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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Extended Family - Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Sadiya woke up early because her two assistant managers at Sacred Earth Foods both had important appointments this morning and needed her to come in and work for a few hours. Joss groaned at the alarm, and rolled out of bed to turn it off before Sadiya woke up, not knowing that she was already preparing to get out of bed.
He promptly started on his morning routine, and she slowly rolled out of bed. This was unusual in his opinion. She either woke up before the crack of dawn with an urge to cook everything in sight, or she slept in until at least 10 or 11. He watched her through the mirror as he prepared to take a shower.
She groaned and held a hand over her mouth as she swayed with each step. Suddenly, she disappeared into the bathroom and he heard her be sick into the toilet. Waiting just long enough for her to finish, he went into the bathroom to feel her forehead.
You don't feel feverish...” he murmured as she flushed the toilet.
I'm fine,” Sadiya groaned, not exactly reassuring him. “I'm just going to sit here for a bit.”
Okay...” he agreed as he started the shower running and pulled the curtain closed most of the way. When the temperature was right, he stepped in and simply enjoyed the warmth for a few minutes before starting to scrub up.
Ever since they had gone to the nudist resort as a family, Hunter and Joss were much less awkward about sharing a bathroom. As a result, Hunter had no problem coming into the bathroom when he knew that one or both of them was probably in the shower. He looked at Sadiya in concern.
Are you all right? I need to go to the bathroom.”
Yeah, I'm fine,” she stated with a small smile and held out her hand so that he could help her to her feet. “I'm going to get some tea.”
He shrugged, still frowning but unable to do anything to help her anyway. She wasn't wearing anything but a black tank top and a pair of panties, so she pulled on a pair of white yoga pants and descended the stairs like a zombie from Shaun of the Dead.
She had been feeling nauseous all week, but this was the first time that she'd actually thrown up. She suspected that it had to do with the fact that she'd woken up early, or perhaps it was the fact that she had gone to bed without eating. She had been feeling nauseous and just wanted to get some rest. Perhaps it was both...
Jeremy and Hayleigh sat at the table in quiet conversation as she slowly crept her way to the stove to start a little water boiling. Then her nose reminded her that she had chicken stock simmering in the crockpot. She poured some in a mug and added an ice cube to cool it down enough for her to take sips of.
What has you up this morning?” Jeremy asked with a happy grin.
Work,” she grunted, still sounding like a zombie.
Mmm,” he replied with a knowing grunt. He may like to start early in the morning, but he still wasn't a morning person. It generally took him a while to wake up before heading off to work.
Sadiya wondered why he hadn't left yet this morning, but didn't feel like talking so she didn't ask. She poured the boiling water over a teabag in a mug, set the pot aside, and then carried both her mugs – and a bottle of cream – to the table so that she could sit and relax for a bit.
Joss finished his entire morning routine just as Hunter finished showering and getting dressed. As a result, they both came down the stairs and cautiously greeted Jeremy good morning, also finding it unusual for him to be home this late in the morning.
Hunter grabbed a bowl of cereal – choosing Sadiya's preferred farm fresh milk over the stuff his mother bought – and Joss grabbed a mug of broth to make miso soup with cream.
Everyone remained silent as they all kept giving each other curious glances. Something strange was going on. The biggest indication was that Jeremy and Hayleigh kept giving each other secret little grins.
Just when Hunter was about to demand that they tell him what was going on, they both announced it at the same time.
We have important news!” Jeremy blurted as Hayleigh exclaimed, “I'm pregnant!”
Both boys were in shock, but Sadiya jumped up happily and hugged her. “That's wonderful news! I'm so happy for you!”
Congratulations,” Joss said as he just barely warmed up to the idea.
Wait! What?!” Hunter demanded, unable to wrap his mind around this concept.
I'm having a baby,” Hayleigh explained gently, jostling Sadiya slightly as she got up to sit next to her son.
This proved to be too much for Sadiya's stomach to handle, and she immediately stuck her head over a garbage can. When she was done, she groaned, and then slunk back to the table to calmly drink some more broth.
