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Lexia couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for James to find her collapsed on the bathroom floor in the way that he did. They had already lost one child and she could only imagine the thoughts that must have gone through his head seeing her there, wondering if they were about to repeat the same fate. Thankfully, their son was fine and all would continue to be as long as she didn’t allow herself to do too much and kept an eye on her blood pressure. However, the last thing either of them needed right now was her mother poking her nose in their business. Lexia was heartbroken and she was unsure of what would happen now, but she knew that her heart would only continue to break having her mother hovering around her, trying to poison her against James.
Being reminded of the night he proposed to her brought a tear to her eye. Simply remembering how happy they had been then and how much had changed in such a short amount of time. Lexia had agreed to marry him because she truly thought that their love was unbreakable and nothing would come between them. Little did she know that Gianna would be the one to do so. She had taken everything that was meant to be sacred in a marriage and regardless of the fact that the two had opened up to each other and spoke about their feelings the night before, knowing what she didn’t now seemed to make all of the fade into the background as though it didn’t really matter all the much.
[b “This was more than a scary day James, and it’s not over yet. You can’t possibly ask for my forgiveness as though it’s so easy for me to give.”] Her voice remained calm and she kept her hand in his, not wanting to pull away from him; unable to pull away from him. [b “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do James. I don’t know how I can just forget...”]
“We’ll get through this.” James promised his wife with a small smile. “Remember when I asked for your hand in marriage? Felt more like your mom would say no than your dad– I’m usually able to hold my composure but something about your ma.”
James chuckled and shook his head, eyes focused on Lexia’s hand. That night he had planned for weeks. He had planned a dinner, had all there friends and family over – a perfect excuse being that It was a house warming party. In reality when the night was coming to an end and James was toasting, he’d dropped to his knee to ask Lexia if she wanted to marry him. There was nothing more than joy to hear her say yes. The look on her face. He’d wanted that Lexia back – but she had grown and James didn’t understand that she too was hurt by the loss of their child. James had heard her cries and he was selfish enough to ignore them; choose drinking and another woman when he should have been comforting his wife. He thought things were better though, eventually when she got pregnant again. Things were turning normal. He knew Lexia often thought she wasn’t good enough for him, that he was her everything and yet the truth was he wasn’t good enough for her.
Her mother would be sure to remind him of it every day she was there. That night he had proposed she had pulled him to the side and told James that she didn’t think he was good enough for her daughter, that he would break her heart and if that were to happen then he would have her to deal with – which wasn’t pleasant. He couldn’t – wouldn’t want to lose Lexia though. He didn’t want her mother to be right and most importantly he loved Lexia. His actions had maybe indicated differently, but that being why he ended his affair with Gianna. He knew his marriage mattered and Lexia – the love of his life. He could lose her, that being why he was so protective of her.
He’d failed in protecting her heart. “This was a scary day. I know you don’t want your mother smothering you, but I just cant afford to lose you Lexia. Please, forgive me.” He begged, head hung in shame, his hand gripping her’s tightly, bring it to his lips to kiss. “Please don’t leave me.”
Lexia sighed when her mother started to speak erratically down the phone and she couldn’t help but have flash backs to the time she had told her that she was pregnant. She wouldn’t leave her alone for more than a second and she ended up asking her to leave so that James could finally get back to normal with her at home. She looked up when he came back into the room and moved back towards the bed, taking hold of her hand supportively.
[b “Mom! Calm down. James is with me. I don’t need you to rush here.”] She rolled her eyes a little and glanced towards James briefly. It wasn’t as though she was ready to forgive him and just move on but she loved him and right now she needed him, regardless of the fact that he had an affair. Lexia wanted nothing more than to forget about this and spent the rest of her life with him but right now it didn’t feel like that would be possible, but having him with her now helped her get through the phone conversation.
[i “You think I trust him to look after you? Not a chance. I will be there first thing and I will pick you up from the hospital.”]
[b “No Mom, just use your key and meet us at home. There is no need for you to be here. Please just...meet us at home.”] There was a pause, followed by a sigh.
[i “Alright fine, but if anything changes please do let me know and I’ll be there as soon as I can.”] With that, the two said their goodbyes and she put the phone down.
[b “This is going to be a nightmare.”]
James was glad to hear that the restaurant wasn’t going up in flames, him explaining what was going on. James planned to remain at Lexia’ side for the remainder of the day. He knew that it was important that he be there for her. Besides, he still wanted to talk with her about what had happened between him and Gianna. He wanted to play the next few days smart. It had taken a lot of him to even consider having her mother come and stay with them. He knew Lexia wouldn’t say anything about the affair – her mother wouldn’t even think before trying to get Lexia out of the house and away from him. James knew that if his mother in law heard of the affair, she would do everything in her power to keep Lexia and their child from him.
