“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we'll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”
~ Richard Bach~
Nick woke up alone again; Lisa slept downstairs, which Nick didn’t mind he wanted as little contact with her as possible until this evening. He struggled to get out of bed, today was much harder than other days. Once in the bathroom Nick stood looking at his reflection in the mirror wondering if he would look somewhat different after tonight. He looked tired and stressed.
He turned on the faucet and cupped his hands under the cold running water. Nick splashed his face, running his hands roughly down his cheeks. He starred again at his reflection, the look of doubt appeared. “You can do this, you can do this.” He chanted. “You have too.”
Nick got dressed and headed downstairs quietly. He noticed Lisa still sleeping on the sofa. He stood there looking at her sleep soundly not knowing what fate awaited her. Nick breathed out a heavy sigh grabbed his keys and headed out the door.
He needed coffee, but he refused to go to the Coffee House, on the chance Danny might be working today. He didn’t want to see him; he needed to do this on his own. He needed to know that Danny was not the sole reason for coming out to Lisa. He drove to the corner store to get a coffee and a breakfast burrito. On the way out the door, he stopped and looked over the magazine rack and The Metro Apartment Guild caught his eye. ‘I will be needing this.’ He thought grimly, and picked one up and headed for the truck.
He stopped by the park and sat on the bench watching the joggers pass, mom’s pushing babies in their strollers, and kids running around playing. He carefully took a sip of the hot coffee followed by a bite of his burrito and flipped through the pages of the apartment guild. “I better start looking for a place to live, no time like the present.” He said aloud.
Just then, something caught his eye. It was two young men looked to be in their mid-twenties throwing a Frisbee. He smiled and continued his search, dog earring the pages that held his interest. He heard a playful laugh and looked in that direction to see the same guys wrestling in the grass. The blond picked out a book from a backpack while the brunette sat back waiting. He laid his head on the brunette’s lap and started to read to him. Nick ’s heart filled with joy for the two as he wished he could be as happy and free as they appeared to be………..
Lisa and Ashley had been shopping for two hours and decided to grab a bite to eat before heading in. Lisa was going to need time to prepare for her evening with her husband. She brought lots of scented candles, a dress for the evening; she picked up things to prepare dinner before she met up with Ashley.
Sitting down at the Bistro Ashley asked, “So what’s the occasion?”
Lisa smiled as she adjusted the napkin in her lap. “Can’t a women plan a romantic evening with her husband for no reason?” She asked taking a sip of her water.
“Sure, but is that it?” Ashley asked with curiosity.
Looking around as if she didn’t want anyone to here, she leaned it toward Ashley and said, “Well, I guess I can tell you. Tyler and Nick are best friends and I’m sure you will hear about it tonight anyway, Ash.” Lisa said fully excited. “ Nick and I have going to have a baby, isn’t it wonderful?” Lisa asked grinning from ear to ear.
Ashley sat there in utter shock, she didn’t say a word for a few seconds, but it seemed like minutes. She quickly grabbed her glass of water trying to wash down the lump that had formed in her throat.
“Yeah, that’s great, Lisa. I didn’t know you and Nick were trying to have a baby….WOW.”
“Yes I know, we didn’t want to tell anyone until I got pregnant, we wanted to surprise everyone.” The waiter came up to take their order. Lisa ordered a Cesar salad with chicken. Ashley told the waiter she was not ordering anything.
“Ashley, you’re not eating?” Lisa asked concerned.
“No, I’m not hungry, but you go head, you’re eating for two now.” She said with a half smile. “Excuse me; have to go to the ladies’ room.” After Ashley got inside the restroom, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed Tyler’s cell.
Tyler answered on the second ring. “What’s up baby, are you done shopping, not spending too much money I hope.” He said laughing.
“Shut up Ty, is Nick with you?” She asked in haste.
“No, why, what’s wrong, did something happen to Lisa, is she ok?”
“Ty babe, you said Nick was going to tell Lisa he was gay right?”
“Damn, Lisa has some news of her own.”
“What?” Tyler asked as he put the spoon in Cody’s mouth trying to feed him.
“Shit Ty, Lisa is pregnant.”
“FUUUUCK!!!!!!!” Tyler dropped the spoon in Cody’s oatmeal. “Damn, damnit, shit, this is not good. How did that happen?” He asked still in shock.
“Duh!!!! How do you think it happened stupid?”
“Shit Ash, you know what I meant.”
“She said they have been trying.”
“Bull Shit, she’s a lying bitch.”
“Well she is, I’ve got to warn Nick , hey hurry home, Cody is crying, and trying to eat everything, come on now.” Tyler hung and immediately dialed Nick ’s number.
