Chapter 20

The veiled conversation with Dawn did much to clear Keesha's mind. The specifics of Dawn's personal life weren't necessary. Keesha had more than enough on her plate. She did not nor had the desire to speculate on someone else's life. All in all, even without much being said, she felt like their friendship became stronger.

Her focus centered on her family and her husband in particular. AJ noticed the change immediately. She caught him staring at her at odd times. On occasion, a spark of fear tapped her spine. The kiss she shared with Jason came to mind. Did AJ know? Had he guessed? Then, he'd smile and wrap his strong arms around her. Her fears would subside. All was well.

Then, something surprising happened. AJ had dreamed of it for years. Keesha never responded. Now, it seemed that Fate had a mind of its own.

She visited Dr. Newman alone. The wait wasn't long.

"It will be nice to have you as a patient again," the doctor said with a smile.

Keesha's eyebrows rose. "Are you sure? Do you meanů?"

The obstetrician nodded. "Yes. You're pregnant."

They discussed the due date, diet and exercise. After they scheduled the next appointment, Keesha went home in a daze.

Pregnant. AJ's baby. After all these years. He'd be ecstatic.

She was numb.

Hours passed. She picked up Maya from school. They did their homework together. Keesha stole glances of her little girl. The child was a dream. Sweet, caring, funny, smart. Maya, created in love, proved that miracles happened. Tears stung Keesha's eyes. Maybe she was ready to have another baby. The first one was perfect. And she knew that AJ was a good father.

The revelation set her into motion. She grabbed the phone.

"Hey, babe."

She smiled. "AJ. You and that caller ID. I wanted to surprise you."

"Color me surprised." His voice dropped to that sexy growl. "I'm happy to hear your voice. You're soothing me from afar. CSF is crazy."

"Do I want to know?"

She heard him inhale a deep breath. "Not really. It's not a big deal. Just talk to me. How's Maya? What did she make on the spelling test?"

Keesha glanced at her daughter. "I'm not supposed to say. I promised to keep it a secret until our special dinner."

"Special?" he repeated. "That sounds interesting."

"It is," she said, smiling with the knowledge of their unborn child. "Be home on time."

"I will. I'll be early if I can."

"That would be great."

He paused. "You're amazing. I'm so lucky. Have I told you that lately? How much I love you and our family?"

"You don't have to tell me. I know and you're not the lucky one," she said. "I am. I love you, AJ. Hurry home."

The call ended. Mother and daughter made quick work of setting the dinner table and starting dinner. The delicious aroma of garlic chicken, herb roasted potatoes and fresh rolls filled their home. Keesha helped Maya bathe and dress in the little girl's prettiest dress. Then, Keesha did the same.

They returned to the first floor with Maya having her mother's permission to play in the living room. Keesha was about to check on dinner when the doorbell rang. She didn't bother to look through the window. She just opened the door.

"You and Jason Quartermaine made love on December 10th, 1995. You were worried because the condom broke. He told you not to because whatever happened, the two of you would face it together. He loved you."

Jason swallowed hard and looked past Keesha into the living room where Maya played with dolls. He only looked at the little girl as he said, "She's mine. Isn't she?"

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