Harriet Beecher Stowe“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.“
Windenburg Cameron Estate
Thanksgiving at the Cameron Estate had always been a big event. Every year, since the three kids had been little, Averie pulled the full roster of her many successful years as an Executive Chef and produced a delectable feast, and this tradition continued even today with the kids grown and two of them married and moved out.
The grandparents Declan and Rory, as well as Declan’s younger brother Everett and his with Maeve would join every year, so with them and the significant others of the three kids, it was always a big event and a full house.
This year they were even joined by youngest daughter Abigail’s boyfriend Elliott, who was professional military special ops, currently on a brief leave of absence from his ongoing assignment to join his girlfriend and family for the holiday.
Since nobody could even make an educated guess as to when she would see him next, Abigail seized the moment to come clean with Elliott about something that had been making her physically sick for weeks.
Pulling him into her home office for a private talk, she took a deep breath and began to tell him about several weeks ago, and her thinking they were broken up after a big fight and him leaving so abruptly for the assignment, then later finding out they were still together.
Damage had already been done by then, by her sleeping with not one, but two different men when trying to find consolation for her sadness about the perceived break-up, one of them an old flame of hers she just happened upon, the other his estranged half-brother Jay. (read the matching chapter here). Moreover, she told Elliott that she feared to be pregnant, unconfirmed as of yet, but she wanted to tell him since nobody knew when they could speak next. There was a chance he was not the father. As could be expected, Elliott took the news hard and left on a bitter note.
Abigail thought it best to give him some time to digest and cool down, but when she went to his home the next day to talk and try to patch things up between them, she was met by firetrucks and ambulances right outside his home.
Unable to get any clarification on what had happened beyond the obvious, she ended up being treated for a nervous breakdown herself, after watching a badly burned and unconscious Jay being transported into the ambulance on a gurney, while a zipped up body bag was moved into the coroner’s vehicle.
Her father as the mayor of Windenburg eventually confirmed there had been an electrical fire, claiming the life of Elliott and severely injuring his half-brother.
Even almost a week later Jay was still heavily medicated and in a wheelchair, but allowed to attend the service for his late half-brother. Jay was mostly out of it, barely able to follow the action, nodding off and drooling, but eventually came to life as he fell apart at the grave when he was offered the shovel to toss dirt on the coffin.
After the funeral, for days, Abigail felt numb and empty, tired and without engery, in a daze most of the time, going about her routine like a robot, but eventually put on unpaid leave from her job as an Interior Decorator after losing her temper with an indecisive client. Home to simmer in her thoughts and memories, she finally decided to bite the bullet and investigate her constant bouts of nausea by taking a pregnancy test.
It confirmed her fears.
Abigail had reached the end of her rope, when she couldn’t stop crying, she burst into her parents’ bedroom, startling them with her hysteria.
Sobbing, and barely intelligible she finally managed to get out the words to explain that not only was their daughter pregnant, but the father was most likely dead, even though she couldn’t say with 100% certainty Elliott really was the father.
Jamie naturally didn’t like that one bit, for various reasons, one of them being his office as the Mayor of Windenburg, but together with his wife Averie they managed to calm their youngest down enough to have a talk about next steps. Averie would go with Abby to the gynecologist to confirm the pregnancy, then they would try to sort out how soon the father could genetically be determined.
Both, Averie and Jamie knew that this would only be the tip of the iceberg. No matter who would crystalize out to be the father of Abigail’s baby, it was clear already at this point that their youngest daughter would be a single mom, regardless of who would turn out to be genetically responsible for their grandchild.
Promising her that she would have their full support, they once again realized how immature Abigail still was for her 21 years, as she seemed so much more like a little girl after a nightmare than a young woman about to be a mother.
Especially when they all ended up sleeping together in the same bed that night, something they hadn’t done since Abby was a little. The sleep was restless for each of them. The parents worried about their youngest daughter’s wellbeing, while knowing they both would have to actively support the raising of the baby, Abigail mourning her dead lover, regretting that he would never get to meet his child, as somehow inside, Abby was strangely convinced it was his.
All Jamie and Averie could try to do now was to make sure that this new chapter of all their lives would not turn into a nightmare, not for them, for their daughter or the unborn child.
The next morning they rose before Abigail, which gave them time to hold a small war council by the coffeemaker to figure out how to best tell the rest of the family.