This of course meant to keep up appearances he would have to remain in the bedroom with Lexia, but he wasn’t sure if she wanted him anywhere near her. He knew she loved him, but James knew also how she had hurt him.
James had ended his phone call before heading back into the bedroom, watching Lexia then who was still on the phone with her mother. He nervously chewed at the inside of his cheek as he could tell Lexia’s mother was being erratic, as she usually was. He remembered when she had been there when their first child was conceived. She wouldn’t let James do anything and he barely was able to have a moment alone with his wife. It had taken a lot for them to convince her she didn’t need to come when they found out they lost the baby. Mostly considering James was in his fits of rage then and had plenty of fights with the woman that probably scared her off. He knew she was probably always checking in on Lexia to make sure the woman wasn’t being hurt by him. He had vowed though to never hurt Lexia and yet – emotionally he had broken the woman with his affair. He hated himself, hated how he hadn’t been strong enough control his actions. He thought being with Gianna helped when all he needed was Lexia. Taking a seat beside him, he grabbed her hand.
He wanted to be close to her and didn’t want her to leave him. He was dedicated to showing the woman that he loved her and only her – he didn’t want to lose her.
Lexia looked to James, trying not to think about the argument they had and the fact that he had an affair with someone they both knew, someone she had once called a friend. The friendship was over now and she knew that she never wanted to see the woman again, she couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her after what she did. It was bad enough that she had claimed her husband for herself but then she invited her to lunch where she spent the entire time talking about unhappy James was with Lexia and how he was happier with her. It stung to think that James had been telling her about how unhappy he was when she thought that they were happy. Regardless of the arguments, she had always thought they were just going through a rough patch and it would all be over soon.
Lexia reached up with her hand to wipe at the tears that threatened to fall once more, willing herself now to cry again. She definitely didn’t want her mother around to see and hear all of this but James was insisting. She wanted to protest but he was making it very difficult for her and she was finding it strange that he was acting as though she hadn’t just found out he had been having an affair. She looked to his hand pressed against her stomach and then back up him where she looked into his eyes and she felt her own tears surfacing again.
[b “I...”] She didn’t know what to say and he didn’t give her much chance before he was handing her the phone and walking away. She sighed, dialling her mother’s number and waiting until she heard her voice on the other end of the phone. [b “Hi Mom. Don’t panic, I’m okay...but I’m in the hospital because I collapsed this afternoon.”] The woman sounded erratic. [b “Mom, calm down. I said I’m okay. I’ve got low blood pressure and...well James wants you to come and stay with us because he doesn’t want me to be alone.”]
[i “I’ll be there first thing in the morning.”]
“I mean, I’m not so sure she will be coming back after, well after you know.” He didn’t want to bring up the affair, trying hard to not upset his already fragile wife. “Lexia,” James said. “You’re going to need to get out of the apartment soon you’ll go mad. I won’t have a strange cabbie or ride share driver carting you around.” He sighed, knowing they both couldn’t deal with the woman, but he knew that it wasn’t about him. It was about Lexia and their child. They were precious to him. “I think it’s best she come and help, it’s just a short amount of time anyways. We can get through it.” He smiled at her then. “C’mon I mean – she hates me, but not [I that] much right ? Anymore at least I hope.” He had met Lexia during a crazy period of his life. He was still. Rough house and barely getting the game of the restaurant business. Most of their dates he would somehow leave the woman a bit disappointed, then getting busted by the cops for small possession of drugs, unable to answer her calls since he was in jail.
He always made sure to call her in the morning though. Of course this was not the woman you would want your daughter to run off with. James had changed though, he was doing real well for himself and had tried his hardest to make sure his marriage with Lexia meant every minute. He slipped up, but he was going to still try to do right.
“Let’s not fight about this okay? I’m going to check on some things for work. I want you to rest. I love you and him,” he said as he pressed a hand to her stomach. “ I can’t bear the thought of losing either of you – another child.” James hung his head, trying to not get choked up. “I want you taken care of and if I’m not there – if something like this happens again-“ he looked into her eyes. “I want someone to be around.” James squeezed her hand tight, leaning up to kiss her on her forehead. “I’ll be back, just 10 minutes. Call your mom,” he said as he handed her phone. He knew the woman would not take kindly to him calling her that’s for sure.
