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…..”

1.14 The Master Plan

 

Gen1 Cover~A.N~ I realize I made a really silly mistake. I named Ethan’s girlfriend Quinn, and I completely spaced on the fact this was the Quinn legacy. Big Whoops.. So from here on out I have changed Quinn’s name in the story to Julia So I hope it’s not too confusing… My apologies XD

 

~Sabrina’s P.O.V.~

After meeting with Julia, I did as I had promised, I spent the weekend trying to think through their situation and see if I could come up with a solution. Sunday night came, and I pulled Ethan aside, “Bud, it’s time to talk to Mom and Dad. I have a plan, but we need to talk it out as family. Why don’t you call Julia and see if she can come over for dinner. We cam talk over dinner.”

He shrugged, “I don’t know, Sabs. Do we have to tell them?”

If I was a violent person, I would’ve smacked him upside the head, “Of course they need to know!” I dropped my voice to a whisper, “This is your baby, their grandchild. You need to tell them what happened.” Ethan nodded slowly before walking away, pulling out his cell phone. I headed back into my room, to begin preparing for tonight.

Screenshot-289Before I was ready, evening came and Julia knocked on the door. As my father got up to answer the door, Ethan jumped up, “That’s my friend, Julia, from school. She’s going to have dinner with us tonight, but before you answer that door, you need to know, she’s 8 months pregnant. So please, please, just be cool.”  My dad nodded, a serious look overcoming his face, and motioned for Ethan to answer the door. Ethan opened the door, “Hey Julia, thanks for coming.” He led her inside and she turned to our parents,”Thank you for having me over, especially so last minute, I appreciate it.”

I stepped in and gave her a hug, “No, thank you for coming over,” I turned and motioned to everyone, “Why don’t we all take a seat in the living room.” My parents nodded, but you could tell the wheels were spinning in their heads. They glanced from each other to Julia’s prominent stomach. We all sat down and I put my hand on Ethan’s shoulder, “Mom, Dad, Ethan has something to tell you guys.”

Screenshot-290.jpgEthan nodded slowly, taking Julia by the hand,”Uh, I’m sure you can guess what I’m about to tell you…. Julia isn’t just my friend from school. We dated at the beginning of the school year. She moved away, and a few weeks ago she moved back to town. That’s when I found out she was pregnant…with my baby.”

My mom began to cry, and my Dad stood up and began to pace. I sat up and tried to be a voice of  reason but Julia stood up, “Look, this is all my fault. Ethan is just trying to help.”

Once my mom quieted down, she moved over next to Julia, “Honey, we are in shock, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to help. Ethan will take care of you and this baby.”

I leaned next to my mom, “Julia has asked me to help her find a solution to their situation, because she doesn’t feel like she’s ready to raise this baby. I have thought of many options, and if Ethan’s agreeable. I would like to adopt their baby.”

Screenshot-292Ethan looked thoughtfully at Julia before turning back to me, “If that’s what Julia wants, I’m happy to oblige. Obviously, I’d still like to be a part of this baby’s life, but maybe more as Uncle Ethan, than Daddy.” Julia threw her arms around him, sobbing her thanks onto his shoulder. My dad stopped pacing long enough to face me, “Are you ready to raise this baby, Sabrina? You’ve just gotten on with your life after the Raj debacle. You have a part-time job, and you still live at home.”

I took a deep breath, trying not to get defensive. My dad meant well, and he was still in shock. I sat a little more forward on the couch, “You’re right, I might not be ready now for this baby, but I have an entire month to get ready. My job is minimum wage, but I searched all over Simslist this weekend and I found a couple jobs that seemed decent. Because I live at home, I’ve had the chance to save everything I earned as a receptionist for the last two years. In my bank account, I have nearly $10,000 saved up. I’ll be going apartment hunting this week. I want to help, Dad and I know you’re concerned, but I’m doing this with or without your support.”

As I grew silent, my mother stood up, “We’ll support you, Sabrina. What you’re doing is a very thoughtful and a generous gift. Julia, are you okay with Sabrina’s plan?”

