The Caliente Affairs, Volume One

Meet Dina and Nina Caliente, twenty-something identical twin sisters who have moved back to their little hometown of Pleasantview. Not everyone in town is happy to see the twins back, and it's not long before the two are causing trouble and uprooting everybody's pleasant life.

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7. Broken Dreams

Nina had stayed awake after coming home from the Halloween Ball, hoping to be up when Don came home. Shed avoided Dina for the rest of the night, but had made some enquiries at a private clinic on her behalf, knowing how much it meant to Dina to remain anonymous. On Monday, the two would go together and find out for sure if Dina was pregnant. She hated keeping secrets, especially from Don. As he arrived home and quickly got into bed with her, Nina hoped she could stay faithful to her sister. After all, she remembered, Don and Dina were still keeping secrets from her. “How was the party?” Don asked.
“It was... eventful! Alex got his first kiss.” And I found out Dina cheated on Mortimer, she continued in her head.
“Oh great! I’m really glad he got over all his worries.” Dons secret-keeping still fresh in her mind, Nina sensed he wasnt telling her the whole story.
“Ah, does this have something to do with that secret you’re keeping from me?” Nina asked.
“Oh! Yeah, I suppose it doesn’t matter now. All it was, was that Alex was wondering if having feeling’s for the same sex was... you know, normal.” Nina raised her eyebrows in shock. “I told him, of course if you even think about another man you’re instantly gay!” Don joked.
“Well, it’s tough. I remember what it was like growing up...” Nina said, causing Don to grin.
“Is this story about to get hot?” Nina laughed, as she pushed Don and cuddled into his body.
“No! What I was going to say was that when you’re growing up, there’s a lot of pressure surrounding sex and gender preference. And... yes, even I went through it.” Nina smiled slyly, knowing how much Don would get off on hearing that. As the two got cosy, she was about to put her baby-making plans back into action… but, as she went to kiss Don, Nina suddenly felt very sick. Pushing him away, she stood up and clutched her mouth.
“Are you okay?” Don asked. Nina slowly breathed in and out as the feeling subsided.

“I... I think so.” Don looked at Nina and asked honestly.
“You don’t think..?” Don asked. He didn’t need to finish, Nina knew exactly what he was thinking, because she was thinking it too. Was she already pregnant?

