Ten months later, Sorapong found himself knocking on the same door that he broke into that life-changing night. Anita opened the door, and if it was possible, she was more beautiful than before. “Hello, Anita.” She seemed flustered at his unannounced visit. “What are you doing here?”
Chapter 8: Homecoming Surprise
Ten months later, Sorapong found himself knocking on the same door that he broke into that life-changing night. Anita opened the door, and if it was possible, she was more beautiful than before. “Hello, Anita.”
She seemed flustered at his unannounced visit. “What are you doing here?”
“I got released today.” She seemed to want him to gone. “I just wanted to drop by before I leave for home to say thank you for not pressing charges.”
“It’s nothing. You didn’t do anything to me.”
“I…I—Did I hurt you?” In truth, his visit was to apologize, but it came out wrong.
“No.” She knew what he was referring to. “If you feel guilty, don’t be. It wasn’t rape.”
“But you could’ve come out to mark me as a rapist. It’s your words against mine.”
“What happened between us was a mistake.”
Sorapong stepped back a bit. “Yes. A mistake. I suppose I’ll take my leave now.”
Anita was quick to start closing the door on him; then an odd sound so out of place broke the silence between them. Sorapong stopped the door closing on him and pushed pass Anita. Anita called after him and grabbed the tail of his shirt, trying to hold him back. Sorapong opened the noisy bedroom and entered.
The room was painted a bright yellow with smiling clouds. He walked over like a zombie, his heart thudding non-stop. Then it forgot to beat when he saw the source of the sound. He looked over to Anita pulling at his arm, and she had guilty written all over her face. Sorapong shook her off, and he leaned in to pick of the wailing, reddening baby.
Chapter 9: War Declarations
Sorapong picked the baby to his shoulders and at the magical touch of father and son, the baby stopped crying and started to coo. “You were never going to tell me, huh?”
“Don’t lie. He’s mine.”
“You got a big ego. You think just because we did it once then—.”
“Yes, I think I’m all man. When’s his birthday?”
“Er…” Anita was running dates by her head, thinking of a date to deny his paternity but couldn’t think with Sorapong staring her down. Anyone can look at her baby and point out Sorapong as the father. “What right do you have cross-examining me? I say he’s not yours and he’s not yours!”
Sorapong snorted. “This lying game of yours is never-ending. What did you name him?”
“Give me my baby!”
“What’s his name?” Sorapong noticed a photo album on the rocking chair and grabbed it. He flipped it with one hand and right on the title page was all he needed to know. “Jessadapong?” He smiled not miss her naming their son with a part of his name. Right below that, he read. “July 31.” Sorapong kissed the baby. “Not even a month old. Did you really give birth to him? He doesn’t look like you a bit.”
“He’s mine!!!” Her sudden loud voice made little Pong cried.
“He’s mine.” Sorapong words were ice cold and final. “You’re a despicable person. You dare keep my son from me!”
“Give me my son.”
Little Pong was crying now at his parents fight over him. “I have my right as the father too.”
“You’re not the fa—.” Sorapong was already heading for the door with her baby. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m taking JessadaPONG with me. I’m his father. I won’t let him grow in this unhealthy world.”
Anita pulled on his shirt, stopping Sorapong. “You’re not taking him anywhere.”
“I’m not asking for your permission.” He was stronger and kept walking on.
Anita started to beat him shoulder. “Give me my baby!!!” Little Pong was wailing non-stop.
She knew that she was not going to win. She quickly walked pass Sorapong , winning him to the front door. She opened the door and yelled for security. Two security guards ran up to her. “Please help me. My psychotic ex is trying to take my baby. Please take him out.” Sorapong looked at her in disbelief at her immature lying.
“Sir, we need you to give the baby to the Miss.” One of the guard grabbed Sorapong’s arm. Anita walked up and pried her baby from his arms. Both guards stood on his sides. “How do you want this handled Miss?”
Anita was patting her baby to stop his crying. “Just make sure he’s out of here.” They dragged Sorapong out.
He gave her his last words. “Remember, you started this.”
Chapter 10: Baby Kidnap
It was midnight, and it was easier than the first time to break in. His prediction was right. She was scared, and she’s going to make a run for it. She had bags packed. He saw his son sleeping like an angel with one of Anita’s arms draped over him. He quickly searched through the bags, finding the one for his son. Sorapong expertly lifted Anita’s protective arm from his son, and he scoped the angel into his arms. Sorapong got out of there, not leaving her an explanation or a trace of his victory. Little Pong slept on, not knowing that he had triggered a war.
