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Anthony awoke to the sound of a female voice. From the sound of it, the voice belonged to a teenager, and it was very familiar voice. Before he got a chance to look over to see who was the owner of the voice, another voice addressed the teenager.

“Your dad was right Sophia. I am thinking Karin Sue, Kendall Grace, or Caroline Michelle, if it is a girl, or Kaden Scott, Aiden Michael, or Braden Anthony for a boy. The Michael and Michelle both come from Anthony’s middle name, and I suppose if you want to look at it a different way it could also be for your father. The Kendall, I like because I know that Anthony liked that name, and the others I just really liked. But you still have not told me how it is that you know about this baby. The only ones that know are the few co-workers that I told today, my lawyer, Kira Riley, my OB/GYN, the police and the medics that came to my
house earlier, and Inari. I have not even told my own mother.”

There was a short pause, then that voice, which was even more familiar than the one that sounded like a teenager, began to speak again.

“Duh! How could I be so stupid? Of course your dad would tell you. It did not even occur to me that it was strange that he was talking with you about the names that I was considering naming my child, and I can tell that you are excited about this whole baby thing, but you have to promise me that you are not going to tell anyone until after I have told my parents. I was going to tell them today, but…”

“Aunt Ari, I love you,” the teenager said.

There was an involuntary gasp when Anthony realized that the people in his room were Ari, and Mikey’s youngest daughter, Sophia. Immediately following this realization Anthony became bamboozled. ‘Why the heck is Ari in the hospital? What happened? Is the baby all right?’  There were hundreds of possible situations running through his head. The next thing he decided to do was begin listening intently for even the tiniest bit of information as to why his wife was in the hospital. He was befuddled when he heard Ariana’s voice next.

“You know dear, you are just a magnet for disaster, aren’t you?”

“It does seem so, doesn’t it?”

“I am not complaining though, this is helping me pay for Charles’s hospital bill.”

“Well I am glad that my horrible Irish luck is helping someone because it sure isn’t helping me any.”

Just then a doctor ambled into the room, and addressed the small group in Ari’s half of the room.

“Ladies, I am required to have the two of you exit the room, while I share information with Ms. Romney here, and before you ask Ariana, you are not allowed to go and sit with your husband right now, he is most likely sleeping and you might possibly overhear me in here, so out of the room for a minute.”
 There was an unmistakable sound of the two women sighing, and then walking out of the room, making certain that they slammed the door when they were out. The doctor winced before he told Ari what was going on.

“Ms. Romney,” he began.

“Call me Ari,” Ari interrupted.

The doctor cleared his throat loudly, before he continued.

“Anyways, as I was saying, Ari, there is some good news and some bad news. You seem to be the type to want the bad out of the way so I shall tell you that first.”  He paused, and pulled out what looked like x-rays.

“The bad news is that you are going to need surgery on your shoulder because it appears as if you have the tip of a knife lodged between the clavicle and the sternum head.”

“Can I have a copy of those x-rays to show my classes? I am an Anatomy and Physiology teacher after all.”

“Sure you can actually take one of the originals, we have three of them. Now for the good news; it appears that your fetuses are perfectly fine.”

“Wait… WHAT did you just say?”

“That it appears that your fetuses are perfectly fine and healthy.”

“What do you mean fetuses? I only have one.”

“Ms. Romney, the image that we have blatantly shows that there are two fetuses, if you would like, we can show you the ultrasound images that we have, if you still don’t want to believe me…”

He was cut off by  a loud high pitched squeal.

“I get TWO babies!? I hope I get a boy and a girl. Then I can name have one named after my husband and my own personal name choices. Yay! Doctor, you have made my day!”

“Glad that I could help, a nurse will be in in about an hour to educate you further on the surgical procedure that is required.”

The doctor then pulled the curtain separating the two sides of the room, and he looked at Anthony.

“Charles, this is your new roommate; Ari Romney. She shall be here for only a few days, no more than two weeks, if things go as planned.”

The doctor then turned to Ari; nodded his head, then began walking towards the door. He paused when he was less than a foot from the door; pivoted his right foot, in order to turn to Ari.

“Oh, I forgot to mention this Ms. Romney, but Charles damaged his vocal cords so severely that he is unable to talk. But I hear that he appears to listen attentively, and is able to communicate using his own form of sign language.”

Ari went to open her mouth, to ask a question, but the doctor held up his right index finger, and resumed speaking.

“Before you ask, like I am willing to bet that you just were; Charles’s muscles are still too weak to write legibly, so that is out of the question. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to leave, my daughter has a dentist appointment. I personally will not be back for a few days. Have a wonderful day.”

Ari watched the doctor leave the room as Ariana and Sophia reentered.

“What’s going on Ari?” Sophia asked.

