Old Friends

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by XiaoLu, Aug 29, 2015.

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      It had been nearly three months since her husband had passed away. Waving good bye to the last of her students, she sat there in silence inside her piano studio. The apartment was so quiet now that the life had gone out of it. Yena had no desire now to ever perform on stage again now that her husband had passed away, and neither would she have the time with the new baby coming. A part of her didn't even know if she wanted to keep the baby anymore. The child might be better off with two parents raising her on a higher income than she was getting. Her main source of income had been through performances, but they took out so much of her time, she wouldn't have been focused on raising a child. "You're such a pain." She murmured as she glanced at her swollen stomach. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to move back in with her parents for a time being. With some difficulty, Yena struggled out of her chair glancing at the picture resting on the book shelf. It had been when she had been about five months pregnant, it was also one of the last pictures they took before her husband had passed away. Shutting the door firmly behind her, Yena promised herself she wouldn't cry. On the kitchen counter unopened envelopes sat there, bearing news of unpaid taxes. Honestly, she had no idea how to pay taxes or how to do anything with finances. Yena had never had too. Her husband had always been the one to pay without fail.

      Walking into the bathroom, she got changed, memories of him engulfing her being at even the smallest sights. When he had first passed on, she had lost all desire to live, and if it weren't for the baby, she didn't think she would have kept going. Changing out of her dark clothing, Yena paired a simple pink sweater with a heavy wool skirt. With her belly so swollen, jeans often felt restricting and the cloth of her skirt could keep her warm through the snow and winter. Analyzing her appearance in the mirror, Yena realized she looked like a ghost of her past self. Her skin looked wane, dark bags drooped underneath her eyes and her eyes stared back hollowly, like too clouded pools and she had lost weight despite her enormous middle. Christmas was coming soon. This would be the first time she would spend the Christmas by herself since Yena had gotten married.

      With a shake of her head, she banished those thoughts from her brain and grabbed her coat and purse, making sure all the stoves had been turned off. Taking a seat on the couch, Yena struggled to put on her snow boots. Normally, she would have had her hubby do it, but there was no one there for her now. Holding her breath and tucking her stomach in a little bit, she managed to get the zippers up. Inside, she could feel the baby kicking around, at first the flutters had terrified her, but overtime, Yena had gotten used to them. Locking the door securely behind her, she got into the car while holding onto her back. The baby's weight had increased adding on to the pressure and strain the lower half of her back felt. The drive back to her parents house was short, and the whole time there, memories flooded her. It had been a while. Passing a familiar house, Yena smiled. It had been Andrew's house. The pair had been friends since their childhood, but after college, they had lost in touch. "I wonder how he's doing..." She murmured to herself before getting out of the car and slowly making her way to her parents house.

      Yena was greeted with a warm gust of air and her mother. "Yena! You've gotten so big since I last saw you! Come on in! Dinner's just started! You haven't eaten have you? You should take care of yourself more." Her mother's cheer was infectious as Yena was ushered into the kitchen for dinner. "We've got guests!" Her mother eagerly told her daughter as she lead her to the dining room.

      ((You could put your character here if you'd like.))

    #1 XiaoLu, Aug 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
  1. Finally, work is finished. Andrew sighed in exhaustion as he closed the door behind him. He chucked his car keys into the bowl that was on the glass table in front of him, before going into the living room where his father was sitting on. "Hey dad, I'm back." Andrew said the usual greeting that he would say to his father every time he got home. By now, Andrew could've easily bought himself a new apartment for him to live in, however, ever since his mother past away and his father becoming quite old and unable to move about a lot, Andrew decided that he should continue to stay in the house he was raised in to look after his father.

    "Ahh Andrew," his father chuckled with a quiet but raspy voice. "How was work?"
    "It was normal as usual." Andrew replied while taking off his blazer and loosening the tie that was wrapped around his neck. "Bunch of meetings to see how the business is going etcetera etcetera."
    "Okay..." his father nodded slowly and rocked his chair a little, but then he suddenly remembered about something that they were going to do today. "Remember kid, we're going to Yena's parent's house for a Christmas dinner."
    "Like every year. She's probably not gonna show up again. Oh well..."
    "Actually, Yena apparently decided to move back here. Not really sure why though."

