Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chapter 5-6: There's a Wall

               When Camille told Pearl about her decision to keep the baby and Donovan’s proposal, Pearl could not have been more relieved. She was disappointed that Camille had been so quick to turn Donovan down but she knew that trying to convince her otherwise would be like telling a small child not to touch something. Camille had to make her own decisions, and mistakes, and come to her own conclusions. Pearl just hoped that Donovan was patient enough to stick it through Camille’s stubborn stage.

               Excited about her own baby, Pearl decided to drag Camille to every baby store, toy store, furniture store, and pediatrician’s office to peruse the latest baby fads, research the best doctors and start shopping for the nursery.

               “Oh Camille, isn’t this just the cutest thing ever,” Pearl exclaimed, bent over a rocking horse in the corner of the third baby store they had been in that afternoon.
               “Pearl, all I know is my back hurts,” Camille moaned, massaging her lower back, hoping that this was the last store for the day.

               That weekend, Pearl convinced Camille to attend a prenatal yoga session in the park. This was something that Camille could be a little more excited about. She liked staying fit and having a baby was no reason to just let your body go.

               She was excited until about 20 minutes in. That was when Camille realized that yoga while you are pregnant is not the same as regular yoga. With her belly in the way, how was she supposed to do that position?

               “Pearl, this is crazy,” she leaned back on her hand, giving up.
               “Cam, just try! It’s good for you and the baby,” Pearl encouraged. Camille was delighted to see another woman lay back, giving up. Pearl went back to stretching, reaching her fingers to her toes, keeping her body limber. Camille just sighed and halfheartedly leaned forward, groaning at the little kick she felt in her belly. Apparently baby wasn’t so happy about the idea of this stretching either.

                Pearl did a lot of research on doctors and finally found the perfect obstetrician for both her and Camille. She went ahead and made their appointments on the same day so they could share in the joys together. Camille was starting to think that if Pearl didn’t back off just a little bit with all this baby/mother/friend bonding crap that she might shoot Pearl herself.

               “No one ever tells you that pregnancy is draining,” Camille sighs.
               “I think pregnancy is wonderful.”
               “Yep, you’re one of those glowy people,” Camille says cynically.
               “I hope I have a little girl so I can dress her in tutus and take her to ballet class and decorate her nursery in butterflies.” Pearl is rambling on and on.
               “So, I think that I’m going to name my baby Evinrude Harmonious Philmore the Third.”

                “Oh, that’s nice. And she’ll wear a little tiara for her baby pictures. It will be so preci…wait, what,” Pearl screeched to a halt. “You’re going to name him what?”
               “I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.”

               Back in the doctor’s office, Camille got a surprise of her own. Evinrude was going to have a twin. She was shell shocked. Not only did she get accidently pregnant but now she was having twins. Knowing there was nothing to be done about it, she headed to Donovan’s house to tell him the news. She just hoped he wouldn’t try to propose again.

               She knew where he lived but had never been to his house before. When the taxi dropped her off, she was surprised at the quaint, cottage home. It was nothing like the bachelor pad she had been expecting. She sighed and knocked on the door, partially hoping he was out. She didn’t see his motorcycle outside so it was possible.

                No such luck. He answered the door a few moments later and seemed relieved to see her. They hadn’t spoken much since she turned down his impromptu proposal.

               “Um, Pearl and I just came from the doctor’s.”
               “Is she here too,” he asked, looking past her.
               “No, she went home. They’re having a boy, by the way.”
               “That’s great news. And us?”
               “We’re having twins.” Again, with the finesse and easing into the news. Subtlety was not her strong point.

                To his credit, Donovan didn’t pass out or even flinch. Instead, he once again pulled her close.
               “Look, I know you don’t want to get married and we don’t have to even talk about that. But, with twins, it’s going to be really hard to take care of yourself and them and go back to work after they’re born all alone. I think it’d be best for the babies if you moved in with me. I have plenty of room.”

                No mention of feelings or love, just pure logic. Camille felt herself responding to his facts. She did want to go back to work once the babies were born. The idea of caring for two small infants seemed like a daunting task. She looked around the house, seeing the space and then trying to envision two cribs fitting in her small home. So deep in thought, she missed the look on Donovan’s face. Had she been paying attention, she would have realized that the logical argument he presented had been done with careful precision not to give away his true feelings. He wanted her there, not logically but emotionally but knew better than to appeal to her emotional side. He knew what the outcome would be, again.