Something was seriously wrong. Anita woke up, and the little warmth next to her was gone. She sat up quickly. It was not the doing of any baby thief, ghost, or serial killer; only one person would—that kidnapper Sorapong. He had underestimated her.
Sorapong looked at his scorning mother. “Mom, he’s my son!”
“You just stole him? Pong, I taught you better than that. She can bring the authorities here and have you arrested again.”
“Then be it! I’m going to battle in court for my rights as the father!”
“You studied law. If you two battle in court, he’ll have to be a warden of the court. She’s not a weak woman either and knowing you, it’ll be a long battle. What’s going to happen to my grandson then?”
“She or any authorities won’t be a problem. It was almost impossible for me to get there. The river has risen to high for any vehicle to get here.”
“That’s not solving the problem.” Ms. Chatree sighed. “What’s my grandson’s name?”
“Jessadapong.” He ended at the sound of Llttle Pong crying and picked him up.
“Don’t worry, Mom. I bought a year worth of formula, diapers, and medicine. Mom, I got this.” Sorapong handed little Pong to his mother. “I’ll go make the formula.”
Ms. Chatree baby-talked to her perfect grandson. “Look at you. The exact replica of Sorapong.” Her grandson smiled and his eyes twinkled in the light. “Oh, you got your mother’s eyes.” Sorapong had very dark eyes and that made other people think of him as cold, but Jessadapong had warm and smiley brown eyes. He was a gift from god.
Sorapong called from the kitchen below. “Mom, how do I mix this? How warm is warm?”
She patted her grandson. “Hold on, Jessadapong. Your mommy’s coming. Your dad is out of his mind thinking of feed you formula.” Then she walked down to the kitchen. “Pong, you’re doing it wrong. How can you pass the bar exam and not understand the instructions to mix baby formula?” She handed him little Pong. “You take my grandson. I’ll handle it.”
Chapter 11: Tug-o-war
Anita heard the sound of her baby crying, and quickly thanked the kind villager and climbed out of the car with her bag. She ran up the stairs like a madwoman and opened the wooden doors, threw her bag to the ground, and gave Sorapong her meaniest look.
“YOU KIDNAPPER!!!” Anita walked straight to Sorapong. During the ride here, she thoughts of all the ways she was going to kill him. But she looked at her crying baby, and everything just went away. She softened her voice. “Je, mommy’s here.”
At the familiar voice of his mom, little Pong stopped crying and turned his head to her. Anita grabbed her baby from Sorapong. She sat down and started to unbutton her shirt. She turned away from Sorapong and started to feed her starved angel. Sorapong came to stand in front of her. “How did you get here?”
“Like you say, I’m rich. I helicoptered here, and then I got a ride from Uncle Gao up the road. I told him that you got me pregnant in the city, and he rushed me here.”
“What? By now, the whole village must be talking about us.” He continued. “Why didn’t you bring the police to arrest me?”
“I was worried about my son.”
“Anita! You’re here!” Ms. Chatree came into the open porch. “I want to apologize for Sorapong. He shouldn’t have never take Jessadapong, but he has an overprotective complex. Look at him; he has been worried all day because our little Pong wouldn’t drink the formula.”
“You were feeding my son formula?”
“I haven’t got breast to feed him. Have I?”
“There you go. That’s why he can’t be with you.”
“Pong, you stop arguing.” Ms. Chatree turned to Anita, “Looks like my son just keeps disregarding manners and breaking the laws. He got you pregnant, was nowhere to help you during your term, and just took Jessadapong.”
“I don’t need him. Jessadapong is my baby. I can take care of him—ALONE.”
“Your baby? He’s mine.”
“You two are fighting again. Pong, you should’ve talked it out instead.” Ms. Chatree turned to Anita. “And you too. You shouldn’t have kept this to yourself. It’s not right to keep a son from his father.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just that what happened between us—Sorapong and I—were…uh…an accident.”
“Intentional or not intentional, my son impregnated you. He should take full responsibility of you and your son.” She squeezed Anita’s shoulder. “The first time I saw you, I knew that you where Sorpapong’s savior. I’m happy to have you as my daughter-in-law. Call me Mom.”
Little Pong let out a small burp, and he popped his head out from under Anita’s shirt tail. He turned to his dad. Sorapong picked him out of Anita. “I think he’s getting sleepy.”
Anita stood up in front of him. “Give him to me.” She tried to grab little Pong back. They tug-o-warred.
“Stop it you two. Look at my grandson; he’s already asleep.” Ms. Chatree picked up little Pong between them. “I’ll put him to bed. Pong, you take Anita to wash up for bed.”
