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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9. Growing Pains

Christmas was sneaking up on Dina Caliente rather more quickly than she would have liked it too. It only seemed like last week her sister was throwing her out of their old condo for cheating on Mortimer... and now she’d done it again. Except this time, she was pregnant, and she didn’t know who the father was. It didn’t matter, Dina thought to herself when she woke up early, quietly going downstairs alone. Dina had decided she was going to have a termination, and no-one but Nina would ever know that she was even pregnant. Speaking of Nina, she had had her own troubles with pregnancy. After Don Lothario found out, he started arguing lots about how he wasn’t ready to raise a child yet. The two were barely on speaking terms, and the atmosphere in the house was very uneasy. Of course, simple-old Mortimer Goth didn’t have a clue about what was going on right under his nose. Dina was surprised he wasn’t suspicious, but the rare times she saw him, he seemed busy on the phone. Given her problems, she hadn’t even had time to think about what he might have been up to. “You’re up early!” Dina jumped at the sight of Nina walking down the stairs, worried that she was going to find out her plans.
“I could say the same for you, what’s up?” She asked, heading towards the breakfast bar.
“I... I really don’t want to talk about it. But trust me, when I come back, everything will be okay.”
“Whoa, when you come back? Where are you going so early?” Nina asked, stopping to speak with her sister.
“It’s nothing, just going to solve some of my problems.” Dina avoided the truth expertly, or so she thought.
“What problems? Does this have to do with your ‘tomato’?” Nina asked. Tomato was the code word she and Dina had come up with whenever they wanted to talk about Dina’s baby.
“Yes.” Dina sighed.
“Dina, what’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry, Nina.” Dina felt the urge to confess her sins. “I just can’t go through with it. Not like this, it wouldn’t be right.” She confessed.
Nina placed a hand to her head and tried her best to suppress the anger that was suddenly boiling for her sister. “You’re not talking about what I think you’re talking about, are you?”
“It’ll be over and done with before dinner.” Dina told her sister.
“Over and done with? You sound like you’re going to have a wart removed! Dina, you’re actually talking about killing your child.” Nina said, frustrated at her sister’s decision.
“Be quiet! Look, it’s barely even the size of a fist yet. And besides, I don’t want to think about it, just let me go.” Dina said walking towards the door.
“You’re not going anywhere!” Nina said, pointing at her sister in a way which resembled pointing at a spoilt child, which is what she felt like Dina acted like sometimes. “Why don’t you want to think about it? Is it because, in the back of your mind, you know this is the wrong way out?”
“Of course it’s the wrong way out! But apart from telling the truth, it’s the only option I have.”
“So you’re going to kill your baby just because it might not be Mortimer’s?”
“Nina don’t be stupid, do you really think that an elderly man like Mortimer could father a child?” Dina sarcastically asked.
“Why not? He’s not exactly a geriatric. I mean, you two are practically all over each every night.” Nina was quick to point out.
“We were, but something’s come between us.” Dina said, as she put a hand on her stomach.
“The only thing that’s come between you is guilt because you know that getting rid of your child is the wrong thing to do.” Nina said.
“I can’t talk to you about this anymore. I’m wrong, but it’s the only way out of this mess. Once it’s gone, everything will be back to normal.” Before Dina left, Nina reached out one last time to her sister.
“From one pregnant woman to another, just please think long and hard about what it is you’re giving up.”
“I have. And in my opinion, I could stand to lose a lot more if I go through with having my... tomato.” Dina said, stopping at the door to hear her sister’s goodbye.
“You’re not just going to lose your baby if you go through with the abortion. You’ll be losing a sister too. Just think about that when you’re in the waiting room.” Nina threatened, and walked off into the den. Dina thought about her sister’s words, and lingered at the open front door. Upon coming to a final decision, she was just about to leave when Mortimer came walking down the stairs.
“I thought I heard you down here, where are you going?” He asked, puzzled at why his wife was stood at the front door. Dina turned around, startled at her husband’s appearance downstairs.
She looked into Mortimer’s eyes and answered his question, “I’m going... nowhere.” She said in defeat, and closed the door. “Why don’t I make you something for breakfast.” Dina offered, as a secret apology to him.
“That’s a lovely offer, but I’m afraid I have to go out this morning.” Mortimer said.
“You’re going out? Where?” Dina asked.
“I’ve got a very important meeting. But don’t worry, this should be the last one.” Mortimer said cryptically, as he began to get ready to leave.
“You’ve been out a lot lately, is there something you’re not telling me?” Dina asked.
“Oh! Dina, what do you think? That I have another wife in another town! Honestly, you’re always so suspicious.” Mortimer laughed and walked out into the early morning sunrise. She had no right to be suspicious of Mortimer, especially when she was the one keeping secrets. No more, she placed a hand to her stomach. With the other hand, she picked up the phone and dialled a familiar number.

