Grace was rock-like in her stillness. She was stunned and too shocked to move. When the hell did Jefferson become so ruthless and emotionally stoned?
Every ounce of hope she had for her ex-husband was shattered into a million pieces.
Aborting a child? Killing a baby who was being ready to be born into this world? It is tantamount to a crime. A nightmare. She never, in her imagination, thought Jefferson was capable of even thinking about something as heinous as this.
She could accept him accusing her of cheating on him, betraying him, she could even accept him calling her every possible disgusting name in the books she could find, but she wouldn't accept his derogatory words against their kid. Her kid.
Grace knew that she was strong and didn't need him. Her child won't need a father because she will be both the mother and father to her kid. She will work hard like no other to give her child everything that he or she deserves. She doesn't care if people judge her, but she would never let anyone question her child's character or its upbringing. Yes, she was an orphan, but she valued family more than anyone. She had no qualms in telling them that her values were far more than Jefferson's because that man did not deserve her or their child.
She composed herself after Jefferson left, tore the cheque into threads, and threw it away. She slowly walked towards home, gathering all her thoughts together and preparing a mental plan about how to proceed with her pregnancy. She can compromise on anything, but not her dignity and her child's future.
When Grace reached her apartment, Natalia was already present waiting for her. As soon as she entered, Natalia got up from her seat to demand to know how the father took it. Grace sadly shook her head and told her everything that had happened. She was even embarrassed to admit that the word abortion came from a man whom she had once loved with all her heart, but now she felt nothing for him. The moment she accepted the kind of terrorizing man Jefferson is, she felt nothing for him. Her heart became numb because he didn't deserve her time.
Natalia immediately engulfed Grace in a hug. She tried to console her friend, but Grace was handling it a lot better than she had expected her to. However, she could see that her friend was concerned about her child's safety and the potential financial requirements that she would face now that Grace needed to take care of two. Herself and a kid.
"Grace, move in with me," Natalia suggested excitedly.
"I can't do that, Natalia." Grace shook her head.
"Come on, Grace. This is perfect. Look, if you do this, you will save a good chunk of savings. My home is big enough for the two of us. Yes, I only have one room and a small storeroom, but the master bedroom is big enough to accommodate both of us. And by the time this child steps into our world, we will convert the storeroom into a nursery. It will be perfect." Natalia tried to explain it to her friend. She really did love Grace as she was a great friend and a human being. She is a gem of a person—a rare find.
"Talia, as sweet as that gesture is and as enticing as it sounds, I'm sorry, but I can't drag you into my mess. It is neither fair nor right for you." Grace tried to make her friend understand her point of view, but it was a futile attempt.
"It is Grace. You know, it is not always when you find good people around you, and when you do, one should never let them go. You are an amazing person, and you had helped me to get over an abusive relationship and made me see the light in the darkness when I started assisting you. Let me do the same for you. I really want you to move in with me. And honestly, I love this kid. I know we have not known each other for years, but you are one of my closest friends, if not my best. Plus, don't you think it would be better to have a friend around to help? It will be fun, and time will fly by in no time."
Grace had tears in her eyes. On one side, Jefferson was trying to break her, and on another side, her friend was being no less than a guardian angel. "I don't know how to thank you, Talia."
"Just make the god mother. I will spoil that kid and be the best aunt in this world." Natalia told her.
"It is a deal." Grace hugged her friend appreciatively. It is rightly said that when one door is closed, their other doors are waiting to be opened.
With new determination and motivation in her mind, she started working hard. She knew that to give a promising future to her child, she needed to save every penny. She doesn't care if she buys ten fewer clothes or skips a meal, but her child would never. She will make sure of it.
Fortunately, things were moving smoothly. Even though she was hurting from within, but she was still happy. She couldn't wait to be a mother and have her child in her arms. Being able to live with Natalia and share a house with her has been no less than a blessing in disguise. It helped her ease her pain, and she was enjoying herself and letting herself free and loose.
In fact, a week after moving in with her new best friend, Natalia informed her about a new cake design competition. The winner of the competition would be getting two million dollars, which is perfect. Initially, Grace was hesitant to participate, but she decided to give it a shot with Natalia's encouragement.
It will be good for her career and her child—a perfect opportunity for her child to have a secure future.
The most ardent supporter has been Natalia. They were both trying out new desserts and designs. It was coming out better than she imagined. Even Aaron helped her from time to time. On the other hand, Grace has yet to tell the rest of her coworkers about her pregnancy, but she is in no hurry. The only people who deserved to know had the knowledge that she was carrying a child who was not a mistake.
She was at the end of the third month of her pregnancy, and a bit of her belly was visible, but not enough to attract unwanted attention. It could easily be misinterpreted as her gaining some weight, even though there were times when she felt depressed and alone, but Natalia has helped her through. She could not have asked for a better friend.
When Natalia animatedly came into the kitchen, Grace was humming while kneading the dough.
"So, did the results come in?" She asked Grace.
"Not yet, Talia." Grace chuckled at her friend's excitement. Natalia responded with a pout.
"I cannot wait for you to get the call. I know in my heart that you are going to get into the final round."
"Hold your horses, Talia, before you get ahead of yourself. I could easily come last. I am just glad that I made an effort. It showed me my capability and my desire to outperform myself every time I try new recipes." Grace told her friend with a smile.
"Gracie, you are too optimistic. Be selfish for once and also give yourself some credit." Natalia told her friend who has a pure heart.
Before Grace could respond, her phone rang. It was the manager of the design competition with whom she had been coordinating. She nervously picked up the phone.
Natalia had an expectant look on her face when Grace kept the phone.
"I made it to the last round," Grace exclaimed, her face beaming.
Both girls shrieked with excitement, and a new sense of hope shone around them.