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Chapter 12 : 12. Unexpectedly Perfect
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They say life is full of surprises - unexpected events that just fuck us big time. Like when unexpected relatives come for a surprise visit during a very, very bad time (like when you're in the middle of trying to catch the illegal baby dragon your dad wanted to "show you", and you accidentally let it loose), or when the annoying professor decides to give out a "surprise essay" to write about something that happened gazillion years ago - on a subject that could not be less interesting.
Of course, when your biological father - who you didn't know about until recently - turns out to be in the know, that's just a whole new level of 'surprise'.
I stared at him, feeling dizzy. I slowly glanced down at the desk, where the file was neatly placed. Then, just as slowly, I looked back at him, and swallowed.
"You know," I said quietly.
It wasn't a question, nor an accusation - just a statement. I let out a breath - which I hadn't even realized I had held in - and felt my knees go weak. In the same instance, as my eyes dirfted around the room, I swiftly met his eyes, and saw him stand up form his seat. I tried to take a step back, but instead I felt my entire fall - until I was sprawled on the floor, gazing up at the ceiling.
I blinked slowly, and my ears were filled with the beating of my own heart, the blood pulsing through my veins like a very loud river - and someone's voice, very slurry in the background, calling my name. I closed my eyes, breathing heavily.
When I opened my eyes, I felt something itchy on my arm. Drozily, I tried to scratch my arm, but someone grabbed my hand, restraining me. I froze for a moment, as I stared at the slim fingers wrapped around my wrist. Slowly, I moved my eyes up along the arm, seeing dark curls, and soon enough, a familiar face - twisted with worry.
"Em," I mouthed, my mouth too dry to make a sound.
"Have some water," she said quietly, helping me to some water.
I sipped the water obediently, my eyes never leaving her's. She put the cup back on the table next to my bed, and turned back to me. Neither one of us said anything for awhile. Em tilted her head to the side, biting her lip, as her eyes filled with unexpected tears.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she sniffed, as I watched in horror as the big, fat tears fell down her cheeks. "Friends... friends don't keep this shit from each other."
I watched her in silence, slowly sitting up. My eyes caught the IV shoved in my arm - the itchy thing I had tried to scratch earlier - and I frowned. What had happened, exactly?
"Em..." I said, waiting for her to calm down. "I wanted to tell... I just... didn't."
"You told Theo," Em said slowly, wiping her tears quickly. "Because he's the father, right? Right?"
I stared at her for the longest time, before feeling an unexpected urge to laugh out loud - but I decided against it. Instead, I frowned, and felt my mouth fall open. "What? No! I could never do that to you, Em!"
"But--" Em began, and I watched her face react to my words. "Wait, what? Do what to me? What?"
I stared back at her, feeling the same confusion wash over me that clearly held Em in a strong grip now. "You... Theo... you two are... dating, right?"
It felt surreal to even think any other way.
"Susie," Em said, her eyes wide. "We broke up weeks ago. Like, just before you got here."
"We... we were not good together. It had been going on for ages, and we came to the same solution - then you came along! Your life just seemed to be in pieces, so to speak, so I thought it would be best if you wouldn't burden yourself with such nonsense... I didn't expect you to stay for such a long time, I thought you were just visiting, so when a few days turned into a week or two, the entire act was just falling apart, and--"
I wasn't listening anymore, Suddenly, I felt so stupid. I had seen all the signs; the glances between them, the tension, Theo sleeping in the bathroom, and...
"She's a friend-- well, actually, she's my girlfriend's friend, no, wait, she's my ex-girlfriend's friend... old classmate, actually, too... and she--"
I grabbed my head, feeling a headache roll in, as I realized the situation. "Oh!" I moaned, slumping against the pillows. "I'm so stupid... how didn't I--"
"Shh, shh, shh!" Em cooed, patting my shoulder. "Don't worry over that shit, Susie - just stay calm, it's very important for you to stay calm in your condition."
I peered up at her, feeling lost. "What happened?"
"Well, you see, we stopped having sex, and when we did, it was just so--"
"NOT THAT!" I shrieked, making Em jump in her seat. "I meant how the FUCK did I get here!?"
Em stared at me with wide eyes, her eyes suddenly jumping to the machine that was now rapidly beeping. I followed her stare, and took calming breaths, until the machine had calmed down - along with my heart.
"Well," Em said, pursing her lips together. "Apparently, you got a bit dehydrated, and the stress took the best of you. But you're fine now!" she hurried to add, as I opened my mouth to speak. "If you stay calm, rest a lot, drink a lot, and let that bloody IV stay in your arm - which you've been trying to scratch off for hours now, mind you!"
