1.15 Unexpected Arrival

Gen1 Cover~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

 

Screenshot-300“Okay, let’s hang the balloons up there, Ethan,” I ordered before turning to my mom, “and the cake can go in the kitchen for now.” We spent the morning preparing for the baby shower, since Julia was due in three weeks. I smoothed my skirt and pulled Julia into the nursery, “Hey, are you doing alright? You’ve been pretty quiet today.”

She rubbed her back, “Yeah, the baby’s sitting weird, I’m just a little sore. I’ll be okay.”

I nodded, “Okay, but feel free to put your feet up on the bed if you need to.” She started to walk away until I held her hand. I smiled, and tried not to get teary as I put my hand on her belly, “I just want to say thank you for this precious gift. I promise to take great care of it. However, after the baby is born, if you change your mind about raising it, I will do nothing but support you, alright?” She held my hand, before nodding tearily. I led her to the bed and helped her put her feet up.

Screenshot-309I went back to decorating for a little bit until Julia started whimpering in her sleep. I rushed over to her, careful not to wake her and felt her stomach….it was hard as a rock. I kept my hand steady on the curve of her belly until the tension relaxed. I kept my hand steady on her stomach while I grabbed my phone. I changed it to the timer and started the timer until her stomach grew hard again. Once again, she began whimpering, so I gently shook her shoulder. Julia cried out in pain, and I put an arm on her shoulders, “Jules, listen, I think you’ve gone into labor, so we’re going to take you to the hospital okay?”

We loaded up the careful, and I could only thank Julia for her timing. My dad stayed back to let the guests know what was happening as they arrive. My mother navigated while Ethan drove us, and I was in the backseat with Julia, coaching her through the next contraction. By the time we got to the hospital, Julia had gone through three contractions. Once we were all settled in the room, Julia spoke up, “Thank you guys for coming,m but I really just want Sabrina in here. Ethan can you call my mom and let her know where we are?” Ethan nodded before walking out, and my mom placed my hand on my shoulder, before heading out the same door.

Screenshot-312For three hours, Julia labored on her own, we walked the halls, and used the birthing ball until it grew bad enough to warrant an epidural. She sits on the bed and I hold her hand while they do the injection. She fell asleep shortly after that, since it was now almost midnight. I follow suit, but I don’t sleep long because pretty soon, Julia felt the urge to push. I stood next to her, holding her hand as she squeezed mine tighter and tighter. I kissed her forehead, “Hon, you are so brave. You’re doing great. We’re almost there.”

Screenshot-313She cried out as another contraction came, but her voice was frantic, “Doctor, something’s not right! I can feel it, please help my baby.” He ordered the nurses to monitor the baby, before strapping her down, “Tell them to get the OR ready, we’re coming in.” They all began to rush her out the door, and I felt invisible as I tried to get someone to tell me what was happening, “That’s my baby in there, what’s going on?” Luckily, a nurse heard, “The baby’s heart rate is erratic, we need to get her out of there as fast as possible.” Before I could ask any more questions, I was ushered into the hallway,. I chased after the team rolling Julia down the hall, “I’ll be right out here for you, Jules. Be brave, honey.”

Screenshot-314I leaned against the wall and burst into sobs. As I was crying, I strained my ears for the sound of my baby’s cry, but none came. The agony was killing me, and I slumped to the floor from exhaustion until I heard a familiar comforting voice, “Sabrina? What are you doing here?” I looked up and was so glad to see Justin that I forgot where I was for a minute. I stood up and smiled at him, but the minute he wrapped his arms around me, I broke down into intense sobs. He held me tight, “Hey, hey… what’s wrong? C’mere,” he led me to a group of chairs down the hall. I wiped my tears as I sat down and faced him, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to literally cry on your shoulder.” He laughed softly, “It’s okay, Sabs. What’s going on?” I tried not to tear up as I explained about Julia and the baby before asking him, “What are you doing in the Maternity Ward?He laughed, “My sister just had a baby boy, so I came to visit with her.” Before I could say anything, the doctor came out of the operating room, “Miss Quinn?” I stood up, “Yes?” He smiled kindly, “Would you like to come and meet your daughter?” I looked back at Justin, “I’ll call you later, okay?” He smiled wide, “I’d really like that, Sabrina Quinn.”

