Door of Pictures
They say that bad things happen in threes. And you could certainly see all three things you had done wrong.
You should have never agreed to go to the party with Elizabeta.
You should have never accepted the bottle of beer Alfred gave you.
And You should have never let your drunk, best friend Francis get you alone.
When you had both woken up the next morning and realized what happened, things became extremely awkward. Then you had both agreed that maybe it was better if you weren't friends anymore.
Not that you wanted that. You were upset about losing your best friend. Angry for being so stupid.
And then you were even more pissed at yourself. Because you were pregnant. How were you supposed to do this on your own?
You told no one. Not even Elizabeta, who felt guilty about the whole ordeal. It was your fault, your problem. But you could only hide the fact for so long. Baggy clothes only covered so much.
When Elizabeta found out, she urged you to tell Francis, but you refused. She then decided to become your personal pregnancy help. You felt bad when she dragged her boyfriend Roderich to help.
Seven year later and she was still helping. Roderich and Elizabeta were now Matthew's god parents.
Your breath puffed out before you in little silver clouds. Shivering slightly, you watched with a smile as Matthew played with the other children on the snow covered playground equipment.
He laughed and toddled around, his bright red snow jacket, hat and gloves were vibrant against the snow. He fell, then got up laughing, the way all children seemed to.
"____ is zat you?"
You felt your heart clench at the sound of a familiar voice. Wiping around you stared up at Francis. He smiled down at you, looking exactly the same as he had seven years ago. You gave him a shaky smile, your eyes flitting to Matthew, then back to him.
"It's been ages mon cheri!!"
You nodded silently and waited to see what he would say. Francis looked at you, them over at the children at the playground.
"Are you babysitting? 'Ave you started a babysitting company?"
You laughed and shook your head. "I'm watching my son."
Francis's slender eyebrows shot up and he looked surprised. Then he looked about again, as if expecting to see someone else standing with you.
"Were is 'is papa?"
"His father left before I realized that I was pregnant." You muttered, watching Matthew.
You smiled slightly as he slid face first down the slid. He landed in the snow, sputtering, but smiling.
Francis was silent, watching you. "Do I know him?"
You nodded, not taking your eyes off Matthew. The little boy seemed to scene that he was being watched, Turning, he waved excitedly at you, grinning. You waved back, smiling. He returned to playing with the other children.
"Is 'e mine?"
"Wow, you got it in only one guess. Good for you." You gave him a mock round of applause, rolling your eyes. Francis gaped, his blue eyes wide. Then his expression turned somber.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Well, I figured the way we parted meant no contact at all. There was no need for me to call you up. I thought I would never see you again."
Tears welled up in your eyes and you angrily brushed them away. Francis sighed, biting his lower lip. You ignored him, keeping your eyes on Matthew. The little boy was oblivious to the conflict.
"Does 'e know about me?"
"No. He thinks his father is either dead or missing."
Francis didn't comment, his blue eyes unreadable. You didn't care. Bitterness and disappointment was pooling in your stomach. Your cold fingers dug into your legs.
You looked up, eyes wide. Matthew stood in front of you, his purple eyes wide. His cheeks were rosy red as was the tip of his nose. He shivered slightly, his mitten covered hands pressed against his chest.
"Can we go home?"
You nodded, standing up. Picking Matthew up, you gave Francis one last look before turning to leave.
"Wait!!" He grabbed your arm, pulling you around. Your eyes narrowed, arms tightening around Matthew. The little boy looked between you and Francis, his eyes wide. You scowled and Francis pursed his lips.
"Is he my papa?"
You nearly had a heart attack. Francis looked equally as surprised. Before you could shoot down his question, Francis nodded. The look on Matthew's face made you want to leap for joy and cry at the same time. There was nothing to explain the pure happiness he obviously felt.
Twisting in your arms, he reached out, patting Francis's face. The Frenchman stood still, eyes wide. Matthew's grin grew. He turned back to you, wrapping his arms around your neck and nuzzling your face.
