He looked round the small apartment. “Cozy.”
“It works for me.” I led him to the bedroom. “Fortunately, I have a queen bed. I think we’ll fit.”
He smiled. “We’ll make do.”
“I’m just going to wash up.”
I went into the bathroom and stared in the mirror. In a sudden and unexpected flash, my emotions overwhelmed me and I started to cry.
“Leah?” Sebastian’s voice came from the other side of the door. “You alright?”
I wanted to blame it on baby hormones, but I knew it was more than that. I opened the door and rushed to Sebastian, wanting to feel his strength around me. “I’ve never seen my father like that before.”
He let out a long sigh. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault. I… I knew he’d be surprised, maybe upset, but that… he was so…” I couldn’t find the right word.
“Give him time, Leah. Come on.” He helped me undress until I was just in my bra and underwear. “Do you have a nightgown or something?”
I grabbed a t-shirt from a folded pile on my dresser. “It’s not Sensual Delights, but it’s comfortable.”
He smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “You’d look beautiful in a potato sack.”
He tucked me into bed and then disrobed down to his briefs. He climbed into bed and pulled me to him, tucking my head on his shoulder. “Get some sleep, Leah.”
I realized this was the first time I’d ever been in a bed with Sebastian and not had sex with him. I snuggled closer, glad that he’d let me into his heart. Even so, a part of me wondered if he was regretting it.
I woke the next morning to an empty bed. Sebastian left a note that he needed to get to the office, but he didn’t want to wake me.
This week was my final week of school. I had one final today, and other one Thursday, along with a meeting to defend my thesis. On Saturday was my graduation and my father had been planning a party. I wondered if that was still on.
Not wanting to think about that now, I showered, dressed, and had some tea with toast as my stomach was unsettled. Then I studied for my exam that afternoon.
Midmorning, I got a call from Sebastian.
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay. Just studying.”
“Listen Leah, I’ve got to go back to Paris for a few days.”
“Oh.” I had to finish school and graduate, so now wasn’t a good time for me.
“I’m leaving now, and will be back late Thursday.” He was going by himself. I started to have that feeling like he was pulling away from me.
“Leah? You sure you’re alright?”
“Yes. I just have a lot going on. Will you be at my graduation Saturday?”
“I wouldn’t miss it.” There was a pause. “This might be a good time for you and your dad to reconnect.”
“Until he accepts us, we’re always going to have a problem.” The tears welled in my eyes again.
“What if that never happens, Leah? I can’t live with the idea that I’ve come between you two.”
“It’s his fault.”
“Someday you might resent me for it.”
The sadness began to turn to anger. “What are you thinking Sebastian? You going to end it again? What about the baby?”
“I’ll always be there for you and the baby.”
“But not with us? Is that what you’re saying?”
“What about what you said in LA? That you wanted to fight for what you wanted. Now I’m not worth it?”
“That’s not what I’m saying. I just think until your father comes around, we need to slow things down.”
I wanted to scream. “You think I’m a child, just like him.”
“No.” I could hear the edge in his tone.
“You both think I’m too young to know my own heart or mind. That you guys can dictate the choices in my life.”
“I’m not telling you what to do, Leah. I’m just trying to minimize the damage to your relationship with him.”
“By backing away from me? What about what I want, Sebastian? Do I get a choice in this?”
I heard a noise in the background, and Sebastian saying, “I’ll be right there.” Then his voice came back on the phone. “I’m sorry, Leah. I need to get to my plane.”
I shook my head. I wanted to scream into the phone asking him about all the promises he’d made. “Have fun in Paris.”
I hung up the phone. Immediately, I marched over to my father’s apartment, but he wasn’t in.
“I guess it’s just you and me, baby.” I returned to my place and did the best I could to put them both out of my mind and focus on finishing my studies.
I took my test that afternoon and felt good about it. I spent the rest of the day at a café studying for my Thursday exam and prepping for my thesis defense.
Feeling exhausted physically and emotionally, I turned my phone off and went to bed early.