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[CW] When Things Fall Through
Senior Member

311 Posts
8 Threads

Pronouns: She, her
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Registered: Sep 2020

#1
TW - thoughts of abortion

She was staring out the kitchen window with a cup of tea cradled in her hands, the brew tepid by that point; she had hardly touched the crumpets she'd so lovingly prepared. Pippa was tired and worried, having not heard anything from Viktre, his partner, OR Douglas. Added to all of that, she hardly left the house anymore at all for the fact that she was starting to grow around the waist, let alone that feeling of being watched constantly for the several weeks that lead up to the moment where her forehead rested against the pane of glass.

The young socialite-turned-maid was beyond tears, feeling so much guilt for her predicament. She regretted what had happened by that point, realizing what stupidity her grief caused her to get into. The girl closed her eyes and the vapor from her sigh clouded the glass momentarily. She pulled away, setting the mostly untouched beverage on the nearby table before moving to put her uneaten crumpet next to the plate of the others, the aroma of the pastry still lingering in the air as the majority of the pile was still slightly warm and ready to grab at a moment's notice.

She thought about how she could take care of her problem. There was part of her that very much wanted to keep the child, for the child was all she had left by way of family... but there was a more desperate niggling coming in that had her thinking of other options, and it tortured her so. She felt even guiltier for the more sinister of the two thoughts of action that came to mind.

Pippa hadn't talked much to her employer since the last time she'd seen her former lover, when Viktre had tried to marry her off to his partner, which had been a low blow to her already messed up state. Honestly, she thought, she was just... tired of the hand that had been dealt and focused her attention on the things that could help her in the long run... she no longer burnt things when cooking, no longer took hours scrubbing floors because she figured out how to be more efficient without cutting corners.

She wondered what Tristan would do now that her prospects and her safety were dwindling so quickly.

And then finally, she made her way up the stairs to search him out. It was something that she needed to do. The first place she looked was his study, a room she only went in now upon invitation so she would not make the mistake of picking up dropped letters. She only tidied up the study when requested and only when he was present so that would not have been repeated, and she even left a small note with her apology and her promise not to do it again.

When she saw the good doctor stooped over what looked to be ledgers, she hardly glanced at the objects and studied him momentarily before softly knocking upon the frame of the door. "Did you need anything more from me for the next few hours, Dr. Wells? I thought, perhaps, since I've finished all of the day's cleaning, I could rest for a spell before supper needs to be cooked."
[Image: Pippa1.png]
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Senior Member

658 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Physician
Height: 6'1''
Registered: Nov 2020

#2
Surely there had to be a mistake! Tristan stared back at the glaring number he had just computed under the inky line. He had never had a head for numbers. His elementary school teacher had frequently called him to the front of the classroom to scold him publicly for his stupidity. He was now grateful to recall it. His teacher had been right. He didn’t know how to do his sums!

His pen followed the digits down along the page while he did his calculations over. And over. And over. Finally, he put the pen down forcefully, sat back, put his fingers over his eyes and pushed his eyebrows together. A long-stretched sigh escaped his lips. He had not made a mistake. For the second month in a row, his expenses were greater than his earnings. All those little sums he had thought wouldn't matter that much, had for some mysterious reason added up to a much larger sum than he had considered possible.

He dropped his hands and leaned over the ledger again. His eyes moved over the page under an ever deepening frown. He flipped back to last month. The approaching footfalls were lost on him. The knock started him. He looked up.

Tristan quickly closed the ledger as if he had been caught in something criminal, even though this time Pippa had not stumbled upon the literary expressions of horny yet melodramatic teenage boys.

"Pippa," he said, almost as a reminder to himself that she existed. "Actually..." Now that he was handling all the unpleasant household business, he might just as well talk to her. He had put it off constantly, and then regretted it at night when it weighed on his mind. It couldn't be put off for much longer. Pippa's belly was starting to show. The last thing he needed on top of his foundering business was a scandal. "I need to talk to you," he continued.

He got up, passed the young maid in the doorway, got a chair from the dining room across the hall and placed it on the opposite side of the desk, as if she were a patient in his practice. "Sit down, please," he said, returning to his own chair. He put his elbows on the table and looked at her over his folded hands. "Have you had a chance to speak to your fisherman?"
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Senior Member

311 Posts
8 Threads

Pronouns: She, her
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Registered: Sep 2020

#3
She nodded silently before watching him take off to go get a chair for her to sit in. When he moved away from the chair, she sank onto the seat and looked down at her hands, which were wringing at the fabric of her slightly too tight smock, her apron no longer hiding the swell of her belly, as slight as it was still. She couldn't look up at him when the inevitable question came up. "No... I think he and his partner are at sea. I haven't talked to either of them in over a month..." her voice did not waver, but it was so soft and resigned.

