A knock at the door. Andy grunts in disapproval and removes his hand from under my t-shirt. That much about some „private cuddle time“!
My sister’s face appears in the door frame.
„Andy, you shouldn’t make Siv all dizzy in the head – and elsewhere!“
„DUH – did you consider to join the armed forces in your country, Vay?“ He snickers and adjusts his glasses. „At least I’m pretty sure now that I can leave my sweatheart here alone in your observing care for a few days.“
„Just a short reminder – I only have one week left – then it’s back to work for me as well. Poor Torsten already is slaving at his desk.“
Yes, Easter passed by quickly and her hubby just paid us another 2 days visit after returning from Edinburgh – flying back to Hamburg, Tom in tow. Grandparents would be delighted!
„You are so eager to get back to all your foul teeth? Ugh!“
„Well, everyone has a passion. I just wanted to tell you that Martin is on Skype. He didn’t get through on the mobile – on each of yours!“
Now I have to laugh wholeheartedly.
„We switched them off not to be disturbed – but I see you have talent anyway.“
„Come on – if it wasn’t Mart I would have told anybody to fuck off! OK, I wouldn’t have turned Dave down, too – after I had a nice chat with him, of course!“
Geeez, I hope she didn’t chat Mart up! He doesn’t know about the baby yet!
She pokes out her tongue and grins.
„And you can relax there – I’m not stupid nor short of memory – I kept my mouth shut about certain events.“
Andy gets up from the bed and goes for the closet, opening it.
„I suppose you don’t mind when I get my stuff ready while you two flirt with Mr. Gore.“
„Mr. Gorelicious, you must know!“
Vada crawls next to me, I flip my Mac open and log into Skype. Doesn’t take long and Martin’s face appears in the camera window.
„Hey, my sweeties! Wow, both in bed?! What are you after? It should be bright early afternoon at yours!“
„Actually it is – we just try to sympathize with you as you obviously must have fallen out off bed recently! By the way, Andy says ‚hi’ – he’s just stuck in his closet to get ready to fly over to you.“
„Ha ha ha, I just had breakfast! It’s only a few mins after 8 am here! Have to collect Dave and Christian from the airport later. So, how are things? Sorry, I didn’t call easter. We had bit of a meltdown here.“
He looks tired and sombre, taking another sip from his mug.
„Viva?“ Vada has a sympathetic expression on her face now. „Sivvi filled me in. So, If I can help, gimme a hoot, alright?“
„That’s very kind of you, honey. We’ll be in Hamburg in late summer – for some PR shit concerning the upcoming album – she and Ava usually have some time to accompain me. I will come back to you then, OK? For now that bleeding therapist can get herself some bleeding knuckles. She’s great but a real toughie – Christ!“
With some fingers he then absentmindedly works through his messy curls, blushing slightly.
„God, I’m a real desaster today! Better get into the bathroom, sprucing up a bit. And honestly- I don’t want to be a cry baby now – just needed hearing your lovely voice and seeing your smile, Sivvi. Oh, and your’s too, of course!“
He finally laughs again.
„No, not necessarily Andy’s! I will have more than enough the next days!“
„I did hear that, you bastard!“
Somehow I have the feeling that Curly wanted some more private words with me, but the chat ends after another few chit chat exchanges – him promissing to keep us on track about the progress in the studio.
„Andy will be too keen any way to operate his ‚Fletch Cam’ – so don’t worry.“
„Sis, I don’t believe my sore eyes – here’s a letter for you – from David!“
God almighty! I snatch the envelope out off my nosy sisters’s hands. Maybe a bit too hasty as the paper tears open and the contents falls onto the floor next to the bed.
„Geez, what is it with you today? Andy is just three days gone and you act up like...wait a minute!“
She picks up the neatly folded letter and opens it.
„Vay, you give that to me now! It’s private!“
She meanwhile must have flown over the first passage of Dave’s expressive handwriting. I manage to rip it out off her hand, but it’s too late. I can see it at her shocked, pale face.
„Why does he call you the ‚love of his life’? What else do I not know?“
She slowly sinks onto the edge of the bed.