Ariana passed Ari and went directly to her husband. Ari smiled, and looked at Sophia; who had taken a seat in the chair next to Ari’s bed.

“The doctor said that I am going to need surgery because the tip of the knife is still lodged between my clavicle and and the head of my sternum.”

“Oh Aunt Ari! That’s terrible! You can die from something like that.”

“Yes, yes I could have and still could, but they also said that my fetuses appear to be in perfect health.”

Sophia squealed.

“OMG Aunt Ari, you are going to have twins?!”

Ari smiled; nodded her head, then turned, when a small knock was heard. Standing in the doorway was a terrified looking Mikey. Ari figured that it would be safe to assume that he did not know much about her condition, and was assuming the the worst, since she was lying in the hospital bed; looking worried.

“Oh Mikey, you can come in,” Ari said.

Mikey walked into the room quickly, and kneeled next to Ari’s bed, directly in front of Sophia.

“Ari, how are you? And the baby, how is your little angel?” his voice was full of concern.

“Oh Mikey, I will be fine. I am going to need surgery, to get the tip of the knife removed. And the angels are fine. And I said angels on purpose, because I was just informed that there are actually two babies, not just one. I am having twins, Mikey.”

Mikey wrapped his arms around the woman that he loved as if she was his own daughter; overjoyed by the news that he was just given yet also terrified for the life of both her and her unborn children.

“Ari, when are they going to preform this surgery? Because if they put you under, well you should know this better than I, since you studied to become an anesthesiologist, before you decided to go into teaching; that it could kill your children.”

“I forgot about that, and there is no way that they are far enough along to survive on their own, at least not a very likely chance. And there is not a marshmallows chance at a bonfire in me getting this surgery without being put on anesthetics. Oh Mikey, what am I suppose to do?”

“Do you know how much danger you are in if you leave the tip in there until the babies are born, or at least old enough to survive at the chance something went wrong?”

“I think that it is in a place that too much movement will cause it to move enough
that it could kill me. And at the very least I would be in excruciating pain. So I do not think that delaying the surgery would be possible, at the very least it would not be the most intelligent thing to do. Any other ideas, or do you think that we only need to call the doctor, surgeon, or anesthesiologist, about this major dilemma?”

“We will definitely have to talk to one if not all of them. Bu\t first I think that you need to get some rest because you look exhausted. I am aware that you have not been sleeping well since Anthony passed away, but now you have nothing better to do with you time, nor do you have to worry about insomnia because they will give you sleeping medication, if they have not already put it in the IV, which would not surprise me in the slightest.”

Ari yawned.

“I suppose you are right, dad. Are you and Sophia going to stay here or are you going
to leave?”

“I think that I might leave Sophia here for a bit, while I go and get you your bag, that i know you have packed, numerous months too early, and tell Karen what is going on because I am sure that she will at least want to come to visit you.”

“Okay, see you soon, and please, be careful.”

Mikey left the room as Ari attempted to roll onto her side though it felt weird and hurt a bit from the IV and the knife blade, she still decided to try and fall asleep like that.

Anthony looked over at his wife and was unable to stop tears from blurring his vision. He wanted right now more than anything to go to Ari and hold her in his arms; to comfort her. But he was unable to do that, instead he gazed upon her as she slept, Sophia sitting next to her bed, befuddled by the images on the television screen, or perhaps Ari’s actions. Anthony knew that his wife had been stabbed by someone, but he was unsure of what had happened, as he sat there gazing upon the innocent face as it slept peacefully for the first time in months.

While she was asleep, Ari was plagued with the dreams that she had been having since the day the police called her about Anthony. Only this time there was a strange twist to them, and unexplainable one. In these dreams Anthony did not die, he was alive and in the hospital. He was sitting next to her, in the bed injured but also was singing to her as she was next to him, he was holding her in his arms, his entire body injured and his voice a faint whisper but to her it was the most powerful and beautiful sound in the world. The love of her life was with her. Though he was injured and slowly getting better, but he was close to her, and her heart. Her heart was whole once again; she was in his presence. So joyful...

Ari awoke with a start, the room almost pitch-black; the only light emitting from the machines hooked up to her and Charles. She gazed over at the man who looked so much like her husband, and saw that he appeared to be asleep. She sighed, lay on her back, and fell asleep, after staring at the ceiling for hours, befuddled by the feeling in her heart.

Next to her, Anthony was laying on his back, eyes closed, tears silently falling down his face.
Mikey had a presentiment that something was going to happen, as Ari was leaving the school that day. He was aware that Ari was following Ariana to the hospital, so that Ari could see Ariana’s husband, but he still sensed that something was not right. He planned on going over to Ari’s house and waiting for her there, but his cell phone interrupted his thinking. He removed the phone from the front pocket of his pants, and glanced at the screen. He saw that it was his wife and answered the phone.

