She awoke in his arms after an unsettling two hours of sleep. Her troubles slowly swallowing every happy feeling she still hung on to. How did everything slip through her fingers so easily? It was like she'd given up trying to help herself. Maybe she'd stopped fighting because she believed it was a fight unworthy of being fought? The light movement of her face as she frowned made him look down at her. He'd been awake the whole time, trying to figure out what was going on inside her head but he was still none the wiser.
"How long you been awake?" He kept still as he spoke quietly.
"You wanna talk 'bout what's botherin' you?"
"I mean it, Nicki. How'd you expect me to help you if you're not even gonna tell me what's up?"
"I can't." It came out as a sobbed whisper but he still heard.
"Why not? What's stoppin' you? I'm right here." There was silence followed by her shuddering before she talked again.
"Because you're gonna hate me." She sniffled once she'd exhaled the last of her sentence. The tears trickling down her face felt hot on her skin.
"I could never hate you and you know that." He squeezed her comfortingly. "And I ain't goin' nowhere, so talk to me." He felt her breathe in before letting the air escape shakily. For a moment he thought she wasn't going to talk but soon he'd be wishing she hadn't.
"The baby is yours." The tears only increased as she waited for him to respond but she was met only with silence before he pulled away from her. The movement was so sudden she flinched before sitting nervously in the middle of the bed. "Safaree, I wante-"
"Is or was? I thought you lost the baby? You told me you'd lost the baby." Her tearful words were cut off sharply by his voice as he stood staring out of the window. She didn't need to see his face to tell he was angry. His body posture and tone of voice were dead giveaways.
"I-I did." She looked down at her crossed legs, they looked so blurry because of her tears as she fidgeted with the quilt.
"So why you talkin' like you're still pregnant?" He turned around angrily making her look up at him.
"I am still pregnant."
"So you been lyin' to me this whole fuckin' time?! When were you gonna tell me?!" He moved quickly over to the bed as she started crying even harder.
"I'm trying to tell you now! Stop fucking yelling over me!" Getting to her feet swiftly she pushed past him with as much force as she could muster before heading to the bathroom to get some tissue.
"So, you're carryin' my child. Now what? You got your next move planned?" He leant in the doorframe, evidently angry by her revelation. He continued to watch her as she pointlessly wiped at her tears, no matter how many she smudged away more would follow. "Answer me, Nicki!"
"She? So it's a girl?" She groaned frustratedly and threw the used tissue into the toilet before slamming the seat lid down and sitting on it.
"Stop. Interrupting. Me." Her nostrils flared and he didn't speak again as she carried on staring at her hands, the tears dropping on to her skin whilst she sniffled. "There's no heartbeat. They couldn't find one. I had to have to have an assisted miscarriage." Her quiet and warped words hit him hard as the guilt set in.
Exhaling regretfully he dropped his angry stance. "Nicki I never-"
"No, I'm not finished." She heard him sigh sadly and walk further into the bathroom, taking a seat on the edge of the tub. "I didn't know what to do, I couldn't have a baby! I was barely taking care of myself."
Trying to piece together what she was saying Safaree wrinkled his brow harshly. Nothing she was saying was fitting but he understood he'd stepped over the line already and decided to hear her out without disrupting her again.
"I had no money for an abortion, they turned me away. Told me to come back when I had enough." She laughed humorlessly. "Can you believe that? Just sent me straight back out on to the street like everything would be okay."
"What happened next?" He kept his voice soft and calm, not wanting to upset her anymore.
"I had no other choice, I promise you." She looked up at him for the first time since they moved into the bathroom. The pain on her face was killing him but at the same time he could feel the anger rising again. Of course she had other choices.
"What did you do, Nicki?" The suppressed anger was undetectable in his voice.
"I tried to do it myself."
Her answer was met with a tension-filled silence as he tried to keep the anger locked inside, it was proving difficult though.
"Yourself? So you aborted our baby...Yourself?" He was emphasising his words with his hands as he moved closer towards her. She was trying so hard to work out whether he was angry or not but right now she honestly couldn't tell.
"I had no choice, Safaree."
"What about me?"
"What about you?" She shook her head confusedly, making more tears roll down her face.
"Me, Nicki! You could have come to me! You have any idea how fucking dangerous that shit is?! People die doin' that!" His sudden outburst answered her earlier question about whether he was still angry or not. He was.
"I already caused enough drama for you. You're fiance even left 'causa me." Her focus was fixed on her hands again before his phone interrupted their taxing conversation. Looking at the screen briefly he did a double take when he saw who was calling. "Just take the damn call, SB." There was a moment of hesitation on his part before he spoke firmly. This whole confession was a mess and honestly it was going nowhere near to the way she'd planned.
"The call can wait. Right now I wanna talk about this mess we're in."
"We?" She laughed coldly. "Safaree, there is no 'we' about any of this. It's my mess and I can handle it on my own."
"There you go again! Actin' like you're alone and you got nobody there for you!" He shook his head angrily. "I'm here for you! I will always be here for you! When the hell are you gonna realise that, Onika?!"
"When I stop feeling like I have no one." Her voice was quiet in comparison to his loud yells. It hadn't even crossed his mind that since her teens she literally had nobody. Just Drake and Candi and now they were gone. She was all alone.
