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        They were so close that Abby could taste the coffee on his breath. They didn’t say a
thing, they just stood there starring at each other the tension slowly building. It seemed that hours
had gone by and it became harder and harder to refrain from touching him. Just as Abby was
about to speak she felt his lips on hers. His lips were hard and urgent. But it was exciting and
different and she couldn’t seem to get enough. She tangled her hands in his hair greedily wanting
more. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her closer. They kissed more and more as they
made their way to Mitch’s room. They grabbed at each other’s clothes trying to claw their way
through the bits of fabric that separated their skin. Once freed of their clothing they fell to the
floor not even making it to the bed. Abby could feel his hands exploring the curves of her body
as her hands scratched up and down his back. He kissed her neck and a shiver ran through her
body. They rolled over and Abby straddled him. This was it. Mitch entered her and moan broke
out from Abby’s lips. Like a choreographed dance they moved with each other going fast and
slow and fast again. The house echoed with the sound of their moans. Abby didn’t think only
reacted to everything Mitch did. When he touched her she shivered. When he kissed her she
smiled. Every now and then he would whisper in her ear and say, “I love you”.

        Abby woke up lying naked in his bed. She sat up and looked around the room searching
for the memories made. She could see her and Mitch lying on the floor, on the bed, up against
the wall. Everywhere she looked she saw the two of them. She shook out her hair and watched it
fall over her bare shoulder. How did she let it get this bad? She thought she could do this on her
own. No man there to mess up her life. She should have seen this coming. With a man like
Mitch, it was inevitable. God he was so good looking. Abby brushed her finger over his devil
tattoo. They say behind every tattoo is a story. When Mitch was sixteen his little sister Amy was
killed by a drunk driver. She was playing with chalk on the sidewalk when their neighbour was
coming home. He was going to fast when he rounded the corner and went off the road. Mitch
was in the back yard helping their Dad build a deck. They never heard Amy scream. Just the
sound of screeching tires. Mitch and his Dad made their way to the front yard to check things
out. What they saw changed Mitch forever. They saw a truck flipped over on its back. They saw
Amy lying broken and bloody on the sidewalk. Mitch ran to her side and kneeled down in the
blood. Amy was jerking around her eyes were blank and the blood was coming out of her from
every angle. Mitch looked around trying to figure out what to do. He saw that Amy had drawn a
picture of an angel. Mitch’s Dad called 911 but they didn’t get there on time. Amy was
pronounced dead on scene and their neighbour walked away without a scratch on him. Their
family waited for the justice system to come in and bring peace to her death. They waited for
months and months but they couldn’t find the man that killed her. He was gone. From that point
on Mitch stopped believing in God. How could their possibly be a God when his little sister was
dead while the man who killed her still lived and breathed in a free world?
        Abby bent down and kissed him gently on the cheek. Her hair created a curtain around
their faces, hiding them from the outside world. She stayed there for a while, wishing it was
really that easy to hide. What was she going to do when Ben came home? She loved them both.
Whatever. She’ll deal with that later. Right now it was time for work.

       “Hey Abby, could you run and get me a coffee?”

       “Of course.”

         Abby grabbed her coat and quickly walked out the door. She was dying to get out of that
meeting. Being a personal assistant wasn’t that bad except for when she had to sit in on
meetings. All they ever did was sit there and talk about how much money they make. It was
always a sad reminder of how little money she had. But at least she had a job. It was hard enough
to find jobs with the whole country in a recession. Abby walked into the coffee shop and waited
patiently in line for her turn. There were three people in front of her and only a couple of people
sitting at tables. It was warm. Not just necessarily temperature wise but just in the decor. The
walls were brown and beige. There were pictures of people hung up everywhere. Abby’s
favourite was the picture of a man purposing in the coffee shop. The girl’s face was filled with
happiness and tears were streaming down her face. The man in front of her turned around and
tapped her on the shoulder.

       “Excuse me, but I think your phone is going off.”

       “What?” Abby was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t even hear her phone go off.

       “Your phone, it’s going off.”

      “Oh! Thank you.” Abby opened her purse and began to dig for her purse. She’d been
meaning to clean it out but she forgot. She found it and opened it up.

      “Abigail Henderson.” She had gotten in the habit of saying her name as a greeting,
something she picked up from being an assistant.

      “Abby, can you make sure to add two teaspoons of sugar?” It was her boss, Mr.

