I was at the park when I saw her. How long had it been since the Blue Velvet? Four years? Something like that. But I knew who it was as soon as I saw her, even if she was facing away from me.
She turned from facing the playground, and I felt my stomach drop into my shoes. She was pregnant. I swallowed thickly, hurt stinging my chest. So. She had stayed with that guy or had found a new one and here she was, all happy and pregnant. Watcher, I thought, am I still not over this woman? Going by how much it hurt to see her like this, I’d say not.
Only…she didn’t really look happy. She actually looked sort of lost. So lost, in fact, that she didn’t see me until she had almost walked by me.
Her beautiful eyes blinked and widened as she registered who she was looking at. “Shirley.” Her hands came up to rest on her stomach and I thought she was about to bolt, but, instead, she blurted, “I’m sorry.”
She nodded. “I’m so sorry for everything. I should never have used you like I did. Watcher, I regret it so much. I never wanted to hurt you.”
I hated to remember that horrible night, but it actually felt good to finally hear her apologize. I cleared my throat. “It’s okay. I mean – well, no, it’s not okay but…It was years ago. I’ve moved on.” Only not really. “Do you, uh, want to sit down? You look kind of…”
“Miserable?” She smiled half-heartedly. “Yeah, I would.” She lumbered over to a bench and sat down. When I took a seat beside her, she said, “You don’t have to stay. I’m sure you’d have been just fine never seeing my face again.”
“I don’t mind. And I’m not angry anymore. About what happened. It’s in the past.” We sat in silence for a long minute, so I searched my mind for something to say. “So…whose is it?” Smooth, idiot.
“My husband’s. Huy Casillas.”
“Casillas? Like – “
“Octavia. Yeah.” Her face darkened. “She’s Huy’s adopted sister. She’s hated me from the get-go.”
“I always wondered why she did it,” I murmured. Watcher, it hurt to remember the humiliation of that night. I could still feel the eyes of the other patrons of the nightclub on me, hear their whispering. I cleared my throat, rubbing my hands over my legs. “But he forgave you and stayed with you. That was nice.” If you’d gone to me instead, I would’ve taken you back. I shoved that voice in my head into a box.
“Yeah, he did.” She sighed softly and rubbed her stomach. “He’s a really…nice guy.”
I frowned. “That was convincing in the not sort of way.”
She waved one of her hands and shook her head. “No, he is. We just…we keep fighting over everything. I don’t really enjoy being pregnant, and he takes that to mean that I hate our kid.” She sighed and rubbed her face. “And he is always harping on me about being ‘Mrs. Casillas.’”
“Yeah, I can’t really see you being Camille Casillas.” We both smiled half-heartedly. I actually felt bad for her, I realized. I wasn’t happy that she was miserable in her marriage. I wanted to do something for her, so I said, “Do you want to know what you’re having?”
She smiled, the first genuine one I’d seen today. “Yes, absolutely.”
After I gave her one of the new quick, no-muss-no-fuss exams the hospital had come up with, I told her, “You’re having a girl.”
Her eyes got a little teary and she smiled. “Thank you.” She sniffed and swiped at her eyes. “So, you must be doing well at work.”
“I am. I’m a surgeon.”
“That’s wonderful. It really is. I always knew you’d be great.”
Camille left a few minutes later. As I watched her go, I felt like a door had just been opened in my life. I wondered if it was because I had seen her again or from getting closure.
A/N: If this chapter is wordy, I apologize. It was originally planned out as part of chapter 14, but it just got too massive, so I decided to split it up.