"How did I--"
"Nicholas brought you here," Em cut off, suddenly smiling with a blush. "He's a real charmer, you know! You really pick your men wisely..." she mused. I watched her own words sink in her brain, and as expected, she soon let out a loud gasp, giving me a look of shock. "HE'S THE FATHER!?"
"What?" I sighed, rubbing my head with an exhausted frown. "Em...!"
"If Theo's not the father, then Nicholas is, right!?"
"Since when has he been 'Nicholas' to you?" I demanded.
"Since he owled me, and adressed me 'Dear Emilie'," Em blurted out, as a new blush rose on her cheeks. "But that's not the point--"
"He's not," I said quietly. "He's not... the father."
I waited Em to ask more questions, but she said nothing. Instead, she just stared at me, almost sadly. She reminded me of a little girl, who had just witnessed the death of a puppy - it made me feel worse, to be honest.
"I see," she said finally, as I avoided her gaze. "How are you feeling?"
I waited. I tried to find a proper term or word to desrcibe my feeling. I tried to feel if there was any pain anywhere - but I couldn't feel anything unusual. Other than hunger, as my stomach let out a pathetic growl, which--
My eyes widened, as I bolted upright in my bed. "HOLY SHIT!"
Em jumped in her seat, suddenly alarmed. "Susie, what's wrong? Are you in pain? What--"
"THE BABY!" I shrieked, my hands cradling my stomach. "MY BABY! IS IT--"
"Susie!" Em called out, forcing me to lay back down. "It's fine. The baby is fine... he is fine, Susie."
I was hyperventilating, as I stared up at her, her words slowly sinking into my brain. I swallowed, feeling tears burn in my eyes. My lips were trembling, as I slowly reached to clutch her hand, squeezing it. "It's... it's a... it's a boy?"
Em smiled gently, as she squeezed my hand back, her eyes also filled with tears. "Yeah," she whispered, nodding once. "We're going to have a baby boy, Susie."
Without another warning, I started to cry - this time, out of happiness.
It only took Theo thirty minutes to get there. By then, the nurse had removed the IV, lectured me about the importance of vitamins, and to get enough rest. Through the entire time, I just glared at Em, who stood half-hidden behind the nurse, with a self-important look on her face - she had betrayed me the very moment she asked the nurse to give her a list of different meals that would be extra healthy.
"Muggles," she mumbled, holding the list as if it was pure gold. "Genius creatures, aren't they?"
Theo, who was still hyperventilating by the door, took a step closer. I grimaced, as I watched him struggle with the balloons he dragged along with him.
"What - are - those?" I said through gritted teeth, eyeing them suspiciously.
"Balloons, of course!" he said, shrugging.
Em gave Theo a glance - the same kind she had given him when he had gracefully stormed in with a bang! - and snorted. "Did you even look at the balloons?" she asked. "They say 'SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS!' and 'HAPPY RETIREMENT!', Theo."
Theo glared at her, before pursing his lips. "The 'GET WELL SOON!' ones were all sold out," he said calmly. "Besides, these ones were nice colour."
"They're brilliant," I said before Em could comment. "Thanks."
I grabbed the 'SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS!' balloon, and grinned at him. "Well? You look fine! Geez, imagine the heart attack I got when the owl reached me!"
"Who owled you?" I asked with a frown.
"I did," Em said, avoiding eye contact. "I thought you... he... yeah..."
"Thanks, Em," I said.
"I didn't do it to make you feel better," she said quickly. "Or because I like you," she shot at Theo. "I'm just curious as to why you would pretend to be pregnant with his child - if you're not even involved with each other!?"
"God, you sound so medieval," Theo muttered. "First of all, it was the decent thing to do as a man. I mean, she's my friend, and she was in a bad spot, and let's face it; even if she's stronger than most girls - or guys! - there is no way this would be easy on her. She'd still be judged by the society, and things wouldn't get easy on her, if you just consider who her father is."
A startled silence filled the room, as I glared at Theo, while Em slowly turned to me. "What does he mean by that, 'if you consider who her father is', Susie?"
Theo realized his mistake, and a look of horror crossed his face. "Oh - I - did - not!"
"You did," I muttered, rubbing my forehead.
"Did what? What's going on!?" Em wanted to know, a look of annoyance crossing her face.
"Em, there's something I need to tell you..."
"What part of this is perfect, Emilie?" Theo asked crossly.
"It's the only decent thing to do, Theodor," Em snarled over her shoulder in the general direction of where Theo stood - which was basically hovering by the door.