    "What." Andrew quickly snapped out of his exhausted state and turned his head around to face his father's. Yena was Andrew's best childhood friend and it had been like that for a really long time...until they both went off to college and completely lost contact with each other. "You sure?"

    His father chuckled and nodded again, before saying yes a couple of times to reassure his son that Yena was indeed in the area. Excited on the inside, Andrew smiled, but also became quite nervous. It been how long since I last talked to her? I wonder how awkward our meeting is going to be when we see each other again for the first time in a million years. As he dwelt about those thoughts, his father had already hobbled all the way over to where Andrew was standing. Then, his father softly patted Andrew's back and smiled. "Don't worry, I'm sure she'll be happy." his father said. "Let's go to her house now, it's almost time."

    Andrew nodded, before grabbing his father's walking cane and opened the door to allow him to go outside. Grabbing the keys and his wallet, Andrew and his father walked to the car and got in, before the former started the engines and drove to Yena's house.


    Andrew knocked on Yena's door a couple of times, waiting for a response. When the door was opened, Andrew and his father immediately greeted her parents. "Good evening!" Andrew said in a modest and well-mannered tone, before offering a handshake.
  2. Yena glanced around. Nothing much had changed since she had left. It would be the first time both her mother and herself would spend the Christmas away from their husbands. Yena's father and husband had both died in the same accident, and it amazed her how well her mother was holding up. Her mother had been the one to slap Yena out of her trance, telling her she needed to take care of herself not only for her own sake but for the child inside her as well. Her mother hadn't dwelt on her husband's death for long, but Yena could still see traces of grief in her mother's eyes and new wrinkles that had appeared in the couple of months, but her mother held herself upright much better than Yena could have ever hoped for. For herself, the passing of her husband had seemed like the end of her life, but she had managed somehow to pull through, though not as nearly as graceful as her mother. Yena knew she should have stood up and walked with her mother to greet the guest, but she didn't have the energy or will to get out of her chair with her belly being so heavy and her feet so swollen.

    She knew her mother had poured her soul into the dishes that she had prepared, but Yena could'nt bring her appetite. It had vanished, as if the growing baby had just squashed her stomach to the point where she could no longer eat without feeling nauseous, which the doctors had assured her was normal. A part of her didn't even want to be here, but she had felt bad for missing out of all the Christmas dinners before, and the circumstances were different this year as well. Tucking her hands underneath her belly, she rubbed it, feeling the baby inside her hiccup before turning around. It amazed Yena to some degree, watching as her skin and stomach moved to accommodate the baby. Occasionally, you could see a little foot or hand poking up as the skin stretched around the fist or foot.

    Frowning, the voice greeting her mother down the hall sounded vaguely familiar, but she couldn't quite place it. Her mother had told her who was coming, but Yena hadn't been paying attention at the time.

    Listening to her mother invite them in and take their coats, Yena wondered again, if she should have helped her mother. Using the table to support her weight, Yena managed to get out of her chair before she walked down the hallway slowly while keeping her head down to avoid looking at the guests. "I'll take the coats, mom.. You're tired.. You should sit down." She murmured quietly before taking the jackets and sneaking a glance at the guests. The young woman's eyes widened in shock when she took in the young man before her. "Andrew..?" She asked, nearly dropping the coats. He had gotten taller and seemed more handsome than when she had last seen him, seven years ago.
    #3 XiaoLu, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2015
  3. Instantly, Andrew's eyes widened in shock, as he was pleasantly surprised that his father's words had in fact, been true. He wanted to hug Yena, but then noticed the large bump that was sticking out of her stomach. Taking that into consideration, Andrew held himself back, before shyly forming a soft smile across his face. "Long time no see, Yena." Andrew finally said. "How have you been?"

    And so, he waited for Yena's response to that question, and listened intently as he was very much curious about what she did ever since they separated seven years ago. Time sure files, everything changed so much since then. Before I even suspected it, Yena's already pregnant with her first child. Maenwhile, I'm still not bothered to start dating yet. As he was listening, Andrew had also taken in account the changes in Yena's appearance. Of course he was aware about the gigantic bump that was on Yena's belly, but he had also noticed that her hair became longer and she seemed a bit more frail that before.