*

It had been many days ago, but Dirk still could not forget how close his lips came to touching those of Alex Goth. Once again Dirk was thinking about it, and he felt dirty doing so. As he went into the bathroom to take a shower, he was surprised to find someone already inside. “Hey, who’s in there?” Dirk asked.
“It’s Alex! Care to join me?” Alex suggestively giggled.
“Just try and stop me!” Dirk replied, stripping off and pulling back the shower curtain. “Argh!” Dirk screamed and woke up to the sound of his alarm. Thankfully, the events that Dirk had just witnessed were only in a dream. But still, the fact that they came from his own mind sent a chill throughout his body. Could he really be lusting after Alex? Another chill surged through him, as Dirk heard the shower turn off in the bathroom. He hadn’t even realised it was on! Unable to fight his curiosity, he climbed from his bed and opened the adjacent bathroom door.
“Dirk?” Dirk sighed upon hearing his dad’s voice.
“Sorry, just checking if the bathroom was free.”
“It’s okay, I actually need you.” Dirk began to grow confused.
“What on earth do you need me for?” He asked, worried he had not woken up from his dream yet and something even more chilling was about to take place.
“There’s no dry towels. Can you go get one from my bedroom?” Darren asked. Dirk sighed and went up the stairs to get a towel for his dad.
Feeling less paranoid, but still hormonal, Dirk was unsettled to see Cassandra when he opened his Dad’s bedroom door. “Sorry!” He apologised upon seeing Cassandra in only her underwear.
“It’s okay, Dirk. What did you want?”
“My dad wanted a towel.” Dirk waited at the door.
“It’s okay, come in. The towels are in the bottom drawer.”
“I know!” Dirk shot back at his dad’s fiancée. He scowled at the fact she could think that he had forgotten where his dad kept the towels - it was his house, not hers. Although you would never have known, given the amount of time she spent over here, Dirk thought. Collecting what he needed, he began to leave but stopped at the door and turned back to look at Cassandra.
“Was there something else?” She asked.
“I just,” Dirk started, thinking about her brother, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I guess it was because of my bad dream.” He confessed.
“Thank you, I’m sorry to hear about your nightmare.” Cassandra said, making Dirk feel better. And things between the Dreamer’s and Goth’s had been better than ever. Dirk just wished he could forget about Alex and not hold a grudge against Cassandra. Even though it was probably her fault he had ended up that way. With Alex being left motherless towards the end of his childhood, Dirk assumed it was something Cassandra must have done during his upbringing that had made him gay. And now here she was, hoping to raise yet another child. Well she can think again, Dirk thought. He had been on the phone and searching the net a lot lately, looking for some early graduation scholarships that would put him on the fast-track to University. The quicker I get out of this house now she’s here, the better, he thought to himself. Cassandra hadn’t moved in but she might as well have, judging by how comfortable she had made herself. Dirk turned to see Cassandra joining him and his dad at the breakfast table; visibly still in her underwear, despite wearing a black satin robe. Dirk rolled his eyes and began to think. How can she walk around my house looking like that? Dressed in her black underwear with her smooth, tanned skin glistening in the morning light. No wonder my dad’s fallen for her, she might as well have a halo floating above her head. God, she’s beautiful. Dirk didn’t realise that he was staring right at Cassandra’s half-naked body, but Darren had.
“Dirk, chew with your mouth closed!” Darren said.
“Huh, What?” Dirk snapped out of his thoughts and caught his dad’s disapproving glance. Cassandra simply muffled a laugh and ate her breakfast. Dirk began to turn a bright shade of red and didn’t look up from his bowl for the rest of the meal. Feeling like a fool, he quickly got off to school and avoided coming home that evening by making plans with Orlando.

