That was the story until I was three-years-old. And Dr. J was right, it worked. For 15 years we were a happy family, mom took over the bakery and made a business all by herself.
Auntie Lizzie and Uncle Jim, are so proud of her. They are like always, only a phone call away. Even now, grand-pops doesn’t work at the university anymore as he retired when I was ten. Nanna can’t sit still, just like we’ve always known her and helps mom at the original bakery.
Mom got what she wanted, a brand from of the little bakery auntie Lizzie started. And that’s what the brand is called.
Like literally, ‘Little bakery.’
She has about 50 of them all over the states, but they are all in small buildings. Because in her opinion that’s the only way to guarantee quality. And I must say she is right, I tried more than one of them and they are all good in a different way. That’s also the reason the concept is doing so good. All bakers can add stuff to the original menu with mom’s approval, making it work.
Dad, well he and I are like two peas in a pot. We do everything together and like every great dad he does the same things with the twins. Our dad and us, all have “our thing”. A lot of my friends their dads or moms only have a thing with one of their kids. My dad wants to have a thing with all of us, and we do. He makes sure we do.
Owen and dad's things are cars and football. I don’t understand why cars are so fascinating for them, but they can talk hours about it. Nora and dad’s thing is debating. They can debate on everything, even freaking water. Like what on earth. Water is water, right?
Well, after a two hour debate I learned that it’s not...
And then there is me, Dad and mine thing is science. Ever since I got sick, we have been looking at new developments and trying them out. Like we have our little science lab. I’m still obsessed with ladybugs, and I’m hoping to make some kind of career out of it.
But ever since I got sick, I had to go back twice a year for a check-up. Poppa was right, Jasmine is frantic on those appointments.
The check-up is always the same. A pet-scan, blood check and a full physical. For not one of those appointments was I worried or scared about the results because I knew everything was fine. But at the last appointment I had to ask Dr.Jasmine something. I just had to ask her, I was going to be 18 soon and my life was about to start.
So a week ago, I gathered all the courage I have and asked her.
"Everything looks fine, Livvy." Dr. Jasmine states with a smile.
"Just like always."
I feel safe with her, she found the cancer. She treated the cancer and has treated me like I was family from day one.
"Dr. Jasmine, I have a question." She squints her eyebrows and looks wary at me. I never asked a lot after the tests were done. Most of the time I was just curious about all the medical stuff.
"What is it honey?" Taking a deep breath, here I go.
"I read and I know that it’s true. But what are my chances on getting pregnant? What I want to know is, am I still fertile?" She swallows deeply as she closes her eyes.
"Chemo does have an effect on your ability to have kids, I haven’t done any tests on you. But if you want I’ll do them right now. Then we can take it from there."
If I have learned anything from the hours and hours of research, the experimenting, it’s that you should always wait for the tests results. Nothing is certain until you’ve seen the results.
Within the hour we had the results. Jasmine looks at them and her eyes widen. She shakes her head and looks again, but it takes too long.
I snatch the papers out of her hands and start to read the results. I might be 18 but with all the tests they've been doing on me, I can read almost all the tests.
"Oh my God, I’m practically infertile." I state blankly looking at the test-results.
"No, you are not. But if you want to have kids. Then we have to act now."
"I can’t have a kid on 18. And if I wait I’ll never have kids." I tell her, holding back my tears that I feel are on the verge of breaking through.
I’m like my mom in that way, I always wanted kids. I find them facinating, but I don’t want them now. I want to get married and have a career...
"I can harvest your eggs, we’ll inseminate them, creating an embryo in a way. That way you have a higher chance on getting pregnant and have a child when you are ready."
Wow, is that even possible? It would be great if that were a possibility. But then it hit me...
"Wait, who says my then husband will like the fact that I have a child with someone else?" I mumble out loud. But Jasmine just laughs.
"You have been together with Andrew for 4 years. He’ll understand and it could be him."
Andrew? But Andrew doesn’t even know about my cancer. He doesn’t know, just like none of my friends know. I didn’t want them to know. I didn’t want to change the way they look at me, the way he looks at me.
"You should tell him." Mom says snapping me out of my daydream. Placing my head on the table with a smack.
"He’ll hate me for this." Dad starts laughing. The same eyes I have completely light up as he laughs at my statement.
"That boy loves you more than life itself, baby girl." He states.
"Sure, I just tell him. "Hi, I know we’ve only had sex like 2 times, but would you like to donate your sperm? So, I could have babies in the future?” Like really dad, he’ll love that." I snap at him smacking my head once again on the table.
"OLIVIA ROSE BROWN! YOU’VE HAD SEX?" Dad yells at me, but mom just shrieks and is doing a happy dance.
"She’s 18, I had her on that age. Don’t be so old school, mr. I wanna have sex with a 16 year old." Gagging at her words I hear the front door open and my boyfriend appears quickly by my side.
"Hey babe." He says giving me a peck on the lips.
