Without You

{For the Appleshine Mum, Loony, may she rest in peace.} The House Appleshine is rocked when they find out that their mother, Luna, has fallen ill. With their lives changing left and right, they've begun to have strains on the family ties as they struggle to cope with their mother's illness.

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12. Chapter Twelve

Prez continued to work on lunch, putting a hot dog in a bun to bring up to Girlie. Suddenly, however, she remembered what she had left on her nightstand.

Why did I never move that in the six freaking months I've had it?! She screamed at herself internally, before forcing herself to calm down. No. No, it's okay. She probably doesn't know what it means, and even if she did the table is against the wall. Maybe she didn't see it.

But deep down, Prez knew that her sister was an old soul. Wise and brainy beyond her years. She'd know what it was and what it meant.

Prez quietly put down the plate on the table and snuck upstairs. She quietly opened her bedroom door, only to find Girlie staring at the pregnancy test. She groaned and slammed her head into the wall, making the second grader look up.

"You're having another baby. Aren't you." It was a statement, not a question.

Prez faintly contemplating lying again, but she had no choice. It would be coming in a little over a month anyway. "Yes. I am." She sighed.

Girlie stared at her for almost a minute. Prez was scared that she would call Hello up and tell her everything, but when her mouth opened again she just said, "Can I feel for a kick?"

Prez felt like crying in relief. "Yeah, but this one's really shy. I'm not making any promises." She sat on the edge of her bed and Girlie crawled over, putting a hand on her belly.

"How long have you been hiding this?" She asked, stunned. "And how did you hide it?"

"I've known for six months, and it was luck."

The sisters sat in silence until, finally, there was a little movement in the swelling where Prez's womb was. "I feel it." Girlie whispered in wonder.

"You can't tell anyone, Girlie."

The child was silent, staring at her older sister. "But it's not right to keep this -"

"You keep secrets from me, don't you? Try to keep a secret for me. Please."

After a moment, Girlie nodded. When she spoke again, it was almost too quietly for Prez to hear. "What's going to happen to us if Mum doesn't make it? You're going to have another baby, and there are so many of us -"

"Shh!" She put a hand over her little sister's mouth. "Mum is going to make it. And everything's going to be okay." She knew that was doubtful, so she added, "And even if she doesn't, we're all going to stay together."

She removed her hand.

"Promise?"

"Promise."

The sisters shared a hug, slowly calming each other down.

"You should probably finish making lunch." Girlie was the one to break the silence.

"Yeah, okay. I'll bring you up a hot dog."

"Okay."

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