Sorry again for the slight delay in this chapter coming out. The event I'm planning is less than two weeks away so I've been a little busy and quite tired. Nevertheless, here is Part 8 and I hope you all enjoy!
His mind was stuck on the previous afternoon when Macy had dropped yet another bombshell. "I've been diagnosed with MND, Dan. Motor Neurone Disease." Her voice echoed clearly through his head. "My body's slowly deteriorating and eventually the disease will take my life. Before you say anything, please don't be sorry for me. It's the way it has to be and I've come to terms with that."
A large lump had suddenly formed in his throat, his mouth went dry. This has to be a joke, he told himself, but deep down he knew it wasn't. Why was Macy doing this to him, Dan couldn't understand it. First, she reveals that he has a daughter, and now, she tells him she is dying. Dying. It was such a depressive word.
She was thirty, for gods sake. How could she be dying from Motor Neurone Disease? It didn't make sense! He went downstairs and into the sitting room where he had sat with Macy. He lit a fire and stared into its hungry flames. All he could see was Macy.
He should be so angry with her right now; she had broken off their engagement to run away with their unborn child, she had kept Nadia from him for all these years, and now she had appeared suddenly, out of the blue, to tell him she was wasting away. And the thing he should be most angry with her for is breaking his heart. But he wasn't. He had tried to stop loving her a long time ago - it didn't work. He couldn't deny he still loved her terribly, her visit had woken all his dormant feelings. He would be meeting his daughter in just over a week's time and he hoped he could put this revelation out of his mind long enough to give his daughter his full attention. He wanted to learn Nadia's favourite colour, her favourite movie, what she liked to do on weekends. Wanted to make up for lost time, most of all.
Macy wasn't kidding when she said her news may prove to be a distraction but Dan would try his hardest to make sure it wasn't. Nikki placed Emme into her high chair and brought it to the head of the dining table. Her daughter had already been fed but Nikki wanted her there seen as it would be a family dinner. The first since she had asked Carlos to leave all those weeks ago.
He and Lucas were spending some quality time together at that very moment upstairs. That was probably the best thing to come out of this situation - Carlos realising how precious his children are and making time for them. Nikki had organised this dinner because she knew it was important for the children. She also wanted to take a step forward in healing her and Carlos' relationship, if it was at all possible.
Placing the plates onto the table, she called, "Lou! Carlos! Dinner's ready!" It was only a few seconds before they were seated at the table and enjoying their hotdogs. It was both Carlos and Lucas' favourite meal and it was a special occasion, after all.
Whilst they ate, there was lots of chatter, laughter and smiles...just like there used to be. Both Nikki and Carlos exchanged several glances and, as silly as it sounds, Nikki felt a familiar return of butterflies to her stomach. After dinner, she let Carlos spend some time with the kids before leaving him to tuck them into bed. He was a wonderful father, that Nikki couldn't deny. Sure, previously he could have found a little more time to be with them but whenever he was, he was nothing less than extraordinary. "Well, I guess I'll be going then."
Carlos' voice awakened her senses. She was staring aimlessly at the star filled sky but turned to face him and smiled.
"Oh, yea, sure," she replied, standing. "It was great for the kids to have you around tonight, thanks."
"The kids...sure." He looked disappointed. "Wasn't a problem. Thanks for dinner and everything." Nikki walked him to the front door and merely gave him a friendly hug. No bodies pressed intimately up against each other, no hands going astray, no lips whispering in each others ears. No temptation.
"We'll talk soon, ok?" she said.
Carlos nodded. "We will." Then he turned and walked out the door.
Nikki may have imagined it but she could have sworn he murmured "I love you" as he left, and it nearly brought tears to her eyes. On Saturday morning, Lucas and Mitch arrived at Sunset Valley Park. It was located in the heart of the town and was Lucas' favourite place in the whole world...well, what he had seen of it anyway.
Carlos had offered to take both boys as they were eager to practice throwing the football. He knew Lou would be particularly excited because it was not often that he found time to take him. Standing a good distance apart from Mitch, Lucas threw the ball high into the air while making sure his dad wasn't in earshot and asked his best friend, "What was it like when your parents broke up?"
Mitch caught the ball with ease and shrugged. "I dunno. They fought a lot, I guess, and then one day mum told me dad was staying somewhere else. He didn't come back for ages and now he comes to get me sometimes." Keeping his eye on the ball as it got thrown back and forth, Lucas thought about this. It had some elements of similarity to his own parent's situation but not all. His father had left and was still living elsewhere, that much was true, but he hadn't completely disappeared. He had even had dinner at their house a few night's ago and would be again tonight. This could only be good news, couldn't it? As if reading his mind, Mitch asked, "Have your parents broken up yet?"
"I dunno," Lucas replied. "Dad still comes over sometimes and I haven't heard him and mum fight, so maybe they aren't breaking up."
At least he hoped so. Dan felt like a washing machine full of emotions. They were all sloshing around inside of him and it was making him feel a little ill.
Macy was bringing Nadia around to meet him today and he was feeling nervous, excited, hesitant, disbelief and contentment amongst a host of other emotions he didn't have time to identify. He went into the bathroom and began brushing his teeth absently before realising he had already brushed his teeth less than five minutes ago. He spat the foamy mess out of his mouth, rinsed with water and looked at himself in the mirror.
What if she hates me, he asked himself. What if she's quite happy without a father? What if I'm not what she expects?
What if, what if...there was no point in getting himself worked up over scenarios which may not even happen. Calm down, he told himself. Before he could get more wound up, he heard a quiet knock. He exhaled slowly, composed himself and headed to the front door. Pulling it open, there stood the little girl he had seen in the picture Macy had sent him. But seeing her breathing, moving - it made everything so...real. She smiled up at him and he felt like someone had punched him in the chest; the instant emotion and love he felt was that strong. Standing before him was a little piece of himself.
"Nadia," he whispered, unable to take his eyes off his beautiful daughter.
"Yes," she replied, equally as fascinated. "Is it ok if I call you dad?"
Someone Special - Part 8
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