Expect the unexpected because life is full of surprises. Things that you can’t prevent from happening because they’re meant to happen, but instead of running away from it,you should embrace it, solve it and learn from it.
When the limousine stopped at the spa some hours after dropping Ava off to get hair, make-up and nails done for the big event, Ewan now dressed to a T as well, waiting for her to come out to him, he needed a double-take to recognize her.
Ava looked nothing like the little small town diner waitress firecracker, but every bit the celebrity companion, like so many ladies who climbed the ranks to arm candy of their rich, famous and influential boyfriends and husbands at such events.
“Wow!” was all he could get out.
“I know, right? I don’t even recognize myself. Like seriously, I almost stuck up a conversation with myself in a mirror.”
He chuckled, as he carefully kissed her cheek, she needed more and snuggled into his embrace. Ewan was torn between wanting to flaunt her at the gala and just wanting to take her back home and keep her all to himself. But she was excited for the gala, they had to at least make an appearance.
They arrived at the event, he quickly ushered her through the entrance with only some of his usual theatrics, and once inside Ava was like a kid in the candy store, eyes wide, taking it all in, while clinging to Ewan.
Without hesitation, she followed him, listened to his instructions on proper behavior in such settings, smiled politely when introductions were made, and danced with him.
“What do you think?” he asked her.
“I wish this would never end! Never in my life would I have guessed that I’d like it this much, I feel like a little girl who really became the princess overnight. Is all this really real?”
“Yes it is. As real as me.” Ewan confirmed.
“I am not even so sure you are real. You are too good to be true.” Ava whispered.
“Oh, I can proof to you that I am real …” his voice turned raspy, as he bend down to kiss her, gently at first, his affections becoming more and more demanding, despite the people around them.
“Hello Ewan. I see you brought your flavor of the day.” a familiar female voice had spoken, Ewan froze in his tracks, his mood now gone with the wind.
“I thought I saw you with yours earlier, unless that was your grandpa.” was his snarky response to the unwelcome interruption.
“Nothing wrong with a seasoned man … much needed after wasting my time with a little boy for too long. I see you went the anorexic model route this time although she is a bit short to be a model. Thought you were into tall voluptuous girls, judging by how you always drooled over your cousin Hannah, that Amazon.” she hissed.
“Ah, Cassandra. I’d love tell you how nice it is to see you but I’d be lying and clearly – that is your department. Oh, Ava, meet the slut. Slut, this is Ava.” Ewan’s tone belied his fake smile.
“Oh, I am a slut now? Well, if you had been half the man you say you are, none of this would have happened, just you wait, Ava, you’ll see. As soon as the going gets rough, you will remember my words.” Cassandra nearly spat the words at them.
“That’s true. Whenever I think of rough times, you’re name comes to mind. Look Cassandra, Ava and I would stay and chat, but we really don’t want to. See you around.” Ewan dismissed her, then took Ava’s arm to walk off.
Cassandra shook her head watching them leave, but said nothing.
“Wow Ewan, did you have to be so rude to her? What if you end up having to work with her in a future film? Wasn’t that how you met?” Ava whispered.
“So? Most people have to work with people they don’t care for. I can handle it, so can she.”
They danced again, had more champagne, there was so much warmth between them, unusual for events like this one where people only went to see and be seen – and talk trash about others.
Once back at his apartment, holding her, after she had already drifted off to sleep, he wondered about how the upcoming trip would go for them.
It would be a good gage to figure out if they could make it as a couple, living together.
He could not say what the chances were, but had high hopes now. She was sweet and kind, but also had strong convictions and ideas which sometimes counteracted the tender dynamics of this becoming something to last, but then again, if tonight had proved anything, then that there was a true chance for them.
He was ready for a relationship again. With her. Now.
The next morning he got a taste what it could be like, if they both could make it work, when they had breakfast together, followed by a shower – together, and much to his surprise she didn’t fight him for even a second when he suggested a shopping spree for clothing appropriate for the upcoming trip together. Obviously paid for by him. All that made him carefully hopeful.
At the same time back in Brindleton Bay Eric and Charlotte were out to dinner together. Eric was strangely giddy and Charlotte seemed nervous, this was the anniversary of the day they met years ago, although for the first celebrated as a freshly engaged couple.
After the usual pleasantries and small talk was exchanged, the food had arrived, a sort of silence fell, only to be interrupted by both simultaneously.
“There was something I wanted to talk to you about.” said Charlotte
“I have something to tell you …” Eric said at the same time.
