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  2. Katya Dee

    Chapter 14

    - XIV - A month and a half later, Katrena finally received that blasted card in the mail. “We need to celebrate,” Mandy said very seriously. “With cake, and ice cream, and champagne... Well...” she winced. “Cider will do...” “Do you want me to throw up?” Katrena asked gloomily, images of cake and ice cream making her stomach dance some bizarre, broken gigue. “Sorry,” Mandy said quickly. “Coffee and scones?” “I seriously don’t care about food,” Katrena grimaced. “I am almost five months along; I look chubby; my mood is a disaster from hell; and that damn nausea is getting worse and worse every day... I thought you said it would get better!” “Well,” Mandy looked somewhat uncomfortable. “Umm... Some people experience nausea until the very end... But it might go away in a couple of weeks,” she added quickly after Katrena’s expression slowly started to become murderous. “How are things between you and Paul?” She tried her best to change the subject. Katrena grumbled something that Mandy didn’t hear. She wisely decided against asking what it was. “Things are good,” Katrena said finally. “Doing good...” Mandy narrowed her eyes. “You don’t look like someone who is happy about the fact that their relationship doesn’t suffer,” she noted. “What is it?” “It’s...” Katrena hesitated. “It’s nothing, really...” she sighed. “He is not too needy, not too clingy, not nauseatingly sweet... Hell, he is perfect!” “And it’s bad because...” Mandy frowned. “Nothing,” Katrena said again. “I am just tired of this whole ordeal... That damn monkey better hurry up and give me my body back. I’ll be fine after I am done with this...” she looked at her stomach with frustration. “You don’t love him, do you?” Mandy asked softly, and Katrena blinked. “The monkey?” she asked with confusion. Mandy rolled her eyes. “It’s a baby,” she said patiently. “Not a monkey... And I wasn’t talking about the kid. I was talking about Paul.” Katrena looked outside for a few minutes. “I like him,” she said finally. “A lot,” she added. “It’s just...” she shrugged. “What happened to the father of your...” Mandy hemmed. “...monkey?” she finished. “I don’t know,” Katrena said without looking away. “Right,” Mandy sighed. “Long-term amnesia, I forgot...” Katrena shrugged and was about to say something when the phone rang. Mandy sighed again and picked up the receiver. “Hello,” she said in somewhat bright voice. “Oh, hey Paul! Guess what...!” she stopped talking and glanced at Katrena. “Actually, I am going to let your girl tell you all about it...” She handed the phone to Katrena who let out a small sigh when Mandy said ‘your girl.’ “Hey,” she said into the phone in a low voice. “What are you wearing?” “Holster and nothing else,” he said without missing a beat, and she laughed. “What’s up?” “I finally got the damn card!” she said with sincere excitement. “Seriously? That’s fantastic! Hey, we need to celebrate!” “If you even breathe something about cake or ice cream, I will murder you,” she said warningly. “Mandy already almost sent me running into the bathroom ten minutes ago...” He laughed. “No,” he said finally. “I know better than making you to imagine different kinds of food... I was thinking coffee and maybe, French toast.” She nodded with approval. For some strange reason, the eggs alone wouldn’t agree with her, but French toast was just fine. She didn’t try figuring it out; she just accepted it as a blissful favor. “Sounds good,” she said. “Are you at lunch right now?” “Yeah, but now I am thinking about just taking off for the rest of the day...” “Don’t do that,” she smiled. “I’ll still be here when you are done, believe me.” “All right,” he sighed. “Come out in five minutes or so; I’ll pick you up. Let’s have lunch.” “Okay,” she smiled again. She didn’t lie earlier when she told Mandy she liked him a lot. She would always feel better whenever he was around; she would even miss him sometimes. “Five minutes is not enough time for me to change, you know.” “As long as you have shirt and shoes on, you should be fine,” he said seriously. “Pants are optional.” “I do have pants,” she answered in the same serious manner. “They are sweatpants though.” “Then come out in five minutes,” his voice clearly indicated that he just rolled his eyes. “Okay,” she sighed. “I’ll probably look like some chubby homeless person who was picked up by a cop...” “A cute homeless person,” he corrected her. “Get your butt out of the door.” “You are here already?” she frowned. “I can drive and talk at the same time,” he sighed. “Okay,” she said and hung up the phone. “You look fine,” Mandy sighed when Katrena was frantically running a hairbrush over her hair. “Just go already.” “See you in an hour,” Katrena nodded and walked out of the door. ...They were sitting in a small café not too far from Mandy’s house, and suddenly, Katrena thought that she didn’t feel like having coffee right now. She wanted mint tea instead. The craving for tea was surprisingly strong. “Hey...” she said when Paul looked at her thoughtfully. “I wanna have tea,” he said. “What about you?” She stared at him. “What?” he frowned. “That’s exactly what I was