Thanks Cookielog for the feedback, glad you enjoyed chapter four, and thanks to Hubby for the edit.
“Listen, Megan, I’ve been doing some thinking since we last talked. I still stand by what I said about supporting you, but there’s a few things I need to get off my chest. I think it might be best for both of us, and the baby, if we did a paternity test as soon as possible.”
I blinked rapidly, as a cold feeling settled in my chest. Had I heard correctly? The tingling in my chest was replaced by heat flashing through my body, as my heart pounded.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, before carefully controlling the tone of my voice.
“You know what, Kian, forget it. If you want to be an arsehole and question whether this baby is yours or not, then you can get stuffed. I’ll just raise the baby on my own, and you can be done with it. There, are you happy now? Problem solved.”
I ended the call, switched my phone off, threw it on the floor, and then buried my head in the nearest cushion. My eyes burned as tears threatened to spill.
I lay in silence as the flat around me darkened and evening drew in. Eventually, nature got the better of me, and I got up to use the loo. Wiping the mascara-tinted tracks from my cheeks, I gulped down a glass of water, and walked to the kitchen. Wrapping my arms around myself, I peered into the cupboards, hoping they’d have the answers to the millions of questions swirling around in my head. They didn’t, but I did find a packet of chocolate-covered digestive biscuits. I made myself a cuppa and headed back to the living room with it and the biscuits, switching the TV on before settling on the sofa. Hopefully an evening of watching mindless crap on telly would take my mind off what Kian had said. I didn’t want to keep replaying his words in my head. The tone of his voice made my body feel empty and cold.
The distraction worked for a little while, but when it was time for bed, the conversation repeated in a loop, like a CD skipping.
I’ll just raise the baby on my own, and you can be done with it.
Could I really do that? I knew plenty of women had babies without partners, and I had my parents to help, but was it enough? I didn’t know the first thing about babies, but that hadn’t mattered when it was me and Kian doing it together. We were both new at this, and could teach each other along the way.
When we went to the doctors, he’d been so concerned about making sure I didn’t eat anything that could harm the baby.
A tear leaked down my cheek, and I wiped it away furiously. I’d let him get to me…
I managed a few fitful hours of sleep, but not enough to feel rested when my alarm went off at seven a.m. I wanted nothing more than to pull the quilt up over my head, and hide from the world. Too bad I had uni.
I arrived on campus half an hour before my first lecture, to find Stacey pulling into the parking space adjacent to me.
“Hey,” she said, smiling broadly as she locked the car. “Fancy grabbing a coffee before class? It feels like ages since I’ve seen you.”
In reality it’d been about a week, but in Stacey’s world, that was forever. “Sure.”
After ordering what the campus canteen claimed were ‘low-fat’ lattes, we settled at an available table. Stacey peered at me over the rim of her mug, with a mischievous grin on her face that told me she was up to something.
“Josh’s taking me out for dinner later with some of his training buddies. You should come, you know.”
“I don’t know, Stacey. I’m kind of tired and just want to spend the weekend resting before a new week starts.” It was half true, but my real worry was that Kian would be there. I just couldn’t tell her that.
“Oh, come on. You haven’t been out for so long.”
Yeah, because I’m really going to be a bundle of laughs when I have to stick to orange juice.
Again, not something I could admit to Stacey, and I was fast running out of excuses.
“I dunno … I’ve got nothing to wear, and I’m taking these tablets, which means I can’t drink.”
“You could act as the designated driver.” She batted her eyelashes in that way she did, and I knew I was losing the fight.
“Great, so you want me to come just so you’ve got a ride home later?” The tone of my voice came out harder than I’d intended.
Stacey blinked at me. “Meg, chill. I was only joking. I want you to come because you’re my best friend, and I want you to get to know my boyfriend.”
“I know, and I’m sorry, it’s just-” I could feel the tears stinging the back of my eyes, and I took a swig of my drink to stop myself from crying. I opened my mouth to speak, and then wondered what exactly I should tell her. Should I mention the pregnancy? How about the phone call with Kian?
I knew I’d have to tell her about the baby eventually, but I wasn’t sure I could face everything else yet. So, instead of saying anything, I sat there gaping at her.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes … no … I don’t know.”