*

Across town, the warm sun shone through Brandi Broke’s window, as she and Shaun held each other on her bed. They had planned to spend the night together, but they were interrupted when Calvin Broke, the youngest of the three Broke children, refused to go to sleep in his brothers’ bedroom, and would only settle in Brandi’s room. “I can’t believe you won’t do it.” Shaun said, turning his back to Brandi on the bed.
“I can’t do it in front of my child - he’d know, he’s not a little baby anymore.” Brandi reasoned, turning down Shaun’s offer of sex before breakfast.
“I forgot it was his birthday today, I suppose you’re right in not wanting to have...”
“Puppy!” Brandi interrupted. “We don’t use the real word in front of the child.” She explained.
“Oh come on, he’s a big boy today. You’re gonna have to have the talk with him sooner or later.” Shaun said, being alarmingly upfront in Brandi’s opinion.
“Then I’d rather it be later. Also, you don’t even live here. What kind of message would I be giving out to him if he knew you only came over for a quick...”
“Puppy!” Shaun laughed. “You know that isn’t just the reason I come over. We are engaged and tonight was s’posed to be special. You know I think of you as more than just a quick... puppy!” Shaun said.
“I know, you wouldn’t be engaged to me if you didn’t. And you wouldn’t be carrying out all this amazing work on my house if you intended to just leave me after you got what you wanted.” Brandi said. Shaun had hired builders to renovate the loft so that Beau and Dustin no longer had to share a bedroom. He’d also been painting and wallpapering the living room of Brandi’s house himself.
“You know I think the world of you and your kids.” Shaun said.
“And they think the world of you. You’ve been amazing to them - to us!” Brandi said, passionately kissing Shaun on the bed. “That’s why I know I can ask you this without wondering if it’s too soon.” Brandi said.
“What?” Shaun asked.
“I want you to move in with us and fully become a part of this family.”
“Wow, I don’t know what to say!” Shaun hesitated. “Not that I don’t want to! But I’m nervous. Also, I’d have to talk with Ed about him finding another roommate and...”
“Don’t worry. You can think about it for as long as you want, but I know everyone would really like it if you came to live here.” Brandi smiled.
“I’d like it too.” Shaun pulled in Brandi for a cuddle. They were just about to kiss, when Calvin screamed to be let out of his crib. “I bet that woke everyone up!” Shaun laughed.
“He must know it’s his big day today.” Brandi got out of bed in order to let Calvin out. As she held her son, Shaun watched how Brandi gently cared for Calvin. She was an amazing mother. And he imagined she would make a wonderful wife. He knew that one day he’d get to find out what kind of a wife she was like. Maybe it wouldn’t be soon, but he couldn’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to be with a woman like that.

