Eveline II

RINGGGG!!!!!

Half past seven, the small alarm clock beside the bed said. Eveline turned it off, yawned and stretched her arms above her head. She hadn’t slept much but she felt ok, awake and ready to start the day. Actually, she felt great! Today she was going to visit her parents, finally. It had been months since she’d seen them, and even longer in their own home. Today she was going to surprise them. They didn’t know she was coming over, as her trip to Brussels with a follow-up trip to The Netherlands had been quite impulsive…

She was planning her day, staring at the ceiling, when something stirred beside her. The big pile of sheets on the other end of the bed started moving and came closer and closer. Eveline heard some grumbles coming from under the sheets and she felt a warm, sleepy body being pressed to hers. An arm was wrapped around her waist, a leg entwined with her own and she felt his breath on her neck. She pushed the sheets away a little bit and looked at Per, still half asleep, with his cheek on her breast.

“Good morning…” she said softly and ran a hand through his messy hair. Per grumbled some more in reply and sniffed her neck. Then he moved his head a little and opened his eyes a tiny bit.
“Hey gorgeous.” he mumbled. He popped a slow, lazy kiss on her mouth and snuggled closer. He seemed to drift off in sleep again and Eveline pushed him.
“Hey… we have to get up soon. Breakfast at nine, remember.”
“Hmmpf…” Per’s eyes were closed and he wasn’t likely to get up soon. Eveline wriggled further under the warm, soft sheets until she was face to face with him, both their heads almost under the blankets.
“Lazy man.” she said softly to him.
“Five minutes…” he groaned. He wrapped his arms tighter around her and pulled her against him.
“Or maybe I need more than five minutes.” he whispered with a giggle. He kissed her again, then her cheeks, her neck, down to her breasts.
“Mmm I love it when you are so warm and soft and naked…” he hissed in her ear. Eveline giggled when his stubbly cheek tickled her neck.
“Honey…” she said and softly pushed him away a little. Per was moving his hips, pushing his hardness against her upper leg.
“Per… not now…” Eveline whispered. He looked up at her, sleepy, surprised. He couldn’t remember she’d ever rejected him before… she always answered his kisses and caresses, never refused when he wanted more. Now he moved away from her a bit.
“Is something wrong?” he asked quietly. Eveline bit her lip and shrugged.
“I… I feel sick in the morning, you know…” she said softly. And then Per realised… and a smile shone all over his face.
“What?!” Eveline asked.
“Of course…” he said and grabbed her, pulled her into an embrace, hugged her tight to him and held her for a moment.
“Our baby! I almost forgot that… that you are carrying our baby…” he whispered in her ear. Then he suddenly let go and stared into her eyes intensely.
“There’s something I have to ask you. It was the second thought I had when you told me last night.” He was very awake now, very active all of a sudden. Eveline looked puzzled. It was hard to concentrate on what he was saying while her stomach was moving in all possible directions. Since she’d started to really wake up, it had begun again.
“You know… I was thinking… now that you’re pregnant, and well, that’s really serious and eeehh…” he looked a bit helpless, searching for words. Eveline tried to swallow the sick feeling away and didn’t say anything. Per looked at her face.
“Ev, you look pale as a sheet… are you going to throw up?” he asked her. Eveline only nodded and quickly moved out of the bed, to the bathroom, and locked the door.

Around nine, the whole Roxette-gang met for breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. They didn’t usually do this, but Anneli had decided that Eveline’s visit had to be celebrated. It seemed more as if they were celebrating a homecoming instead of starting a busy working day! Eveline went around the whole table to hug everyone. The last one she greeted was Marie (F). They hugged each other, and then Marie held her at arms length. Everybody around them was taking their places and busy talking.
“You look good Eveline, but different.” Marie said with her soft, deep voice. Eveline instantly turned red. Maybe it was written on her forehead after all?!
“Really? Well ehh… nothing changed, really…” she answered. Marie chuckled.
“Your eyes say enough darling… is that why you came here?” Marie almost whispered. Eveline smiled and nodded.

Eveline was still feeling a little worn out after throwing up an hour or so before breakfast and she didn’t really eat anything. She listened to the stories and the jokes from the band members. Per was sitting next to her and he couldn’t keep his hands off her. She would feel his hand on her from time to time; touching her arm when he took some bread, his knee touching hers under the table, a hand on her upper leg… she compared him to the teenage boyfriends she had in the past and giggled to herself. Boys can be so possessive sometimes…

They had to say goodbye a little later. Per and Marie had some promo-performances to prepare for and Eveline was going to Holland. Their goodbye was a little dramatic, as Eveline wasn’t able to hide her tears. She didn’t know why she was crying but when he kissed her goodbye and told her he loved her, tears streamed down her cheeks and she didn’t stop until the black van drove away and was out of sight.

“Move in with me when we’re back…” Per had whispered in her ear while they hugged. She had looked at him with big, wet eyes, then crying even harder. Per wondered, sitting in the van and watching the rainy Belgian streets, what was going on in her mind? She hadn’t answered and his heart was still thudding fast against his chest. It had been very scary to say that, but he had to… the moment had been too perfect to loose.

Eveline took her time. She wandered through Brussels for a while and did some shopping. She took a direct train to Amsterdam late in the afternoon. It took her about four hours to get to her parents house. She hadn’t even called, planned to just walk in. She still had her old house-key. She kept it with all her other keys, some kind of connection with home while she was in Stockholm. She often looked at it when she opened her own front door, thinking how it would be to enter her parents’ house… Well, now she was there!