“Listen. I know I’ve been distracted recently, but I’m always here for you. You can tell me anything, you know that, right?”
I looked up from my drink and smiled. No matter how boy-crazy Stacey got, I knew I could always count on her. I had to tell her.
“Everything is such a mess. Graduation is getting closer, and I still haven’t found a design job. My savings aren’t as much as I’d hoped, and-” I paused, wondering if I should go on. My words to Kian the previous night echoed in my mind. I’ll just raise the baby on my own, and you can be done with it. “And I’ve got to do everything by myself. It’s too much.” The tears started falling no matter how hard I willed them not to.
“Hey, hey. What’s up? Graduating is freaking me out too, but this isn’t like you, Meg. You’re the strong one. Has something happened?”
“Stace, I’ve messed up, bad, and I don’t know if I’ve done the right thing. I don’t know if I’m ready.”
“Ready to graduate? Of course you are. Is this about not having a job yet? Because something will turn up.”
“It’s more than that, it’s … I’m … I’m pregnant.”
“Holy shit. How? When?”
“I’m quite sure you don’t need the how, and I’m about eight weeks along.”
“But you’re not even seeing anyone. Wait, do you have a secret boyfriend you haven’t told me about?”
“No. It was a one-night thing. A mistake. The father isn’t in the picture.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. You told him?”
“Yeah, and he said he wants nothing to do with me or the baby.”
As soon as the lie left my mouth, I felt guilty. But it was easier this way. If I told Stacey any more details than that, she’d hound me until she got the full story. I didn’t want to go there, especially as Josh and Kian were training buddies.
“Tosser,” Stacey said vehemently. “Want me to kick his ass?”
I laughed through the tears, at not only Stacey’s offer, but imagining her trying to beat Kian up. Stacey was tall and slender, but even in heels she’d be no match for an MMA fighter.
“Do you parents know?”
“Yeah, I’ve told them. Mum was shocked at first, but she’s come round. Dad’s over the moon.”
“That’s great they’re supporting you, and you know I’ll help in any way I can.”
“Thanks, but what if it’s not enough? What if I’m not a good mum?”
“You’ll be a great mum.”
“That’s easy for you to say. You haven’t got someone else’s life in your hands. I’m scared, Stace. What if I mess this up? There’s no ‘undo’ button with a baby. And don’t even get me started on how I’m going to afford it.” Now that I’d uncorked my worries, they didn’t want to stop, and I spilled out almost everything that’d kept me awake the night before. “Do you know how much stuff a baby needs? There’s clothes, and nappies, a cot and a pushchair. Then I’ll have to decide if I’m going to breastfeed or not. Not to mention writing a birthing plan. And that’s just in the first few years.”
Stacey stood up from the table, and came around to my side, so she was standing behind me. She wrapped her arms around me, and rested her chin on my head. “It’ll be okay, we’ll figure all this out.”
“What would I do without you?” I sniffled and wiped my eyes on my sleeves. “I guess I’m a little over emotional today. I didn’t sleep well last night.”
“Why don’t you head home? I’ll cover for you.”
“Yeah, I think I might. Thanks.”
“Anytime, honey. You know that.” Stacey returned to her seat as I finished off my drink, and slipped my jacket on. “Want me to come round later with some ice-cream and a movie?”
“I thought you had plans with Josh.”
“Josh-smosh, you’re more important.”
“But you said you wanted me to meet him?”
“I do, but right now you need some BFF time.”
I considered Stacey’s offer, and realised if I took her up on it, we’d probably spend all night talking about the baby. Maybe I needed was a distraction? A night away from my worries? It had been a while since I’d had a night out, and once the baby was born, there was even less chance of me getting away for a few hours. Plus, I couldn’t deny the fact it really would be nice to have a break from everything, and to be able to just kick back, relax and have a good time.
“Actually, what I need is not to think about all this for a while. I’ll come out for a meal with you. But I won’t be stopping late, okay?”
“No probs. Josh has got an early training session in the morning anyway, so we’ll only be going for a few hours.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
When Stacey headed to class, I made my way home, determined to get my head sorted out before that evening so I could enjoy hanging out for a few hours.
Now that I was nearing the end of the first trimester, the morning sickness had begun to ease off, and I found myself feeling more energetic. I spent the day making sure I was up to date with uni work, and called the café to see if I could get a couple of extra shifts to bolster my savings.