“Mike, I am stuck at work for a little bit, I need you to take Sophia to the dentist,” she said.

He told his wife that he would do it, and told her that he loved her, and then hung up the phone. He sighed as he got into his car, and drove home to go and pick up his teenage daughter. He took her into the dentist’s and signed her in, then began pacing back and forth in the waiting room. It was only a few minutes before a very confused Sophia went back into the treatment room. Mikey stayed in the waiting room and continued pondering what it was that could happen to Ari. He contemplated what was possible and what was probable. Nothing seemed to fit.

Sophia came out of the treatment room, twenty-seven minutes later, and Mikey told her that they had to leave quickly, when she began to ask him if they could go to the mall, and shop for a new outfit.

“But Dad…” Sophia began to whine.

“Don’t ‘But Dad,’ me Sophia. If I do not get to Aunt Ari’s house immediately, she… she… something bad might happen to her,” he told her as they were leaving the parking lot.

“How do you know that dad?” the befuddled Sophia asked.

“I don’t know. I just have this presentiment that it is, and I just want to make sure that it is not,” he explained.

When he saw Sophia open her mouth as if to question what it was that he was talking about, he held up a finger, and began to speak again.

“Don’t ask me to explain. I don’t know how or why it is that I have this feeling, but it is there and I am going to act upon it. I don’t want anything bad to happen to your Aunt Ari, or her baby,”

He did not realize that he had said something wrong until Sophia opened her mouth in surprise. When she did that Mikey cursed under his breath.

“Aunt Ari is pregnant? When did this happen? Is it Uncle Anthony’s baby? Or is it someone else’s? How far along is she? Is she going to have a shower? Does she know if it is a boy or a girl? What is she going to name it? Or is there more than one? I have got to tell everyone, that I am going to have a new cousin soon,” she quickly asked, then took out her phone, and began composing a text to all of her friends.

Mikey took the phone out of her hands, and began to talk before she could respond to his act.

“Yes, she is pregnant. I was just told today, along with only a few other people. Yes, it is Uncle Anthony’s. She is about nine weeks along, give or take a couple of days. She doesn’t know the gender yet, or if there is more than one, but as far as she is aware, there is only one. Let her tell people, it is her surprise to tell. And I know some of the names that she is pondering. BUT I will only tell you if you swear that the only person you are to talk to about Aunt Ari is me, well and her. Do you promise?” he answered, all of his daughter’s questions.

“I promise dad. Now can I have my phone back?” she sincerely replied. He handed her the phone, and gave her a look that said, ‘if you even think about it, I will take the phone and throw it against the wall as hard as I can’.

“She is thinking either Karin Sue, Kendall Grace, or Caroline Michelle for a girl. And either Kaden Scott, Aiden Michael, or Braden Anthony for a boy,” he stated. When he saw her mouth about to open, he added,

“And no more questions. You will have to talk to her.”

Sophia immediately erased the message that she had been about to send a few minutes prior. Then she began texting her boyfriend about the dance that was in a couple of months.

Mikey’s heart sank when he pulled into Ari’s driveway. There was very blatant evidence that something was wrong. The front porch had mail strewn all over it, something that would happen to normally. The front door had streaked handprints about the size of a woman’s hand. But the thing that bothered Mikey the most was that the front door was wide open, but Coco and Lucky were nowhere to be found. One thing that Ari had been doing ever since she lost Anthony was shut and lock the front door while she was home, and before she left. The only time that it was open for fresh air to come through the screen door was when both dogs were inside and it was broad daylight, or when she had guests over. Mikey decided to investigate what had happened. He stepped out of the car, and almost shut the door, but paused, and instead, he turned to Sophia, and instructed her.

“Sophia, you stay here. And if anything happens, or you hear me scream: call the police, and hide in here. Don’t get out to go into the house, until I give you the all clear sign. Got it?”

“I got it dad. Be careful. I love you,” she replied, briefly looking up from her phone.

Mikey nodded his head, and walked around the car door silently. He snuck onto the front porch, and peered through the screen door. There were no more signs of a struggle of any sort, in the places that he was able to see. He carefully opened the door and snuck in. He guided it shut, still holding the handle. He had the door completely shut before he quietly released the door handle from his grip. He began to creep towards the dining room. There was nothing out of order in there, and Ari was nowhere to be found in the room. The next room that Mikey crept into was the laundry room. The only evidence that anyone had even been in here in the past few days, were the small stack of folded clothes in a basket on the floor, and the small pile of dirty clothes sitting next to the basket filled with the clean clothes. He opened the washer, and peered in. To his relief all that was in there was a set of sheets that were waiting to be put into the dryer. He shut the lid quietly, and peered into the window of the dryer. It was empty. The next place that he went was the small living room. The only thing in the room that was out of its normal spot was the daily newspaper, which had always sat on the end table by Anthony’s favorite chair. The family room was directly connected to the living room. Relatively the same size, this room was almost empty, and it was apparent that Ari had been slowly purchasing toys for the baby. Mikey slightly grinned, at the thought of Ari being a mother, and him getting a ‘grandchild’ that he would actually get to see more than just on special occasions and holidays. He then went back into the living room, so he could go into the kitchen. The second that he glanced into the kitchen, he was positive that his presentiment had been correct.

