Serena stood there on the Staten Island Ferry, watching the choppy, frigid waters, her emotions churning inside her. She leaned against the rail and wrapped her arms about her. I’m pregnant. She found out that morning when she went to a walk-in clinic. After leaving there, she decided to come on the ferry ride to get away for a bit so that she could process the news that she was five weeks pregnant.
Robin was the father. Robin. She closed her eyes as she thought about him and the night they spent together. They hadn’t meant for it to happen. He was still dating her friend, Connie at the time. It was on a Saturday afternoon and she was on her way home from the movies when she bumped into him. He was just coming out of the barbershop where he had gone and to get a haircut.
His face broke into a big smile. He looked handsome as usual dressed in a blue jersey, jeans and a leather jacket with a fur trimmed collar. The haircut suited him. “Hello, Serena.”
She smiled up at him, thinking what beautiful eyes he had. “It’s good to see you, Robin.”
“Do you live around here?” he asked.
“Yes, I live over there,” she said, pointing to a set of buildings behind him. “So, what are you doing around these parts?”
“I was visiting my brother. He lives around here too. Then, I decided to get a haircut. What about you? Are you going somewhere?”
“Actually, I just came from the movies and am heading home.”
“Did you go to the movies alone?”
“What did you go to see?”
“The Black Panther.”
He raised his eyebrows. “The Black Panther?”
She laughed. “I know. I’m not into those kinds of movies but I heard such great reviews about this one that I finally decided that I would go and see it.”
“And what did you think?”
“I actually liked it.”
“Listen, are you in a hurry to get home?”
She shook her head. “I’m just going home to a leftover dinner and Masterpiece Theater,” she replied.
“What do you say we grab a bite to eat at the bistro across the street?”
They crossed over the street and went into the bistro which was filled with the sounds of laughter, glasses tinkling and mouthwatering aromas. They sat at the back in the corner. She had never been in there before. The atmosphere was very cozy and relaxed. He ordered the Fillet Mignon and she ordered the Wild Salmon.
Over dinner they did a lot of catching up because it had been a while since they last saw each other. He was dating her friend, Connie. They met at the gym but interestingly enough, Serena knew him much longer than Connie because they used to go to the same university. Since then she had been attracted to him but nothing had come of it. He was always in a relationship with someone she knew. She couldn’t help wondering why he never asked her out and reluctantly came to the conclusion that he just wasn’t interested in being more than friends with her.
“Are things getting serious between Connie and you?”
“Not for me,” he replied quietly. “Are you seeing anyone?”
She shook her head. “No.” It was hard sitting across from him and not stare at him. Nothing had changed. She was still madly in love with him. “How come you never asked me out?” She had to ask. Her heart began to beat faster as she waited for his answer.
He looked straight at her as he replied, “I was attracted to you the very first time I saw you on campus and I wanted to ask you out but I wasn’t sure you’d want to go out with me.”
She gaped at him. “Why would you think that?”
“Well, I wasn’t sure you’d want to go out with me because—well, because I’m white.”
“And that’s why you dated other women instead.”
The check came then and after paying it, he pulled on his jacket. She put her coat on and they left the bistro. It was dark outside now. The temperature seemed to have dropped slightly. He walked her home and when they were standing outside of her unit, she said, “Thanks for dinner.”
He smiled. “It was my pleasure,” he said.
“Would you like to come in for a while?” she asked hopefully.
He nodded. “I’d like that.”
She unlocked the door and they went inside. After they removed their coats, she led him into the living-room. “I’ll fix us some hot chocolate,” she said and went into the kitchen.
When she joined him, he was standing at the window, looking out. She put the two mugs on the coffee table and went over to him. He turned to face her. “You have a spectacular view,” he remarked.
“Yes, I do.”
He was staring at her and then the next thing she knew she was in his arms and he was kissing her. She wound her arms around his neck and clung to him as she kissed him back. They exchanged wild kisses for several minutes and then he picked her up and carried her over to the sofa.
After he put her down, he drew back to remove his sweater, his eyes stormy as they met hers and he was breathing heavily. She pulled her top over her head and then reached for him, her fingernails digging into his flesh as they kissed feverishly. They made love and hours later, he left. She showered and went to bed where she lay staring up at the ceiling for a while, reliving her night with Robin before finally falling asleep.
In the days that followed, she couldn’t stop thinking about him and aching for him but she couldn’t help feeling guilty because of Connie. When he called her and asked to see her again, she put him off, telling him that it wasn’t a good idea. It wasn’t long before she started experiencing nausea and other strange symptoms. She decided to go to a walk-in clinic.