       “Not a problem.”

        “Great, thanks.” And just like that the conversation was over. Abby always hated when
people did that; hung up the phone without saying goodbye. Like it was expected that nothing
else needed to be said. She put her phone back in her purse and realized that it was her turn to

       “Hey Mary.”
       “Hey Abby, the usual?”

       “Yup, two sugars.”

       “Coming right up.”

       Mary was a good worker. She was the co-owner of the coffee shop and did a good job of
running the place. Abby had once considered applying to work for her but she knew how picky
Mary was about who she hires.

       “So any news from that husband of yours?”

       “, not really. He sent some money back and a few letters.”

       “Word has it you have a man living with you now.”

       “Yah, Mitch.”

       “Oooh, Mitch you say? Last name?”


       “Well he sounds like a cutie, how many times have you guys done it?” Mary couldn’t
       help but tease Abby a little.

       “What? What are you talking- no, no of course not...well just a couple...” Abby bit her lip
and looked around the room to see if anyone was listening in. Mary brought her order to the
counter and the two of them bent their heads together and whispered.

       “So you like him eh?”

       “Oh my God yes. He’s so amazing!”

       “Well look at you, getting all red in the face! Darling I think you’re in love.”

       Abby jokingly hit Mary, “Oh grow up, we’re just having sex.”

       “Sure, sure, that’s how it starts. Here’s your coffee.”

      “Thanks, I should get back, see you tomorrow.” Mary threw Abby a teasing smile as she
walked out the door.

                                         *       *       *

        Mitch woke up and sat straight up. Beads of sweat covered his forehead; his breathing
was short and quick. Another nightmare. They seemed to be getting more and more graphic. This
time it didn’t start out so bad. This time Abby was in it, they were lying naked on a beach. There
was no one around; not even a cloud in the sky to accompany them. As the lay there side by side
on their backs Mitch decided something; today he would ask Abby to marry him. Just as he
decides this he feels water slowly running down his arms. He sits up and realizes its blood. He
turns to Abby, panic in his eyes. Abby has been cut multiple times and it lying there dead. Blood
is pouring out everywhere, as if it’ll never stop. Mitch slowly starts to walk away not believing
his eyes. He looks away for a moment and back again. He sees his little sister Amy sitting beside
Abby, a knife in her hand. Amy smiles and draws a halo in the sand above Abby’s head. She
looks up at Mitch and says, “Isn’t she beautiful?”

         He shakes his head of the bad dream; he doesn’t want to think about it. For the first time
Mitch looks beside him and finds that Abby is gone. Part of him wants to call but he would never
do that. What should he do now? Soon she’ll have his balls wrapped around her little fingers.
The guys have already started making jokes about how he’s in love with her. Of course he just
tells them it’s all part of the plan, he doesn’t mean any of it. And in the beginning that’s how it
was. He was just in it for the easy lay; he never expected anything to come of it. She was an
attractive woman with a far off husband, and he was horny. It was the perfect situation, just
what he was looking for. But then he had to run off and fall in love with the chick. Damn it. It
was time to do something before it got out of hand. Although it already was out hand, he was just
going to have to get over her. He could do, he could totally do that. I mean it’s not like she’s
anything special really, there are a million girls like her out there. Girls with an ass like you
wouldn’t believe, girls with legs that make you follow them. Girls with long brown hair that
always smell like apples, girls with green eyes that pin you right where you are. Girls who care
more about you then they do themselves, girls who are so gentle it hurts. He could find another,
no problem.

                                             *      *       *

        The house was silent except for the T.V. Abby immediately thought that was weird since
Mitch hardly ever just sat around. He once told her that watching T.V. was a waste of time and
that he would rather be out doing something productive then sitting in front of a box all day. She
rounded the corner and entered the living room. It was as though he had created his own artificial
night, the lights were off and the blinds were shut. She walked slowly, not sure if she should
even bother him, he was clearly upset about something but she couldn’t guess what. Eventually
she made her way into the room and stood next to him waiting for him to acknowledge her.
Mitch just sat there staring blankly at the T.V. as if nothing mattered any more.

       “Hey...” She waited for a reply but never got one.

       “You wouldn’t believe the shit that went down day, oh man it was hilarious Mike-”

       “I don’t care Abby.”

       “ was your day?”

       “Fine? What did you do?”

       “Holy shit what is this twenty questions?”

       “Why are you yelling?”