Screenshot-316The doctor led me through the doors, and into a private room. Julia lay asleep in the bed and a small bassinet next to her. My eyes filled over as I stood next to her. I held her tiny hand, before I was brave enough to pick her. Gingerly, I sat down on the chair next to the bed. I whispered, “You sure gave Mommy a scare, didn’t you sweet-pea?” I began to hum a lullabye until we were both sleepy. Fearing I would drop her, I laid her back in the bassinet. I leaned back in the chair, my finger grasped firmly in her hand and mumbled as I dozed off, “I love you, Esther Pearl Quinn…..”

1.13 Family Matters

Gen1 Cover~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

Screenshot-281.jpgI take a long sip of my coffee as I gaze over the ocean. Every day, I’m flabbergasted by the view from our deck. I wait by the phone for the weekly call from Raj. Ever since the incident last month, we checked in with each other weekly. My phone rang, not 5 minutes later, Raj’s voice filling my ears, “Morning, pal” We talked about the random things in our life, until we were getting ready to end the call. His voice grew serious,

“Sabrina, this’ll probably be our last call for awhile. I’m getting ready to move.”

“W-wow…congratulations?”

He laughed, “Don’t worry about me, I’m getting a fresh start with a cousin in Bridgeport. I’ll keep in touch, but you need to be able to move on and start your life. I appreciate every thing you have done for me, more than you can know, but I’m holding you back. You’re a great woman Sabrina, and I will always love you.” He hung up the phone shortly thereafter, leaving me in a peaceful silence. Instead of feeling sad, or hurt like I expected, I felt…….relieved. I could finally get on with my life.

Two Months Later

~Ethan’s P.O.V.~

Screenshot-288I stumbled into the house, accidentally slamming the door behind me. I threw my backpack on the ground, finally noticing my sister in the corner. She stood there watching me curiously, “What’s wrong, bud?” I shrugged, before turning and heading into the kitchen. She didn’t let me get very far. She practically dragged me into her room and pushed me into the chair, “Seriously, Ethan, what’s wrong. You haven’t been yourself lately and now you’re skipping school?”

My head hung low, I surprised myself by breaking into huge gasping sobs. When I could finally speak, I raised my head and met her eyes, “Back at the beginning of the school year, I met this really awesome girl, Quinn. We were together for a little while, but she moved back in with her Dad in Twinbrook over the winter break.” Sabrina cocked her head at me, but I wasn’t finished, “Well a week ago, she moved back in with her mom, because…she’s pregnant. Like really pregnant, Sabs.”

Sabrina opened and closed her mouth, kinda like a fish, before saying, “Wow. Ethan, do you know for sure that it’s your baby?”

I nodded, my face heating up,”It’s mine.”

“Dude, you’re seventeen, how are you going to raise a baby? I’m not saying you can’t, I’m just asking if you’ve thought this through.”

I shrugged, “Well, I’ve been saving up some money,  but it’s not much.”

“So I take you haven’t told Mom and Dad.”

“Nope.”

She sighed, “Okay, well I’ll help you figure out a plan, and maybe talk to Quinn. Then we can tell Mom and Dad together, alright?”

I ran over and gave her a hug, feeling like a lost little kid. I whispered, “Thank you. I’m so glad you’re my sister.”

~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

3 days after talking with my brother, I made plans to meet with Quinn at the local cafe in town. Ethan had plans to meet up with us later, but I thought it best to start off with just the two of us girls. A little bit early, I grabbed a coffee and waited, my mind racing. I ran through every possible scenario, trying not to form any opinions before I met this girl. I took a deep breath, trying to not come across as judgmental. The bell chimed as the cafe door opened to show a young girl, very pregnant. I stood up and stretched out my hand, “You must be Quinn. I’m Sabrina” Quinn stiffly took my hand, being very careful to keep her guard up, “Yes, I’m Quinn. It’s nice to meet you.”

Screenshot-283I led us to a private corner of the cafe and we made small talk while waiting for our order to arrive. I folded my hands across my lap, before just barreling through the small talk, “Look, there’s no way to avoid the awkwardness here, so I’m just going to come right out and ask you a very blunt question if that’s alright with you,” she nodded, so I pushed on, “How far along are you?”