"You’re lucky, I trust you." Dad says in a wary tone, pointing his finger at Andrew as he tries to be serious. Mom smacks him on the back of his head, warning him to act normal.
"Why did you tell him?" Andrew asks me.
"Okay, we’ll give you guys some space and yes, I’ll tell the twins to stay out of the kitchen." Mom finishes before I can even ask her to do so.
That's the great thing about mom, she knows the things I need before I even know I'm about to ask them.
Both of them walk out of the kitchen, or better mom pushes dad forward as he gives Andrew the sign of “I’m watching you” over and over again.
"What’s going on, Liv?" Andrew asks me in a worried tone, knowing that my parents wouldn’t do that if this wasn’t supposed to be a private conversation.
"I need to tell you something." I tell him looking from his blue eyes to my fingers. Fidgeting with my fingers because I’m nervous as hell. He places his hands on mine, letting me know that I shouldn’t worry.
‘Liv, what’s happening? Did I do something?’ I shake my head.
"No, but I did." I tell him honestly, his eyes become teary.
"What did you do?"
"I lied about something, or I just didn’t tell you something. Depends on how you look at it really." I tell him with a laugh.
"Who? Who was it?" I snap my head at him.
"Who was what? What are you talking about?" I ask him.
"Who did you kiss or sleep with? That could be the only thing that is bad enough that your parents left the room." I shake my head.
"No, no, no! I didn’t cheat on you. What the hell, Andrew. How could you even think that? Don’t you trust me?" I yell at him, mad he’d even ask me this.
"If it’s not that then what is it?" He asks a bit wary.
"I don’t know if I want to tell you, if you don’t trust me why should I trust you with my biggest secret." I snap at him and that must have done it.
"I do trust you, I was just scared. Your parents know everything between us, and about you. So, why would they leave?"
"Because they think this should be coming out of my mouth, as it was my decision to keep it from you and everyone who isn’t family." I tell him honestly.
Looking him in the eye, I know I don’t hold anything but love for him. But does he love me? Does he really, with how he reacted just now?
"Oh." He says looking embarrassed.
"Why would you even think those things?"
"It was Greg." He admits. Of course it was, his best friend who has been trying to rip us apart for as long as we’ve been together.
"He asked me why you were away again during school, like always twice a year."
"And you thought I would cheat on you during those two times that I leave for two days? If I were cheating wouldn’t I be away way more than only two times a year? Really, Andrew....?" I tell him rolling my eyes.
"That does sound more reasonable." He states, ‘But why are you away?’ He asks me.
"That’s what I was going to tell you." I tell him or better snap at him.
"So, that’s the secret? Finally!" He scoots closer to me and takes my hands in his.
"I’m going to trust you with this. I don’t want anyone else to know."
He nods with a happy face. Like he was wondering what this was for all these years.
‘" have doctor appointments twice a year in Sun Peaks." I tell him honestly.
His eyes widen, "Doctor? Is everything okay?" He asks me quickly, checking if I’m okay.
"I’m fine. But there was a time I wasn’t. It was a long time ago." I tell him, hoping it’ll reassuring him. He lets out a relieved breath.
"When I was three, I was diagnosed with lung cancer." I tell him.
The tears now are streaming over my cheeks, remembering all the prodding, the pain...
"Cancer? You had cancer?" He clamps his hand around his mouth, letting mine fall in my lap again.
"Yes, but I’ve been in remission ever since I got the stem cell transplant from the twins." I tell him honestly.
"Why didn’t you tell me?" He asks a bit angry. And I do get it, I should’ve come clean years ago. But I didn’t want to be seen as the cancer girl. And he should respect me for my decision.
"I didn’t want you to look different at me." I tell him. He rolls his eyes.
"Bullshit, Liv. I love you. But why now?"
"Well, I had my check-up last week." I tell him in a small voice.
"Well, I asked my doctor to look into my chances on getting pregnant. Chemo reduces your chances on getting pregnant, but you know I want to be a mom one day." He nods.
"Well, if I don’t harvest my eggs soon. I won’t ever be a mom." I explain to him, trying to say that in one go but I stumble over my words.
"So, what are you waiting for?" He asks me pointing at the door, practically dragging my to it.
"I could do it alone with the eggs, but then my chances are still low. But if the eggs are inseminated and are embryo’s technically speaking, I could be a mom when I’m ready."
He stops in his tracks, "Oh... and how would you want to do that?" He asks me with a tiny voice.
"Well, I hoped you’d be the one to donate but if you don’t want to then I could go with an anonymous donor. I would love it if you’d do it, but...." I tell him, scared to finish my sentence. I look away from him, not wanting to see his reaction
"But what if we aren’t together anymore by then." I nod, not making eye contact with him.
"Bullshit, we’ve been together for years. Even if we didn’t make it, I would love to do this for you. I will always love you, Olivia. Together or not."
If that were only the truth.
We will meet each other again, probably when there is snow in New York.