell her; that he’s sorry, that he’s at fault for throwing away their future, that he wants nothing more than a second chance to prove to her how much he loves her.
“Kurt? What do you want?”
She finally breaks the silence. “Why did you want to have dinner?”
He takes a moment to answer, to gather his thoughts and truthfully reply. “A chance.”
Diane stares at him for what feels like forever. “A chance?”
“To show you I love you. To show you she was just a mistake. To show you that it wasn’t wrong to get married. To… to be her father.”
“That’s all I want Di.” He promises. “Just a chance, just one, to make it up to both of you.”
He’s not surprised that Diane has everything ready for the baby. She’s converted one of the rooms in their home, the closest one to what used to be their bedroom, to be the nursery. The walls are painted a pastel yellow. The ceiling has been painted as the sky on a beautiful morning. There is a wardrobe to the side, a changing table, a rocking chair and a antique European vintage style cradle. They are all a beautiful off-white. It’s screams of Diane’s style.
He can’t help but trace the pictures of the sonograms that are displayed over the changing table, each giving him more detail of the baby he’s barely getting to know.
The second time he visits, to help Diane sort through her baby shower gifts, he adds a teddy bear to the cradle. It’s one of those vintage style teddy bears with arms, legs and heads that can be positioned.
Diane sees it and smiles. He thinks she approves.
He goes with her to her next appointment, throws a million and one questions at the doctor in his quest to know as much as he can from Arabella. Diane remains quiet through his interrogation, her eyes fixated at the screen.
Afterwards, each with their copy of the latest ultrasound, they relax on her couch. He can’t keep his eyes off her, specially her belly, which moves and changes with he movement their daughter does.
“Do you want to feel her?” Diane asks him.
He nods, his hand pressing against her belly tenderly, as if he could hurt her with just his touch. He hasn’t touched Diane since the morning of the day his shameful secret came out. He isn’t sure whether this is a step forward or not, but he’ll take it.
“Wait for it,” She whispers, her hand covering his as she guides it to the correct spot. “She’ll kick in a couple of seconds. Once she’s awake nothing seems to stop her. She specially gets kicking whenever she hears you.”
“Me?” He asks incredulous.
With the first movements he’s ever felt of his daughter, he not only knows he will devout his life to making Arabella happy, but he will strive to be the best husband he can be, the man Diane deserves, and even if it takes him the rest of his life, he will make sure that Diane understands how much she is loved.
It’s the middle of the night when his phone starts ringing. He doesn’t even check who it is before answering, sleepily mumbling a “hello”.
“Kurt?” Diane’s voice sound unsure and pained. He’s instantly fully awake.
“Di? Are you alright?”
“I… I think so.” She whimpers, actually whimpers into the phone. He’s off the bed and hastily searching for his clothing. “I… I think I’m in labor.”
That stops him cold. Her due date is not for another two weeks. Is this normal? Are she and the baby in danger.
“I was going to request a ride,” She admits. “to… to the hospital, but I wondered if you… if you could or wanted…”
“I’m on my way.” He promises eagerly.
He hears a release of air on the other side of the phone before a soft chuckle graces his ear. “Don’t rush cowboy, we have time.”
He’s never driven as fast in all of his life.
He’s there during the birth, he holds Diane’s hand and when needed, slides behind her to give her the support she needs, gasps and cries when his squealing daughter is placed against Diane’s chest and cuts the chord that unites mother and daughter.
He can hardly take his eyes away from his daughter as she is taken to be weighed and measured, cleaned and prodded to see her reactions and her placement in reaction times.
She passes the tests and while Diane delivers the afterbirth and gets cleaned, he is given the tiny little bundle that is Arabella Lockhart.
“She’s perfect, just like her mother.” He tells her once he’s successfully transferred Arabella to her mother’s arms.
The nurse comes in to ask for the baby’s name and Kurt quickly, and proudly answers. “Arabella Lockhart.”
From her place on the bed, their little one nursing from her breast, Diane shakes her head. “No. Arabella Lockhart-McVeigh.”
Kurt turns to look at her to make sure that he heard right. “Are you sure?”
“You wanted a second chance, cowboy.” She reminds him. “Don’t mess it up”
He sees nothing but love in Diane’s eyes. She’s giving him a second chance, a chance he doesn’t deserve but will greedily take.
Turning towards the nurse he can’t help but grin and repeat. “Arabella Lockhart-McVeigh, her name is Arabella Lockhart-McVeigh.”