Her face softened a little, “I’m 36 weeks along, and I’m due in a month.”

I nodded thoughtfully, already regretting the fact that I had to ask this question, “And you’re absolutely sure this baby is Ethan’s? I’m sorry to have to ask this, but I only ask because he’s my baby brother.”

Screenshot-284Instead of growing defensive, or angry, Quinn dropped her head into her hands, “He’s the only guy I’ve ever been with, ma’am.”

I had to stop myself from laughing, “You don’t have to call me ma’am. I want to help you, I just had to make sure your intentions were good.”

Soon after, we were called to our table where our lunch was waiting. A pause filled the air as we both ate. When we were through with our meal, I began to slowly ask her some more questions, “So, do you know whether the baby is a boy or a girl?”

Quinn shook her head, “No, uh… I wanted an abortion, but my mother wouldn’t sign the consent papers.”

I nodded, “So are you having the baby adopted?”

She began to cry, “I want to, but my mother threatened to throw me out if that happens. She wants me to raise this baby.”

Screenshot-287.jpgQuinn stood up angrily, leaning against the table “I can barely take care of myself, and my mother is always working. I don’t even get to see her on the weekends, she travels to Bridgeport to stay with her boyfriend. How am I supposed to raise a baby?”

I wished that I knew her well enough to hug her, but instead I put my arm on her shoulder, “And you didn’t want to stay with your dad?”

She broke down into sobs, so I led her back to the private area where we had first met,. When she had gained her composure she whispered, “He found the pregnancy test I took before I had the chance to tell him. He let me stay with him until the end of the school year, and then he kicked me out, so here I am. “

Screenshot-286

I grabbed her hand, “I don’t know how I can help you, Quinn, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. I’ll give you and Ethan some time to catch up, and I’ll spend the weekend brainstorming. Together, we can work out a plan of action, okay?”

1.12 Desperate Times

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~Sabrina’s P.O.V~

Screenshot-265“Ethan, would you please pass the potatoes?” my father asked politely, and I tried to hide the smile on my face. Justin and Cassidy were over for dinner. Let’s just say my parents were a little on edge. Justin was the first guy, in the two years they’d known me, that I had brought home. Justin was very good at small talk and he quickly had my family charmed. Even Ethan, who was in a bit of a surly phase, thought he was cool. Cassidy spoke up, causing my musings to end, “Sabrina, could I have some more of the Scooby Corbanaro.” I smiled at her, before passing the Goopy Carbonara to Justin. He nudged her, “What do you say?” She sighed heavily, before elbowing him in the ribs gently,
“Thank you.” I nodded my head, before going back to the conversation.

Screenshot-279The room grew quiet when my phone began to trill loudly in the kitchen. I stood up, my cheeks red, “Excuse me, I’ll go turn that off.” I rushed into the kitchen, knowing that Justin was probably laughing. I grabbed my phone just in time to see Raj’s number flash on the screen. I nearly hung up on him, but it was the first time in three months since he just showed up in the driveway. Hesitantly, I answered, “Hello?”

“Lauryn….you answered…I wasn’t sure you’d pick up…..”

I groaned, “And…..?”

“Oh…uh….well I was going to tell you in the voicemail, but….here goes nothing…. Despite everything I’ve done to you, I can’t accept your forgiveness…the guilt is consuming my life. Every second I’m here, I just want to crawl inside a bottle and drown my sorrows. So…I’m calling to tell you I love you….and goodbye.”

Justin stuck his head in the kitchen but I held up my finger, “Raj, what do you mean goodbye? Where are you going?”

“I’m sorry, I really thought I could just leave a voicemail for you, but I can’t stop thinking about him and what I did. I can’t stand living anymore…..”

Screenshot-278I rushed past Justin, mouthing I’m sorry, “No, Raj, stay on the line with me, I’ll come see you to say goodbye, okay? Please don’t go anywhere yet. What’s your address?”

He hung up after assuring me that he wouldn’t do anything yet. I was putting on my coat when I remembered Justin. I was torn inside,. did I stay with Justin and finish my dinner, or make sure that Raj is alright. After everything we’ve been through, hell, despite,
what we’ve been through, I still felt this strong loyalty to him. I would never be in love with him again, but there was no way I could knowingly let him kill himself.  I took a deep breath, and prepared to face Justin, hoping by some miracle that he would understand.