Chapter 12: The Settlement
Sorapong was left with Anita. “What exactly are you trying to do?”
“Easy. I’m going to call a top lawyer to get custody papers ready. You’re a convicted felon. The judge will definitely grant me full custody.” Anita took out her Blackberry but found no service.
“Cell phones are worthless around here.”
“Then I guess that leaves me no choice. Since I have no way of getting out of here, I will stay right here. Your mother has already invited me. Remember, you’re responsible for my son AND ME.”
“Funny, Miss Anita.”
“I’m serious. As a doctor and the mother, I can take care of him best.”
“You’re not a doctor nor can you never be an adequate mother.”
“I’m staying. Watch me.”
Sorapong gave her his bad boy smirk. “You won’t last.”
“This is the bathroom?” Anita looked at the wooden walls with a big clay jug of water.
“I am not going to heat up water for you. Can’t use cold water; then go back.”
Anita set her bag on the little table. “Is this it? I’m so comfortable.” Anita closed the door in his face. Anita had never thought she’ll be showering in ice water in the 21st century. She shivered and cursed. “I’m going to kill you.”
“Miss Anita, the walls aren’t thick. I can hear you.”
“My mother put Jessadapong to sleep in my room and she said that you can sleep with her tonight.”
“No, I want Je!”
“Then, Miss Anita, you’ll rather share a bed with me?”
“Pervert!!!” She heard him laughing as he walked away.
“Miss Anita, wake up.” Sorapong called her in a low voice, not wanting to wake his mom.
Anita’s eyes opened up, and she is about to kick him but heard the sound of her crying angel. Automatically, she jumped out and walked out to her baby in Sorapong’s room. She lay beside little Pong and scooped him to her front to feed him. Then she slept soundly.
In the morning, Anita felt a breath fanning her forehead. Then she noticed the weight of an arm resting on her thigh. She opened her eyes to see her head rested in a hard muscled shoulder. “Ahhh!” Anita yelled and pushed Sorapong away. Little Pong woke up and cried. A yawning Sorapong picked up his crying son sandwiched between them.
“You’re just like daddy. Hate your mommy’s loud voice? One thing, scream. Two thing, tantrum.” Little Pong stopped crying and laughed at his dad’s words. Anita hit Sorapong’s shoulder and climbed out of the bed.
Chapter 13: Family House
Anita walked out of the bathroom and started a bath for little Pong. A few minutes later, Sorapong appeared in front of her, and he handed her Jessadapong. “Good thing you’re bathing him. You need to change him first.” He crinkled his face. “Here. You take him.”
“You’re the one that smells, and you dare hug me last night?”
“You don’t want to know what happened.” Sorapong vanished into the bathroom, as Anita started to scream. “Miss Anita, you’re hurting my son’s fragile ears.” Anita calmed herself down and laid her baby down and started to change him in pouts of anger.
They were eating breakfast, and Sorapong was making hideous faces to little Pong. Anita couldn’t restrain the smile from spreading on her face, and she found herself smiling along with Ms. Chatree. Soon, everyone was laughing in response to all the cute noises coming out of little Pong. Sorapong and Anita caught each other’s face, and their laughter ceased.
Sorapong cleared his throat and turned to his mom. “I’m going back to the mountain house.”
“Pong, I don’t think that’s the best.”
“Why? Just because she can’t handle it, I have to stop my work? I need to help the workers nurse the rice seedlings. This is the most crucial step.”
Anita asked. “I don’t see a problem with that? You go. Je and I will stay here with Mo…Mom.”
“No. I’m taking my son with me.”
“Then I go too.”
They packed and bid farewell to Ms. Chatree. “Mom, I’m not taking your daughter-in-law to kill, don’t have to lecture me so much.” Ms. Chatree handed Anita the bag of food she packed for them.
“Anita, if my son treats you badly, tolerate him a bit.”
With that, Sorapong drove out, and Anita waved to her mother-in-law.
“Is this a joke?” Anita placed the sleeping Little Pong on the porch and surveyed the small one room straw and wooden branch house with an outdoor kitchen and an off in the distance outhouse, and a river in the back for washing.
“Thinking of backing out? You can take the car back to stay with mother.”
“I’m staying where my son is staying.”
Sorapong handed her a bunch of dusty dishes and clay pots. “Go wash these. No one has been here in ages.” He pointed to the river. “While you’re at it, take the woven basket and fill the water jug.”
“You dictator!” Sorapong covered his ears. “I’m not going to be your slave.”
“Can’t do it? LEAVE!”
