“You don’t want to fix your relationship with him?”
“Not anymore. There’s only so much I’m willing to let someone stomp on me, Leah. I’ve hit my threshold.”
He turned back to look out over the city. He was going to stand firm on this. I couldn’t blame him, but it made me profoundly sad that my child’s father and grandfather would always dislike each other. I didn’t bother holding back the tears.
“Don’t Leah. Don’t try to manipulate me by crying. It won’t work. Not this time.”
His words hurt and made me angry. “I’m not trying to manipulate you. I’m sad, Sebastian. Sad for you and my dad, and even more so for our baby.” I stared at him, wishing I could shake sense into him. “The two of you act like I’m some little naïve, inexperienced waif who doesn’t understand life, but the truth is your age and experience has made you both big immature pussies.”
His eyes flared with heat. “Go tell him that. I’d love to see his reaction.”
“For that to happen, you’d have to be there when I said it to him, and it sounds like you’re not coming with me to dinner.”
His jaw tensed. “Not tonight, I’m not.” He walked past me, into the apartment.
I knew my father was the source of my problem, but in that moment, I was angry at Sebastian for giving up. Apparently his “fuck ’em” attitude was now how he thought about trying to mend things with my father.
I wiped my tears and went back inside too. I went to the bathroom to clean up, and a few minutes later I headed to dinner at my father’s place.
“Sebastian abandoned you?” My father quipped when he opened the door and saw me standing alone.
Something broke inside me. “No, dad, you abandoned Sebastian.” I turned around and started back to the elevator.
“Leah! Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.” I pushed the down button. I wasn’t going back to my place only to have Sebastian gloat at how right he was about my dad. But I wasn’t going to have dinner with my father if was going to continue to be a jerk.
“Leah, honey,” Karen came to the door. “Your father is sorry.”
“No, he’s not.” I looked at him. “You know I could be a bitch about your finding love again after mom, but I care about your happiness. You, on the other hand, don’t give a fuck about me or my baby enough to make peace with Sebastian.”
My father’s eyes widened in shock, although I wasn’t sure if it was in response to what I was saying or that I’d used the F-word. “That’s not true. I’ve been very civil.”
“No, you haven’t. And he’s tired of it.”
My father looked to Karen for support.
“You really haven’t been very civil toward him.”
My father’s face tensed, clearly not liking that she was on my side.
“And she’s right. She’s been very supportive of us because she loves you.”
“You’re a good person,” my father said to her.
Karen shook her head at him. “Sebastian is a good person too. The man has moved into the same building, despite the way you treat him, just so you can be near Leah and the baby. He makes her happy. She loves him. That should be enough.”
The elevator finally arrived.
My father sighed. “Leah, come back for dinner.”
“I’m not hungry. Thank you, Karen, for your support.” I stepped inside and pushed the button to close the door. If I was lucky, Karen’s words would sink in with my father. But I wasn’t going to hold my breath.
I stepped out on to the New York street and started walking without any thought to where I’d go. Within a few minutes, my phone was ringing and beeping with calls and texts from Sebastian. I suspected Karen told him I’d left, and he was wondering where I was. I knew I should let him know I was okay, but I was tired of being in the middle of these two pig-headed men, so I ignored the calls.
Instead, I walked, taking in the shops and people I passed. When I came to a tea room, I stopped in having some tea and a scone. It wasn’t a healthy dinner, and I made a note to have something healthier when I got home.
I didn’t pay attention to the time, so I was surprised when I arrived home to find Sebastian in a tizzy.
“Where the fuck were you Leah? You scared the shit out of me.”
He stood with his hands on his hips like my dad used to do when he was punishing me. “For three hours?”
I didn’t want to fight again, so I headed to the bedroom. “I didn’t realize how long I was gone.”
He followed me. “Why didn’t you respond to my calls?”
I undressed and pulled out a t-shirt to wear to bed. “I didn’t want to talk to you.”