This wasn’t an ideal situation in the slightest, especially when Lexia enjoyed her independence and it seemed like she wouldn’t get much now. It would be a little frustrating but she also wasn’t about to do anything to endanger their son so she would listen to him and follow whatever advice she was given. Lexia looked towards the doctor and nodded her head slowly to show that she understood what she must do and he made his way out of the room, leaving her alone with James.
It wasn’t as though she had forgotten why James had done but she couldn’t remain angry at him when her energy levels were already far to low. The stress of being upset and angry was not good for her bloody pressure and she needed to keep herself calm and the only way to do that was to force her emotions to the side, however difficult that may be. The fact of the matter was that she was very much in love with her husband and despite his affair, she couldn’t imagine loving him any less or life without him.
She reached for her glass of water and sipped slowly while James spoke, apologising and claiming that her mother should stay. When he mentioned Gianna she frowned a little. She placed the water back down and accepted the kiss from him, not really knowing what else to do. She did love him and that wouldn’t change. [b “What do you mean she’s gone?”] She asked quietly before she started to shake her head. [b “And there is no way I want my mother staying over. She’s far too overbearing. He just said I need bedrest. I can do that without any help and I promise I won’t try to drive anywhere but I can’t have here there James. I can’t.”] She knew that he mother would find a way to get under her skin about James, always trying to find an excuse for her to leave him. If her mother stayed, she would try to make sure their marriage was over. [b “And I don’t expect you to pull back from the restaurant. I never have.”]
James was relieved to hear her voice, though it was soft – nearly a whisper. He hated how fragile she sounded and knew that this was ultimately his responsibility to take care of her and he had failed. He had failed his wife in everything he had vowed to do when he married the woman in front of everyone. He listened to the doctor as she entered, speaking of how Lexia’s blood pressure had dropped. She would have to stay overnight as EMS had surmised. He was glad to hear she would be fine though, she just needed to rest and of course – she was not safe to drive. James sighed, knowing this would mean he would have to be around Lexia to take her anywhere unless he asked her mother to come and help the woman. It was the most logical idea, as he couldn’t take time off until the event was over, which would be in a week.
However, he couldn’t tolerate the woman as much as she hated him. They only had two bedrooms and he wasn’t sure if Lexia wanted him to sleep with her – and her mother would definitely question why he was sleeping on the couch.
James remained hold of Lexia’s hand. “I’ll be back to check on you later,” the doctor said with a smile before leaving. James looked at Lexia.
“I’m sorry Lexia,” he sighed out and hung his head. “I shouldn’t have left you alone.” He knew she probably didn’t even have a chance to call for him to help.
“I can’t take off at the restaurant,” he told her with a defeated sigh. “Gian-“ He paused, not wanting to say her name. She had tried to ruin him and his marriage. “Gianna is gone, there’s no way I can be with you 24/7. I will make sure to change my schedule though, but I think – you should ask your mother to come and help.” He ground his teeth thinking about the woman in their space, but Lexia’s life and the baby’s was more important than his comfort. Hell, he had cheated on his true love after all. He could deal with her mother and he knew Lexia had too much pride in their love to speak on the affair he had, but James was not so sure of her mother. The woman poked her nose in their business since he first met her. She knew of his past and his vices, he apparently wasn’t good enough – but Lexia had convinced her different. She loved him so much, she believed in him and trusted him.
“I’m so sorry,” James said as he kissed her lips. “I shouldn’t have left your side, I just – I wanted to give you space. I’m an idiot. I should’ve been there.”
Everything from that moment on was more than a blur, Lexia only able to hear bits of what was going on. On the inside she wanted to shout out and ask if their son was okay but she couldn’t speak and as she made her way to the hospital, she was completely out of it, unable to hear what was going on since her pulse slowed down even more. Once she was loaded into the ambulance and transported to the hospital she had a doctor come to look her over, one who also specialised in pregnancies so that he could effectively decide the best course of action. There wasn’t much in the way of medicine that he could give her at home but they had some relatively safe things they could give her now to stabilise her.
A couple of hours later she woke up, feeling groggy and confused, not really having any clue where she was but she felt James’ hand clasped around hers as her eyes started to open. [b “James?”] Her voice came out in a whisper as her face contorted with confusion. [b “What happened?”] She asked as she tried to sit up, only to be told by a nurse that it was best that she stay where she was and that she was going to get the doctor to come and speak to her.
She looked towards James and then back at the nurse before she settled back onto the bed. [b “Why am I here?”] She said but before she could get any answers the doctor was returning.
