I stood outside waiting for him to pull up. My heart was pounding out of my chest. Did I look nice? Was my hair OK? Did I have a double chin? So many questions and worries!! I hadn't seen him for a while and I'd changed since then, not only in appearance, but as a person too. I had grown up so much in such a short space of time, I was unsure if we would even get along anymore.
I had been spending a lot of time with my best friend, Nichola, in the run up to this moment. I had told her about all the arguments and fall out's we'd been having, I actually remember sat in Birchwood Farm telling her that I was getting over him. She agreed. She said that for the first time in a long time, she could tell that I didn’t want or need him anymore. Our miracle baby had made me complete.
I saw his car in the distance and I instantly felt sick. I couldn’t work out if it was the nerves, or because meeting him could be the wrong thing to do. I was scared I was going to undo all of my hard work.
When his car came to a stop I actually wanted to vomit. How the hell could I be this nervous to meet up with someone whose child I was carrying and had spent most of my time the past year with? I got in the car and we just looked at each other, smiling. We didn’t even say a word, we just gazed at each other, smiling, like a pair of idiots. I had to direct him to my house because he had never been before. In the texts, we had agreed that he would drop me off at the gate –well that didn’t happen.
Surprisingly, the topic of conversation on that car journey home wasn’t Andre. In my head, I had envisaged just speaking about our baby, as that was all I knew and all I was used to. In fact, every conversation I’d been having around that time with family and friends was about Andre. Everything I did in my spare time was to ensure I was prepared for Andre.I lived and breathed Andre and didn’t have anything else outside of that.
Anyway, back to the car journey …
We spoke about the work’s party, my new house, rugby, etc. We chatted the whole way home, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. For once, we were talking care-free. There was no pressure on us anymore. We didn’t have to be together. We didn’t have to live together. We didn’t even really have to talk. I had my own place and he had his. I wasn’t a burden on him anymore and I didn’t feel desperate for things to work out with us. Everything had somehow fallen into place. No pressure, no stress, no serious conversations, just the two of us together, laughing and joking, like the young kids we were. I was 20 and he was 21, yet we had already gone through so much! It felt amazing to just be able to act our age and have fun, even if it was just for a short period of time.
We then pulled up to mine. We sat there and just stared at each other. I had a really nice feeling inside. I didn’t even think about our relationship not working out, that wasn’t my priority anymore. It just felt amazing to enjoy Kallum's company. Just to know that the two of us could be together and laugh and joke, without having any arguments, filled me with joy. I felt safe in the knowledge that Andre could have a strong family bond with both his Mum and Dad, not just apart, but together too.
I smiled and opened the car door to get out, he ran around to my side to help me out. As little and as insignificant as that sounds, that little moment meant a lot to me. I could see him slowly changing from a boy to a man. I might not have been his girlfriend, but I was the mother of his child, and for the first time ever, without me getting at him or moaning constantly, I could see how much he cared for both me and his son.
I invited him in. I invited him in. I INVITED HIM IN! Argh!!
We walked down the path together, still laughing and joking. I opened the door and the heat hit us in the face. I will always adore that house, it was so warm and inviting, I just loved it. I showed him around. I hadn't really done much to the place yet but all the basics were there, with a woman's touch of course. Every time I got paid I would buy something new for the house, slowly changing it from a house to a home. Being single, pregnant, and a house-hermit allowed me to save up a little bit of money up too. I was doing ok all things considered!
I lead him up to Andre’s room. The nursery was so small that once I had the cot in there, you could barely move around. Nonetheless, his cot stood tall. There was a rocking chair in the corner and one of Kallum’s winning shirts framed on the opposite wall. To anyone else, that room wouldn't have looked like much, but it was everything to me. I didn’t have a lot of money so it wasn’t anything fancy. I’d bought the cot in the Mothercare sale and had saved up for weeks for it. My work colleagues gave me the rocking chair as a gift and the shirt was my very first Christmas present from Kal in December 2011. Sometimes I would try squeeze my bum in the rocking chair and just sit in his room alone, reading to him. Some days I would put music on and cry whilst in there, yet other days I would be dancing around like a mad woman. Andre and I shared so many moments together before he even entered the world, just the two of us. So even though I was technically alone, I was never really alone with him inside me. I understood the saying 'no one will ever understand the strength of my love for you, after all you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside'. He will forever be my baby.
We both stood in his room in silence. We’d look around, then back at each other, both constantly smiling. He told me that I had done a really good job of the house and that he was proud of me. It was a really nice feeling to get recognition from Kallum and to have him acknowledge that I'd done this on my own.
It was getting really late so I said to Kal that he was more than welcome to come back again if he wanted to. I had ordered other bits of furniture for Andre’s room and said that I thought it would be nice for him to come and build it with me. It's little things like that which you miss out on whilst doing pregnancy alone. Someone to celebrate with after spending 5 hours assembling furniture, someone to feel your stomach and smile with you when your baby is moving around, and someone to laugh at you when you’re having a breakdown because Asda has sold out of your favorite microwave meal, and you and the baby NEED THAT EXACT ONE.
It was just nice to stand in Andre's room and share that little moment with someone who was just as excited as me, and someone who was just as scared and nervous ad me too. I realised in that moment that I had underestimated Kal. He may have let me down in the past, but he had never let our child down. He was willing to step up and be the man and the Dad I needed him to be. After all, he had his own Dad to look up to who had always been fantastic. My Dad hasn’t been there for me, so a part of me felt like it wasn’t even important to have a Dad, but how wrong could I be?!
We walked back down the stairs together and I showed him to the door.I thanked him for making sure I’d got home safe and said I'd give him a ring in the week. We just stood in silence, looking and smiling. Neither of us had stopped smiling from the moment I stepped into his car.
So there we were on my doorstep, just the two - well three - of us. A special moment with no one else in the world involved. We were in a little bubble. It was amazing.
I nervously laughed and went to try give him a hug goodbye without my tummy getting in the way. He held me. He held me and didn’t let go. That one hug gave me a thousand different feelings. He held my face, looked into my eyes and went to kiss me. That was the game changer.
(End of Part 6.)