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   Chapter 2 - the escape

Accidental Pregnancy By Saiyidah Rahman Characters: 14014

Updated: 2018-03-22 12:24


Harry Reynolds looked down at the box that he had reflexively grabbed and frowned. Then his eyes went to the blonde woman who was running down the hallway, her hands covering her mouth, her other arm across her stomach. She looked very much like a teenage girl racing away after confessing her "love" to her crush; he was very familiar with that imagery since he had to endure such situations during middle school and high school. The reminder was bittersweet and his lips lifted up slightly. But the smile faded as he recalled the meeting he was running late for.

"Let me take that, Mr Reynolds, "his assistant, Aksa Walker, said, her hands outstretched. He nodded and was about to hand over the box when something in it caught his attention. Pulling the box back to his chest, he took out the picture frame that was revealed when some paper got dislodged over it. What caught his attention was the subject in the photograph. "Sir, do you want me to let them know you will be running late?"

Nodding, he was faintly aware when Aksa moved slightly away to make the call but he knew they would wait for him. All of his attention was on the photo. It contained two woman standing in a park, one had honey blonde hair and bright azure eyes while the other had sandy blonde hair with deep bottle-green eyes. Both of them were smiling into the camera and at the bottom righthand corner, it was written, "Just wanted to remind you the first time we met -Gail".

Pulling out the frame, he felt like the rug was pulled from under his feet. It was her. His eyes absently took all of these in but they were focused on the sandy-haired woman. Her gently-sloped brows and wide lips. Her bangs, her button nose. The dimple on her right cheek. He knew her. He'd recognise her anywhere. Holding the box with one hand, he took out the photo and passed the box to Aksa when she returned to his side. Looking down the hall, he felt so confused.

He hadn't had any contact with her for four months and when they had met, she didn't know who he was. Not really. She got to know the side that he never showed anyone but not the side of him that everyone knew. It had been refreshing to get to know someone who had no preconceived notions about him so he had let down his guard. And the woman he had known was charming and awkward and adorable. And so oblivious.

So why did she pass him this box? With this photo? Was she subtly reminding him of her presence, making him remember their time together? Not that he had forgotten but she was shy so this could be her way of getting his attention. But his mind returned to the why. Why would she want to play this game? If he was going with his earlier imagery, this could be a bid to confess her feelings. Like a prepubescent girl in middle school. But why this photo?

"Mr Reynolds, are you alright? Do you want me to take the photograph?"

Aksa's voice made him return to the present and her question about the photograph made him clutch it to his side, slightly to the back and away from her. He didn't want her or anyone to know about Elena just yet. The way she was looking at him made him realise that he had been looking at the photograph for the past five minutes. A bit too long for most social conventions.

Standing straighter, he inclined his head to her. "I am fine, Ms Walker. What did they say about the meeting? I hope they can spare me a bit more time. Something had cropped up."

"They said they'd push back the meeting until two thirty but I don't understand. What could have cropped up in the last five minutes? Was it something I overlooked? Does it have something with the picture-"

"That's good. Let them know I will be there. Why don't you go back to the office? And bring the box with you."

Even as he strode down the hall, Harry knew his secretary was confused about his sudden change in behavior. He who had been all about work and his predictable slew of women. He who liked schedules and hated any deviations. He who was even now chasing after woman who had been in his mind since the moment he had left her.

He had been hesitant about how to approach her since the moment he knew he needed to leave. They had had such a good time and she had changed so much of him. She had made him question his view on the world. Had made him remember the boy he used to be and the man he wanted to become. Had made him want to change. The time he had spent with her had been too short and he wanted more but how did he reveal all sides of him without losing her? Without scaring her away?

He had been playing different scenarios in his head every time he was reminded of her. Which was everyday because every morning, he would bring up her file and look at her picture. Admittedly, her photo in her file was not the most flattering as she was not wearing any makeup and her blemishes were highlighted by the flash camera but that only reminded him of her obliviousness. And the fact that she was proficient enough with makeup even though she did not find the need to put it on everyday. He had tried to stop, realizing how it could be misconstrued as an abuse of power and stalking. But he couldn't. She helped him get through the day, especially the bad ones and he needed that.

Other women did not interest him. As much as he wanted her, he didn't like the control she had over him. So he had tried dating other women in a bid to get her out of his head. But that had backfired. He couldn't endure their touches. He had tried to kiss them, had gone so far as to get them out of their clothes. But even though his body was responding to the stimulus, he couldn't go through with it. He would always end it after a heavy make out session. So either he left or made a incendiary remark that would make the woman leave. Some part of him didn't want to soil the memory he had with her.

And, yet, that same part of him was so scared of approaching her.

But this, now, the box, was a sign. He had to stop being so afraid of her reaction. If they were to ever have more, as he wanted, she needed to know everything about him. Feeling his heart speeding up, he slowed down. He knew she would be in her office. He just needed to find a way to make him be known to her. Without making her run away.

This was easy, he told himself even as his stomach churned. He would definitely come up with something.

Definitely.

-----@@@@----

Stumbling out of the washroom, Elena blearily made her way down the hall again. That had been the worse bout in her second trimester so far. She wondered what had set it off but her mind was too tired to even go along that train of thought. She just wanted to get back without stopping and sleep until either hunger or nausea woke her up again.

Nearing where she had stopped earlier, she was surprised to see someone holding a box. She slowed down. The box looked familiar. Was it her box? It couldn't be. Why would the person keep holding her box? She had resigned herself to leaving witho

ut it. And she had felt sad, losing one of the mementos from Gail. They didn't have much photos together, Elena was just not that type of person, so she treasured the few that they had. Even now, thinking about the lost photograph, she was finding it hard to hold back her tears.