There were definite signs of a struggle here. The barstools were lying on the ground. There was silverware all over the floor, and there were red spots all over the floor. Upon closer inspection, Mikey realized that they were actually drops of blood. He then became terrified because he saw a bloody knife, partially obscured by the oven. He quickly assessed the blood spots and noticed that they formed a trail. Mikey stood up and grabbed a knife from the discombobulated holder. He grabbed the longest one that he could find, and was able to conceal. Then he began to follow the trail of blood.

It went directly from the kitchen to the stairs. Mikey silently went up the stairs listening as he walked. He did not have to look at the blood trail, once he got halfway up the stairs. He heard a man grunting, and the faint muffled yells of Ari. Mikey knew at that moment that he needed to do something, so he got his cell phone out of his pocket, and quickly texted Sophia.  He told her to call 911 and he was not sure if an ambulance was needed, but he thought that it might be safe to send one.

After returning the phone to his front pocket, he continued to creep up the stairs. He listened to the noises, and he tried to figure out what room Ari was in. Looking at the trail of blood on the floor, he realized that it was in the room at the end of the upstairs hallway that she was located. He silently yet quickly went to the closed door. Placing his hand on the door handle, he heard a bang. He used that to quickly open the door, while he silently slid into the room, shutting the door as soon as he was in the room. Thankful that the door was unlocked, so he did not have to worry about breaking it, or causing Ari to get hurt, more than she was, he slid to the side, so that he was behind a coat rack.

The sight inside the room filled Mikey with pure rage. The disorder and destruction was not the cause, neither was the blood that was on the floor, and speckled on the wall, it was the man in the room, and what he was doing to Ari that infuriated Mikey. Ari had been tied down to the bed, with ropes and duct tape. Her hands were attached to the headboard, and her mouth was taped shut. Her legs were spread apart, each foot attached to the posts on the end of the footboard. The view that Mikey was looking from, he was able to tell that Ari had been the one whose blood was spread all over the house. From what he could see it looked like she had a pretty deep puncture wound just below her collarbone. The man that had bound Ari looked strangely familiar to Mikey, as if he was a person that Mikey had seen a few times before. But Mikey, knew that it would not matter if it was his own son that was standing in front of him, he still would have punched him in the chin as hard as he could. For this oddly familiar man had not only bound and injured Ari, but had completely stripped her and was getting ready to have his way with her.

When Mikey came from behind the coat rack, the man did not notice him. However, Ari saw Mikey, and he put his finger up to his mouth, silently telling her to remain quiet. She understood, and silently thanked god, that she was going to finally be rescued. Mikey walked up right behind the man, and he tapped him on the shoulder, and yelled at him.

“HEY! LEAVE ARI ALONE, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH!!!!”

With the delivery of the insult, Mikey did a gorgeous right hook, which hit the man square in the jaw, and knocked him out. Once Mikey was sure that the man was out cold, he took the knife that he had previously concealed in his shirt, and cut the bonds on Ari. Then he carefully removed the duct tape on her mouth. When the tape was almost entirely off, Ari opened her mouth revealing a pair of socks. Mikey ripped off the tape in a quick motion and then removed the socks, so that Ari was more comfortable. With her mouth clear, and her limbs moveable, Ari normally would have covered her exposed body, but she was overcome with emotion, that all she did was curl into a ball, and begin bawling.

Mikey gathered Ari up in his arms, and held her against him, as he rocked her side-to-side, murmuring words of comfort. He ignored Ari’s lack of clothing because he was so concentrated on comforting her, until he felt her shivering. Then he picked her up off of the bed, and carried her to a nearby chair with a blanket neatly folded, and tossed over the back. He gently set her on her feet, and then took the blanket, and wrapped it around her. She was still sobbing hysterically, so Mikey gathered her in his arms again, and this time let her sob into his shoulder. Almost five minutes had elapsed, before Mikey heard the sirens of the incoming emergency vehicles. The sound of the front door closely followed. Mikey was surprised when Sophia was the first person into the room. Sophia looked at the two people in front of her, and the mess, and was unable to control herself. She began to cry as she ran to her dad, and Ari.

“ Oh, I am so glad that you two are alive. Is the baby okay, Aunt Ari?”

Bewildered, Ari looked at Sophia, and managed to respond.

