"Jefferson," Grace said his name, unsure of how to continue the conversation. She had impulsively dialled his number, but she had not planned the speech ahead of time.
"Why are you calling me so late, Grace?" Jefferson asked, coming straight to the point. Will it be delusional for her to assume that there was a tint of concern in his voice?
A definite yes, without a doubt.
But that is just a farfetched theory, too good to hold true.
"I… Can we meet?" She asked him, wishing that he would just say yes without even asking a question. However, it was unlikely to be as expected.
"Meet you? Now, why the hell am I going to do that? A married couple takes the decision to get a divorce because they don't want to deal with each other anymore." Jefferson said, emphasizing on the word divorce.
"Look, Jefferson. If I had a choice, I wouldn't call you, and I surely wouldn't ask you to meet me. Especially after how you treated me last time. It is important, which is why I am asking you to meet with me." She told him. She prayed that he wouldn't argue, but he was bloody Jefferson Smith. He just can't make things simple for her.
"Give me one reason, why? I don't have unnecessary time to waste on the likes of you." He sneered.
"I mistakenly took your favourite hoodie. I need to return it to you." She told him. Thankfully, Grace's subconscious had thought of a back-up plan if Jefferson had refused to meet her.
"I had a feeling that you had stolen it from me. You cannot get enough of me, can you now?" Grace didn't have to be physically present in the same room as that of her ex-husband to know that he was smirking. She would have hit him if he was standing in front of her, or if he were her husband, she would have smacked him for teasing her.
"It was an accident. So, do you want it or not? If not, then I don't have any problem tearing it or, better yet, burning it." Grace asked him, hoping that he would agree now. If he refused to meet her, then she would have to tell him about her pregnancy on the call itself.
"Fine. Don't you dare do anything to my hoodie. It is my favourite for a reason. Dinner tomorrow at the Diner House at seven p.m." Jefferson said, which brought relief to Grace.
"Okay, thanks!" Grace thanked him softly and went off to sleep.
The entire day, she was apprehensive. She had no clue what to expect of his reaction, but she knew that it had to be done. She cannot back down now, especially when she is sitting at the restaurant waiting for him. This has been their favourite restaurant. At the very least, it was hers, and Jefferson had claimed it as his at the time.
She remembers it clearly like it was yesterday. This was the very place where Jeffery had proposed to her. They were sipping red wine when Jeffery held her hand and gazed lovingly at her. He didn't bend down on one knee to propose to her but rather just simply asked her, "Marry me?"
Grace didn't have to think twice about saying yes to him. They had been only dating for eight months when he popped the question, but she knew that she had made the right choice in her heart. Even now, when she feels betrayed by him, she cannot come to regret their marriage. She did have a wonderful time, regardless of how much time she was able to spend with him, and he did give her the best parting gift. Their child, even if he doesn't accept it.
Her trail of thoughts was broken when he came rushing towards their table.
"I apologize for being late. I got held up in a meeting." Jefferson said, his words sounding sincere.
"It's all right. I understand." With a bit of a smile, she told him.
When Jefferson noticed her glancing at his suit jacket, he was puzzled, but then it struck him. It was the same piece Grace had gifted him. He had loved it the moment he laid his eyes on it and had kissed and hugged her.
However, because he didn't know what to say to her about it, he chose to ignore that topic altogether. Grace, on the other hand, kind of felt pleasant. At least some parts of their lives, he chose to keep.
"Nice suite." She made a remark in the hopes of eliciting a response from him.
"Thanks!" Jefferson only uttered a single syllable. He was uncomfortable talking about or reacting to her gift, which he had worn today by chance, out of all the other days.
"So shall we order something? The usual?" Jefferson asked, trying to change the subject, which didn't go unnoticed by her.
"Yeah." She nodded.
"Red or white wine?" He asked her further.
"Neither." He gave a small frown but shrugged casually and ordered their meal.
"Was it just because of my hoodie that you wanted to meet?" Finally, he asked her. He refused to believe that Grace had called him post-midnight to return his beloved hoodie.
"To be honest, no. I wanted to talk to you about something very important." She told him nervously.
Jefferson had a confused expression on his face as he looked at her. Before he could inquire, a gasp erupted around him. Both of them saw a guy proposing to his girlfriend.
Jefferson had a small smile on his face and then shook his hand. "Reminds of our old-time, doesn't it?" He said it without intending to. This brought him back to their old days.
"Too bad, for them, it is real, unlike ours," Grace said. There was no menace in her voice, only a sad truth that she had accepted. Her heart still clenches, but despite that, she is going to stand strong for their child.
There was an unspoken silence between them, and they both decided to have a quiet dinner together. None of them felt like fighting but instead wanted peace for a change. When Grace was about to pay her portion of the bill, Jefferson intervened.
"I have got it."
"You don't need to," Grace told him.
"Grace, look. This restaurant is expensive, and I know you are struggling with finances, so don't argue." Jefferson said to her.
"I am not a charity case, Jefferson. I know how to manage my finances and myself. I always have, even before you came into my life. So don't bother." She was staring hard at him, and he gave up in frustration.
He escorted her out once they paid. She handed him the bag in which his sweatshirt was kept.
"So, will you now enlighten me as to what you needed to say to me that was so crucial that you rang me past midnight?" Jefferson asked her. He had never been a patient man, but he had been looking forward to hearing what Grace had to say since the call she made. He was well aware that the hoodie was merely an excuse, as she could have easily sent it to him without even meeting him.
Grace inhaled deeply and closed her eyes for a few seconds. "I am pregnant."