Screenshot-277 I ran back to the kitchen, “I’m so sorry, hon. I can’t just let him kill himself. I know it’s hard to understand, but he saved my life….it’s only right that I save his.” Justin pulled my hand util we were standing on the outside porch, safely away from my parents hearing us, “Do you actually hear yourself, Sabrina?! This is the same man who shot you, and killed your unborn child.” My eyes flashed simultaneously, with an anger and hurt, “You think I don’t know that? I die inside every day when I wake up and think I hear my baby crying. You don’t think I’m upset? Sometimes I’m so mad at him, I just stand there shaking.”

Screenshot-276He looked at me incredulously, “Then how the hell, can you justify helping him?! The planet would be better off if he went through with it. What if he’s just trying to manipulate you into falling for him again.” I snorted in the most unladylike fashion, “How naive do you think I am, Justin? I don’t love him anymore, but I want to help him. It’s not his fault that he’s sick. My “mom”, Maria, had the same sickness, and wherever the hell she is, I’m sure she still does. I’m sorry if you can’t understand. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stop him from killing himself.” Justin held on to my arm as I walked away, his voice hoarse with tears, “Sabrina, I’m falling for you……hard, but I can’t be with you if he’s a part of your life. Cassidy deserves better from me.” A sob escaped from my throat as I nodded, “I understand, Justin, I really do, but if I don’t help him, no one will.” He let go of my hand, a single tear running down his cheek.Screenshot-270

I could barely see through my tears as I drove to Raj’s house, if you could call it that, it was more of a shack. I knocked softly before pushing on the door, “Raj? Are you in here?” I stepped inside, but I could barely stop from gagging on the smell. It was dirty, and it smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in weeks. My eyes adjusted to the dim lights before I saw him leaning against the wall, “Raj?” His eyes popped open, and I saw the gleam of the gun in his hand. He lifted his hand shakily, beckoning me closer, and I inched my way towards him. He hung his head and began sobbing, “I can’t do this anymore, baby. I’m so tired….Please let me go….” I shook my head before pulling him close to me, ignoring the urge to gag. I held his face in my lap, stroking his hair, and humming softly. He loosened his grip on the gun, but it was still out of my reach.

He held his head up and focused his gaze on me, “What did you name him?”

I whispered in his ear, “Baby, let’s not talk about that, okay? It’s in the past.”

He grunted, “No! Before I die, I need to know my sons name…”

Screenshot-271I held my hand out, “Raj, after what happened to us, I went to a shelter, and while there, I met with a therapist almost every day. She really changed my life, and I think she could help you too.”

He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t need a shrink….I have my sponsor.”

I smiled, “That’s right, but I bet you, he would say the same thing to you. Raj, I’ll tell you our son’s  name, but first, you need to get some rest.” He moved away from me, “I’m not a child, don’t mother me,” but he made his way towards the bedroom. I held out my hand, “Raj, you don’t need your gun if you’re asleep, alright? Let’s put it here on the counter….good job…now lets get you in the tub for a nice, steamy shower, okay? It’ll help you feel better.”Screenshot-280.jpg

He nodded slowly, following me into the bathroom. I turned on the shower, and grabbed him a fresh towel. As he began to undress, I let him have his privacy. I made my way into the bedroom before stripping the bed. I managed to find a clean sheet, and some comfy pajamas for him. I knocked on the door, before sliding the clean clothes under the door, “I’ll be in the bedroom when you’re done, okay?” I heard him sigh sadly, but I made myself sit on the  bed and wait.

When he emerged as a cleaner, fresher man, I smiled gently, “Feels good, huh?” Again, he nodded slowly, but said nothing. He laid down on his pillow and stared at the ceiling. I laid next to him, putting my hand on his forehead, “After I got out of the hospital, I didn’t get out of bed for at least two weeks. Not a night went by that I wanted to die, just to be able to hold our son, but you know what kept me going?”, I waited for him to respond, but he just turned his head to look at me so I continued, “My roommate at the time, Stella, she was such a happy, perky person, and she used to talk to me when I was holed up in bed. Even when I didn’t answer, she would tell me about herself, ask me how my day was. Her life was way worse than mine, and yet, here she was this cheerful and optimistic person. If her life could get better, so could mine………and yours too.” I looked over at Raj. His eyes were filled with tears, and he whispered, “I’m so sorry….” I held him close, “I know, baby, I know you are. Why don’t you try to sleep and when you wake up, we’ll go see the doctor together, okay?” His eyelids were trying to fight the urge to sleep, but I rubbed his forehead, just as my “mom” used to do to me when I couldn’t sleep. Once he was snoring softly, I tiptoed into the kitchen. I grabbed the gun off of the counter, before walking outside and tossing it in the neighbor’s trash. I hurried back inside, calling 911, “911, what your emergency?”