       “Cause I just want to watch the God damn game is that so hard to see!”

       “You hate watching T.V. what the hell is going on?”

       “Nothing!” He gets up and stands face to face with Abby, “Just fuck off Abby.”

       “Screw you! This is my house!”

       “Fine! I’ll leave!” Just before he walks out the door he freezes. Tears begin to form in
Mitch’s eyes and before he turns around he whips them away and replaces them with a hard
mask. “This has gone on long enough Abby. I don’t love you, I never have. My things are
packed and I’m not coming back.”

         At first she tries to hide her pain and end this with some dignity. But she cracks and as
soon as the first tear drop lands on her cheek she crashes to the floor. She doesn’t try and hold
back any more she just cries and cries as if no one is watching. All the while Mitch stood there in
the doorway. Every part of him screamed, go help her, she needs you! But he held his ground
and didn’t run to her. He didn’t wrap his arms around her and tell her he was just kidding and
that it was a bad joke. He wanted to, but didn’t. Instead he walked out the door and left her to
pick up the pieces he left behind.

        Abby woke up to find herself laying on the floor in her living room. She could see a
small puddle where her tears had fallen and she could feel the lines that now indented her face.
The sun was trying to peek through the blinds and every now and then she would see a ray of sun
shine brighten up a section of the green carpet. Abby rolled onto her back to stare up at the
ceiling, trying to find the reasons why all this happened. Of course they were nowhere to be
found but she thought it was worth a try. Just as she sat up to open the blinds she felt queasy and
it wasn’t long before she was running to the bathroom full speed. She made it just in time and
was sick into the toilet. What the hell was going on? She wasn’t out drinking last night, why on
earth would she be puking in the morning? Abby wiped off her face with a towel and stood there
for a while trying to figure out if she was going to be sick again. After a few minutes she realized
that she was good and went about her day. It wasn’t until an hour later when she was sick again
she decided to call the doctor. She was lucky enough that he was able to see her that day and she
quick got ready and tried to make herself look half presentable. While putting on foundation she
realized that her face looked quite nice. Her cheeks were rosey and her face looked very full and
healthy. How on earth could she be sick when she looks so full of life? Aren’t you supposed to
look green or even pale when you’re sick? She decided she’d let the doctor figure that out
because she was already late for the appointment.

         The room was cold and Abby felt extremely insecure especially in her thin plastic robe
the doctor had given her. It smelled like disinfectant which Abby figured was a good thing but
wasn’t very comfortable. The only pictures that were hung up were certifications in expensive
looking frames. There weren’t any pictures of family members or even a pet sitting on his desk
and for some reason that made Abby uneasy. What was wrong with this guy? Why didn’t he
have anything about himself showing? He’d been gone for a while and Abby was starting to get
a little worried. What if she had cancer? What if she was going to die? Well it wouldn’t really
matter if she did, it’s not like anyone loves her enough to stick around so she might as well be
dead. Abby was surprised by her thought process and immediately tried to get her mind off of it.
What if there’s something inside of me slowly eating away at my organs until eventually I die?
No, no, no, she would not think about those kinds of things. Maybe it was good news, maybe she
was bitten by a spider and now has super powers and they want to do a test run with her and see
how they work. And then eventually they will try different experiments on her and her peers will
think of her as a freak. Damn it that wasn’t a very good idea either. Why is it so hard to think
positively? After that Abby just gave up and let her mind wander where ever it wanted to.
Unfortunately it ended up wandering right to Mitch and by the time the doctor came in she was
already in tears.

       “Woah, woah, no need for tears, I have good news.”

       “Really?” Abby tried to wipe away her tears and hope for the best.

       “You’re not sick, and you’re definitely not dying.”

       “Thank God I was so afraid that something was-”

       “Yes, yes it’s all good, you’re pregnancy is going perfectly. It looks like you’ve been
pregnant for about two months. Now we really should start to get you in for regular checkups

       “Wait...I’m- I’m- I’m pregnant?”

       “Yes of course.”

       “But I was nauseous and-”

         “Morning sickness, it’s a side effect. Now let me show you some vitamins you should be
taking...” The doctor’s voice trailed off as Abby tried to take everything in. There’s no way she
could be pregnant. I mean, they used a condom every time, didn’t they? Oh shit. What about the
first time? What about that night? Had he known all along that they were going to have sex, had
he been prepared? God Abby was drunk that night she can hardly remember. But what is she
going to do? How can she support a baby when she can hardly support herself? Especially now
that she isn’t making any money off of the empty room in her house. She’ll have to put out some
flyers and fill up that room as soon as she can. Shit she probably should have been listening to
what he was saying.

