Chapter 4.20 – Angel

Pregnant – the word sits on her chest like a two-ton weight.
 
How could she have been such an idiot? Kacey waits nearby for Hope’s family to arrive, while she rests on a gurney in the hospital’s ER. She has suffered a number of severe contusions, cracked ribs, and a slight concussion, but is otherwise healthy. Thankfully, her baby is completely unharmed as a result of the beating. Her baby… Hope is in the early stages of gestation. But regardless of whether she is a little bit or a lot pregnant, the fact remains that she carries a precious new life inside of her; and it changes everything.
 
Fallout from her lifestyle over the past months begins to come crashing down on top of her like a house of cards. There had been so much partying, drugs, alcohol, and woohoo, that it all seems like a blur to her now. She doesn’t even know who the father is. Michael is going to be furious…
 
NO! She does not allow herself to complete the thought. Enough is enough. Michael is a creep. He has been a creep since the day she met him, but she stubbornly continued to believe she could force her way in. Even as a child, he knew how to play her. And he did so expertly. The baby is most likely his child, but there will be no way of knowing until after the birth.
 
Hope manages a smile up at her new friend. Kacey has been like an angel sent to pull her up from rock-bottom. Had it not been for her, she would likely have just returned to Michael, and been lost forever. Kacey smiles at the kind words, but tells Hope that even if there were such a thing as angels, they would certainly not pick her as their champion. Hope senses that unmistakable hint of sadness and fear in Kacey’s voice again.
 
She hops down off of the gurney and hugs Kacey, and then thanks her for saving her life. Hope looks her into her friend’s blue eyes and asks whether she’s been hurt like this too. Hope’s question catches her by surprise, and she manages to cover her sudden urge to cry, with a quick laugh. Kacey nods and compliments Hope’s intuition. She tells Hope about Reid, her brother, and the dangerous and frightening delusions he suffers from. But she leaves out the most important detail; the part about her brother thrusting her into this ponderously dangerous journey for no other reason but to satisfy his own greed.
 
Kacey sees that Hope is still stunned and trying to digest what has happened to her. David’s “leap before you look” mentality seems to have been passed along just fine. She tells Hope that she is the most amazing young girl she has ever met, and that she has a big responsibility to carry on the legacy of her grandfather, David. Hope’s eyes widen suddenly at the mention of Grandpa David, and she asks Kacey if she knew him. Kacey laughs and says that she knew him very well when he was young, and that she loved him more than life itself.
 
Hope’s confusion is interrupted by Mark, Mei, and Dara rushing into the room. Mei begins a panicked litany of worry in her native Chinese tongue, while protectively checking her daughter for any missing parts. Sickened by the physical evidence of abuse, Mei begs her daughter to come back to the house; promising to do whatever it takes to keep her home. Hope feels like dirt. She has been clueless about the pain this has been causing her mother. And judging by the looks on the faces of her father and sister, they have also been sick with worry. It is not what she intended at all.
 
Hope notices Kacey trying to quietly slip from the room, and stops her by calling her name. She introduces her family to Kacey, who now seems suddenly very uncomfortable. She politely listens to the praise and thanks showered upon her by Mark and Mei. But Hope can sense there is something wrong. She tells her family that she is going to walk Kacey to the elevator to thank her again, privately.
 
As they walk to the end of the corridor, Kacey offers Hope an unreadable expression, saying that it is time for her to leave. Hope peppers her with questions; asking where she lives, how she can reach her, or if there is anything she needs. But Kacey just hugs her and says that she is only drifting through. Hope tries to stop her from leaving, but she pulls away, now openly crying. She apologizes, saying that she must leave or risk putting everybody in terrible danger.
 
Then Kacey closes her eyes; Hope can hear the voices. They are imperceptibly faint, like the sound of a soft breeze passing through a silk curtain. But they are there. She smiles, and breathes deeply, as if the experience is somehow emotionally recharging her. Hope is speechless. They are speaking to her, too. It is a stirring chorus of a hundred Kaceys, telling her how amazing and beautiful she is. They gently reassure her that she and her children are going to be okay as long as Michael remains out of her life. Then as they trail off, a lone voice in the chorus of Kaceys speaks, promising that the future holds something wonderful.
 
As the voices disappear, Hope emerges from the trance like state, only to see Kacey standing inside the elevator with the doors closing. Hope reaches out and asks when they can get together again. Kacey smiles, but cannot stop her bottom lip from quivering as the elevator door obscures her from sight. Though she had not actually spoken the answer, Hope feels as if she has just lost a best friend. After a moment, she straightens her back (which causes her to wince in pain from her injuries), and takes a deep breath.
 
It is time to break the news to her family.
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7 thoughts on “Chapter 4.20 – Angel

  1. FortA says:

    Oh my. This is very deep. I only hope Hope has the support of her family when she tells the new (which, by the way, I guessed in the last chapter 🙂 ).

    This business with Kacey is strange, and I can’t wait to learn more. Especially the voices. And her saying she wouldn’t be a representative for angels? Hmmm…

    By the way, do you have a teen pregnancy mod?

    FortA

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    • Nope, I just used the “pollenate” feature in the Nraas supercomputer. Evidently some of the clothes I had downloaded were compatible with teen pregnancy. So I was able to squeeze in an additional post. W00t!

      Like

    • I’m at work now and can’t check, but I’m pretty sure they came from TSR. From what I understand, making costume makeup is comparatively easy, in terms of complexity in regard to CC. I may attempt to tinker with it some day.

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