    "Glad to know you have doing well, Yena." Andrew commented, but then realised that they were still standing and Yena seemed a bit tired from what they were doing. "Now I think about it, let's take a seat at the dining table. Let me help you."

    And with that, Andrew helped Yena slowly walk over to the giant rectangular dining table. Then, Andrew pulled out a seat for Yena so that she didn't have to do it herself. Instead of sitting at the table, however, he had noticed that Yena's mother was doing quite a bit of work in the kitchen, so Andrew decided to quickly walk over to her mother's side. "Let me help you with some of this." Andrew offered and smiled happily. "You're doing too much by yourself."

    Meanwhile, Andrew's father had already sat down at the table, as like Yena, he couldn't stand up for long periods of time due to joint pain. Wanting to start a simple conversation with Yena, he initiated. "So, how's the child?" Andrew's father chuckled softly. "You know, I still remember when you were still a wee-little girl that would often come to our house and play as clear as day. I still can't believe you're soon going to be a mother!"
  4. Yena was overwhelmed at the very least. Why didn't she remember that Andrew was going to come? "It has been a while.." She murmured, clutching at the coats before turning around to lay them on the couch. "I've been better... How about you?" Yena asked, forcing a smile on her face. When had he gotten so tall? He literally towered over her petite 5'5" frame, he'd certainly grown into his own skin and he moved in a much more confident manner than the uncoordinated boy she'd spent most of her childhood with. As her mother and Andrew's father chit chatted for a little longer, Yena stood there, trying to disappear within the shadows while messaging the small of her back, which had started to ache sharply already from the baby's weight. The doctors had told her the baby was a bit bigger than average and was a couple of pounds heavier, they had warned her to keep her strength up and to take it easy, which she had of course, ignored. What was she supposed to do? Sit back and relax while she burned the rest of her savings? If she didn't work until the last moments of her pregnancy, she would be even deeper within her financial struggles. Yena had spent nearly all of her savings on her husband's hospital bills when he had been in a coma.

    Her relief was literally tangible when Andrew suggested they sit down for dinner. Offering a tiny smile towards Andrew, she thanked him gratefully when he led her slowly down the hall and pulled out the chair for her. Anything faster than a snail's pace would cause her to gasp for breath. Seven years ago, she would have snapped at him and told him she was a perfectly capable human being, but the fight had really gone out of her after everything had happened. Immediately after sitting down, she could feel the baby kicking and then a tiny fist print swiped across her stomach. Resting a hand on her stomach, "How have you been?" She asked Andrew's dad while his son was helping her mother set the dishes down.

    "It's getting really big.. Time's really flew since then..." Yena murmured softly, "Andrew's really flourished in the years that have passed." She commented, "and you look like you're doing really well... Has he been taking care of you?"

    Her mother cheerfully began slicing the meats and serving everyone, heaping potatoes, ham, lamb, and vegetables on everyone's plates, "Eat up! I made a lot." Dinner began well enough, her mother peppering Andrew with questions about work, if he was dating anyone, how he had been doing, how business was etc. while Yena quietly picked at her potatoes, shoveling them around in her plate.
  5. "My son has been taking care of me, even though I told him he should stop worrying about me so much." Andrew's father replied, before giving Yena a wrinkly smile.

    Meanwhile on the other hand, Yena's mother had been bombarding Andrew with a long list of questions, with some he couldn't even answer right away. "Yes yes I've been doing well, same with the business..." Andrew kept his smiling face, even though he was extremely annoyed on the inside with the mother's never-ending wave of questions. "No...I haven't bothered to start dating someone."

    After being interviewed without proper consent, Andrew finally had the chance to take a bite of some of the meat and potatoes. Of course, everything was about as delicious as his late-mother's cooking. In fact, some of the creamy flavours in the mashed potato and the sweet-savoury taste of the lamb had reminded Andrew about the days when his mother was still alive. She would often cook all those meals single-handedly, just like Yena's mother. As well as that, it was nice for Andrew to enjoy a nice little gathering every once in a while. Since he worked in a very large corporation, Andrew didn't really have the time to settle down, even when the company occasionally gave him a month off from work.