She had to tell Robin. Taking a deep breath, she dialed his number and when he answered, she said simply, “I need to see you.” She arranged where they would meet and then she ended the call.
After she got off the ferry, she walked to Battery Park to the spot where she arranged to meet him. As she waited, she couldn’t help feeling nervous. How was he going to react to the news that she was pregnant? Would he be thrilled or feel trapped? Perhaps he would want to do the honorable thing and marry her or give her financial support to raise the child on her own. She didn’t want him to feel obligated to her. And what about his relationship with Connie?
She sighed when she thought about her friend. She could kiss their friendship goodbye once Connie found out about the baby. One night of passion had changed three lives forever. She was determined, however, that no matter what happened, this baby was going to be showered with lots of love and know that he or she is a gift from God. She placed her hand protectively on her stomach. Still, it would be so wonderful if Robin and she could be together…She heard her name and turned to see Robin coming towards her.
Her eyes ran eagerly over his tall frame. It was a little over a month since they last saw each other. He stood in front of her now.
“I go here as soon as I could,” he said, studying her face. “Are you all right?”
She nodded. “Yes, I’m all right. How are you?”
His eyes darkened. “Much better now that I’m seeing you. I haven’t been able to think about anything else but you. I wanted to see you, Serena. I wanted to be with you but you told me that it would be best if we didn’t. So, when you called me today, I was thrilled.”
“I thought it would be best not to see you because of Connie.”
“I broke up with her,” he informed her.
Her eyes widened. “You did?” she exclaimed. “Why?”
“After what happened between you and me, I had to end our relationship.”
“Did you tell her about–?”
“No, I didn’t but I told her how I feel about you.”
She swallowed hard, her heart racing. “How do you feel about me, Robin?” she asked. She knew he wanted her. That was obvious the night they made love. He was like a made man, his hands and lips were all over her, driving her wild. At one point, he had her hands pinned above her head while he buried his face in her neck, his breath hot and heavy on her skin. She felt her body respond now to the memories and looking at him now she could tell that he was remembering too.
“I showed you how I feel about you that night,” he told her huskily. “I’m madly in love with you, Serena. I have been in love with you since university.”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Robin loved her.
“I’ve loved you for sixteen years but it seems more like a few days. It’s like Jacob who served seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage but to him it was like a few days because of his love for her.”
She felt the tears prick her eyes. “Oh, Robin,” she cried huskily. “I love you too. I have loved you since the day you walked into my English class and sat down next to me.”
He smiled and taking her hands, he drew her toward him. “One look at you and I knew I was in love.”
“I wish we had told each other how we felt back then.”
“Me too. Serena…”
She glanced down at their hands. “Robin, I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?”
Raising her head, to look at him, she announced quietly, “I’m going to have a baby–our baby.”
He stared at her for a long moment. “You’re pregnant?”
“Yes. Five weeks. I found out this morning.”
“You’re going to have a baby.”
“We’re going to have a baby.”
“How are you feeling? Are you okay? Do you want us to sit down on the bench over there?”
She smiled. “I’m fine,” she assured him. “I don’t need to sit down. Are you okay with this?”
His face brightened. “I’m ecstatic. Oh, Serena.” He bent his head and kissed her.
She responded, her heart almost bursting with joy and relief because his reaction to the news was way better than she could have ever hoped for. “I’m so relieved that you’re happy about this,” she said a few minutes later when she drew back to gaze up at him.
“How could I be otherwise? We love each other and we’re going to have a baby. Do you know what that means?”
“We’ll have to find a bigger place. After we get married, we can go house hunting.”
“Yes, I want to marry you, Serena. I’ve waited for over sixteen years for you.”
She put her arms around his neck. “I can’t wait to marry you and to raise our child in our dream home,” she murmured.
“I told my mother about you. Before she died, she said that a love meant to be will be, no matter how much time passes or how many obstacles it faces. I wish—I wish she were here to see this—to see us together and you carrying her grandchild.” Tears welled up in his eyes as he got choked up.
She reached up and put her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly, blinking back her own tears. His arms went around her waist, holding her close. They stood like that for several minutes before she drew back to look up at him. She brushed the tears away from his cheeks. “Let’s go to my place where it’s nice and warm. We can snuggle under the covers as we make plans for our future.”
He nodded and with their arms around each other, they walked to where his car was parked.
Sometimes when it comes to love you may be in for the long haul but in the end, it’s worth the time and effort when it turns out to be the real thing.