“You think I can’t do it. Watch me!” Anita was not going to give his the satisfaction. She can’t cook, clean, or doing any domestic work, but she is a diligent hard worker.
Chapter 14: Sleeping Arrangements
“What is this?”
Sorapong drank some water and stood up. “I think I’ll pass.”
The rice has soggy, the pork was over-cooked, and the green beans were still hard. She mumbled softly to herself. “It looks so easy on TV.” Then she pouted at Sorapong. “Can’t eat this, then don’t eat it.” Anita continued to eat because she was starving form all the labor. She looked at the blisters on her palm.
Anita quickly closed her hands to hide the blisters. “I won’t die.”
“Well by the look of this, I’ll die of hunger first. From now on, I’ll cook. When I’m gone, you can go ahead and make this dog food for you. I’m tired of your screams. I’ll rather go sleep hungry and cuddle my son.”
“What did you say?” Sorapong opened the hay door and disappeared inside. “What dog food? One day I’m going to make the most delicious food in the world, and even if you beg me, I won’t even spare you the leftover!” Sorapong didn’t answered her, and Anita brew in anger. She never hated any one more. Half an hour later, Anita washed the dishes, cleaned up, and got ready for bed. She entered the shack and closed the straw door behind her. Then something dawned on her. “Where’s your bedding?”
“What are you talking about? There’s only one net.”
“Don’t think that this sleeping arrangement can scare me and I’ll leave. I’m not scared if you keep you bodily limbs to yourself.” She got lift the net and climbed in. Anita pointed him to the opposite side and picked up Little Pong. She took the middle and patted her tired baby to the outside of the bedding. “Je is not sleeping next to you. Your gaintness is going to crush him.”
Sorapong pulled the blanket over them. He leaned over her and tucked in son. “Do whatever you like. You’re the one with the problem.” He returned to his side and turned his back to her.
“Miss Anita, the sun is burning your butt cheek.” Anita opened her eyes, and Sorapong was holding Jessadapong to her. “My son is hungry.” She sat up and took Little Pong. “I’m going out to work now. There’s food covered in the kitchen.”
“What am I suppose to do when you’re gone?”
“Get a tan maybe?” Anita threw her pillow at him, and he caught it. “You’re supposed to be feeding my son.” Sorapong left happy that he doesn’t have to her face.
Inside, Anita frowned to her son. “What did you and your daddy do this morning?” She kissed his cheek. “You’re daddy bathe and change you?” Little Pong laughed at her. “You little traitor. Mommy’s mad. See if your dad can feed you.” Jessadapong gave her a little frown, and Anita laughed. “Hungry, my angel, then you better stop being nice to that Sorapong. You love mommy more, right?” He smiled. “Yes? Good job.”
Chapter 15: Bear Hug
It was dark when Sorapong returned. He quickly took a swim and readied for bed. The night was warm, so he decided on only his loose pants. Quietly, he lifted the net and climbed under the blankets. Sorapong turned on his side facing Anita and his son.
For someone who was so loud, she slept like an angel. He leaned over to kiss his son, and for a split second, he wanted to place one on her too but caught himself. He quickly turned his back to her. He didn’t feel asleep yet when Anita draped an arm from the back and hugged him. Sorapong gulped. This was how it started that first night he tied their wrists together. At first, she distanced herself as far away from him, but in the middle of the night, she gradually inched over until she spooned him. It didn’t help that he was naked and that he haven’t been that close to a woman for years. So he couldn’t help that she turned him on.
Anita was the one to hug him the second night he woke her over to feed Jessadapong, last night too, and right now. He went stiff. Every time he shared a bed with Anita, he couldn’t sleep. How is he supposed to survive this woman? He closed his eyes, trying to shut down his system so he wouldn’t react to her.
“Why are you so grumpy?” Anita rubbed her eyes with one hand while the other held her washcloth, toothpaste, and brush. “I better go wash up before Je wakes up.”
Sorapong watched her skip away. He groaned in pain. Woman and the things they unknowingly do to you. He was tired form lack of sleep the last three nights. There she was again, skipping back. “You’re not going to work?” She sat across him and started eating.
“Hey! I haven’t even started eating.” He gave her an annoyed look and spooned a big spoon of rice into his mouth.
“So stingy. The food is for milk for your son.” She looked up at him. “But really, you’re not going to the farm.”
“No. I need to sleep.”
“Then why did you wake up so early.”
He was losing his patience on this woman. He woke up early because he wasn’t going to get any sleep anyway and if she woke up first to see them all tangled up, she was going to accuse him of being the culprit.“I’m tired.”
