After returning to Bridgeport I threw myself into my work and before long I had been promoted from Department Head to Division Manager. I also managed to get my novel published. It is doing fairly well and I am thinking about writing a second novel about my experiences working in the corporate world.
My new position came with access to the company’s executive gym which is great. I have a key card that lets me in so I don’t have to worry about posted hours or anything like that. Some days after spending hours in front of the computer it is great to get up and move and work out.
I just have to be careful not to go to fast on that treadmill. I swear some days I think it is trying to kill me.
After what happened with Rafael I was hesitant to start dating again but then one day at work I bumped into Tarik. I mean I literally bumped into him. He currently works as a coffee courier (but his dream is to become a famous actor) and he was on his way to deliver the morning coffee run when I turned the corner without looking and bumped into him spilling all of the coffee. I helped him clean up the mess and then offered to go with him to pick up more coffee. He is a really nice guy and we enjoyed talking to each other. I hope I will see him around the office. Even if I don’t really want to date someone at work it would be nice to have a friend.
“Ms. Pala, you asked to see me?” I said as I walked into her office.
“Yes, I did. As you may have realized I am pregnant. I am due in about two months.”
“Thank you, it wasn’t planned but now that she is on the way my boyfriend and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Anyway the reason I called you in here is because my doctor is concerned that the stress of this job is too much for the baby. I am older than most first time mothers and he is worried about complications. He wants me to go on bed rest starting immediately. You, Briana, have more promise than anyone else in this company. There is no one else that I could trust to take my place while I am on leave. I would like to make you a Vice President of the company.”
“Oh my, that is an amazing opportunity Ms. Pala. I won’t let you down. I promise.”
I was so excited the first person I wanted to tell was Tarik. Just as I had hoped we had seen a lot more of each other since that day with the coffee mishap and had quickly become best friends.
“I am so happy for you,” he said as he pulled me into a hug.
As we were pulling away I noticed a flash of desire pass through his eyes. I couldn’t help but glance down at his lips. They looked so warm and inviting. The next thing I knew he was pulling me closer and we were kissing. I think I saw through time and space the kiss was that amazing.
We decided to take our relationship slow. We went out on dates to restaurants and shows, we stayed in and watched moves while making out like teenagers on the couch. Sometimes he would spend the night but all we would do is cuddle. We both wanted this relationship to be different and we wanted to wait for the right time. One morning after we had been officially dating for about three months I looked across the table and realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life just like this enjoying breakfast with the man I loved.
Tarik must have noticed my dazed off look because he asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Hmm?,” I said.
“I asked what’s wrong. You have been staring off into space for the last 10 minutes.”
“Oh, I just realized something,” I said smiling at him. “I just realized how much I love you.”
He looked at me his eyes sparkling and said, “I love you too. More than my words can express.”
“Then show me,” I said back.
We quickly abandoned breakfast and raced into the bedroom. Fortunately it was Saturday and neither of us needed to be at work. We spent the whole day just loving each other.
A few weeks later I noticed that I was not feeling well. I was running to the bathroom day and night to throw up. I was also feeling really tired all the time and my back ached. I was concerned that something could be wrong so I went to the doctor.
I patiently waited in the doctors office for him to come back with the results of my blood work. I figured he would tell me that I was low on iron or something. I never expected him to say, “Congratulations, Ms. Equidae. You are pregnant.”
So as not to worry Tarik I had gone to the doctor early in the morning before he was even awake. When I got home he was just getting up.
“Hey, baby I woke up and you weren’t here. Is everything alright? Did something happen and you get called into the office?”
“No I went to the doctor.”
“The doctor? Why? Are you ok?” he asked with obvious worry in his voice.
“Yes I am fine. Or I should say we are fine.”
“We?” he asked obviously confused.
“Me and our baby. Tarik, I’m pregnant.”
Tarik didn’t say anything. He just pulled me into his arms and kissed me. I could feel wetness on my check and realized we were both crying tears of joy at our happy news.
As my pregnancy progressed Tarik was so attentive. He would give my back rubs, rub my belly and my favorite talk my stomach. We found out we are having a girl and have decided to name her Corinna.
He is so cute talking to her.
“Hey little Cori girl. This is your daddy. I can’t wait for you to get here so I can hold you and play with you. Your mommy and I love you so much.”
It just makes me melt.
For some reason being pregnant has given me more energy which is great because I don’t want to get behind in work. My doctor has no concerns about my pregnancy and says I can work as long as I feel good enough to do so.
As I got closer to my due date we decided we had better move into a bigger place. We found a nice two bedroom apartment and had one of the rooms redone into a nursery in pinks and greens. I think Tarik went a little overboard on all the toys but he is so excited that I can’t bring myself to tell him so.
The apartment is much bigger meaning it is more work to keep clean but for some reason in the last few months I don’t mind cleaning. In fact sometimes I stop working so I can clean something in the apartment. Tarik says the baby books refer to this as nesting.
Tarik and I also decided to get married before the baby is born. We went to city hall and got married on a Saturday afternoon. It was simple and we didn’t have any guests but that was ok. We are planning to have a big wedding party after Corinna is born.
I continued working right up until my 9th month of pregnancy though not full days. I would usually go in in the mornings for a couple of meetings and then take the afternoon off.
One morning I was just stepping out of a meeting when I felt my first contraction hit. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. My limo driver happened to waiting for me outside to take me home and he saw what was happening. He helped me into the limo and sped off toward the hospital. On the way he called Tarik to have him meet us there.
After 12 hours of labor I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Corinna. She has green skin and I believe her fathers brown hair.
She is a wonderful baby and Tarik couldn’t be a better father. We take turns with the feedings and diaper changes.
As I go to bed each night I can’t help but think how wonderful my life is. I have a job I love, a husband I adore, and a beautiful baby girl. My life was perfect.
Little did I know how quickly that all was going to change.