I headed over to Charles’s office after work, but the receptionist would not let me in and told me that I needed to schedule an appointment to meet with Charles.
I stood my ground and insisted on waiting. I might not have acquaintances or friends in Charles’s company that I could sweet talk into letting me see Charles, but I refused to let that stop me. Charles might avoid me, but I would not stop following him like a shadow if that was what it took to get him to agree to the divorce.
“Please have a seat, ma’am. I’ll get you a cup of coffee,” the receptionist said kindly. I had been coming here for a few days, so I was no longer a stranger to them.
The hall was bustling with people, and I felt a little embarrassed to stand there in their midst, so I took a seat in the waiting area, hoping that Charles would suddenly show up.
“Scarlett? Is that you, my dear?”
I turned around and was surprised at the sight of Alice.
“Mom? What are you doing here?” I quickly got up and walked over to her.
“Oh, I came to bring Charles some food.” She raised the lunch box she was holding at me and flashed me a happy smile. Then, she held my arm and asked, “Why are you sitting here by yourself? If you’re here for Charles, you can go to him directly.”
I mustered an awkward smile, unsure of how to respond.
Alice rubbed my arm and said, “Oh, dear. You’ve always been a shy one, haven’t you? Come. I’ll take you to Charles. He’d be very happy to see you.”
I instantly imagined the dissatisfied look on Charles’s face. He would be many things when he saw me, but happy was not one of them. I followed Alice into the private
elevator to Charles’s office.
“Did you know that Charles set the password of this elevator to the date of your wedding anniversary? Isn’t that sweet?” she said and flashed me an adorable squinty smile. Then, she added, “Charles values his family and friends a lot. He’s been like that since he was a little boy. He’s just not used to expressing his feelings openly, but he cares a lot about those he loves, especially you, dear. In fact, all his passwords are related to you.”
“Rita’s pregnant with Charles’s baby, Mom,” I said abruptly. I could not take Alice’s praises of Charles anymore. He was not the affectionate man she thought he was.
“What? Are you serious?” The happy smile on Alice’s face vanished into thin air.
I swallowed the lump that lodged itself in my throat and replied in a broken voice, “Yes, Mom. I found out a few days ago.”
Alice hugged me and started comforting me, “Oh, sweetie, I’m so sorry. But are you sure? Have you heard Charles’s side of the story? Maybe he can explain all this.”
“No need, Mom. This is it. I’m done. I want a divorce. This time, I won’t let anything stop me,” I told her in between small sobs. My relationship with Charles had not only hurt me in unspeakable ways but also robbed me of my pride and dignity. I did not want it anymore.
“Let’s not be hasty, Scarlett. You and Charles need to talk this through,” Alice sighed after hesitating for a while.
Eventually, the elevator reached Charles’s office, and the doors whirred open. Charles’s assistant was out in hall waiting for us. “Mr. Moore is in a meeting right now, but he sent me to usher you into his office to wait.”
“No, thanks. We’ll wait here. You may carry on with your work.” Alice waved her hand and sent Charles’s assistant away. Then, she pulled me aside and said, “Calm yourself, dear. Things may not be as bad as you think. I know my son very well. Before you make some permanent decisions, you should open a dialogue with him first. I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation for all this. I didn’t raise my son to treat his wife like this.”
Alice’s words made me feel a bit better, so I reached out and gave her a hug. “Thank you, Mom. No matter what happens between me and Charles, you’ll always be my mother.”
As soon as I finished my words, Charles walked out of the meeting room. He glanced at us, pulled a long face, and walked straight into his office. Alice rushed over to him, and I followed suit.
“Is it true, Charles? Is Rita pregnant with your child?” Alice asked immediately after I closed the door behind us.
“I’m not the father of Rita’s baby, Mom,” Charles backfired. He sat on the sofa and crossed his legs. He closed his eyes and kneaded the bridge of his nose. There were obvious dark circles under his eyes. He looked exhausted.
“Are you sure? You’ve been seeing that woman even after Scarlett came home from overseas.”
only trying to show her some
“Nothing’s going on between me and Rita. I’m gratitude.”
“Then why did you express your desire to marry Rita and divorce Scarlett? And now that Rita’s pregnant, you won’t take responsibility? Is that how I raised you?” Alice reprimanded.
“I’m willing to do anything to prove that Rita’s child isn’t mine. I’ve never touched her.” Charles fished out his cigarette case from his jacket pocket. He was about to light up when he paused, put the cigarette back in the case, and shoved the case back into his jacket pocket.
“Are you saying that you want a paternity test? I can’t believe you. When did you turn into such a coward?” I looked at him coldly.
“I’m not being a coward. Since neither of you believe me, then I need to produce some sort of proof,” Charles retorted in a tone that I could tell he was desperately trying to keep neutral. I had the chance to stare at him more closely. He looked like he had lost some weight in the days that we had not seen each other.
I averted my gaze and muttered, “You got her pregnant. You don’t get to walk away from the responsibility of raising your child.”
“But it’s not my child, so it’s not my responsibility. Even if you tell me over and over that I’m the father of Rita’s baby, it won’t change the fact that I’m not because I never climbed into bed with her.”
“And you expect me to believe that? Come on, Charles. Be a man.” I looked at him with disappointment
Alice, who had been standing there and watching us argue, suddenly exploded with emotions. “Enough! You better be right about you not being the father of Rita’s unborn baby, Charles, or I swear the rest of your life will be filled with nothing but regret.”
“I’m very busy right now, Mom. I don’t have time for this. I’ve already explained myself. If you don’t want to believe me, then there’s nothing else I can do.”
With a cold face, Charles asked his assistant to show us out.
Alice set down the lunch box on the coffee table and said, “I brought you some food. I hope your conscience doesn’t bother you so much that you won’t be able to enjoy it.”
Before leaving, I remembered why I came to see Charles in the first place. I raised my chin, put the papers down in front of him, and said, “Let’s get divorced. No more delays. I want it done as soon as possible.”
Completely infuriated, Charles swept the papers off the coffee table and rose from his seat. He ran his fingers through his hair, and a little growl escaped his throat. His assistant walked over to me and led me out. 1
“You’d better leave now. Mr. Moore is in a bad mood,” she said to me in a low voice.
I nodded and left with Alice.
“Is Rita really pregnant with Charles’s child? What if Charles was telling the truth about him not going to bed with Rita? What if Rita is pregnant with another man’s child and is using it to force Charles to marry her?” Alice wondered out loud.
“But who else could father Rita’s child?” I asked in a dispirited tone. To be honest, I was hoping in my heart that Charles was indeed telling the truth. But Rita was so desperately in love with Charles. The last thing that she would do was to be unfaithful to him and sleep with another man. She would never ruin her chances of marrying him.
“I’ve known Charles to be an honorable young man. He doesn’t lie, and he has always been responsible. If he really got Rita pregnant, he would own up to it without hesitation. Besides, he told us that he wanted to build a life and a family with you.” Alice held my hand and flashed me a look at shattered my heart.
The back of my eyes instantly burned, but I bit back the tears. Sometimes, I could not comprehend how fate could be so merciless to its subjects. I once imagined a perfect life with Charles, a life that we would happily spend together surrounded by our children. But now, it did not look like it would ever turn into a reality, and it left a bitter taste in my mouth and a giant wound in my heart.
Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 83 Dispute