Rhivera

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~Chapter Twenty- Ilyana & Juaquin~

~Chapter Twenty~

~Juaquin~

I wake with Ilyana’s head resting on my chest. Her breathing is light, she’s still asleep. Lately I’ve been staying at Ilyana’s apartment on workdays to keep from rousing suspicions from mom. If she caught me staying home, recovering from injuries, she’d know that I’m still a soldier.

Ilyana’s home is pretty modest, only the bare essentials. Not even a TV. She’d rather be outdoors like me. There’s a blue suitcase sitting on her drawers, holding her own azure Survival suit that she was gifted. She’d be safe from now on. The chest of the suit bore an insignia indicating her rank as Lieutenant.

Ilyana shifts her body and gives me a sleepy smile. My lips meet hers for a moment and she kisses me back. She puts a shirt on and heads into the bathroom, ready to begin her day. I can hear Ilyana humming to herself from the bathroom. I can’t help but feel happy. It feels like we’re supposed to be together.

When I was a kid, I used to think Melissa and I would end up together, but I have to admit Melissa and Arturo are better for each other. The two are inseparable. I haven’t seen either of them in a while though. I know Melissa dropped by the house recently but I missed her. Eugenio made it sound like she told him and Mom something, but he wouldn’t tell me what.

Ilyana’s humming ceases. I sit up in bed and dress myself. Ilyana steps out of the bathroom with a distraught look on her face.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

Her eyes meet mine. She looks confused but also a little angry, “We’ve been so careless.”

“What’s wrong?”

Her lip quivers when she tries to speak, “I took a pregnancy test. It came up positive.”

I tense up. “You’re pregnant?”

Ilyana silently nods her head, unable to look at me. I can feel my heartbeat quicken as I sit beside her.

I’m not ready to be a dad. Not really. I don’t know the first thing about raising a kid... But... I don’t think my dad did either. He had me when he was 20; that’s not much older than I am now. He was able to take care of me while working in the military too. I can try. If there’s anyone I’d want to have a child with, it’d be her.

I put my arm around Ilyana, “I’ll do everything I can to take care of them.”

Ilyana suddenly stands away from me and looks at me with an enraged look. I’m not sure what I did wrong. “We can’t keep it! I’ll get an abortion as soon as I can.”

“What!?” I say astounded, “You don’t have to do that!”

“I’m not going to be like my parents!” Ilyana yells, “I’m not going to curse a kid to a hard life like they did.”

“We don’t have to do that!” I respond exasperated, “My parents weren’t ready when they had me, and they made it work out.”

“I’m not willing to gamble the kid’s life on whether we’ll figure things out or not.” Ilyana answers, surprisingly viciously.

“Don’t I have a say in this?” I ask, trying to stay calm.

“There’s a rebellion going on, Juaquin! No kid should have to grow up in this!” She snaps intensely, “If I’m going to have a kid, it’ll be when I’m sure I can give them a good life. Not before.”

She’s... She’s right.

I hesitantly nod to her. “Okay.”

Ilyana begins to simmer down, “I’m sorry for acting like that.”

“No-no. You’re right. It wouldn’t be best for the kid.”

“We’ll just have to be more careful from now on, okay?” She says with a nervous smile.

I laugh a little, “Of course. Of course.”

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