Confessions Chapter 12: Silver Lining

Can you give this one to me?

Posted June 12

Yey. I have defied the doctors.

I got great news. Something involving me and him, my (soon-to-be ex-) husband. No, we didn’t get back together (Okay, I know I haven’t moved out, but I just so love his kid.).

It’s another thing.

And I know pushing through with this will probably complicate everything—even my relationship with my soon-to-be-ex-husband—but I’ll stick by it. THIS IS MY OWN LITTLE MIRACLE, and I am not gonna let it go.

If you want to know my very fabulous news, comment here, or call me up. =)

Listening to: My heartbeat

Kiefer laughed loudly as he picked up Joshua, who was flying a kite but fell down. They were in the park—one of the few days when Carlie got a day off and Kiefer had no game. Carlie carried the picnic basket from the car and placed it on the blanket that Kiefer had laid on the grass. She walked back to the car and swerved, and she held onto the hood of the car for support.

“That is not good,” she muttered, as she felt a wave of nausea overcome her and she closed her eyes, letting it pass. Then suddenly a hand wrapped around her waist, holding her against his body. “Carl? Are you okay?” Kiefer asked, and he twirled her around. She was pale, and there are beads of sweat across her forehead.

“You’re not okay,” Kiefer concluded after finishing a survey of Carlie, and he helped her to the nearest bench after closing the car door. “Tell me what you’re feeling,” he whispered, and Carlie opened her eyes. “Woozy,” she breathed, and Kiefer leaned her head on his shoulder, glancing at Joshua who was happily eating a sandwich on their blanket.

“You didn’t eat breakfast,” he offered, and Carlie nodded. “Yeah. That’s probably it,” she agreed albeit hesitantly. They waited for a couple of minutes for her dizziness to settle, and then Kiefer asked her if she can walk now. She nodded, smiling, even though she is still a bit pale. He helped her up and held her hand as they walked toward Joshua, who beamed at them. The boy reached out for Carlie, who sat slowly next to him, putting him on her lap. “Wow, what are you eating?” she asked, and he pointed to the sandwich. “‘Wich,” Joshua replied proudly, and she let out a dry laugh. “Sandwich,” she said slowly, and Joshua repeated the word for three times before actually getting it right.

“Your dad’s going to get you a drink, Josh,” she then prompted, and Kiefer headed to the car to get the beverages that she was supposed to be getting earlier. When he returned, a frown was on his face. “What’s wrong?” Carlie asked when Kiefer had handed Joshua a pack of orange juice.

“You haven’t had your period last month.”

Carlie maintained a blank face, knowing very well where their conversation is going. She had no idea how Kiefer knew that—what, he’s checking the trash bin in all the bathrooms in their house for any bloody napkins? Carlie cringed at that thought.

“We do know the last time out I was three months delayed and I suddenly got my period. So there’s no way of telling that I am, in fact, pregnant,” she said, grabbing a sandwich for herself and staying silent. Kiefer sighed heavily, and sat down next to her.

“We can go to the doctor this time—something that we didn’t do before,” he suggested lightly, not wanting to be pushy. Carlie shrugged. Yes, she is excited about the prospect of being pregnant, but she still hasn’t forgiven Kiefer yet for the whole Alexa thing. Proof? They haven’t made love ever since that shower incident, and Carlie spent her nights either at Joshua’s room or at the guest room. They were fine—that is, if they’re dealing with Joshua. Other than that, Kiefer and Carlie are no more than housemates.

Carlie turned her complete attention to the boy on her lap, and heard nothing more from Kiefer about the supposed pregnancy.

However, Carlie didn’t get out of it the next day. Curious, she went to the nearest pharmacy before going to the office and bought a pregnancy kit. And amazingly enough, it popped positive.

“You’re staring, you know that, right?”

Carlie snapped out of her blank state and smiled halfheartedly at Faith, who entered with the newspaper and a whole new stack of paperwork and report for Carlie to review. “Thanks,” she said modestly at her secretary, and she reached out and opened one of the folders.

“You’re not okay.”

She regarded Faith with impatience. “That’s the nth time someone told me that this day. Am I one of those women who look horrible once they’re pregnant?” she snapped, and Faith’s jaw dropped.

“YOU’RE PREGNANT?” she said loudly, and Carlie motioned for her to keep it down with a wave of her hand. She was flushing, shy at the revelation.

“Yeah. Apparently. According to this tiny thing,” she said, throwing the pregnancy test thing to Faith, who caught it in her hands. Faith bemused herself with the two pink lines, and gave Carlie a wide smile. “There you go. Something you’ve always wanted,” she replied, walking over to the desk and sitting across Carlie.

“Yeah,” Carlie agreed slowly. Faith reached across the table and held her hand. “Why are you not happy?” she asked, and Carlie shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe because Kiefer and I are not really what you call ‘okay,’ and… I am not really in my sanest of all conditions,” she explained. Faith sighed. “You know, it’ll all work out, you’ll see,” she encouraged, and then she stood up and left.

