Road To Eden
chapter thirteen

Natalie had brought home a ton of baby stuff, from packages of diapers, to car seats and strollers, baby swings, clothes, bottles, pacifiers, breast pumps – breast pumps for God’s sake! We had so much stuff it nearly filled what was now the nursery, or the baby’s room, however you chose to look at it. I helped her bring all the stuff in there, and conveniently forgot to mention that I had ditched my Dad and brothers earlier that day. She eventually found out though, and it just turned into another argument. It was getting a lot harder to hide the fact that what I was supposed to be feeling for her, I felt for someone else. I knew she was picking up on it – she had to be. It was a few weeks later, and we had just gotten into another fight, and like I always do, I was leaving to go see DeLorean.

“Be honest with me,” she said quietly from the bedroom doorway as I changed my clothes. She was crying; I could hear it. “Is there someone else, Taylor?” I don’t know if it was the hurt in her voice, or what it was, but I couldn’t lie this time. I was sick of lying. I turned to face her, and I was right, she was crying. This was the moment of truth. We were just standing there, looking at one another. I knew this was it; it was now or never, and never wasn’t an option anymore.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” I said quietly. More tears spilled from her eyes, and she lowered her head. “It just happened, Natalie. I just… fell in love with her.” I said even quieter.

“How long?” She asked.

“Nat – “

“How long, Taylor?” She said, louder this time, angrier.

“A few months.” I answered. I looked down at the floor. I couldn’t bear to look her in the eyes and see that I had hurt someone else that I love. I know that seems contradictory, but I do love her. There is a difference between being in love and loving someone.

“Do you love her?” She asked me. I looked up, and she was just waiting for me to answer, hurt and desperation in her eyes.

“Yes,” I heard myself answer. “I’m in love with her…” She turned away from me; I could see her shoulders shake as she cried.

“Natalie…” She walked away, and I heard the bathroom door slam. I felt like shit. I really did; my intention never was to hurt her, but I knew from the beginning that it would. I prayed she would be ok; she didn’t need this kind of stress with the baby. I went to the bathroom door, and leaned my head against it. “Natalie – “

“Just go, Taylor,” she cried quietly. I knew there was nothing I could say to her, nothing I could do to make it better, so I left. I drove around trying to clear my head for a little while before I went to meet DeLorean. I didn’t have to think about whether or not I wanted to be with her, I just needed to think about what I was doing to Natalie. I knew my family was about to find out, too. I needed to think about how I was going to explain to them – especially my mother.

I met her at one of the parks the children usually play at in the daytime. It was closed, so it was quiet, but it didn’t stop us from sitting on the bench together. She laced her fingers with mine, and I kissed her hand. I turned my head to look at her; the breeze was making her long dark hair blow over her shoulder, and her skin breakout into gooseflesh. I took off my jacket, and helped her into it.

“You should’ve worn a jacket.” I said, kissing the back of her hand.

“I didn’t know we were going to be staying outside.” She smiled at me, and when I couldn’t return the smile like I usually did, she knew something was up. “Taylor?” She said, her tone changing. “What’s wrong?” I looked the other way, unable to look her in the eyes.

“She knows,” I said quietly.

“Oh…” her response was as quiet as my statement. There was silence between us, and for the first time it was uncomfortable. “So what now?” She asked me.

“Nothing. I love you, she knows that now. I’m sure my family will know by the time I get home tonight.” We were quiet again. “I love you, DeLorean. I’ll do whatever it takes to be with you.”

“Think about what you’re saying, Taylor. I love you, too, but you have to be rational about this.”

“I’m gonna file for divorce.” She was silent, just staring at our hands as I stared at her.

“Taylor, don’t. She’s having your baby in a month. Don’t do that to her…” It only dawned on me then just how quickly September had come and gone.

“Are you telling me to wait until after the baby’s born?” She didn’t answer me, and I knew right then and there that she was having second thoughts about this. And it scared the hell out of me; I felt sick.