Hayleigh was now casting her a suspicious look, but Jeremy simply frowned in concern. “Are you sick? Should you be going to work today?”
I'm fine,” Sadiya insisted.
Hunter demanded that they get back to the important topic. “What do you mean you're having a baby?! You're too old to be having any more kids!”
Hayleigh laughed. “I'm only 36!”
Yeah, but isn't that going to be strange having three 17 year-olds and then a baby in the house? How are we all going to fit?” Hunter wondered.
Hayleigh simply smiled. “I'll turn my office into a nursery if I have to, and by the time the baby is big enough to need his or her own room, at least one of you will be off in college.”
And I'll have moved back home,” Sadiya added.
I thought you weren't going to leave right away,” Jeremy asked, not happy at the thought that she was just waiting for the day when she could leave.
Well I knew I would have to sooner or later, so I decided what I really wanted to do with my life,” Sadiya shrugged, but before she could continue, Hunter interrupted her.
So you're saying that now that you're going to have a new baby, you're just waiting for the day when I leave so that the baby can take over my room?”
Hayleigh hugged her son. “No honey! It's not like that! I love you so much... now, I get to love a new baby too.”
Besides,” Joss added. “We both have plans. We're both going to be leaving next year. I'm moving to New York to go to my college of choice, and you are going to go to the state university. Our parent's will be lonely with us both gone.”
Hunter bit his lip and slowly nodded in agreement.
Sadiya had a hand over her mouth again, but decided that her stomach was going to behave. “At least I'll only be a 20 minute drive away. I'll be able to come over and babysit whenever you need me to.”
Hayleigh narrowed her eyes to give Sadiya a suspicious look, then decided to be blunt and come directly to the point. “And what about you? Do you need to take a test too?”
Sadiya shook her head. “No, I already know the result.”
I see,” Hayleigh murmured while Jeremy gave her a confused look.
What are you talking about?” He asked.
Oh!” Joss exclaimed in sudden understanding. “Aha...”
Hunter scratched his head and joined Jeremy in the clueless club.
Sadiya smiled at Hayleigh. “I think it's so cool that we get to be pregnant together! Have you given any thought to prenatal vitamins yet? Sacred Earth has an excellent line of whole food vitamins that are much better than anything the doctor can prescribe you!”
Hayleigh returned the smile, then took Sadiya's hand and squeezed it. “I supposed there are worse ways for an aunt and niece to bond.”
Jeremy looked like he wanted to be sick now that he understood what they were talking about. Joss looked sadly happy for the both of them, but Hunter leapt to his feet and pointed at the clock.
We're gonna be so late!” He announced, calling attention to the fact that he and Joss needed to get to class ASAP! The two boys hastily took turns kissing Hayleigh on the cheek, gathered up their stuff, and then ran out the door.
Sadiya groaned. “Yeah, I gotta go too...”
Wait just a minute!” Jeremy roared. “I want an explanation!”
Sadiya sighed, and took a sip of her tea. “I've told you since the beginning what I wanted in life. Well, I realized that as much as I want to go home and be with my dogs... and be closer to my businesses; I just don't want to be there alone! I decided to get pregnant now so that I'll have the baby either just before or just after I turn 18. Either way, I'll have finished my classes, and I'll have some time to focus on just the baby before I decide if I want to take on more hours at Sacred Earth and Healing Hands.”
Jeremy took a deep breath and then sighed. His natural inclination was to urge her to go to college for a few more years before having a baby, except not only was it too late, but she already had a few businesses to run and going to college for several more years would just put an enormous burden on her. Besides, he reminded himself again, it was already too late...
He pulled her into a hug, and stroked her hair. “I just wish you weren't in such a hurry to grow up.”
My mom says I was born an adult, but I think I turned into one the day my parents died...” Sadiya murmured, and then returned her uncle's hug so that she could gently push him away. “I've gotta go.”
Take care of yourself,” he ordered, knowing that she might push herself too far if she wasn't careful.
She left the house quietly, still holding a hand over her mouth. Jeremy turned to his wife.