Screenshot-272“Hi, my….uh….friend is suicidal, and I managed to get him to sleep, but I’m worried he’ll do something if I leave him. What do I do?”

“You are a great friend, ma’am. When he wakes up, take him to the Sunset Valley Emergency room, and they’ll keep him there for 36 hours or until they feel that he is not a threat to himself.”

“Sounds good. Thank you.”

I waited in the house, cleaning up what I could, until Raj woke up, almost four hours later. I got him to get dressed before driving him to the hospital. As we waited in the waiting room, he sighed deeply, “You never told me his name.” I winced internally, but nodded soothingly. An orderly came over to us, and began to escort Raj to a wheelchair. Raj turned around to me, refusing to move. I took his hand and leaned close to his ear, “I named him Christopher Franklin Kishvi.” Raj broke down into sobs as they wheeled him away. I walked out of the hospital, my whole body trembling. It seemed like it took an eternity to drive home, but when I made it through the front door, my mother took one look at my face and pulled me into her arms. It was only then that I began to sob and cry.

 

~~~~~IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS CONSIDERING OR THREATENING TO COMMIT SUICIDE, DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 1-800-273-8255, OR 911. SAVE A LIFE, BECAUSE EVERY LIFE MATTERS~~~

 

 

 

1.11 Blissfully Uneventful…Ha!

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A.N~ I’m baaack… Thank you all for putting up with me. I know I’m not the most consistent of writers, but I appreciate your loyalty. Without further ado….the next chapter is ready!

~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

s

Screenshot-250The low grumble of Justin’s voice woke me from my cat nap. I stretched my arms, yawning, “How long was I out for?”

He laughed, ” Long enough for me to catch three amazing waves on my board.”

I sat up, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Justin. I’m not bored, I promise. Just tired. This must be the worst date you’ve ever been on. I promise I’m not usually so boring.”

Justin waved me off, “Don’t even worry about it. On my wife and I’s second date, she sneezed right into my mouth as I kissed her for the first time. It was pretty gross.”

I laughed softly before falling quiet, and he did the same before saying, “I made this awkward, huh? By talking about my dead wife on the first date. I guess we’re both excellent at dating, right?”

I laughed softly again, “Tell me about her, I don’t mind.”

Screenshot-251.jpgHe laid back against the sand but turned to look at me, “When I first saw her, she had the most amazing smile. You could be having the worst day of your life, but the moment you saw her, all your troubles would melt away. We met at our college orientation. She was leading the freshman group I was in. It wasn’t until the spring semester that I worked up the nerve to ask her out. Three years later, she became my wife.”

I rolled onto my side to face him, “She sounds adorable, I wish I could have met her. I think we would have been friends.”

Screenshot-252He leaned in close, lingering dangerously near my face, “Sabrina, I’d very much like to kiss you right now.” I nodded slowly before his lips met mine. With a passion and tenderness I’d never felt before, Justin’s kiss sent my spine tingling. I’ll be honest, it was not a short kiss and when I pulled away, I couldn’t stop smiling.

For a while, we just sat next to each other, watching the sunset across the ocean. When it was time to pack up, Justin helped me to my car before leaning in to kiss me one more time. He grinned mischievously at me before opening the door for me, “Wanna join Cassidy and I for dinner on Sunday?” I smiled warmly, “Sure, but only if you agree to have dinner with me and my family on the following Sunday.” He laughed, “It’s a deal, Sabs.”

Screenshot-253.jpgWe parted with the promise of next weekend in the air. My spirits were high as I parked the car in the garage and made the short walk to the house. All of a sudden, chills ran down my spine as I spotted a figure standing at the top of the driveway. They were far enough away that I couldn’t see who it was, but I wasn’t about to let them know that. I bolted for the front door, but the voice stopped me in my tracks, “Wait, Lauryn. Don’t go.”

I whipped around and began to tremble, “Raj?”, before I walked closer to the hidden figure. He shrugged, looking completely different. Instead of his fancy suits, he wore some ratty old sweatpants and a t shirt. His face wasn’t as clean as I’d remembered. I whispered, “I must be dreaming, right?”

