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Kitty's Saga Chapter Fourteen: A Radiating Chill

Stafford had made a good offer when they spoke about it. Years ago, he had bought back Sandy's old house. He and Marnie had renovated the property to turn the detached garage into a mother-in-law suite for renters among other updates. Stafford wanted Kitty back under Sandy's roof, this time as his mistress. To Kitty the offer was a letdown, it was Stafford being his old terrible self. How could Stafford expect Kitty to live like that? As flawed as his offer was, Kitty still wanted to see more of the man that she hated for so long. Even in hating him, he was on her mind as this person who she always expected would turn out to be someone else. Kitty felt like there was good in Stafford that he buried from the public to come off as strong. When she remembered their times together it was as if it was coated in a hazy filter that rationalized his actions no matter how inexcusable at the time. When she was with Stafford she knew not to bring up his former cruelties with her. Stafford would only tolerate that selective memory is used when bringing up the past. As wrong as their relationship was, Kitty preferred Stafford over Gavin by far. Being with Gavin would have to do, but it was a loveless arrangement. Stafford was aware of Kitty's pregnancy from their first encounter. As her pregnancy progressed, it became more obvious that they should address their future or lack thereof. Their affair was in full swing by the time Kitty was in her ninth month, with her driving the four hours each way to see Stafford on the weekends. She covered for her absence with Gavin by telling him that she was visiting her aging grandparents. Neither Gavin nor Kitty thought that her lie was plausible, but what did they care? She felt Gavin was a paycheck and he thought Kitty was a useful womb.

Gavin in the meantime had not quelled his obsessive dominance regarding their baby. He picked a name for him without talking to Kitty, insisting that the child be called Guy, a name Kitty was not a fan of. When she tried to give Gavin her input, he would mumble "As if you have a biblical name." The guest room of his condo, now a nursery, was decorated by a designer Gavin hired with the name Guy printed or monogrammed on everything in it. Gavin also signed Guy up for an elitist preschool academy, again without talking to Kitty about it first. During the meetings with Guy's future caregivers and Kitty's healthcare providers, she was mistaken for a surrogate more than once. Kitty longed for her old apartment as she sat alone in Gavin's condo while he was at work each day. Gavin had persuaded her with an early push present of cash to use her vacation days and take early maternity leave. This essentially meant that Kitty quit her job entirely. She missed her job when she was sitting at home alone. Family life did not bring her much comfort as she now felt like she was playing a role for Gavin who did not seem to appreciate her as a girlfriend, but rather acted as if he were waiting for her to revert to the part of a concierge for his benefit. Kitty knew Gavin being older caused him to feel more attached to the idea of Guy. It was all so offputting to her that she was ultimately excluded as a parent by him though. Gavin's money had caused him to forget that not everyone and everything had a price in Kitty's mind. She wanted to be treated like an equal and not a purchased item belonging to Gavin, something she could not find the words to describe to Gavin when she was with him, instead they spoke to each other less and less as the days drew on. Even Gavin's touch was unwelcomed by Kitty who thought of him as a co-worker more than anything else.

Gavin's mother would drop by at her convenience without an invitation from Kitty beforehand. Gavin thought it was "healthy" for Kitty to have drop-ins from his mother without giving her notice because it kept her "on a schedule." Both Gavin and Opal thought that Kitty was suffering from pregnancy-induced depression, and maybe she was. Kitty felt unlike herself with any detail of her day. She now hardly recognized herself when she looked in the mirror as her reflection was of a person with their bleached blonde hair long despite her preference for it being its natural brunette hue and cropped to shoulder length. Her body had become bloated from carrying a child whose father she had no connection with outside of pleasantries. To hear Gavin speak it was as if he had rendered Kitty's role as a mother to being nothing more than a husk soon to be emptied for his purpose. Their baby was described by Gavin as "his son." Gavin made no plans for any long-term commitments with Kitty. He refused to so much as add Kitty to a joint bank account because he "didn't want their relationship to become transactional." Gavin paid for things for Kitty but only the things he wanted for her. She could tell that nothing was done out of love for her, but to alter her for his means. She resented being put under the care of a doctor that Gavin chose for her because he had better health insurance. At the appointments, the doctor only spoke to Gavin. When he did Kitty sat searing with anger wanting to complain that she was being phased out of her existence when she was with Gavin. She hated him for it. Gavin and the doctor decided that she would have a holistic birth with a doula. When Kitty tried to protest, she was shushed by the two men, who told her their way was what was "best for the baby."

