This chapter has been a long time coming. I've jokingly started calling it the "cursed chapter" since every time I tried to take pictures for it either my game would have issues (which led to me reinstalling the game three times) or life got crazy. Thankfully, the game issues seem to be resolved.
Speaking of resolutions, I've made one for the new year that includes posting chapters more frequently. I've been dragging my feet with this generation, not wanting to end their story, but it's time and I've made my peace with that. Unless someone (either George or Steph) tell me differently, there will be two more chapters and then a finale to this generation.
The short version: I'm resolving to post more often, finish this generation so the next can start, and this generation will end soon.
Thank you for being patient with me, for continuing to read this story (even with my sporadic posting), and for loving these characters with me. :)
God bless Kelly Clarkson for putting into words what so few of us can. Her song speaks to both Steph's and my heart and was an inspiration in writing this chapter.
Special Thank You To LateKnightSimmer for making the tipping hat pose!!! Love You Sweet Lady!!!
“They’re adorable!” Inside the most recent bag, sat two onesies, both white; one with small blue airplanes and one with tiny pink flowers. The cuteness of each one was too much not share with everyone and I reached inside, holding them up for everyone to see. Those gathered in the family room for my baby shower agreed, and I smiled even more thinking about each baby wearing them. But they looked bigger outside the bag and even though the size on the tag said “newborn”, I couldn’t imagine that each of them would be big enough to fit into them when they were born. That thought made me panic for a moment and I looked down at my huge belly, wondering how much bigger it would need to grow for them to reach that size.
“They grow so much in the last months.” Bridge offered and I glanced up from my belly to see her watching me from across the room.
I nodded and smiled over at her. “I read that in one of the “What to Expect” books, but I still have trouble imagining me getting any larger.” I half joked and chuckles sounded around the family room.
“I felt like I was going to bust during my last month.” I turned to see Emily rubbing a hand over her barely noticeable bump. “It’s amazing to think how much they grow in just nine short months.”
“This isn’t making me feel any better about what’s ahead.” Charlotte somewhat joked as she looked down at her also barely there bump.
“It’s all worth it.” Bridge patted Charlotte’s hand and Emily nodded. “The uncomfortableness you feel in the last months becomes a distant memory as you hold your little one. . .” She smiled at me. “. . .or little ones, and your heart feels like it’s going to burst from the love that you feel whenever you hold them in your arms.”
Daydreams of George and I holding tiny babies moments after being born were interrupted by Charlotte placing another baby present in my lap and I set my attention back to opening them. Before long, they were all unwrapped, the guests full from enjoying tea, cupcakes and other treats, and little by little friends began to leave until all that remained were family.
The guys kept themselves busy doing “guy activities” until the shower ended and their thunderous return proved that they had a good time. “I swear! I wasn’t peeking!” Trev’s loud voice was the first heard as they exited the elevator. “Willie’s just not very good at surprising people!” The laughter that rang out made us women look and smile at each other; something that caused the men to stop dead in their tracks after filing through the door.
“Why are you all smiling like that?” Will wondered and we couldn’t contain our laughter any longer.
“It’s just nice to hear the four of you having fun.” Emily’s reassurance once we stopped laughing broke them out of their frozen state and each one made their way over to join us. As the conversation continued, I looked around the room and drank in the sight of the warm, caring family and each of the happy couples.
The latest addition was among the Christmas surprises of learning that Charlotte and Emily were pregnant. Trev’s admission that he meant to bring a guest with him on Christmas Eve caused a buzz through the family. It didn’t take us long to realize though that Trev had met his match with Pamela, an old college friend of his.
It was something that was common with every couple sitting there, how once each couple got together it didn’t take long for them to move to the next step, and my tiny chuckle didn’t go unnoticed by George. The small turn of his head in my direction caught my eye and when our eyes met, a whole conversation took place where I told him that I’d reveal later what had caused my runaway chuckle, and his eyes showed that he couldn’t wait to hear about it.
The thought that the two of us could have a conversation like that made a soul-warming contentment spread through me, and if I had known how short-lived it would be, I would’ve tried to relish it even more. As was common at that point in my pregnancy, my mind jumped from one thought and memory to another and it wasn’t long before I remembered the moment that I first witnessed him having a silent conversation with Charlotte. . .the night that George and I first opened up about our pasts. . .when I first told him about my parents.
It seemed like anything could send my mind on a path that led to some memory or conversation about my childhood and cause an unsettling feeling to fester deep inside. Every time, I tried to push it even further down, but my attempts became less and less successful and I worried about my ability to keep it hidden. Especially from George.
The moment that everyone left was the when my worry became a reality. His attention turned away from the elevator doors and I knew from the intense focus I saw when his eyes met mine that he had zeroed in on something.