thinking,” she muttered. “Really?” he grinned. “Well, maybe my craving rubbed off on you or something... I want black, how about you?” “Mint,” she said very thoughtfully, and he nodded. This was bizarre, she thought. Coincidence, it had to be. After all, they wanted different kinds. Plus, what they say about two people spending lots of time with each other? Something about them thinking alike... And Paul and she spent more than plenty of time with each other in the last month and a half. “You okay?” he asked when she was just sitting there, frowning thoughtfully. She blinked. “Yeah,” she nodded with a small smile. “I am okay... Was just thinking.” “I figured that much,” he said seriously. “What are you thinking about?” “My card,” she smiled wider this time. “I need to find a job. I am tired of being a freeloader in Mandy’s house...” “Right... Okay, remind me again why they never pestered you with the citizenship thing?” he frowned a little. “Well,” she shrugged and shoved a slice of the French toast into her mouth. “Since my English is accent-free, and since Nate is able to convince various people... He is good at that,” she added with her mouthful. “They figured that I am a citizen even though there is no record of me anywhere... Mandy got some doctor to testify that I am not faking the whole amnesia thing, and then Nate said that I probably forgot my actual last name; he said that it was probably triggered by some association or something...” she waved her hand in the air and drank some of the newly-arrived tea. “And that it’s not my actual last name...” she finished. “Who knows, maybe he is right...” she added thoughtfully. Paul hemmed and leaned closer. “You would know,” he whispered into her ear. “Kudos on convincing the doc,” he added in the same low whisper. “Telling the truth does that,” she said without looking away. “Uh huh,” he nuzzled her ear. “So does brilliant acting. I am not pestering you; you’ll tell me when the time is right.” He pulled away and she looked at him without a smile. He seemed to be content. “Finish your toast,” he grinned. “It’ll get cold; and when French toast gets cold, it tastes nasty.” She looked at him seriously for a few seconds, and then she let a small smile escape the tight prison of the corners of her mouth. She didn’t say anything; instead, she started working on the remains of her French toast. “Well,” Paul said a few minutes later when she was almost done. “Remember how I told you that you could open up a studio? That would be a good idea, don’t you think?” “No,” she immediately shook her head. “Definitely not a good idea.” “Why?” he sounded puzzled. She drank some tea. “Okay,” she said finally. “So people would sign up for some self-defense lessons and they would pay me, right?” “Yeah,” he said slowly. “See, I am not sure if you get the concept... Getting paid is a good thing,” he nodded very seriously. “Not my point,” she shook her head again. “My point is...” she sighed and set her mug on the table. “Do you really want me to teach some random people the move that I used on you that one time? I mean, I would have no idea who those people are... How would I know they are not going to use their knowledge to go and kill someone? Stuff that I know...” she sighed again. “Paul, believe me, you don’t want a lot of people to get lessons from me, okay?” He looked very thoughtful right now. “Good point,” he said finally. “I did not think of that. Okay, another option then...” he looked at her without a smile. “I could talk to my boss about hiring you... Well, it would be probably part-time at first,” he shrugged. “Hiring me,” she repeated with doubt. “Yeah,” he nodded. “You’d be on the staff, and you would teach us mere mortals some of those wonderful techniques you know... It would be a hell of a lot easier to knock someone out by pushing your finger into their ear, instead of pummeling them while they pummel you back, you know?” “You can’t knock someone out by shoving your finger into their ear,” Katrena snorted. “See?” he said pointedly. “I didn’t know that!” She laughed. “I am serious,” he said. “Do you have your card on you?” “No,” she frowned. “It’s at home... Paul, I am not going to...” “Come on,” he got up. “Let’s go get your card and let’s go talk to Jackie.” “Jackie?” she frowned even deeper. “I thought your boss’ name was Dave...” “Yeah,” he nodded and put some bills on the table. “His last name is Jackson, hence Jackie. He doesn’t care.” “Paul...” “Come on, Enigma, I have fifteen minutes left, move it!” She concentrated hard on her desire to simply go home right now, and looked at him intently, wondering what she would do if it actually worked. He frowned when he saw her look. “Do you need to go to the bathroom or something?” he said. “You look weird.” “Fine, I’ll just take you home then...” she thought with desperate force. “I’ll just take you home... Let’s get you home... You look tired, let’s get you...” “If you think that looking constipated is going to make me change my mind, think again,” he said, and she let out a frustrated sigh. “Come on, start moving!” “I guess it was just a coincidence,” she thought with a slight shadow of regret while she followed him to the car.
  3. Defiance19