Kitty was still secretly writing to Pam, only now, she had to have Pam's letters sent to a private P.O. box that Gavin was unaware of. Kitty was proud of this one untampered aspect of her life as Pam was separate from Gavin and the money that he lorded over her. Kitty could see though that Pam had her own set of problems. Pam was starting to want out of jail, she had petitioned to be moved into a halfway house. Pam was waiting on the official verdict from the parole board about it. Kitty responded to her, wishing her well, and informed Pam that she would likely be moving back to Cincinnati soon herself. Kitty did love that Pam could not be bought by a person like Gavin, as Pam was too wild on matters that she prioritized to ever be reeled in by anything including money. Kitty never bothered to tell Pam that she was pregnant because Kitty didn't know if she was planning to leave the child with Gavin when it was born. She loved the baby, but Gavin was so regrettable that she did not want him in her life any longer than he already had been. Kitty once made the mistake of envying women who were married to wealthy men. The women seemed so happy and well looked after. Now Kitty knew that those men's wealth created a power imbalance, their relationship was not real anymore. Kitty began to see the things that Gavin had given her like they were chains. His money was toxic to her, she wanted to get out and make her own again. The thought of having to go to Gavin and ask for anything was revolting to Kitty, yet now as his child's mother, this was her life until she put herself back into a career.

Stafford had mixed feelings about Kitty's pregnancy. At times when they were lying in bed together at a hotel, he would mention that he wished that he had been the father. Other times he would say he wished she wasn't pregnant at all. No matter how reckless it was, Kitty could not keep herself from Stafford. Gavin was becoming increasingly opposed to Kitty's out-of-town trips, but Kitty went anyway. Their routine was set, by the time Kitty would arrive as per usual, Marnie would be passed out at his home. Stafford would leave to meet Kitty. They would make love in a hotel and sleep in one another's arms until the morning. It always made her a little sad when Stafford would let himself out to go back to his wife. Kitty would lay in bed as the sun came up over the city. She often thought that she was not going to go back to Gavin anymore, even if that meant being Stafford's mistress indefinitely. She fantasized about visions of herself going to fight Gavin in court for custody of her son. In reality, she knew with Gavin's money she would lose. Stafford to her was lust, anger, and misguided anxiety. She wanted Stafford to want her, but she did not want to be his wife either.

After thinking of all of the ways she would tell off Gavin, Kitty went to stand up and get ready to go back to him again. As soon as her feet touched the floor, she suddenly had a feeling of wooziness that caused her to have to sit back in bed until the cramps of labor forced her to drive to the hospital. She told no one including Stafford where she was. She had her baby alone, without Gavin's designated doula or obstetrician to hover over her to carry out Gavin's orders. When the baby was delivered, she held it in her arms. Love rushed over to her at the hospital for her infant. She waited a day and called Gavin who came to the hospital to see the baby, not so much her though. Kitty wanted to yell at Gavin for being so emotionally distant. Kitty wondered if that was why she suddenly had found Stafford so appealing. He was the polar opposite of Gavin. It probably didn't hurt that Gavin would have his pride shattered if he ever found out about their nearly completely physical weekend dalliances.

In the condo when they had returned, Gavin berated Kitty for not telling him when she started going into labor. Kitty passed his comments off, telling him she was "too busy making sure the baby was okay" and that "her labor came on too fast" to contact Gavin. None of this calmed the triggered Gavin who had planned every detail of her labor and delivery to include a photographer, which Kitty found highly distasteful. Kitty told Gavin who was holding Guy to not yell in front of the baby, which for once stopped Gavin from exerting himself in their now completely transactional relationship. Much to Kitty's annoyance, Gavin took off of work for paternity leave. No one could have been less happy than Kitty at the thought of being in a condo with Gavin for twelve weeks as he tried to insert himself into the baby's life over her. Gavin wanted Kitty to breastpump at every moment so that he could bottle-feed him without her. Opal made herself a fixture as well. During this time, Kitty had hardly any contact with Stafford other than to tell him why they would have to postpone their future encounters. Stafford reacted with total indifference as she expected.


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