“Taylor, you need to go home, and sort this out with your family.” She stood up and started to take off my jacket.

“Del – “

“Please,” she begged. “Go home. Call your family. Talk to them. I’ll talk to you in a couple days.”

“A couple days?” I echoed. I didn’t think I was capable of going that long without seeing her.

“A couple days.” She stood on her tip-toes and kissed my lips once, handed me my jacket and walked away without another word. I knew right at that moment, things weren’t going to work the way I had planned on them working. Something inside me was telling me that everything I had planned was going to change, whether I liked it or not.

“Is she ok?” I asked my Mother over the phone. Natalie had packed a few bags and actually went to stay with my parents. According to my Mom, she was pretty broken up about it.

“As ok as she’s going to be,” she answered quietly. “Taylor… why?” She asked me. I knew someone had to ask that question.

“I don’t know, Mom. I wasn’t sure about my marriage with Natalie anyway; you and Dad forced me into it because she told us she was pregnant. I met DeLorean and… God, I just fell so in love with her. I never meant to hurt anybody,” I said quietly.

“You’re not the person I thought you were, Taylor,” she said softly. “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” With that she hung up the phone. I put my head down on my arms, sitting at my kitchen counter, and I just cried. I didn’t know what to do. In one month Natalie was having our baby. Our baby; mine and hers, and I was thinking about divorcing her.

I hated being alone. That’s just what I was for almost a week and a half. I hadn’t talked to DeLorean for more than five minutes. She told me to call her when I had things sorted out; and she needed to think. My brothers had been there for me when I needed them; I confided most in Isaac. He was sort of a liaison – he told me what was going on at the house with Natalie, and I told him messages to give to her and the rest of the family. It was already October fifteenth. I was so confused. I wanted to be with DeLorean more than anything, but I needed to be there for my child. I made Isaac do me a favor that would end up turning things totally upside down for me. He talked to Natalie; I wanted to go with her for her next sonogram. I really, honest to God, wanted to go. I was surprised when he told me she agreed. I didn’t tell DeLorean anything; I hadn’t called her, and she hadn’t called me. But I intended on talking to her soon; I needed to. I needed to know where we stood – and I was praying she wasn’t going to walk away from me.

I met Natalie at the office where she got the sonograms done. At first we didn’t know what to say to each other. What was she supposed to say to her husband who cheated on her? What was I supposed to say to her? I don’t know how it really happened, but we ended up in this amazing embrace. She was crying and I was gently stroking her hair.

“We’ll figure it all out,” I said softly to her. I think I knew in my head what was going to happen, but I refused in my heart to accept it. I wanted to be with the other woman I was in love with, when I needed to be with this one. We went in together, and watched one of the most amazing things I had ever seen in my life. We decided we wanted to know what it was.

“Well,” the doctor said, moving the object she held in her hand over Natalie’s round stomach; she smiled and finally stopped, and looked at both of us. “Everything looks great, as I said. Ten fingers, ten toes. Would you like to know the sex?” Without hesitation, seeing as we’d already discussed it, Natalie nodded. “Then you’ll be happy to know that you’re having a little boy.” There it was. We were having a boy; we were going to have a son. I’m not sure what happened between us then, but it was something strong. She took my face in her hands, and I rested my forehead to hers; we were both crying.

“I wanna come home, Tay.” She whispered, and kissed me gently. I soothingly tucked her hair behind her ear, and lightly stroked her cheek.

“Please,” I whispered. “I miss you.” I didn’t realize it until then, but I really did. I missed her something terrible. She kissed me softly again, and wrapped her arms around my neck. I held her back, and neither of us cared that there was a doctor witnessing this moment between us.

Things were good. Honestly, things between Natalie and I were good. We spent almost a week together without interruption. I went that long without seeing the other woman I had become so completely enamored with; though, I spoke frequently with her on the phone when Natalie was asleep. Natalie and I were sitting on the carpeted living room floor one afternoon discussing baby names. It turned out to be a good experience for the both of us, as well as a good laugh.

