Lily Jung is 33; Vince Jung is 30; Willow Centowski is 54; Alex Centowski is 32; Jane Centowski is 35, Steve Kauffmann is 34; James and Marla Centowski are 60.
Lily’s Children: Raine (Kauffmann) is 8; Victoria is 6; Amber is 9mths.
Alex’ Children: Christopher is 9; Janie is 7; Kimberly is 5; Kathryn & Jacob are 4.
Lily came down the stairs, and Steve Kauffman, her ex-boyfriend and father of her eldest daughter, hugged her tightly. “You guys ok?” Lily nodded. Although he’d had less contact with them in the past few years, Steve knew the whole family well including Kyle, and he’d been as shocked as anyone over what had happened. He’d lived with the family for a while, as a teenager, following the death of his father and the dissolution of his own family.
Maybe it was because of this connection that he and Lily had stayed such close friends, even after their romantic relationship had ended. The break up had been mutually agreed on, and amicable. Lily was already pregnant with Raine.
While some couples might be tempted to stay together because of the baby, Lily and Steve saw the pregnancy as a further reason to break up. They were certain things would not work out and, they reasoned, it would be better for the child to know from the beginning that her parents live apart, rather than deal with the inevitable separation later in life.
He looked around the room for Raine, slightly bewildered, "It's like a freaking day-care in here," he said to Alex. "Are these all yours?"
"Uh... most of them," Alex replied. "I think your one is in here somewhere".
“Are you sure you want me to take her this week?” Steve asked Lily. They had originally decided that Raine would live weekdays in the city with him when school was in, as it wasn’t practical to travel from Bluewater Village to private school in the city each day. Now that Lily had moved to Richmond, that could change. But not this week, Lily told him. Maybe later, but too many things had changed already in a short space of time right now, and Lily welcomed the chance to maintain at least a little of their normal routine.
Alex left Lily and Steve to sort out their arrangements, and slipped into the kitchen, where Willow was preparing dinner. There was something he needed to talk to her about, the sooner, the better.
"Mum, there's something you need to know," he said. "I mean, everyone will know eventually, but I wanted to tell you first. Jane's pregnant again."
"Pregnant?! Again... but, I thought... I mean... didn't you decide not to have any more children?"
"Yeah, we did," he sighed. "This one is an accident... I mean, a real accident. You know that statistic, about how often birth control fails? We were the lucky one a thousand or whatever it is..." he shook his head. “Of all the messes that we could get into…”
“So you… um… you don’t want the baby?”
Alex sighed. “I don’t know… It’s not so much that we don’t want it, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Janie’s grades are terrible and Christopher has been so angry since granddad died… we hardly have any time for the twins… we even thought about adopting the baby out or putting it in foster care or something, but then, someday we’d have to try to explain to him why we kept his siblings and not him. I don’t know how we’d do that but I don’t know how we’re going to fit in another kid… “
He paused for a moment, then added, “But you know the really crazy thing? Despite all that, we’re really looking forward to this baby. So, yeah, we do want it ”
Willow shook her head. “You know, I always wanted more grandchildren… but I never thought they’d come from you two… In a way I wish it had happened sooner… your father wanted more grandchildren too. Maybe it would have made a difference.”
“I doubt it,” Alex said. “He doesn’t care about the ones he’s got. Why would another one make any difference?”
“Well, its true, isn’t it? He wouldn’t have done it if he’d though ab0out anyone else’s feelings other than his own. He wanted the easy way out and he was too selfish to care who he hurt. Possibly the best thing about him surviving is that now he has to deal with he consequences along with the rest of us.”
“Alex, don’t…. “ She started to cry.
“I’m sorry, Mum… just ignore me, I shouldn’t have said anything… “ Even as he tried to comfort her, he knew he wasn’t the one who should be apologising here. Dad had a hell of a lot to answer for.
“Has he gone?” James asked, staring at the blank computer screen.
“Yeah, he’s gone,” Marla replied. “What did you expect? I mean, was that really necessary?"
"Don't you start, too..." James said.
"Since when do you talk to your family like that?"
“Oh, come on!”, he said, getting up to leave. “Ashley has no right to come here, trying to put it all on Kyle…”
“All he said was that the doctor didn't do anything inherently wrong in prescribing Kyle antidepressants. Probably, he should have been aware of the risk of unintended consequences, but it wasn’t so much the doctor at fault as the lack of follow-up…”
“Yeah… he did a great job with that one, too"!”
“Meaning that he lives just around the block from him, he gets all worked up about sending him to some doctor who doesn’t even know what he’s doing, then he just forgets to call him for weeks after …”
“Did you call?”
James’ face reddened. "I'm not getting into this,” he said, turning to leave. Marla was about to follow when something on the desk caught her eye. "What's this?" she asked, picking up the old photo.
"Just something I found in Dad's things..."
"You and Kyle?"
He nodded. "You know, I think I can remember the day that was taken. I remember thinking how great it was that I could make him smile..."
"Look, I know you want someone to be held accountable for what happened but - "
"Damn right someone's accountable... I don't care what Ashley says, Kyle wouldn't have done it if that doctor hadn't just given him the pills and forgotten about him..."
"You mean just like he wouldn't have done it if Ashley hadn't failed to realise what was going on, or he wouldn't have done it if Willow hadn't told him she was leaving, or he wouldn't have done it if -
"What exactly is your point?!"
"My point is that maybe Ashley was right about Kyle having some responsibility in this. Maybe, even if none of those other things had happened, maybe he would still have done it, because that was the choice he made. Maybe, nobody could have stopped him. Not even you."
For just one moment, she thought she might actually have gotten through to him. Then he turned back to the computer. "I'm too busy to listen to this..." he muttered.
Left the room without answering. Sometimes there was no point in even trying.
One more part to follow this one, then we’re past the talkie bits and back to actual stuff happening :)
Alex has the lowest relationship with Kyle of his kids, and I figured there is more than one way of looking at what happened… not everyone is going to be sympathetic, and he’s really added to the pressure that Alex and family are already under.
Jane and Alex were on ACR birth control so I guess pregnancy #5 happened through the risky woohoo thing. It couldn’t have happened with a worse family, I can hardly play the house as it is, with all those little kids!
They do both want the baby – Jane rolled a baby want almost the instant she realised she was pregnant. Alex has a want and a fear, but he gains more aspiration wants for fulfilling the want than he loses for the fear, so I guess he wants it too. But I’ve played them ahead a bit and things get really rough… I’m still not completely sure of how it will work out.
BTW, in the previous part of this, I accidently muddled the ages of their kids… trying to get this done in too much of a hurry between exam study :) Correct version is on this one.
‘Real’ picture of little James and Kyle. A lot of my screenshots from back then are really bad – walls down, camera a mile away, etc – but this one was ok, and it made me go awww when I found it…