Screenshot-293Julia turned towards me, tears streaming down her cheek, “Yes. I can’t imagine a kinder person to raise this baby. I’m sure my mom will be agreeable to this if she’s allowed to have contact with the baby; but even if she’s not okay with this plan, this is what I want to do.”

We hugged, and the rest of the evening was a little awkward but it went on without any issues. The next morning, I set out on an apartment hunt, barely containing my excitement. I nearly floated from place to place, not even bothered by the fact that I was walking around town in the dead of summer.

Screenshot-308.jpgAfter a week of apartment hunting and job interviews, luck had turned my way. I managed to score a sweet summer deal on a new apartment across town. It would be a 20 minute drive to my parents, but I was so ecstatic with this place I didn’t even care. The minute I paid for and signed the year-long lease, I began to cry and my new landlord just stared at me like I was crazy. He didn’t understand! This was the first time in my life that I was actually independent. I didn’t have to ask someone for money to buy clothes, no more using my parents’ money to go grocery shopping. This was it, I was a grown up!

Filled with newfound sense of independence, I spent that week moving in, and when it was all finished, I had everyone over for the big reveal, Julia included. My mom had tears in her eyes as she hugged me, “Hon, I am so proud of you. There is not a minute that goes by that I don’t regret not being able to celebrate life’s milestones with you, but today, I’m glad to be standing here with you. You’re going to be a wonderful mother,” she kissed my forehead, but we were both bawling at this point,”I’m only a phone call away if you need anything, okay Sabrina?” I nodded through my tears and we joined the everyone in the small living area. After everyone left that evening, I looked around at my little apartment. It wasn’t much, but it was mine, and I couldn’t have been happier. I fell fast asleep that night, fully embracing my newfound independence.

 

~Pictures of Sabrina’s apartment~

 

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?”

1.11 Blissfully Uneventful…Ha!

Agen1-cover

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.

 

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

1.7 Practically Strangers

Gen1 Cover.jpg

~Lauryn/Sabrina’s P.O.V~

screenshot-166I have a mom, a real mom, one who loves me and bakes cookies and made scrapbooks of my first year. I sat on the couch in disbelief, my parents sitting across from me, hardly containing their excitement. I nodded my head as they made light conversation, why I was so numb inside. Shouldn’t I be just as excited as they were? I shook my head slightly, and refocused on the conversation.

My mom laid her hand on my knee, “Would you like to see your room?”

I nodded, not sure what to expect, but she led the way down the hall, she stopped before the closed door, “I haven’t stepped in here since the night you were taken from us. Walter comes in here every now and then to open the windows, so it doesn’t get musty…”

She trailed off as she pushed open the door. I took in the sights and smells of a beautiful nursery…. my nursery. I started crying as memories of Christopher’s nursery plans filled my head.

My mom wrapped her arms around me, “I know we’re practically strangers, but if you need to talk, feel free to speak honestly, don’t spare our feelings. We’re just happy that you’re alive, honey.”screenshot-170

I broke down into harsh sobs, “Uh…a few months ago, I…*sob* was pregnant…my boyfriend..*sob*….got really drunk….and he shot me. He missed my heart..*sob* but he hit my stomach..”

She pulled me into her arms, “Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.”

She held me tight until I stopped trembling. I soaked up the comfort, not used to having a mother who actually took care of me. She sighed, “So, how would like your room to look?” I looked at her quizzically before she laughed, “What I’m trying to say, is that our door is open if you want to stay a night every now and then, or even come live with us. But we know that that’s a big adjustment, so however you want to work it.”

I nodded my head, “Uhh…can I think about it? It’s a lot to consider…” She laughed before nodding excitedly.

We parted ways that night, as I headed for the hotel they insisted on putting me up in. I laid on the bed, big tears rolling down my face. I had so many emotions swirling around but the more I learned about them, the more I hated my mom, ugh…I mean my kidnapper. I called her after I had finished crying, and left her a voicemail, saying she could find her car at the nearest impound.

screenshot-190I hung up and took a much-needed soak in the tub. I flipped through the baby book that Vanessa, my mom, had sent with me. I traced my face in the picture, jealous of how happy she looked. I was determined to be that happy again. I packed my bag, left the hotel and found myself back on their doorway.