I wish I knew more about that boyfriend of hers so that I could turn him into the police!”
Hayleigh sighed. “Honey, let it go... She made that particular decision long before we even knew her. There's nothing we can do about it.”
Jeremy groaned and then sighed. “Yeah, you're right. I just hate it!”
Me too,” Hayleigh murmured. “But we need to be supportive. She has no idea how much she's going to need us to be there for her! I think she thinks that pregnancy is just something that happens for nine months and then a baby comes into her life and coos for a year or so before learning to walk. The reality of it is going to hit her like a ton of bricks sooner or later, and then she is going to need us to be there for her.”
Jeremy nodded, then kissed his wife. “I should go to work too. You'll be okay on your own?”
Hayleigh laughed. “Why wouldn't I be? Go on! I'll call you if I need anything.”
Sadiya had a thankfully quiet morning. She had customers, but they were all regulars who knew what they wanted and only needed her to ring them up. She also had some time to go through and try a couple of different remedies for nausea.
What do you know? Naturally brewed ginger ale does actually work!” She remarked to herself, happy that her stomach was feeling better. Now she was hungry! She grabbed a sandwich from the deli area.
When Scotty finally showed up to take over, Sadiya had a nice little bag full of necessities ready to go home with her.
Ginger ale, ginger candy, fermented cod liver oil, and prenatal vitamins, hmm... is there something you want to tell me?” Scotty asked as he snooped through her bag.
Yeah, my aunt is pregnant, nosy!” Sadiya stated, playfully pushing a finger into his nose.
Oh!”
And so am I,” Sadiya imparted as she turned to walk away.
I knew it!” Scotty roared. “I just had this feeling as soon as I saw you!”
A woman cleared her throat to get their attention. She just come into the store a minute before, and never having been there before, was content to simply look around. Sadiya jumped slightly, and turn to face her.
I'm sorry! Is there something I can help you with?”
The woman smiled warmly. “My name is Edna and I just recently moved into the area. Firstly, I want to tell you how awesome I think it is that there's an all organic food store so close to where I live! Secondly, I was eavesdropping and heard you mention that you're pregnant, congratulations!”
Sadiya blushed. “Thank you!”
I'm a naturopathic doctor with a focus on herbalism. I was wondering if the manager would let me put up signs advertising my services, and maybe even let me meet with clients here from time to time.” She pointed to the four small tables in the deli area. “You know, over there.”
Sadiya grinned and hugged Edna unexpectedly. “I'm so happy to meet you! Scotty here is one of the assistant managers and I'm sure he could show you a couple of good places to put up ads.”
Yeah, no problem,” Scotty agreed.
Edna sighed in relief. “Now I just have to go talk to the manager of the shop next door. It's so convenient to have two holistic businesses right next door to each other! The only way it could be better is if there was a chiropractor in this building too!”
Sadiya put an arm around Edna's shoulder and asked, “If I give you a recommendation to the owner, will you consider giving me my first two consultations free?”
Absolutely!” Edna exclaimed.
Cool!” Sadiya gushed. “My name is Sadiya. Just go tell the manager of Healing Hands, Shawn, that I sent you and that you'd like to put up ads and look at the rooms to see if one might serve your needs.”
Sadiya quickly put a hand over her mouth and ran towards the bathroom. She called out as she ran, “Scotty, can you get me some soup to eat, I haven't had anything since breakfast!”
Sure thing!” Scotty agreed.
She must be a pretty good worker to get away with ordering the assistant manager around!” Edna laughed.
That she is!” Scotty laughed, and then beckoned Edna closer as if about to let her in on a big secret. “She's the owner of this store...”
You're kidding!” Edna exclaimed in disbelief.
Nope,” Scotty shook his head. “She inherited it when her parents died. Healing Hands too...”
Edna gaped at him in shock for a moment, and then laughed. “Why that sly little! She could have just told me that she's the owner! I'd have given her more than just two free consultations in exchange for the favor she's doing me...”
I suspect that's why she didn't tell you,” Scotty remarked with a shrug, and then took a moment to get a travel container of soup from the deli.
