Gerard’s eyes fluttered open.
“Here.” Alicia handed Monica a dishtowel she’d grabbed from the kitchen and wet with cold water. Monica placed it on Gerard’s forehead.
“Gee, can you hear me?” Monica sounded frantic.
Suddenly Gerard sat up so quickly that Monica didn’t have time to move. Their heads collided.
“Ouch.” Monica cried out as she sat back.
Alicia smiled and left the gazebo.
“Monica, I’m sorry.” Gerard gently touched her forehead.
“I’m okay.” Monica rubbed the spot of impact.
“What the fuck just happened?” He asked. “Whaaaaa.” His mouth snapped shut.
“You fainted.” Monica answered.
Gerard ignored her answer. “Did you say what I think you said?”
Her smile was beautiful. “Yeah.”
“But you can’t be. You told me you couldn’t….”
“Get pregnant?” she finished his sentence.
Gerard nodded, “Yeah.”
“That’s what the doctors told me. They said the miscarriage had left too much scaring.” She got off her knees and sat down crossing her legs Indian style. “Gee, I can’t believe this. I mean I knew something wasn’t right. First I just thought I was going through early menopause. I mean you know how irregular my periods are. Sometimes I wouldn’t have one for months. So when I didn’t have one and I started feeling so bad I got all depressed. But then I started thinking that maybe something was wrong with me. I was scared. I didn’t want to leave you and the kids.”
Gerard shook his head. “Baby, why didn’t you tell me?”
Monica shook her head. “I didn’t want to worry you.”
“Oh, Honey.” He whispered. It broke his heart she'd been afraid she was seriously ill and had kept that fear locked inside.
“And then when I gained some weight that was just like the final straw” She was talking so fast, her face and flush, her eyes shining.
Gerard reached out and put his fingertip to her lips. “Sugar, slow down. Tell me slowly.”
Monica giggled. “Okay I was depressed cause I thought I was getting old. I thought I was going through menopause. So I admitted to Alicia that I wasn’t eating because I was worried because I’m older than you and I didn’t want to be known as your old, fat wife.”
“What? Monica how could you think that?”
She laughed, “Uh, hormones?”
He stroked her face. “So you told Alicia....” He tried to get her to continue the story.
“I told her I’d gained weight. She said it made something in her brain click and she started thinking about everything I’d been saying. To her it sounded like I was pregnant.”
Gerard listened closely. “Okay, so she told you that she thought you might be?”
“Alicia went to the store and bought two home pregnancy tests.” Monica giggled happily. “She said that she knew if I did one test and it came up positive I would just say it was a mistake. So she bought two different kinds.” Monica leaned over and kissed Gerard’s lips. “They both say I’m pregnant.”
Gerard couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was a miracle. “I don’t know what to say.” He admitted.
Monica’s smile faded, “You’re happy aren’t you?”
“Oh God, Monica. Of course I’m happy. I’m fucking ecstatic.” He closed his eyes a moment and whispered, “A baby.” He opened his eyes and she saw the tears.
"So what in the world is everyone staring at?" Kara asked as she and Bob walked out on to the deck. They had just arrived at the same time Luke and Kelly returned. She craned her neck in the direction everyone was looking. "Oh, my Lord. Why are they on the floor?"
Kelly stared out across the yard. "Yeah, what's going on?"
Jamia laughed, "Well, your mom just shared some news with Gee."
"And he fainted like a girl." Frank giggled. "Oh, man. I wish we'd been taping this.
"News?" Kara said slowly. Beside her Bob put his arm around her waist. "What news?"
"Oh my God." Kelly whispered. "She's gonna have a baby."
"She sure is." Christa said happily. "Just like me."
Kara was in shock. "Oh holy crap. Guess those doctors were wrong all these years." She realized she needed to congratulate Christa, which she did before turning to her sister. "So, Psychic Girl, how the hell did you miss that our Mom was pregnant?"
Kelly shook her head, "I don't know. I mean maybe it's because Mom and I have been fighting so much lately." She was saddened to realize all the stress she'd been putting on her mom. "Shit." she whispered.
Luke reached out and took her hand. "Hey don't worry, okay?" He said softly.
"A baby." Kelly said shaking her head. "Kara can you believe it? We're gonna have another brother or sister."
Bob looked over at Kelly and smiled. "So, know which one it will be? A brother or a sister?"
Kelly smiled at her brother-in-law. She closed her eyes a moment and then nodded. She opened them again stared into Kara's, smiling knowingly. "Yeah, I know. But I'm not telling."
There was a collective groan.
"Look here they come." Jamia said. "God, they’re both glowing."
Frank grinned, "Just so you all know. I'm gonna be nice and not kid Gee about fainting. Not today. But tomorrow?" He laughed, "Oh Man."
The rest of the day was perfect. Monica and Gerard's happiness overflowed touching everyone. As the kids played in the sunshine the adults kept a watchful eye on them from the shade of the deck.
"Life is beautiful." Gerard whispered to himself.
It was late in the afternoon when the party started to wind down.
Frank wandered over to where Monica and Gerard where sitting, holding hands, and whispering. In his arms he held Maddy who had fallen asleep while Luke was reading a story to the kids. He grinned at Gerard. "So congrats once again, Man."
Gerard smiled, "You're never gonna let me live down fainting, are you?"
