"Did I read her email correctly? Natasha is pregnant? What?!! How...? I mean...dammit! What is the meaning of this? "We only had sex one time. Now she's coming back telling me that she's pregnant?" Johnathan was no longer sitting in his wing back burgundy leather chair, it was left abandon when he jumped to his feet in total shock. He began to pace back and forth in his private corporate office. His heart was beating rapidly, the four corners of the walls were beginning to close in on him. He felt suffocated...trapped, allowing the news he just received to overshadow him in a gloom of darkness. Natasha just dropped the atomic bomb on him, causing Johnathan's shell-shocked mind to replay the events that brought on this sudden attack. "I remember Natasha and I having sex the last time we were together, her raining down insults and me waking up to a very bad hangover." "Wait a minute..." Johnathan paused in mid-thought. No longer pacing the floor, he was unable to move as he faced his worst fear. All of a sudden, his lifeless standstill became animated. Johnathan's left hand palm hit his forehead with a loud slap as he blurted out, "I didn't use a condom!! What have I freak'n done to myself?! F*ck!! How on earth could I be so damn stupid and careless??!" Jonathan's hysterical moment was brought to an abrupt halt when the secretary, buzzed his office. "Excuse me Mr. Mandela", her voice rang over the intercom."What is it Mariyam?" She paused, obviously not expecting the icy greeting in his voice. "Sir, your elder brother, Edwin, wanted me to remind you to be at your parents mansion for dinner tonight. The Prime Minister Barnabas, his wife and daughter Peru will be in attendance sir." "Is that all?", he said to her in annoyance. "Yes sir, that is all." "Why couldn't my brother simply remind me himself instead of asking my secretary? Is business the only thing that he and I share in common, or, the only time he speak to me directly? Besides, I'm in no mood to put up fronts tonight. Since when now have our "family dinners" included the Prime Minister, his wife Mirabel and their daughter Peru? When will my parents and my instigating brother lay off my back about me marrying her?", Jonathan seethed in discontentment. He knew what this whole charade was all about. His marriage to the Prime Minister's daughter was a power move.With the two most powerful, riches and influential families joined together, they would rule over all of South Africa. Jonathan is well aware that marrying Peru is all about political gain more than anything else. "Surely, it's not for love", he thought. "I've never liked arranged marriages, neither do I want to partake in one. I'm not going to play into their hands tonight. My plate is already full. No need for me to bite off more than I can chew in one day. I got a bigger problem on my hands right now to contend with other than Peru, an arrange marriage or family dinner. Natasha is her name."
"Once you press SEND, the information is now out of your hands." Natasha is reminded of a public service video she remember seeing at her daughter's school about being mindful of the content you share on-line or text to another by phone. Once the other person has received the information, you no longer have a choice of how it's being carried by that person or persons who have it in their hands. "Do I have a choice?", Natasha asked herself. Not anymore she thought. "In the moment of decision, I had a chance to pull out while I was still deciding; but, revenge and a shattered heart decided his faith for him, and the consequences for me." Natasha sat in front of her Mac Book staring at the email she just sent to Johnathan. "I finally did it." she thought out loud. "I told him that I was pregnant. Now comes the gritty part, I need to make him believe it. At least I have one thing going for me...we had unprotected sex." "I will use this very important fact to gain the advantage over him." Soon, Natasha began rehearsing what happen that night over and over her mind. The more she kept thinking about it, the angrier she became. "Johnathan, you will not get away so easily this time. I promise. I will make a lasting example out of you that you will never be able to forget." She sat her computer off to the side and stretched out fully in her bed. Fire blazed in Natasha's eyes, deadly flames that cannot be extinguished. She began to think of ways to make her scheme more believable. "I know the first thing he will want to see is a pregnancy report confirming my claims", she said. "How can I stage a fake pregnancy that will strongly convince him otherwise? I have my work cut out for me. At least he's not in the U.S. right now, that puts a little time on my hand to cultivate my plan. If he was here, he'd probably want to escort me to the nearest clinic." Humiliation flashed across Natasha's face like an instant Polaroid camera. She pictured the embarrassment of being busted by a doctor informing Jonathan that there was no evidence of a pregnancy. "Distance is my only saving grace", Natasha sighed in relief.
