Chapter 2:

Chapter 0.5 Home Crisis

Age of Ember beta

“It would’ve been nice if they just dropped me off around the corner,” Ziggy was physically and mentally exhausted.

Ziggy arrived home after walking several miles. His body ached and mind was broken from running endless scenarios of how this would play out. He just shows up with 2 kids that aren’t even his, you can’t explain that. He set the two children on the grass for a moment to catch his breath and regain his composure. He gazed blankly at the 6 bedroom house. He lived deep within the forest, which was about 15 miles away from the city.

"Aw man,” He let out an exasperated sigh. “I hope I can still call this home after this conversation."

Ziggy gently picked up the two infants off the ground and looked them both in the eyes. These kids were under his watch from here on out. How did this end up happening to him? He couldn’t comprehend what the Five wanted to do with them other than raise them. What did they have in mind. It was then he realized how powerless he truly was. He smiled, in contradiction to how he felt and said in a light hearted tone:

"You two better love me… And tell me I'm father of the year when you’re older! That’s right! The best father ever!”

Both of them giggled to his request and reached out toward his face. For a moment he could forget about the inevitable argument he might get into with his wife.

"Oh my god, you both are so adorable! I can't wait for mines to arrive,” He thought to himself as he held his smile. Ziggy walked up to the entrance, taking a deep breath. “Alright you two, let’s get this over with.”

Ziggy quietly opened the door to see no one was in the vicinity. He took off his shoes at the entrance, using one foot to remove the shoe off the other. He sighed in a wavering defeat he was yet to encounter. He continued walking down the hallway and entered the room to the left. He quietly walked over to the coach to set down both children on the long couch.

"Alright kiddos,” Ziggy mustered up what one would call a fatherly voice. “Just stay right here for a minute. Daddy Tade will be right back, I hope! But yeah, don’t go anywhere."

Wobbling, both kids seemed as if they didn’t understand a thing he said.

Of course.

"Ah, never mind."

Ziggy left the living room and started searching around the house looking for his wife. A part of him didn’t want to encounter her quite yet though. Appearing with 2 kids out of nowhere doesn’t necessarily get a positive response.

"Bae, I'm home!" Ziggy yelled but gulped soon after.

"I'm in the 3rd room!” She responded in a cheerful voice. Ziggy walked toward the sound of her voice. “And keep it down please, she's asleep"

"Who's asleep?" Ziggy asked as he reached the room at the top of the stairs. His wife was sitting on the edge of the bed with a baby sleeping in her arms. He couldn’t help but admire her long curly dark red hair, her hazel eyes and light caramel skin complexion. Her hazel eyes narrowed upon seeing him, she didn’t seem too pleased. It didn’t make sense; Ziggy wasn’t gone for long at all.

"Sabrina, when did you have her? I wanted to be by your side? Did it hurt?"

Ziggy seeming bombarded her with a barrage of questions, trying to figure out how he could've missed out on so much in such a short time. Sabrina responded angrily toward his questions:

"You've been gone for 3 days, Ziggy.”

“3 days?” Ziggy thought to himself as it only felt like an hour in the Chrono Chamber. Where did he go?

“I didn't know what happened to you! I had to have her on my own but I needed you so much. The second I couldn't reach your phone, I cried thinking you died on some adventure. She would’ve been all I had from you if anything would’ve happened to you."

She took a quick breath as she wiped her tear away from her eyes.

"And yes it hurt! What kind of question was that? One is all your getting! I'm not pushing out another! That idea is completely dead! Forget about it!”

Ziggy couldn’t help but laugh in admiration for his wife and his child cradled comfortably in her arms. He walked over to his wife and gave her a kiss on the lips while grabbing onto her chest.

"Not in front of our child Ziggy!" Sabrina removed his hand off her chest. “Calm down!”

"You said it’s been 3 days," Ziggy asked to confirm what she had stated, even though to him he wasn't even gone for one day.

“I don’t smell alcohol on you,” Sabrina sniffed out his breath, assuming he was perhaps passed out in some bar area. But he seemed sincere to the loss in time.

“What? No! I gave that up when I settled down with you.”

“I’m glad you kept you word.”

Ziggy stepped back for a moment trying to figure out how he was going to address the elephant in the living room, albeit there were two. Ziggy feared that their relationship would sour completely by this twist of fate. This troubled him a great deal as he finally spoke:

"Bae, I got something to show you but promise you won’t get mad at me.”

"What is it?" Sabrina’s tone shifted to that of concern.

"Follow me. I’ll show you.”