Frank laughed, "Do you really need to ask that?"
Gerard rolled his eyes, "Nope."
Jamia joined the group carrying a very tired Joe. She hugged Monica with her free arm. "I'm so happy for you." She whispered in Monica's ear.
"Thank you." Monica smiled. "For everything."
"Hey, do you realize we get to be pregnant together?" Christa said, as she and Ray appeared a short time later to say their goodbyes.
Monica laughed, "Yeah, but you'll have to help me through it. I'm really out of practice."
Ray waited until Christa stood back and gave Monica a hug. "Congrats." he said warmly.
"Thanks." Monica said hugging him tightly.
"Auntie Monnie?" Chloe tugged on Monica's shirt.
"Yes, Chloe?" Monica stood and squatted down to be at the little girl's level.
"Thanks for aving us."
Monica smiled, "Well you're welcome. You come and visit me again soon, okay?"
"Otay." Chloe said smiling. "I will."
Mikey walked over to say goodbye a few minutes later. Alicia was still trying to get Ryan away from the building blocks he and Rush were playing with. He hugged his brother tightly. "Hey, Bro. I'm so happy for you."
Gerard hugged him back tightly. "Thanks."
Mikey turned to Monica, "Miracles happen, don't they?"
Monica hugged her brother in law. "Yeah, they do."
"Hey, step away from my husband." Alicia said joining them. Beside her it was obvious Ryan didn't want to leave yet. "You have your own Way."
"Yeah, I do." Monica giggled. She turned to Alicia and hugged her tightly. "Thank you for figuring it out."
Alicia smiled, "Hey, hopefully I'll be preggers soon too."
Don and Donna were the next to leave. They walked towards Monica and Gerard slowly holding hands. Since they'd remarried a year ago they were always openly affectionate to each other.
"Monica, I'm so happy for you and my son." Don said hugging Monica.
"Thanks, Dad." Monica said softly. It was the first time she'd ever called him Dad. The look in his eyes was one of love. He stood back and clapped his son on the shoulder. "Good job, son."
Gerard laughed, "Thanks Dad."
Donna hugged Monica, "I'm so happy for you, Honey."
Monica hugged her back. "Me, too."
Bob waited outside the bathroom for Kara. As she exited, he grabbed her, kissing her while backing her into a dark corner of the hall.
"Yeah, it's not as bad as it was."
He gently kissed her again. His hand moved to cover her still flat belly. "When are you going to tell everyone?"
Kara shrugged, and covered his hand with hers, sighing. "I don't know. Everyone was so excited about Mom. Didn't seem like the right time."
They stood in each other's arms for a few seconds before Kara pulled back. "Besides, I don't want to share the spotlight. God, I can't wait to get back to Chicago where I can be the center of attention. Way too many babies around here." She laughed and turned running down the hall toward the front staircase. Bob quickly followed, calling out to her to stop running and shaking his head as she totally ignored him.
Several minutes later Kelly walked over. "Hey, Luke and I are gonna take Bug and Rush to the park."
"But it's getting late and they're tired." Monica answered.
Kelly laughed, "Uh, Mom. Bob and Kara are getting ready to leave. Luke and I just figured you and Dad might want a little time alone."
Monica smiled at her daughter. She realized Kelly was trying to ease some to the tension that had been going on between them. "Thanks, Honey."
"Yeah, thanks Kell." Gerard added putting his arm around Monica's shoulder.
Kelly started to turn but stopped, "Mom, I'm sorry I didn't realize you were pregnant. I'm sorry I've been causing you so much stress."
Monica stood and hugged her tightly, "I love you, Kelly. I'm sorry I have been so moody. I need to apologize to Luke too."
Kelly laughed, "No you don't. He already told me he understands." She took a step back, "Anyway, I'm gonna tell Kara and Bob goodbye and then we'll take off for the park."
Monica and Gerard watched as Kelly and her sister hugged and exchanged their goodbyes. Bob joined them and Kelly hugged him too. The three of them spoke a few minutes then Bob and Kara made their way over.
"Bob and I would like to take you guys out to dinner tomorrow night." Kara said. "Kelly agreed to baby-sit."
"Oh." Monica was surprised. She looked over at Gerard who smiled and nodded. "Sure, we'd love to." She was touched by the offer. Kara and Gerard still weren’t as close as she had hoped they'd become and this offer was a good sign.
Kara looked over at Gerard, "Yeah, so congrats. I'm really happy for you both." She shocked Gerard by giving him a quick hug.
"Thanks, Kara." Gerard was touched by her gesture.
Bob gave Monica a quick hug. "We'll see you tomorrow. Take good care of the baby." He grinned "The fainting one."
Gerard groaned, "Oh man. I expect that from Frank. But you?"
Bob ignored him and spoke to Monica again. "Congratulations.”
"Thanks, Bob." Monica said happily.
As they walked away Gerard pulled Monica into his arms. "Looks like the kids are getting ready to leave."
Monica nodded, "Yeah, and then what?" She teased.
Gerard laughed, "Woman, I love you, so fucking much."
"I love you, too." Monica said against his lips. "Always."
AUTHORS NOTE: Once again thank you all for sharing this experience with me. I have spent so many hours writing this tale and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I did. Will there ever more? I can’t really say. Gotta admit I wonder if Gee and Monica will have a boy or girl. Love you all. SanDee X0X0