Thanks for tuning in to Part 4 of Someone Special...I'm always glad to get such positive feedback as I have been getting so far for this story and I hope everyone continues to enjoy it. Many thanks!
Geez, Nikki wondered, had the clock always been this loud? It sounded as if every stroke was echoing through her head and a dull pain formed beneath her temples.
Every minute that passed she became more anxious, yet at the same time, relieved. Relieved to finally confront Carlos; anxious to hear the truth. She would only be fooling herself, though, to believe she did not already know. Her eyes misted over; she did not want to believe.
When their baby son was introduced to the world around a year after they had started dating, they were so happy. Blissfully happy. They believed Lucas had been sent to them as a precious gift to show that they belonged together.
Carlos had got down on one knee four weeks later and professed his love to Nikki, asking her to be his wife. She accepted, of course, with tears running down her face. Five months later, they married in a beautiful ceremony by the beach. Whilst they had many guests sharing their special day with them, Nikki and Carlos only had eyes for each other.
She had been deliriously happy that day, thankful she had met The One so early in her life and that Carlos felt the same. After their fairytale wedding, it was time to celebrate their new status as Mr and Mrs Rodriguez. Both Nikki and Carlos had previously declared their desire to visit the Eastern side of the world so it came as an easy decision to honeymoon in China - a country very rich in culture and traditions.
It was one of the best times of Nikki's life and she knew it was one of Carlos' too. Of course they had missed their baby boy desperately but they knew he was in safe hands so enjoyed their time alone together while they could. Over the next few years they settled into marriage and parenthood comfortably, with very few problems arising. Nikki knew they were the envy of couples everywhere but also knew she and Carlos got on so well because they were meant for each other. It was just before their second wedding anniversary when Carlos' career had taken off in a big way. Through a mutual friend he had met three other aspiring musicians and together they had created their band 'Energy'.
Carlos hadn't believed their luck when they were discovered by a bigwig of the music industry after only a few small time gigs. They were asked to create an album and after that, everything went crazy. It was a shock at first for Nikki to adjust to her husband's sudden fame, but she supported him every step of the way without so much as a complaint. And when their beautiful baby girl came along, five years after Lucas, neither Nikki nor Carlos could imagine a more perfect existence.
They moved into a larger, more suitable house for their growing family and it was still the house they called home today. Or was it? Floating back from her happy memories to the present day, the house suddenly felt like a sauna; it was suffocating, much too suffocating. She immediately stood and rushed outside, the breeze sweeping past her. She closed her eyes, tilted her head back and took a deep breath in.
Once she felt sure that she had enough air in her lungs, she tentatively opened her eyes. They took in the lush, green grass surrounding her, the tree leaves swaying slightly in the wind, the blue sky stretching as far and wide as the eye could see, but those images never reached her mind. All she could see was that woman - Amy - in the arms of the man she dearly loved. Her husband, the father of her precious children. "Mum? Are you ok?"
Nikki spun around quickly at the sound of Lucas' voice. He stood there watching her with a worried look on his beautiful face.
"Lou! Sorry sweetie, I didn't hear you come in," she said, rushing to hug him. "What's the time?"
"A quarter past three," he replied. "I called out when I came in."
She gave him a smile. "I was just thinking, I must have lost track of time. Come on, let's go in and find your sister." Leaving Emme with her big brother in his room, Nikki went to have a quick shower. She was meant to have had one as soon as she got home but obviously more important things were on her mind.
Washing her body thoroughly and letting the water rinse the soap suds away, she wondered why this revelation about her husband couldn't be washed down the drain just as easily. She felt refreshed in a clean set of clothes though no less queasy. The hurt, the shock, the betrayal, and the images of Carlos and Amy together couldn't be kept at bay.
Needing company and smiles, she slipped into Lucas' room where he was seated at his desk doing his homework, Emme playing contentedly beside him. Nikki reached for a book off the bookshelf and settled on the floor, pulling her daughter close. Emme smiled, recognizing her favourite book and watched the pictures intently as Nikki began to read. By the time she heard the door click open and the familiar sound of shoes rustling in the entrance, Nikki had put both Emme and Lucas to bed. Lucas had to be persuaded a little seen as it was not quite his bedtime but Nikki didn't want him to be up when she confronted Carlos. "Hi, beautiful," Carlos greeted her as he looked up to see her descending the stairs.
