Chapter 5


I knew by our third date that Kameron Patterson would be my wife. Not only was she eye-candy she had the intelligence and ambition to back it up. She also catered to me, cooked delicious meals for me, cleaned up after me when she stayed over my place, and loved sexing me regularly. I had no intentions of falling so hard or so soon, but I never resisted being committed to her as I had Vonni and other women. I wanted to be with Kam all the time. We would spend hours discussing our dreams of moving to Dallas after graduation and the type of life we would have together. The more time we spent, I wanted to marry her, and I didn’t see the point in waiting. I figured my brother’s high school graduation would be the perfect time and place since all my family would be there. And I’d been right. My family loved her, even Kari had been friendly, and when I got down on bended knee, she accepted happily. We’d also decided to have a December wedding because I didn’t want to go into another year without her being Mrs. Youngblood.

Everything had been falling into place in my life. Until Vonni, my ex, showed up unexpectedly at my door with devastating news.

I’d never felt so weak, so helpless, so powerless, and when I thought about Kam leaving me… so afraid. “Are you sure? Remember you thought you were pregnant last year around this time, and you weren’t. And since then you and I have been careful. I’m not understanding how you could be pregnant? And why you waited so long to tell me.” I stood in my doorway, pissed that not only did my she stop by unannounced, Vonnie told me she was having my baby.

“Condoms fucking break, Aaron.” Vonni gritted through her teeth. “If you’re trying to accuse me of pushing someone else’s baby on you, I swear I’ll fucking scream right now.”

Alarmed, I opened the door wider to my apartment and let her in, afraid one of my neighbors would say something to Kam the next time she stopped by to visit me. She stormed past me, looking around the room suspiciously, searching for signs of Kam. I leaned against the kitchen bar, watching her peek into my bedroom. Her expression twisted into anger at the picture of Kam and me at my fraternity ball on my bedside table. “Ooh, I can’t stand that bitch. What do you see in her anyway?”

I sighed not wanting to argue with her. “You came here to talk unannounced, so finish whatever you need to say and leave because I have plans.”

“I just knew you would contact me sooner or later like you always do and when you didn’t after three months passed, I called your ass but you wouldn’t return my calls, remember?”

Tapping my knuckles on the wood of the bar, I bit out, “That’s because I told you we were over. Why would I call you or accept your calls if we’re done?”

“Because we have never been completely done.”

I responded drily, “There’s a time when it really is over.”

“Well, I’m here now and I need to know if you’re going to be there for me and my baby?” Vonni marched toward me, still pretty in her fury with her large, doe-shaped eyes, chocolate brown skin, tiny waist, and an ass for days. Her white peasant blouse flowed over her stomach, so except for a fuller face and breasts that she loved displaying she didn’t look five months pregnant. In fact, she looked as sexy to me as she always did. Admittedly, she had been my weakness regarding sex and always used her fine ass body to keep my attention.  She’d been understandably bitter when I stood her up and ended our relationship the same night, I met Kam.

I looked down at her, regretting like hell that I had backslid into her. I barely claimed her as my woman, damn sure never wanted her to be my wife, let alone the mother of my child. “Vonni, you just told me you were pregnant, and you had five months to adjust. I don’t know how to feel. I do know I have a woman I’m not leaving, so what else do you expect me to say?”

She scowled. “I expect you to take care of your responsibilities. You weren’t thinking of her when you were fucking me on my balcony.”

Clenching my jaw, I said firmly. “I can’t have this baby.”

She crossed her arms and tapped her right foot. “Too bad because I’m having this baby and you know me enough to know this baby is yours.”

I rubbed the back of my neck, easing the growing tension. She might have the dress and looks of a video vixen, but she was a one-man woman who had been in love with me since our freshman year in college. She was that girl who allowed me to fuck other girls as long as I called her in the end. I’d been seen with so many females around campus, and rarely with her, since she no longer attended FAMU, most students didn’t know that she and I had been exclusive for a few months until Kam. Vonni hated that Kam was the one I proudly held on my arms at various campus events, that she was the one I openly loved and claimed. “So, you plan to be a single mother raising a child here alone in Tallahassee? Once I graduate, I’m moving back home because there’s nothing for me here.”

Vonni hit her chest. “I’m here. It’s been five years, Aaron. I let you fuck around because we met so young, but now it’s time to get serious.” She placed her arms around my waist. “I know you still love me, or you wouldn’t have come back to me.”

I removed her arms and backed away. “That night was a mistake. I was drunk and didn’t expect to see you out at the club. You came on to me.”

“Whatever, Aaron. Your dick was hard as soon as you saw me.”

I glared not wanting to be reminded of my weakness. “It’s been months Vonni since I’ve even called you. If I wanted you back, we would be back.”

She screamed, “I hate you so fucking much. Nothing is ever your fault. You do whatever the fuck you want, hurt whoever the fuck you want and can pretend like you this perfect man who comes from a rich, stuck-up family.”

I got in her face at the mention of my family. “If you hate me so much, don’t have my baby.”

Vonni gasped. “So, you can live with yourself if I have an abortion? Huh?”

Closing my eyes, I thought about how hurt my family and Kam would be when I told them the news about Vonni’s pregnancy. My parents would be so disappointed, and Kam would surely break up with me. I would lose everything if she had this baby…but if she didn’t my life could return to normal.

I opened my eyes and whispered, “No. I can’t.”

She had tears as she exhaled. “I can’t either because I couldn’t live with myself if I destroyed my forever connection to you.”