“Nope. I’m real.” His voice was low, and he sounded on the verge of tears.

Screenshot-255I surprised myself by throwing my arms around him, “I though you had died! I’m so happy that you’re alive! Why did they say you were dead?”

He hung his head, “Lauryn, I am so ashamed of the way I treated you. I had no right to smack you around or bully you. Hell! I shot you, Lauryn! I wish I could blame it on the alcohol, but I’m really just an asshole with a drinking problem.”

I nodded, before doing the last thing I ever expected to do, “I forgive you, Raj. I really do.”

Screenshot-259He closed his eyes and started bawling, “I’m so sorry. I woke up in the hospital, and I begged the doctor to tell you I was dead. I told him you were better off if I was dead. Once I was well enough to go home, I was arrested for battering you, and I spent 6 months in Sunset Valley Correctional Facility. You’re probably wondering why I’m here now, and why I’m telling you this.” I nodded softly before he continued, “I’m 2 years sober now, and I go to meetings every day. Part of the reason I’m here is because one of the twelve steps is to make amends, and I just wanted you to know how truly sorry I am, Lauryn.”

I took his hands in mine, “So much has happened in the 2 years that we’ve been apart. First things first, I found out that I was kidnapped by our family’s housekeeper and my name is Sabrina.” I laughed at the shocked look on his face, “I know, imagine how felt.”

Screenshot-264Raj smiled for a second, while I still tried to wrap my mind around the fact that Raj was alive and standing in front of me. When he cleared his throat, I shook my head a little, “I’m sorry, what did you ask?”

He grew serious, “I know that I have no right to ask this, but did the baby survive?” My eyes filled with tears, and I shook my head, “No. He died before I made it to the hospital.”

Screenshot-262Raj started crying again, “It was a boy?” I nodded before wiping my own tears away, this was too much. Emotionally, and physically, “Raj, I’m glad you’re okay, but I think it’s time you left. I need some space to process this, and I think you do too.”

He nodded understandingly, “Laur-..umm Sabrina? Here’s my new number, in case you need anything.” He handed me his card, and walked off down the road.

 

Sorry

Hey guys. So thank you all for following my stories. I’ve really appreciated your support over the last two years. Unfortunately, I’m going to be taking a little break from writing. Maybe a month, maybe less, I just don’t know. I don’t want to go into too many details because it’s very painful to talk about, but basically I was 30 weeks pregnant and we lost the baby. So please keep my family in your prayers as we try to deal with our grief. Love you all…

Starlet Sims

1.10 The Little Memories That Make Life Great

gen1-cover~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

Screenshot-237.jpgI growled in frustration as my phone buzzed for the billionth time. I hardly glanced down, knowing it would be from Nicolai, but not really caring anymore. You’d think he would have gotten the hint after 20 unanswered voicemails and three times that in unanswered texts and emails. It had been cute at first, but it soon began to annoy me to no end. Just as I was about to turn off my phone, it began to ring, I groaned but was presently surprised to see Justin’s name pop up. We had  grown to be close friends after our skating encounter in the park, I answered happily, “Hello?”

With shrieks of joy in the background, Justin’s panicked tone reached me, “Hey, Sabrina. I need your help. There are 6 little girls at my house and I have absolutely no idea what to do with them.”

I chuckled, “Why are you whispering?”

“Uh….I’m not sure. So any thoughts?”

I smiled, “I think I know just the thing. It;s going to be a hot one later today, so sprinklers on in the yard are always fun. Let’s see…… I got it! I’ll come drop off my old makeup stuff and they can mess around with it and give each other makeovers. Until I get there, why don’t you pop some popcorn and let your daughter pick out a movie and they can pretend they’re at the movies.”

“Yeah…okay, I like it! Ok…oh would you mind swinging by Carlo’s and picking up some pizzas?”

“Sure thing. I’ll see you soon.”

Screenshot-233.jpgIn record time, I grabbed my makeup, picked up the pizza and was on my way to Justin’s house. I yelled angrily as someone shot out in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, and barely stopped in time. The guy turned to face me, and I saw his face light up…Nicolai