"Mariyam, you can leave work a little earlier today, I'm closing the office in the next thirty minutes." "Sir...sir, thank you sir! My children will be so happy to see me home early today", his secretary spoke with surprised excitement. "It's Okay, Mariyam. Once you fax over a copy of today's ledger to Felix & Barron Accounting Firm you may go." After Jonathan's secretary had gone for today, he stayed behind. His attention was back on Natasha's email she had sent him earlier. Jonathan removed his suit jacket and loosened his tie. "What if she's lying?" he thought. "She would be the second woman to ever become pregnant from me if she is that way." Jonathan reminisced on the first time he had gotten someone pregnant. It was from a girl he dated back in college. Her name was Kisa. Jonathan convinced Kisa that he would marry her if she got rid of the pregnancy, not marry her because she was pregnant. He cleverly turned it around on her. He even bought her an engagement ring just to urge her along. Finally, she gave in and had the pregnancy aborted. Jonathan then employed one of his friends she didn't know to seduce her so that he could stage a break up with her. It worked. He caught Kisa in the arms of another man and broke it off with her. He told her, "I'm such a nice guy, you can even keep the ring." Jonathan was a bloody shame even back then. "So, if this is Natasha's ploy to trap me into marriage, it will never work, because I'm not going to marry her. Not at all. The thought of a nagging wife constantly in my ear irks the crap out of me. I can give a woman anything...but my time and commitment isn't neither of them." Jonathan's cell phone started ringing, he looked to see who was calling, it was his mother, Makeba. He knew why she was calling...to remind him of tonight's affair. "I'm getting fed up with my father and mother breathing down my neck to settle down and marry a suitable wife and produce an heir. All this pressure is getting next to me. My father has made it painstakingly clear, that without one, I will not inherit my entire portion of his estate. That means my brother will have the bigger portion of our father's estate, including the company assets. If such a thing shall ever happen to me, that control freak I call my brother would be booming with gladness. He already think I'm incapable of managing my part of the company as we speak. Which is why he convinced our father to let him hire on Felix & Barron Accounting Firm, to check over all my financial transactions pertaining to the family empire. But enough about my egotistical brother for now, I need to focus on the current issue at hand. I need answers to the questions that have taken up residence in my mind. "Is Natasha truly pregnant?" And if so, "Is it my pregnancy she's carrying?" Only Natasha know the truth, he thought. Jonathan stood in his office staring out of the window for nearly fifteen minutes in deep meditation. Finally, after gazing mindlessly in a trance, he sat back down in his chair facing his computer. Jonathan clicked on the email she sent him, thinking out loud, "Well, I can't get answers by holding on to runaway thoughts in my head. I need to reply her."
"You got mail" Natasha was awaken by the buzz of her cell phone. She didn't realize that she'd fallen asleep. "All this plotting and scheming was tiresome work", she thought. "Perhaps I should get into a more legitimate line of business...politics maybe? Naw, politicians are just as crooked and devious as the rest of us." Natasha seen she had gotten an email alert, and it's from Johnathan. "It's him..." she muttered in quiet excitement. Now she was fully awake. Natasha tossed her cell phone aside and reached for her Mac Book. "It's better I read his response on a wider screen", she said, while opening the browser. The email read:
You're now pregnant huh? I don't believe you. If so, how do I know that I am the one who's responsible for whatever it is you think that you are carrying? To tell you the truth, I don't think that you are..."
**STAY TUNED FOR THE REST OF ADDICTED TO LOVE PT. 9 (THE BURDEN OF PROOF 2)*
Latarsha M. Preciado
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