My dad opened the door and look concerned, “Honey, are you okay?” I found myself smiling ear to ear, “I have been robbed of too much time from you all. I want to move in and make the most of the new memories we can make. If that’s okay with you guys.”

He pulled me in and gave me a big hug, “Sweetheart, you don’t know how happy that makes me.”

I giggled and my mom appeared next to me, so I chose that moment to address them both, “Guys, I know you’ve been confused as to what to call me, because to you I’m Sabrina, and to me, I’ve been Lauryn for the last 18 years that I can remember, but I want to put Lauryn in the past. From now on I am Sabrina Daisy Quinn.” My mom’s eyes filled with tears and we hugged again, my dad encircling the both of us.

screenshot-165My brother, Ethan, who had yet to show any interest in me was on the couch playing the newest R.E.F.U.G.E. game. I grabbed the other controller, “Mind if I join?”

He looked at me, his eyes wide, “You play this game?”

I shrugged, “Not this game specifically, but at the shelter I was staying, they had this game system. I loved to play My Sims Go!.”

He laughed, and he showed me the basics. We were both in the heat of competitive driving while Mom made a delicious smelling dinner. Dad settled on the couch with his paper. Ethan shook his head in defeat when were done, and we gathered at the table for dinner.

My dad broke up the monotonous sounds of the silverware scraping the plates, “So, Sabrina, if you don’t have any plans this weekend, your mother and I thought we’d celebrate your return by having a family day at the Sunny Seashell Spa. We own a cabana there part time.” I nodded, thinking that it sounded perfect.

screenshot-180The rest of the week flew by in anticipation of our day at the spa. My mom and I both got deep-tissue massages and pedicures while the guys lounged by the pool. We met up by the pool in the afternoon. My dad and I relaxing on the loungers, while Ethan and my mom swam around. I was deep into a book when I heard a “COWABUNGA!!” With a huge splash, Ethan dove into the pool, smiling impishly when he resurfaced. I splashed him in annoyance, but I couldn’t help but smile. I got out and dried off, while trying to salvage my book. As I was walking back towards the locked room, something, or rather someone, nearly bowled me over, sending me to the floor. I ducked my head in embarrassment, dazed, but alright.

screenshot-187I took the hand offered to help me up, a rich warm voice apologizing, “Oh man, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Oh crap, you’re bleeding.” I looked down at my knee, “Oh yeah, I guess so.” I looked up at him, and did a double-take, “You-you’re Nikolai Cruz……” He shrugged, “Yeah, but I’m also the guy who just knocked over a beautiful young lady.” I blushed but couldn’t manage to find my words. I was standing in front of Nikolai Cruz, world-renowned singer, famous for the hit song, “You’ve Got My Heart”. I stuttered before he gestured to my knee, “You should get that checked out…….” I sputtered, “Oh, uh, I’m Laur-I mean, I’m Sabrina.” I laughed nervously but he tugged my arm and led me to the first aid station. He stood near me while the on-call nurse cleaned my leg and put a bandage on it. I thanked her before turning to Nikolai, “Mr.Cruz, you really didn’t have to stay. I’m really alright. I’m sorry to take up your time.” He laughed before kissing my hand, “Please, call me Nikolai, and why don’t you make it up to me by having dinner with me next weekend?” I blushed, completely nervous, but I found myself agreeing……..

What in the world did I get myself into?

1.6 The Rainbow After

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A.N.~This chapter is longer than most of the previos one, but I swear it has a better ending. Enjoy!~

~Lauryn’s P.O.V.~

screenshot-125“Hey, do you ever not sleep?”

I groaned inwardly before peeking out from under the blankets, “I dunno.” I rolled my eyes and ducked back under. I’d been recovering in a domestic violence shelter, and they had put me up in an apartment with a roommate, Stella. The covers were yanked off of my bed, and I shivered in the cold air, “Come on, it’s 7 in the morning, let me sleep.”