       “Now if you have any questions just call me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

       “Okay, thanks.”

       “Don’t forget to make another appointment with my secretary next month.”

        Abby waited patiently for the doctor to leave so she could change back into her normal
clothes. Something about being in one of those robes has never sit right with her. It felt amazing
to be back in her own clothes, she felt so much more secure. She quickly walked out the door
made her appointment and left. She had a lot of planning to do and she knew just who she’d call.

                                            *       *       *

        She was due any day now, and she couldn’t help going back and reliving the past nine
months. They had been the best of her life for so many reasons. Her and her mother had become
so much closer. It was as if all their problems were put aside as soon as she became pregnant.
Her mother was by her side every step of the way, coming to doctor’s appointments, going on
runs to the store to get whatever crazy food she craved. Not only did she get help from her
mother, but even from her co-workers. People who had never spoken to her in her life had come
up to her and offered her help with whatever she needed, more paper for her printer, a new pen,
even her boss asked if he could run and get her a coffee. The whole thing was just so unreal that
she could hardly believe any of it was happening to her. But of course there were a few bumps in
the road here and there. She couldn’t help but feel terribly alone. No matter how often her
mother or friends visited, she was still lonely. She came to the conclusion that she would stop
feeling lonely if she would stop needing men. She’s still working on it but she’s been getting a
lot better and has definitely come a long way from who she used to be nine months ago. Now
with her due date right around the corner her mother is constantly over trying to help her with
things here and there. It had become a chore just to pick her clothes up off her bedroom floor. So
naturally she had developed a habit of not throwing them on the floor, finally over coming one of
her old teenage tendencies. But of course her mother couldn’t always be there and often left
Abby home alone. She didn’t mind being alone, it was nice to have some time alone with her
unborn baby. She wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise but she had a feeling it was going to
be a girl. It wasn’t until she became pregnant that she realized how much she wanted a child.
And now that it was almost time for the baby to come out, she could hardly wait.

       “Mom would you please stop, I’ll be fine.”
       “Okay, okay just one more thing.”

      “No, you always say that and you end up staying an hour longer then you intended to.
Now go before you’re late for your dinner date.”

       “Fine, I love you, call me if you need to!”

       “Bye, love you too!”

         And just like that Abby was all alone again. She tip toed around her house trying to find
something to munch on. She would have told her Mom to get something for her but she had
already been with her all day, she needed a break. Eventually she found some gold fish crackers
and started to chow down on them. When she came back into the living room someone was
sitting in her chair. Abby dropped the crackers on the floor as the familiar figure walked toward

       “Hey Abby...” Mitch stepped closer as the light shone off his golden hair.

       “What are you- what are you doing here?”

       “I heard a rumour going around that you had gained a few pounds, thought I would come
and see how much you let yourself go.”

       “Why are you really here?”

      “Oh you know me, always looking for someone to fuck, but I guess I’ve already made
my mark here.”

       “You think?”

       “Look Abby I-”

       “Save it. I don’t want to hear it anymore.”

       “Just let me get something off my chest, please?”

       Abby waited for him to continue, not sure what to expect what will come out of his lying
ass mouth.

        “Every word I ever said to you was a lie; I never meant any of it. Except when I said I
love you. I left because it was too easy to love you and I could feel myself falling deeper and
deeper into you and I couldn’t let that happen. You weren’t mine for the taking and I knew that
and respected your wishes to stay with your husband. But now I realize what a huge mistake I’ve
made. Knocking you up and leaving you...I want you to know that’s not the man I was raised to
be. I want to be there for you and our child. I want to wake up every morning and see your face. I
want you to marry me Abby.” Mitch paused, trying to read her face but all he could get from it
was shock.

       “Common Abby say something.”

       “My water just broke.”

        The next instance they were on their way to the hospital. Abby was panting trying to talk
to her Mom on the phone, telling her to meet them at the hospital while Mitch drove as fast as he

       “Go faster or else I’m going to have this baby on your car floor!”

       “I can only go so fast, the cops are going to nail me.”


       He put his foot to the floor and they got to the hospital with seconds to spare.

       “Mitch help me out.”

