What do you do…when you’re far, far in over your head?
When you know that your money won’t cover even the basic necessities, and when your heart has been completely crushed? When your private life is the focus of the town gossip and your career is at stake because of it?
When you know you aren’t ready to be a mother, and you don’t know if your child will even have a safe life?
I don’t know.
My first instinct was to call the closest friend I had. He came over and gave me a hug. I didn’t need to tell him what was wrong. He knew half of it, the half that was easiest to talk about. Probably because it wasn’t any sort of a secret.
After the usual cheers about life moving on and people getting bored (someday), I did feel a little bit better about the gossip, at the very least.
And his charming smile certainly gave me hope that the future wouldn’t be as bad as the past.
But that didn’t heal anything else. At the end of that day, I didn’t tell him about the true seriousness. We got dinner at Hogan’s and he went home.
It took me a month before I reached out to him again. To anyone, really. I didn’t feel like it. I was exhausted all the time, so when I wasn’t at work I was probably asleep. It worked. Until I wasn’t constantly exhausted anymore. Then it was lonely. Plus, I was really behind on my bills. I needed help. And at this point, I only had one person to turn to. So that’s what I did.
He had told me once that his grandmother had given him the house he lived in. The firehouse was directly next door, but he could honestly say he could rarely recall instances when they were needed. It was a good, safe, if a bit old neighborhood.
This house definitely resonated with the white picket fence dream.
He threw open the door as soon as he saw me heading up the walk. “Kitty! Hi!” He had guided me to his front room before I managed to get a word out.
“Come on Kitty, cheer up. Please?”
“Chris…I have a very…uh, big secret.
“It’s ok, you can tell me. I promise, I’m good at keeping secrets.”
Before I could get any words out, I broke down in sobs. Chris was wonderful though, pulling me into a hug and not saying a word.
“Kitty, I’m here for you, I promise.”
“Please tell me what’s on your mind.”
“I’m…I’m going…to have…Gunther’s child. And my boss doesn’t exactly want my reputation to represent the orchestra at the theater…And everyone knows who the father is, I’m sure…and…”
“And…why are you smiling?”
“Kitty, I know the circumstances aren’t the greatest, but…You’re going to be the world’s best mother, I just know it. Everything a child could ever want for.”
“And don’t you worry one bit about money. I have a spare bedroom and a good job, you can stay here as long as you need to.”
“No buts. Kitty, I insist. You just have to do one thing for me in return.”
“Play me a song on your guitar.”
I felt guilty, of course, imposing on him. But he insisted, said my music was more than enough payment in return. He loved listening to my songs, and had missed seeing me play down at the park these last few months.
It was amazing to have companionship again. Especially now that I could feel the baby moving. And boy-oh-boy did the baby move.
Especially when Chris was around. The doctor said it was Chris’s low voice, but I chose to believe that Baby knew just how much Chris meant to me…to us.
I believe this because low noises on the radio or the tele didn’t usually get a rise, no matter how low the speakers voice. Only Chris.
I did get laid off from my job, but instead of mourning as I had thought I would, it merely felt like a little wave. I had prepared for it, since I knew it was coming. And, well, with a guy like Chris it was hard to be miserable.
He started making sure that there was always a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the stand in my room.
It was absolutely adorable.
They say ‘time flies when you’re having fun,’ and boy was that ever true. When I was too big to play my guitar anymore, I wrote songs instead, promising to start playing them again as soon as the baby was out.
By the eight month marker I was huge. I mean HUGE. Twice the size of normal. I’d been reading up on my ‘pregnancy and parenting’ books, so I had a suspicion I knew why…
And then, of course, the day came.
He was surprisingly level-headed. Well, I shouldn’t say surprisingly. He was an intern at the hospital. But I could see his hands shaking as he helped me into the building.
At some odd hour of the morning, I became the mother of two beautiful twin girls. Penelope Marie and Lucina Kirsten Black.
(Note to the readers: Due to a glitch, I don’t have any pictures of the babies. I apologize.)