*

It was eight AM in Pleasantview, and Brandi Broke was already awake, even though her baby was still sleeping. Usually, Calvin was an early riser, but Brandi knew this was a rare moment to enjoy, so she quietly poured some cereal for breakfast. Dustin surprised his mother by walking out of his bedroom, awake and fully dressed. “You’re up a bit early, aren’t you?” She asked. Last night, Dustin had gone to the Halloween Ball straight from work to surprise his girlfriend.
“Gordon’s put me on an early shift today, but the cheapskate is only paying me for the usual three hours.” Dustin replied, as he crashed down onto the sofa and switched on the TV.
“Shush, not too loud or else you’ll wake...” But it was too late, Brandi heard her youngest son crying for attention.
“Thank you very much!” Brandi sarcastically said, dropping the cereal box and rushing to see if she could get Calvin to fall back to sleep.
“Sorry, I didn’t know it would be so loud.” Dustin apologised. Brandi rolled her eyes, thinking to herself that loud is the only way today’s music comes. Dustin turned down the volume, and began to reminisce about last night’s party. He was glad he went instead of getting some rest for his early shift. Even though he was tired, he didn’t care. Last night was one of the best nights out with Angela Pleasant he’d had in a long while. For a while, he wasn’t sure whether or not their relationship was as strong as it once was. He found himself spending less time with her, and even less time thinking about her. Angela was his childhood sweetheart, the girl of his dreams... A loud cry distracted Dustin from his thoughts. Seeing his brother Beau had also been woken up, he went to make them both breakfast before he had to leave. “Hey, little bro’!” Dustin said, as Beau sat down at the kitchen table.
“Excuse me!” Beau said in shock.
“Whoa, sorry! Big bro’!” Dustin corrected himself, bringing over two bowls of cereal and the carton of milk. Beau was turning thirteen in less than a week. You're old enough to pour your own milk now, I guess! Dustin joked, sitting down opposite his brother.
“Thank you, bigger bro’! How was the party?” Beau asked. He was a little bit jealous that he wasn’t allowed to go by himself, even though he was on the verge of becoming a teenager.
“Nah, you didn’t miss much. You’d have just wanted to hang with me and all I was doing was making out with Angela all night!” Beau pulled a disgusted face, and Dustin laughed.
“So, I suppose in your eyes it was the greatest party of your life?” Beau asked.
“No way! I’ve yet to dance at that party... but I’m counting down the days!” Dustin joked, just as the phone rang. Neither of the boys answered it until Brandi screamed for one of them to move off their butt’s and do so! Party, Dustin thought to himself and laughed. He loved confusing Beau with his grown-up yet immature sense of humour. “Hello!” Dustin answered the phone. It was Lilith, Angela’s twin sister. “You’re sick? Or are you just hung-over?” Dustin asked. He and the Pleasant twins had offered to stay behind and help clean up, and also help themselves to the left over food and drink when nobody else was looking. Lilith was trying to get Dustin to back-up her story so their boss wouldn’t fire her for not showing up this afternoon. “You know, as soon as I bring it up, he’ll make me work your shift. I’m just gonna let you deal with this on your own.” Dustin replied, but Lilith pleaded until he cracked. “Fine! But you owe me big time for this, Lilith.” Dustin laughed. Lilith promised him something extra-special would come his way, as soon as she felt better. Hanging up the phone, Dustin felt as if Lilith’s last comment was a bit too flirtatious. It was true the two had become close friends since working together, but he hoped Lilith knew that that’s all they were ever going to be. Brandi returned, having managed to persuade Calvin to sit tight until she changed into her clothes. Ill see you later, mum, I've really got to dash now! Dustin called out, knowing that a hard day of grifting was ahead of him now. Rushing to and fro, Calvin was rubbing the tears from his eyes when he finally saw Brandi coming back to let him out of his crib.
“Mummy!” Calvin cried, as Brandi swooped him up into her arms. She loved the sound of his voice, she was so happy when he finally started talking; she would just sit with him for hours as he repeated the same words over and over again. Times hadnt always been so happy for Brandis family. She was one of the few residents whose entire heritage originated in Pleasantview. But, unlike the Goths or the Pleasants, her family had not been treated kindly by the financial changes that had come about when the town elected its new mayor. Instead, her mother and father were forced to bring her up without the benefits that all the other children had received. It was tough, even more so during her teenage years. But finally, her luck changed for the better when she met the boy of her dreams - Skip Broke. Together, they found themselves in a very passionate relationship. So it was no surprise when Brandi ended up pregnant at just fifteen-years-old. She was thrilled, but Skip was more concerned about how the three of them were going to raise a family in the growing community of Pleasantview. Using what they had, Brandis mum and dad moved out of their house and gave it to their daughter. Which couldnt have come sooner, since she found herself bearing yet another of Skip’s children not even three years after Dustin was born. With a husband, a house, and two children, Brandi thought things were finally looking up... But instead, the Broke family were left devastated over the sudden death of Skip. Left without her parents or husband, Brandi was struggling to justify living in the highly sought after village of Pleasantview, especially when she gave birth to Calvin, the last of her children with Skip. Not ready to admit defeat just yet, she begrudgingly agreed to join Mary-Sue Pleasant on one of her routine visits to the new neighbours. After all, money was money, and it just so happened there was another benefit of this trip. That night, she met the proprietor of a new house in Pleasantview - Shaun Wilson. He was an up-and-coming architect from England whod taken a job in Pleasantview to start work on the towns new upmarket housing estate. They fell head over heels in love with each other, and Brandi found herself accepting his proposal of engagement not long after their whirlwind romance began! Shaun was an admirable man, who was already well respected within the towns upper class. And financially, he was a blessing, helping raise Calvin and Beau like they were his own - even Dustin took a liking to him. But deep down, Brandi knew emotionally that she wasnt ready to get married. And sometimes, she couldnt help but think, neither was he.