He blocked me as I tried to drive off, knowing I couldn’t go around him due to oncoming traffic. He tapped on my window and I nearly growled at him, “What do you want, Nicolai?” He grinned at me, “Baby, I miss you. Why won’t you answer me?”

I snapped at him, “Your pouty baby voice is not cute, Nicolai, it just shows you for the spoiled rotten, elf-centered, celebrity that you are. Now please take a hint and leave me alone!” He opened his mouth to pleaded with me, but I pressed the horn until he turned and walked away. As soon as he was gone, I sped off towards Justin’s house, trying to put the whole thing behind me.

Screenshot-229.jpgWhen I left later that evening, Justin walked me out to my car, even though I insisted I was fine. We got closer to my car, only to see that my window had been smashed by a rock with a note attached. You’ll be sorry, it read. Justing grabbed my hand and pulled me away, “What’s that about, Sabrina? Is someone bothering you?”

I tried not to smile at how much he cared as I sighed, “No, it’s just a stupid guy who won’t take a hint. Honestly, he’s harmless, and I’ll be fine.”

He snorted indignantly, “Like hell you will, Sabrina! He threw a rock and broke your window. Something tells me he might be serious about this, okay? Just let me give you a ride home. It’ll help me sleep better tonight.”

I was stunned by his protectiveness, but I managed to think logically, “Justin, if you take me home, who’s going to watch the 6 sleeping six year-old you have inside?”

He nodded, “Well then I guess I’ll have 7 ladies sleeping over tonight.” I blushed furiously, thankful for the darkness that hid my face. I acquiesced and followed him into the house. He led me to the second guest room before showing me where the bathroom was. I thanked him shyly before flopping down onto the bed. I texted my mom to let her know where I was before falling into a fitful sleep.

Screenshot-232I was awoken in the morning by six tiny giggles and six loud thumps outside the door. Justin knocked softly, waiting for my reply before poking his head in the door, “Hey, I hate to make you sneak out, but I’d rather not have these girls telling their parents that I had a lady friend over while they were here, plus Cassidy might get the wrong idea. I have never had anyone else spend the night ever since….”

His voice trailed off and I nodded, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just sneak out the back door and make sure that my car still works.”

He whispered his thanks before closing the door. I sat on the bed, wondering why there was this hurt feeling in my stomach. It’s not like we were together, and it’s not like I was sneaking out after a one-night stand type of thing. Why did it feel like he was so embarrassed by me? I shook my head, trying to remind myself that this wasn’t about me at all.

I made my way to my car without being seen, nearly crying when I realized that Justin had swept up all of the glass off my seat and around my car. There was a new note tucked into the windshield,

Sabs, Thank you for making the slumber party so amazing for Cassidy. You really saved my ass back there and I really appreciate it. I’d like to make it up to you sometime, maybe over coffee? Text me when you get home, and we can set a date. Thanks again,

Justin

1.9 Skating Circles

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Sabrina’s P.O.VScreenshot-223.jpg

I smiled as my phone rang the minute I stepped out of work, and I picked it up with a smile in my voice, “You’re not waiting around for me to call you, huh playboy?”

Nicolai chuckled, “Am I that obvious? In any case, I miss you, Sabs. When can I see you again?”

I shrugged, despite the fact that he couldn’t see me, “I dunno. I think we need to let this cool off a bit, Nick. I told you I wasn’t looking for serious, and this is feeling a little more serious every time we hang out. I like you, but I’m not ready for commitment yet.”

With a sigh, he hung up, promising to call back every day until I said yes. I shook my head and turned the corner to the parking lot. I pulled out and made my way into town. I had been dying for them to finish the construction on the new roller rink in the park. When I got there I pulled out my skates and made a beeline for the rink. I knelt down, glad no one was around before touching the glossy smooth surface, not yet roughened up by hundreds of skaters. After a moment, I slid out onto the rink. I was pretty shaky at first, but it soon came rushing back to me. When I was seven or so, Maria, my ex-mom, used to bring me to the roller rink of the guy she hooked up with. Of the rotating door of men in her life, this guys wasn’t so bad. He was still scum, but he was less scummy than his predecessors. He was the one who taught me to skate, teaching me all the little tricks and turns. I got pretty good, but then, like most things in my early life, it came to an end when my mom stole the money from the cash register. If I hadn’t been there, I’m sure she would have been in jail.

