Chapter 24 - We All Fall Down
"Petra!" he whispered again, she grunted.
Patrick's hand stirred her waist firmly.
"No...." She moaned.
"Babe, Ollie's going nuts!" he whispered.
Recognising Petra's usual inadequacy to wake up, he rushed out of the bed and over to the crib, lifting him out. He offered his little finger to the hungry child and he soon stopped, soothed by the idea that he might be getting something, however, it only bought him seconds and soon he was crying angrily for food.
"Shut up!!" Petra growled and pulled the pillow over her head. Patrick made his way down stairs, trying earnestly to stay calm as Oliver literally shook as he cried. He pulled open the fridge and he saw a single bottle, only a little left.
"Ok little man, I got you something, just hold on..." he whispered sleepily. He pushed the microwave button around and warmed it up, he'd watched Petra do it and had been shown by Petra how to do it several times, so was fairly sure of what he had to do.
He tested the milk and feeling it's warmth, plunged the teat into his son's mouth and he guzzled obnoxiously.
"This is tough..." Patrick croaked, resting one hand on his forehead as he slumped over the kitchen worktop. He opened his eyes and was greeted with a much more content face of his son, his eyes searched his Dad's features, studying the person who was taking the time to feed him.
"You're making this totally alright..." he smiled, there was no social response from the 6 week old but he seemed happy enough that someone was taking an interest in him.
Patrick sat in the sofa and gently winded Ollie's back, soon followed by a burp, then Ollie burped. Two peas in a very strange pod.
"What am I gonna do with your Mom huh?" Patrick asked, Ollie looked at him fondly, a little smile under his eyes.
Patrick was noting Petra's sloppiness with Oliver lately. He felt in no place to make comment or even attempt to sympathise because he knew he didn't know how it felt to be a new mother. All he knew was that his wife was becoming easily disinterested with her son, lacking the motivation to spend time with him, stimulate him or even be affectionate with him.
Petra lay wide awake, she knew Patrick had woken to feed Ollie, her conscience pricked her, he was exhausted from jet lag and didn't deserve it, but she physically couldn't bring herself to do it. She felt so deflated and unemotionally attached to anyone.
"There we go..." Patrick whispered, lowering him into his Moses basket. Petra swallowed and tried to fain sleep as best she could, even if her eyeballs were twitching intensely.
"Petra...." He whispered, beckoning her.
She mumbled and he leaned over her.
"I'm worried about you!"
"Don't be..." she croaked sleepily.
Petra turned over and he moved back slightly, giving her the room she'd needed lately.
"I'm just tired." She said, he watched her, desperate for clues so that he didn't accuse himself of insanity.
"He needs you Petra...so much!" He said gently, referring to their son.
"I know! I'm trying my best!" she whispered, he cupped her face gently.
"You are so pretty...." He smiled shyly.
"Even at..." she stopped and looked over him and at the clock.
"Even at 4.30 am...sleep does wonderful things to you..." He smiled.
"Yeah, so does lack of sleep."
She put her hand over his and leaned up to kiss him softly.
"Thank you for being so supportive - I'm sorry I've been so bad at this."
"You haven't been bad at this at all....it's tiring. It's demanding and Petra - you're doing an amazing job, you're truly wonderful!" he said, she got teary eyed and he pulled her up closer where they could kiss properly.
Patrick felt her move as she pulled her thigh over his lap and straddled him gently.
"I love you." She whispered.
"I love you too!" he gasped, just having her sat there was enough for him after not having sex for nearly 2 months.
Patrick undid her PJ top quickly, almost impatiently and she pulled away quickly seeing his eyes on her breasts.
"These puppies are not available!" she whispered quickly.
"Not even a little?!" he gasped, his lips gently touched the soft skin of her cleavage.
"Aw! See now, they're going to go rock solid on me!" she giggled.
"I'm sorry!" he whispered in-between small kisses up her cleavage and to her throat.
They clambered around clumsily, shedding their night clothes and he pushed her down gently to the sheets.
"This is so weird, there's another person in the room!" Petra gasped.
"He's still in the room!" she laughed
"What do you want me to do - take him out into the hall way??" Patrick asked, she smiled and just kissed him again gently.
"I guess he can stay." She surrendered.
Petra felt his warm skin cover her from foot to know and almost as he was about to commit to the long lost act she pushed him away firmly.
"I can't do this!" she whispered, quickly pulling her legs from underneath him and pulling on her underwear.
"I'm sorry - I just can't." she said
"Petra?" Patrick frowned.
"I'm sorry!" she cried gently and she left the room quickly.