*

“One step...”
“No!”
“Calvin! One, two step...”
“No!” Calvin dropped to the floor and crawled over to his toy. Brandi had never had so much trouble teaching her children to walk. In fact, it was something Dustin and Beau grasped straight away. Just then the doorbell rang.
“We don’t have a doorbell?” Brandi said to herself, as she opened the door. Being greeted by no-one, she realised it was just Calvin on his xylophone. As she was closing the door, saw saw her best friend Nina Caliente across the street. “Hey, how’ve you been! Were you gonna come in?” Brandi shouted, with a smile on her face.
“Well...” Nina hesitated, thinking about the real reason she had come out by herself. “I guess I can - sure!”
“How are you?” Brandi asked hugging her friend.
“You know... I honestly don’t know!” Nina admitted, walking inside.
“Red Dina!” Calvin cried out.
“No, Calvin.” Brandi said, picking up her son. “This is Nina.”
“Aw, hello. Gosh, he’s gotten so grown up since I last saw him. When the boys go off to college you two should really come and stay for a few nights.” Nina offered.
“Are you sure, you don’t you think he’ll get a bit bored by himself?”
“Well, who says he won’t have any other kids to play with?” Nina asked cryptically.
“What do you mean?” Brandi asked. Nina couldn’t help but grin. “Wait. Are you saying you’re...”
“I’m not saying anything!” Nina laughed.
“You are! Are you?” Brandi asked.
“...Maybe!”
“Oh! Nina!” Brandi said, putting down her son and hugging her friend in happiness.
“I just was off out to buy a test now.” Nina admitted.
“Go! Go get it. Come back here and do it!” Nina laughed and shook her head. “Okay. You have to phone me as soon as you find out if you are.”
“You’re the first person who knows anyway.”
“Do you need to fast? Can you eat? I’m serving up some spaghetti, it’s healthy for you and the baby.” Brandi said, rushing over to the stove. Dustin wasn't home yet, but Beau was playing by himself in his bedroom.
Nina sat down, “I don’t even think it’s the size of a peanut yet and you’re already looking out for it. You’re such a good mother.”
“You will be too! You and Don will make fantastic parents.” Brandi said, bringing over a plate of spaghetti for Nina to eat.
“You really think so?” Nina asked.
“I know it! And if not, I’ll be on hand to give you any advice you two want.” Nina took her friends generosity.
“Alright then. Be honest – how fat am I gonna stay after I have it?” Nina asked laughing.
“Oh, after your first kid you’ll lose the wait in days, mostly because of all the running around you’ll be doing!” Brandi laughed.
“You’re just making me feel better. I’m gonna look like an elephant aren’t I?” Nina asked, laughing at herself. After she had finished her meal, Brandi hurried Nina into leaving so she could take a pregnancy test. “But, are you sure you don’t want me to watch him whilst you take a bath or something?” Nina asked.
“No! Go home and take that test.” Brandi said, practically shoving her friend out of the house.
“Okay, I’m going!”
“Don’t forget to phone me later.” Brandi told Nina.
“I won’t.” Nina said. Walking away from the Broke’s house, Nina was thinking even more about the baby that she was sure was growing inside of her. Feeling satisfied she already knew, and knowing what she was about to go through with Dina tomorrow, Nina decided to put off the test for a little while longer.