Carlie picked up the phone and called that one person she knew would probably make her sane.

“I’ll be there this evening,” was all she said.

“Burgers, fries, and ice cream. Something’s up, huh, Carlie?”

Joseph helped Carlie with whatever she’s bringing and kissed her on the cheek, and he swear Carlie blushed. That’s a first, he noted, and then shook his head. “Yep,” she said, entering his place. They walked over to the dining room, where Joseph had set the food on the table. “What’s that?” he asked, popping a fry into his mouth.

“Pregnant.”

Confusion fleeted Joseph’s face. “Who?”

“Lara,” Carlie said sarcastically, and that took the color out of Joseph’s face. She laughed loudly at his reaction, and then said, “Me, of course.”

“And you’re sleeping with Lara? With that look, Sef, you probably had one unprotected night with her too many,” she added, still smiling, hiding the fact that that bothered her a bit. Finally Joseph recovered from the shock, and he rushed over to Carlie and hugged her. (He deliberately ignored her final statement.) “Congratulations,” he whispered, and for some weird reason he felt sad. “How did you find out?” he asked, still not letting her go, for fear that she will see the sadness in his eyes.

“Test kit?” Carlie replied lively. “And I went to the doctor before I got here. She confirmed it. Sef, I’m going to be a mom,” she whispered, and when he released her she was crying.

“Okay. That isn’t hormones yet, is it?” he teased, and Carlie hit him playfully on the shoulder. He paused. “I’m going to be an uncle,” he said in a more serious tone, and she nodded.

“Half-uncle,” she corrected, “If there’s such a thing.”

They laughed, and Joseph pulled Carlie a chair. They started eating—for Carlie it was a chicken burger and a salad, while it was yet another triple-patty bacon cheeseburger for Joseph. “Kiefer knows?” he asked in between bites, and Carlie replied with a shrug.

“Not yet.”

“You do plan to tell him, right?” He eyed his half-sister suspiciously, and she nodded.

“Of course. He’s the father. Why shouldn’t I tell him?”

“Your annulment is still in the courts. You still haven’t pulled it out.”

Carlie paused. Now he reminds me. “If they grant it, then Kiefer and I aren’t meant to be. If they don’t, then I guess I still have to stay with him.”

“Don’t your priorities change when you now know you’re pregnant with your husband’s baby? Aren’t you going to pull out the annulment case?”

She sighed. “I know it sounds foolish, but Sef, I just can’t let the Alexa thing go. Maybe we’re doing a bit better than we were before, and maybe we’re facing better days in terms of being a family because of this baby, but… our relationship? Me and Kiefer? Not going back to the way he and I used to be. I’m staying because I like the kid and the kid likes me back, but… aside from that? Nothing else is holding me to him.”

Your baby is holding you to him,” Joseph quickly pointed out.

Carlie stayed silent, and he offered her fries. She declined. “I don’t really love him anymore, Joseph,” she said after a while. Joseph held her hand, gazing deeply into her eyes. “The kid will suffer if you and Kiefer are not really what you call loving husband and wife. The child will realize that sooner or later. Don’t do what your parents did to you, Carlie,” he said, and she quickly pulled her hand from his.

She stood up, wiping her hands off her handkerchief. “One moment you tell me to pull out the annulment from the courts since I am pregnant with Kiefer’s child. The next moment you tell me to not let whatever my frigging parents did to me to my child. What do you want me to do, Joseph?” she said angrily, and she stomped off to the bathroom. Joseph watched her, amused.

He can’t tell her that he himself is experiencing an internal turmoil as well—he doesn’t know why in the world he’s feeling like this now towards his half-sister, and frankly, all he wants is for her to be free from her husband if that’s what she really wanted. And then she tells him she’s pregnant. By Kiefer. Damn. He wanted to shout at her since the man who’s fathering the child in her tummy is the same guy who cheated on her.

But he can’t bring himself to feel this. Not towards his half-sister. No.

He gathered himself and breathed deeply, trying to clear his head.

When Carlie’s anger subsided, she walked back to the dining room and grabbed her purse. “Carls,” Joseph began, but she ignored him. He followed her and stopped her with a calm hand on her shoulder. “Look, I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to make the wrong decisions. I hate watching you crash. I won’t be there to catch you and to pick up the pieces and help you put them back all the time, Carls. I won’t be there for you all the time,” he whispered, and she nodded.

“Yeah,” she said, her voice quivering. “I know that.” With those words, she shrugged Joseph’s hand off her shoulder and left him. Joseph breathed deeply three times before going back to the dining room to fix what’s left of their food, putting the unfinished food in the fridge and throwing out what couldn’t be eaten anymore. Suddenly, mini… something with Carlie left him with no appetite. And then he went to his room, and his eyes landed on that framed picture by his bedside. He and Carlie, in one of their getaways in Coron, Palawan. They looked so happy and carefree, their tanned faces flashing wide smiles as he hugged her from behind and flashed his digicam away.

