"Rob, I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure it's too early in the pregnancy to hear anything."
"Nonsense... Oh! I think I heard something!"
"Probably me digesting breakfast, you goon. Don't you have work today?"
Robert sighed. "Can't I just stay home with my beautiful pregnant wife..."
"I'm immune to your charm Mr. Dennis."
"If you were immune to my charm, you wouldn't be pregnant right now."
Mya slapped him playfully on the shoulder. "Go get ready!"
When Robert returned, he could tell his wife was anxious. Ever since she started showing, Mya had been acting... vacant; almost as if she was lost in a fearful thought that she was too apprehensive to share with him. He knew what this was about, her own experience with her mother, but he didn't want to bring it up himself. When she was ready to talk, she would.
"You'll be all right, babe? While I'm at work?"
"I'll be fine. I'll just... do some things around the house. You know, society's idea of 'wife duties'" Mya smiled, knowing full-well that Robert was concerned.
"Ha... right. Well call if you need anything." Robert offered. She may not want to talk about it now, but she will at least know that he will be there for her when she is ready.
"I love you Rob. The award for best husband is undoubtedly meant for you."
"I do what I can. And I love you too."
Once Mya was alone, she had time to let her thoughts take control. She knew this would happen someday, that she and Rob would decide to have children of their own... and she would be plagued by the memory of her mother, or the hazy memories she still had.
Her clearest recollection was the day her mother disappeared.
For her sixth birthday, she was given a used bike. She had decided to learn to ride it by herself one morning before her mother went to her job as a waitress. Not fully paying attention, Mya had fallen in the front yard and skinned her knee. Her mother had taken time out of her busy morning schedule to bandage her knee, telling her soothingly "all wounds heal Mya. Remember that." She kissed Mya goodbye... and that was the last time her daughter ever saw her.
They were having severe financial trouble at the time, and because her mother could neither land a stable job with her lack of education nor rely on Mya's father, they were forced to live with some family friends just outside Bridgeport. When word spread that her mother was most likely dead (and having no relatives that could take care of her), Mya became a ward of the state... living in an orphanage until she was 18.
That's the thought that scared her the most; that something horrible would happen to her and her children would only have hazy memories of what she looked like. Only have faint remembrances of embraces, flowery perfume, soft hands bandaging their wounds...
And as she watched her belly grow, the fear became stronger. She obviously never blamed her mother for her demise, but she was angry it had to happen to her family... to her mother.
"How come this wound won't heal, mother?" thought Mya aloud as she rubbed her belly. But she knew the answer, it was because she couldn't let it go. She couldn't move on.
Standing there, feeling her child inside her, snapped her out of it. She had to move on, for the sake of her child. The longer she let this wound fester, the more detrimental it would become.
Mya was finally ready to let the healing process begin.
When Robert returned home from work, he found dinner ready and a somewhat jovial Mya eating at the dinner table.
"I take it your so-called 'wife duties' went well?"
"They went splendidly. I managed to break our washer... again." Mya teased. "Listen, I want to apologize for acting so... off lately. It's just, having a child has made me... face my past in ways I wasn't exactly expecting."
"Never apologize for that Mya. You had a rough past... just next time, please talk to me about it."
Laying together later that night, Robert could feel the kicking of his child and knew that he or she was coming soon.
"I just hope we're ready for you." Rob smiled, "who am I kidding? We'll never be able to handle our little monster."
And with that, one Dennis fell asleep knowing that her mother's memory could finally be put to rest to make room for the future... while the second Dennis fell asleep dreaming of a daughter.
Angsty chapter is angsty.
I wasn't expecting this chapter to be so Mya-centric (in fact I had a nice little background set up for Robert), but since *SPOILER ALERT* they end up having a daughter, I thought Mya's past was a bit more poignant. Plus, Robert just has a boring run-of-the-mill childhood, happy family and all. :)
In case anyone is wondering, Robert is officially at level four of his career (Caper Crusader I think is the name of it) and Mya is at level eight with her logic (still at level two [Teacher's Aide] since she obviously can't go to work right now). I wanted to focus more on the story than the gameplay aspects (leveling and such)... but we'll see how long that will last once my well of creativity begins to run dry.
Also, I'm in love with the coward trait.
You get some epic faces, like this:
Oh Mya... why you so scared of everything?!