My original plan had been to travel Europe on a backpacking trip when I graduated, but that was out of the question now. Oddly, the thought didn’t bother me too much. I knew I’d travel eventually, only it would be with my kid, and that thought filled me with excitement. I imagined all the sights I could show the little one, and the amazing experiences we could share.
I also started hunting for a new job, acutely aware my time at uni would soon be up. While there was nothing on offer in terms of design work, I did manage to secure a couple of interviews for waitressing positions. I did wonder if I’d even get accepted for any of these positions once they knew I was pregnant.
After lunch, I began making a list of all the things I needed for the baby. I figured if I had everything laid out in front of me, that’d help me budget my saving better. As the list of things piled up, I began to realise my flat just wasn’t going to be big enough. There wasn’t any question about remaining in the West Midlands, especially now Kian wouldn’t be involved, and I wanted to remain close to my parents. I browsed the local estate agent’s website and bookmarked four prospective properties in the area Mum and Dad lived, the most promising of which was just a few streets over from their house.
That evening, when I arrived at Stacey’s she made us both a drink, cocktails and their virgin counterparts, while I sorted through the clothes I’d brought with me, and we began getting ready. When I stepped out of the bathroom wearing a sage green diamanté encrusted top, dark boot-cut cords and a pair of kitten heel sling-backs, Stacey beamed at me.
“I know everyone says pregnant women glow, but honestly babe, you really do look beautiful.”
“Thanks,” I replied with a smile of my own, as I appraised Stacey’s outfit. “So do you. You’re going to knock Josh’s socks off in that dress.”
She was wearing a zebra print mini dress, which complimented her tanned complexion perfectly, and was accessorized with a bright pink waist cinching belt, and matching skyscraper heels.
With a grin, Stacey applied a coat of lip gloss and then said, “I hope so. It feels like forever since we last saw each other.”
Finally ready, we grabbed our jackets and handbags, before heading to my car and driving across town to the restaurant where we were meeting Josh and his friends. As we entered, adrenaline rushed through my body, causing a tingling sensation in my arms and legs. This was the first time since finding out I was pregnant that I’d been on a night out, and the chance to socialize made my heart race. We made our way across the crowded restaurant to where Josh was sitting with a group of friends.
The prospect of Kian being there flashed through my mind so I scanned the area for him. Thankfully, I didn’t spot him, and instead my gaze fell on a tanned dark-haired man, who was chatting animatedly to the woman sitting next to him. He looked strangely familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d seen him before.
Introductions were made all round, and as I sat down beside Stacey, who had Josh to her left, it was then that the familiar-looking guy spoke to me.
“Hello, I’m Davi, and this is my wife Emilia.” He paused, and both of them looked at me curiously for a moment. “Good to meet you.”
“You too,” I said, flashing them a smile, while trying to place why I recognized his name.
We chatted happily about trivial things; like work, the music playing in the background, and what looked good from the menu. No one seemed to notice I was pregnant, or if they did, they’d decided not to mention it. Unless of course they had seen the little bump, and assumed I was just podgy.
I was just starting to feel at ease when I smelt aftershave so familiar it made my palms sweat, and I almost dropped my glass of orange juice. I’d recognise that aroma anywhere because it was his, and I swivelled in my chair to see Kian approaching.
“Sorry I took so long guys, the traffic was hell,” he said, not even noticing I was there.
Everyone said it was fine and that we hadn’t ordered yet, but that didn’t stop me from noticing the glance Davi shot at Kian, or the way Emilia looked at me, as though expecting me to start screaming at any second. Kian still didn’t acknowledge my presence, and it wasn’t until he finally sat down that he made eye contact with me. As his piercing blue eyes lock with mine, my heart raced, and despite everything I’d thought and said about him since our last conversation, my knees went weak. It was one thing to hate his guts when he was miles away and on the other end of a phone. But being faced with the reality was much different.
Trying to pretend like he wasn’t there, I turned and joined in the conversation Stacey and Josh were having about how uni was going, all the while still aware of Kian’s eyes boring into me. When we’d last spoken, we’d both made it perfectly clear where we stood, and nothing much had changed since then. I wasn’t about to back down and give in to his request for a paternity test simply because he was the baby’s father, and I assumed he wouldn’t speak to me again until he got his own way. We were at a stalemate; both of us too convinced the other one was wrong to resolve the situation.