Sadiya emerged from the bathroom. With a groan, she trudged to the office to grab her stuff.
It's Tuesday, I actually gotta get my butt to class!” Sadiya stated, reminding him that she had to leave as she took the soup he'd gotten for her.
What class are you taking now?” Scotty wondered.
Today's class is Advanced Quantum Physics. When I'm done with this year, I'll have an Associates of Applied Sciences degree, but this one will have an emphasis on astronomy whereas my first one had an emphasis in English.”
Oh shut up already!” Scotty huffed at her. “I don't need to be reminded about how smart you are! I'm frickin' working my ass off just to get my first AAS!”
Sadiya hugged him and then kissed him on the cheek. “Sorry!” With a wave, she ran out the door.
Scotty sighed. “Damnit, I didn't mean to yell at her...”
Edna laughed. “I think she was just teasing you. There's no way she has Advanced Quantum Physics for a class at her age!”
Scotty simply shrugged and then offered to show Edna around the store.
When Sadiya got home after class, she felt exhausted. This wasn't because the class had been difficult, but rather because she felt like she hadn't slept in days. She dropped onto the couch, and promptly curled up like a baby.
The door opened quietly enough – an hour or so later – that she didn't hear it in her more than half asleep state. A moment passed in silence, but Sadiya felt a prickling of warning along her spine.
I wouldn't do that if I were you,” Hunter warned.
She can easily send you to the hospital,” Joss agreed.
I was just going to ruffle her hair,” Dan assured them. “I wasn't going to grope her or anything.”
Damn! I was hoping she'd have a feast ready to eat!” Amy exclaimed in disappointment.
Sadiya groaned. “Don't mention food!”
Still feeling nauseous?” Joss asked in sympathy. “Want me to try to carry you upstairs?”
No, there's a bag on the table. Can you hand me a piece of the ginger candy inside?” Sadiya asked.
Sure thing!” Joss agreed.
Uh, we're going to be singing,” Hunter informed her. “You might want to go lay down upstairs.”
Sadiya checked the clock, and then groaned again. “Nah, I have a client in less than an hour. I should grab something to eat before I head out.”
The door burst open and Hayleigh held out two shopping bags as she entered. “I know it's insanely early, but I just couldn't stop myself from buying a couple outfits for your brother or sister to be!”
Joss smiled, trying to be supportive. “Can we look at them later? We're going to be practicing?”
The rest of the choir club had heard the news earlier when Amy had asked Hunter why he was so moody. So they burst out in congratulations at her happy news.
Aww... you kids are so sweet,” Hayleigh purred.
How come you're so bouncy?” Sadiya wondered, feeling a bit cheated for some reason.
Hayleigh shrugged with a laugh. “Don't know! I was never all that sick while carrying Hunter either.” She then turned green and ran for the bathroom.
Sadiya huffed triumphantly, and then slapped a hand over her mouth. The candy was helping, but it was taking its sweet time. She helped herself to another mug of broth, and was relieved when it seemed to settle her stomach.
Hayleigh returned from the bathroom, and promised to start on dinner while the boys and their friends sang. She hugged Sadiya in sympathy when she noticed the girl leaning up against the counter staring off into space. Sadiya smiled at her in thanks.
I'd better go. If I don't feel better, I want to have plenty of time to call my client before he arrives,” Sadiya explained. She grabbed her purse off the table, and then turned to grin at Hayleigh. “I'm so excited! There's a naturopathic doctor who wants to use my store as a sort of base of operations for now! I'm already her first client, and I think she'd be happy to handle your prenatal care too!”
I don't know,” Hayleigh murmured evasively. “I'll have to think it over.”
Sadiya shrugged.
I don't think you should necessarily trust her either!” Hayleigh added in concern. “You owe it to your baby to see a real doctor, not some charlatan without her own office!”
Sadiya wanted to start an argument about it, but didn't have time. Instead she sighed and nodded. “I'll have her show me her degree and I'll do some checking up on her. However, if she's the real deal, I want you to at least meet with her.”