[I “Ah good! You are awake. You gave your husband here quite the scare and I must say you gave us a little one too. Your blood pressure had dipped considerably lower than we would have liked. You will be able to go home tomorrow but we want to keep you in overnight to monitor you. You will be on strict bed rest during this pregnancy now. You are clearly doing far too much and with your pressure this low I would recommend that you take some time off work and certainly no driving.”]
James was trying to keep himself together, his mind wandering and he numbly recited a few questions about medications, her meeting with the doctor, and the allergies. “She’s pregnant,” he said then, “About 16weeks.” James crossed his arms, watching as they worked on the woman he loved, who had his child in her. He hoped they would be safe. He wouldn’t live with himself if he knew that he could lose either of them.
The medic had noted everything down to his clipboard before he stood up then and motioned for the others to help load her on a stretcher. “I think it’s best we get her to the hospital. They’ll mostly want to have her stay overnight for monitoring. She should be okay, we just want to play it safe.” He said.
James sighed, glad to know that at least she was safe and not harmed, but he worried about her health still. He was tired following after them. “I’ll follow in my car,” he said. James had watched as they loaded Lexia into the back of the ambulance, his heart hurting at being away from her. He would hate himself if anything happened, he would hate Gianna.
James had followed the ambulance in his car, doing a hack of a parking job and jumping out of the car before rushing inside and toward the front counter, demanding to get Lexia’s room number. They had kept the male in the waiting room, claiming the doctors were having a look at her. It had only been two hours, but it felt like eternity as he waited until a doctor had finally come up to him and let him know that he could finally see his wife. Sighing with relief, James eagerly entered the room, Lexia plugged up with a bunch of cords. He hated to see her this way.
“Lexia,” he whispered as he sat her side, grabbing her hand then.
Lexia’s blood pressure had plummeted lower than it was supposed to be and there was nothing she could have done to stop herself from falling without calling for James and since she didn’t have the time to react, she hit the floor instead. Luckily, the fact that she had gripped the sink so hard helped to make sure that she didn’t hit the floor with such force that it could hurt their son. She lay there for some time before James found her, the low blood pressure making her pulse feel weaker than normal but she didn’t come around straight away. It was a strange feeling because she could hear his voice in the background but she couldn’t respond to him, nor could she open her eyes and his grip on her face felt like nothing more than a light touch.
By the time the medics arrived, she was starting to come around a little but she was confused and couldn’t focus so she forced her eyes to remain shut so the blurs of people could be shut out. The leading medic asked James politely to give them some space and checked her pulse and blood pressure before looking back to James.
[I “Is there anything we should know? Pregnancy? Medical condition? Allergies?”] He asked as she started to check her over once more. [b “We need to know so we can ensure that we take the best precaution.”]
He’d fallen asleep, waking only hours later, mouth dry from the liquor. He groaned rubbing his head before heading to the kitchen and making him some coffee. He had noticed Lexia wasn’t awake and figured he would check on her, not sure if maybe perhaps she was just keeping her distance from him. He had poured a splash of milk into the freshly made coffee, taking an eager gulp once it had cooled.
James had made sure to make Lexia some tea, heading toward the stairs then and going up, head pounding from the drinking, but the coffee had helped with making him sober up. “Lexia,” he had whispered as he entered their bedroom. It seemed cold, once filled with love and warmth and now he didn’t necessary feel very welcomed in the space he had conceived their child. He sighed out then, not seeing her in bed. He placed the mug of tea on the dresser beside the bed then, seeing the light turned on in the bathroom.
“Lexia?” He called again, surprised she hadn’t even responded to him. Upset or not, she knew how he worried. And to not hear her respond to him made him gravely concerned. He had run the bathroom then, pushing the slightly ajar door open to see Lexia slumped to the floor. He held her in his arms then, feeling how weak her pulse was.
“Lexia!” He said as he gripped her face, she barely breathing. He was trying not to think how this was his fault, the stress and not paying to her blood pressure. Knowing he didn’t have time to think about that, nor head downstairs to get his phone, he instead grabbed the woman, laying her on the bed. He had made the frantic 911 call with her phone, trying to remain calm and make sure she was still breathing as the woman on the phone assured that help was on the way. It was minutes, it felt like hours before he could hear the ringing of the doorbell. He hated to leave her, but ran to open the door for Ems and leading them to their bedroom where Lexia seemed to be fading in and out.
“Lexia,” he begged as he grabbed her hand, before being ushered out of the way as the woman was tended to. He sighed out then, hoping that she would be okay. That the baby would be okay.