"This is really too much," I mumbled, looking around the once normal room. It had once functioned as a study-slash-bandroom-slash-guest room-slash-storage room. Now, it was perfectly cleaned, pink and filled with baby- and maternity stuff.
I was in hell.
"Seriously," I said, gripping Em's arm. "It makes me nauseous."
Em took in the panicky look on my face, momentarily alarmed. "Don't worry, your hormones will catch up with it!" she said easily, shrugging me off. She skipped out from the room, and settled to leaning against the doorframe, blocking Theo's view. "You hungry?"
I grimaced, shaking my head. "No, I just feel... like throwing up."
Em grimaced, before grinning. "All part of the process. You're handling it very well - are your breasts tender yet? They ought to be. It's very common, too!"
I blinked, as I caught the horrorstruck look on Theo's face. "Can we not talk about her boobs like that?" he begged.
"Shut up, Theo," Em shot.
"I agree with him, actually," I said, feeling abused.
Well, my breasts did.
"You don't need to worry about a thing!" Em said, waving my comment away with her hand. "I'll take care of everything. Now, I need to prepare the asparagus soup - apparently, it's very healthy for an expecting mother to eat. It consists of things that will make your stomach get rid of all that gas that makes you feel bloated."
I gaped, as she sailed in the general direction of the kitchen. During the two days I had stayed at the hospital, she had become the know-it-all about pregnancy, childbirth, and being a parent. She had also managed to get a special CPR license, and was taking birthing partner classes. I always thought you were meant to go to those classes with the excpecting mother, and practise to be her birthing partner - apparently, Em had just shoved her charming self with some innocent, happy couple, annoying them to the verge of divorce and murder.
Luckily, the instructor had been kind and given her the 'diploma' - they didn't give those, actually, until Em had demanded for one.
"How are you dealing with all this?" Theo asked, eyeing me carefully - he was sure thta I would explode any minute.
"Just... fine," I said weakly, sitting down on the bed.
Which was a mistake; the moment I sat down, I pretty much bounced right back up, losing my balance, and falling back on it. I kept bouncing on the bed, helplessly flailing about, until Theo hurried forward, helping me up on my feet.
"What - the hell - is - that!?" I gasped, staring at the slippery-slope-bounce bed in shock.
"It's-- I don't know, actually," Theo admitted with a frown.
"I suppose it's some ergonomic bed for my people," I muttered darkly, poking ther bed with my toe. I cringed, as it made a disgusting jell-o-like move.
"Stop referring to pregnant people as 'your people' - you're not an alien!"
"I bloody well feel like one," I pointed out. "Look at this crap! It's not normal! I mean, look!" I said, grabbing the first object within my reach - and something I had always wondered about what the hell it was. "What the fuck is this supposed to be? A cocktail mixer!?"
Theo pursed his lips, holding back a laugh. "Actually, I'm pretty sure that's a handheld breast pump."
"Why would I want to--"
A silence stretched between us, as I stared at the object. Silently, I put it back down, blushing furiously. I took a step back, hugging myself. "I'm scared," I whispered.
Awkwardly, Theo put an arm around my shoulders, giving me a squeeze. "You'll do fine. No, you'll be brilliant."
"What kind of mother will I be if I'm scared shitless by a breast hump!?"
"Pump, Susie, breast pump," Theo corrected. "And that fact is exactly why you'll be brilliant, trust me. Besides, if you mess up, you'll always have Miss Preggers Expert there to save the day, right?"
I smiled, nodding. "Yeah... you're right."
"You should get some rest," Theo said, letting go of me. "I need to get to the bar. See you later?"
"Sure, sure," I said, as Theo left the room, closing the door after him.
I was left alone in the silence, with only the soft and soothing whirr coming from an air freshner in the corner. I carefully sat down on the bed, and didn't bounce back again. I sighed with relief, as I slowly settled myself on the bed. I stared at the ceiling, thinking. After a moment, I grabbed a pillow, and shoved it under my t-shirt. I formed it into a round bump, until it looked normal. I looked down at it, my hands rubbing it gently.
"So," I told the pillow-bump. "It's just us two, huh?"
I was pretty sure it was just in my head, but it almost felt like the baby could hear me, and give me a small kick. I knew for sure it wasn't possible at this point - it was way too early, as Em had told me so many times - but it still felt soothing to know that I would never be alone again.
There would always be a part of him with me, now.
A/N: I'm very satisfied with how this one turned out. Also, I really wish merry Christmas to everyone, and a happy new year! Hope you have a great time, and continue supporting this story! Thanks for a lovely year :)
- Lily xxx
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