It was clear that she'd given great thought to things since that had happened, for the sound of her voice was quite indicative of defeat, "I went to see him to tell him of the babe... Nothing more. I had to leave because Lord Gordon's man got into fisticuffs with him when I was in there longer than I intended... trying to reason." Then she finally looked up and there was just an immense look of exhaustion etched within those dark eyes of hers.

"I never explained to you that he tried to pass me off to his partner before the fight happened. I'd only ever seen that man one time and... I... I couldn't, even if it could have solved my problem. I should have just... kept to myself as you asked me to. I should have never..." her voice faded away and she looked down, but to her credit, there were no tears. She was taking accountability for herself and her actions.
[Image: Pippa1.png]
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Senior Member

658 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Physician
Height: 6'1''
Registered: Nov 2020

#4
It was painful to watch her sitting there, huddled and plucking away at the fabric of her clothes mindlessly, a defeated young woman with no options. Poor Pippa. She was barely more than a child. A sheltered child at that, who had had no idea about the world she had naively stepped into, no idea about men. Tristan opposed violence. But he also kind of hoped that Douglas’ man had given that worthless fisherman a good beating.

He dropped his hands on the ledger and folded them again. “There’s no point in dwelling on what should have been now, Pippa,” he said gently. “And no point in trying to marry a man that has no interest in being your husband. For all the hardship, you’re still better off without him, or that man he tried to pass you off to.”

But truth be told, Tristan had really hoped for an easy solution. He had to sack Pippa. There was no other way. But he knew he wouldn’t have the heart to turn a pregnant, friendless girl out on the streets.

“Is there really nobody from your old circles who could help you? A relative? A family friend?” A school friend who could get her a position somewhere else? He couldn’t say it out loud.
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Senior Member

311 Posts
8 Threads

Pronouns: She, her
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Registered: Sep 2020

#5
She looked up at him again, silent for a long moment after his round of questions. "I could not go back now..." she said almost too softly to be heard. She cleared her throat in an uncomfortable manner, then audibly swallowed. "I'd be called a trollop there just as much as I would be here. I thought about..." she faded away and then the shame in her eyes was palpable, radiating almost as vibrant as a sunbeam.

"I thought about finding a way to... make it go away... but I... I don't think I can do that," she choked out, "And I... I just do not think I can endure a trip across the sea again..." She squared her shoulders and lifted her chin, a small bit of her former self... a part of her Tristan may not have observed yet before... slipped through the grief and pain that she was enduring. "And the thought of an innocent child being subjected to the poor conditions of an orphanage, should I choose that way to try and fix this mess I am in... well... I do not believe I have it in me to do that either. I will endure what I must... I will not lie about my sins. I was weak, Dr. Wells, and I made excuses for it... But it is going to be on my shoulders for the rest of my life regardless of the choices I make henceforth."

Pippa then stopped wringing the fabric in her hands, the rumpled textile falling to rest in her lap. "It's clear to me now that the only way to fix this is to never give my heart to another but the child, for he or she will know so much hate for their birth. They need to know that it wasn't their cross to bear that I acted foolishly. I will not lie about their father to them. I will tell them exactly what my responsibility in this was when they are able to understand, and try to instill the bravery into them that they need to face the consequences of my actions... which seems so very unfair... but the world is cruel."

She paused and closed her eyes for a moment, inhaling deeply through her nostrils and exhaling through her mouth. "I am sorry for the shame that I have brought to your household, sir. Truly." It was the first time she apologized without the annoying sting of tears that would cling to her eyes most of the other times...
[Image: Pippa1.png]
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Senior Member

658 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Physician
Height: 6'1''
Registered: Nov 2020

#6
The confession shocked him. Tristan's frown deepened as he watched the girl. Her resolution did not impress him, rather convinced him more of her youthful naivety. And as for the apology for the shame that she had brought, he wished he could tell her it didn't matter. But it did.

He no longer blamed her. He had only blamed her shortly. She had been taught nothing. Yes, she had disregarded the conditions of her employment, but he blamed it more on the fisherman than on her. He suspected that the man understood a great deal more of the world, and faced fewer consequences for his actions. No, he did not blame Pippa. And he did not care about the scandal inherently. There had been people who had taken offense at him all his life. He had grown a thick skin. What he did care about was losing patients. A thick skin wouldn't prevent him from going out of business.

He sighed, wondering how to approach the tricky subject. There was a lot to tell her, but little to comfort her. "What's done is done." But she couldn't stay. He couldn't say it...