He took the picture and sat on the edge of his bed, contemplating. When he saw Carlie close to ten years ago in a friend’s party, he knew that they will kick it off in more ways than one. Even though she was younger than he is, he had always appreciated how she saw everything good and bad in him and accepted him for everything that he is and whatever he is not. In a span of just four dates, he learned he liked Carlie so much and enjoyed her company—maybe even learned how to love her.

Then again, maybe that was brotherly love for a sister. After all, he didn’t know Carlie was his sister when they were dating.

Good thing they haven’t even planned on sleeping together.

Joseph smirked, placing the framed picture back on bedside table, kicking that thought to the back of his head.

Kiefer slid onto the bed next to Carlie and Joshua, who were both fast asleep. It was a first—Carlie and Joshua were sleeping in the master’s bedroom. She was probably too tired from playing with Joshua that they both fell asleep without heading to their ‘rooms.’ Carlie stirred and placed an arm around Kiefer, and he smiled. Carlie, he thought. She had always loved hugging.

“Hmm,” he heard her mumble, and she cuddled closer, burying her face in his chest. Kiefer didn’t know if it was proper to hold her—after all he hasn’t touched her and been this close to her ever since their bathroom encounter.

She stirred once more, and then sleepily opened her eyes. “Oh,” was the first word out of her mouth upon realizing where she was and who she was next to, and she flushed. Kiefer wondered why Carlie had always blushed so easily—he never bothered to ask her that in their five years together. And I probably won’t get to ask anymore, since annulment’s filed and all. He cocked his head to the right, shutting his mind off for thoughts related to that topic, and then smiled at her.

“You fell asleep,” he whispered, and she nodded, slowly inching away from him, almost shyly. “Josh and I were watching DVDs and I switched it off when he fell asleep,” she explained, and she pulled herself off the bed. She stretched, and Kiefer watched her, trying to recall the last time he saw her and felt her this close to him.

In the showers, answered one part of his head, and he suppressed a smile.

“I have something to tell you,” she said after deeming herself presentable (and fully-awake). Kiefer sat up, patted a pillow and laid it next to Joshua. For some weird reason, Joshua was like Carlie—they’re both huggers. He stood up and followed her at the hall. “Okay. What is it?” he asked softly.

“I am pregnant,” she said simply, as if the news wasn’t life-changing or anything. Kiefer gawked at her, his head reeling.

“What?” he choked.

“Kiefer, don’t make me repeat it,” Carlie warned, and she turned to go back into the room. It took him five seconds to recover from what she initially said, and by that time she was already in the bathroom and the water was running. The door was locked, making Kiefer smirk. What, no repeat? He waited, and she took her time—thirty minutes. The entire time Kiefer was standing next to the door, tapping his feet to an unnamable tune.

“Oh god,” Carlie gasped, when she finally emerged from the bathroom in her bathrobe and was greeted by Kiefer’s real bored face. She held her hand on her chest, and finally breathed when she realized it was safe—no ghosts, no killer or murderer lurking somewhere—just Kiefer.

“What did you say?” he demanded, but his voice was soft. Carlie rolled her eyes. “I went to the doctor this afternoon. I’m pregnant, Kiefer,” she said, and then she turned to head for the guestroom. He followed her, and she sighed impatiently.

“What?” she snapped, catching Kiefer off-guard.

“Aren’t we going to talk about this?”

“What do we have to talk about?”

Kiefer groaned. “Your pregnancy. Us.”

Carlie winced. “US? There’s no ‘us’ anymore,” she replied harshly. “You and me and the baby. Now that’s maybe something we can talk about.”

“Carlie,” he began, reaching out to her but she swapped his hand away, “Please. I thought we were doing okay.”

“Me and Joshua, we are the ones doing okay. I am just being civil with you because I like the kid.”

“My baby won’t exist if we hadn’t made love. Now tell me we weren’t okay.”

Carlie made a tut sound. “Made love,” she muttered, the sarcasm not escaping Kiefer’s ears. “We’re not okay. Like what I told Sef, I’m staying with you if the court says so. I’m leaving if annulment is handed to me,” she continued.

“No. You’re not leaving me. Not with my baby in your tummy,” Kiefer pressed, his eyes boring into Carlie’s. “You’re staying. We’re doing fine with Joshua and we’ll do much better with our kid. It’s the miracle we’ve wanted after what the doctors told you before. You are not leaving me, you hear me?” he said, a threat in his voice. Carlie was unfazed, and then she shrugged.

“Whatever.” She twirled and slammed the door on Kiefer’s face.

Despite the disrespect, Kiefer was smiling.

Finally, Carlie’s pregnant.

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