„Vay, I’m not supposed to have emotional stress, you are aware of it, right?“
She silently nods her head.
„Oh sweet Lord, tell me! You can’t hide it forever!“
„First let me read – in private – then I promise I will answer every single question you might have.“
„I will take Basil out for a short walk around the house. Just promise me one thing: Don’t get out off bed!“
Dear Siv – love of my life,
yes, I know we agreed on not contacting each other for a while – but you never talked about old school letters. I know, I’m stupid – but the thought of you reading these lines, touching them – gives me a tiny bit of comfort here.
Where shall I start? That I’m so glad to escape over to Mart’s for a week or two? Hell, yes – I admit it! Being with Jennifer isn’t easy at the moment – but deep inside I know she will never leave my heart. I should be happy about it. I never saw her that weak – usually she’s the one kicking my ass. Now it’s just the other way around and I never expected that to happen. I’m a bit scared now she might have a relapse after all these years – you know about her past and why and under which circumstances we met. Good luck I have Rosie and Jimmy around, helping all they can to keep her afloat. Well, she’s a die hard – she will get back on track – after some time. I hope – and hope dies last – your words.
Angel, I miss you beyond words! And no, I will be brave and go on putting the shreds of my marriage together. It’s just – all seems to slip through my hands again – everyone, everything I love gets damaged and broken.
Looks I really need the boys to kick my ass! Oh, and I won’t kick Curly’s bum. I’m still terribly sorry I kinda raped him in my rage but his proposal really drove me nutz! I know, I know – we cleared the fronts on that matter – he just is a headless fool sometimes! Sounds familiar? Yeah, have to admit I’m not better.
I would give anything to hold you in my arms now – kiss you madly – making love to you till non of us would be able to look straight!
It still hurts no end knowing you’re not wearing my ring. Last time I talked to Andy he just sighed and told me they were in the drawer of his desk. Yes, patience is non of my strengths on the long run.
Please...listen to your heart and make the right decisions!
Rosie just urges me to give you an extra big kiss! She let slip you two were chatting on Skype last week. No, she didn’t tell me yet – god, she really can keep secrets! Maybe it’s for the better at the moment.
Have to dash to the lift now. Cab for the airport is waiting. I will drop this letter into the shabby post box next to the parking area. You know – the one we kissed and made love in the car – before I drove you to the airport. Maybe it’s for good luck – as last time you decided to have my baby.
Take care and my heart goes out to you – I’m yours eternally! (Fuck, it’s kitsch but I don’t care!!!)
I let the letter sink onto the blanket. My sight is blurry and I have to bite my lips not to break into tears. As the house still seems quiet I open my mobile and quickly snap a pic of my hand, wearing the rings. Not thinking for long I send it to Dave’s number. It doesn’t take long and the answer blinks in my message box. It’s a photo of just one of his eyes, a single teardrop glistening at the lower lashes.
„So?“ Vay slides onto the bed, crossing her legs lotus style. „Could I read the letter? Perhaps it’s easier to ask questions afterwards.“
I hesitate for a moment – this is mine and all the words are so very intimate. Then I give in and her face looses more and more colour with every sentence. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my sister in tears.
„Oh god, Sivvi!“
I can’t help it and soon we both lay in each other’s arms sobbing.
„So this is the 2nd try I suppose – getting Dave’s baby.“
„Yes – and he has no clue at all so far – nor has Mart. That’s why I begged you kinda on my knees not to blabber around them or any other person.“
„Sheesh! I don’t get it! So that other time wasn’t kinda accident as you told me.“
She takes my hand and stares at the two rings at my finger.
„So that’s why – one for Andy, the other for Dave.“
I nod and show her the photo on my mobile.
„When you were outside with Basil I sent him this.“
„Took only 4 minutes. And no, I won’t show you this time. No words – just an image, too.“
„Of his cock?!“
„Gosh, no! Vada!!“ I have a lobsided grin on my lips now. „I know that one well enough. Don’t need any piccies of it.“
„Duh - we stand in the audience – shivering in anticipation if his pants would finally drop low enough over his gorgeous v-line – and you are pregnant with his baby - again!“
„Shush, calm down! An no word to no one – on the bible!“
I’m just glad I didn’t tell her that Dave and Mart...!
