After everything that went down with Gabrielle I decided I needed a change of scenery. The morning after Ivy’s birthday party I had been asked to participate in a Martial Arts tournament in China. Since I had just found out the day before that Gabrielle was pregnant, I initially turned the invitation down. After finding out that she had been cheating on me (and that the baby wasn’t even mine) I called them back and signed up. My parents were more than happy to watch Ivy while I was gone.
It was late afternoon when I arrived so I decided to just explore the city before heading to my hotel. While exploring I stopped by a bookstore and picked up Jimmy Sprocket and the Cave of the Dragon for Ivy. She loves the Jimmy Sprocket books so I figured she would enjoy hearing one about his adventures in China. Eboni is still on my mind. She is professional chef so I picked her up a few cook books featuring Chinese cuisine.
The next morning I headed to the Phoenix Academy to train. In addition to the training dummy they also have a place where I can break boards. Turns out board breaking is a great way to get out any anger you are feeling.
I trained long enough to earn a new belt (he actually earned his brown belt but for some reason changed into the yellow). After training for a few hours I went over to the Scholar’s Garden and meditated for a few hours. As I sat there I felt all of my stress just melt away.
The next day was the start of the tournament. They paired me with Shen Su. It was a tough match. We were tied for awhile but I managed to get the winning hit in.
Over the next few days I competed in several sparing matches.
Soon I had earned my black belt.
While I didn’t win the tournament I did leave China having mastered Martial Arts and with a Level 5 tournament rank.
The first thing I did after arriving back home was spend the day with Ivy. We played, I finished teaching her to walk, and I read her the Jimmy Sprocket book I had brought back from China.
Shortly after I returned home the Grim Reaper came and took mom. She was only 90 years old so it was a surprise to all of us. She seemed to embrace death though and even shook the grim reaper’s hand.
We buried her in the cemetery out back. We will plant some flowers in front come spring.
Dad is devastated. Mom was his best friend and the love of his life.
Fortunately he finds so much joy in taking care of Ivy. I think she is his reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Eboni has been a great comfort. As soon as she heard the news she rushed right over. I felt like I could break down in front of her.
She also prepared a number of meals for us. She was truly wonderful.
One day I couldn’t take it anymore. I just grabbed her and kissed her. And to my surprise she kissed me back.
“I have wanted you to do that for so long,” she said.
“I have wanted to do that for so long. You were right that day at Ivy’s birthday party when you accused me of avoiding you. I had realized that I had feelings for you — that I was falling in love with you. But I was with someone else and we had a kid together. So I distances myself from you. The day I found out that Gabrielle had been cheating I wanted to run straight to you and kiss you but I wasn’t in a good place. But now I am ready to start something with you. I do love you Eboni.”
“I love you too,” she said.
It didn’t take long for our relationship to turn physical. Right away I could tell it was different with Eboni than it had been with other girls. We were actually making love as opposed to just woohooing.
It is Ivy’s birthday. We were all still grieving for mom so decided to just keep the party small. My sister’s and their families came over but that was all.
Ivy is a beautiful girl. I see very little of Gabrielle in her. With her green skin and brown hair people have actually mistaken her for Eboni and my daughter.
The day after her birthday we decided to check out the winter festival. Since it was Ivy’s first time on skates I held her hands until she became more comfortable.
She also helped my dad build a snowman. I was a little concerned though when she dressed it up like the grim reaper. Hopefully mom’s death didn’t upset her too much.
The day was so great and it seemed like the perfect time to ask Eboni to marry me.
“Eboni, that day you walked into my gym for the first time you changed my life. You quickly became my best friend. I have always been able to tell you anything. You are funny, smart, beautiful and have the biggest heart of anyone I know. It wasn’t long before our friendship morphed into love. My family loves you, I love love, and we would love for you to become part of our family. Would you marry me?”
“Yes, of course! I love you and your family so much. I want nothing more than to be part of your family.”
We decided we wanted to have a big backyard wedding in the spring which gave us a few months to plan. Unfortunately, Eboni hasn’t been feeling well. She is really nauseous.
And hasn’t been able to keep anything down.
She finally went to the doctor and when she came back she was excited to inform me that she is pregnant.
I am thrilled. I can’t wait to have a baby with Eboni. She thinks we are going to have a boy but I am sure it is going to be a girl. After all, there have been more baby girls born in this family then boys.
I asked her if she wanted to postpone the wedding until after the baby was born but she wanted to go through with it as planned.
So on a beautiful spring day Eboni and I exchanged vows in front of all of our family and friends.
She looked so beautiful.
Later that night as we laid together on the bed reflecting on the day all I could think about was how I can’t wait to spend my life with her.