The Baby Isn’t Yours
“The most important thing during pregnancy is prenatal care.
Do you know that you should only look at pretty things, listen to good things and eat healthy things? Everything you see, feel and eat affects the child in your stomach, Kalia,” it was late at night and Allen was reiterating the importance of prenatal care once again.
Kalia, on the other hand, was cozily bundled up in a quilt on her bed.
His face was stern and he seemed like an older brother admonishing his younger sister.
They’ve been living together for over a month now and no matter if it was morning or night, they were together under the same roof.
Kalia, who had become accustomed to being taken care of, smiled and nodded along to his words in understanding.
Seeing her obedient appearance, Allen laughed, eyes shining, proud of Kalia.
He then took out the fairy tale book they’d been reading.
As he was about to sit down, Kalia thrust out her hand to him.
“I’ll read it,” she stared at him with her hand outstretched, waiting for him to hand the book over.
Allen, who was about to read her a fairytale as part of her prenatal care, was slightly bewildered, “I’ll read it for you.
Please make yourself comfortable.”
“No, I’ll read it.”
“Studies have shown that men’s voice transmits better to the inside of the stomach.
They say the deep and low reverberation gives the child a sense of security.”
“I know, Allen.
That’s why you’re telling me to let my baby hear the father’s voice often, right?”
“….yes, you’re right.”
To this, Kalia nodded her head and said calmly, “But Allen, you’re not a father so I’ll read it as the mother.”
Allen was instantly speechless.
He looked at Kalia with surprise for a moment before handing her the book with a slight smile, “Okay.
Then I’ll be on my way.
Please read it in a cheerful voice so that Shasha can hear it well, Kalia.”
Standing up, he made his way around the room and turned off most of the lights around the room, save for the one by Kalia’s bed.
He quietly left after saying good night to Kalia who’d been quietly watching him from her blanket bundle on her bed.
With a soft click, he slowly closed the door behind him and paused outside the door.
The story of a baby bear embarking on a wonderful adventure drifted through the door.
As Allen had asked, Kalia’s voice was cheerful and soft yet powerful.
As she read the fairy tale in a wonderful voice, her storytelling slowed down to an elegant and soft tempo.
that’s weird,” Allen muttered in a low voice and patted one side of his chest.
He gently leaned against the closed door, listening to Kalia’s muffled voice flowing out from behind the door.
But Allen, you’re not a father.
Those 6 words rang bitterly through his head.
With an agonizing grin, Allen knocked himself on the head with the palm of his hand, as to wake himself up and returned to his own room.
[The baby bear didn’t have any nice knives, sturdy shoes or pretty hats to protect himself from the sun, unlike his friends.
‘Aiya1, you don’t have anything baby bear!’
‘Wahaha! You’re broke2! You’ve nothing!’
‘Poor baby bear!’
The cub was teased by the people around him and the baby bear was very sad.
His skin was always tanned brown from being in the sun and his hands and feet were roughened by numerous calluses.
The baby bear was without any weapons and always had to hunt with his bare hands, so he was used to the task being many times harder than normal.
The baby bear’s callus-riddled bare hands, sunburnt skin and scarred bare feet were the target of all the teasing.
Then, one day, a huge storm hit the baby bear’s village.
The ground became a muddy mess due to the heavy rain and the village became a mess.
After the storm passed, the hot sun fell.
However, the fox’s nice hat had been blown away in the storm and the fox sweated and suffered beneath the sweltering heat.
The lion’s fancy knife rusted in the rain so it couldn’t cut anything.
The cat’s shoes were buried in the mud and ruined.
‘How can we live like this!’
‘God, how can you take everything away from us? This is too cruel!’
Without weapons, hats or shoes, the animals couldn’t hunt anything.
The animals blamed God and only complained.
‘This is obviously God trying to punish us.
If this isn’t some sort of punishment then you can’t take everything away like this!’
The sunlight was suffocatingly hot and their soft hands and feet hurt every time they touched the ground.
The animals did nothing except sit there in resentment and look up to the sky to place blame.
Then, suddenly, a ray of sunlight shone down upon them and spoke to the animals.
I gave you everything and I didn’t take anything from you.
It’s just that you didn’t want to see this.
No one can take away what you really have.
After parting these few sentences, God disappeared again without another word.
The animals tried to understand God’s words.
Then, they saw baby bear looking for food on his own.
The baby bear’s hard hands and feet had become his tools- his ‘weapons’ essentially- and the sunburnt skin looked firm, not at all afraid of the sun’s glaring rays.
With only his hands and feet, the baby bear had learned how to survive on his own.
He didn’t depend on anyone else but himself; he just believed in himself, trusting that he could support himself.
