DADDY’S GIRL (Episode 3)
Amanda blinked back her tears as her husband bent over, kissing her on the forehead.
“Why didn’t you tell me, Mandy?” He asked using her pet name. She smiled
“Hmm, Mandy. Its been long you called me that……Arnold, I’m sorry. I tried to tell you but you were busy with work designing houses and all that but a week later, we found out I was pregnant and that’s when I knew there was no way out.
Arnold I didn’t want to get rid of our child, I knew that would have been your decision. Another life was growing inside of me Arnold and I just couldn’t kill it to save my life. I’m sorry”
“It’s okay. I understand Mandy. I do” he kissed her “you need to fight Amanda, please. Don’t give up yet. Our lives just began honey and I need you like the air I breathe. Get well soon okay? I love you”
“I love you more Arnold….Have you seen our baby? I’m told she’s as cute as you” he chuckled
Amanda closed and opened her eyes, her strength failing her by the second.
“Remember how we used to quarrel over the gender of our baby?” She whispered
“And we had a bet that whoever wins would get fifty kisses. I won a baby. We had a girl. Won’t you fulfill your part of the deal?”
Arnold smiled, wiping the tears from his face and staring at her. She looked very pale and weak, there were dark lines under her beautiful eyes and her lips had gone dry. He bent over slowly and run his tongue across her lips wetting it with the saliva from his tongue. He pulled back and stared into her eyes. She was breathing heavily and slowly, her eyes kept shutting and opening as if she was trying endlessly to stay awake.
“Fifty kisses” she whispered. Her voice much lower than before
He bent again and kissed her.
“One” she counted.
He kissed her again, the tears from his eyes dripping onto her cheeks. His hands were trembling.
“Two…..three…..four…….” she counted again and it went on and on. Him kissing her and she counts.
“Forty-eight” he heard her count, breathing sharply before kissing her again, this time their kiss lingered as she bit his lips lightly and sucked on it, kissing him deeply before letting go and closed her eyes. She didn’t speak. He paused, waiting for her to say forty-nine but there was no response, then the machine started beeping loudly, the line indicating her heartbeat going flat. Arnold froze for a moment and stared at his wife, her face was peaceful, her lips parted a bit and wet from his kisses and a small content smile on her face.
“Baby wake up. Don’t stop counting. One more kiss to go. Come on Amanda. Amanda!! Mandy please!!!” He sobbed shaking her uncontrollably while he pressed the emergency button numerously.
“One more kiss Mandy wake up!!! You can’t do this to me!! ”
The doctor rushed in pulling Arnold from her side and attending to Amanda. He has her CPR several times but it was just too late. He sighed and removed the oxygen mask as the other nurse who walked in with him covered her entire body with the sheet. Arnold looked on in horror and pushed the nurse aside angrily.
“Why the hell are you covering my wife? Who gave you that authority!!!!” He yelled flinging the sheet away from her face and bending over to caress her face.
“Amanda baby I’m here. No one will touch you. Wake up dear, please. You promised never to leave me please” he sent his lips closer to hers and then froze. She wasn’t breathing. He couldn’t feel her breath. Tears flowed freely as he stared down at his wife’s peaceful face. She was dead, stone cold. He lifted her into his arms and rocked her to and fro and buried his face into hair crying for several minutes…
Just then, a nurse walked in holding his baby in her arms. Apparently, she was a premature baby but was strong and healthy. Arnold stared at the baby and then instead of feeling some warmth, like how fathers feel when they first set eyes on their newly born babies, he rather felt anger. He frowned. There and then, he concluded that the baby was the reason for everything. It was the reason Amanda had risked her life. It was the reason Amanda had refused to tell him about her health because she didn’t want to get rid of it.
Amanda was right, he would have definitely demanded they go for an abortion to save her life, after all when she gets completely fine they, could have more kids but no she risked her life for that baby. Amanda had been his support system, his friend, his mother, his lover, his confidant, and wife ever since he lost his parents back in the university and now, when their life was just beginning, it all went down the gutters in a split second because of that baby. He looked at the baby and there and then, he wanted to vent out his anger frustration and pain on someone and he found it suitable to Blame the baby.
“Get her out!” Arnold commanded the nurse sternly who looked on in shock.
“Are you deaf? I said get that baby out of my sight. Get her out!!!” He yelled
“I said to get her out damn it!!!!! I swear I would do something horrible if you don’t get that baby out of my sight!!!” Arnold yelled again, his eyes throwing daggers. The nurse gasped and scurried hurriedly away with his daughter…
From that moment on, his life went to a standstill. He had hired a nanny to take care of Fiona and had given her the room that was located farther away from him so he won’t even have to be bumping into his daughter time and again. After his wife’s death, he was usually found In his office working nonstop or in his study, staring at Amanda’s picture and getting drunk with alcohol.
“Hey, man get a grip on yourself. I know this is painful and hard but please drinking won’t solve anything” Mark, Arnold’s best friend snatched the bottle away from him.
“Give it back Mark. Let me drink”
“No dude. No. Get a grip, please. Do you think Amanda would be happy with your recent drinking spree if she were here?” Alex, his second best friend chipped in. Together they dragged him out of the study and helped him upstairs into his room.
And so as the weeks advanced into months and months into years, Arnold became a shadow of himself. He had stopped from being the outgoing, cheerful, happy, jovial, carefree man to a withdrawn, grumpy, unsmiling, strict, heartless man. He would shout at his workers for apparently no reason, get angry at the slightest thing and lash out at others and he barely smiled.
“Dude relax. It was just a little mistake come on” Alex stopped his friend from firing one of his workers who had mistakenly given him the wrong files.
“I can’t wait for the day one woman comes into his life to change everything.” He turned to Mark, who was sipping coffee near the counter at the cafeteria.
“Is there a possibility of him loving again? Naaaa I don’t think so. He keeps getting worse by the day” he replied…
“There is Mark! There is a possibility. Trust me. What Arnold needs is love, to be loved immensely and cared for” he answered, doubting his own words.
TO BE CONTINUED…