But, as she approached the woman and examined the box she was holding, she hesitated. The box really did look like her box. She was almost conclusive that it was hers. Only, didn't she pass her box to a man? He could have passed it to this woman. Yet, did she want to chance being wrong? On the other hand, did she want to let that memory go without even checking? She owed it to Gail and her unborn baby to try. How was she going to teach her baby to be brave when she, herself, was a chicken?

Right.

She squared her shoulders and approached the woman. The African American woman had skin of dark chocolate, a beautiful, rich color, unlike her own pasty milk with a dash of cream thrown into it skin. And though she was petite, with a small face and delicate features, she had an air of authority. Her eyes, a pale gray, were practically boring into Elena as they watched her approach. They almost scared her off. Only the reminder that her baby needed a good role model, even when he was still in her, made her continue. So, stopping in front of the woman, she gathered her courage.

"H-hi. Um, can I know if that is my box?"Elena asked, unable to meet the eyes. She hated how she stammered but was just glad that she was able to get the words out. Those piercing eyes were scary.

"If you have to ask, that has to mean yes. I mean how many employees are carrying boxes full of their stuff around?"

Elena was shocked. And mad. Her pregnancy made her emotions swing from one extreme to the other and now, her fear was melting under the fire of her rage. Her green eyes connected with the metallic eyes and she refused to look away. She hadn't expected the snotty response but now that her anger was engaged, she refused to back down. The tiny flutter in her abdomen area agreed with her and she drew strength from it, her hand absently rubbing the area. Letting out a silent breath, she took the box from the woman's arms.

"Thanks for waiting. Appreciate it, "Elena bit out. The woman smirked and she knew that that was the end of it. They eyes disconnected at the same time and Elena's eyes reflexively went to the box. That was when she noticed something missing. Grabbing the woman's arm before she could leave, she asked frantically, "Wait. Where's my picture?"

"Mr Reynolds took it, "the woman answered, her voice rife with irritation.

"Wh-what? Why would he take it?" Elena couldn't stop the tears from coming to her eyes and flowing down her cheeks. Just when she had thought she had everything, something would come and prove her wrong. The tears came down even faster. "That's my picture. And it's GONE!"

"What- Stop crying, "the woman said, her arm coming around Elena. She handed Elena a tissue she had fished out of her pocket.Not caring if it was used or not, Elena began to dab at her cheeks and eyes.

"I-I can't. It's the hormones. And I am so sad. I was so mad and now, I'm so sad. My p-picture. It's gone, "she babbled. Frankly, she was surprised at how she was behaving. This was the first breakdown she had experienced since she had conceived. She hadn't even broken down when she found out about her pregnancy. She knew the hormones were supposed to mess with her emotions but the worse she had ever felt was anger and rage. Not this watering pot stage.

"You're pregnant?" The incredulity in the woman's voice snapped her out of her tear.

"Y-yes. Isn't it obvious?"she bit out, her mood shifting to anger. She glared at the woman and, for once, realised, that they were almost of the same height, It was refreshing. She always had to look up to most people so she appreciated not doing so. Realising how she was behaving, remorse replaced her anger. "I'm sorry. My emotions are all over the place."

"It's fine. Let me tell you, I've experienced worse, "the woman said, her demeanor relaxing. And what a difference it made. The rather sombre air about her lightened and her face was brighter. As if she had let out her own inner light. "My sister was bad. Even worse than you. She'd developed a habit of throwing things around when she was pregnant and mad. I remembered she was throwing everything in her purse this one time in the post office. I don't even know what she was angry about but it was so funny. Not then, though. She had been directing her anger at me."

Elena laughed along with the woman and they shared a conciliatory look.

"How far along are you?"

"I've just reached four months. A month into my second trimester, "Elena responded, her hand instinctively smoothing over her tiny baby bump. It was nice talking about her pregnancy with someone else. She had only ever talked about her pregnancy with Gail and her best friend was just as clueless as her about her growing fetus. "I love how it's progressing but I could do without the nausea. I've heard about women who stop throwing up by now but mine is not going away"

"What? That's rough. My sister and mom didn't have any morning sickness so I'm hoping I won't suffer through it when I ever decide to have kids."

"You're lucky. Just like my mother and grandmother. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one in my family who is suffering through this."

"You poor dear. You seemed to have drawn the short stick." Commiserating with her, the woman appeared to be reminded about the time when she suddenly received a call. "I'm so sorry but this is urgent."

"Oh yeah. Thanks again for waiting, "Elena said, bringing up the box in her arms slightly.

"I think you'd have to thank Mr Reynolds. I was going to throw it away but he told me to bring it to his office."

"M-Mr Reynolds?" Elena gulped, feeling her eyes widening. The CEO? She had passed the box to the CEO? A man who had a reputation for not having much patience? She was surprised he hadn't chased her after she had dropped the box in his arms. She had better leave before he decided to return. Bidding the woman farewell, she finally reached the elevators.

And during her trip to the lobby, she realised two things. One was that she hadn't asked for the woman's name. She wished she had. She would have liked to look her up again. Maybe meet her for lunch or coffee, even though she couldn't drink it. It would be nice to talk to her again. Sighing, she placed her box in the trunk and got in.

And secondly, as she started her car, she realised that her baby had moved. When she had been ready to confront the woman, her baby had moved. Barely able to contain her excitement, she waited for another flutter. Hoping so hard she could almost cry.

And when she felt it again, she could hardly hold back the squeal.

AN: Hey guys. Hope you like the chapter. Please VOTE and COMMENT if you did. THANKS!!!

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