The animals approached the bear and asked him, ‘Can you teach us how to hunt?’
‘I think your hands are stronger than anyone else’s.
Teach me how to be strong!’
‘How come the sun doesn’t sting you?’
The baby bear was embarrassed at their attention and words but still, he kindly taught them, ‘You need to build calluses over time to make your hands and feet strong.
When your skin gets darker, it gets stronger in the sun3.
It just takes time and patience but anyone can do it.”
Only then did the animals realize that they had nails sharper than knives, fast feet and eyes that could see far.
What they had wasn’t really their own.
Only baby bear had made these things his own.
Faced with the rest of the animals, baby bear realized something.
He thought he had nothing but in fact, he had a lot and that anything can be achieved…
Equipped with this newfound understanding, the baby bear then went on an adventure with his strong limbs, far-seeing eyes, expanding his wisdom and experiencing the world.
He had no doubt that all the experience and wisdom he accumulated will make him a better person.]
“…..The baby bear went on his trip and grew up to be the strongest bear in the world,” Kalia finished the story and closed the book.
Stroking her stomach, she whispered to her child, “My dear, did you hear your mother’s voice well?”
Her stomach bulged out in reaction to her affectionate voice.
No matter how many times she felt it, it was an extraordinary feeling.
As if the baby was announcing their presence, the child pushed against their mother’s stomach vigorously.
An emotion that she had never felt before struck her, welling up in her heart.
Feelings of gratefulness and love towards the moving life in her stomach enveloped Kalia.
“…baby, you can be anything, you can do anything, just like baby bear.
I’ll give you all the happiness I have.
I won’t let anyone hurt you,” rubbing her fairly raised belly, Kalia set aside the fairytale book on the bedside table.
Before reaching out to extinguish the light, Kalia habitually reached out into the drawer beneath her bed but stopped abruptly.
She had been taking it out for several months before bed but today, it felt strange.
A man who had become a father, but simultaneously, was not a father4…
A man who made this child together with her but was not her lover…
“For prenatal care,” she mumbled resolutely and pulled out a picture of Simon from the drawer.
Light green eyes consciously skimmed down the picture of his face, tracing his sacred silver hair, mysterious golden eyes, delicate nose and moderately thick lips with her eyes.
The Simon in the picture was showing a confident yet lazy smile.
It was the most beautiful face she knew and it was also the face of her baby’s father.
“Come to think of it….
It’ll be a problem if the baby resembles his face a lot but it’s also a shame to not bear resemblance to him with genes like this,” Kalia murmured to herself, a bit embarrassed and a bit at loss with her own thoughts.
‘I wish you could look like a mix of Simon and I.’
For the last 5 weeks5, she’d been staring at the face of the prettiest person before she went to bed in the name of prenatal care.
As Kalia drifted to sleep, her mind lingered on the picture of Simon.
For some reason, she felt that his face was particularly eye-catching today.
From somewhere within her mind, a familiar voice called for her and Kalia’s consciousness slowly surfaced from her slumber.
A tender touch hugged her slender waist and ever so gently lifted her up.
A warm breath fell across her ribs.
The soft sensations from gentle lips trailed a blooming path of warmth down her flat stomach to her navel.
The butterfly-like sensation caused a thrilling current to spread out to all over her body.
Somewhere deep in her mind, she suddenly thought it was strange.
‘Why isn’t my stomach round?’
Even with her cloudy vision, her belly that was supposed to be round was flat, just like before she got pregnant.
‘….my baby,’ she murmured in her trance-like dream voice.
The tickling sensation from the person’s hot breath tingled over her stomach as she heard him laughing.
The arms around her tightened a little.
A silk-like soft cloth brushed over her sensitive skin and she wasn’t sure whether she was naked or not.
Their two bodies overlapped one another and she felt her bare skin smoothly pressed against his.
‘Baby, do you want to make one?’
……What? This was Simon’s voice.
‘….Shall we make one?’ he asked again.
This was obviously Simon’s voice.
Though it’d been a long time since she heard it, she could never forget his voice.
His voice, uncharacteristically sweeter than usual, sounded from somewhere by her stomach but slowly made his way up to her chest.
Kalia breathing grew rapid.
A firm but soft touch touched her all over.
Overcome by such thrilling sensations, she reached out her hands and embraced broad, firm shoulders.
Fragrant silver hair spilled softly across her chest.
Kalia bit her lips as she listened to the sound of his breathing.
His warm, moist breath tickled her skin, making her lose her own breath.
‘Huuu….’ Kalia let out a shaky breath as she looked down and hugged Simon’s head.
He shifted in her embrace, lifting his head so his softly shining golden eyes met her gaze.
In that moment, he seemed to glow with affection and warmth as he was in love with her6.
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