               Finally, she agreed. They began the process of moving her in. She had little furniture in her old house; just a box spring and mattress on the floor, a ratty couch, and worn table so she decided to leave them for whoever the next tenants would be. Once her clothes were moved in, she and Donovan got some cribs and a changing table for the nursery. It was strange, living with another person but when she came home and he was there to massage her shoulders or her feet she felt perplexingly at peace.

               The months slowly ticked by. With twins, Camille had been warned by her doctor that it was likely she would go into labor early. Most twins were early term pregnancies so she began preparing for her trip to the hospital around her seventh month. She definitely felt ready to pop. Her feet were swollen, her back hurt, and she constantly felt the need to pee with two little babies sitting on her bladder. The end of this pregnancy couldn’t come fast enough.

               “What do you think of the nursery,” Camille asked Pearl. She and Donovan had invited them over for dinner and she wanted to show her friend the little room they had set up for the twins.
               “It needs color! It’s very bland Cam.”
               “We decided to wait to see what we’re having. I hightailed it out of there after I found out there were two babies in here and then Donovan and I decided to be surprised at the genders of the babies. We wanted to keep the room as neutral as possible.”
               Pearl wrinkled up her face, knowing she couldn’t stand waiting to find out but shrugged her shoulders knowing this wasn’t her call. At least Camille was making decisions with Donovan instead of for him.
               “This is a really nice rocking chair,” Pearl commented, sitting back.
               “Donovan surprised me with it. I really like it,” Camille admitted. She had been shocked when he brought it home. Even though they were living together and planning on raising the twins together, they hadn’t broached the subject of their own relationship. So a thoughtful gift from him, just because was a much unexpected but appreciated gift.

                The women went downstairs where Donovan was getting the makings together for a salad for dinner.
               “I can’t believe how much smaller you are than me. Our due dates are just within a couple of weeks or so of each other,” Camille observed, feeling little Lowell kick against his mom’s abdomen.
               “Well, there’s still 7 weeks left. I have time to grow.”
               “Are you sure there is really a baby in there,” Camille joked with her friend, poking the baby a little.
               “Yes, are you sure you’re just not having triplets instead?” Pearl could dish it out just as well has Camille.

               They sat at the table and shared some small talk. Pearl dominated the conversation, her mind still completely focused on babies. Donovan, as always, couldn’t be separated from his computer. You never know when an idea for a newspaper article might hit you. Camille really didn’t understand it, at all. Either there is news to report on or not? Who needs all those fluff and speculation articles anyway? If the Sun would focus on the real news, not only would the citizens be informed but they could cut out the 6 or so pages nobody read anyway. She kept her opinion to herself though. She may have one but she knew better than to insult Donovan’s job and newspaper.

               “Pearl, you don’t have to do that,” Camille interjected as Pearl began clearing the dishes.
               Joshua grimaced. “She’s nesting. She can’t help herself. We’re painting and cleaning and organizing and painting some more. She even painted my toolshed baby blue and organized all the tools into little baby safe bins with colorful block shaped labels.”
               Donovan choked back a laugh, trying to be sympathetic with the other man but it was hard. Pearl was the epitome of a pregnant, obsessed woman and he was glad that Camille was a little more laid back about it. He didn’t think he could handle a high maintenance sim like Pearl though Camille was high maintenance in her own way.

                Just as the night was drawing to a close and everyone was saying goodbye, Camille felt a sharp twinge in her abdomen and wetness running down her leg.
               “Nooo, not my white jeans,” she moaned as Donovan, Joshua, and Pearl all had mini heart attacks around her.

                “What do I do,” Donovan was suddenly at a loss, forgetting everything they had gone over in their birthing classes.
               “Get the keys you idiot. Actually, never mind, I’ll drive myself.” Camille headed out the door, straight for her police cruiser.

               Though they were five weeks early, Evangeline and Emerson were deemed perfectly healthy by the delivery doctor. Donovan stood, watching his newborns through the window in the hospital. They were adorable and he couldn’t wait to get them home.

               Camille had to admit, after the first few weeks when the twins were home, moving in with Donovan had probably been one of the smartest decisions she had made. Evangeline could sleep through just about anything so if Emerson woke up first, there wasn’t a problem. More often than not though, she was the first awake and her crying would wake her brother. Having two sets of hands to care for two babies was really helpful for changings and feedings and just all around care for the little munchkins.

               Not only was he helpful, Donovan was a fantastic father. When he wasn’t working, he was spending time with his children. Evangeline was usually in a funk, grumpy and moody, hard to settle down but when Donovan picked her up, she always became all smiles. Camille could just sit and watch them for hours.