    Finishing the last bites of his plate of very filling food, Andrew walked to the backyard of Yena's house to take some breath of fresh air. It's nice to relax every now and then. Taking the time to absorb the soothing wind that wrapped itself around him, Andrew decided to take a seat and lay down for a little bit. At the same time though, Andrew also wanted to talk to Yena a bit more. "Hey Yena, do you want to sit outside?"
  6. Yena gave a soft smile as she eavesdropped on Andrew and her mother's conversaton. Poor guy, he was being interviewed at dinner. She didn't want to admit that the food made her feel a bit sick, so she forced a couple of mouthfuls down of potato, the meat nearly making her puke. Staying quiet the whole time, she shifted everything around on her plate, playing with her food discretely, so her mother wouldn't be too offended, but she could see the concerned glance her mother shot her every so often. As dinner finished and Andrew went outside, Yena struggled up slowly, messaging her back while she began to gather the dirty dishes and helping her mother was the dishes. Yena wasn't much help, but she stood there, drying all of the dishes her mother handed her. Her mother had scolded her for wanting to do chores, but gave up when she didn't relent, though the pressure and weight was really making her back and feet ache. When Andrew asked if she wanted to go outside, she nodded, slipping off her apron and setting the last dishes down. Putting on her coat, she could feel the baby kicking inside her, wincing at a particularly sharp kick, Yena slipped on her flats before slowly making her way to the back porch.

    Stepping outside, the cold hit her in the face like a punch. Bundling her coat closer to herself, she stared at the darkening sky. Fat snowflakes had begun falling. Taking a seat down on the swinging porch chair, she patted the seat beside her, missing the way her gold wedding band would glitter underneath the lights. She'd taken off her wedding ring and band after her husband's death, because she couldn't bear looking at them. They had been a constant reminder of her fresh loss. The instant relief from the pain from her feet made her sigh, though her back still ached like something else. Resting her hands on her stomach, she could feel the baby flipping around, launching a kick to the side of her belly. Smiling shyly, she looked up at Andrew, "Did you want to feel?"
  7. "Umm, okay...?" Andrew replied to Yena's offer. He wasn't really sure if he should go around and feel a pregnant lady's stomach. Then again, Yena did insist that it was okay for him to touch and they were good friends when they were young. In the end, Andrew reached his hands and touched her stomach. Instantly, he could feel a powerful kick that hit the palm of his hand. Soon he could feel a flurry of kicks and punches with his hand, with some movements becoming visible as well. "Wow, the baby is really strong." Andrew commented, before taking his palm off Yena's stomach. "How long have you had the baby for?"

    As Andrew listened to Yena, he also began thinking about his own personal life. He realised that Yena, who was four years younger than him, is already about to have a child. She's already about to start a family. Meanwhile Andrew over here, still hadn't got a girlfriend, let alone getting married and settle down. However, he didn't really minded that though, raising a family wasn't a bit priority for him anyway.

    "Wow, you're already having a family of your own." Andrew replied after listening to Yena's recount. "Meanwhile I still haven't even thought about that yet."
  8. She laughed quietly when the baby responded to Andrew's hand. It hardly kicked for anyone else, other than herself, "the baby would never kick for my husba-" Yena faltered halfway through her sentence. Too late. She'd let it slip again. Now she had no idea how to correct her sentence, except to continue it. "The baby would never kick whenever my husband would feel my tummy, before he passed away, anyway." Her voice shook, and she prayed that she wouldn't combust into tears. Yena didn't quite want to play that moody pregnant woman just yet, especially when she hadn't seen Andrew in seven or so years. Swallowing the lump in her throat and blinking rapidly, "nearly eight months now," Yena answered quickly, trying to cover up her slip up.

