When he woke up the next morning it was the happiest sight for him to wake up next to his wife who was still wrapped in the covers of their mattress and he looked down at her ever bulging belly and pressed a light kiss to it before he got up to put on his pajamas and make his way to the kitchen.
He liked cooking since the time Erika and he had attempted it. It had the odd sensation of calming his nerves as he mixed and sautéed.
“Hello Jin.” He turned and saw his own father walking out of his guest room.
“Hey Dad…what’s up? I didn’t expect you awake this early.”
“It’s only 5 Jin why are you awake?”
Jin only smiled as he remembered last night and shook his head. “I just couldn’t sleep.”
His father affirmed the statement but the way his eyes drooped, Jin could tell his father wasn’t happy about his own lack of sleep the way Jin was happy with his.
“Jin…I need to tell you something.”
“Speak up father.” Jin flipped the omlette in the pan with his hands and turned around while lowering the heat on the stove.
“You know I’ve always thought you could do more than a bachelor’s degree. You know I’ve believed you could go far.” Jin let out a smile.
“Apparently Erika’s father thinks otherwise but- we can’t help that can we?” Jin muttered as he took the pan of the stove and placed it on the plate passing it to his father as he started on another one.
“Jin,” Jin turned to look at the large package in his father’s hands and felt his world stop as he dropped the egg on the floor of the kitchen.
How could this happen?
So This Is Goodbye - William Fitzsimmons (Pink Ganter Remix)
It was five months later, one saturday morning. The package just kept coming back into his head…over and over again. He couldn’t get rid of it. Especially not today. Erika was finally showing. She had been for about three months. They were eight months into the pregnancy.
As usual whenever he thought of his child a smile floated on his face as he stared up at the clouds tucking his hands underneath his head.
Erika’s long hair was flying in the wind as she set up the table around them. She was laughing as hard as ever and his father was laughing along with her like nothing was wrong.
Like his entire world wasn’t about to just change. He knew he should tell her before the baby…but he couldn’t risk stressing her out. Not this late in the pregnancy. He didn’t want to do anything to harm his child…but if he didn’t tell her soon Erika would be the one harmed.
He’d tell her today. That had been his decision. Then they could walk through this together, talk about it, discuss options…see where this was going. He already knew Toda Takuya would not approve of it but if he could make Erika see the light in what he wanted to do-
She turned to look at him for a second as her baby cousin pulled on her skirt; she gave him a huge smile and then turned to look at the little girl who caressed Erika’s tummy gingerly.
This was not going to be fun.
So they ate lunch with the entire family. His father kicked him more than once to make sure he was acting normal…but how could he with the impending news? He couldn’t- no but he had to. There was no way this could go on being a secret. He had to make a choice or the opportunity would leave him.
Then he may never be able to bring her back to him.
When everyone left, his father to play with the children and his in-laws to gossip with their fellow family members, he stayed behind offering to clean up and keeping her with him for company.
At least that was what he told everyone else, who simply laughed at the happy couple leaving them by themselves teasing them that they wouldn't get any alone time once the little one was out.
She sat down on the park bench as he cleared the area of the garbage.
“It’s such a nice day isn’t it?” Jin scoffed…of course she could think so she didn’t have the pressure of what he had to tell her on him. For that he was thankful, he knew his wife well…if there was one thing she wasn’t, it was strong. She wouldn’t be able to take anything. She had been babied most of her life.
“When this one here is born we’re going to go out like this every weekend.” She caressed her stomach as she smiled down at it and then looked up at him and he set the plastic plate he was holding down on the table as he sat down in front of her and took her hands in his.
“Eri, I need to tell you something.”
“And then when he gets older we can all go on family trips like this. I’m sure father wouldn’t mind buying a cottage if there were even more of us! I mean Meisa couldn’t probably come but-“
“Yeah? Wow Jin. You really need to talk? No need to get loud.” She teased him as she ran her fingers through his hair. He shut his eyes and relished in the feel of her fingers against his scalp but let out a tired breath from his mouth. He didn’t know how he was going to do this.
“Eri this is important please don’t joke around.” He opened his eyes to see her mockingly nodding along with him.
“Yes seargant! Your soldier here is very loyal!” She mouthed out with a stern expression that so didn’t suit her features that he had no choice but to laugh at his idiot wife.
“You’re so stupid.”
“You’re so smart.” She leaned over and patted his leg. “Now what do you want to tell me? We can’t be sidetracked again can we?” He raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth. “No more smart comments.”
“All right.” He relented. “About five months ago I got a piece of mail I’d like to discuss with you.” She nodded so he continued on. “When I was leaving China to come back here I had just been rejected from my masters. Father had already discussed the move back and then one thing led to another and we got married.”
She looked at him as if she was ready to tell him that she already knew all of that. He held up a hand and finished his thought. “So a couple of months ago my father decided to put through my application again. Except this time it wasn’t rejected Eri.” He risked a look at her and saw the smile stretch upon her face as she leaped on to him the only thing resting between them their child in her stomach.
“Jin I’m so happy for you! You’re finally going to get what you wanted! And- you know maybe we’ll be able to move out. I’ve wanted to talk to you about that. With our family on it’s way. I’m not too sure we should stay with my parents any longer.” She smiled widely, her eyes shutting.