"Is Papa going to stay Mama?"
You stared at Francis, desperately wanting to say no. You just wanted Francis to leave. Your heart still hurt, seven years later. Francis stared back, his jaw clenched, his eyes reflecting your inner turmoil.
"Maybe some ozer time, when your Mama is a little better."
With that he turned and walked away. You watched, jaw clenched. Matthew looked up at you, his eyes wide.
"Are you sick Mama?"
"No, not really."
You turned and headed in the opposite direction. Towards home.
The doorbell rang. You ignored it, stirring the pot of sauce. Matthew looked up from his coloring book on the table. It rang again, and again you ignored it, lips pursed. Matthew slid off his chair, heading towards the door.
You scrambled past him, racing down the hall and wrenching the door open. You stared up at Francis, he smiled down at you and held out a bouquet of flowers. Pushing them against his chest, you turned to shut the door.
"Wait." He stuck his foot in the doorway, keeping you from closing it completely. You glared and he just shot you a smile.
"What do you want?"
Matthew came up behind you, wrapping his arms around your leg and staring up at Francis. Francis smiled down at the little boy. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small white polar bear plushy. Handing it to Matthew, he turned back to you.
"I just want to know my son."
Great. You glared at him, then turned and walked back into the kitchen. Matthew still held onto your leg, acting like a koala bear. Francis followed, closing the door behind him.
Dinner was silent except for Matthew's excited chattering. The little boy was ecstatic about finally meeting his father. You smiled every now and then, as did Francis.
Maybe Matthew would be the thread to pull you and Francis back together.
Over the next few months, Francis kept coming over, spending more and more time with you and Matthew. You would be lying if you said you weren't enjoying it. Matthew's happiness seemed to be infectious.
Now you were sitting with Francis on the couch. The atmosphere was slightly awkward. You cleared your throat, and pursed your lips. Francis leaned back, twirling a lock of his hair around his finger.
You glanced at him and blushed. Cursing internally, you looked away, feeling your cheeks turn even redder. An arm slid around your waist, pulling you against Francis's chest. His other hand came up, turning your face towards his.
"Francis." Your tone was warning, however he only smiled. He ran his thumb over your lower lip, then leaned forward and pressed his lips to yours. Your eyes went wide, then slid closed as you kissed him back. Both of his hand were on your back, pulling you close, while your hands tangled in his hair.
"CLICHEE" There was bright white flash. Blinking Rapidly you looked around,eyes wide.
Francis did the same, then laughed as he saw what it was before you. Matthew was standing in the hallway, a camera in hand. A photo slid out of the camera. Picking it up, Matthew shook it so it would develop faster.
He glanced up and saw your slightly amused and shocked face. Smiling he motioned for you to follow.
"Come see the picture door!!"
Getting up, you and Francis followed the little boy. He grinned back at you, racing into his room. Opening his closet door, he showed you the back of it.
It was covered in pictures. Pictures of Elizabeta and Roderich. Pictures of his class mates. And pictures of You and Francis. Those pictures were arranged in the shape of a heart. Taking a piece of tape, Matthew pasted the picture of your and Francis kissing in an empty spot.
You felt tears well up in your eyes. This was so typical Mattie. Wiping your eyes, you crouched next to him. Francis did the same, wrapping his arm around your shoulders.
"There's a picture missing Mattie."
The little boy looked surprised, his violet eyes going wide. Francis raised an eyebrow, then smiled when you picked up the camera. Draping an arm over Matthew's shoulder, you leaned your head against his head. Francis draped his arm over both of your shoulders, resting his head against yours.
After the photo had developed, you placed it right in the middle of the photo heart. Matthew smiled, patting it in place.
"Well zen." Francis grinned, "We're going to need anozer door for when Mattie's older."
You smiled and nodded. Matthew grinned, wrapping his arms around your neck and Francis, pushing the two of you together. You pecked Francis on the lips, then swept Matthew into your arms, placing a kiss on his forehead.
Sure things had started out bumpy, but the road ahead looked smooth.