    "You've never been interested in dating." She murmured with a small laugh, he hadn't changed since high school. He might have not realized it, but he had a train of girls that would die to get a chance to date him... He had the looks and the personality that seemed to ensnare every under-classman's heart, including hers, for a short period of time, before she'd brushed the feelings away. Some things never did change, she thought to herself. But she liked it that way. Something that was familiar to her, not matter how much time passed.

    When she heard his remark about starting a family, she laughed quietly, "I'm not keeping the baby anymore... There's not point in me raising it alone without a partner.. I don't have enough time or income to do that, anyway.... It's better off with a loving and financially stable family with two loving parents raising it... They'll provide the child with everything it needs, and they'll raise her much better than I ever will." She hated to ruin the mood with such a horrible topic, but she couldn't keep it bundled within her for much longer... Her mother would have flipped a table when she found out about Yena's future plans, but it was true... She didn't want to give everything that was her's away, but sometimes it was the better choice. Life wasn't always fair.
    #9 XiaoLu, Sep 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2015
  9. Although she wasn't the type that would show weakness that easily, it was blatantly obvious to Andrew that Yena was fighting off her tears. Immediately, he felt guilty for asking such a question after hearing what seemed to be an unintentional slip of details from Yena. "Oh..." Andrew replied, looking down onto the concrete floor after hearing that Yena's husband had past away. "I...should've not asked that question. Sorry about that."

    "Nope," Andrew immediately answered back to Yena about dating, although some of the slight guilt he felt beforehand was still lingering in his voice. "A lot of my other friends complained about how I'm missing every opportunity to go out with some chick by completely ignoring them. But then I'm like 'Wait what she's interested in me? Yeah naw I ain't bothered.' So yeah I'm so not interested in dating that every girl that tried to flirt with me, it goes right over my head."

    Just when he thought the happy mood came back, Yena dropped another bombshell, that she wasn't going to keep the baby. At first, Andrew thought she was going to abort the baby, which shocked him immensely. Luckily though, when he listened to the other details, it turned out that she was going to give the baby up for adoption. Even so, Andrew didn't really agree with Yena's future plans. Trying to gather all of Yena's shpill about her future plans, Andrew took a deep breath, trying to not let his new wave of anger and sadness over those plans affect his ability to convey his opinions.

    "Look, " Andrew sighed, before reaching out for Yena's baby bump again, with the baby inside greeting Andrew's hands with its foot. "You really shouldn't give up the baby. I know you have financial stability issues and how you want the child to be raised in a better environment but, consider what the child's going to be like when it grows up. It will know that it doesn't look like its 'parents' and would want to find its biological parents sooner or later. Plus, I can always help you financially when it comes to raising a child. I have the money. Just...whatever you do, don't just give up like that. Is that okay?"
  10. "It's fine. You didn't know.. It's in the past, anyway." Yena forced a smile on her face. Maybe it was time to get past her late husband. He was dead. The dead don't come back. Simple as that. It was a happy two years that they spent married, but they wouldn't be repeated. Laughing, Yena playfully hit his shoulder, "your poor future wife. One of these days, someone's going to snatch your heart up. You just haven't met the right one."

    "I appreciate the offer.. But at the end of the day, she's not your responsibility. I don't want to rely on others to support a child when I can hardly support myself... She's better off without me.. And maybe I'll have an open adoption and be able to check up on the child occasionally.. Do you think I want to give her away? She's the last thing my husband gave to me. If I didn't truly believe that she would thrive better without me, I would do anything to keep her." She cried, wiping away her tears rapidly and taking a couple of deep breaths before calming herself down.

    Resting her hand onto her stomach, she could feel the baby turning around in her belly. She could feel the baby's feet tucked underneath her left lungs while the baby's head was near her right. Was she giving up? Was she not working hard enough to support herself? Maybe she was giving up in a way. "I'm sorry." Yena apologized shakily, "I'll keep thinking about it... Maybe I'll get a second job or something..."
  11. "Maybe one day." Andrew chuckled as he heard Yena saying that he simply hadn't found 'the one' yet.

    "I understand it's not really my responsibility to take care of your baby." He said in an understanding tone. "But the reason why I wanted to chip in to help you is simply because I don't want you to make such a difficult decision. No one should have to make such choices in any point in their lives."