His eyes shut too but only with a grimace. “Eri…it’s expensive.”
“We’ll figure it out.”
“Eri…it’s in China. And you can’t come with me. I've deferred the acceptance for a semester already because I wanted to stay with you throughout your pregnancy. I can't bring you with me. They won't allow that on the campus and how am I going to be able to support you anyways?” That caught her as she moved back and stared at her husband with the confusion evident on her face.
“Where is this going Jin? Are we having a discussion or is this a fact? That you're leaving and I'm staying?” Jin wasn’t too sure about that himself. In his heart, he knew that it was important for him to go…but how could he leave her like this?
So unwillingly he looked into the eyes of his wife and clutched onto her hands as he spoke softly. “It’s a fact.”
Requiem For A Tower - Maou
“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?” She grabbed the vase and threw it on the ground as she felt her stomach kick furiously in response to the noise. She ignored the kick and felt the tears in her eyes attempt to push their way out.
“ERIKA CALM DOWN! THIS ISN’T GOOD FOR OUR BABY!” He raced to keep her hands from doing any more damage but she could only push him away hard as she glared up at him from under her hair and through her tears.
“OUR BABY? If you were thinking so much about OUR BABY, you would have already rejected that god forsaken acceptance and JUST TAKEN CARE OF ME. YOU GOT ME PREGNANT JIN FIX THIS! BECAUSE I AM NOT RAISING A BABY ON MY OWN!” She slapped him unable to take the fury as it coursed through her veins. She was boiling and the child in her body felt like an alien.
The idea of Jin leaving her had made her feel disgusted with herself. She felt used, she felt like she’d been hurt beyond anything she’d ever thought.
“ERIKA. I’M GOING FOR US THIS ISN’T A DISCUSSION.” He yelled back. It wasn’t that he wanted to yell at her. If anything he wanted to calm her down but he’d been trying for hours. Their parents had left the house all to them after they'd gotten back from the now tense picnic.
“OH PLEASE. YOU MEN AND YOUR PENISES. DO YOU THINK THAT MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE TO ME? I’M YOUR WIFE. AND YOU’RE LEAVING ME AND YOUR UNBORN CHILD? GOD I WISH I’D NEVER SLEPT WITH YOU!” She crumbled onto the bed shrieking and he rubbed his head into his hands as he felt the headache strike. Why was this so hard? He wished she could just understand why he was doing all of this. The only reason he was so adamant about this was because of them. He didn’t want to be like his father. He didn’t want to live under the grasp of Toda Takuya and his failing network. He wanted to be better, but most of all he wanted to be better for her.
“Eri…please listen to me.” He started as he came closer to his crying wife and tried to put his arms around her but she just pushed him off as she crumbled further into herself letting her hands fall on either side of her grossly huge belly. She hated this. She felt like she had given her heart and soul to someone to have them rip it out of her grasp forever, leave her vulnerable.
He was leaving her, like all of them left…and she couldn’t take that. She had thought he was better than Ken'ichi, better than even Prince Shota, and most of all better than her father.
He was worse. Who made her feel love and took it away from her just like that? At least her father had stuck by her mother no matter what, no matter Meisa or any of the others.
“Erika-“ He started but she stopped as she let out a blubber and attempted to compose herself. Her heart was beating so fast she didn’t know how to feel.
“Jin,” She took a deep breath letting the oxygen fill her lungs before she collapsed back into tears at her next question. “What’s more important to you? Your education…or us?”
The silence of his voice made her cry harder as she let him put his arms around her. “It’s only temporary Eri. It’s only two years. I’ll come back.”
Come back to what? A broken mother, a daughter who didn’t know him, a family that hated him?
She couldn’t take it anymore the pain in her heart had twisted it’s way into her stomach as she shrieked and put her arms around her stomach as she collapsed on the bed lying flat screaming.
But she couldn’t respond. All she could think about was what a horrible world she was bringing her child into, what a fatherless world. A man who wanted to leave her, perhaps first she had been emotional but now she just didn't get it.
If he really loved her...if he really wanted this. He would have made sure there was a way for it.
Why did all fathers disappoint their children before they even had the opportunity to leave the womb?
At precisely that moment her mother, obviously back from giving their private time barged into the room.
“JIN! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?” Erika let her yell her heart out at Jin. The pain in her pelvis was so large she could barely breathe. Or it might have been the pain in her chest. She could barely differentiate them anymore. She took in deep breaths of air.
“SHE JUST COLLAPSED. I THINK SHE’S IN LABOUR, HER WATER BROKE.”
Oh. That’s what that feeling was. She let him pick her up in his arms, she tried not to be weak and savour the feel but she knew what she had to do. She would not let him destroy her daughter. She would not let him be a nonchalant dad or a husband that didn’t care. She couldn’t.
For him and her she would do this. She had to. She would have it no other way..
So for the last time she wrapped her arms around her husband and cried into his chest. She hated the way he felt. She hated the way she felt around him, like nothing could go wrong, like she was still in the safest place possible. She hated the fact that she loved him with all her heart, soul and body.