„So you are stuck in a fucking triangle – wow!“
„A ‚loving’ triangle – if at all!“
„And...did you three...well, have you been together in bed?“
„Yes.“ I look towards the window now. „When I tried to get pregnant.“
„Andy isn’t jealous at all?!“
If you would know, little sister!
„He wants me to be happy – and he wants the child as well.“
„And are you happy, sis?“
It takes a moment before I can find an answer.
I wake up with an enormous yell – bathed all over in sweat. My breath is erratic and fast – a slight dizziness already stirring in my forehead.
Vada switches on the light at once, turning over from Andy’s side of the bed. It’s in the middle of the night – around 3 am.
„Shush, calm down! You just had a bad dream! Everything is fine – I’m here!“
„The baby – it is gone! Oh my god – not again! The baby dies in me!“
She grabs me forcefully by my arms now, shaking me slightly.
„Sis, relax! It’s not true! Don’t get all riled up!“
Vay pulls back the duvets and our both view wanders between my legs. Nothing. No blood, no wet stains. My knickers appear white and clean. Yet I can’t stop trembling.
„I feel it deep inside – something isn’t right!“
There’s no way to convince me of the opposite. Finally Vada calls 999.
„You’re lucky I’m on duty tonight.“
Dr. Ashcroft adjusts the device of the u-sound and observes the monitor. A nurse enters the emergency room and hands him some papers. Vada slides nervously up and down the seat of her chair.
„Well, everything appears to be fine so far. Here, look – you can see the contours of the tiny body now. OK, seems more like a huge peanut – but recognize the heartbeat there?“
He smiles at me now.
„Want to hear it?“
When I eagerly nod he plays around with a few buttons and then a busy thumping sound fills the room. I have to cover my mouth not to cry out loud. It’s alive – and it’s strong!
„Yes, it’s real – and you shouldn’t be scared. False alarm once too much is better than the other way around.“
„Well, all this being tied to the bed starts to drive me crazy.“
„I told you it’s going to be tough – but look here. That’s worth all the discomfort, right?“
He glances at the test results and nods again. Everything is in perfect order.
„We just need to have an eye on your blood pressure – but you check that on a regular basis anyway if I recall that right.“
„Yes, runs in the family. Did you get the fax those days, by the way?“
He opens my medical record and flips through the pages.
„All in here – nothing to really worry about. He even sent in a sample for genetic testing.“
„Must have really hit him hard.“
Vada bites into a sandwhich and chews for a moment. We sit on the couch in the living room. Dr. Ashcroft at least allowed me to walk a few steps every day.
„What do you mean?“
„Well, Dave. He seems to have thought about everything – even a sample. And then...“
„Yes – it was terrible. You should have seen Andy as well. I didn’t know what hit me those days – believe me. If I could have died I would.“
„Sis, no! Never ever even think of that! It’s never an option. OK, I only can imagine how you must have felt – then and when your ex nearly made you break.“
She puts away her plate and seconds later her arms entangle me.
„Now you have another chance to turn the wheel – so be strong and take it! This tiny thing inside you wants to live – we both have seen and heard it!“
She kisses my cheeks and her eyes are dark and glassy.
„Tom needs a sweet, little playmate.“
„So you are really sure that I will handle all this chaos – called my life?“
„Bloody hell, yes! If not you – who else? You are like a cat – landing on all fours.“
„I wonder which one of the nine lives I’m in...hopefully not the last.“
Andy leans against the cupboard in the kitchen, waiting for the microwave to spit out his piece of pepperoni pizza. Dragging in the smoke of his cigarette he wonders how he could quit those horrible little things. Not healthy for the baby! Grainne always banned him into his office – the rest of the house was smoke free zone.
David pops into the room, tearing off the tin foil from his dish impatiently.