    At this point, even Andrew was about to cry, but he had enough strength to prevent the tear drops from falling down his cheeks even though his eyes were quite red. When he heard that Yena might try to get a second job, internally, Andrew immediately disagreed. Someone in such a condition shouldn't physically work so hard. "You do have your mother remember." Andrew rebutted, before looking into the window to see Yena's mother working hard to clean up everything, along with Andrew's father helping out as well. "You can always ask her to help you take care of your baby. I'm sure she won't decline your requests."

    "I guess," Andrew started again, before exhaling. "I really just don't want you to give up so quickly. There's always a way for these kind of situations."
  12. "Thank you, Andrew." Yena looked up with a tear stained smile, reaching out to hug him, something she hadn't done since the were young. It felt nice finally being able to share the burden and share her true feelings and emotions. If she closed her eyes, it almost felt like they were younger, the memories clearly flooding back to her. The pair had spent many winters together in this backyard having snowball fights, making snow angels and creating snow men of various shapes and sizes. Drawing her legs in and curling up beside Andrew, she felt safe for the first time in a long time. There was something secure that he offered. It was what had drawn Yena in nearly 19 years ago. It was hard to believe that they had been friends for this long.

    In this position, she could feel the baby getting cramped and the young woman could feel the kicks of protest from inside her. Rubbing her stomach, she looked up at Andrew, "you want to make a snow man? Just like when we were younger?" Yena asked, wrapping her scarf tighter around her neck and gently getting off the swinging chair, feeling her back pain returning again. The flurries of snow had picked up and was snowing even quicker now, perfect snow for building a snowman.
  13. Andrew closed his eyes as Yena curled up beside him, and began reminiscing the memories he made with her during their childhood. Aside from making snowmen from the snow during the winter, they would also run to the playgrounds after school dart straight for the swings in the local park just a couple of metres away from where they were right now. Summer time was even more memorable for the both of them, since they would often jump into Andrew's swimming pool and muck around with water guns and tried to douse each other with more water.

    As he let his eyes stay shut, they opened again as Andrew felt the snowflakes beginning to fall onto his face. He was about to suggest Yena that they should go and make snowmen in the current snow fall that was happening right now, but Yena bet him to it. "I was about to say the same thing actually." Andrew answered, with a grin on his face. "Let's go then!"

    Immediately, Andrew jumped up from his seat and took a quick stretch. Usually, he would just dash for the snow and began making his snowy creations, but of course, being the gentleman he 'apparently' is, Andrew again helped Yena to get up. As soon as they found a good place to begin making snowmen, Andrew got down onto his knees and began scooping up a heap of snow on the ground, before smoothing it out so that it would look more like a sphere.

    "Made the mistake of not bringing gloves." Andrew commented and chuckled a bit, before looking down on the palm of his hands that were slightly wet damp from the snow. He could barely feel his fingertips, but nevertheless, Andrew continued sculpting his first snowman with Yena in about 19 years. "Brings back many memories, right Yena?"
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  14. Yena followed suit, her flats getting soaked within a matter of seconds, but she forgot about the cold as she began helping Andrew build the snowman. While she couldn't really lean over because of the roundness of her belly, she could kneel in the snow. Rolling the abdomen of the snowman, she hefted it up, arms shaking underneath the weight and set it on top of the snowman's first ball. At this point, her pants, skirt, and feet were completely soaked and numb from the snow, but she didn't care. This was the first time she had had this much fun in ages.

    Running into the house, Yena grabbed a carrot for the nose, rummaging around in the fridge. Dashing back outside, she doubled over, breathing hard while a laugh bubbled up inside. Sticking the bright orange carrot onto the snow man's face, she dug around in the snow for stick arms, her hands turning a bright, angry red from the cold. Finishing up the snowman, Yena turned around to the porch door opening. Her mother stood, shocked, as she was about to call them both back in for dessert. It had been so long since she had seen that healthy flush on her daughter's cheeks and even longer since she had last seen the happy sparkle in her sapphire blue eyes. "Come inside you two! You're soaked to the bone!" Following her in, she motioned for Andrew to join her. Her mother tossed Yena and Andrew both a towel to dry off, before directing Andrew to the bathroom and handing him clothing from her late husband, while Yena walked up to her room to change.