She flopped onto my bed, “Listen, you’ve been here three weeks and I’ve only ever seen you out of bed like four times. The only one you hurt when you wallow is yourself.”

I sat up in bed before looking her dead in the eyes, “Don’t pretend you know me, okay,” I lifted up my shirt and showed her my still-healing scar, “I’ve been through hell. My boyfriend shot me and killed our unborn baby in the process, while getting himself shot by the police. I have nobody, okay?” I was crying now, the sobs leaving me unable to speak. Stella stood up abruptly and I heard her bustling around in the kitchen.

screenshot-128The smell of something sweet tingled my nose, until she poked her head back in the door, “C’mon, I made us some comfort waffles. You need to eat sometime.”

Begrudgingly, I made my way into the kitchen and sat at our table. The first bite into my waffles reminded just how long it had been since I had eaten a “meal”. I stared down at my plate before apologizing, “Uh, I’m sorry if I was rude. It’s been a rough month.”

Stella put her hand on my arm, “Don’t apologize. I’m sorry if I was too pushy, I was a lot like you when I first got here. I just care aggressively, at least that’s what my therapist says. I have been here almost 9 months, and I promise you, it does get better.” I smiled until I realized I was crying again, before I whispered my thanks. Stella stood up abruptly, “Well, I gotta get to work. Maybe try getting outside today? Fresh air makes all the difference, when I get back we can binge watch some Simflix and eat all the chocolate we can.” I nodded and as fast as she talked, she was gone.

I decided to take her advice and I tentatively headed to the park. I brought one of the books I had bought to read to Christopher, and clutched it close to my heart. The sun was shining bright, and I sat down on a bench, hoping no one noticed the still-healing bruises on my face. The sound of someone sitting next to me, made me pause in my reading, but before I say anything, or even look up, the stench of cheap booze filled my nose. I looked up to meet the steely gaze of my mother, my very drunk mother.

screenshot-142She leaned into me, “You’re not as fat as I thought you’d be. That must mean you’ve had the baby.”

I shook my head, “Ma, I’m not discussing this with you.”

She plowed right through, ignoring my statement, “So, do I have a granddaughter or a grandson?”

I sighed, “None of your business.”

She scoffed before standing up and swaying, “Fine. You obviously don’t want me here, Lauryn. I guess I’ll go elsewhere.”

I thought of all the horrible things that my mother had done to me and to herself, I nearly hated her for them, but I still could not, in any  good conscience, leave her to find her way home. I pulled her arm until she sat down next to me, “Ma, let me take you home. How did you get here?”

My mom laughed, “Don’t be silly, you surely have to get home to your baby and his or her father. Don’t worry about me, I drove.”

screenshot-145I stood up, pulling her along, “You’re in condition to drive home , Ma. I’ll take you. She huffed about it all the way to the car.

Once inside the car, she began pestering me with more and more painful questions, so I finally interrupted her, “Y’know, Ma, you keep asking me about the father of my baby but in all of my 19 years you have not even mentioned my father. Not once. I think I’ve waited long enough.”

She leaned her head on the car window, “Surely, I’ve said something.”

I shook my head, “Not a peep.”

I had made a point of asking her when I was younger, but she always shut me down. I hoped maybe the alcohol in her might make her forget those walls. She looked at me with sad eyes, “I loved your father very much. He was a charmer. His big blue eyes crinkled when he laughed.”

It was hard for me to keep my eyes on the road as she described him. She burst into sobs and I pulled the car over, “Ma, what’s wrong?”

She looked at me and pulled at me for a hug. I tried not to stiffen, but she began to talk, “Oh, Lauryn, I’ve done something so very, very bad. Something awful. I can’t tell you.”

I couldn’t tell if this was the alcohol talking or if she was seriously upset, “It’s okay you can tell me.”

She nodded soberly, “Okay, but you can’t be upset,” she waited for me to nod before going on, “When I was sixteen, I fell in love with the star quarterback of the football team. Cliche, I know, but it was true. He didn’t notice me until a year after he graduated. We had one night of passion, and I ended up pregnant.”