“How about…” I thought for a moment, absently playing with her hair as she lay across my lap. “Zane?”

“No way!” She laughed. “That is the ugliest name I’ve ever heard!”

“Is not!” I laughed back. “Besides, it’ll be his middle name anyway – “

No way, Taylor,” she laughed. “I wouldn’t even be so cruel as to name the ugliest dog in the world Zane.” We both had a good laugh.

“Okay, okay,” I said, still laughing a little. “I get the point; don’t be cruel.”

“Ryan,” she said simply.

“Nah,” I said, scrunching my nose. “It’s too common.”

“Zane wasn’t much better.” She looked up at me and laughed. “How about… Michael?”

“Jordan Michael? Nope; sounds too much like you’re idolizing Michael Jordan.” She laughed again.

“Fine, you do better.”

“I still like Ezra…” I was hinting. She knew I was.

Maybe,” she said. “It’s tolerable.” She thought for a moment. “I kind of like it…”

“Come on,” I coaxed. “You know you like it…”

“Shut up, Taylor, or your son will be known as Junior.” She laughed when I shook my head, scrunching my face.

“God no. Anything but that.” We went on like that for a good while, until we turned on the TV, and she fell asleep on me.

On the twenty-seventh I went to see DeLorean. We slept together, but… something was different. It just wasn’t the same. I think we both knew it, but I wasn’t willing to let her go. Natalie had pretended like nothing had happened since she came back home, and so had I. The fact of the matter was something did happen. I was unfaithful, and I was still being unfaithful.

“We shouldn’t do this…” she said quietly. I looked at her, but she was curled up to me with her back against my chest, so I could only see the back of her head.

“Del, don’t.” I said quietly.

“This is so wrong, Taylor. I don’t care how much we love each other, this is wrong, and you know it.”

“DeLorean…” I didn’t know what to say to her because I knew she was right. Adultery was never right. I turned her over, and kissed her softly. “Does that feel right?” I asked softly. After a moment she nodded.

“Yes,” she whispered. I continued proving my point by touching her everywhere, asking each time if it felt right, and getting a ‘yes’. Finally I moved on top of her, and carefully slipped inside of her.

“Does this feel right?” I whispered, my lips hovering just above hers.

“Yes,” she whispered, closing her eyes and sliding her hands into my hair, pulling me down for another soul-melting kiss. Once more she gave her body to me. If I had known then what would happen, I would have done something to make it just that much more special.

We were recording on Halloween. Of all days; I love Halloween, and I had promised Zoë and the other kids that I would take them trick-or-treating. We had made a deal that no matter how much we had gotten done, we were leaving by four. We had just finished mixing Rock and Roll Razorblade, it was about five-forty-five, and the phone was ringing like mad. Finally Chris, in case you don’t know – he’s our manager, got up and answered the phone.

“Uh, Tay, you might wanna come take this…” I bolted from inside the recording booth and grabbed the phone from him.

“What’s wrong?” I said, thinking something had happened to Natalie or the baby.

“Calm down,” my mother said. “I’m at the hospital with Nat; she’s in labor.” “What?!” I shouted. “Mom, she’s not due for another month!”

“Keep it together, Tay,” she said sympathetically. “She’s doing fine, and the baby is fine. Just get here; it shouldn’t be too much longer.”

“All right,” I said. “I’m on my way.” I hung up the phone and rushed to grab my jacket and throw it on.

“Tay?” Isaac said coming out of the recording booth as well, followed by Zac.

“Everything ok?” Zac asked me.

“Finish up here, and meet me at the hospital.” I said, pulling out my keys and racing to the door.

“Hospital? Why? Is something wrong?” Isaac sounded as frantic as I did on the phone with our mother. I couldn’t help smiling as the next sentence left my mouth.

“Natalie’s in labor.”

chapter fourteen
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