Caring Christopher

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#79 Epilogue: Miracles are real after all

Five years after the wedding

Christopher

Abby has been crying for two days straight, and I have no idea how to help her. She doesn’t get out of bed, doesn’t eat, doesn’t drink, doesn’t even sleep much. All she does is cry. This isn’t the Abby I’ve known and loved for six years now, and it breaks my heart to see my wife like this.

For the first time in years, she’s the mess and I’m the rock, instead of the other way around. I’m hurting too, but not like her.

A year ago, we agreed to foster a little girl. A cute little baby called Sophia. She rapidly started to feel like our daughter, and our four kids all loved her. We knew we needed to be careful, because most foster kids don’t end up being adopted. They go back to their biological family eventually. We got lucky with Jagger, Yoah, Davy, and Alana. We got to keep our three foster boys, and adopted the cutest little angel, but with Sophia, we weren’t so lucky.

Two days ago, we had to hand her over to her birth mother, who got out of jail a few months ago, completed rehab, found a job, and is now stable and ready to take care of her daughter again. It hit all of us hard, but it hurt Abby the hardest. So hard that I’m starting to get a little scared by it.

“Still?” Jagger asks, slumping down next to me on the couch, petting Titus, who has his head in my lap.

“Still,” I confirm, pulling a hand over my face.

The other two boys are at school, but Jagger took some time off from work this week to help out with the kids, since Abby isn’t up for it and I have to work, of course. This is my only day off this whole week. Sometimes I wish I had a less demanding job, even though I still love what I do.

Jagger doesn’t live with us anymore, but he comes over all the time. He went to college after high school, but he dropped out after only a year and got a job at a catering company. He stayed with us for a while back then, saving up for his own place. When he had enough money to rent something, Abby and I bought him a small apartment nearby and told him to use his money for furniture. Instead, he bought an engagement ring and proposed to Celeste. They’ve been married for a while now, but I don’t think things are going well between them, to be completely honest. We all love the girl, but she seems off lately. Jagger does all he can to support her, and he tries to hide his pain from us, but he’s not doing a very good job.

I had high hopes for him, I still do, and it’s hard to see my son struggling, but there’s nothing I can do about it. He needs to find his own path, and I’m sure he will. It took me 45 years – hopefully, my oldest son won’t take that long to find his happiness, but I know he will one day.

“Chris!” Abby yells, startling the both of us. “Chris!”

Jagger and I race upstairs, and we burst into the bedroom to see Abby sitting in the middle of the bed, looking down at something in her hands. She’s no longer crying, her eyes alight for the first time in a week.

“Oh my God,” she whispers, clutching whatever she’s holding so tightly her knuckles turn white. “Oh my God!”

“Are you okay, Mom?” Jagger asks, sitting on the edge of the bed and putting a hand on her knee.

“Yes,” she says, her voice stronger than it’s been in a while. “Better than ever.”

I scoot onto the bed and pull her fingers away from the white stick in her hands, gasping when I realize what it is. There are two blue stripes in the small glass window.

“You’re pregnant,” I breathe, unable to believe this is happening.

After ten surgeries, two clinical trials, and four different kind of fertility treatments, we’d given up. We gave up around the same time Sophia came into our life, filling the hole that the loss of our dream of having a biological child left in our hearts. That’s why it hit Abby so hard when Sophia left us, I think.

And now…

“I’m pregnant,” Abby says, pulling me against her. “Oh my God, no wonder I’m such an emotional mess! I’m pregnant!”

“Well thank fuck,” Jagger says, laughing. “I was ready to check you into an asylum for the mentally unstable. In case you forgot, Chris is the crybaby around here, not you.”

“How far along are you?” I ask, even though I know she can’t possibly know that.

“Hell if I know, my periods are few and far between,” she says, shaking her head. “Call Dr. Gio. I’m going in. Today. I need to know right now if this is for real.”

Right. It might be a false positive, after all. We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

Of course, I’m already imagining a cute little girl with blonde curls and green eyes.

***

Abigail

The miracle of giving birth hurt even more than I though it would. It fucking sucks. Celeste was a champ for going through it at such a young age. It feels like my lower regions will never be the same again.

In fact, my entire pregnancy was a nightmare. With my Jigsaw uterus, it was a high-risk pregnancy and I had to go into the hospital every two weeks for scans and check-ups. I was on bedrest the last two months, and my round ligament pains were off the charge throughout the whole pregnancy, making it impossible for me to get comfortable, or have a normal night of sleep. I’ve been throwing up for nine months straight. It felt like my body wasn’t meant to have a child. I was scared of losing our baby every single day since finding out I was pregnant.

Of course, it was all worth it. Our little miracle baby.

We named her Adele, after my mother, who died a few months ago. It was time for her, and she went peacefully in her sleep. This way it feels like she gets to live on in our daughter.

“We’re here!” Brittany yells when Chris lets her in, and she runs straight to the bedroom, where I am nursing Adele.

“Oh my God, she’s even prettier than she looked in the pictures you sent,” Britty says, settling in beside me and watching me feed my baby with a look of utter love on her face. “She looks just like Chris. Look at those blonde curls! So pretty!”

Britty is right. Our baby girl Adele looks like my husband when it comes to her hairdo, exactly like I hoped and dreamed she would. And she’s got my eyes, green and wide, looking around in wonder. She is perfect. And I made her. We made her. I grew her in my belly even though we thought I’d never be able to.

Jaxon steps in after a moment, hand in hand with his 5-year-old son Theo, who was named after his father Theodore. Unlike my mother Adele, Theodore is still alive, and proud as hell to have a grandchild named after him.

“Where’s Meredith?” I ask, noticing Britt and Jax don’t have their youngest child with them.

Before either of them can answer, Chris steps in with 15-month-old Meredith, who is giggling over something in his arms. He’s got our 4-year-old daughter Alana wrapped around his leg, ordering him to walk faster.

“Okay, little troublemaker,” Jagger says, stepping into the room and grabbing Alana around her waist, throwing her up in the air. “Let’s go outside to play.” He winks at me and takes off with his sister wrapped around his leg now, pretending that she’s the heaviest girl in the world, huffing and puffing while he drags her down the hall.

Chris and I now have five kids, one of them married already – although not happily, or so it seems, which breaks my heart – and the youngest in my arms, only a week old.

Life gave me my fair share of lemons, but Chris and I turned them into the most delicious sugary lemonade ever.

THE END

***

This the very last epilogue, and that means it’s the last chapter of Chris’ and Abby’s story. I know a lot of you were rooting for a miracle baby. And… you’re welcome! I wasn’t sure which way I was going to go, but in the end, I decided that while them not getting one might be more realistic, this is fiction, and they deserve to have the family they’ve always wanted, including a little girl with blonde curls.

Thank you for sticking with me through it all!

I hope you’re not too mad for hinting at Jagger and Celeste not getting the life they’ve always wanted. Jagger has his own book... “Jealous Jagger”. Wait and see, I have lots of things planned for him. Wicked curveballs and a lovely happy end to wrap up his part of the story.

Check out the next book in the series!

***

The Sweet Caroline series consists of many books.

FIRST GENERATION: 1. Sweet Caroline // 2. Slutty Shaughna // 3. Eager Annabel // 4. Feisty Francesca // 5. Twisted Thomas // 6. Chef Quiroz // 7. Caring Christopher

NEXT GENERATION: 1. Blooming Rose // 2. Jealous Jagger // 3. Needy Nia // 4. Guarded Marcus // 5. Charming Creed // 6. Thompson Twins

Oh, and don’t forget to comment on this chapter, to hit the like button, and leave a review if you feel like it. I love to hear from readers!

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