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Growing Together

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“Scared,” Kao said honestly letting his hands rest against his belly the moment June had pulled away, “It went by so fast, that I don’t know if I’m ready.”

That was something she could relate to. She had spent as much time ignoring the fact of the actual birth itself. “You’ve got a lot of support, Kao. You mom, Gift, and Pete.” Sandee said reaching her hand out to hold his. “I know I didn’t mention everyone, but we’re all here for you,” she said giving him an assuring smile.

“I know,” Kao said returning the smile with one much softer.

“Pete’s been very excited about it. All he talks about is the baby,” June had said with a small chuckle. Their friend had been so worked up about it since he confessed about wanting to be a good parent and a good partner. “He probably won’t tell you this himself, but he’s really worried about failing you.”

“He is?” Kao found himself saying. “He’s worrying over nothing…”

“I don’t know about that, Kao. He feels your reluctance to accept him. He’s trying his best to hide his feelings because he knows he hurt you,” She said not being able to help herself. June had started something she didn’t want to do herself, but now that the conversation was in the air she couldn’t hold her words back. “Did you fall out of love with him?”

That question had thrown Kao off. His heart was racing with guilt in understanding just what exactly those words were implying. “No,” Kao said shaking his head as his fingers fidgeted. “I still love him, a lot…Pete’s just hasn’t made it easy. Every time I want to believe he’s ready to accept us, he gets even more scared than before and pulls away. And it’s not just me now, San. As much as I love him, I don’t want to force him…In will always be our baby, but we don’t have to be together because of him. I want Pete to know that he has that option...” Kao said unable to fight the tears building up in his eyes.

Being pregnant was a pain because just seeing Kao tear up, her own eyes were getting foggy. She had let out a shaky breath trying to calm herself before she even spoke, “Kao, I think Pete’s been trying to tell you that he doesn’t want that. He’s just too stupid to say it properly.”

June had only been a little startled not knowing what to do or who to comfort first. “Please don’t cry…” He begged, looking so hopeless as he turned to Sandee trying to reach out to her but then turning towards Kao when he wailed.

*~*~*~*

When the two came back, they walked in to find tissues scattered on the bed and floor and two very puffy-eyed Kao and San. “What the hell happened?” Pete said setting the food down before he was making his way to Kao to check on him.

Thada, too, had put the food down before he was rushing to Sandee’s side all worried. “What’s wrong?” He asked gently stroking her head when she had just leaned against his stomach to hide her face. “San?”

“You were gone too long,” Sandee had simply sniffed against him letting her arms wrap around his waist.

Thada had only turned to look at June and Kao—who was also being cared for so diligently by Pete. They hadn’t been gone that long, where they? “If I had known, I would have taken you with us,” Thada said letting a small smile slip onto his face as he focus his attention back on his girlfriend.

Pete on the other was gently whipping away the renewed tears falling down Kao’s cheeks. He wasn’t sure why he started crying, but just seeing those eyes looking at him so sadly had him softly saying, “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” He really didn’t want to see him crying like this. His fingers were gently stroking beneath his eyes. “Whatever it was, I’m sure it’ll be okay,” he said completely thinking that perhaps they had argued a bit.

Kao’s hand had come up to grab Pete’s wrist, he really wanted to say explain the situation to him and to confess his feelings again…but just looking around had Kao only nodding his head as he did his best to smile at Pete. “I’m okay…it’s just hormones,” Kao said bringing his hands up to finish cleaning his face.

Pete wanted to say something when Kao had pulled away from him. That sadden look had said it all, but June had only interrupted as he usually did. “Why didn’t you tell us you two picked a name for the baby?”

“You did?” Thada said turning towards them as he looked down at Sandee was she was pushing away from him to turn to look at them again, though her makeup had run a little.

“My dad insisted on picking the name,” Pete said with a smile before he was looking at Kao, “He’s going to be named ‘Intradit’.”

“That’s a beautiful name, Kao, Pete,” Sandee said which had Thada agreeing with her. “We can’t wait to meet him.”

“When are you due?” Thada said unknowingly starting an entire conversation about the babies between Sandee and Kao, which ultimately left no room for the three of them.  

“Nice going, Thada,” June said whining how he wanted to stay with Kao but Sandee had ended up moving him so she could get on the bed with him instead.