Nick saw Tyler’s name appear on the screen of his cell, but ignored the call. He was touring an apartment; he had a list to view today before his talk with Lisa. “I’ll call him later.”
Danny was sitting in his living room reading when his mind drifted off to Nick and their phone conversation. Danny smiled as the thought of Nick ’s handsome face, his call out to him last night entered his mind. “Should I?” He thought. He grabbed his phone and searched his contacts, found Nick ’s name and hit talk.
Nick looked down at his phone and saw it was Danny. He hit ignore. “Sorry Danny, today I’m on my own.”
The time, five-thirty. Lisa had prepared grilled salmon with a pesto sauce, steamed mixed veggies with brown rice cooked to perfection. The house smelled of apple blossom scented candles that were placed throughout the living room and dining room. She had placed a few of Nick ’s favorite Jazz CD’s and sat it to random play. The table was beautifully arranged for two.
Lisa wore an off white laced spaghetti strap dress that was form fitting and flared out just a little at the bottom, she wore gold sandals and she wore her hair pulled up allowing the cascading curls to fall to her shoulders.
Nick pulled up in front of the house. He felt nervous about the events that were going to take place. He sat there looking at the house, the yard the flowers he planted last year and finally bloomed. “The grass needs cutting.” He said with a laugh. He took out his cell phone and noticed he had ten missed calls from Tyler and ten messages, three texts. “Sorry man, I’ve got to do this while I still have the nerve.
Nick walked up the walkway, “dead man walking.” He thought. Once inside Nick noticed his surroundings. “Shit.”
“ Nick baby, you’re home too early.” Lisa yelled from the kitchen. “Go up and shower and change I need a few more minutes.”
Nick walked pass the dining room and notice how beautiful the table was set and into the kitchen to see Lisa busy putting the finishing touches on dinner.
“ Nick, baby.” Lisa looked around to see a stunned Nick staring at her.
“Lisa.” Nick rubbed his hand down his chin. “I thought we were just have a quiet dinner and talk, what’s all this for?” Nick asked waving his arm around the room.
“Well, I wanted to wait but I’m just so excited, let’s go to the dining room.” Lisa pulled Nick along. Being dragged out of the kitchen, Nick asked with a nervous laugh, “Excited about what?”
“You’ll see, just come on handsome.”
Once inside the dining Nick and Lisa at down. “Everything looks nice, but Lisa you shouldn’t have.” Nick said shaking his head looking at all of Lisa’s hard work.
“But I wanted to. News like this deserved to be celebrated.”
Lisa cleared her throat, scooted around in her seat.
“Ok, Nick I know things have been a little strained with us lately. You have been pretty upset with me and I understand why.” She looked down biting her lip. “I lied to you about taking the pill.”
Nick looked a little nervous. He felt a slight twinge in his stomach as he listened to Lisa, the anger of her deception started to creep up.
“Well Nick I took another test, and baby this one was…..Positive.”
“Positive, what do you mean?” Nick asked rubbing his temples as the word Positive rang in his ears. Somehow, he knew she was going to say that. But, he just couldn’t accept it. Here he was, about to tell Lisa one of the most nerve-wrecking things in his life. And a turns out, now there is more issues to deal with.
“ Nick .” Lisa reached across the table reaching for his hand. Nick removed his hand quickly as if he had been burned by something hot. “ Nick , I know you said you were not ready for a baby, but….” Lisa’s words were cut short.
“Positive, Positive, Fuck Lisa, what the fuck…Do you want to me be happy about this shit.” Nick yelled getting up from the table. He started pacing back and forth. “No! What, what the hell do you want me to do?”
“I want to you love me, and our child Nick , come on baby.” Lisa got up walking over to Nick in effort to calm him down. She reached for his hand, only to have hers slapped away.
“ Nick !” Lisa begged, “You have to understand, please calm down.” She pleaded.
“Calm Down, you tell me you are pregnant and you want me to calm down… NO!!! ...god oh god this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.”
“Well it is Nick , I’m sorry BUT, it is.” Lisa yelled back.
“So?” He said looking around, “Is this what we are celebrating, are you funkin kidding me?” Nick loathed Lisa at that moment; he felt deceived, made of fool of. Lisa covered her mouth and cried…. Nick couldn’t even bring himself to feel sorry for her.
With pleading in her voice she begged, “ Nick I’m so sorry, please forgive me.” She said through tears. “It will be ok, I promise, we will get through this.” Lisa cried in her hands.
“No, Lisa we won’t.” Nick said backing into the wall, as tears started to run down is face. He pressed his lips together, grabbing his hair as if he was trying to pull it out of their follicles. Why is everything against me? What did I ever do wrong? He questioned in his thoughts.
“We will, Nick we will. Look, I made this nice dinner. Let’s eat and talk calmly after dinner.” Lisa said hugging him. Nick pushed her away, and took a deep breath.