It took all of Nikki's composure to continue calmly, even giving him a smile, when all she wanted to do was slap his face - hard!
"Hi," she replied, unenthusiastically. "I haven't made dinner but I'm sure you can heat yourself up a can of soup. We have plenty." It didn't take long for Carlos to realise something was wrong. His usually chirpy, affectionate wife had been replaced by someone he didn't recognize.
"Are you okay?" he asked cautiously.
One of her eyebrows arched. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Oh...ok, good." Carlos was now confused, unsure of where this was going. "So, how was your day?" Great, Nikki thought sarcastically, just brilliant. "As a matter of fact, I got a visitor today who shared some interesting news with me."
She searched his face for something - anything - that would give him away immediately. Realisation, guilt, maybe even regret, but his face showed no signs of anything remotely along those lines.
"And who and what news may that be?" Carlos could feel her eyes penetrating him, making him eager to find out the news which had been passed on to her today. He was sure that whatever it was, was the reason behind her strange behaviour.
Suddenly a thought hit him hard and fast. No, that couldn't be it, he told himself, she couldn't have found out.
"The visitor happened to be the same young woman who came to our house asking for you a couple of weeks back," Nikki stated, matter-of-factly. "This time I discovered her name - Amy. That name ring any bells?" Ah, there it was was. Realisation dawned over his face and it was then that Nikki knew for certain - her husband had betrayed his family in the most selfish and cowardly way possible.
"That's what I thought," Nikki murmured, barely above a whisper. Carlos tried to meet her gaze but she looked away just as he noticed moisture gathering in her eyes.
"Oh, Nikki...Nikki, please...let me explain," he said, reaching for her hand.
She snatched it away. "What is there to explain, Carlos? You've been sleeping with this woman for who knows how long and looked me in the eye when you lied about knowing her," Nikki said angrily, but there was no mistaking the hurt in her voice. "There's no excuse for betraying me and my trust, and especially for betraying our children. We weren't even worth a second thought, were we?" He flinched at her comment, making it obvious she had struck a nerve.
"How could you say that, Nikki? You know you and the kids mean the world to me! This whole thing was stupid of me and I honestly don't know what I was thinking." His eyes pleaded with hers. "I really can't express how sorry I am and I don't expect to get away with a simple sorry, but please, give me another chance." Nikki watched her husband for a long while, knowing the silence would unnerve him. Finally she spoke.
"Don't take me as a fool," she said quietly. "Tell me why you had to resort to another woman. Don't I satisfy you? Are you bored? And how long have you been going behind my back?"
His gaze never left hers. "No, don't ever think you didn't satisfy me. You always have, I guess I was just being selfish. I never wanted to hurt you and the kids, please believe me. I love you so much despite what you may be thinking."
"How long?" she repeated.
"About six months," he replied, quieter this time. As Nikki turned her back to him, Carlos said a silent prayer. She had to give him another chance, she just had to - didn't she?
He had been ignorant to think she would never find out about his affair but excitement had clouded his common sense. He was more sorry than she could ever imagine but was his regret enough? Could their marriage endure her hurt and loss of trust? Only she could be the judge. "I want you to go."
Her voice was so soft, Carlos thought he had heard wrong. Surely he had been mistaken.
"Go, Carlos," she repeated, louder this time. "I want you to go."
His eyes widened in shock. "But - "
"No buts!" Nikki yelled as loud as she could without waking the children. "Please - just go. I don't want you here right now and I need time to think. Respect me enough to give me that." He wasn't completely shocked, this was a scenario he had imagined could happen. All the same, he couldn't believe it was actually happening. Nikki had asked him to leave...she needed time to think.
"You're sure?" he asked.
"Positive." He hesitated for a moment, about to say something before he realised better of it. He turned and walked out the door, defeated.
Nikki's back was still turned when the door clicked shut and emptiness resonated throughout the room. She could no longer control the tears filling her eyes and they streamed down her face. She felt a sharp pain in her chest as if her heart was splitting in two. How had it come to this, she asked herself. How had it happened that she was crying alone, her husband gone? She didn't know but she dragged herself up the stairs and into her bed, not bothering to slip into her pajamas. Her eyes felt swollen already and she couldn't say when she drifted off to sleep, only that her cheek would have still been moist with tears when she did so...
Someone Special - Part 4
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