    Coming back down in a loose flowy shirt, cardigan, and loose yoga pants, Yena walked downstairs and was greeted pleasantly by the smell of hot chocolate. Andrew's father had his hands curled (assuming he is an NPC) around a white mug already, and Yena's mother handed her one too. Gratefully taking a sip of the rich, warm, and sweet drink, Yena could feel herself warming up. Marshmallows bubbled up at the top, melting from the heat of the drink. She hadn't been able to drink this since she had stopped hanging out with Andrew and building snowmen. "It's so good to see you flushed and happy again." Her mother sighed, sipping at her own mug while leaving a steaming mug on the counter for Andrew.
  15. "This looks amazing!" Andrew commented happily with some pride, before taking a step back to admire their finished snowman. Just before he could say anything else, Yena's mom suddenly opened the porch door and expressed her shock, before signalling the duo to come in and dry off. Afterwards, he walked out of the bathroom with a casual t-shirt with some random but comfortable pants, before taking the mug of hot chocolate that Yena's mom set aside for him. He took a whiff of the sweet aroma that was coming out of the mug, before blowing it away to cool it down a bit so that he wouldn't scorch his tongue when drinking the hot chocolate. Cupping the mug tightly so that he could warm his hands up again, he quickly picked up the remark made by Yena's mother and quickly turned around.

    "I'm surprised you still have so much energy!" Andrew replied, before taking another gulp of hot chocolate. "I mean, most of the time when I see pregnant women, they always seem so...out of breath. I'm not saying it's bad though."

    "In the meantime though," Andrew started again. "This is the first time I felt so relaxed ever since I started working for that company. I mean, working in a corporate business is ridiculously difficult! Sure the income is good, but sometimes I wished I could have the free time that Yena has right now." Finishing his words with a little chuckled, Andrew stirred his hot chocolate again, before taking another sip. "This tastes delicious! The ones I make never turn out to taste like this!"
  16. "Don't you worry, I'll pay for this outburst tomorrow." Yena assured him, she was very much out of breath, since her lungs didn't really have room to expand with the growing baby. But she could feel how happy the baby had become through the energized fidgeting inside her. Usually the baby didn't move much when she was upset. Rubbing her belly, she scratched gently, the stretch marks had really spread around her stomach, causing the skin to itch and burn. Sipping at her hot chocolate, she listened to her mother and Andrew's comments. He hated the way he spoke about her having a lot of free time. Maybe she wasn't as busy as Andrew, but she had to work long hours while frequently visiting the hospital twice to three times a week because of her being classified as a high risk pregnancy, and deal with chronic back pain.

    Keeping her mouth shut, she sipped at her hot chocolate while laughing at Andrew's next remark, "that's because my mom doesn't use the mix. She makes it from scratch." Getting up, Yena stepped upstairs to use the bathroom. Sitting down on the edge of the bathtub, she opened up a jar of lotion for stretch marks, before applying it all over and taking a heated pad and sticking that to the small of her back in a futile attempt to calm her back pain. When she had her husband with her, he had been able to message her back in the evening, but it was too straining for her to keep her arms behind her to message herself, and Yena didn't want to trouble her mother. Pulling her shirt back down, Yena made her way back down the stairs, feeling the soothing effects calming down her skin and the itching fade away. This was the feeling she lived for each evening.

    Sitting back downstairs, Yena settled back onto the stool at the counter top, feeling her eyelids droop a little bit as the conversation faded to the back of her mind.
  17. "I see," Andrew replied, before giggling again. "Then can I have the recipe?"

    Naturally, Andrew kept the conversation going with Yena's mother and his father, and discussed quite a wide range of topics. From his goals for the future to his company's current state to even about the news that was on broadcast a mere couple of hours ago. It was somewhat relaxing for Andrew when he was chatting with the two, as they didn't become too...'animated' with their statements, unlike his colleagues and other close friends. Although Andrew genuinely liked his co-workers and friends, they sometimes got way too passionate, to the point that they would start yelling and flail their arms and hands like they were putting on some dance show. One time, a friend got too excited and knocked over Andrew's glass of wine, causing it to spill onto the latter's white dress shirt, much to the frustration of Andrew.