*

Dina felt that familiar sickness wash over her. She was about to find out if she was pregnant. She swallowed the lump in her throat before sitting down in the doctor's clinic, suddenly feeling like she was in a psychiatrist’s office. She reminded herself to be as vague as possible in what she told the doctor. “Okay, Dina, we’ve got the results of your test back and everything went fine. How have you been feeling in yourself? Any coughs or colds lately?” Dina rolled her eyes.
“Just skip the formalities, I’ve already told you that everything’s fine.”
“Very well then.” The doctor opened up a folder and glanced at the test results, but Dina knew that he already knew what they said, he was just trying to make her worry so she’d come back for a follow-up appointment.
“Some time today would be nice!” Dina demanded.
“Ah yes, well...” The doctor cleared his throat mid-sentence. “You are indeed pregnant.” Hearing it out loud for the first time, Dina realised she had secretly known that she was pregnant all along, she just didn’t want to believe it.
“And there’s no chance it could be a mistake?” Dina asked, knowing it was unlikely.
“Mistakes are rare but not impossible. I could schedule a follow-up appointment. Maybe if I had a bit more information about your family history, any previous cases of Hysterical Pregnancies…”
“No, no backstory. I knew it.” Dina said under her breath with a tone of resentment that the doctor picked up on. He looked at Dina, as she realised what she had said. “Oh! I mean, thank you. I’m so thrilled!” Dina laughed and stood up. “Well, thanks for the appointment, I hope you have a nice day and I’ll see you… well, never again!” Dina tried to leave.
“Would you like us to forward your results to your local doctor?” He asked.
“No! Just keep ‘em! Do whatever you want with them, make a paper-plane for all I care, just don’t let anyone who knows me see them.” Dina demanded, walking out of the doctor’s office and back into the waiting room where Nina was - or, at least, should have been, but she was nowhere to be found. Dina sat down and impatiently waited for her sister, hoping to leave as soon as possible. One side of her brain was trying to force herself to deal with what she had just heard, but the other more dominant side was making her ignore the news of her baby altogether. Nina suddenly appeared seemingly from nowhere and sat back down next to her sister, looking whiter than usual.
“Are you still waiting?” She asked.

“Oh no, I’m done. We can go now.” Dina stood up, but Nina pulled her back down.
“Whoa, wait a second. You’ve got the results? Do you know if you’re pregnant?”
“Yeah, I know.” Dina tried to leave again.
“Dina?!” Nina asked, wanting an answer. Dina sighed.
“Yes. I’m pregnant.” Nina began to smile, and went to hug her sister, but Dina rolled her eyes and pushed her giggly sister away. “Can you please calm down?”
“What? Aren’t you happy?” Nina was confused.
“Sure, I’m doing star-jumps of joy. I can’t wait to blow-up like a balloon and watch… correction, feel my ankles get fat. And I’m sure gonna be praising the Lord during the sixteen hours-a-day I’ll spend on the toilet!” Nina rolled her eyes this time.
“Are you done feeling sorry for yourself? It’s always about you isn’t it. What about that other thing you were worried about? Did the doctor tell you when you got pregnant?”
“I didn’t stick around to find out, he was asking too many questions.” Dina squinted suspiciously.
“Well... let’s think logically. You have to be at most, eight weeks along - maybe more, probably less.
Nina said, actually using her own body-clock as evidence (being a twin and all, the two shared more than they would sometimes like to admit). And you only slept with Ed once, right?” Nina asked. Dina stayed silent and avoided eye contact, causing Nina to whisper loudly. “How long have you been keeping this up?! Was it ever since the night of your engagement party?” Nina asked, knowing that was when she herself had first met Ed.
“No... it was the night of yours, actually.” Dina admitted, as Nina’s expression changed to that of a sad one.
“Oh, Dina. How could you?”
“It was just those two times. I swear. Then I ended it, because I could tell he was falling for me – and that’s all I needed. I just wanted a little light relief!” Dina remarked.
“And look where you are now.” Nina said, with a harsh judgement in her voice that caused Dina to swiftly change the focus of topic onto her sister.
“Anyway, what’s up with you? You spent the whole duration of my appointment in the bathroom. What were you doing?” Dina sensed that Nina was the one keeping secrets this time.
“You know, the normal stuff.” Nina lied.
“Don’t insult me, Nina. Even if I weren’t your twin, you’re a terrible liar.”
“Well... I didn’t feel well. Must have been something I ate.” Dina shook her head.
“Come on, I was honest, now it’s your turn.” Nina looked away from her twin sister.
“Well... if it wasn’t something I ate, then that can only mean one thing...”
“You’re not pregnant, are you?” Dina asked.
“I don’t really know for sure! I didn’t want to tell you because you had your own issues to deal with. But... I guess, now you’ve got them sorted...”
“They’re far from sorted, Nina. In fact, you were right – I did have enough to deal with, so now I’m going into worry overload.” Dina put her head between her knees.
“Stop! It’s okay. Today is a day for answers, no more uncertainties. I will go home and take a test and, unlike you, I’ll know for sure.”
“How?” Dina asked.
“Because, it sounds stupid – but I feel pregnant.” Nina smiled, rubbing her stomach.
“It’s not stupid. I felt the exact same thing - I just didn’t want to believe it. How am I going to carry on knowing that Ed could be the father.” Dina asked out loud.
“I think what you were saying at the party made sense... about how Mortimer is your husband, so he should be the father.” Dina was shocked. Was her sister telling her to lie? Both girls looked at the floor, as they struggled to come up with an answer.
“Trust you to bring me down on what should be the happiest day of my life!” Nina joked.
“I’m sorry! You’re right, he is the father. I mean, there’s not really any other option. Unless...” Dina paused.
“No ‘unless. Let’s keep up the happy thoughts! Won’t it be great being mothers at the same time!” Nina hugged her sister, as Dina couldn’t help but think in the back of her mind about the ‘unless. If she couldn’t raise a child with Mortimer, knowing the father could be Ed, what would the solution be to her problem..?