“I don’t know, but I hope so,”

Ari paused, the possibility that she could lose her last possible connection that she had with Anthony, made her cry even harder. Mikey was thankful when the medical team came into the room, and began treating Ari’s wound, then transported her out of the room on a stretcher. They were taking Ari to the ambulance to rush her to the hospital to treat the wound just below her collar bone, give her a physical examination for documentation, and to get an ultrasound of the baby to ensure that it was still safe and healthy. Mikey wanted to follow the medics to the hospital, but the police stopped him. Sophia looked at her dad and nodded her head.

“ Dad, I will go. I will give you the official report when we get it. I don’t need to sign a statement, since I just walked in her mere minutes before the emergency officials. Not to mention, Aunt Ari really is all alone in the world right now,” she said.

Mikey nodded, and gave Sophia a hug. Then he let his daughter follow after the medics. She was just walking down the stairs, when Mikey remembered Inari. He darted into the hallway, and yelled after his daughter.

“Sophia, call Inari Ibaro. Aunt Ari will want her by her side.”

Sophia gave her dad a thumbs-up, showing him that she understood what he wanted and would complete the task as soon as possible. Before Sophia left the house she grabbed Ari’s purse, which was sitting on the floor by the front door. Sophia convinced the medic to let her in the back next to Ari, by smiling and with some very convincing lies. When Sophia sat on the small bench next to the stretcher, and took Ari’s hand, holding it in both of hers. Ari tried to turn her head, so she could glance over at Sophia, but the neck brace that she was wearing prohibited that movement. Instead Ari settled for only speaking to Sophia.

“Sophia, thank you so much for coming with me. I am so thankful that you and your dad came to my house when you did. Your dad probably saved my life, and you are saving the little bit of my sanity that is left, I truthfully do not know where I would be without you guys here with me, helping me, and caring about me.”

The rest of the trip was almost silent; the only noises were that from the numerous machines in the ambulance.

~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_

Mikey watched as the police put handcuffs on the man, who was still knocked out. Then two male officers lifted him, and carried him out to the police car. There was another male officer whom was collecting evidence, and photographing the bedroom. Mikey told him that once he was finished there, that he should go into the kitchen because that was full of evidence. The man gave Mikey a funny look, but nodded, and then left the room. When Mikey turned to look back out the window, there was a stout woman officer standing in front of him.

“Sir, we need you to come to the station, so we can get your statement, and then get it printed off and signed. Once we obtain the signed statement, we will need you to leave your phone number, so that we can contact you if need be. Once all of that is completed you will be able to go to the hospital,” she informed him, with a voice that was so high pitched that Mikey had trouble not bursting into laughter.

Mikey nodded his head, not trusting himself to speak, and went out of the room, walking down the stairs, out the door, and getting into his car. He went to the station, where he gave his statement and signed it. The entire process took only about an hour, but to him it felt like days. Once he was cleared. He proceeded to the hospital.
Anthony had progressed tremendously in the following days, but he had sunk into a deep depression because of Ariana’s similarity to Ari. He was finally able to sit up by himself, but was still unable to communicate.  This frustrated him because he knew something about the future of Ariana, and her unborn child that he needed to tell someone before it was too late. He had his surgery coming up to remove something they found in his chest, however he had to wait, as they wanted him to heal a little more before they caused such trauma to his body.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ariana had just left the room, to go to work. She was reluctant to leave, but she had a major court case she had to attend. She had done hours upon hours of research, because if she lost the case a woman who killed a man, who happened to be on the same flight Charles was on, would be allowed to walk away, and possibly kill the man’s pregnant wife. She could not bear to live of this were to happen. It was one of the most difficult cases of her career as it was hard to prove what exactly killed the man, but she knew in her heart that it was the woman and she needed to win this case for her client.

Anthony was beginning to drift off to sleep, when he heard someone quietly open, and close the door. Anthony was unable to turn his head to see who had entered the room, and the visitor remained out of view, and when he began to talk; Anthony could that he was a bad man. Just by hearing his voice, Anthony got the image of the mob boss: with the nice pinstripe suit, bald head, fedora hat, and the gold pinkie ring. But that was not what interested him. What did interest him was what was said.

“Charles, the plan is in place. Ariana will soon be swimming with the fishies, before she has that kid. And your payment has been collected, but you still owe me more. We will discuss this further once you are out of this place.” The man, whom Anthony dubbed ‘Don Waffle Pancake’, left as discreetly as he came.

