The Andretti Legacy
For the next few weeks, Nathan and Natalie spend hours together. They are really starting to become one. Just after watching a movie, Natalie notices the strangest look on his face. "Is everything okay, Nathan?" She asks with worry, as she steps closer to him.
"...I'm sure you see me as this big tough solider who is like this emotionless robot...or whatever." He stares down at the cement. "But, really...I'm only human."
"I see you as how you present yourself to me...and I don't think your an emotionless robot, big and tough...yes." She smiles kindly as he lets out a soft laugh.
"I'm worried Natalie." He avoids eye contact. "I like you...actually, I like you a lot. I've got this...really deep feeling that I can't explain and I don't know if it's my brain or my heart." He looks at her once, then turns away again and stares down at his shoes.
"...I am trying to sort this. Am I feeling this because you are the only one reaching out to me? Is this because you are the only person to ever have shown an interest in me? Or...is this really something I need to keep? Is this something I need to come back for?" His voice cuts deep into Natalie, and suddenly something very strange is stirring inside of her.
"Nathan...I can't answer those questions for you." She puts her hand around his preparing to bare all. "But, I will tell you...that I'm going to check my mail box every day...sometimes 3 and 4 times a day, and I will be miserable and hoping and praying for that letter to come that says you're coming home." She stares at him as her emotions get stronger and stronger. "...I can't explain how...in just short of a month I feel this strongly for someone...for a complete stranger...but, stranger things have happened in my family." They both laugh softly.
With that, Nathan sighs heavily and wraps his arms around Natalie and jumps into his new life head first. Their relationship sped right along, and with Nathan leaving to go back to overseas in just a few days, it was now or wait a really, really, really long time. It's been three weeks since Nathan left Natalie, and she's not handling it very well. She spends more time with her sister than she ever did, and it's likely because of her sudden loneliness. "How are you holding up?" Naomi looks over at her twin with concern. "You're so quiet these days..."
"...I just feel empty." Natalie replies.
"Lonely...you know. I went from every second with him...to...nothing. It's just hard." Natalie's voice trails off as her eyes tear up.
"Aw, Nate..." Naomi comforts her. "I'm always here for you, whenever you need me..."
Natalie started to become ill, especially in the morning. After a long discussion between her mother and Naomi, Natalie went to the doctor. He ran a few tests, including a pregnancy test, which came back positive. Shortly after giving birth, Natalie decided to move to Twinbrook for no particular reason. She just wanted a change, and everything in Sunset Valley reminded her of Nathan. Baby Olivia is quiet and creative, just like her mother. She loves to be held, loved, and is an all around good baby. Olivia's twin, Oliver, is the opposite. He's loud and active. He's a very bold baby, as well. Natalie knows full well that raising two complete opposites is going to be a challenge, especially by herself, but a family is one of the most important things to her. It didn't take Natalie long to get settled in. Her father continued to persuade her in becoming a self-employed painter, and finally he won. She hired a baby sitter for the day, and headed to City Hall to fill out the necessary paperwork. She returns home that evening, dismisses the sitter, and begins to paint. She began to worry that Nathan hadn't received her letter stating the address change. It really wouldn't matter, the previous address is still occupied by her sister, Naomi. She could just spend the day in Sunset Valley and get her mail then.
But, then the thought crossed her mind that perhaps something had happened to him! She shook her head and slapped her cheeks with her palms to shake the thought out of her head. He was fine, she knows it.
"He's probably just busy...yeah, too busy to write." She whispers to herself and continues to paint.
The days are getting longer and the stress and loneliness are taking their toll on Natalie's body. The twins are growing so fast, and each and every day they demand more and more of her time. She paints during any possible spare time that she has, and with each painting she earns a few thousand which keeps the family afloat.
Nathan's picture by her bedside reminds her that she's not alone. He'll be home soon, she hopes. She can't wait; she can't wait for him to meet his children. She can't wait to hold him again.
The months pass quickly, the babies grow into toddlers, and Nathan develops a habit of sending at least one letter a week. It always comes on the same day, and Natalie is waiting by the front door just as the mailman puts the mail in her box. In his letters, he tells her how beautiful his children look in the picture she sent him. He tells her how thankful he is to have met her, and how he simply can't wait to come home to his family. Natalie spends a lot of time outdoors with the twins. There's more space for them to spread out and stretch their legs on the front porch than there is inside. She'd tossed the idea around of moving somewhere bigger, but Naomi quickly changed her mind. A few days later, Natalie gets a letter from Nathan in the mail on a different day than usual. She hurries inside while the twins are sleeping to read it. She can hear his voice in the back of her mind as she reads the words in silence.
"Natalie, I don't want you to worry...but I won't be able to write for a while. We're being moved to the front line, and we can't have any distractions. I want you to know that I will be thinking of you always, and if something happens to me...Natalie, I love you. I know that I've never said that before, but I really, really mean it. You're my soul mate, and I'll be home soon."
The paper shakes in her nervous hands; tears form in her eyes and something catches in her throat. She could feel something...something in the words...something wasn't right. She folded the letter quietly, as if it were secret, and places back in the envelope.
She sits at the table feeling sick to her stomach. She felt an emptiness all of a sudden, a deep dull pain. It felt...well, it felt like a broken heart...
The Andretti Legacy (99)
Jun 21, 2010 by tdyannd
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