    Aww, Thorn..
  4. oh, Fae that is wonderful news i do hope you can make it there tomorrow
  5. chessdude


    Chapter 3 should be up within the next 24 hours or so!
  6. Wayne Gray


    Thanks, Jeffrey. 🙂 Don't worry, I'm sure more adorkable poetry is coming at some point!
  7. JeffreyL


    This is goofy and sweet in the best sense of the word! Nicely done. Thanks.
  8. Defiance19

    Blood Moon

    These are great poems, Adi, perfect for the theme. Blood Moon, I think I love most. Thank you, I enjoyed reading them all.
  9. JeffreyL

    Chapter 1

    Thanks for sharing this. It was very moving. I still have hope Declan will make peace with himself. It sounds as if he is on his way.
  10. Daddydavek


    Sad to see the closet become a cage built on deceit. However, that point is balanced by the judicious use of humor throughout, so I expect our boy Ian will manage to get through this despite his trepidation. The Oprah line was funny and so was: "I’m sure that won’t come back to bite me in the ass." I hope you post additional chapters regularly!
  11. Defiance19


    This is beautiful, Adi. Love it.
  12. Bill W


    Thank you, Stanley. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well.
  13. Bill W


    Thanks, tor. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  14. Defiance19

    The Visitor

    This was very well done, and I enjoyed reading it. I wish I’d have the nerve to run off an unwanted visitor like that, but most likely I’d be hoping my facial expression would be the tell.
  15. MichaelS36


    You shouldn't care, not really. You are online, so am I and others. Perhaps this article will help: Why We Care About What Other People Think of Us
  16. AC brings us a story with many layers! It's about family; the family we're born into, the family we make, and the family we choose. The people who are in Alice and Fuchsia's life are familiar to us all! He tackles the sensitive topic of trying to get, and maintain, a pregnancy with care and compassion. It's a tale of love, about balancing self, with couple; hopes and dreams; what is, and what could be. Come along and meet Alice, her wife Fuchsia, their mothers, their friends, and Joy. You'll be glad you did.
  17. CassieQ


    Hugs for you. Always.
  18. chessdude


    Thanks for the feedback! I do understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately, I'm a product of my environment, and many of my friends dropped so many f-bombs growing up, that to this day I curse strongly without even thinking about it. Even in my head 😅 But I hear you. I think this chapter had a little more gratuitous cursing than the subsequent ones will. I say that now lol... We'll see. I'll do my best. That is the main reason I put that warning in the book subtext. I knew some people would be uneasy about it. Hopefully you like it as much as I liked writing it! Cheers
  19. Daddydavek


    While I realize the f*bombs in the dialogue between 17 year old teens are going to happen, the f*bombs in the internal thoughts and self discussion seem a bit gratuitous. "I have always loved math. I love the precision. The definitiveness of it. Writing an English paper is a winding road to hell. Everything is more or less gobbledygook. English and the arts are all about subjectivity. Math is precise. Definitive." I suspect that paragraph reveals more than you know about you. Congrats on your story and on to the next chapter!
  20. Today
  21. FanLit

    Chapter 1

    This series is so moving and every part added hits the right note. 💔 💞
  22. Philippe

    Chapter 6

    I’m truly hoping that announcement is a tease and a play on the title; PANIC! 🙏🙏🙏 MAYBE AN AUTHORS SPECIAL EXTENDED EDITION 🙏🙏🙏
  23. SADLY Sometime after dinner, Lex yawned TIRED
  24. Arrecife, Canary Islands, Spain
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