*

After tossing around the football after school, Dirk and Orlando decided to visit the gym – with Dirk hoping that hard exercise would put him back in touch with his inner-man. Dirk still could not shake the feeling that Alex had stirred up something inside of him; feelings he did not want to be faced with at his age. As he stressed even more getting changed into his gym clothes, Dirk corrected his thoughts. He never wanted those feelings to be stirred up ever again. Finding some apparatus, Dirk grunted in disgust when he saw Angela Pleasant enter the gym. He tried to hide behind the weights, but Angela saw him and began to gloat. “Hey, Dirk! How’s your girlfriend? Oh that’s right, you don’t have a girlfriend.” She said in a mocking tone. Dirk clenched his teeth together. If he had been stronger, Dirk swore he would have thrown some weights at her big head.
Dirk began to pump some iron. “Just ignore her.” He told his friend.
“But I thought you had a girlfriend.” Orlando began, but Angela interrupted.
“He did, but that stupid girl somehow got it into her empty little head that a certain ex-girlfriend of Dirk’s was gonna hunt her down and beat her up. And I suppose when your life is put in danger, a little piece of Dirk Dreamer just doesn’t seem worth it.” Dirk shot Angela a filthy look of hatred. “And let’s be honest Dirk, a little piece is all any girl’s ever gonna get from you!” Dirk lost all concentration, dropping the weights with a loud crash. He felt his face turn an even brighter shade of red than this morning. Today just wasn’t turning out to be his day. Angela slipped on her MP3 Player and began expertly lifting weights, as Orlando looked on in confusion.
“Wait, you didn’t cheat on her, did you?” Orlando said, admiring Angela’s physique.
“No, it was her twin. I’d never touch that.” Dirk said in a disgusted tone.
“Twins! So are they both single now?” Orlando kept his eyes on Angela.
“Ugh!” Dirk said giving up and retreating to the lounge area. Orlando quickly joined him.
“What’s wrong?”
“It’s just... a bad day.” Dirk said.
“Care to tell me about it?” He said, sitting down next to Dirk. Orlando wanted to study psychology when he started University, and jumped at the opportunity to diagnose anyone in need of advice. But Dirk couldn’t tell Orlando about his problems... could he? “Look, your body is still developing and there’s no need to feel embarrassed about the size of your...” Dirk cut Orlando off before he could finish.
“DUDE!” Dirk cried out in disbelief. “It’s not that. Everything’s fine in that area.” Dirk said, flinching at the topic of their discussion.
“So, what’s the problem?”
“She’s the problem.” Dirk pointed at Angela, who was humming away to the music playing on her MP3 Player. “I’m just gonna take a shower and go home, coming here was a mistake.”
“Alright, I’ll get my things and come along.” Orlando said.
“No! You are not coming.” Dirk said, wanting to take a shower alone.
“What? Come on Dirk, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.” Orlando began to analyse his friend again.
“Would you just shut up?” Dirk yelled and turned to leave. Orlando knew something else was bothering Dirk. Despite what he said, his anger was not because of Angela, something else was on his mind. And Orlando thought he just might have the perfect plan to find out what it was. Strolling into the bathroom a few minutes later, Orlando put his plan into action.
“Can you turn on the shower next you?” He asked.
“No! I thought I already told you I wanted to shower alone.” Dirk said, annoyed his friend had disobeyed him.
“Well, that’s what you said, but it’s not what you meant.” Orlando said, stripping off his gym clothes behind Dirk. “I want the truth about what’s bothering you.”
“I already told you, it was Grungela Pleasant and her stupid big mouth.”
“That’s only the half of it. I can tell something’s on your mind, and the best way to share these problems is by not having any barriers to protect yourself with.” Orlando stepped under the shower-head next to his friend and turned on the tap. “Being naked helps break down these barriers and let your true feelings... shine through, or something like that.” Orlando said, obviously reciting something he’d read out of a book. Dirk found himself grinding his teeth again in frustration.
“You’re right it does help. Wanna know my true feelings? I feel like you’re talking a load of crap.” Dirk said, shutting off the shower and leaving his friend in silence. He really did want to tell someone, but he could hardly talk about what had happened with Alex Goth whilst he and Orlando were both stark naked! After getting dressed, Dirk walked out of the gym complex and decided to sit on a nearby bench, hoping to try and talk again with Orlando.
A few minutes later, Orlando showed up. “I come in peace! No jokes, no ‘Freud’ crap, it’s just me. Do you wanna tell me what’s up?” Orlando said, offering only advice that a friend could offer, sensing that was all Dirk really wanted.
“Something happened the other week.” Dirk took a deep breath in, the cold December air soothing his lungs. “Something that’s made me freak out about my feelings.” Dirk could feel the words coming, but they were so hard to share. He didn’t know how Orlando would react. So, instead of guessing, he decided to find out. “A boy... tried to kiss me.” Dirk said, feeling relieved that the world hadn’t imploded like he thought it would. Though the puzzled look on Orlando’s face now made Dirk feel uncomfortable.
“Gah, no wonder you didn’t want to talk to me in the shower. Me and my stupid psychoanalysing!” Orlando was blushing. Dirk laughed a little and expected the next question that came. “Who was it?”
Dirk knew better than to name Alex. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Orlando, but more the fact he wasn’t even sure if he could physically say those words out loud. “I can’t tell you. All I can say is, I thought we were having a great time as friends and then... he leaned in to kiss me. I was just so shocked. As far as I knew, he has a girlfriend.” Dirk added, sharing with Orlando all his worries that had been stored up inside for the past few weeks.
“So, dude’s not gay?” Orlando asked.
“No, he’s gay. He didn’t try to deny what he wanted to do to me. And it makes me mad that he’s still pretending he’s straight. I’ve seen him getting close with his girlfriend, almost as if he assumes I’ll get jealous and come over to him, begging or something.” Dirk told Orlando more about Alex’s attempts to strike up a conversation at school, only to be left standing alone, with Dirk walking off and not saying a word.
“Do you think he assumes you’re like him, pretending to be straight?” Orlando asked.
“I don’t wanna know what he’s thinking.” Dirk said, feeling awkward about the question. “The girl he’s seeing is one of my friends too. She’s really sweet, and I don’t want to see him hurt her.” Dirk said, asking for Orlando’s advice.
“Oh. Well, I think you might be feeling some sort of guilt. Feeling like you betrayed your friend - even though it’s not your fault.” Orlando offered, feeling the advice coming to him so easily.
“Then, why does it feel like I’m the one who’s done something wrong?”
“I think maybe, just maybe, that not kissing him has meant a part of you wonders what would have happened if you had kissed him.” Dirk looked at his shoes and begrudgingly admitted the truth.
“Yeah, I kind of do feel like that.” Orlando saw his friends honesty and tried to make him feel better.
“Well, it’s not your fault. You’re not the one with a girlfriend, pretending to be something you’re not. You can go around kissing boys if you want to, it’s him who should be feeling guilty.”
“I do not want to go around kissing boys. That’s disgusting!” Dirk assured his friend, as he cringed just at the thought of it.
Trying not to laugh, Orlando offered his friend his final word of advice. “I think what you have to do is tell this dude’s girl. Then maybe your conscience will be put to rest by showing yourself that you can do good - and it will be good, she deserves to know.” Orlando said.
“Given my recent experience, being caught as a cheater, I would actually have to agree with you. It’s better out in the open. But having said that, I just don’t think I can tell a girl that their boyfriend is gay.” Dirk admitted.
“You say she’s your friend? I think she’d be pretty pissed if she found out you knew all along and didn’t tell her. I mean, I’d want to know if my girlfriend was trying to make-out with another chick... but of course, that’s because I’d want to be there to get in on the action!” Orlando laughed. Ignoring his friends joke, Dirk thought long and hard about what he was going to do. He knew Orlando was right, he had to tell Meadow that Alex didn’t feel the same way she did about him. But could he really tell Meadow that her boyfriend was gay?

