I had brought so much pain and shame to my conservative parents when I got pregnant out of wedlock. I would have wanted to get married but my then-boyfriend was not yet ready. Even if he was, my parents did not welcome the idea of me walking down the aisle with him. I was 19 years old.

I left the baby to my parents to continue my studies. Indirectly, I asked my ex-future father in law, who had a house in the city, if they could accommodate the baby. When he answered that there would be more relatives on my side to take care of the baby, I did not insist.

The first pregnancy was unplanned, too. We were on the verge of a break-up when I learned about my pregnancy. The next two years after giving birth was a roller coaster ride to heaven and hell. My ex was the sweetest man but he could turn into a monster when jealousy strikes. Slapping, shoving and even threating were his forte. On the contrary to Grey’s maniacal sex drive, our lovemaking was full of love and gentleness. What ruined the beautiful relationship was his obsession to the idea of being in love and staying in love to the point of suffocation.

I was on my way to my parents’ house when I thought of telling my ex about my problem. I composed a text message but something was stopping me not to do so. Instead, I searched for my friend’s number and asked if she could help me.

Sandy was my high school BFF. We were inseparable until we had to study in different school in college. We exchanged letters and we saw each other every summer vacation. Sandy’s family was conservative, too. I was friends with her sisters and they regarded me as a family member. She wrote me a letter when she learned about my first pregnancy from a common friend. My pregnancy started as a rumor and when the baby was out, the news spread like wild fire! It was my first taste of family scandal and it took me years to move on from that guilt.

Sandy was now a licensed pharmacist. I texted her about my unplanned second pregnancy and asked her if she could give me a medicine to induce miscarriage. I knew it was a slap on her face considering two things: first,  she was a pharmacist and her role was to save life, not terminate it and second, her conservative beliefs would not allow me to have an abortion.

I waited for Sandy’s reply but there was none. I took it as a sign that she was very mad at me. Monday morning, I was travelling back to the city when I received a text message from her. Those were the days of Nokia phones and there was this cute image of a frog holding flowers and beneath it were the words, “Sorry, I cannot help you. I hope you understand.”

I was so ashamed of what I asked her to do. It has been 15 years yet I still remember the frog-holding-flowers text message.

After work, I went home ahead of Grey, as usual. He justified his workaholism due to my pregnancy. I tried my best to understand him but there were just some days when all I needed was his assurance that whatever happened, the two of us would stick together. Grey normally went home by 10PM if he came straight from the office but he could go home as late as 12 midnight when he needed time to relax with his friends. I waited for him until 10 PM until I fell into sleep. A text message disturbed my sleep and thinking it was from Grey, I picked the phone to read it. False alarm, it was from my teammate. The time was now 12AM. I texted Grey if he was on the way. No reply. My hands were starting to get cold because of stress so I decided to go to the restroom to wash his clothes. It took me until 2AM to finish the laundry and still, there was no Grey. I ringed his cellphone and found out that it was turned off. I texted his teammates but nobody was answering. I decided to find out myself what happened to him so I changed my clothes and decided to go to his office.

It was 2:30 AM and there I was on the way to his office. I took a cab and asked him to wait for me at the parking space. The company guard asked me what I was doing at that early hour. I told him that Grey asked me to come over. The guard said that Grey left at around 12 midnight. I told him that Grey asked me to check his desk because he left his wallet and we had to settle the bill at the bar. The guard was convinced of my alibi so he allowed me to proceed to Grey’s office. There were some employees from the other department who was on night shift so it was safe to go there.

At the office, I hurriedly went to Grey’s desk and check his computer. It was still warm. It was either the guard miscalculated Grey’s exit time or Grey set the computer’s power off to 2PM. Grey was no longer at the office so I decided to go home. I changed my mind and went inside a restaurant, instead. I called up Grey’s officemate and asked him to see me at the restaurant because Grey was missing. Yes, I was that paranoid. His officemate asked me my location and I told him that I was just a few steps away from his house. It was 4:30 AM. He said that he could not come but he asked me to stay inside and not leave.

After 30 minutes, I saw a familiar figure walking towards me. It was Grey. I hugged him and then I cried.

“What do you think you are doing?” he asked.

“Finding you. I thought that something bad happened to you!”

“You are just being paranoid.”

“I am paranoid. What will happen to me and the baby when you’re gone?”

“Let’s go home. I will not be gone. Don’t do this again, okay?”

From the point of view of his officemates and teammates, I was a controlling and paranoid girlfriend. Controlling? No. Paranoid? Yes. Who am I in Grey’s life to be able to control him? But yes, I was paranoid about losing him. I didn’t care if I put myself in bad light as long as Grey was safe then I was happy.






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