For the next month until her baby was born, Evelyn dreaded receiving another call from her mother. Fortunately though, her worries were unneeded as the woman never called her.
Soon, her days settled into an easy rhythm again while she was steadily growing larger and heavier. Since she was on maternity leave, she slept in later than usual in the mornings and prepared the large breakfasts she never had the time for while working.
She spent her days reading books, playing chess and daydreaming about her child. She had always known that she wanted children, but she never thought she's have them so soon in her life. Even so, ever since the first time she felt her baby kick she couldn’t wait to meet her little girl.
Before long, the long awaited day finally arrived. She was peacefully reading a book in her living room when her water broke. She called a taxi and not long after, she was on her way to the hospital. On her way there, all she could think about was the many ways something could go wrong.
As expected, nothing went wrong. Although it felt like an eternity to Evelyn, in reality the labour was short and easy. At 18:27, just as the foreboding full moon that only appeared once every five years began its mystical ascent into the night sky, Chantia Marquel was brought into the world, completely healthy and in Evelyn’s eyes, totally perfect.
Evelyn loved being a mother. Chantia was a very easy baby to care for, as she never cried needlessly. Evelyn was amazed by the way everything seemed to fascinate Chantia and the way she smiled at everything. The young mother was positive that her child was the most amazing thing in the world whenever the brown eyes Chantia had inherited from her father lit up in happiness or fascination.
Two days after Chantia’s birth, Gustave arrived in Sunset Valley, eager to see his child. As Evelyn handed their daughter over to him, she could see that he was just as amazed by the life they had created as she was.
“She’s beautiful,” he breathed with awe in his voice. Evelyn smiled happily and laid her hand on his shoulder, gazing down at their daughter.
“That she is,” she agreed with a smile.
As time went by and Chantia grew older and bigger, Evelyn settled happily into the demanding life of motherhood. Despite the fact that Chantia was easy to care for, she was still a baby and had absolutely no problem waking her mother at two in the night. Still, Evelyn wouldn’t give up her child for anything.
Unfortunately, time didn’t stand still. Before long, Evelyn had to return to work as her maternity leave ran out. While she was excited to see her middle school students again, she was loath to leave her baby in the hands of another.
Evelyn studied the babysitter in front of her. In her eyes, the girl was woefully inadequate to care for her little girl. Chantia deserved the best and Evelyn would do absolutely anything to ensure that she got the best.
“Are you sure you’re old enough to do this? You look awfully young,” Evelyn questioned the babysitter in front of her. The teenager in front of her sighed slightly, but still answered politely, clearly used to being questioned intensively by parents.
“Yes ma’am,” the girl replied. “I’ve been helping my mother ever since the birth of my brother two years ago. I know how to work with children,” she stated. Evelyn gave the teen another studying glance, still not satisfied with the result.
“Why aren’t you in school? You’re not old enough to have graduated already,” Evelyn tried again. The teen inclined her head, acknowledging the point.
“No ma’am,” she agreed. “I’m doing my studies through the City Hall on my own time. I am not bound to specific times,” she explained. Evelyn was still not satisfied.
“Why are you doing it through the City Hall and not through the Community School? Were you expelled or something?” Evelyn asked. The teen shook her head fervently.
“No ma’am! It was my mother’s choice to enrol me in home schooling. Now that I’m older, I’ve just never had the desire to attend public school. I’m used to doing my studies on my own time, that’s all,” she explained.
Evelyn stared at the teen in front of her for some time before she gave in to the inevitable.
“Fine,” she sighed. “I’ll let you look at her for today and if, only if I am satisfied, I will rehire you,” she told the girl. The teen merely inclined her head, accepting Evelyn’s words.
“Of course ma’am,” she stated politely.
When Evelyn returned home that afternoon after a long day of teaching, she was pleasantly surprised by the babysitter. It appeared that the girl was as good as her word and did indeed know how to work with babies. Chantia was happily giggling in the girl’s arms.
“Fine,” Evelyn relented. “You seem to know what you’re doing. Can I count on you to help me further on?” Evelyn asked Melanie, the babysitter. Melanie smiled politely before nodding.
“Of course, ma’am,” she agreed. “She’s such a sweet baby. I’d love to take care of her.”
After that, Evelyn quickly adapted to motherhood. She went to work during the mornings and when she returned home in the afternoons, she thanked Melanie and took Chantia out for a stroll. For the first time in a very long time, she could say that she was truly happy.
Still, she should’ve known it wouldn’t last forever. It was the law of her life: whenever things appeared to look up for her, something would inevitably interrupt her life. Such as an errant sister standing in the pouring rain in front of her door.
“Ariko!” Evelyn exclaimed and quickly ushered her youngest sister inside. “What are you doing here?”
Ariko’s bottom lip trembled and the next moment, she threw herself into Evelyn’s arms and started sobbing, her tears soaking into Evelyn’s shirt.
Evelyn reflexively folded her arms around the younger girl. While she was never particularly close to her siblings, Takuo and Ariko had always held a special spot in her heart, being the eldest and youngest of the eight siblings respectively.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Evelyn asked her sister with a gentle voice. Ariko merely sobbed loudly and tightened her arms around Evelyn.
“I need your help,” Ariko murmured softly into Evelyn’s shoulder. “I did something stupid and now…” Her tears intensified. “Please Kyoko, I don’t know what to do!”
Evelyn patted her reassuringly on the back.
“Hey, don’t cry,” Evelyn tried to calm her distraught sister down. “You can tell me later what’s wrong. First, let’s get you out of those wet clothes before you catch a cold.”
Ariko sniffled before pulling away, still refusing to meet Evelyn’s eyes.
“Okay,” she agreed.
An hour later, Ariko emerged from the bathroom, clothed in Evelyn’s spare clothes. She hesitated slightly before she joined Evelyn on the couch.
Evelyn wordlessly handed Ariko a cup of hot chocolate before broaching the subject.
“Now, tell me what’s wrong,” Evelyn gently asked her youngest sister. “What did you do?”
Silence fell between the two of them as Ariko played with her mug, apparently trying to find a way to tell Evelyn of her problem. Evelyn merely sipped her hot chocolate, patiently waiting for Ariko to talk.
“There was this guy…”Ariko finally stated after a couple of minutes. “I…we…” Ariko stammered before taking a deep breath, changing her sentence. “I liked him. Really liked him,” she confessed.
Evelyn nodded nonchalantly, waiting for Ariko to continue. She had a faint suspicion as to where the conversation was headed, but she didn’t say anything. She was almost afraid to hear her suspicions confirmed.
Ariko looked down again. “He’s a couple of years older than me, but I…well, I started seeing him. I really enjoyed his company and eventually, we…” Ariko’s voice drifted off and she fell silent again, biting her lower lip softly.
Evelyn sighed and looked down, able to derive what the rest of the sentence would be.
“You’re pregnant, aren’t you,” she stated, already sure of the answer. Ariko’s bottom quivered and she broke out into tears and sobs again, nodding fearfully. Now that she knew what to look for, Evelyn could see the slight rounding of Ariko’s belly.
“Yes,” Ariko whispered through her sobs.
Evelyn sighed heavily. It seemed like she just couldn't escape her family and their problems. Her life just got a lot more complicated.
So, Evelyn's baby is finally born! In my mind, I see Evi as this completely overprotective parent (it fits perfectly with her roll), so she had to have a confrontation with the babysitter. Still, I lucked out with that - the babysitter has the Family-Orientated trait, so she literally drops everything just to keep little Chantia happy :). And I included Ariko in Evelyn's story just to make her life more complicated :p