The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to feel like my life is secretly part of some awful melodrama. I mean, think about it.
A guy who never knew his real Vater, in love with a girl he met at summer camp, about to become a Papa and a big Bruder at the same time… Oh, and let’s not forget that my Mama and my girlfriend’s Papa hate each other. Or that her Mama can’t stand me.
The only thing missing is for Stefan to be my identical, evil twin. Then we could totally be a plotline on one of those godawful soap operas vovó loves to watch.
And I know I’m joking about it and stuff, but… It’s really getting to the point where I wonder how much more of this I can take. Lettie and I have really been having a hard time with all this… And all the drama going on in our families isn’t helping. At all.
Especially when we have bigger things to worry about.
Like what the Hell is going to happen to us in about three months… When we become parents, and our lives as we know them officially come to an end.
We’ve both been talking about it a lot… Trying to figure out how the Hell we’re going to do this without losing our fucking minds…
Or losing each other.
The stress has really been getting to both of us… And, to be honest, I’ve kinda been starting to freak out about it.
Until today, I guess.
But it’s kind of a long story.
It started out as pretty ordinary, really. It’s a Saturday, so we were pretty much just hanging out around the house most of the day. Except grandpa. He was off speaking at some convention all morning – he’s been doing that a lot lately, actually. Guess that’s what happens when you’re editor-in-chief of one of the most popular newspapers in Europe, huh?
And when he came back home, he wasn’t alone. It’s not the first time he’s brought a friend from work over for dinner… So it wasn’t anything special. But this lady seemed pretty nice. She had a really kind face, y’know? Familiar, almost. Or at least, one of those faces that felt that way.
I guess she’s some hot-shot American journalist or something. They met each other this morning, and they got along so well that he ended up inviting her over for dinner. Can you believe it? She flew all the way to Windenburg just for that dumb conference. I mean, she DID mention she knows some people here in the city too… But still. That’s a damn long way to travel just for a weekend.
Anyway, grandpa definitely seemed excited to be talking to her… And I couldn’t really tell if it was because she was such a big fan of his book (she told some story about her cousin getting her a signed copy once?) or because he finally had someone he could talk to in English for a change.
They were talking SO fast that it was really hard to keep up. And poor Colette’s English is even worse than mine, so she was pretty lost the whole time. But this lady – Nora– she must have noticed or something, because she slowed down all of a sudden, and started talking to us, too.
And that’s when things got interesting.
I mentioned how much I’m into sports, and she told me her brother Josh used to be a pro baseball player. (The Willow Creek Ravens, I think it was? It sounded kinda familiar. I’ll have to dig out some of my old baseball cards later). Then grandpa started asking her about the rest of her family…
And that’s when she mentioned she had a son, named Caleb.
And that she had him when she was just 16.
I couldn’t believe it. And when I leaned over and whispered in Colette’s ear what Nora had said, neither could she.
I’ll never forget it – it was the first English I’d ever heard Colette speak. And, to be honest, I couldn’t help but have a hard time believing it myself. This woman was so happy. So normal. So successful. But… how?
At first, she just smiled and nodded at us.
But after dinner, when she was getting ready to leave, she kinda pulled us aside. Must not have been too hard for her to figure out what was going on… I guess she must have felt bad for us or something.
And, I’ve gotta admit, I was kinda rolling my eyes wondering what kind of weird lecture we were gonna get.
But what she said to us… It changed everything.
“You will be great parents.”
And it really sounded like she meant it, too.
It seems so simple, but… It’s the first time anyone has said that to us since this whole mess started. And I didn’t realize until now just how much I needed to hear it. I think we both did.
But Nora didn’t stop there.
She told us all about how hard it was back when she had her son… How she pushed away her family’s help, and felt like she’d have to give up everything she’d always dreamed of…
But she didn’t. And neither will we, she said. I’ll never forget it.
“You’re not alone. You have your family, and you have each other. You can do this.”
And you know what? I think I believed her.
Then she gave both of us a hug, thanked grandpa again, and just like that, she was gone. I didn’t even get to really thank her, or tell her how much her advice meant to me.
I’ve been sitting up all night thinking about what she said. It’s like it’s been replaying over and over again in my head or something. And for the very first time, when I think about becoming a Vater… I’m not dreading it.
Not completely, at least.
So you see what I mean about this soap opera thing?
I mean, a chance encounter with a total stranger who gives life-changing advice and then disappears?
Definitely calling the writers of Days of Our Lives about this one.
Note: This chapter featured the lovely Nora Yuen from Joie Wilder’s Thoreau Legacy! 🙂 Joie was kind enough to create an older version of her for me so that she could make an appearance in this chapter. ^_^
If you do not already read her legacy, I seriously recommend it. It’s wonderful and full of amazing characters and drama. If you enjoy dramatic legacies (which I’m assuming you do if you’re reading this? 😛 ) then you will love hers, I promise!