Yeah, I guess I can do that,” Hayleigh murmured with no real conviction.
Hunter didn't even wait for Sadiya to finish walking out the door before he snorted derisively. “And here I thought that it might actually be a few months before having two pregnant women around added to the drama in this house!”
His ex girlfriend, Veronica, snorted in amusement. “Two of them? Good luck with that!”
Dan placed a hand on his shoulder in sympathy. “I pity you, dude!”
Sadiya sent Dan a rude gesture before leaving the house.
I don't think she likes me,” Dan lamented.
Hunter laughed. “Sorry, she's into super smart guys.”
Dan tried to protest. “I... can pretend to be smart!”
Everyone laughed, but Joss laughed so hard he had to hold a hand to his side. “In order to even have a chance with Sadiya, you'd have to show her your IQ score and a test to prove it!”
Hunter nodded – half tilting his head to the side – in agreement. “It's true, she picked her boyfriend because he has a bigger IQ than she does.”
Damn!” Dan exclaimed in mild depression.
Hey wait,” Veronica exclaimed as a thought occurred to her. “Is her boyfriend that man who came and took her out on a date once?”
Yep,” Joss confirmed.
Veronica whistled from either appreciation or disgust, or perhaps both. “Here I thought that he was one of her cousins from the other side of her family, and that they were just calling it a date...”
They were pretty lovey-dovey for cousins,” Amy muttered. Several others agreed, and then they started on their practice.

*****

Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking into spiderwebs, so leave a message and I'll call you back!” Sadiya sang along with the radio as she drove. It was now a week since her nausea started erupting at any given moment, but at least her natural remedies helped to keep it at bay. Mostly.
Her cellphone rang, and she quickly turned down the radio before answering it. The caller ID announced that it was Ian.
Hello?” She asked as she turned into the driveway of her uncle's house.
I can't stop thinking about how happy I am that we're going to have a baby, and I um... I have some news to tell you in person. Would you mind if I came over?” Ian asked.
Like right now?” Sadiya asked.
If that's okay with you,” Ian replied in a cautiously optimistic tone of voice.
Oh boy... um... My uncle will be getting home from work soon, and I'm not so sure it's a good idea for you to come over now.”
Tell him that you're inviting me over for dinner. I'm sure he wants to yell at me for getting you pregnant, and he'll probably agree to let me come over pretty easily,” Ian suggested with a chuckle.
Sadiya laughed. “You might be right about that.”
It probably wouldn't hurt if you made something fabulous for dinner...” Ian hinted with a tone that made her picture him grinning on the other end of the phone.
Yeah yeah, I'll see you in what? An hour?”
That's a bit early for dinner... Two hours?”
Sadiya nodded in agreement, then chuckled when she realized that he couldn't see her. “Yeah, sounds great!”
Can't wait!” Ian gushed, made a kissing noise, and then hung up the phone.
Sadiya was grinning like an idiot and held her phone to her heart. She sat staring off into space with a dreamy expression on her face for a few minutes until her uncle knocked on the driver side window.
What's up with you? You look like... uh nevermind, I don't think I want to know!”
Sadiya bounced out of her car, and then hugged her uncle impulsively. “What do you want for dinner? Chicken? Steak? Oh, I know! Roasted leg of lamb with a medley of vegetables! Oh! Or –”
Jeremy laughed and cut her off before she could work up the enthusiasm to make everything they had in the fridge. “Didn't I see some pork ribs in the fridge? I think it would be lovely if you grilled them up with something simple such as corn on the cob and baked potatoes.”
That sounds delicious!” Sadiya agreed happily and ran to get working on that.
Just promise me that you won't tell Joss that it was my idea!” Jeremy called after her.
He might not mind so much if you promise to go light on the meat and heavy on the veggies,” Sadiya suggested.
But the meat's the best part!” Jeremy whined.
Sadiya laughed, and then ignored him as she seasoned the ribs and set them aside to let the seasonings sink into the meat a bit. In the meantime, she decided to make a gluten free cake using coconut flour. She knew that it would be fairly dense compared to regular cake – more like the consistency of brownies – and figured that something that felt like brownies in the mouth should taste like them too.