“Forever? Damn, we really will be connected while both of us are on this Earth.” The gravity and enormity of what she and I were about to embark upon hit and I flopped down on my sofa. “When is the baby due?”

She joined me on the sofa, relief in her expression. “February fourteenth.”

“Valentines’ Day?”

“Yes.” Her lips curved into a smile. “It’s our love baby, Aaron. You have another year here so you’ll be with me when the baby is born, and we can take it slow and try again.”

I averted my gaze unable to look her in the face. “We can’t try again. You and I are still over.”

Vonni’s voice grew loud again. “But I’m having your baby.”

“And I’ll be there for my child.” I paused a beat. “I’m getting married to Kam in December.”

Although she caught me off guard when she punched my shoulder and then my chest, I barely flinched taking my punishment for hurting her this way. Vonni accused, “You were never going to tell me you were engaged?”

Inhaling and exhaling deeply, I reminded, “I haven’t spoken to you in five months since that night and hadn’t been with you six months before that. I thought maybe you had moved on.”

“I fucking tried to call you, you son of a bitch.” Angry and hurt tears ran down her face. “I can’t believe this. You wouldn’t even introduce me to your family but you’re marrying her. When did you get engaged?”

I answered quietly, temples throbbing painfully now. “May.”

“You’ve been engaged? You didn’t even know her that long.” Vonni stood suddenly, grabbing her belly, yelling at the top of her lungs. “Wait, so you fuck me and a couple of weeks later, you ask another woman to marry you? Why am I so fucking stupid to keep letting you do this to me?” She smiled wickedly. “Once I tell Kam you fucked me and got me pregnant, that stuck up wench ain’t going to marry you.”

Knowing that Vonni was angry enough to tell Kam that I’d cheated on her, I jumped up pulling Vonnie into my arms. “Shh, calm down. Please. You’re going to hurt the baby.”

She tried to break away while I held firm. “Now you care about the baby? Shut the fuck up, Aaron. You’re just scared I’m going to tell your precious Kam.”

Shaking my head, I touched her stomach gently, knowing I could use her love for me to get my way. At least for now. I spoke softly, “It’s not about you and me anymore. It’s about my baby that you’re carrying.”

Vonni sounded less angry. “Your baby?”

“Yes.” I kneeled in front of her and lifted her shirt to kiss her extended belly. A lump caught in my throat at the swell of her naked brown skin. She really was pregnant. I pressed the side of my face to her womb and wrapped my arms around her waist. I’d known her for five years and I guess I did love Vonni. Unfortunately for her, I was madly in love with Kam and I would do anything to keep her. “If we’re going to have this baby, then you have to take care of yourself. All this anger, cursing, and screaming is not good for the baby or for you. He’s a Youngblood and we need him healthy and strong.”

Vonni giggled and began to rub my hair. “How do you know it’s a boy?”

Guilt plagued me hard as I looked up at her dreamy expression. At this very moment, I wished I had never met Kam just so I could be the man who I saw in Vonni’s eyes. She believed in me. She always did. “I just know.”

I closed my eyes and held on to her tighter, praying somehow, that I could be there for Vonni and my child and still be a husband to Kam.

***

After managing to send Vonni home with promises of being there for the rest of her pregnancy and lying to Kam that I needed to take a quick trip to D.C. to handle family business, I made the long trip home. I could have flown but I loved the road and used it to clear my clouded thoughts.  Every time I thought of being a father I felt ill. Not that I never wanted to be one. I just always thought I would have babies after marriage and a few years of togetherness with only my wife. Being a single father had never been a part of the plan. My parents would be disappointed. They were already the perfect couple, ambitious, wealthy, beautiful, deep in love even after years of marriage. My father had been a head cardiologist for one of the largest hospitals in DC and my mother made almost seven figures as a high-powered corporate attorney for a Fortune 500. Kari and I were always in advanced classes in school. I’d earned a full-ride both academic and athletic to Florida A&M and he’d earned an academic one to Columbia University. We were a high achieving family with no room for error or at least that’s how I felt. And when Kari tried to hang himself when he was sixteen, I often wondered if he had grown weary of being “perfect”.

Thinking of that awful day when I came home to an ambulance, my brother strapped on a gurney and my mother practically on top of him hugging him tightly and wailing, suddenly I needed to see him. I changed course and added even more time to my trip to visit my brother. We hadn’t seen each other since I came home for his graduation party and proposed to Kam. He was now a freshman at Columbia University majoring in chemical engineering. I’d been proud that he still graduated one of the top students of his class in spite of his depression. I hadn’t been the best big brother and now that he was grown and I would be a father, I wanted us to be closer.

I drove through the Lincoln Tunnel about six that evening and put my headset on to call Kari. When he answered, the deepness of his voice surprised me. He was almost nineteen and I realized that I didn’t really know how he sounded because I couldn’t recall the last time, I reached out to him by phone. “Kari, it’s Aaron. You busy?”

“I’m working on a project, but I can take a break.”

I glanced in my side-view mirror to switch lanes. “Actually, I’m in the city. Want to meet somewhere?”

“Where?” He sounded understandably surprised but didn’t ask why I was in New York.

Thinking of our favorite place to visit whenever we did travel as a family to the city, I smiled. “I could use some of Junior’s cheesecake. My treat.”

He chuckled. “Okay, but I’m not traveling to Brooklyn. Meet me in the city.”

We’d have our differences, but he was still my brother. A Youngblood. He was the only one who truly understood what this pregnancy would mean to my family and my upcoming nuptials. For the first time in forty-eight hours, I’d begun to feel like everything would be okay. “I’m almost there anyway. I’ll order for you.”

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