Daniella was considering going for a walk around the neighborhood, and she even made it all the way outside and down the front walk. Robyn arrived home from school and provided her the perfect excuse to stop and talk rather than walk.
“Hey Robyn,” said Daniella, “you can be my excuse for not going for a walk. I really should, but I feel like I’m carting a house around my mid-section.”
“Oh wow, you are looking large,” said Robyn without a hint of a smile.
“Tell me about it,” said Daniella. “All the floral patterns on my clothes are stretched and crazy looking.”
Robyn chuckled. “It’s not that bad, you look amazing.”
“Can I feel?”
“Help yourself,” said Daniella. “At least you asked first, most people don’t.
Robyn felt Daniella’s stomach and was sure she felt the kicks of at least 2 of the triplets. She didn’t age up to Teen until after Emilie was born, so this was her first experience with a pregnant belly when she was actually old enough to appreciate it.
“So how was school today?”
“School was school, you know? I’m just ready for it to be over. Although I’m looking forward to hanging with the twins when they age up,” said Robyn, “I just prefer to be around older people. I feel like I’m always playing catch up, you know?”
“Yeah, I know…,” said Daniella, giving Robyn an appraising look.
Before Robyn could say more, Emilie joined them outside. As usual, she wanted Daniella to pick her up. When Daniella was around, she wanted the company of no one else.
Daniella: Where is her mother? Who lets a four year old just wander around by themselves?
“Hi Dani! Hi Robyn! Can we play?”
“We can play after dinner,” said Robyn. “How about that?”
“Okay! I’m gonna go find mommy and see if she wants to play,” said Emilie.
Robyn and Daniella waved goodbye to Emilie as she headed back in.
As she was running back inside, Daniella asked Robyn, “so she just runs around wherever she wants?”
“Sometimes,” said Robyn. “You’ve seen how clingy she can be, so she never runs off, usually she’s just looking for someone to play with her. Plus, it’s so safe around here, there’s no danger. You know my dad is more of a free range parent, and my mom is usually chained to the stove cooking for the 100 people who live here.”
“I don’t know that I’m going to be that type of parent, but hey, if it works for them,” said Daniella.
“I hear you, but I don’t even want to to think about kids,” said Robyn.
“I don’t know about ever, but I just can’t even imagine it. Speaking of kids, look at this meme on my phone.”
Daniella took one look at the meme and cracked up laughing. “No! don’t show me that! I’m going to have three of them.”
“I’m just saying,” said Robyn, “You get why I’m in no rush to get there. Would I love to grow up sooner? Yes. Do I want all the parts that typically come with it? No.”
Daniella looked back at Robyn’s phone to see the picture again when it started ringing. It was Baby calling Robyn.
“I didn’t realize you were still friends with Baby,” said Daniella.
“Yeah, well, I don’t keep up with everyone from the original Neighborhood Hang club. For instance, I have no idea what Laurie is up to. But Baby and I are friends.”
“Alright,” said Daniella. “You take that call while I go in search of my 4th meal of the day. Tell Baby I said hi and I’ll see him at the birthday party. Tell him the triplets should be here before then!”
Later that night, Daniella found herself outside her old home in Windenburg. She hadn’t been there since the day she found out she was pregnant. She was still close with her brother Luca, but she just saw no need to visit the home and risk running into Elizabeth who she still was no fan of.
Daniella took one look at the wedding arch, still setup in the side yard, and turned away. She forced a smile on her face. The smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
Daniella went and knocked on the door and noticed the orchard Elizabeth planted in front of the storage shed.
Daniella: Well, if I’m digging for positives, at least she has a green thumb.
“Come in,” said a voice that was clearly not Luca’s.
Daniella: Ugh, here we go.
She walked in the house and saw Liz wearing a ridiculous outfit and reading a book. Daniella smirked.
Daniella: I still don’t have definitive proof, but at least it looks like she can read.
Liz took one look at her and jumped up. “On my! You’re very pregnant! Look at you! Oh, I can’t wait to join you in the mommy’s club Dani!” She made a beeline for Daniella’s belly, hands out.
“Please, call me Daniella.” In spite of her irritation, Daniella found herself with half a genuine smile on her face as Elizabeth continue to paw her belly.
“Oh, you’re probably here to see Luca,” said Liz, “and I just pounced on you as soon as you walked in the door. I’m just so happy to have a visitor. We never have visitors here. Was it like that when you lived here? I’m not sure I can get used to this. Well, I can get used to anything for Luca. He’s in the back in your old room if you want to go say hi.”
Daniella escaped from Elizabeth’s ramblings to head down the hall. Luca was playing blic bloc but stood to talk to her when she walked in.
“Finally come to see your big brother, huh?”
“You could’ve come to see me too, you know,” said Daniella. “It’s easier for you to travel than me.”
“True,” said Luca. “Come on to the kitchen so we can all talk.”
Daniella reluctantly followed him back out to where Elizabeth was devouring a piece of cake by the fridge.
“Which of these babies is going to be named after me? I call whichever boy is born first,” said Luca.
Daniella responded, “the world only needs one of you, big brother. There’s only one boy, and he’s going to be named Henry.”
Daniella: When Quincy eats like that, it’s endearing. Elizabeth just looks like she has poor manners. I hope neither of my daughters get the Glutton trait.
“Even if they don’t take after me, I’ll still love them anyway,” said Luca as he felt Daniella’s belly.
“How generous of you,” said Daniella.
Daniella finally left and Luca turned his full attention to his wife.
“Damn baby, is it good? You inhaled that cake!”
To Be Continued…