Once that was done baking and she pulled them out of the oven, she tossed a half dozen potatoes into the oven to bake, and then tossed a few more in case anyone wanted seconds. She clapped her hands in excitement as she contemplated what kind of frosting to make, and this made her uncle suspicious.
Even Hayleigh, who had come out of her office to investigate the wonderful smell, had to wonder what had Sadiya in such a good mood. The boys came home, and quietly debated the things that might prompt Sadiya to bake actual sweets! Her cooking tended to rely heavily on low carb foods...
When Jeremy just couldn't take the suspense anymore, he demanded she tell him what was going on. “Alright, out with it! Why are you so giddy?”
Sadiya took a deep breath and braced herself for the inevitable blow up. “Ian's coming over for dinner! I'm so excited that I could just sing! I won't of course because no one wants to hear that, but still!”
Jeremy opened his mouth to shout in protest, held his breath to the count of 10, and then slowly exhaled. “He is the father, right?”
Sadiya nodded at him with a happy grin. In her opinion, he shouldn't have had to ask, but she knew that he wanted to be certain that she hadn't changed her mind after all.
In that case, I'd love to give him a piece of my mind! He won't exactly be welcome here, but he can certainly come to dinner.”
Hayleigh didn't know what to say as she watched her husband walk towards their bedroom. Part of her wanted to agree with him, and part of her was simply happy that Sadiya's boyfriend hadn't abandoned her now that she was pregnant.
The nerve of that man!” Jeremy muttered as he walked away.
The boys both knew that this was going to be a big steaming pile of drama that they didn't want to be part of! Hunter quickly kissed his mom on the cheek.
I'm going to Dan's house for dinner!”
And I'm going to Alex's!” Joss added as they both ran towards the door.
Hayleigh simply nodded, murmuring, “Good idea...”
By the time that Jeremy finished cleaning up from work and changing into regular clothes – as opposed to the uniform he wore at his garage – it was time for Sadiya to fire up the grill and throw the ribs on it.
Why is he coming over?” Jeremy asked as if he hadn't left the room for a while. Sadiya paused on her way to the backyard – carrying the ribs out to the now ready grill.
He says he has something important that he wants to tell me in person,” Sadiya answered as best she could.
Hayleigh gave a soft little grunt that sounded like she wanted to cry on Sadiya's behalf. “Oh honey... If he promises to leave his wife for you, he's lying...”
Sadiya laughed. “Of all the things I know for certain, I know it's not that!”
Jeremy managed to muster up some sympathy, placing a hand on her shoulder. “If he's coming to do this in front of us too, then he's probably going to break up with you.”
Sadiya twisted her face into a comically sarcastic expression of disbelief. “I'm pretty sure it's not that either!”
How can you be so sure?” Jeremy asked, concerned that she was about to get her heart broken.
Because he wouldn't need to do that in person. He could just tell me over the phone and I'd be okay with that. When I first asked him to be the father of my future children, I told him that he wouldn't have to be part of my life or theirs if he didn't want to. I just needed a sperm donor. We both really like each other, but I'm not hoping that he'll leave his wife for me, and I don't think he's so in love with me that he'd make a special trip out just to break up with me.”
Sadiya shrugged. She didn't know how to explain it any better than that.
Hayleigh took the platter of ribs from her and set them on the counter so that she could hug Sadiya. “Now you're just lying to yourself. You are head over heels in love with him! You've been on cloud nine since you came home! You may say that you don't want to be with him, but you really do...”
Jeremy sighed, his heart felt incredibly heavy on her behalf. “I think you should prepare yourself for the worst...”
Sadiya stubbornly ignored his advice, shaking her head in denial. “I'm not going to let you ruin my mood!”
With that statement, she snatched the platter off the counter and marched to the grill. Jeremy and his wife exchanged looks of worry. This was going to be heart breaking for them to watch!

Go To Chapter 8 

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