Maya grimaced and rested her hands on her bump. She wasn’t exactly in pain, and she suspected what she felt was acute embarrassment to have found out the truth from the real estate agent.
She spent the next several hours fuming and running everything Alain had ever told her, over and over in her mind. How could she not have seen him for what he was? It was always the deep, steady types that held the most capacity for deception. And she was done being the victim of his trickery.
The shock soon wore off, replaced by Maya’s calm certainty that there was no way forward for both of them
When Alain arrived at her doorstep, she made sure he had no doubts as to her resolve to leave him. She’d already called him on the phone, so he at least knew what to expect after the way she’d cried and yelled at him. Now that they were face to face, he tried to explain things, but Maya wasn’t ready to listen.
“I never wanted money – I wanted to build a life with someone. I never would have dreamed you were keeping me like a mistress on the side,” she said angrily, already losing her calm. Maya hated being played for a fool, especially when with Alain she’d been so blindly and happily trusting. How he must have laughed behind her back!
“That’s not true and you know it.”
Maya lifted her hand in a universal ‘stop’ gesture at his words. “One thing I do know for sure, is that it’s over between us. I’m moving all your stuff out of the apartment and I’ll hire a new mechanic for my business.”
“So, you’re totally ready to cut ties with me,” Alain said. “You’re forgetting a vital detail, such as the fact we’re having a baby together.”
“My baby doesn’t need you. I can find him a father who can be trusted, who’ll treat me with simple human dignity which you’ve obviously fallen short of doing.”
“I’m sorry, okay. I’m sorry!” Alain growled, and gently but firmly took her shoulders and turned her to face him fully. “If I had a way to separate myself from what I am – the billionaire CEO, I would. Every moment I was with you, I felt I was experiencing something worthwhile for the first time.”
“Being rich and powerful is part of who you are. Why would you need to hide behind a mask and ask me to accept just a version of you?” Maya breathed. “I gave you the whole version of myself.”
“I know. Dammit, Maya, I know,” said Alain, his face creased in pain as he pulled her close, taking care not to press the baby bump.
Alain knew he could keep saying the same thing again and again, but Maya was too hurt right now to let it make any difference. “I need to figure out what I really want. I’m not sure I can believe in anything we share anymore, not when it was all based on an illusion.”
“This isn’t an illusion,” Alain told her while resting his hand possessively on her pregnant stomach. “It’s proof that what we have, has the right to bloom. Neither of us have the right to say it’s not worth a chance.”
Maya stared at Alain while fighting down her anger, so deeply embedded within her since she’d found out about him yesterday. “You’re too good at saying all the things I want to hear. But no matter how much sense you make, I’m standing by my decision. You can still play your role as the father of my baby, but there can’t be anything romantic between us.”
She could see how hurt Alain was by her words. But what could she do? He just kept giving her more and more pain. Right from the start, she’d opened her heart to him without question. Like a fool, she’d told herself she didn’t need to know more than the fact he wanted to be part of her world. She’d established so much of her future based on everything he’d opened her up to. Now it all felt like ashes, because she didn’t know what was real and what was not, anymore.
“Don’t make any rash decisions right now,” he said in a calm voice. “I take the blame for everything. Because of my damn ego, I risked sacrificing your trust. Give me one more chance, and I promise I won’t make the same mistake again.”
“I’m done with promises,” Maya said, and moved to the door as quickly as her heavy body would allow. She knew if he was still close by she’d never be able to think things through. “Just give me a bit more time,” she added with less hostility than before.
Maya saw him wince, and knew he didn’t want to leave, but she was glad Alain finally chose to respect her wishes, and after a deep sigh he was gone out the door. Tears spilled silently out of Maya’s eyes as she leaned against the closed door, and somehow, she sensed Alain’s presence right outside on the other side, and imagined him resting his head against the frame, unable to just walk away. All Maya needed to do was unlock the door again and take him back in but, she found the inner strength to hold back.