    As the trio spoke more and more, Andrew noticed that Yena had basically drifted off to sleep, which prompted Andrew to get up from the chair he was sitting on. "Looks like Yena's really tired," Andrew immediately changed the subject. "I...think it's better off for us to leave now so that she can rest peacefully. Tell her I'll come back tomorrow again to visit!"

    And so, Andrew helped his father to get back up onto his feet, and escorted him to the car, before driving back home.
  18. As Yena's mom saw them out the door and promised to let Andrew visit tomorrow again, Yena woke up, eyes unfocused with sleep. "Mom..?" She murmured, rubbing at her eyes and sitting up straight, feeling her baby move out of the sudden movement. "Did Andrew leave already?"

    "Yes, he left already, but he'll be back tomorrow to visit you again. He's really grown into quite the young man hasn't he?" While Yena was a little bit upset that Andrew had left already, her eyes had different ideas and soon began to drift shut again. "Let's get you up and into bed, you've got work tomorrow as well, don't you?"

    When Yena woke up again, it was through the bright sun rays filtering and spilling around her curtains. Sitting up, Yena felt a little bit off, her head hurt and she felt a little bit warm and flushed, but her first student was due within an hour. Even if she wasn't feeling well, she couldn't cancel in such short notice. In black pants a simple off-white flow shirt and red cardigan, she walked down the stairs, finding a plate of pancakes already waiting for her. Her mother must've left earlier for work today as well then. Devouring the pancakes like a hungry wolf, Yena was surprised by her own appetite. Hearing the doorbell ring, announcing the first student, Yena settled down and began her day teaching piano students.

    Throughout the day, Yena kept feeling worse and worse and her brain drifted back to yesterday. They had gotten awfully wet and cold, maybe she had caught the flu then? As the last student left, the young woman stumbled to the couch in the living room, head spinning. Laying down, she curled up with a soft blanket, she face and body flushed with heat.

    Her mother came home from work that day to find her daughter burning up with a fever. Gently leading Yena up the stairs, she settled her daughter down in the blankets of her bed, before taking her temperature. It was quite high, causing her to worry a little bit, but her mother figured it would go within a day after it had run its course. Walking down the stairs to make some chicken soup with rice, Yena's mother waited for Andrew to visit her daughter.
  19. "Make sure to get the finance report ready in two days time!" One of his colleagues, Anna remarked as Andrew quickly packed everything up as his shift was finally over.
    "Yes, yes." Andrew then threw his blazer back on, before straightening it so that no creases were shown onto the cloth. "See ya later then."


    As promised, as soon as Andrew got off from work, he started driving to Yena's house. The traffic was downright infuriating, as it seemed like the line of cars on the road was endless. The rain that was pouring onto his windscreen and windows weren't helping to alleviate his mood either. This is gonna take a while. Whoops...

    After a good three hours of blaring car horns and rain that pelted onto his car like a waterfall, the awful weather had finally subsided by the time he had arrived at Yena's house. Pressing onto the doorbell, Andrew waited for someone to open the door. Only about four seconds later, had Yena's mother finally opened the door to greet Andrew with a smile.

    "You've finally made it!" Yena's mother graciously led Andrew into the house.
    "Traffic was a pain!" Andrew replied, before taking off his shoes and walked inside. "How's Yena by the way?"
    Yena's mother instantly formed an unsettling and troubled face. "I think she's having a fever..." she blurted out. "B-but I'm pretty sure it will be gone in a day's time. She's resting on the couch by the way."

    "Oh dear..." Andrew mumbled under his breath, before quickly jogging his way to where Yena was lying down. He noticed the sweat that was plastered onto the edges of her forehead, as well as how flushed her cheeks were. Instinctively, he grabbed a couple of tissues to wipe it down. "I think it was us going outside and making the snowman was what caused you to be sick..."
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