               “Hunter, Brielyn, how great to see the two of you,” Camille greeted her cousin and sister when they showed up to bring gifts for the babies.
               She had not seen her family since her visit to Storybrook for Dahlia’s birthday. She was disappointed that her mother and Dahlia had not come as well but Brielyn explained that the high school was right at midterms and Dahlia was trying to get perfect grades so she could get a scholarship to an Azalea League school. Not that Lyric and Yalena couldn’t afford to send her without the scholarships; Dahlia just wanted to prove that she could do it on her own. She wasn’t much different from her father in that respect. He, too, at wanted to carve out his career in the music industry without the influence of his famous parents.

               On their last day, Camille pulled her big sister aside for a private chat.
               “I feel like a fraud,” she confided.
               “We don’t love each other. We’re leaving together for convenience.”
               “You’re living together because you want the best for your children.”
               “But what happens when the twins are old enough to understand that their mommy and daddy aren’t together for the right reasons?”
               “Who is to say what the right reasons are? You and Donovan care about each other and you both love Evangeline and Emerson.”
               “What if we get tired of making it work for the kids? And we split up and find other people? I’ll be just like mom.”
               “Mom was trying to find a way to make herself happy. She made mistakes along the way but, I’m sure if you asked her, she’d tell you that it was all worth it, for each of her kids.”

               Camille had nothing to say to her sister. Maybe she was right. Even though her mom had spent a lot of their childhood with Lyric, Camille and Brielyn had still been teased because their mom was a tramp. It rankled. However, maybe she had done her best. It was a lot to consider. And Donovan was a better father to the twins than Glen had ever been to Brielyn or Ace to Camille. That was certainly worth something.

               Though the twins were only a few months old, Camille decided it was time to go back to work. She loved her children, more than she had thought possible but some women just weren’t the stay at home type. She was one of them. Even so, her first day back at work started out a bit stressful. Evangeline was in a horrible mood and refused to take her bottle. Her mood passed to her brother and he cried because she cried. Donovan was doing everything he could to take care of them so Camille could get ready for work but she was starting to feel that leaving would be the worst decision she could make.

               “I’ve got this,” he told her. “They’ll be fine.”
               “They’re so fussy. Maybe I shouldn’t be going back to work. A good mom wouldn’t,” she agonized over her choices.
               “Stop talking,” Donovan said, smiling as he said it, reminding her of her rejection of his proposal. “You’re a great mom. In fact, I wouldn’t want anyone else to be the mother of my children. Go, have a good day back and when the day is over, you’ll feel much better about it. Trust me.”
               She leaned into his hand as it reached out to brush against her cheek and she felt a glimmer of something she couldn’t really identify. She did trust him, especially with Eve and Em, and so she went to work, feeling much better about her decision.

               When she got home that night, both the kids were in much better moods; all gurgly and happy. She and Donovan had been sleeping in the same bed ever since she had moved but but they still hadn’t talked about their relationship. She felt that he knew this was a cohabitation of convenience, he felt like he was walking on eggshells and didn’t want to jeopardize the tenuous relationship they had. That night though, Camille crossed the invisible line in their bed and snuggled close to him in the night. His support and dedication was slowly causing a shift in her heart that she was yet aware of.

               “Hey Cam, I’ve got to work today at the office. Saturday’s the biggest day for the paper,” Donovan explained while tugging on his jeans.
               “I’m aware,” she smirked at him. They’d been through this routine quite a few times already. Donovan never failed to remind her and make sure they’d all be okay at home without him.
               This time though, she surprised him when she threw on one of his shirts and followed him on to the porch. As he turned to say goodbye, she stepped in to him, wrapping her arms around him. He followed suit, as natural with this stance as if they had been doing it all along.
               “Have a good day at work,” she called, kissing him goodbye.

               She waved from the porch, hoping he would be careful on his motorcycle for the twins’ sakes. Maybe hers too. She still hadn’t decided exactly how she felt yet.

                “Hi, I’m Dahlia,” a young girl shook his hand on the porch one early morning. “I’m looking for Camille.”

               Camille didn’t talk much about her past. Donovan still didn’t know quite what had brought her to St. Claire and, as a journalist, the whispers of a story really itched at him to try and figure it out. He respected her privacy though and stayed at arm’s length. Whatever had brought her here had brought her to him and brought him their two beautiful babies.
               “Cam, someone’s here to see you,” he said, inviting the teenager inside.
               “Dahlia! I’m so glad to see you! What are you doing here?”
               “It’s summer time. I know the twins’ birthdays are coming up and I wanted to meet them and be here to celebrate with my niece and nephew.”