The waiter took our orders, our starters arrived, and still Kian and I hadn’t spoken a word to each other. Although that didn’t stop the glances that passed between us, or prevent the others gathered around our table from looking from him to me curiously, as though expecting the tension to explode at any second.
When Josh went to get another round of drinks, and Kian headed to the bathroom, Stacey turned to me and hissed in my ear, “Okay, what’s your problem with Kian? The two of you have been shooting daggers at each other all night.”
“Nothing. I’ve never even spoken to the guy.”
“You’re not fooling me, Meg. I can see something went on. Everyone can. Even Josh asked me if something was up.”
Knowing it was no use lying to my friend, when apparently everyone was aware of the tension, I sighed then whispered, “Okay, I’ll tell you, but not here, all right? It’s not something I want to discuss in public.”
Stacey nodded, seemingly appeased by my answer, and then turned her attention to Josh, who had just returned. But a few seconds later, she stopped mid-sentence and turned to me with a shocked expression on her face.
“He’s the baby’s dad, isn’t he?”
“What the hell?” I stuttered in reply, having no idea how to either deny or confirm her claim.
“Josh just told me that Kian said you two hooked up on the night they were at O’Neil’s,” Stacey said, and I cursed the fact that apparently the guys in the locker-room gossiped. “And well, that was almost two months ago, which according to how far along you are, is when you got pregnant.”
My stomach sank, and my eyes dropped to the floor. If she’d figured this much out already, there really was no point in lying anymore.
“Okay, he is, all right? But please, can we discuss this later.”
“But wait ... didn’t you say the baby’s father had acted like a jerk and wanted nothing to do with you?”
The second the words left her mouth, time seemed to move in slow motion.
I was about to reply when Kian came back from the bathroom. The music moved to a new track - so there was a moment of silence - and everyone around the table heard what Stacey had just said.
“I ... erm ... well...” I stuttered, having no idea what to say next.
Feeling five pairs of eyes watching me, my face flushed and I jumped up from the table. I didn’t know where I was headed, simply that I needed to get away from everyone and clear my head. Once I’d calmed down a little, I made my way to the bathroom and splashed some cool water on my face. I seriously considered going home there-and-then, having faith Josh would make sure Stacey got home safely, and the only thing that stopped me was the fact my handbag and jacket were still at the table. Instead I decided to grab my belongings as quickly as possible and then get the hell out of there.
As I pushed open the bathroom door, I realised that just wasn’t going to happen. Standing in the hallway, waiting for me to come out was Kian, and by the look on his face, he was seriously pissed off.
His blue eyes were much colder than I’d ever seen them before, and he was radiating an aura of unmasked tension.
“So, this is your game, is it? Showing up when I’m hanging out with my friends and telling them the father of your baby is an ass.”
“How dare you?” My eyes narrowed as my voice dropped to a low hiss. “It isn’t like that and you know it.”
“Do I? You call me up randomly, claiming you’re pregnant with my baby, but with no proof it’s mine. Then, when I ask you for a paternity test, so I can know for sure, you tell me to get screwed. And now you have the cheek to make out like I’m the bad guy in all of this?”
“How the hell did you expect me to react? Every time I’ve spoken to you about the pregnancy, your reaction changes. First you wouldn’t believe me until I’d had it confirmed by a doctor, then you’re calling up to apologize for acting like a dick and offering to support me, only for you to backtrack a couple of days later and say you want a paternity test. From where I’m standing, it seems like you were just looking for an easy way out.” My voice went cold. I was sick of him and his shit. “Well, you’ve got it now. If you can’t take me at my word and believe the baby really is yours, then you can get screwed. I’ll raise this baby without you. We don’t need you. In fact, we’re better off without you anyway.”
Kian silently contemplated me for a few seconds, and I didn’t have a clue what he was thinking. His face was impassive, holding no sign of emotion.
A moment later, his lips formed a thin line and he said, “Fine, forget it. It’s not like I wanted to be a part of the baby’s life anyway. You raise the damn child alone. I don’t give a fuck.”
Without giving me a chance to say anything else, he turned and stormed out of the restaurant.