Screenshot-217.jpgI was so focused on my stroll down memory lane, that I had barely registered another skater on the rink. They came colliding into me, sending us both sprawling on the ground. It was not one of my finer moments. “Watch where you’re going,” I grunted as I stood up. I turned around to face them, stopping short when I saw it was a giant of a man. I began chuckling uncontrollably, before helping him back to his feet. He rolled his eyes, but I saw a grin playing at the corner of his mouth.

He stuck out his hand, “I’m sorry for running into you, ma’am.”

I shook his hand, “It’s alright. I’ve been hit worse. Call me Sabrina, ma’am is too weird.” He nodded, “I’m Justin.”

The conversation hit one of those awkward lulls, until I nodded towards his obviously new skates, “You learning to skate?”

He gestured to his feet, “Can’t you tell? I’m a professional,” he laughed, “Nah, I’m learning so that I can teach my little girl when she comes out to visit.”

I nodded understandingly, “How old is she?”

He smiled, pulling out his phone and showing me a picture, “She’ll be six next month.”

I shrugged uncomfortably, not wanting to pester this stranger with questions, so instead I began to skate slowly, “Well, Justin, we have a lot of work to do before you’re able to skate safely.”

He cocked his head to the side, “You’d really help me? You don’t even know me.” I just shrugged and we began to go over the basics. Eventually we made it to the middle, not using the bars at all. I held his hands with mine, ignoring the thoughts of how strong his hands seemed. He looked down at me, “Thank you for being so kind. My daughter is going to love this.”

Screenshot-214I nodded, before pushing on with the question that I had been biting back all day, “If I might be so bold, or nosy if I’m being honest with myself here, why don’t you have your daughter living with you?”

He nodded thoughtfully, “No worries, I’d tell you if you were being too nosy. My wife and I were married right out of high school, six years ago. Last November, and awful storm caught us on the tail end of a road trip out to see my folk in Bridgeport. The car tumbled over and over, killing her almost instantly. I was in a coma for several weeks, unsure whether I was going to live. Cassidy, my daughter, was miraculously unharmed somehow, minus a few scrapes and bruises. My wife’s parent kept her with them, while I was in the hospital. Once I was released, we lived in Twinbrook with them until about two weeks ago. I moved here to help us get a fresh start while Cassidy finishes the school year in the same county. In two weeks, she has spring break coming up, and I’m going to bring her out here to show her our new home.” He had tears in his eyes as he finished, and I bowed my head, unsure of what to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry for prying.”

Screenshot-221.jpgHe gripped my hands, “Nonsense, ma’am-er Sabrina, you are the first person out here to show me the slightest bit of warmth. Thank you.” I nodded my head before I noticed the time, “I’m so sorry, Justin, but I have to be heading home soon,” I handed him a card with my number on it, “If I am to be so bold, if you ever need a friend, please don’t hesitate to call. I’d love to meet your daughter.”

Screenshot-226We parted ways, and I left with a spring in my step, happy to have made a new friend. when I got home, my mom planted a kiss on my cheek before handing me several handwritten notes. I flipped through them hastily,  “What are these?” My mother sighed, “Those are phone message taken by me, your father and Ethan, several times from lover-boy, Nicolai.” I shook my head, “I’m so sorry, Mom, I’ll get him to stop calling here, okay?” She nodded before putting her hands on my shoulders, “Hon, I know you’re a sweet girl and afraid of being hurt….but is there a possibility that you’re stringing this guy along? He  clearly cares for you.” I shook my head, “No way. In fact, I ended it today, I told him that we needed to cool off for awhile. I’ll talk to him again.” She hugged me before going back to the kitchen, “I’m here if you need to talk, hon.”

I sighed heavily as I flopped onto my bed, why did this casual dating thing have to be so complicated? Suddenly feeling very exhausted, I fell asleep while trying to push thoughts of my talk with Justin out of my head.