“There you are, I was about to come looking for you,” Greg said as he got up and thanked me once again for the breakfast with a quick peck, before starting to put on his shoes.
“Sorry; I didn’t realise quite how sweaty you had actually gotten me,” I answered teasingly.
“You cheeky temptress,” he laughed as he got back up and laying one hand on the door, went on in a softer tone: “I have to go.”
“I’ll call you,” he promised.
“Alright,” I nodded.
“And if you need anything, anything at all, you call me, alright?”
“Good girl,” he smiled approvingly, and then with another quick peck, he was gone.
Finally I could let down my guard, and the plastic smile I had forced on dropped as I slumped onto the nearest seat. Over the next few days, Greg kept his promise to call and religiously got in touch every evening just to say “hi” and find out how my day had gone.
However, at the end of the week, I woke up to news all over social media and the tabloid front pages that Linda had given birth to a baby boy. Although the baby was slightly premature, having been born at just 32 weeks, both mother and child were said to be in a stable condition.
Greg had shared a picture of his new son on his social media pages with the caption, “Introducing my son, Greg Junior. Thanking God and my beautiful Linda for this precious gift.”
I was hurt that just like with the news of Linda’s pregnancy, Greg had let me find out along with the rest of the world, and even more hurt when his daily calls suddenly stopped with the arrival of the baby.
Of course I understood that he was probably preoccupied with being a new father, but surely he could find a few seconds to at least send a text saying “hi”!
However, I did not have the time to dwell over this, for I now had bigger problems to deal with than Greg’s sudden silence. For starters, although I had gone out looking for work every single morning, and had had lots of places promising to get in touch, nothing concrete had come up yet.
What made this even worse was that I suspected many of the proprietors I had approached were being hesitant because of my connection to Chris.
His excessive drinking was common knowledge, as was how temperamental he could get when it came to me, and many of them probably thought they would be putting their businesses at risk if Chris got wind of my location, which he no doubt would.
On the other hand, a few other shrewd businessmen considered the advantages of having me work for them in terms of the publicity it could generate their premises, but since I was looking to lie low at my new station, this did not work for them; so, the search continued.
I knew that the longer it took me to find work, the longer it would be before I could get C.G back, and this was my driving motivation to go out and continue the search each morning.
I missed him terribly and it did not help matters that Chris’ mother was making it harder and harder for me to see him. First, she started by grumbling about how she was sure Chris would not want to find me there, and how she did not want any problems, every time I went.
When she realised this was not deterring me, she began making my visits as uncomfortable as possible. She would watch me like a hawk as though afraid that if she turned her back for a second, C.G and I would somehow vanish into thin air.
In addition, she would complain that I was messing up C.G’s schedule and making him irritable and whiny every time I left.
This last bit hit a nerve as it was actually true.
Although C.G looked healthy and well fed, and I was certain that Chris’ mother was treating him well, he still cried and clung to me every time it was time for me to leave, and it was this that finally got me to cut down on my number of visits.