Thankfully for both Kenzie and I, our last day in Atqasuk was a thousand times less emotionally charged. I even got to attend a storytelling of Inupiat legends, with Kenzie helpfully translating for me and go fishing on the frozen Meade river.
“Ready to go home?” Kenzie asked once we got back to her place, holding one of the fish we’d caught. “The plane leaves not long after dinner.”
“I guess. As much as I like it here, I kind of miss my mom and the others.”
“I know how you feel.” She said with a smile. She put an arm around my waist and kissed my cheek.
When we arrived home, Kenzie’s dad took our catch and quickly prepared it for dinner. A few minutes later we all found ourselves sitting around the table eating.
“You two are leaving tonight?” Walther asked.
“Yeah, in about an hour and a half.”
“Well, it was nice to meet you Paige.” Kenzie’s mom, Jennie, said.
“And I’m so grateful for letting me stay over.” I said. “It was one of the most amazing experience I’ve ever had.”
“Well, hopefully you’ll get to come back.” Kenzie said, dragging me closer and kissing my cheek.
“Oh, maybe when she comes back, she won’t be such as a qallunaat.” Kenzie’s sister said, nudging her in the rib with a big grin on her face. Qallunaat was the inupiat word they used for white people and from what I’d learned, I was one heck of a qallunaat.
“Plead the fifth.” I said my arms raised. “Screw it, I’m guilty as heck. Hopefully I’ll be better next time.”
“Let’s not get our hopes up, Paige.” Kenzie said, giving me a look. “I tried to teach her a few words and it did not work out to say the least.” She then explained to her family. She wasn’t exaggerating, even after a crapton of attempt, my pronunciation had been horrid.
“If you excuse me, I’m going to find a hole to hide it…” I said humorously, getting up from my seat.
“Nooooo!” Kenzie said in an exaggerated manner, grabbing my arm and dragging me closer into a hug. “I’m sorry, don’t leave me!” She said with a chuckle.
“Fine. But only for you.”
I gave her a quick peck on the lip before sitting down. After dinner was over, we went back into our room to pack our things and get it all in order.
“Say, you didn’t mind us teasing you, right?” Kenzie asked.
“Nah, I’m whiter than mayo, I acknowledge it and my cluelessness. In all seriousness, I know I’m terrible with languages, but I’d love to learn how to speak your language.”
“Well, we can give it another try.” She said, holding my hips and kissing my neck.
Kenzie’s whole family escorted us to the local airport, bidding us goodbye and making sure to tell me I’d be welcome to come back anytime. When we touched down in Anchorage and went through the terminal, we found not only my mom but also my dad waiting for us at the gate. I ran through the terminal and practically jumped in their arms.
“I am so happy to see you.” I said kissing my parents cheeks. “Why didn’t you tell me dad was back?” I then asked, looking at my mom.
“We wanted it to be a surprise.”
“Well, it’s the best surprise ever.”
We took a cab back to the house and I spent the drive there telling them about everything that had happened, everyone that I had met, the food I’d eaten. But I didn’t bring up what had happened that night after church and our talk the day after, it was best not to.
The next morning as I prepared breakfast, everyone but me still asleep, the door to my parents room opened and my mom came out, she looked exhausted.
“Good morn—” I didn’t finish my sentence as she ran for the bathroom, only half closing the door behind her. She barely made it to the toilet before she started hurling. Once she was finished, I cautiously approached her
“Mom?” I pushed the door of the bathroom open. “Are you okay? I mean you’re probably not okay because you just ran here but… I’m rambling. Can I do something, is it bad?”
“Paige I need you to get something from the drugstore for me, it’s extremely important.”
She told me what and I ran out. I didn’t need to as it wasn’t exactly urgent, but my heart was beating frantically. Waiting in the small line at the cashier was exhausting, after I paid, I ran back home and up the stairs.
I gave the purchase to my mom and she went back in the bathroom, locking the door behind her. I paced through the tiny kitchen, doing a half dozen step before having to turn around. My mom came out after what felt like an eternity. She clutched the little wand in her hand. Without a word, she gave it to me, the indicator boasted a positive sign.
“Does that mean you’re… Pregnant?”
“Yes.” She took me in her arms and kissed my forehead. “You’re going to have a little brother or sister, Paige.”
“I’m not really sure how to take this or what to say… That means you’re going to keep it?”
“Yes.” She said. I nodded quietly, thinking about all that it entailed. “Are you alright, Paige? you look a little overwhelmed.”
“I don’t I just got used to being an only child and now this happens. Plus I don’t know what we’ll do, I mean we can’t stay here with a baby on the way it’s way too small, maybe I could buy us a house once I graduate from training, together we can definitely afford the mortgage… Plus you’ll have to stop working for a while, I can help with bills and—” I started doing what I always did when stressed: speed talk and ramble. I would have went on but my mom put a finger on my lips to silence me.
“We’ll figure everything out eventually, don’t worry about it. But I’m proud of you for wanting to help.” She kissed me on the forehead. “We have nine months to figure everything out and I won’t be out of actions for a few months. But first I have to tell your father, he’ll be ecstatic.”
“Wait… This wasn’t an accident was it?”
“No. Your father and I talked about it a few months and we’ve decided that we wanted to have another child since you’re almost an adult and we’re both still young. We were lucky enough to have our wish come quickly. We considered adopting, but I admit I was a little selfish and wanted to be pregnant again.”
“You wanted to be pregnant? It seems kind of awful.” I’d kind of always been grossed out by the idea of falling pregnant.
“Sure, sometimes it’s unpleasant, but carrying and giving birth to a baby can be a wonderful experience, I loved having you inside of my belly and I wanted to feel the wonder of carrying a little one again.”
I unconsciously put a hand on my own belly. Even if it was ridiculous, if there was one thing that we knew about divergent people is that we were sterile.
“Do you know how long you are along?”
“Morning sickness normally first happen around the five to six week mark. Right now, the little one should be around the size of a sesame seed up to a lentil. Right now, it’s tiny little heart should have begun beating.”
Mom and I had breakfast together. We were almost finished when my dad shambled out of bed and into the kitchen.
“Gabriel, dear.” My mom said, coming up to him. “I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?” He asked, yawning.
Instead of answering, she took his hand, gently guiding it to her belly. He looked at it, then at her and then back to her belly.
“Test came back positive.” She said, taking out the little wand. “We’re going to have another child.”
My dad started crying with joy, wrapping his arms arms tightly around my mom before dragging me into the hug.
“What’s going on here?” Kenzie asked, wiping her eyes. “Did I miss something?”
“I’m going to have a little sibling.”
“Congrats.” She said with a smile kissing my cheek. “And congratulation to you both.” She said giving my parents a hug.