„Still not ready? Geez, I need to warm up my Thai noodles! Already messed up my vocal recording due to my stomach complaining loudly! Ben wasn’t that much amused, but Martin laughed his ass off! Grrrrr!“
A nervewrecking ‚ping’ signals Andy’s pizza finally is ready. He opens the lid and nearly burns his fingers, taking out the steaming bit of food. Sitting down at the crowded table he eyes David from the side.
„Why do you guys always have to mess up everything?! Look at this – tons of open, empty and half eaten stuff piling up here! Not a really lovely setting to have lunch.“
Dave galantly ignores Andy’s complaints and jumps at the microwave when his noodles are ready a few seconds later. Poking with a fork into them a wave of steam emanates and dissipates into the air.
Simply hovering onto the broad window sill he starts tugging in.
„So you leave for London again tomorrow?“
Andy looks up from his plate and nods. Then he faces David straight.
„I talked to her on the phone last night – you sent her a letter?“
Dave puts away his nearly finished porcelain bowl.
„She told you?“
„Not really – she didn’t read it to me, hey! Just mentioned it. I hope it wasn’t anything to make her feel uncomfortable.“
The dark haired man now slips his hand into his jeans pocket and fetches his mobile. Without a word he hands it over to Andrew. The image of Siv’s hand is on the display.
„What the frigg?!“
„That’s all she sent as an answer.“
Andy really has to bite his tongue now not to spill the news. He sees the emotional uproar in Dave’s eyes.
„Give it more time, Dave. I suppose you will be the first to know anyway. No need to push things – no more letters.“
„Andy, you know how I feel. I promised to stay in line – and I will.“
He takes back his cell phone and glances at it again, a faint smile flashing over his face. At least she still loves him.
„Sexy ladies, I’m back!“
Andy lets his gear drop down to the floor, rushing down the hallway – finding the bedroom deserted. Hell!
He dashes to the living room and finds Siv and Vada couching in front of the plasma tv.
„Sweatheart, you should be resting in bed!“
„I am resting, honey – bed or couch – come on!“
He lets himself sink next to her, quickly pulling her into a tight, passionate embrace. She starts to giggle- he can sense her body trembling against his.
„Geez, let me stay alive for another little bit – no need to consume me like a hungry wolf!“
„I missed you so much, you have no idea!“
She caresses over his face and smiles happily.
„Me too, Andy – me too!“
„Dr. Ashcroft allowed her to walk a bit on a daily basis. We went for a check up recently.“
„Really? That’s great news!“
„We have even better ones – the tiny fellow inside seems to be a toughie. Has a damn strong heart beat!“
„What?! I missed the first heart beat?“
„Don’t be sad – I have a digital recording of it. You can check it later on your desktop.“
He squeezes her against his chest again. All the stress from the last days in the studio seems to fall off him now.
„I nearly blabbered, Siv. Dave and I were talking about you – the letter, you know. He showed me the pic you messaged him.“
„You did not..“
„No, I just could stop myself – phew! Why did you do that?“
„Vada, could I have a few minutes with Andy, please?“
The tall woman gets up and collects the plates and glasses.
„Sure, I’m so stupid! I have to pack my bag anyway. See you for breakfast then.“
„It was a sad letter, Andrew. He’s struggling hard to keep his family together. And yes – he’s still yearning for me. And so do I.“
I gently brush over his naked forearm and then takes his left hand, clasping my warm fingers around it.
„Reading he was still devastated me not wearing his ring...well, how could he know? If I wasn’t able to tell him about the pregnancy I at least wanted to give him an idea of the state of my emotions. That I’m with YOU as well.“
„It took a burden off him – I saw it in his eyes.“
I breathe deeply in and out.
It feels great to sleep next to a man again – my man. I watch Andy’s chest moving up and down in a constant rhythm. I missed him – I really did. He gives me a foundation – a security I was looking for so long in my previous life – no doubt about it. My other constant factor will leave in a few hours. That’s OK. My sis is not out off this world. It’s my responsibility in the end – making my life heaven or hell. The truth will lie in the middle anyway.