I sat down at the table as Mom handed me a glass of juice. “I’ve made spaghetti and meatballs.” I smiled as Dad put down some vegetables.
“You need to have a serving of them. I made them different this time.” He put a heaping on my plate as I stared at them in disgust.
“But Dad….” He shook his head turning to Kellan taking a deep breath.
“Kellan’s eating them too, right Kellan?” Kellan looked at the vegetables then at me.
“Spinach, artichokes, and collards? I’m eating them see, Charlie?” He took a forkful and ate it. “It’s not bad, I promise.” I picked up my fork as Mom sat down grabbing a plate of veggies too. It’s something my parents always did when me and my brother were kids. They always have us eat our veggies first so we have them together or we don’t get to eat dinner either. They were always sneaky too, making sure if we have to try something new they make our favorites. Worked every time. I ate them slowly chewing before swallowing.
“See not that bad, Lottie.” I gave him a look. “Okay, it’s for the baby. Think of it that way.”
“All of those are high in iron; now eat them before I start force feeding you liver and giblets.” She huffed eating her vegetables.
“What are giblets?” I asked her. Kellan cleared his throat.
“It’s the turkey’s insides. They have chickens too.” I stared at him wide eyed before looking at Mom. She had the ‘I’ll do it’ look. I shoved the rest of the greens into my mouth chewing them and swallowing them. I knew my mom would do it.
“All done.” Dad said putting a pile of spaghetti and meatballs on my plate before handing me the cheese. I could reach far as I could as my bump was in the way. “So Kellan, what are you planning to do?” Kellan looked up from putting cheese on his food.
“What do you mean, Sir?” He asked shocked.
“I mean when the baby comes. You still work in California, don’t you?” He asked plopping a piece of meatball into his mouth.
“Yes Sir.” My parents have known him most of his life, but now they were acting like strangers. I do not like this. Not at all. “I haven’t thought about that yet.” He said honestly. I hate the tension in the air right now. I move my pasta around on my plate no longer wanting it.
“Well there is a baby on the way. You need to be ready to take care of them both if you plan to stay in their lives.” Dad said looking at him.
“I do plan on supporting them they are my family too now. I plan to take care of them.” I looked up as they glared at each other.
“Well you sure are doing a good job at it.” Dad snorted. “That’s why she was here and not with you?” I put my napkin and stood up leaving the room as I felt the tears forming in my eyes. I sat down on the top of the stairs putting my face into my hands.
“Look what you did!” Dad yelled at him.
“Oh would you shut up Elliot! You did this!” Mom huffed. “She doesn’t need this stress right now. She’s trying to keep that baby in as long as possible. Don’t you two dare make that happen any sooner. I’m protecting my baby. You both sit your asses down here and talk this out. Now.” She growled at them. I wiped my eyes as she walked up the stairs. “I told them off Baby. Come on, let’s get upstairs.” She helped me up from the step.
“I don’t want them to fight.” I whispered wiping my eyes roughly with the back of my hand.
“I know Lottie. Come on I will help you get into the shower.” I was having a lot of trouble with getting into the shower in my room. Mom always has to sit in on my showers as I had a fainting spell once and hit my head on the water knob and needed stitches. She freaked out and now she siting in just in case I need her. It helped when she made sure I didn’t hit my head again the other night when I fainted again.
“I’ll be quick.” I mumbled getting in quickly. I didn’t really feel like showering so I did everything quick. I stepped out of the shower as my head started to spin.
“Stop moving so fast sweets, you’re going to make yourself sick again.” She said taking hold of my arm sitting me down on the toilet. I put on my pajamas taking deep breaths to try to stop the spinning. “Come on, off to bed.” I curled up on my bed as she pulled my covers over me.
“It’s going to be okay Sweetheart.” She kissed my head. “You have an appointment for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens then, okay?” I nodded. “Just try to get some sleep now.” I curled the pillow closer to my head……
I woke to the feeling of someone getting into bed next to me. I opened my eyes to look at them. “Hey, did I wake you?” Kellan asked pulling the blankets back to get into bed next to me.
“A little.” I rubbed my eyes. “What happened?”
“Don’t worry about it. Come on, back to sleep.” I nodded moving to curl up on him. The baby kicked making me jump in pain.
“Ow.” I whimpered. She’s getting stronger with her kicks.
“Can I get you anything?” Kellan asked stroking my hair.
“Get her out.” I pressed my face into his shoulder.
“I know baby, soon.” He kissed my head. “It’s be over soon.”
“Are you going to tell me what changed your mind yet?” I asked yawning pulling at my blankets.
“Tomorrow Char. For now, let’s get some rest. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted. I’m jetlagged.” He pulled me close to him and kissed my head.
I ran my hand up his arm as he started to fall asleep. My fingers ran under his t-shirt and I felt the muscles move. I stopped as I felt coolness of a bandage. “What happened?” I asked sitting up.
“What?” He asked looking at me with one eye. I pulled at the sleeve showing the white bandage that was under it. “Oh that.” He sighed. I could feel my breathing coming in sharply as I stared at the bandage.
“What happened?” I asked moving slowly to unwrap the bandage. I pulled it gently as I bit my lip.
“I was being an idiot.” He sighed as I couldn’t pull anymore. I frowned at him.
“Take your shirt off.” I said leaning over to turn on the lamp moving the blankets.
“Come on Char, it’s-” I glared at him. I crossed my arms over my chest.
“Now.” He sat up and pulled off his t-shirt. The bandage went from a couple inches under his shoulder over his shoulder till the beginning of his collarbone. I gently unwrapped it from his arm before pulling the rest of it off. “Oh Kellan.” I gasped pulling my hand away.
“It’s not as bad as it looks.” He said his eyes searching my face.
“It looks terrible.” I sighed putting my feet on the ground getting up.
“Where are you going?” He asked as I walked over to the bathroom. I pulled out my first-aid kit and walked back to the bed. “What?”
“Sit up.” I opened the kit and pulled out a wipe to clean it.
“Will already cleaned it and dressed it Char, you don’t have to.” I ignored him and gently wiped the edge of the burn.
“You need to clean it again just in case any infection stayed in the skin. It won’t take much longer.” I looked up at him catching his eyes as he watched me. “So how’d it happen?” I sighed getting the burn cream and rubbing it gently in as he sucked in a breath between his teeth.
“I screwed up at a house fire and wasn’t paying attention. I got a flame down my jacket and this happened.” He sighed. “I fucked up.”
“Yeah, I can tell.” I sighed. I put a gauze pad to cover his wound.
“They said I either get my head in the game or I quiet. They said they didn’t want to see me kill myself because I can’t pay attention. They were right.” He nodded his head slowly deep in thought. “I was so out of it, I risked myself and I risked the guys around me.” I put the tape on the bandage to hold it. He wasn’t really telling me now, he’s telling himself.
“What made you so out of it? You were always able to throw it all away when you got on the job.” Kellan first got the job when I was living with them. I watched as the blush crept up his neck.
“I couldn’t get you out of my head.” He whispered. “I just couldn’t. 8 months now, but the last the worst.” He put his arms on his knees. I put my hands on my stomach. “All I could remember was the look on your face when you looked back at me before you left. It haunted me so much.”
“Why?” I asked him. He took a slow deep breath.
“Because I thought I was never going to see you again.” I watched the tears forming in his eyes. “And that scared me more than any fire I’d ever been in.”