Arturo had gotten somewhat used to it, although he tried not to pay too close attention before the fish was done. They ate in silence watching the fire burn. Arturo glanced at Chana, but before he could speak, she interrupted him.
“Did you hear Katie and Jeremy just had their baby?”
“Really? Boy or girl?”
“Girl. Her name is Karen.”
“We’ll have to go visit them.”
Arturo finished his fish and pulled out his guitar. Chana took the dirty plates inside. He remembered back when he was alone on the empty field with only berries to eat. The tent hadn’t been much better. Now he had a house, albeit a tiny one and Chana had moved in. Between her garden and fishing, they rarely had to eat out. Which meant his bank account was looking better than ever. He was even in talks with a builder in town to get a proper house built for them. Especially now…
He paused his playing and looked over to where Chana was tending the garden. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Arturo, I’m fine.” Chana protested. “I haven’t even had any morning sickness.”
“Sorry, it’s just…wow, we’re going to have a baby.”
Chana smiled at him then returned to her work. Arturo sighed happily, he hadn’t even known he wanted a baby. But one with Chana was just perfect. Last night he had bought a cake from the bakery in town. Chana hadn’t been feeling well so they’d scrapped their original plan for a fancy dinner, but he didn’t want to completely ignore her birthday.
Afterwards, he’d learned what Chana had suspected and only just confirmed.
“But, we weren’t trying,” Arturo said the after she’d told him they were expecting.
“We weren’t exactly careful.” He had to admit that was true.
Arturo was such a worry wort, Chana thought bending to weed her garden. Sure it was harder to move around now, but she was taking care of herself and the baby.
She was sleeping plenty. So far her only major problem had been needing to pee every five seconds. This morning she’d been fishing and had finally caught the second fish they needed for breakfast when baby had given her bladder a swift kick. She’d barely made it to a bush.
Ah, baby, I’ll be glad when you’re out. She looked around, there was really nothing that needed tending at the moment. There was that book she could read, but what she really wanted was company. Arturo was working on his latest song, but he wasn’t really the company she was looking for.
Chana called Bella, “Bella, I need some sane company.”
“Arturo’s freaking out?”
“Asks every five minutes if I feel okay.”
“Ha! Hayden was the same. Want me to come over?”
“I was thinking more of getting out.”
She took the ferry into town to meet Bella at the park. Bella’s girls ran up to greet her. They had grown so quickly!
“Hello, Stefanie. Hello, Rachelle. How are you two today?”
“Mommy says you’re pregnant!?”
Chana laughed. “We’re not sure yet. I’ll let you know as soon as we do.”
“I hope it’s a girl!”
“Or twins like us!”
“I hope not, two of you are more than enough.” Chana laughed. The girls ran off to the playground. She sat down next to Bella and for a while they just watched the girls in silence. Katie joined them.
“Jeremy said he’d keep an eye on Karen.” Katie explained. “And I was starting to go stir crazy. Perhaps I shouldn’t have quit my job at the post office. I had hoped I’d have more time for writing, but it feels like the more time I have, the more time I waste.”
“You have to make sure you schedule your time.” Bella said. “Otherwise everything else will steal it.”
“Oh, how’s the house coming?” Katie asked Chana, changing the subject. “Anything built yet?”
“Hopefully it’ll get built before the baby is here.”
“When are you due?”
“Not for a while. But Arty doesn’t want to start until he’s sure we can get everything we want.”
Eventually it grew late and Bella had to start dinner. Chana waved farewell, promising the girls she’d call as soon as they knew. It was late enough that Arturo had already left for work. So she walked home with Katie for dinner and to meet Karen. Arturo dropped by after work to meet Karen.
He’s going to be a great Dad, Chana realized.
“Let’s go out,” Chana announced as they finished dinner.
Arturo could hear the music from the bluffs too. “Are you sure?” He couldn’t help but ask. Chana just glared at him and he sighed and collected her plate. “Sure.”
It had been a while since they had gone out, just the two of them and Arturo found himself relaxing with the music. He saw familiar faces and old friends.
“Hey Arturo, you made it out! I didn’t think we’d see you until the kid was grown. So how is he?”
“Still in utero,” Arturo smiled. “Chana was going stir crazy. So I figured this was close enough to home not to worry.”
“Due any moment, I see.” Emeliano had spied Chana off to the the side of the dance floor chatting with Katie.
“Yes.” Arturo took the moment to catch up with his friend. Emeliano had been a confirmed bachelor for as long as he had know him, but suddenly Emeliano was all enamored of a particular dark haired beauty. Atruto tried not to tell him “I told you so,” but his friend seemed oblivious to his new state.
Arturo kept an eye on Chana though and went she headed off toward the pond, Arturo followed and joined her.
“This is where we first met.” Chana said sitting pulling herself out of the water.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off you.” Arturo admitted. Although he knew that particular phenomenon hadn’t changed.
“Are you alright?”
“Stop asking. I’ll let you know when he’s ready. I won’t keep that a secret.” Arturo pulled himself out of the pool and sat next to Chana. In the distance they could hear the base of the DJ. “You know, I hadn’t even planned on coming. That night.”
Arturo was alarmed. “What made you come?”
“Chance I guess.” She shrugged. “I was bored and I knew I could go swimming here, my cousin wanted to come and I said I’d be her chaperon.”
Arturo had never been so grateful for chance. What if they’d never met? Where would he be today if it weren’t for Chana?
She shifted again, clearly uncomfortable. Arturo bit his tongue, hard.
“Let’s head back,” she said after a moment. “I’m tired.”
Arturo gladly complied, pulling her up to her feet. They walked hand in hand past the party and back home.
That night, Chana woke Arturo from a sound slumber.
“Arturo,” she said.
He felt the bed shift. “Wha-?” he mumbled half asleep.
“Wake up it’s time.”
“I—I’ll call the cab!” He scrambled for his phone as Chana sat on the edge of the bed, breathing carefully. “Yes, that’s right,” he held her hand as they waited. At least he hoped that was the techniques the nurses had told her, right now he wasn’t sure he could remember his name.
It felt like ages, but eventually they heard the horn, and he helped her out to the cab.
Authors Note: Um. Yeah. Insert awesome excited squee?
Katie’s house is from a friend of mine Carewren123, you can get it on the gallery, it’s called Modern Pace. The cool paintings in the background are done with the magic of “paint by reference.” Also you should read her great stories here. I’m particularly fond of her Apocalypse Challenge story: Wren’s Nest. I just noticed (far too late to help generation 1 out) that I had my MC Commander Mod set to only have townie “adults” get pregnant. So it means my townie mother population is aging fast. (Noooo! Bella!!)