Chapter One

The rain was pattering on the roof as my mum and I sat curled up on the couch, a blanket covering our legs, Criminal Minds on the television.

It was a typical routine on a boring, slow Tuesday night.

I noted that something was odd today. My mother was unnaturally quiet.

She wasn't yelling profanity at the screen and she didn't utter a single noise when they showed the mutilated body the murderer had left behind for the authorities. I knew for sure, that something was wrong when she didn't react at all when the criminal kidnapped a child.

I turned to look at her and noticed that her she wasn't even looking at the screen at the moment. Her eyes were gazing in that direction, but they were not focused at all. I looked down and I saw that she was wrapping the corner of the blanket around and around her pointer finger, like she sometimes did with the end of her shirt; this was a clear sign of her being agitated and nervous. It was her tell whenever we played cards.

The show moved on to commercials and I looked at her again, the blanket was still wound tightly around her finger, the popcorn bowl on her lap completely untouched.

"Mum, what's wrong?" I finally asked, not able to take anymore.

She blinked ant turned towards me, startled. "Nothing's wrong," she replied, giving me a bright smile that did not quite reach her eyes and did nothing to reassure me.

This worried me further, and I turned to face her directly and looked right into her eyes.

"Mum, you haven't said a word since we started watching and your popcorn's completely untouched. You usually scarf it down during the first ten minutes and then you try to steal mine."

She sighed and glanced down at the bowl on her lap heaped with popcorn.

"You know me too well," she said, leaning over and placing the bowl on the wooden coffee table. "Even when you were a kid, either you're way too intuitive or I'm an open book." She looked at me now and gave me a soft smile.

"Okay mum, honestly, what's wrong? You're scaring me with all this… talking to me all motherly thing." She sighed once again; she bit her lip and glanced away from me towards the television screen.

"Mum..?" I pressured her hesitantly, and she looked back at me, her brown eyes, identical to my own, staring straight at me.

"Tay," she said hesitantly, the blanket wrapped around her finger so tightly it must be cutting off the circulation to her finger. "I'm pregnant," she mumbled as a jingle for baby diapers started on the television.

I stared at her, waiting for her to burst out laughing and tell me that she was joking. But her dark eyes looked right into mine, steady, unwavering.

I let a smile creep on my face. "Very funny mum."

She shook her head, "Tay, I am being a hundred percent serious."

"You're serious?"

She nodded, her teeth working at her bottom lip unforgivingly.

I didn't believe her yet. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I was still waiting for her to laugh and tell me that she 'got me', that I was so gullible.

I grabbed the remote and hit the mute button to make the annoying jingle stop.

"How?" I gasped when she remained completely sober. Her eyes slightly widened and she opened her mouth to say something, but I cut her off by waving my hands, as if warding away the words. "Okay, I know how and I don't want you to explain."

She gave a slightly hysterical, short laugh.

"Is it Kyle's?" Kyle is her boyfriend, and has been for about a month.

She shook her head. "Kyle and I haven't…"

I gasped. "Dylan's?" Dylan was mum's ex-boyfriend who she broke up with about a week before she went on her first date with Kyle.

"No, no," she immediately said. "I had my period after… my last time with him. It's not his."

"Then whose is it?" I asked incredulously. My mind was at a blank and I had no clue anymore.

She stayed silent, she wound the blanket around two of her fingers this time, and she looked down at the blanket while doing so.

"Please don't tell me you don't know," I started but she cut me off.

"Of course I know!" she snapped. I raised my hands in an apologetic gesture.

"So, who is it?"

"Gordon," she mumbled. It took me a few seconds to place the name, and there was silence between us as I let this fact register in my mind. We looked at each other, silence filling the room except for the patter of the raindrops falling heavier now.

"You slept with your boss?" I finally shrieked.

She gave a small nod.

"And you're pregnant with his child?" I said, my voice raising a few more octaves.

"Kind of…" she said softly.

"You can't be kind of pregnant," I said, turning my whole body towards her now, pulling my legs up and crossing them under me. "How did this happen? When?"