       Mitch came around to her door and put her arm around his shoulder for support. The two
of them made their way into the hospital just as Abby’s Mom was pulling in. Everything
happened so fast, nurses came and took Abby away to get her prepared and left Mitch in the
lobby. Abby’s mom ran into the hospital but was stopped by Mitch.

       “Please, can I be in there with her?”

       “I don’t care just hurry!”

        They ran down the hall to Abby’s room and opened the door to find her squirming around
in pain.

       “Mom! Make it stop! Make it stop!”

        Immediately her Mother went to her side and began to sooth her. “It’ll be okay baby, it’ll
all be over shortly, just stay strong, like we practiced.”

       But still three hours later and Abby was still in labour and the contractions were getting
worse. Abby’s mom had left for a moment to get her some food so the only people in the room
were Abby and Mitch.

       “What are you even doing here? You left me.”

       “I know, I know I did and I’m so sorry Abby baby.” Mitch knelt down beside her bed and
took her hand in his. “Please just give me another chance? I promise I can be the man you need
me to be, you can depend on me.”
         “Look Mitch I just don’t know I-”

         And before she could even finish her sentence Mitch had locked his lips with hers. At
first it was urgent like they didn’t have a lot of time but then his lips softened and the two of
them meshed together perfectly. Abby was so caught up in Mitch that she didn’t even notice the
door open. It wasn’t until Mitch was pulled away from her that she noticed someone else in the

         “What the hell do you think you’re doing buddy? That’s my wife!”

        Abby was snapped back to reality so quickly she was a little dizzy. Ben wasn’t supposed
to be back for another year, what was he doing here?

         “Ben what the hell-”

         “You shut up! Hey I’m talking to you man, what do you think you’re doing?”

         “I’m kissing the girl that I love. The girl that you just up and left to fend for herself.”

       “Oh don’t pretend like you know everything, I had a good reason for leaving. Besides, I
sent money back and letters whenever I could.”

       “Oh yah, I’m sure that made her feel like you were right beside her the whole time. She
wasn’t lonely at all living in that big house all to herself.”

         “Who the hell are you?”

         “I’m her baby daddy.”

       Ben turned to Abby, hate filling his eyes and then quickly vanishing as soon as he saw
her. He put his hand on her belly lovingly and looked into her eyes.

         “How could you do this to me?”

         “Ben you don’t understand...”

         “What did he rape you? Oh that son of a bitch-”

         “No! God no, he’s a sweet man. Things just happened, I’m sorry but things change in a

         “Have your feelings for me changed?”

         “Hell yah they have buddy, now get out of here before I have to call security.”

         “You leave! I’m here husband!”
       “Fuck that I’m not missing my first child being born!”

       Just as the two of them are getting into it her mother comes in and notices that Abby is in
pain again and calls the nurse.

       “You are fully dilated it’s time to have a baby. Someone get the doctor!”

       It all happens in a rush.

       “Push baby, push!”

       Everything is blocked out by the pain.

       “Just back off! I’m her husband, not you!”

       The world is spinning.

       “Not much farther, you’re almost there!”

       Then all of the noise stops and is replaced by the crying of a baby.

       “Congratulations, it’s a beautiful baby boy.”

        The doctor seems to take forever to clean him off but eventually he hands Abby her new
born baby. She takes him in her arms and can hardly believe what she’s seeing. After all those
months, all those days alone, he was the only one there. She turned to the two men standing next
to her and with a smile in her eyes said, “I don’t want either of you, all I need is him.” The two
men stood there for a moment not believing what they just heard.

       “Honey, are you sure you want to do this? Taking care of a baby all on your own is a
huge responsibility and I just don’t want-”

       “I’m sure I’ll find a way to make it work. But right now, I want both of you to leave.”

       “Come on now Abby, that’s my kid too, you can’t just do this to me.”

       “Yes I can, I’ll claim full custody of him.”

       “Baby he’s going to need some kind of male influence in his life.”

        “Well it won’t be either of you two that’s for sure. I’m going to file for a divorce as soon
as I can. You’ll hear from my lawyers.”

       It took a while but eventually everyone left and Abby was finally left alone with her new
baby boy.

       “Hey little guy, what’s your name going to be, huh?”
       Abby tickled his little neck and waited for him to open his eyes. He was so fragile she
was afraid she might break him. Then all of a sudden he opened his eyes and put his hand on her
face and the two of them just looked into each other’s eyes.

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