Written to the tune of the incredible cd: Elan – Street Child.
Sandy walked into the house, exhausted. He walked straight to the bedroom, was met by the sound of the shower. He walked straight into the bathroom, not bothering to kick off his shoes.
"Honey?" He said as he walked in. Kirsten opened the shower door, looked out at him. Her eyes were bloodshot, but she was standing steady, and her words, when she spoke, sounded normal.
"Hey," she said softly, pulling him in for a soft kiss. Her breath was sweet, and alcohol free. "I'm so sorry to make you worry." She shut the shower off, and Sandy held a towel out, wrapped her in it, rubbed her arms.
"I'll go make us some coffee," he said, knowing he needed something to keep him awake. Keeping up an outrageous level of worry, as well as traipsing through too many alternatively sleazy and stylish bars had fatigued him. Kirsten followed him to the bedroom, where she started to dress. She knew the coffee was to keep them awake, knew the questions were coming, if she chose to answer them. She couldn't bear to drag it out any longer. This had been a questionnaire twenty years in the making.
Sandy poured out two cups of coffee and walked to their room. Kirsten was curled up on her side of the bed, newly washed hair spread out on the pillow, illuminated by Sandy's lamp, which threw a muted glow around the room. She was wearing long, white silk pants and a Berkeley jumper of Sandy's. He knew she wore his clothes when she was upset, had missed this sweatshirt when she went to Suriak. Of course, not as much as he missed the wearer.
"Honey, I brought you coffee." Sandy held the coffee down out, and Kirsten slowly pulled herself up to a sitting position so she could take it. Her thin fingers wrapped around the mug, oblivious to its heat.
"I'm sorry. If you don't want to talk about it…" Sandy perched himself beside Kirsten on the bed, one hand holding his coffee, the other draped over her knees. Kirsten shook her head, her eyes filled with tears yet to be shed without being blown away easily by the wind.
"It's… I just know I should've told you… But it just never came up, Sandy, I'm sorry." Her voice was pleading with him to understand her position. Sandy knew there were countless times, through her pregnancy with Seth, his birth, that Kirsten could have said something. He knew, too, that something like this was probably hard to think about, harder to mention. Sandy let the moment stretch out, uninclined to speak. He didn't know what to say to something like this. Kirsten was obviously still hurting about it, and there was nothing he could do.
Kirsten took a sip of coffee before she set it down.
"We should have talked about this a long time ago, I know. You finding out off Ryan is… I'm sorry for that." Kirsten leant forward, her hands capturing Sandy's. Sandy put his own mug down, and Kirsten moved over and pulled him on the bed beside her more fully.
"How old were you?" Sandy asked.
"Seventeen." Kirsten flicked her eyes up to him, waiting for judgement. Sandy remembered back to when they were still dating, not yet engaged. They'd talked about whom else they'd slept with, and when they'd lost their virginity. Sandy had been seventeen, and it had been Rebecca. Kirsten had been eighteen, and it had been Jimmy. So she said.
Sandy waited her out, not wanting to stop her.
"It was so hard… Choosing. I was still in high school. My Mom had started drinking the year before, was trying to stop. She didn't need something like that dropped on her. Hailey was only eight. Dad… Well, he was adamant I was still his innocent little girl, that he had the perfect daughter." Kirsten shivered, and Sandy pulled her closer to him, one arm encircling her, the other hand held by both hers.
"The father?" Sandy asked gently. Kirsten sighed shakily.
"Jimmy. I told him as soon as I knew. He couldn't handle it. He was scared my Dad would find out, hate him. Scared his parents would find out, cut off his allowance. He told me to take care of it, tell him when I was back to… normal." Kirsten reached up to wipe her eyes, and Sandy felt fire in his stomach, growing anger at Jimmy's cowardice, and his abandonment of Kirsten's feelings.
"I waited as long as I could, before I knew there was no way I could keep the baby. Having an abortion… That made the most sense. I told Dad I was going to New York for a shopping trip with a few friends. I flew over alone, stayed in the apartment we used to have over there and…" Kirsten trailed off, and Sandy felt her start sobbing. She leant into his chest, mascara tears staining his shirt. Sandy leant down, kissed the top of her head, brushed her hair back from her face. Blue eyes looked up at him, captured his soul with their raw and aching pain. Sandy moved, lay down on the bed. Kirsten propped her head in the crook of his shoulder. Unconsciously, one of her hands had moved to her stomach. Sandy moved his arm so he could lace his fingers with hers. They stayed that way, Kirsten's body stretched out along Sandy's, the scent from her hair wafting up towards him. Eventually, Kirsten started talking again.
"It hurt so much. I cried for days afterwards. I… I don't regret the choice I made. But I just wish… Someone had been there I could talk to. Jimmy didn't want to know about it. Mom was getting better, so I didn't want to upset her. I guess I just tried to forget. But something like that…" Kirsten drew a shaky breath, and Sandy drew her closer, remembered telling Ryan he shouldn't forget his own child that he'd lost. Kirsten's was a loss of choice, of convenience, but Sandy didn't doubt that it had played on her conscience more than several times since her trip to New York.
"Before I decided… I had names picked out." Kirsten's voice was quieter, her breathing slowing. Sandy brushed a arbitrary strand of silken blonde from her forehead, felt her pain solidly within himself. She'd been seventeen, picking names out for a child that wouldn't, couldn't, live.
"Katy, for a girl." Sandy had to strain to hear her, her voice growing fainter, slipping away as sleep captured her.
"And for a boy…" Sandy leant forward to her, his eyes looking at her smooth cheek, draped in light, his nose entranced by her smell, newly washed and as fresh as a perfect white flower.
"Ryan…" Kirsten snuggled into him, pulling his hand closer to her stomach, her fingers warming in his. Sandy lay with her, watching the rise and fall of her chest beneath his sweater, the easing of her brow, succumbing to the peacefulness of slumber. He didn't want to leave this moment, this truthfulness between them, but he knew he needed to call the Ryan she'd ended up with, and tell him it was time to come home.
Hope you liked.
This last chapter was so hard to write! What kind of conversation comes from an event like this? I deleted and rewrote so many times… Hope the end product is what you all hoped. As always, thanks for the reviews!