Patrick fell back onto the bed lazily.
"She will actually kill me one day." He moaned. Realising what he'd said, his eyes opened wide.
"Oh that was just awful...." He groaned at his own slipped tongue.
CeCe picked at the salad before her, clutching at anything that wasn't green. Patrick and Joe were chilling out after the trip to Europe and had an array of technology before them, exciting them more than it should. Ollie was restless in his baby chair on the kitchen worktop, objecting profusely by stiffening his legs and waving his arms uncontrollably. CeCe glanced at him and then at Petra who appeared to be taking no note at all.
"Is he hungry?" CeCe asked.
"God knows." Petra moaned. She ate some salad too.
Ollie grew more distressed and so did CeCe, she couldn't understand her lack of interest to soothe him.
"Come here sweetie." CeCe said, casually taking him from his baby chair in a non-interfering manner. She nestled the small child into her neck and he calmed instantly.
"He's hungry Petra.." She said gently to her friend, who's finger was being sucked fervently by the child.
"Um-there's bottles in the fridge." She said, pointing.
CeCe stared at her, she couldn't believe how far she was slipping from the Petra who had held her baby with such love that first day.
"You should feed him." CeCe said softly but with conviction.
"I'm eating!" Petra laughed.
With long looks and a sense of unhappiness about the whole situation, CeCe took a bottle from the fridge and put it into the microwave.
It was difficult manoeuvring the child over her huge bump that was due in a few weeks but she welcomed any practice.
CeCe walked into the room with Patrick and Joe and laid Ollie over her bump and began feeding him.
"Where's Pets?" Patrick frowned.
"She's eating." CeCe informed him. Patrick looked at her, their problem was surfacing and he knew. Patrick looked behind him and saw Petra flicking the pages of a magazine as she ate her lunch, looking back to CeCe he paused.
"You want me to do it?" he asked her.
"No, no it's fine, I guess I should just get into a habit now right?" she asked with a smile, looking at Joe, who warmly smiled back.
Patrick got up as casually as he could and walked into the kitchen. He sloped his hands over Petra's shoulders and kissed the side of her head gently. He squeezed her arms gently.
"You ok?" he whispered.
"I was thinking we could take Ollie out, do some shopping?" he asked, thinking he could take her mind off it but still spend some time together.
He watched her, that was easier than he thought.
They parked up in the parking lot and they both got out the car. Petra walked quickly to catch up with Patrick and he stopped and stared at her.
"Petra?" he frowned.
"Yeah?" she asked, a little startled.
"Ollie?" he asked.
"Oh buggar - yes!" she gasped, she rushed back to the car.
Ollie looked up at her unknowing of his temporary abandonment.
She pulled him from his fittings and out the car. Patrick quickly took him from her and shot her a glance before she closed the door and locked it. Petra didn't know what to say.
"Are you alright?" Patrick frowned at her.
"Well I'm only asking because you forgot to get your child from the car." He said, smacking her verbally.
"I'm sorry - I...I just....I just forgot." She said, Patrick kissed Ollie's hat clad head and looked at her again. He felt sympathy for her, she looked lost, instinct just put a strong arm around her and he pulled her close to him as they walked into the mall.
As they walked around the various shops, he tried to keep her mind simmering on current things and not letting her lapse into her quietness. It was unsettling for him to have a quiet wife, he wanted his gobby wife back who openly talked about how bad their sex was as they drank coffee in public places.
"Patrick - Oh my god?!" a female voice cooed. He looked up suddenly and stood before them was a vibrant blonde.
"Katy." He blurted out uncomfortably. Petra looked at her, immediately finding envy easy to feel as the young woman's figure taunted her.
"I heard about the kid - wow." She said, there was resentment in her tone, there should've been too, he was supposed to be that with her. She peered in closer and looked at him and Patrick showed her.
"Oh he is just the most beautiful thing in the world....he's like you!" she cooed.
She stepped back awkwardly and glanced at Petra.
"Hi." She said as politely as she could. Katy's hand still fondled with Ollie's hand and Petra grew nervous. She leaned in again and mollycoddled the child. Ollie grew anxious and moaned in disagreement. Within seconds he'd launched his full vocal attack and was turning a furious shade of red. Petra reached out for him and Patrick looked concerned.
"Maybe I'll just go change his nappy or something - I don't know." She said, feeling out of place. Katy shoved her hands into her pocket and they both watched Petra walk away quickly.
"Was never good with the whole kid thing..." she said, laughing nervously.
"So..." Patrick said gently.
"How are you?" she asked.
