Brunch With The Bitches

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Alex kept squirming in my arms, excited to see his Mum again. I almost felt sorry for the baby, he got the worst of both worlds. Neither Amanda nor I could give up the cutie, but the both of us weren't in any state to raise a child.

All I have to say is that I've never gotten drunk at a party again, and neither has Josh.

I glanced back at him, sitting in between the two babies' car seats to keep them entertained on the short drive to town. I pulled into the spot right next to Abby's car, seeing the look of Josh's face as I put the car into park.

Brielle sensed the tension in the car and started to whine. "Daddy, I hungry!" Her father smiled a ghost of his real smile, unfastening both of the children and handing them out to me.

Alex was almost immediately snatched up, receiving cuddles and kisses from his Mum while she cooed over him. "Mummy!" He giggled, playing with her hair while she walked him inside. I still held Brielle in my arms, although she kept turning her body to look at Josh and Abby.

Inside, we sat down at a six man table. Amanda sat herself directly in front of me, and Alex got to sit at the head of the table in between the two of us.

Her gaze was penetrating, splicing into my brain like the point of a knife. She has always been the cause of my headaches. Her and those honey brown eyes.

Gentle hands extended, clasping my own over the checkered tablecloth of the diner. "I know you really don't like spending time away from Josh, but I was wondering..." She trailed off, testing the waters with her tongue.

I leaned closer, interested. Normally, she couldn't stand being around me long enough to make the suggestion.

"Do continue, dear." I prodded, noticing the edges of her painted lips as they curled up into a wicked grin. "I met a lad at the coffee shop a few months back." She began to explain, holding out her left hand to show off the engagement ring. "You're invited to the wedding, of course, but I wanted you to come out and meet him beforehand." She bit her lip in anticipation, and I thought it over.

"I'm glad you want my opinion, Amanda, but why?" I asked the question that had first popped into my mind. The young woman laughed. "Because, Oliver, I thought it only fair for you meet Alex's soon-to-be stepfather."

The whole world froze.

I guess it's finally hitting me, I'm not to only man in my son's life. He's going to grow up splitting time between two homes, with two sets of parents, and two families. I'm not going to be his only Dad. He could grow up to hate me, and it's all because I'm a drunken idiot.

I glanced over at my husband forlornly. "Invite him to the show." I spoke with half a heart, stuck in my own suffocating mind trap.

I stood up, planting a kiss on my son's forehead. "I'll be back." I mumbled, stuffing my hands in my front pockets to walk outside.

The warm California air was soothing, but I would have much preferred the stifling cold of a Sheffield winter to numb me. The feeling if being alive was wearing on me, and I found myself wandering up to a stranger's flat.

It looked so unidentifiable, but I couldn't help but feel a sort of pull to the place. So, against all better judgment, I rang the doorbell.

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