“Oh.” Charlotte went.
“You first.” she suggested.
“No, ladies first.” Eric said.
“No, I insist, Eric, you go first.” Charlotte said, slightly tense.
“OK. Here goes. I know normally we don’t do something like this without discussing it first, but I hate having you drive all the way to Windenburg to the Gallery your parents bought you, in that location off the beaten path where nobody ever finds it. So, since Ewan bought us the house, I used the money we had saved to buy the property down the street before someone else snatches it up. Uncle Eli has drafted and is in the middle of remodeling the old corner store as a Gallery for you. It will be EC Architect’s last official project before they close the doors for good since he is retiring without any heirs to run it, so it is kinda extra special.” Eric exhaled, as he had not breathed once during his spiel.
Charlotte stared at him, like he grew another head.
“Charlee?” he sounded worried.
“Uh – wow! That is …. I don’t know what to say. That must be the single nicest thing anybody has ever done for me. Wow. Oh my God, Eric.” her usual composed ways had made way to some stuttered together words, faintly resembling a sentence.
“So, this is a good shocked face then?” Eric asked, still worried.
“Yes! YES! Absolutely yes! This is great! Amazing. I am flabbergasted. Thank you! To you and your uncle Eli.”
“Good, you had me worried for a second. I know we were gonna use some of the money to pay for a wedding, but we are really not in a rush, so by the time we are ready, we’ll have money again. I got my promotion and it will come with a bonus. Once you open your gallery, people will see it and flock to it, because your art is amazing. Now you go. What did you want to talk about?”
“Ah – yeah. About that wedding thing … we may need to accellerate those plans a bit. Or maybe we don’t, but either way, we will be looking at some extra costs in the not so distant future along with a serious lifestyle change we may not really be ready for.”
“Accellerate? Lifestyle change? Oh my God! Don’t tell me … No way!” Eric deduced quickly.
“Yeah … I have no explanation for how or why. We both have been religious about birth control. I am beginning to believe in immaculate conception.”
“Since when do you know?”
“Suspected it for about a week or so, but got the confirmation today! I have been feeling iffy, thought it was the stress of moving and getting settled in. Then I started getting nauseated so much. I went to my gyn and they confirmed what the drugstore tests showed. I should be around 4 or 5 weeks along.”
“Ha – the Cameron curse strikes again. Us of all people.”
“How do you feel about this?”
“How I feel? Probably the same way you do. Happy, shocked and wondering how the hell we are supposed to make that work, but at the same time I know we will make it work. After Hannah’s wedding her parents are always talking about her and Sven having kids, which got me to thinking about us having kids one day and I was wondering how you plan something like that. Guess you don’t. I love you, Charlee.” Eric had gotten up, pulled Charlotte up off her chair and into his embrace.
“I love you too, Eric!”
“So, how are we gonna go about telling people. Just say nothing, dress you in mumus and then just confront them with the kid when it starts school? Or are we gonna try to slip in some quickie wedding and act like all this was supposed to happen?”
“As far as my parents are concerned I think we should wait till the kid graduates college before telling them anything. I am not looking forward to that conversation with them. I think for now, we’ll keep our mouths shut until I am about 3 months along and worry about how we can pull of a budget wedding without anybody jumping to conclusions. Once we figured that out, we can make the official announcement during a family dinner with our parents, Hannah, Ewan and everyone there, if my parents misbehave your family can put them in their place. Do we even want to get married like this or should we wait until after the birth and plan it better? Although, after the drama of my almost-wedding to that prince I want nothing to do with big weddings. Much prefer something intimate, like in a backyard or something, just a handful of good people there.”
“Good points. I don’t need to be married, but it may make things easier with the baby, same name and all, assuming that’s what you want. I agree with you on the big wedding. May be what most girls dream off, but I think for both of us that has a bad aftertaste, not to mention that for obvious reasons I am not really into big weddings, last thing I need is more people staring at me. And where are we even going to stick a kid now? We’ll have to get rid of the guest room, but we promised Ewan he could stay with us whenever he wants. That may be a good question for uncle Eli, while he is still in architect mode.”
“I don’t think we have to worry about Ewan. As crazy as he is, he may well end up in bed with us.”
“No kidding! If he does, we can call Ava’s brother and see if he’d take ‘Brittney’ off our hands.” Eric joked about a misunderstanding at Ava’s place between one of her brothers and Ewan, where he was mistaken as an ex-girlfriend in some drunk stupor.
Both laughed until several people stared at them, shaking their heads.
-to be continued-