‹ Prequel: So Close Yet So Far

Meant to be

Toronto Bound

It's early in the morning, just a little past six and the young couple is lying in bed. Jakob rolls onto his side to just stare at his girlfriend.
"Do you work today?" he asks quietly. She nods.
"Nine to five," she says as he kisses her cheek softly, "What about you?"
"I work the morning and then I have two afternoon classes and then another hour at work to finish up so I'll be home around five thirty."

He starts to kiss her neck now, for some reason this morning he felt hopelessly in love with Stella. He lifts her t-shirt up a bit and kisses her protruding stomach lightly.
"Jakob, you're tickling me," she giggles.
"Sorry," he lies, he loves the sound of her laugh. He moves his face back up to her level and she cups his cheeks with her hands and pulls his lips onto hers. Some would say its second trimester horn taking its toll but Stella felt the same way as her boyfriend she was undoubtedly in love.

"Everything seems to be going good and healthy," the doctor says to Ramona after her examination. Ramona smiles happily, she's been glowing all week. "So just make your next appointment with my secretary and I look forward to seeing you again."
"Thanks," Ramona says grabbing her purse and heading out the door.

She steps out of the woman's clinic and turns on her cell phone. 1 message She presses the right buttons to hear the message.
"Hey Mona, and uhh baby," Joey's voice stutters, "I guess you're still at the doc's so call me and let me know what's up."

Ramona smiles as she presses to return the call.
"Ramona!" Joey yelps.
"Hey, way to give me a heart attack," she laughs.
"So everything went well?"
"Yup, I'm healthy, baby's healthy it's all looking good."
"That's great."
"Hey Joe," She starts as she walks across the parking lot to get to her car, "I wanted to go to New York, to tell Paulie and my mom."
"Yeah," he says understandingly, "I think I can get time off before the next project."
"Great, so I'll book us a flight when I get home."
"Sounds good," he says shifting his weight, "I'm just surprised you didn't call her already."
"Yeah I know, I tried calling her but then freaked out and said I pressed the wrong speed dial number."
"Well I gotta go now, I'll see you later," Joey says seeing his boss through the office window.
"Okay bye."

Joey hangs up his phone just as his boss knocks on his door.
"Armstrong," he says letting himself into the office. "Good news."
"Let's hear it." Joey says standing up straight.
"The Maple Leafs owner liked what you and Denny did in Italy and wants you to design their new gear," Joey furrows his eyebrows for a second.
"Wait, the Toronto Maple Leafs?" he says confused, "But they're a hockey team!?"
"Ha-ha yeah, I don't question the contracts I just take them," the older man says chuckling. "So you up for going to Canada?"
"Yeah sure," Joey says trying to hide his over-whelming excitement. His boss hands him an envelope.
"Here's a copy of the contract. It's about six months, eight tops."
"Eight!" Joey exclaims, his longest contract was three months and that was the Italian one.
"Yeah man, that's a promotion, you should be happy."
"Uhh yeah, I am," he stutters, "Its just my wife. . . is pregnant."
"Then take her with you, isn't that what you always do?" his boss says shoving his hands in his pockets, "Mind you, we won't be covering her hospital bills."
"Yeah," Joey says running his hand through his hair. He loved his job, but he loved Ramona even more and his unborn child he didn't know if he could do this.
"Well you know the drill, you have three days to sign the contract before I pass it on. So unless you have any questions."

"I do, but not about the contract," Joey says putting the envelope down on his desk, "I was wondering if I could have a week off, like this next week."
"Family issues in New York."
"Ahh," he nods, "Contract starts the week after that, so its your decision."
"Umm okay," Joey says nervously.
"Gotta go talk to Denny now," his boss says heading out the door, "Read the contract Armstrong, its pretty sweet."

Joey sits down at his desk and opens the envelope. 6 to 8 months . . . . . designing skates and free moving protective equipment . . . . . . housing at Terra Nova Apartment complex . . . . . . . . . . minutes away from downtown Toronto . . . . . Monthly bonuses.

This job was perfect, but he didn't know if Ramona would be up for it. Now he caught a glimpse of what his father felt like when he went on tour. His mother would usually go with him but there was always the silent uneasiness that rang through the household.

He sits at his desk for a while, re-reading the contract a million times over. He picks up the phone and dials his home number.
"Hey Joey," Ramona says happily.
"Did you get time off?"
"Uhh yeah."
"Okay good, I just booked the tickets."
"Uhh great."
"What's wrong?" she asks carefully, picking up on his tone.
"Its just I got another major contract."
"That's great!"
"In Canada."
"Wow," she says still enthusiastic.
"Eight months."
"Oh," she says stunned. "I mean that's great."
"I wasn't going to take it," he says slowly.
"No, you take it," she says firmly.
"You're alright with it?" he asks slowly, "With the baby coming and all?"
"It'll make things complicated but we'll work through it," she gibbers, "take the contract."
"You sure."