Petra placed him on the nappy changing table in the toilets and he continued to whine. Petra's anxious state deteriorated as she tried her hardest to figure out why he was so unsettled. As she pulled the wipes from her bag, his cries grew louder and louder.
A woman watched her cautiously as she made her way to the toilets, she could see Petra was distressed. On coming out of the toilets and washing her hands, she eyed the young woman cautiously.
"Ollie please..." she whispered, she put a finger into her cream but Ollie's foot collided with hers and knocked the ub over and cream went all over his foot. As she went to reach to pick it up, she knocked everything off the small table and she burst into tears.
"Hey hey...." The woman said, rushing to her aid and she picked everything up for her.
"You're OK, come on now, you're ok." She said softly, putting an arm around Petra's shoulder. The woman quickly took the cream from Ollie's foot and rubbed and helped Petra rub it into his skin gently.
Petra cried uncontrollably and the woman's kindness also overwhelmed her. She took out a diaper and slid it under his bottom gently.
"You're OK..." she kept saying gently, reassuring Petra who's shaking fingers fastened the slips over her small body.
"Now hold him." She intstructed her.
"I can't." she said, feeling the fear of hurting him overcome her.
"Yes you can..." she smiled and Petra cautiously lifted him, she brought him to her chest and the woman pulled Petra's arms around him tighter.
"The tighter you hold, the more they love you!" she said with a smile.
"Thank you!" She sobbed and the woman handed her a wipe to clean up her puffy cheeks and eyes.
"Being a Mom is the most stressful thing in the world!" she said.
"I'm a horrible Mum!" she said,
"No you're not....it's just overwhelming at times...but he needs you." she said. Petra looked at the woman and stared at her.
"I think you must be guardian angel or something!" she said, with a little smile.
"You never know when you're gonna be in the right time at the right place." She said.
"Thank you!" she said again.
"He's beautiful." She said with a smile under her eyes.
"I know!" she agreed and Petra looked down at him.
Petra stepped out of the toilet and Katy was still talking with Patrick. Petra diverted to a near by window and gazed at the clothing and soon 10 minutes had passed. Petra eyed her less than friendly and then she had enough. She walked over casually and Katy avoided the eye contact with her until she was right up close.
"Hey!" she smiled. Petra looked at her.
"Sorry to butt in but...."
"Yeah, I should get going." Patrick smiled and he slipped an arm around Petra's small waist.
"Right, sure!" Katy smiled.
"It was great catching up with you." Patrick smiled genuinely.
"Yeah you too...good luck with Daddy and everything." She said, gesturing to Ollie.
"Thanks." He said.
"Bye." She said as they walked away, Patrick waved, almost shyly, then placed the arm back around Petra's waist. Katy stared as they walked away. She'd given up on such a good thing.
"Thank you sooo much." Patrick said, Petra smirked and her kissed her head affectionately.
Petra stepped out of the changing room and awkwardly faced Patrick.
"Oh shit." Patrick said looking at her.
"What?!" She exclaimed, she patted down herself and looked quickly, examine for splits or holes that would make a man react so inappropriately.
"You look so hot." He said quietly. Petra's cheeks flushed instantly and he then so did Patrick's as an assistant smiled knowingly at them.
"Doesn't Mommy look incredible in that Dress??" He asked, making Ollie face her, his eyes just stared at her. There was only thing he was interested in and it wasn't the dress but how to satisfy his hunger needs.
"Do you think Daddy should pay the extortionate amount of money for the hot dress?" He asked, Ollie continued to stare obliviously.
Patrick looked at Petra who was looking in the mirror.
"Sure Dad, you're minted! You should buy her those nice shoes she's on about for ages too!" Patrick said in a squeaky voice which Petra assumed was an impersonation of Oliver. He walked over to her and looked in the mirror with her.
"Babe, you look amazing." He said, gently kissing her shoulder. Petra looked at him.
Suddenly, he gave back to her something that she'd needed for a long time, a look in his eyes that told her everything would be alright. Even if it was going to be slow, it was going to be alright. Petra leaned in and very softly kissed his lips.
"Get outta here perv." She said with a laugh. His wide smile surfaced and it made Petra lose her breath for a second. She looked back in the mirror and pushed her hands over her hips and down her thighs.
Petra stared at herself, her whole life had changed entirely the last 12 months. Just over a year ago she was a single person lost in a huge dilemma. Then she found herself married, pregnant and now she was a wife and she was a mother. But she was still Petra. Her sense of identity was still something she had to keep. Now all she had to do was figure out who Petra was.
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