Before he had even left her eyes were starting to close. The pregnancy was really catching up with her and even though she was only a short way into it, she was already feeling the effects. It didn’t help that she had low blood pressure, or that she had not kept her food down that day, purging everything she ate when she learned of her husband’s affair but for now the sleep would do her some good and she rolled over onto her side to find some comfort. She was fast asleep within a matter of minutes, ignorant to the phone call James made to Gianna and the noise of him moving around the kitchen to clean up the mess he had made.
It was almost three hours later when she awoke, a cold sweat forming on her brow from the visions of James and Gianna together while she slept. She hated it. She sat up quickly, tears stinging her eyes as she looked around the room, half expecting to see James there but he wasn’t. She focused for a minute, trying to hear if he was moving around downstairs but she couldn’t hear him.
Lexia reached out for the water he had left for her and took a sip before running her hand over her face and letting out a sigh. She wasn’t feeling dizzy anymore so she decided she would be able to make it to the bathroom by herself without disturbing James, not really knowing where he was but when she arrived in the bathroom she started feeling dizzy again. She held on to the sink to centre herself but not even that could help keep her up and stop her mind from spinning and before she could shout for James to come and help, her body slumped to the floor.
He sighed out then, knowing that Lexi was slowly being won over, but the woman was for the mean time not really sure she could bother and be with him. She was tired too. He sighed and stood up then, kissing her forehead then before leaving her. He was tired, but James wasn’t sure if she was comfortable with him being at her side, even though he could see how she held his hand. He hated how he hurt her and it wasn’t until he was at the bottom of the stares that the anger had settled in. His dinner he had planned was cold, but he had packaged it in case Lexia would be hungry later. His first step was to clean up the glass from the broken shot glass from earlier.
He had started to clean everything, knowing that drinking wouldn’t solve anything, but it would make him feel better if anything. He had poured him a glass of scotch, standing in the clean kitchen. The gifts he had bought for Lexia and his child were on the counter there, discarded and forgotten.
He reached over for his phone, finally dialing Gianna’s number.
“Baby,” she had crooned.
“Don’t baby me –“ he whispered in an angry tone. “You really fucked things up.” The line was silent then. Gianna probably trying to figure out the best route to take as far as the conversation. Lexia was asleep and since he wasn’t in his space, there was nothing to stop the anger.
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t act stupid Gianna. You told Lexia about us?”
“I didn’t – I just-“
“You what? She came home upset, I’m afraid she’ll leave me.”
“We;; you weren’t thinking about that when you were having sex with me.”
“I wasn’t thinking about anything when having sex with you.” James sighed then, knowing that was an insensitive thing to say but he was getting drunk and all he could think about was his wife. “I tried to make this easy, ending things – I cant believe you would betray me this way. Lexia is my everything if I lose her-“
“If you lose her, you’ll have me,” Gianna finished in a small voice. He sighed then, pinching the bridge of his nose before pouring himself another drink.
“Make sure your ass is at work tomorrow.” He said, not giving her a chance to say anything else. James eagerly downed the drink, pouring him another as he headed to the guest bedroom, knowing Lexia didn’t want him. He’d hated himself for crying then, a drunken sap on the verge of losing his wife.
It hurt Lexia just as much as James to know that she couldn’t have intimacy with him right then. She had wanted nothing more than that intimacy to remain after they reunited the day before. She had been so happy then, so sure that all of their problems were in the past and that they could finally move on from the haunting of the loss of their first child but to know how he had chosen to deal with it, how he had chosen to have an affair with someone rather than come home to his wife, it almost killed her.
She kept her hand in his so that could balance herself as she started to walk towards the stairs and he was careful to guide her, which was useful because her eyes were growing heavy from the fatigue that came with crying and the low blood pressure. When they made it to their bedroom she started to get ready for bed, only to find that James insisted on assisting her. Partly to ensure that she was being safe and partly to show her that he cared and that Gianna had not meant what she thought she had meant to him.
She was too tired to try and process anything else though. She sat on the bed and was about to lean down to remove her shoes but James did that for her and she looked up to see the man show emotion in a way he had never really done before. He hadn’t even shown her this kind of emotion when she had lost the baby, insisting that he had to be strong for her. It was giving her hope that perhaps he did care and that he truly was cut up about what he had done.
Lexia has to hold back her tears herself and she pulled her feet up to lie in bed properly. [b “I can see that.”] She said softly, trying not to let hurt and anger through but she couldn’t talk about this anymore, she needed to rest and then they could talk when she had gathered herself. [b “I’ll just sleep for a couple of hours, it’s only the afternoon. Then...then we can talk. I can’t right now.”]
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