“No, Lisa, forget the dinner. There are more important things we need to deal with.” He sighed. Lisa blinked, confused.
“ Nick , we already discussed the baby. There will be time for that later.” She said, this time she didn’t reach for him and just let him stand up. Nick couldn’t take this anymore.
“No, Lisa, there is more. A lot more, and I don’t know how you will take it.” Nick said. Lisa backed away from him slightly. She tilted her head in question.
“What do mean?”
“I mean, I-I mean that…” Nick stuttered.
“Damnit Nick , just spit it out! You’re scaring me!” Lisa yelled.
“I’M GAY!” Nick shouted, without thinking. Lisa gasped and bit her lip. She closed her eyes tightly and grabbed her hair, shaking her head roughly. Before Nick could say another word, SMACK! Lisa’s hand came across his face roughly, leaving a red mark.
“You ASSHOLE! You fucking asshole! Why?! Why are you saying this? You’re horrible! I know you don’t want this baby, but you didn’t have to go and make up some crazy lie!” Lisa shouted. Nick shook his head.
“I’m not lying to you.” He said quietly. By now, Lisa was breathing raggedly. She was seething. She bit her lip, trying not to yell at him. “Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t expect this to happen, but it did.” Nick apologized.
“No! No, no, NO!” Lisa repeated. Nick stepped up to her, feeling guilty, and tried to comfort. She started pounding her fist against his chest repeatedly. Nick grabbed her arms to keep her still. “LET GO OF ME! DON’T TOUCH ME! DON’T LOOK AT ME! YOU-YOU, UGGHHHH!” Lisa yelled exasperated and pulled herself away from Nick .
“Lisa, listen to me. I know you’re hurt, but think about me! I mean, you just told me you were pregnant. You kept that from me!” Nick fussed.
“Don’t even try it Nick ! Don’t FUCKING try to get me to feel sorry for you. And I’m not HURT, as you put it! I’m PISSED OFF!” Lisa shouted. By now, Nick didn’t feel guilty. He felt incensed. Lisa looked around the house and rushed to the dinner table. Before Nick could even realize what was happening, a plate of food was hurdling towards his head. CRASH! It shattered against the wall, missing his head my mere inches.
Lisa looked around, and nothing was in its rightful color. All she could see was a red haze. She practically bit her lip hard enough where it started to bleed. She reached for the other plate, but stopped. She looked at Nick , who was approaching her cautiously. Lisa felt betrayed, angry, sad, stressed, and indifferent.
“Lisa,” Nick said calmly. Lisa looked him in the eyes and reached for the other plate, but he grabbed her arm. “STOP, NOW!” He said menacingly. “This ends now! You are acting like a child!” He hissed. Lisa yanked her arm from his grip and leaned against the table. No words could describe the pain in her heart. She gripped the edge of the table tightly, until her knuckles turned white.
“Get out,” She said quietly. Nick looked at her, questioning if he had heard her correctly. Just when he thought, the yelling was over… “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!” “THIS IS MY HOUSE TOO!” He shouted back.
“Who is it? Hmmm?” Lisa asked, stepping closer to him. “Is it Marshall?”
Lisa laughed humorlessly, a little manically. “Let me guess, it’s Tyler.”
“Now, you’re just being crazy,” Nick accused. Lisa shook her head.
“Who is it then, DAMNIT? I want to know!” She demanded. Nick refused to tell her. He didn’t want to put Danny in that situation.
“It’s none of your concern.” Nick said as calmly as possible.
“You are my husband; I have every right to know!”
“And you are my wife, but that still didn’t stop the lies! You stopped taking birth control, without telling me! You sleep with me, knowing that there would be a chance for you to get pregnant, all the while knowing I don’t want kids. You lied to me and from where I stand, you have no right!” Nick hissed.
“Just leave,” Lisa finalized. “I don’t want you here. I don’t want you here with me. I don’t want you here with me or the baby.”
“Now, wait a minute…” Nick objected.
“GET OUT!” Lisa shouted. Nick swallowed roughly and backed away. He needed time to think. She needed time to relax. He decided he would leave now, and come back another time, when they were both able to hold a conversation with ripping each other’s heads off.
“Fine, I’ll leave now. But this isn’t over.” Nick warned as he opened the door.
Lisa scoffed, “Like hell it isn’t.” And with that, Nick walked out the door, slamming it behind him. Lisa took this moment of solitude to sink to her knees and sob. She banged her fist on the ground and let the tears run freely. Things were so messed up....
Nick stepped out and looked up into the sky, there was an over-cast and it had started to sprinkle. Nick started off with a slow jog, then started to run as fast as he legs could carry him.............