"Well, it was on the Monday after the weekend that Dylan broke up with me," she started, averting her eyes away from me and at her lap. "I was you know, still all sad and vulnerable. I had a lunch meeting with Gordon to discuss the next fashion shoot."

My mother worked at a fashion magazine called Les Vetements, and she's in charge of all the major photo-shoots for the magazine.

"And so, it was just the two of us, alone together at a secluded corner table of the restaurant, and we've always had chemistry as I've told you." I listened silently, as she spoke, the blanket getting wound even tighter around her fingers. "And I don't know, he was flirting with me like he always did, but I didn't really have the heart to do so that day, and he noticed that something was wrong. I ended up telling him everything and I started crying right there at the table, snot and everything. I was so sure that that would kill this chemistry we had, him seeing me like that.

But then, he reached across the table and he took my hand and he started comforting me. Then one thing led to another and we ended up at his house…" she finished off the story, slowly unwinding her fingers and flexing them to get the circulation back.

She finally looked up at me, gaping at her, my eyes as wide as my mouth.

"Weren't you guys being careful?" I finally managed to ask.

"WeWe didn't really… have time…" She said chewing on her lip now.

"How could you be so careless?" I asked shocked. "What about that talk you gave me when I was fourteen?"

She simply shook her head and averted her eyes from me.

"I don't know what to say mum," I said as the colour from the television washed across our faces.

"Please don't judge me," she whispered. And I looked at her to see that her bottom lip was trembling.

"Oh mum," I said instantly and I reached across to touch her.

"I don't want you… to… to think less of me," she mumbled. And I felt my heart shatter at her voice and her expression. I reached over and I hugged her.

"Mum, I would never think less of you. I think you're the most independent woman I've ever met. I honestly respect you tons. It was… and honest mistake and you were in a bad place," I said as I buried my face in her shoulder, breathing in her familiar scent.

She gave me a small smile when we finally broke apart.

"So how sure are you of this?" I asked as I leaned back against the armrest of the couch.

"I took a pregnancy test," she said. And I sighed, a small shred of hope lighting up.

"Those things aren't always right!" I cried hopefully. "It could be a false alarm."

She shook her head. "I know that. That's why I took five tests," and I felt the hope deflate like an untied balloon let go. "They all came back positive."

I reached out and took her hand. It was cold. She was scared.

"Mum, it's alright. I still can't wrap my mind around it… but I'm gonna be here with you, through it all, no matter what." When she looked at me I gave her what was meant to be a reassuring smile.

"I know I can count on you Tay," she said returning my smile. "You're my big girl," she leaned over to hug me as I rolled my eyes.

"I'm not five, you don't have to call me your 'big girl'," I said as I hugged her back.

"But you are my big girl," she said as I pulled away.

"Uhuh," I said as I pulled my legs out from under me and stretched them out. "So when will you be breaking the news to… well I guess both Kyle and Gordon?"

"I don't know. I want to be absolutely, positively sure first. I don't want to scare anyone off…"

"Alright then," I nodded, "did you make a doctor's appointment?"

"Tomorrow evening," she said, and her voice shook slightly and it was clear that she was nervous.

"Mum," I started and she looked at me, "would you like me to come with you?"

The relief that crossed her face was barely concealed. "Will you?"

"Of course I will if you want me to," I was shocked that she would think any different.

"Thank you Tay," she reached over and squeezed my hand. "It'll be great to have you with me when I… get the verdict."

I smiled. "When's the appointment?"


"Alright, I'll be home before then," I said reaching over to the coffee table and picking up the bowl of popcorn my mum previously abandoned.

"Let's put a lid on this discussion for now, then," I said as I stuffed a handful of popcorn in my mouth while I simultaneously pressed the unmute button on the remote with my other hand.

"It's not that easy to forget about it when you're the one who might be pregnant," she grumbled as she gave me a mock glare. I smiled and offered her the popcorn which she shook her head to.

My mother was still silent throughout the show, but the air seemed somewhat less uneasy.

Author's Note-

Alright, to older readers; was this better or was the previous one better?

And to first-time readers, did you like it?

Either way, constructive criticism is appreciated!

Thank you for taking the time to read this xx