*

“Have you done it yet?” Dina asked, entering her sisters bedroom.
“No, I’m going to.” Nina lied.
“Soon?” Dina asked. She had been at her sister all night and morning, telling her to take the pregnancy test.
“I can’t.” Nina hesitated.
“Come on, Mortimer’s asleep, and Don’s just got off to work. Now’s the perfect time – come on!” Dina said, as she guided her sister to the bathroom.
“Wait, what was that noise.” Nina tried to stall.
“That’s just the maid. Come on, before he cleans the toilet.”
“No. I should wait until after he cleans the toilet, just so no-one else’s pee gets on my test.”
“Nina, NOW!” Dina demanded. Nina slowly went to open the bathroom door, holding the test in her shaking hands. But... she couldn’t do it, she just couldn’t go through with it. She was afraid of the future; so many things were still up in the air - not to mention what she knew about her sister now. She diverted herself towards the stairs. “No, you’re not going anywhere. I promise you, whatever the results are, it’ll be fine.”
“Can’t I eat something first? I don’t think I need to pee. Oh... I think I’m gonna throw up.” Nina said, trying to buy herself some time.
“Stop it! Why are you so nervous, I thought you wanted a baby?” Dina asked.
“I do. But what if I’m not pregnant.”
“What if you are!” Dina suggested. Nina sighed, and knew her sister was right. She went into the bathroom and closed the door. Dina waited outside. Nina talked through the other side of the door.
“Can you leave? I can’t pee knowing you’re waiting for me!” Dina rolled her eyes and walked off. A few minutes later, Nina emerged from the bathroom. Dina rushed over from the other end of the hallway and saw Nina looking down at the floor. Dina was about to comfort her sister, until she looked up and grinned. “I’m pregnant!” Nina quietly said. Dina was the one who was overcome with the giggles this time, as she hugged her sister.
“Can you believe it, we’re both pregnant?!”
“I know! This is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait.” Nina heard herself saying; not knowing where the enthusiasm was coming from. She was still worried about the future - maybe even more so, now that she knew she was responsible for bringing life into this world. So many lies were at the origin of her and Don’s relationship, and she could see what lying was doing to Dina. It was just going to get worse. Nina wanted to be free of all the lies... but Dina knew that once her sister started telling the truth, she wouldn’t be able to stop herself. You’re terrible at keeping secrets, and you’re even worse at lying, Dina had told her sister. We have to announce our pregnancies at the same time. I’ll do all the talking, you just nod and smile. And, god forbid, if Don ever gets you alone and asks you why you look like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you just tell him that keeping my secret was a burden on you. Being burdened by her sister was right! But it wasn’t the fact that Dina was pregnant that was such a burden, it was the fact that she didn’t know who the father was. All Nina could think about was... what if her sister’s child wasn’t Mortimer’s?

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