Leaving Anthony confused, and terrified for the life of Ariana and the unborn child.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Knowing that there was nothing that he could do, Anthony stared into space whenever Ariana was in the room, wondering what caused Charles to want to finish Ariana off. He wondered if Ariana had cheated. That was the only thing that Anthony could think of, that was not completely farfetched; but with that thought, he had to wonder how even that was possible when it was so blatant that Ariana was wildly in love with Charles. Ariana was at his bedside for at least twelve hours a day, and when she was not, he was sure that she was either at work, sleeping, or at the doctor’s office. The reason that he was having trouble believing that Ariana had cheated was not because he did not know Ariana, but because of the fact that she was always so nice and generous, to him that he could not even begin to comprehend how Charles could even imagine killing her, much less hire someone to carryout the deed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Charles, honey, guess what?” Ariana asked, one day.
Anthony snapped out of his thoughts, and looked at Ariana, so she knew that he was listening to her. Her face was adorned with a huge grin, so he knew that he was about to be presented with good news.

“I know what the baby is going to be,” she began, and then she paused, and frowned.

“You are not going to be ecstatic because you wanted a boy, but… it’s a girl!” she squealed.

Anthony stared at her blankly for a second, before he began crying. He was not only glad that Ariana was getting what she had wanted from Charles, but he thought of Ari, and how she must be alone without him. He wondered whether she was having a boy or a girl. He did not have a preference because he knew that they would always be able to have more. He also began to wonder what would happen, if he were able to stop Ariana from being murdered, by Don Waffle Pancake.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later that day Ariana came back. As she was walking in, Anthony could tell that she was conversing with someone. He at first assumed that it was either a nurse or a doctor, whom was directly linked to his upcoming surgery. When Ariana arrived at his bed, she whispered something to the person next to her. Anthony knew that he recognized the scent of the mystery woman, but he knew that it could never be the woman that he thought it was. He almost had a heart attack when Ariana told him who it was.

“Charles, honey, this is my client, Ari Romney. Her husband was killed in the same plane crash that you were in,” Ariana announced.

Anthony turned, as much as he could, and looked his wife in the eyes for the first time in a long time. He could tell that though her face appeared to be content, even happy; that she was grieving and lonely, just by the look in her eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes had so much pain and sadness in them, it made his heart ache.

The next thing that he did was begin noting everything about her appearance. She was wearing one of his favorite outfits; the blue of the shirt complemented the color of her eyes, and the plaid skirt was just long enough to be deemed acceptable; with her hair pulled back, and her black framed glasses on, instead of her contacts, she looked like a schoolgirl. One thing that he noted about her appearance was the subtle bump that was forming on her belly. Only those that were close to her and saw her daily would be able to notice that it was not what she normally looked like. He looked at how she appeared to be carrying, and since it appeared that she had gained more weight in the hips and thighs than her belly; he decided that they were having a girl.  Though knowing that there was no way to know for sure with out a doctor. He was surprised when Ari came and stood directly over him.

“Charles, I am so sorry about what happened to you. You don’t know who I am, but my husband was shot while aboard the plane, then the woman whom I thought was my friend carried him out, so that I could see her spite. She was the one who set up the bomb, and then activated it by shooting the place where it was stored, right next to you. I am so sorry that she caused you so much pain, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and her, and… and…” Ari trailed off, beginning to cry.

He wanted so badly to comfort her, but the most that he was able to do was attempt to give her a hug. He did not achieve that very well because his arms were still constricted by the casts, and he was unable to lean towards her; but both Ari and Ariana understood the gesture. So Ari looked at Ariana and Ariana nodded her approval to the silent question that Ari had asked her. Anthony was surprised when Ari leaned down and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He felt the tears land on his face, and when he saw her close up he noticed a solemn look to her face. Her eyes no longer had their normal exuberance; instead they had dark bags under them. This was something that had irked her about her appearance when they first got married so Anthony decided to make it so that she had cream to treat her mild bags, but never before had he seen anyone with ones that were so dark and prominent. She must have went for weeks without sleep and was grieving on top of that, so the cream could only do so much, and obviously she needed some other help. Within her eyes her was able to see the intensity of the grief that he could only have guessed from a distance. He gave Ari one last look as she stood back up.

Ari walked over to Ariana and gave her a hug, before she left the hospital never to return again, because it tore her heart in half every second she spent in the company of Charles; the only logical reason to this was his resemblance to Anthony. He even had the thin scar on his right cheek, directly below his eye. Ari did not know how it was possible for someone to look that close to Anthony, but she let it slide, because she realized that she was at home, but for some odd reason her front door was unlocked and the television set was playing; but the dogs were no where to be found. She distinctly remembered letting in the dogs, turning off the television, and then locking the door on her way out that morning.
After only a few days of therapy, Ari began to feel better. She managed to stop spending her days wallowing in misery, but instead she went shopping for school supplies. Since the teachers were allowed back into the school to set up their rooms, Ari had access to all of her lesson plans, which she took home, to use as guides to make her new ones. She had everything organized in her classroom because she was trying to distract herself, and she had begun to help other organize theirs. If she was not helping, she was socializing with her former high school teachers, whom she now taught beside. Some of her favorites had either retired or were close to retiring, but she still had contact with everyone because of the friendships she had developed. Though her days were full; her grief was still locked inside her heart, slowly eating away at her.