As I watched his retreating form, my hands trembled and my heart thundered in my chest.
Argh! Fucking idiot. He never wanted this baby. It’s a good job I’m shot of him. This is best for all of us.
Only, if it really was for the best, why did my heart ache so much, and why did I secretly hope he’d reappear at any second?
Knowing it wasn’t doing me or the baby any good to stand there, dwelling on everything that had happened, and that I’d be a lot better off getting home and then forgetting I’d ever spoken to Kian, I made my way across the restaurant, and back to our table.
When I reached it, Stacey and Josh were speaking in hushed whispers, Davi had disappeared, and Emilia was sitting with my jacket and purse in her arms.
“C’mon, let’s go. We’ll get you a glass of water and some fresh air,” she said kindly, rising from her seat and passing me my jacket.
In bewildered silence, I took my belongings from her, then followed as she led me across the restaurant, to a quieter area, which had patio doors opening out onto a small garden.
We made our way outside, and I sat down on one of the wooden benches. Emilia disappeared and returned a few minutes later with two glasses of water.
“It’s too hot in there, isn’t it?” she said, as though nothing else had happened and we were just out here for a breather.
“Erm ... yeah ... it is.” I figured there was no point beating around the bush. “Listen, I don’t mean to sound rude, but why have you brought me out here? We hardly know each other.”
She gave me a reassuring smile. “That’s exactly my point. Davi’s told me about Kian being the father of your baby, and I assume by the look on your face when you came back just now that the two of you had some sort of fight. You need someone to talk to and get whatever this problem is off your chest. Perhaps talking to someone you don’t know and who isn’t directly related to the situation will be easier for you. That way, you’re not just going to be told exactly what you want to hear. If you’re willing, I’ll listen to whatever you’ve got to say, and give you my opinion if you want it.”
“Aren’t you just going to defend Kian because he’s your husband’s friend?”
“Actually, no. I love Davi and I’ll always stand by him, but that doesn’t mean I have to like his friends. Kian and I have never seen eye to eye, to be honest. I’m just here because I see a girl in need of a friendly ear, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t help someone when they needed it.”
I took a sip of my water as I considered how much to tell her. “What else has Davi told you about me and Kian? Did he mention that Kian asked for a paternity test and I told him to get stuffed?”
“No, he hasn’t. Is that what you fought about earlier?”
“Yeah, pretty much. We haven’t spoken since he asked for the paternity test and I didn’t know he was going to be here tonight. When he heard what I’d said about him to Stacey, he got pissed off and followed me to the bathroom.”
“What did he say to you? He didn’t hurt you or threaten you did he?”
The question alarmed me, and I remember what Kian had told me about breaking that guy’s arm. Was going off at women something Kian was known for? “No! Of course not. Is there a chance he could have done that, then?”
“No, no, don’t worry. Kian has never laid a hand on a woman and nor would he.”
I let out a long sigh “Well, that’s something at least. But is he always this much of a jerk?”
Emilia let out an amused laugh and nodded her head. “I don’t want to taint your opinion of him, but yeah, I do think it wouldn’t hurt if he grew up a bit.”
“So, you think I’m doing the right thing by saying I don’t want him involved in the baby’s life?”
“Actually, I’m not too sure about that. I don’t have kids myself, so I’ve never been in your position. But when I see Davi with his daughters, it makes me think that no man should be denied the right to be a part of their child’s life.”
“But he said he didn’t want to be involved in the baby’s life anyway.”
“From everything he’s told Davi, it actually sounds like he wants to take responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to becoming a father. Maybe he just said that he doesn’t want to be a part of the baby’s life because you hurt him?”
“I hurt him?” My voice came out as a high pitched squeak. “How about what he said to me? Wouldn’t you be hurt if someone questioned your honesty?”
“Of course I would, but you’ve got to see it from his point of view. He knows hardly anything about you, and yet you know he’s a fighter who makes good money. In his mind, his caveman mind, he can’t be sure you’re not just taking him for a ride. He probably brought up the question of a paternity test in the wrong way, but what he said was for the right reasons. He doesn’t want to bond with the baby only to find out a few months later it isn’t his and that you were screwing him over.”