"But Pippa, you underestimate what its like to have a newborn. You won't have a nurse like the women you knew probably did. You cannot work if you're feeding every two hours all through the night, while your body is still recovering. You will barely sleep in the beginning. And that is all assuming everything goes well. Some births are particularly rough, and some women are not well after giving birth, especially when they have had other hardships to deal with. Caring for your baby under those conditions will be even tougher. You couldn't work on the side. I'm glad that you did not try to remove it. It's very dangerous. And I agree that the child should be in a place where its cared for. But has it occurred to you..." He hesitated, but there was no nice way to say it. "Has it occurred to you that the child might be better cared for by somebody else?"
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Senior Member

311 Posts
8 Threads

Pronouns: She, her
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Registered: Sep 2020

#7
"I've thought about a lot of things... Many things that I had no choice but to think about and I am not exactly sure what else to do at this point but what I am about to say. I do not know or trust many people here for obvious reasons. The only course of action I can think of to take is to find a man who would be willing to marry for convenience... but not because somebody else chose for me." She paused and pressed her lips together hard for a moment, they turned slightly paler in comparison to their normal pink color.

She inhaled through her nostrils again and exhaled through her mouth... again. "I am sure it would not be an easy feat, but I am certain with my newfound skills in the household, I'd make a fine wife to someone. It just wouldn't be done for love, which saddens me to a point but when you're in a predicament like this, there are not many options. I want this child despite the circumstances. I can live without the love of a man... That is a sacrifice I am willing to make."

She paused and then met his gaze, "Dr. Wells, we both know that I cannot stay here much longer. I am not going to run anymore, but I have to do whatever it takes to fix the mistakes I made. I only ask for enough time to find a man who I can have an honest conversation with and who is willing to marry me for the sake of this child. I would never ask the man to love the babe as his own, and I would not trick someone into wedding me."

Another pause before she chuckled, "I thought about proposing this to you, but I am not sure I would be willing to put up with your grouchiness and I am sure I have some qualities you would never put up with." She was clearly teasing. There was even a slight smile on her face. That she was finally finding humor in her situation seemed like a good sign that she was starting to ease out of the harshest throes of grief and coming back to reality.
[Image: Pippa1.png]
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Senior Member

658 Posts
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Age: 31
Occupation: Physician
Height: 6'1''
Registered: Nov 2020

#8
Grouchiness? When was he ever grouchy? The teasing smile did little to alleviate the injury. He was kind and patient and understanding. A good doctor and alienist. Right? Right?

Perhaps he frowned to much. Tristan instantly tried to drop his frown, but it took such effort that it made him frown.

"I doubt people would believe I was the father anyway," he stated, trying to smile, but he was still frowning over being called grouchy and so he looked grouchy. "Anyway, marrying for convenience is hardly an alternative, Pippa. You might be off worse. A friend of mine married a girl in your state, though neither loved the other, and now they are both miserable. And that's because they don't get along. It could be worse. You could end up with someone who mistreats you, someone violent, or someone who drinks or gambles..."
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Senior Member

311 Posts
8 Threads

Pronouns: She, her
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Registered: Sep 2020

#9
"Ahh, but there are no really good options, are there? There will be consequences to any choices I make, and I have to make the one that is best for my baby, not me. Besides, I could marry for the thought of love and the same thing could happen, the man could turn out to be cruel like you are saying. It could happen with any man I chose to wed, right?" She reached out and lightly touched his arm as a friend would do, then dropped her hand.

"I've wracked my brain for answers for the last several weeks and I can assure you that I am not making a choice without having thought about it thoroughly. I know that you are concerned for my wellbeing, and I appreciate you for it, but it is better to do it this way so that I can see for myself that my baby is well take care of, even without a father's involvement. I cannot bear the thought of not being there for the child... I imagined myself giving him or her up to someone I do not know and then wondering 'what if?' I would not be able to live with myself if I gave the baby to someone who would mistreat them. That could happen too... I am a woman grown and can take the pain, the child is innocent and would never understand until they are older... It isn't their fault that their father did what he did and is what he is. It wasn't the child's choice to be conceived and it certainly won't be their choice to be brought into this world at all. I would rather be the one to shield him or her from suffering as much as I can because that is what a mother does, yes?"

She paused again and looked down at her lap, sighing heavily. "The truth is nothing I do will be easy, nothing I can say will change what was done... But a choice has to be made and I think I have made it." And then her hand moved to rest over the slight swell that could now be seen. "It's not about me anymore... it's about the child."
[Image: Pippa1.png]
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Senior Member

658 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Physician
Height: 6'1''
Registered: Nov 2020

#10
Tristan watched her as she spoke, the injury to his pride soon forgotten. The touch on his arm was freer than he was used to, but her vulnerability seemed to make it acceptable. He hoped none of the 'consequences' she would have to accept would ever materialize. But she was right, she was a woman grown, and he realized that it was her decision. And just as he realized it was her decision, he found himself caring more for her wellbeing than he ever had.

He nodded slowly. "You're right. Of course, it's your decision," he said quietly. He moved back a little and sighed. Then he folded his hands over one another again. "I just hope that if you go through with this, and you should ever find yourself in harm's way, you will consider me a friend and reach out to me."
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