Most people at the school had either went to Anthony’s funeral, or sent her sympathy cards and gifts. The only ones who were oblivious to her grief and tragedy were one that were either out of the country at the time, or utterly apathetic to what was happening to her. Ari was not happy with this because most people were walking on pins and needles around her. The only exceptions were those who were her closest friends and colleagues. Because of this she spent most of her time with those seven selected individuals, even though only one of them was in her department.

On Friday, Ari decided to treat those select colleagues to lunch. She smiled as they all got into her former science teacher’s van; when she realized that every single person there was a former teacher of hers. Her science teacher was like a father to her, while she was in school and even after she had graduated high school she still saw him frequently because of her little brother and his son were the same age, he was her inspiration, and without him she might have went into teaching history or art, but never into biology and anatomy. It was while one of her former art teacher was talking about the upcoming Focus Show, that Ari decided that it was time that she began to tell people her exciting yet terrifying secret, beginning with those seven individuals in the car.

After a twenty-three-minute drive, they arrived at the restaurant, and were seated at a large table in a private room that Ari had reserved for the occasion. After everyone was comfortable and had given the waiter his or her orders, Ari cleared her throat and tried to get everybody’s attention.

“Everybody, can I have your attention please? I have an announcement to make,” she said, but only her science teacher stopped his conversation with Mr. Takanowa, one of her history teachers, and gave her his attention.
Ari sighed, and looked at Mikey: the nickname that Inari and her had given him years previously. Mikey interpreted the sigh and the look correctly and stood up.

“Everybody, Ari has an important announcement to make. Can you give her your attention for a few minutes?” he said, causing everyone to stop what he or she were saying and look at Ari, giving her their undivided attention.

“Thanks Mikey,” Ari whispered while she stood up, Mikey nodded as his way of saying ‘your welcome’.

“As all of your are aware, this summer Anthony was killed in a plane crash, and my friend was charged with murder of the first degree.” Ari began.

“But this is not meant to be a pity speech, I merely am using that as a precursor for my real announcement. Which I hope that you all find as wonderful as I do.”

She paused and tears involuntarily began running down her cheeks.

“Anthony left me a final gift that only two other people are aware of. I am pregnant. And before you ask, I am about nine weeks along, give or take a few days.”
There was a long silence, as if it was taking awhile for everyone to imbibe the information. The first person to say anything was Kisa, Ari’s old art teacher, well one of the three that she worked with.

“Oh, Ari, honey, that’s fantastic. I cannot wait. If you ever need any help with the baby or shopping for the baby before it is born, I will help you. I will be, its grandma.” She said as she smiled.

The fine lines precisely etched in her face deepened, making her aging blatant. Ari went over to Kisa, and gave her a hug. Kisa allowed Ari to cry on her shoulder for a minute, before Ari said something.

“Thank you so much Kisa,” Ari was finally able to say, once she had calmed down.
During that time everyone else got up and joined the two women, who were standing at the edge of the room. Kisa seemed to have been the one to break the ice for everybody else.

“Ari, this is wonderful! If you ever need advice from one single mother, even if it is only part time, to another, call me” Wanda, another former art teacher told her, as she gave Ari a hug.

“Or if you ever need a night out, my son, and I can baby-sit,” Kairi her last former art teacher told her.

She gave Ari a quick hug and then; Kisa, Kairi, and Wanda went into the other corner of the room, and began rapidly discussing something.

“Dear that is wonderful, and your baby can marry one of my twins and be best friends with the other, since they are only a few years older.” Brittney said.
She had never actually been one of Ari’s teachers, but had taught Spanish and was friends with her uncle.

“Ari, I am so happy for you. Which you know is near impossible, since I do not have emotions,” Mr. Asaki, her former history teacher said, grinning as he gave her a hug.

“Whatever you do, do NOT take the League of Nations approach and appease the child. Do not give it that king sized Snickers bar. And do not worry I will love your child, because I will help train it so that it becomes mature at a young age, and before I have it,” Mr. Takanowa said, patting Ari on the shoulder, then giving in to the look on her face and giving her a hug.

He then returned to his seat while conversing with Mr. Asaki. The last person to speak was the one that ended up touching Ari the most.

“Ari I am so glad that you listened to me, and waited until after you graduated college and found a nice job, and husband. I am also going to tell you something very important,” Mikey said, placing his arm around Ari’s shoulders.

“I will be this baby’s fatherly figure. Almost all of my children are out of the house, and I almost never get to see my grandchildren; so I am going to adopt your baby as my grandchild. You were always like a daughter to me anyways. But also before you argue, I am putting my foot down, on this one. You are not going to tell me know. Every child should have an adult male in their lives, to teach them what their mother cannot. If you try to object, I will put you in a headlock.”