                Dahlia was more than welcome to stay with them. They didn’t have a spare bed but, being a teenager; she didn’t mind and took up residence on the couch in the living room. Knowing that her mother and Lyric, Lyric especially, had allowed Dahlia to come unaccompanied and stay with Camille was an unspoken and much appreciated peace offering. Camille felt that she could finally be proud of where she had come in life and stop feeling like she had to prove that she was a good person.

               Having her sister there also meant that Donovan and Camille were able to get out to see a movie together. Nothing romantic or anything they hadn’t done before; just something to go and have a good time and relax for a little while. Dahlia loved being an aunt.

               Before anyone knew it, it was almost time for the twin’s birthdays. Camille couldn’t believe her babies would so very soon be toddlers. Of course, Pearl wanted to discuss birthday party preparations so Camille packed up Emerson and Evangeline and headed over to the Panems’ house to see Pearl and baby Lowell. Soon he would be having a party of his own.

                There had been so many changes in her life so far and there would be many more before it was all over.

Chapter 5.5                                                                                                                                      Chapter 5.7


  1. Gah! You cut if off before we could see the babies! D : Why would you do that? Soooo mean! (Even though I've already seen them and they're obnoxiously adorable. It's mean for everyone who isn't me)

    Pregnant Pearl made my laugh my ass off. xD You really did get her personality spot on, and she's such a good friend for Camille. I'm just glad Camille is finally letting people in. Life's looking good!

    1. It was James's idea! He said that I needed to break here to differentiate between the different life stages! *points fingers

      And yes, Pearl is really a hoot. So glad that she really lives up to the character you invented. Let's keep our fingers crossed that things stay looking good. ;)

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  3. “Azalea League school” lol. I love how you keep reminding us of her family back home, it adds a lot of realism imo :) ...but why do I get the feeling Dahlia's gonna stir up some trouble?

    I didn't get the chance to comment when I caught up with the last update but *sighs* is this the last we'll see of Ian? I did laugh at him stood right there when Camille slobbered all over Donovan at the wedding XD but aww, I'm gonna miss him :'(

    Donovan -is- growing on me though. He's such a sweetie and so patient. He might not be what -I- want for Camille (Ian) but he's probably what Camille -needs- so I'm ok wih that for now :p ...which is funnily enough the complete opposite of that "tramp" Yalena who always went after what she wanted (woohoo with a dirty ging- um,... *remembers has turned over a new leaf* ...with a rather handsome but aggressively possessive man) instead of what she needed which was a decent father to (-all-) her children - I’ll never forget you, Glen! Camille really does have some Mommy issues if she’s going against her own nature just to ensure she doesn’t end up like Yalena, lol. Or I’m just reading into things too much as usual! ;)

  4. I love how Donovan managed to persuade Camille into moving in by logic and hiding the fact he just wanted to have her live with him! He's a really good father too so I do hope Camille manages to work through her hangups enough to accept him fully

    1. Yeah, he really wants to be with her but he's learning that it's not going to happen with romantic, mushy stuff like the stereotypical woman wants. He rolled a wish to get married AND marry Camille at the same time. He better not hold his breath though.

  5. I agree with Ali, Donovan was smart to play it cool to get what he wanted, and I hope Camille eventually comes around to him.

  6. Wow Donovan really knows how to play the game huh, but I am with miss. BRING BACK IAN!

  7. Pearl was so funny! She was so hyper happy about having a baby! And Camille---pregnant with twins! I hope she lets Donovan in, he seems like a really great guy. :)

  8. Wow, I can't imagine how much time you must have spent building sets for this chapter! The baby store, the yoga park, the doctor's office, the hospital... I'm really impressed right now! =) I also really liked Donovan's house. Did you build it yourself? And if so, is it available for download somewhere?! It's just stunning!

    I'm glad Camille has found Donovan. He seems like a good match for her. Also, I can't wait to see the babies! I *love* their names too. Usually I'm not a big fan of matching twin names, but Evangeline and Emerson sound so nice together. =)

    1. I just noticed that when I have twins they are always a boy and a girl. Weird.

      As for building sets, the yoga park is just the large Central Park in St. Claire. The doctor's office and hospital are the same and the nursery was just a half room I crammed full of default CAST kid furniture. Glad it looked great!

      Donovan's house is from a blog. I can't remember the creator off the top pf my head though. Check for a house called Champignon or something similar. There is a series and they're all nice.

    2. Thanks heaven! I found the house, no problem. =)

      I still liked all your sets though. They looked very convincing.

  9. I love the names you choose for the babies, especially Evangeline. I'm glad Dahlia was able to visit Camille. I'm also glad she is opening up to Donovan a little more, which I think is really good for her.