*

Brandi had waited until Dustin and Beau got home from school before starting the celebrations. The party wasn’t going to be huge - it was only for a toddler, and he had no friends of his own (yet, Brandi happily reminded herself). Shaun had invited Ed, and Dustin's girlfriend, Angela, came over later. Whilst Calvin opened presents, Shaun had had a word with Ed about what Brandi had asked him to do. Deciding rather sooner than he had anticipated, he tried to get Brandi alone to break the news to her. “Brandi, can I have a word with you in private?” Shaun asked, watching her pick up Calvin and place him in his feeding chair.
“Hold on, let me just get Calvin a bottle.” She said. Shaun waited for about a second, but he couldn’t hold in his excitement any longer.
“Let me do it, he better get used to having me around now.” Shaun said. Brandi paused and looked at Shaun, and he nodded and smiled. Delight spread across Brandi’s face, as she shrieked and hugged her fiancé.
“You mean it, you want to move in?” She asked.
“Of course I do!” Shaun replied.
“Oh, I’m so happy.”
“Why? You knew I was going to say yes.”
“I know, but you might not have.” She giggled.
“Anyway, don’t let me overshadow Calvin’s day. We can celebrate on our own later.” Shaun suggested.
“Oh! You can expect a big puppy tonight.” Brandi laughed and tried to calm down.
“Puppy? That must be the weirdest word I’ve ever heard to describe...”
“Ed!” Shaun interrupted, “Brandi doesn’t like to use the real word around t’ little one.”
“He’s not a little kid anymore.” Brandi picked up Calvin. “He’s growing up.”
“Here, mum, let me hold him while you light the candles on the cake.” Dustin said, taking Calvin from his mother’s hands. As he looked into Calvin’s maturing face, he was reminded of his dad. He knew that somewhere, Skip was watching over all of them and smiling.
“Do you know the words, Cal?” Dustin asked.
“Yeah, Happy Birthday to me!” Calvin started, as everyone else joined in.
“Happy Birthday to you...” Calvin reached over and, instead of blowing air over the candles, he blew a raspberry and drooled all over the cake.
Everyone laughed, and Dustin opened his mouth in shock. 
“Well, I hope none of you actually wanted to eat this cake!” He laughed. It didn’t matter, everyone was having such a great time that no-one minded Calvin had refused to put on his birthday clothes, or that Dustin later sneaked outside with Angela to make-out. Brandi smiled and knew she would look back on this day happily.

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