Ari wrapped her arms around Mikey, and began crying again. She was so overwhelmed with emotions, not just for him, but for every person in the room. She had been weary telling people but knew at that moment that she had made the right decision. Mikey wrapped his arms around her, and was trying to comfort her.

“Shhhh… Ari it’s okay, you’re okay… don’t cry… everything is going to be okay… trust me.” He whispered, exactly the way a father would comfort his crying daughter.
This act depicted exactly how Mikey felt about Ari.

“Daddy,” Ari sniffled. “I was not going to argue. You have always been like a dad to me. I would have it no other way than for you to be its grandpa. I will keep you posted on its progress too. I’ll even bring you in all of the ultrasound pictures, since that is your field anyways. Just like any blood work will be copied and given to you.”

Before anything else could be said, the waiters brought in the food. Ari returned to her seat next to Mikey. During the meal, Ari was talking vividly with Mikey, about possible baby names. Ari felt wonderful as she got back into the front seat of Mikey’s van. She was finally freed of the guilt she had felt before, and was only feeling hope and anticipation; even the depression and grief was being outweighed.

When they had returned to school, everyone got out, still conversing with each other. It was Kisa who first noticed the woman standing outside of the school, knitting a light pink scarf.

“Ari, isn’t that Ariana? Your lawyer?” Kisa asked Ari.

Ari looked up, and saw the woman who was indeed her lawyer; and instantly began walking faster than the rest of the group.

“Good afternoon, Ari,” Ariana said.

Ari waved, and stopped next to the lawyer.

“I am here about the court case. We have a major conflict with the date of the trial, so I need to know if you would be okay with a date change,” Ari inquired.  

“I am fine with that,” Ari said. “Might I ask why?”

“My husband, Charles, is set to have surgery on his chest that day, to try and remove something that was recently discovered, and naturally I really want to be there in case something were to go wrong.”


“What is in his chest?”

“I am not sure, but he got the bad end of the plane crash. He survived, but is badly burned and injured.”

“I want to go and see him,” Ari decided, and Ariana nodded her approval.
No Title Yet- Chapter 8
this is my favorite chapter, and i hope that you enjoy it as much as i did writing..


LINKS:
Chapter 1- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 2- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 3- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 4- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 5- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 6- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 7- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 8- You are currently reading.
Chapter 9- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 10- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 11- elricbros123.deviantart.com/ar…
Chapter 12- in progress
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  • Mood: Yearning
  • Listening to: 90s Music
  • Reading: Nothing Much
  • Watching: Life Fly By
  • Playing: The Sims
  • Eating: White Chicken Enchiladas
  • Drinking: Extra Sweet Tea
Life has been all sorts of messed up for me lately. I don't know what I am going to do, but what I do know is that.

What I do know is that I love the Sims game because it allows me to control life and have things go more the way that I want it to go. But I guess that if life was like that for real, when things do go right, it wouldn't be as special. 


I know that life is going this way for a reason and I know that in the end what is meant to be will be, and there is nothing that I can do about it, I just hope that things don't end up negative for me.  I'm being cryptic I know but if anyone actually reads this anyways, too bad. 


I think that I am going to look into buying a house, if I can get the loan that is. I mean the worst that can happen is that I can't get one. Idk. I just want something nice in my life again, I mean my little brother just got a really nice car, and I just have nothing. The only thing that I have is that I don't live with my parents. I don't know...


I am going to start working on some more art work. Mostly writing I think taking the things that are in my life and using some as inspiration for short stories will be good. Maybe they'll even be good.

deviantID

elricbros123
Becca
United States
Current Residence: I basically live at my work. I'm not gonna lie I think I spend more time there than I do at home.
Favourite genre of music: Depends on my mood
Favourite style of art: I don't know... I like what I like you know?
Operating System: My beautiful MacBook Pro, and it's OSX 10.7.3
MP3 player of choice: that would be my iPhone
Wallpaper of choice: Depends on Where it is.


Basically I am a college student who also happens to be a workaholic, and loves her job, though she hates it at the same time. But she has a creative side to her, though it rarely gets a chance to show. And yeah I'm really far behind on story and art updates....
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ac2377 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank You very much for the fave, I really appreciate it!:blowkiss:
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Thank you so much for the fav :iconmuahplz: means a ton :icondojimathumbsupplz:
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Thanks for the fave!
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THX 4 THE WATCHHHHHHHHHH =D
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Thank you sooo much for the fave!!! :D :hug:
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neverstopswatching Featured By Owner May 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for the watch!~ ^^
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thanks so much for the watch :D
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Thanks for the faves!
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Thks for the watch :D i love you XD
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thanks for the fav but the new deviations are in :iconsevmd:
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