She manoeuvred the baby into the front room, as I closed the door. I approached the doorway considering whether to interrupt Kate dealing with the bawling baby. Slowly walking into the room I asked, knowing the answer already in the back of my mind, “So, whose is the baby?” she turned, the distant sounds of the traffic sounded further away and the T.V news report was diminished as the blood in my ears thumped louder and louder, my Adams apple further up my throat. “Mine. And well... yours.” I nodded, holding my breath and sat in closest chair I could find.

My future gone, ruined, the excitement of just 10minutes ago washing away as fast as my life. “Jesus, Kate why didn’t you tell me?” the words forming before I could think them. “I’ve been trying to find the right way to tell you but ... well college was hard after her, so I went to live with my dad for a bit but he said I had to move out if I don’t pull my own weight, I’ve been working ever since,” she paused looking at the baby “she’s got your eyes and smile. Her names Bella Jackson by the way.” I looked up slightly shocked, my last name, the babies. It gurgled slightly in the corner. I looked into the deep set warming blue eyes that I wake to see every morning on someone else. “Look Jason I’ve got to go and do some things... Can you look after her?” She looked pleadingly at me, I nodded still in a state of unreality.

Was this just a dream?

Hastily she left with a swift kiss on the baby’s forehead, running out of the door, bag in hand. Gradually I pulled myself up in the chair, mouth slack; I tried to pull myself together. Padded feet began to come down the stairs. The letter box flapped and a thud hit the carpet in the door way. 

The End

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