Lowering his voice considerably he exstinguished his anger and approached her sofly. "You don't need to feel like that anymore, Nic. I told you and I will keep on tellin' you if I have to. I'm here and I ain't goin' anywhere this time."
"And what happens when things go wrong and you do leave me again? Then what will I do?" She sniffled and wiped away yet more tears. "I can't trust anybody anymore. I'm always the one that ends up gettin' hurt, Safaree. I can't do it."
"Well, I'm just gon' have to prove you wrong then." He grabbed her hand gently, she felt limp and lifeless like she'd given up on everything including herself. She was tired of fighting her way through life.
Their argument and discussion ended in the same way it started. Her body laying next his as she slept off the hours of crying. Honestly, he was glad she was sleeping. He needed time to cool down and process what the hell had just happened. She'd just told him she was carrying his child. Again. Obviously he was devastated by the news that she was undergoing an assisted miscarriage but it probably didn't even compare to the amount of pain and heartbreak she was experiencing. The fact that she went to those kind of lengths all because she felt she wasn't good enough and had nothing to offer her child. It made him feel like shit. Looking down at her chest rising and falling steadily he kept thinking to himself, wondering how all of this was going to work out.
Another two hours passed by whilst she slept. The day slowly creeping into the evening as it got dark out. The first thing he figured he should start working on was some sort of routine, she needed stability more than anything right now. His first step in this new responsibilty was dinner.
"The hell do I do with this?" He scrunched his face up and tried to read the jar, as everything else around him continued to cook. Not really being in his area of expertise he shrugged and emptied the jar into the pan, hoping for the best. It smelled good and that to him was a good sign.
As he carried on with his attampt at a chicken curry he was oblivious to the fact that Nicki had entered the kitchen, slightly amused by the scene she was greeted with.
"Need any help?"
"Oh, you're up." He put a glass lid on the pan and turned to face her. "I thought you woulda slept for a lot longer than that."
"I could have but something smelled too good to ignore." She smiled for the first time and although it was a weak and tired smile, it was still a smile in Safaree's eyes.
"Chef Safaree, cookin' up a storm." He spoke as he pulled a chair out for her. "It's almost done, you want a plate?"
"Please." Nodding shyly she sat down and rested her elbows on the table. She could tell how much he was trying, it was endearing.
A last minute change of plan led to them eating in the living room. He did want to talk but having thought about it as he cooked and she stayed silent he figured the TV would be a good way of filling the quiet moments.
"I know you did not just beat me." Spooning some more into his mouth he looked over at her plate and laughed. It looked as though she'd even licked it clean.
"I was starving."
"Good, there's more left over. Go help yourself."
"I'm okay, thanks." She nodded and moved to place her plate on the coffee table.
Once again the silence overcame them. It couldn't be ignored any longer.
"So, with this assisted miscarriage..." He stalled awkwardly. "What happens with that?"
"They give me two pills, seperately. I already had the first one and I gotta go have the second tomorrow."
"Yeah, tomorrow afternoon." She pulled her sleeves over her hands and looked up at him anxiously.
"You want me to go with you? I mean I'ont have to go in the room or anythin', I'll just-"
"No....I do want you to come." There was a small pause. "I'd feel better if you where there." She sounded both nervous to say 'yes' and relieved that he'd asked first. There was no way she could face any sort of rejection right now.
"Okay, I'll be there." He placed his hand on her wrist, giving it a gentle squeeze. "If that's what you want, I'm glad to do it."
"No problem." He smiled briefly before standing. "How 'bout you pick a movie whilst I go clear this up?"
"Sure."With a small smile and nod she shrugged her jumper back over her shoulders and eased herself off of the couch. "Anything?"
"Anythin' you wanna watch. I'll be two minutes." Heading out of the room he felt a sense of improvement with their situation. His idea was to wipe the slate clean, so to speak. Erasing the past and starting afresh as of now. Things could only get better in his eyes, he just hoped that she'd respond positively.
He couldn't stop thinking about her. He'd been laying in bed since their movie finished early when she fell asleep on him. The way she held on to his frame let him know she needed him, it was completely obvious. Nevertheless he didn't want to overstep the boundary by placing her in his bed with him. Instead he carried her back to the guest room and covered her before heading to bed himself. His running mind came to an abrupt halt when he saw a shadow through the gap under his door. It was approaching slowly and stopped for a couple of seconds before retreating.
She was about to enter but chickened out at the last minute, scared that he'd see it in a different way when all she wanted was for someone to hold her. Crossing her arms tightly across herself she adjusted the large jumper she was wearing and tiptoed back to her room. It was cold, which was what she was used to but still unwelcoming as she crawled back under the covers. Building a barricade of pillows she backed up to it and tried to settle and let sleep find her. She already knew it was going to be a long, sleepless night. She found that nights were the worst for revisiting memories, for once they entered her dreams they would never leave. Slowly twisting the dreams into nightmares. Her eyes got wide when she felt the bed moving behind her as the substitute human she'd built from pillows was pulled away from her bit by bit. She was about to turn around when she suddenly felt the coolness being replaced by his body heat as his strong arms pulled her gently back into him. It was like he'd read her mind, giving her everything she wanted right at that moment.
"I told you, I'm here."
*I know it's short, I apologise. I have so much uni work to do and exams are coming up in a few weeks so it'll be a while again I think. But thanku all so much again for the comments on the previous chapter. That's the most I've ever got!! Anyway, I hope this was alright.*