“Then why didn’t he just say that? If he’d said it like that I would have thought about it and not got so angry with him. When he suggested it, it made me feel like he was accusing me of sleeping around and that he was looking for an easy way out of this situation. Like he didn’t want the baby to be his.”
Emilia shrugged. “That’s guys for you, isn’t it? They just come out and say whatever is on their mind, in the fewest words possible, without thinking how it’ll sound to the other person. I’m sure, if he really didn’t want to be involved in the baby’s life, he wouldn’t have offered to support you, and he wouldn’t have been so cut up when you told him to stuff it.”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure I can trust him and I really need to be able to. This isn’t just my life it affects, it’s the baby’s too. I can’t risk letting him be involved only for him to turn around a few months later and say he’s bored of being a father and wants out.”
“I’m not saying you should risk that either. But I do think you at least owe Kian a little credit. It hasn’t been easy for him either. He’s not used to taking responsibility for his actions and thinking about others. For him to say he wants to be part of the baby’s life is a big step. I don’t think you should cut him out entirely. He’s the father and he’s got a right to know his child.”
I thought about what Emilia was saying. How would I feel if it was the other way around, and someone was denying me the right to know my baby?
My chest ached and a lump formed in my throat.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right.”
“But if I am, that doesn’t take away from the fact your feelings have been hurt, too. Maybe it’s best if you take some time and think all this through properly.” Emilia reached into her bag, and handed me a business card. “This is my personal mobile number. Call me if you ever need anything. Even if it’s just to rant about what a jerk Kian is being.”
“Thank you.” I took the card from her outstretched hand and wiped the stray tear from my eye. Until that moment, I hadn’t fully realised how much the emotion of everything was affecting me. “I really mean it. Not just for your offer, but for all of this. You listened, and you didn’t judge me, and you’ve offered me a perspective I hadn’t considered before.”
“You’re welcome. You seem like a nice girl, Megan, and I want this to work out for you. I want you and your baby to be happy. Whether that includes Kian or not.”
“Thank you again.” I gave Emilia’s hand a squeeze. “I’m going to head home now, and think on everything a little more. Would you let the others know I’ve gone, please?”
“Of course I will, and you take care of yourself and the little one?” Emilia said, as we both stood from the bench, and she pulled me into an embrace.
“You can count on it.”
With that, Emilia and I parted ways. She went back to the table, and I headed home to think over everything I’d talked to her about.
When I’d said I was grateful to Emilia for listening to me and offering her perspective on the situation, I’d meant it. Until I’d spoken to her, I’d been too pissed off and hurt by Kian’s words to see anyone’s point of view but my own. It was far too easy, when surrounded by friends and family offering you their support, to see a situation in black and white. Because my family and friends were biased towards me, they hadn’t pointed out how all this might be affecting Kian, like Emilia had.
By the time I reached home I was too exhausted to think on anything. I texted Stacey to let her know I’d gotten back safely, and apologised for ruining the night. Then, I snuggled down into bed, determined to sort through this situation once I was feeling rested, and find a solution that would make both me and Kian happy.
The following day, I called my parents and Stacey to let them know I was okay, but that I had something I needed to sort through, and asked they give me time and space to do so. They were understanding and insisted if I needed anything, I just had to call them.
I switched off my phone, made some breakfast and allowed myself some time to really let Emilia’s words from the previous evening sink in. She’d been right when she’d said I at least had to give Kian the chance to be there for his child if he wanted to. He was the baby’s father, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone to deny him of the chance to be involved in its life. I still stood by what I said about his words hurting me and that I needed to know I could fully trust him before I could let him in. Although, I began to realise trust worked both ways. I realised telling Kian that the baby and I didn’t need him was a horrible thing to do. No parent should be made to feel like they’re unwanted. Plus, just as I wasn’t sure I could trust Kian and know for certain he was in this for the long term, he couldn’t be sure I wasn’t just trying to take advantage of him. Even though I personally knew I’d never use anyone in that way, he didn’t, and he’d be risking a lot by supporting me through the pregnancy. I realised that if I was going to be fair to not only myself, but the baby and Kian too, I had to give him a chance to prove himself. To show me he really was committed to being a father. And in turn, I had to show Kian I wasn’t just using him for his status and money.
With those thoughts in mind, I turned my phone back on, and called Kian to tell him we needed to talk.