Chapter One: Off to the Orphanage

“Hey, Isabella! Mr. Thompson just got back,” Evelyn’s voice echoed up the stairs. Isabella, holding the ultrasound report, couldn’t contain her joy and excitement. Awesome! I can’t wait to surprise Sebastian.” The anticipation tingled inside her, eager to share the news of their twins. Descending the stairs, Isabella met Evelyn just as Frank was entering. Brimming with excitement, Isabella spilled the beans to Evelyn , “I’m really feeling the whole ‘mom-to-be’ vibe now, I still can’t believe I’m going to be a mother soon.” “I was kinda unsure about the whole IVF with donor sperm thing, but now? Pure joy. Pregnancy struggles ain’t nothing compared to this happiness!” Evelyn, looking concerned, observed, “You’ve been through quite a lot, it feels so great to see you happy again” “Most folks pack on pounds during pregnancy, but you seem to be shedding. I better whip up some hearty meals for you and your babies.” “Thanks for caring so much,” Isabella smiled. “It’s what I’m here for. Your health’s top priority.” Isabella darted off as she heard Sebastian’s arrival. “Time to spill the beans.” Seeing her rush, Evelyn called out, “Be careful, walk slowly!” “Don’t worry Evelyn, I always am!” Sebastian came in, looking tired and worn out. He shrugged off his suit jacket, loosened his tie, and collapsed onto the couch. “Evelyn, a glass of water, please.” Evelyn swiftly brought him a glass of ice water, placing it before him. “Here you go.” Then, off she went to handle other stuff. The room quieted down, giving Isabella the opportunity to approach Sebastian. Clearing her throat to grab his attention, she sat beside him before she said “Had a check-up today. Doctor says the twins are doing great. We even got to see their shapes in the ultrasound.” At seven months in, the thought of meeting her two bundles of joy kept Isabella going despite recent tough times. But Sebastian seemed distant. Throughout her pregnancy, Isabella went alone to all her check-ups. It left her feeling alone and abandoned, seeing other couples together being loving to their kids. She was anxious to see Sebastian’s reaction to the news. As she reached for the ultrasound report, Sebastian, putting his glass down, casually remarked, “Let’s send the kids off to an orphanage after they’re born.” Isabella’s hand froze mid-air. ‘Did he just say that? Is this some twisted joke?’ But Sebastian’s stern face said otherwise. ‘I thought he was just worn out from work, but…’ For five years, they’d yearned for a child. Their journey was rocky, with Frank’s fertility issues leading them to IVF with donor sperm. Just months ago, they’d agreed on this route, leading to the conception of their twins after high-tech procedures. Isabella was all in for these babies, and even Sebastian’s mom was thrilled about their arrival. So, Sebastian suggesting they give them away left Isabella utterly stunned. “I spoke to a friend. He thinks there might be a cure,” Sebastian said earnestly. “Maybe later, we can have a child that’s biologically ours.” Isabella was crushed. “But we agreed on this. You said it didn’t matter and that you loved me regardless. This hurts, it really does, real bad.” Still hopeful, she wanted to show him the ultrasound, hoping it’d sway him. “Look at this. The twins are very healthy. Seven months in. They’ll be here soon. Don’t you want to watch them grow?, Don’t you want to raise them and care for them” “I don’t want these kids. They’re not mine,” Sebastian’s voice rose with fury. “It’s uncomfortable and unacceptable to me.” Isabella couldn’t wrap her head around Sebastian’s sudden flip. ‘How can he suggest an orphanage after seven months?’ She’d often pictured a loving and cozy family scene, envisioning her own kids much like those she’d see in restaurants. Throughout their time together, Isabella never blamed Sebastian for his infertility, rather she embraced him and never shunned him. Her love for him and their eight-year bond trumped the desire for kids. Now, amidst the emotional weight of her solitary pregnancy, Isabella couldn’t hold back her true feelings any longer. “I adore kids so much, Sebastian. I’ve put my heart into prepping for their arrival. I can’t just let them go, I can never let them go!” her voice trembled. Sebastian, seeing her tears, softly wiped her cheeks. “I love you, Isabella. But this is hard in ways I can’t explain. Just trust me this time.” Isabella had given up her cherished job to focus on pregnancy, chatting often with pals who were parents. Sebastian’s casual talk of ditching their unborn kids shattered her. The irony hit hard. Sebastian had suggested IVF with donor sperm, an idea she’d hesitated about but eventually embraced for their dream. Now, it felt like he was the one backing out. “I’m not giving up on them. If you’re uncomfortable, that’s on you. I’ll raise them alone. And if you’re cured, maybe we can talk about another child but I’m not giving up on my babies” Isabella clung to a glimmer of hope. But Sebastian snatched the ultrasound from her and tore it without a glance, his face twisted in a frown, “No more discussion. I’ve arranged for an orphanage. I’ll be there when it’s time.” Isabella seethed. Sebastian had never joined her for check-ups, he always made excuses of him being busy but now he wanted to make sure they were given away. Wasn’t that too cruel of him. It was clear he feared she’d choose to keep them. Her shock and sadness were impossible to hide. “I can’t believe how heartless you’ve become. You knew how badly I wanted kids, how much I adore and love kids. Why give me hope, just for you to snatch it at the last seconds? ” Sebastian stood up. “No more talk. I’m heading to the study. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. What I have decided is finally. Leave me alone,” he said and left. Isabella watched, feeling like the man she loved for eight years had turned into a stranger. He turned his back against her when she needed him the most. His resolve as he walked away was heartbreaking and unsettling. Just the previous night, they were discussing baby names. How could he change so drastically in a day? Unaware of their intense chat, Evelyn came in to clear the cups. Seeing Sebastian gone, she approached. Unable to hold it together anymore, Isabella broke down, tears streaming and tracing her cheeks. With each tear that fell, a sigh escaped her lips, carrying the weight of her emotions. Evelyn rushed over, gently, she wrapped her arms around Isabella, worried. “What’s wrong?” she asked, patting Isabella’s back. “He doesn’t want our kids anymore. What do I do?” Isabella sobbed uncontrollably. Evelyn, surprised, exclaimed, “But Mr. Thompson was so thrilled about the babies. He kept on talking about them and their arrival. Talk to him again. This isn’t like him.” Isabella shook her head, defeated. “It’s pointless. I’ve tried to convince him but my effort turned out to be fruitless. He’s made up his mind and from the looks of it, it’s very impossible to persuade him.”
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