Sabrina set down their sleeping child down in bed. Ziggy watched as she did and felt happy about seeing his child for the first time. He has his hands full from here on out. Sabrina proceeded to follow Ziggy step for step as they finally reached. She grabs onto his hand and holds tightly. Her heart raced by the sheer uncertainty that made her worry more about what she was about to see. What kind of conversation would resume by her this reveal that Ziggy seemed so tight lipped about.

As they both made their way down the stairs and heard a baby laughing. Sabrina’s heart fell into her stomach as she quickly let go of his hand. She walked ahead of Ziggy and slowly peered turn the corner walk. She managed to completely block out the sound of the television. She finds two children sitting close to each other noticing her as she walked in. Not knowing how to react she fell to her knees, she began to cry uncontrollably as she tried to make sense of the unprecedented scenario. Ziggy who was already behind her, quickly consoled her as best as he could.

“Babe, please let me explain,” Ziggy insisted.

"How could you do this to us?”

“Do what? Babe, just listen to me. Listen to me, just this once!”

“You expect me to just stay quiet? You go missing and bring home 2 kids that I’ve never seen? Who have you been with?”

“It ain’t like that at all. Like I said, let me explain myself.”

“I was loyal to you! I opened up my body and soul to you, and only you. There were others but I turned them down for you.”

There was a brief pause between her words as she wiped her tears away. Her voice began to crack as she spoke:

“You’re man I knew I'd give nothing less than the universe to because giving you the world just wouldn't be good enough."

While Sabrina went on a verbal tirade, Ziggy tried his best to speak to get a few words out. His words fell on deaf ears however, as she began pushing away at him.

"I don't want to hear these lies! Who did you get pregnant? How long have you been cheating on me?”

Sabrina continued with a barrage of question before curling into herself from the pain she felt from within.

“I don't know if I can do this. This hurts a whole lot.”

Ziggy tried to embrace her but she nudged him away.

"Please, just leave me alone.”

Ziggy got up in an apparent frustration as he wanted to move out of sight from the children. He knew how he and her could get when lost in emotion so all he could do was clench up his fist so tight that his nail dug into his skin. It bled little by little.

"Sabrina, they are not my kids! They were given to me. I swear!” Ziggy yelled in anger, only for it to taper of back into his normal voice. "You know I'd never make you cry like this or disrespect you like this. Believe in the man you married! Trust me as much as I trust you. I trust you with everything.”

His words seemed to have reached her. Perhaps it was the sincerity in his voice that became apparent to her. Sabrina calmed down a little, reflecting with a slightly clearer mind.

"I'll give you one chance to explain this to me," Sabrina spoke softly again. She looked over at him, giving him the “okay” to state his mind. “What you say from here will impact how we go from here.”

Wasting no time, Ziggy explained everything to her from start to finish, not missing out on even the slightest bit of detail. Hearing him out, she finally come to an understanding sets her rage and deep sadness aside. She concluded that she should’ve give him a chance to explain himself. She was jaded from his past, before they ever got together.

"Let me cook them some food and you some food too," She said in that order specifically with a little bit of resentment still left. She thought, I need to apologize to my man in some fashion forever doubting his loyalty to me and not even giving him the space to speak.

"Do I have to breast feed them too?" She thought to herself. This was an immediate question that she posed to herself as she walked into the kitchen. She opened the stainless steel fridge to look for some ingredients and adjusted the temperature of the stove to cook her husband’s favorite meal: Curry chicken over white rice.

While she was cooking, Ziggy picked up both children and places them in bed with their daughter to sleep until the food is ready. He tried to be as careful as possible, even as he exited the room. Then he began to make his way toward the kitchen to watch his wife cook.

"What should we name them?" Ziggy asked Sabrina as he sat nearby to watch her cook.

"I'd like to name our daughter Sarah. But that’s all I thought of, I wasn't expecting to have 3," Sabrina responded honestly.

"Good thing we invested in a big house " He responded in a playful manner as he grabbed her from behind.

"I'm not necessarily cooled off yet"

Her serious tone was betrayed by the smile on her face.

"I think we should call the oldest Landon and the younger one Odrian."

"You were always better at naming things than me. Those names are perfect for now.”

They could smell the pleasant, lingering scent to what she was cooking. The question had probed her again, since they were on the topic of food, she asked:

“Uh, Ziggy, I’m going to have to breast feed them too, aren’t I?”

"Hey, you could add me to the list too," Ziggy winked as they both began to laugh at his suggestion. She finished cooking and they eat together in comfort.

"I'm going to go take care of the kids now. Can you clean up?"

"Sure," Ziggy exchanged a smile with her as she left toward the stairs. Once he no longer heard her footsteps, he let out a sigh. “That went a lot smoother than I expected.”