Billionaire's Fake Fiancee:Age Gap Romance(6)

By: Tara Brent

“Betsy!” I exclaim, quickly reaching out to touch her arm. “What’s wrong?”

She shrugs. “Nothing’s wrong. Everything is just perfect. Sort of...” She falls back down to the couch, her hands tightly clasped in her lap. I slowly sit down. Whatever’s about to come out of her mouth isn’t going to be great. I can feel the tension already inching up my spine. “It’s my daughter, Naomi...” She looks up and meets my eyes, waiting for my response. I slowly nod, but still back to that tension that has me encased in fear. In the past four years that Betsy has been Cece’s babysitter, she never once gave me a reason to worry. Like clockwork, she has been the solid beacon in my life, practically helping me raise my daughter. “She’s about to be a mother.”

I heave a sigh and smile. There’s nothing to worry about. She’s just going to be a grandma. That’s happy news. My face falls when Betsy doesn’t smile. “That’s good news, right? If memory serves me, she’s been trying to have a child.”

“She has, and you’re right. That is great news. It’s a real blessing.” For the first time since the conversation, her demeanor changes, and she’s grinning. “I’m just so happy for her and John. They will make great parents, I’m sure of it.”

This is the woman I’ve come to know. I feel this relief on the one hand, but on the other, there’s something she needs to get out into the open, and this conversation has taken a halt. “Where do they live?”

“Texas,” she responds.

“That’s not too far away,” I reply. “I trust you’ll find plenty of ways to take off and spoil your grandchild.”

“You see, that’s the thing.” Betsy gets up from the couch and takes a few steps, widening the distance between us. “It’s my first grandchild.” She whirls around and looks at me. “I can’t fathom not being there for the firsts. You know, the first step. The first tooth. The first Christmas. The list goes on. I don’t want to miss any of that.”

I sink back into the couch. “So, you’re moving to Texas.” The words fall off my tongue. In the pit of my stomach, I have this grueling sense of selfishness that wants to power through, asking her how she can do this. But, in the end, nobody can fault her for that. Least of all me. I know what it’s like to see my child growing up right before my eyes, and I know that missing any of her important steps throughout life is something I can’t even contemplate. While waitressing pays the bills, fashion is my true passion. With a job where I can set my own hours and make more time for Cece, I’d be able to have it all. Missing the little things reminds me of moments I will never get back. I stand up from the couch. My support is what Betsy needs, and that’s what I’ll give her. I pull her into a big hug and can feel her relax in my arms.

“You don’t know what this means to me,” Betsy replies. The embrace slowly comes to an end. “I was up all night thinking about it. When my husband died two years ago, I vowed never to take life for granted. Now that this opportunity is upon me, it’s like he’s speaking from the grave and telling me to do it.”

“And you can’t overlook that,” I reply. “I understand, Betsy. I would never want to hold you back from doing what you want to do. Sure, you’ll be greatly missed, but I’m always looking for new places to visit. Never been to Texas before.”

“You mean it?” Her eyes widen.

“Of course, I do.” I move closer to her and touch her shoulder. Her eyes are misting with tears. “These four years, you’ve become like family. I was there when your husband passed, and I think you’re right. You owe it to him to do this. Sure, Cece will miss you terribly, so we’re going to have to visit.” She wraps her arms back around me, and I hold her in another hug. I can feel my tears threatening to fall. I close my eyes, willing them to stay behind. “When are you leaving?”

“I won’t ditch you, by any means. I’d like to get settled in so that I’m not rushing around doing that when she has the baby. Please don’t think that I’m abandoning you in any way. If you need time to find another sitter, you say the word.”