Anita gave his a sly smile. “I thought country men are diligent workers. You’re playing hooky.”
“I don’t want to eat anymore.” Sorapong stood up. “I’m going to go sleep, and you stay away from me, Miss Anita!”
Anita singsongly poked at him. “If you’re lazy just say you’re lazy.” She waited for Sorapong to argue back but heard nothing. She looked through the open door, and saw father and son snoozing. Anita found herself smiling at their difference in size.
Chapter 16: Fights
Sorapong woke up to the smell of smoke, quickly jolted up, and ran to the kitchen. He swift grabbed water and poured it on the blazing pan. Sorapong turned to Anita holding her hand. He was still tired and he was mad at her incapability. “Are you trying to kill yourself or are you just stupid? What were you doing?”
Anita screamed at him. “Why are you yelling?!” She rubbed her red hand. “I was cooking and then Je cried and he felt a bit warm so I—.”
“So you forgot. You can’t ever do anything right.”
“I can’t stand to live with you!” She stamped away and picked up the now crying Little Pong from his car seat. She walked off into the distant.
Sorapong didn’t know why he didn’t chase her back. He sat on the porch and touched the car seat and saw a thermometer. He picked it up and sighed in frustration. Okay, so he over-reacted, but he was not going to go talk her good or talk her back or anything.
Sorapong has never been this worried in his whole entire goddamn life. He looked at his watch and then to the darkness outside. “Where did you go?” He kicked the tree outside the house. So maybe, he was going to eat his words. Sorapong got in his car to drive down the dirt road where Anita took off with his son. Soon, he reached the nearby village.
Sorapong knocked on the first house. “Uncle Tong, Auntie Dao, have you slept yet?”
A sleepy boy answered the door. “Dad, Uncle Sorapong is here.” Then an older man came to the door.
“Sorry for disturbing you this late, but I’m looking for my…er…my wife. She came with my son. She’s tall, looks kinds of English, and—.”
“Pretty and laughs loudly.” Sorapong smiled and nodded. “Before she was here, telling such fascinating stories. The whole village was looking at her golden hair. She left with Pee Gao.”
“She’s at Uncle Gao?” Sorapong let out a breath of relief. He didn’t even know he was holding one.
Uncle Tong chuckled and patted Sorapong. “You didn’t go out to the field today. Why didn’t you take the time to have some fun fun instead of fighting?” Sorapong felt suddenly embarrassed. He never had a father to tell them things. “Go. Go make up with her. Us men, we complain this and that of her, but the minute she is gone, we missed our wives to misery.”
Sorapong gave a weak smile. “Thank you, Uncle Tong. I’ll see you in the fields tomorrow.” He got back in his car and drove a few houses down. The house was still lit and he heard her voice.
“It was so big, as big as a mountain. But the Statue of Liberty wasn’t even as big as the pyramid.” Anita yawned. “Sorry.”
Uncle Gao wife Jung spoke. “You’re sleepy, now. Look at you little one, he’s out good for the night. I’ll have Gao send you home.”
“Aunty Jung. I don’t want to go. Can I sleep here?”
“Aunty won’t let you.”
“Why?” Anita whined and then yawned again.
“You said you and Sorapong fought. He’s probably worried about you by now.”
“He doesn’t care about me.” Sorapong froze before the door. “He just wants my son, not me.”
Uncle Gao spoke. “You have a child with him. Want or not want, you have to make it work.”
“We are so different, we don’t belong. Sorapong speaks of me right. What type of a doctor is a plastic surgeon? I don’t even treat the sick, I fix rich who’s already perfectly healthy. And I can’t even make a simple meal. I only did a few things, and my hands are all blistered. How can I be a good mother?”
Sorapong opened the door and stepped inside. “Uncle Gao, Aunty Jung, thank you for looking after my wife and son. I’ll take them back.”
Aunty Jung pulled Anita up. “Go. Your husband came to find you. I told you he was worried.” She pushed Anita into Sorapong. “Pong, take Anita back, make sure she puts medicine on her hands.”
Uncle Gao carried the sleeping Little Pong bundle and handed it to Anita. “Drive safe.” Sorapong walked beside Anita to the car.
In the short drive back, they didn’t spoke a words. He put his son to bed and listened to her wash up at the river. Anita walked pass him on the porch and she went inside to sleep. Sorapong raked through his hair and laid on the porch. Is this the time when a couple fights and they won’t share a bed? He closed his eyes. Sorapong suppose it’s good because he is never going to sleep near that hugging sticky glue ever again.
This isn’t a mistake or a teat. I tell you about it later.