“With me?”

My mother bit her lip, “No, I was pregnant with your sister, but I miscarried in my 5th month.” My eyes grew wide, but I remained silent as she continued, “Anyways, I never told him about the pregnancy or the miscarriage, but I kept track of him as he moved on from college to his career. In fact, I ended up working for him and his wife as their housekeeper.” I stared at her, trying to reconcile what she was saying to the woman I had grown up with. I started to say something but she waved me off, “Let me finish, your father never so much as looked at me after our one shared night, but when he and his wife brought home their perfect baby girl, I was so jealous. I still loved him, and in my mind he was mine. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s how I felt at the time, okay? I was given the care of their child while they went on with work and such,” She broke down into tears again, “One day, I realized that I might possibly love this child more than her own mother. She was so perfect, and tiny. She smiled whenever I entered the room, and cried when I left at the end of the day.”

screenshot-172I nodded, trying get her to the point, “So after I came to that realization, the next day, I waited until they left for work and……I took that little girl home with me, and we ran away together. I changed hers and my name. Her name was/is Lauryn.” She dropped that little bomb into my lap while I stared at her, my eyes widening by the second.

Finally my brain managed to put together a whole sentence, “You mean to tell me that  my mom is not my mom, but just some crazy woman who thought I was her daughter? Wait a minute….wait…a….minute….” She opened her mouth but I whisper yelled, “What’s his name?” My mom look confused, so I chose to scream, “What is my father’s name!”

She looked down at the floor, “His name is Walter Quinn.”

I laid my head on the steering wheel, “Get……out.”

She looked out the window, “But we’re on the highway, and you’re driving my car.”

I turned and yelled at her, “I don’t care! I’ve taken so much crap from you because I thought it was my fault that you didn’t love, or because it was something that I did. You treated me like I was the problem. Every time you came home drunk, every time you brought home a new man, every time you slapped me, or called me an ungrateful whore, I still loved you, because I thought I was your daughter and that it was my job to care for you, but i was wrong, okay? I have been caring for someone who has been trying to drink away her regrets, but now, I’m done. If you weren’t drunk I’d be the one to leave, but I don’t want yo to kill anyone by drunk driving, so please……..get out. When you’ve sobered up, call me, and I’ll bring the car back.”

After she stumbled out of the car, I sped off, making it home before bursting into tears. My heart ached for someone to talk to. I crawled into bed, back where I started this morning. The sun hurt my eyes when it came through the window. Stella had left some pancakes on the counter for me, but I was in no mood for eating. I got dressed before walking down the street to the library. The computer was open, so I made a beeline for it. I didn’t even know where to begin, so I pulled up my mother’s, excuse me, Maria’s, high school alumni page. I scrolled through it until I found the right yearbook. Smack dab on the cover was the quarterback, my father. I clicked on his picture, and it led me directly to his profile. I wrote down the current address and was out the door in seconds.

screenshot-152Several hours later, one long cab ride, one short ferry ride, and one stop on the bus, I stood on his street. I took a deep breath and forced my feet to walk forward. His house was at the end of the street, and as I neared, I could make out two figures on the lawn. It was him, and his son playing catch. I have a brother! Once within walking distance,  I cleared my throat, trying to get his attention. He turned to me and I approached, “Um, hi, are you Walter Quinn?” He nodded his head, searching me for some sign of recognition, “I am. How can I help you?” I shrugged my shoulders, “Well, this is going to sound weird, but I think I’m your daughter….” A wide grin split his face before he motioned to his son, “Ethan, go get your mom!” The blonde teenager shot into the house as I found myself being wrapped p into a hug, “Oh Sabrina, we knew you would come back to us.” screenshot-156

Before I could correct him on my name, an older carbon copy of me stepped out the front door. Once we made I contact, she dropped the mug in her hand and rushed toward me. I was pulled into her arms as she began sobbing. I was crying too, not sure how I had made it here. I had gone from being all alone in the world, to suddenly having these stranger become my family. I clutched my mom tighter, sending us both into a fit of tears again. Somehow, everything was going to turn out all right.