Her dad came to the hall when he heard the front door open. Eveline turned on the light in the hall and flew right into his arms. He cheered and called for her mother, who was upstairs. They stood in the hall for a while, hugs and kisses being exchanged and Eveline and her mother were crying. Eveline was surprised that she even had tears left…

She spent almost a week with her parents. They took some days off from work and her brother and sister skipped school and work too. Anything was allowed, Eveline was back! The family went out for dinner, visited family and went to the zoo. Eveline visited some old friends and everything felt just great.

Her mother had noticed that Eveline was very emotional. She was crying almost every time she met someone she hadn’t seen in a long time. And of course, it had been quite a while since she’d been home, but this was not really like her. Also, she was up early every morning. Showered and dressed long before the rest of the family woke up. So Eveline’s mum got a little worried… and suspicious… what was going on with her little girl…

The last evening of her visit, Eveline sat around the dinner table with the whole family. Dinner was already over but they were still sitting there, talking, sipping wine… Eveline decided it was time to tell them.
“Listen guys, I have something to tell you.” she started. Her mother looked alarmed.
“You know… I’ve been with this guy for a while…”
“Yes! Per is his name, right? Oh dear, I haven’t even asked after him, how is he?” her mother said rather nervously. Eveline smiled.
“He’s fine, yeah… he’s in Spain now for his job. Ehmm… I love him very much.” She felt her cheeks get warm when she said this. This wasn’t normally something you’d discuss with the whole family, but this situation was special. They didn’t know anything about Per, and they had never met him. Eveline had told them she had fell in love with another Swede, and that he was even older than the first one… her parents had responded a bit reluctant but when time passed, they realised things were working out for their daughter.
“Well uhmm… when I get back to Stockholm, and when he’s back from Spain… I’ll move in with him soon. Because…” she halted when her family responded to the first news, then held her hand up to quiet them down.
“Because I’m pregnant.” Total silence, tension in the room. But Eveline smiled brightly and her mother too. Her mother stood up from her chair, walked around the table and took her daughter in her arms.
“Oh honey, I knew it… I knew something was going on… I am so happy for you…”

After a lot of hugging around the family, some tears from her parents and more wine – not for Eveline though, her mother gave her a glass of water – Eveline went to bed with a content feeling. Things seemed to work out after all…

* * *

Thursday, late in the afternoon. Per’s flight from Spain was late and Eveline had already been waiting at the airport for two hours. Finally she saw the status of the plane change to ‘landed’ and she made her way to the arrivals hall. Waiting there, most of the Roxette-crew passed her first and she greeted them shyly. She wondered if she’d ever get used to the fact that she ‘knew’ all these famous people… then, there he was. Mr. Famous person himself, carrying a suitcase and an extra bag. He dropped both when he reached her and took her in his arms. Eveline’s tears from saying goodbye to her family had just barely dried, and now she was almost crying again. She held back her tears when Per picked up her chin to give her a kiss.

“Mmm… I’m happy to be back.” Per said.
“Me too.” Eveline answered. She wasn’t completely sure if she was lying or not. Of course she was happy to be back together with Per, but she wasn’t sure if she was happy to be back in Sweden… the unexpected visit to her family had made her feel more homesick than she ever had since she moved to Sweden.

“This way, I have my car here.” She said to Per and picked up her suitcase.
“Isn’t that too heavy for you?” he asked behind her. Eveline smiled to herself and shook her head.

Eveline was silent when they got in the car. She concentrated on driving out of the parking.
“Are you staying with me tonight?” Per asked her out of the blue. She looked at him for a second and then back at the road.
“Yeah, sure! But I have to drive by my house to get some things then.” She replied. Per nodded.
“Maybe we can go out for dinner? Georgio’s?” he suggested.
“Oh that’s a good idea. But you better call them fast then, it’s already after four and it’s Thursday…” she said. Per was already calling.
“Good afternoon, this is Per Gessle, I would like a table for two, for tonight… yes. Mhm. At seven?” Per frowned and looked at Eveline. She nodded that seven was fine.
“Yes, ok we’ll be there at seven then. Thanks.” He ended the phone call.
“Seven is late.” He muttered. Eveline tried to keep her giggle for herself. Swedes! Dinner time is five, half past six, but certainly not after six…
“Seven is fine, otherwise we wouldn’t make it. I want to go home and change and pack some things.”
“But I’m already hungry now!” Per went on.
“Didn’t you get anything on the plane then?”
“Mmmm yeah but it looked horrible. I didn’t eat it.” he replied.

They arrived at Eveline’s house a little later.
“I bet there’s something to eat in the cupboard in the kitchen, or you can check out the fridge. I’m going to change!” she said and went upstairs. She took a quick shower to get rid of the travel-feeling. She stood in front of her closet, wondering what to wear. She took out a new black set of underwear. A lace push up bra with matching thong… she hadn’t worn that before. Maybe tonight was a nice occasion. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending the night with Per, as she felt some kind of urge to be alone at the moment. But she had also missed him and she had already agreed to go. Maybe this would spice up the evening a little… maybe it would make her want to spice up the evening, instead of sighing even at the thought of making love.

“Eveline?” Per called from downstairs.
“I’m almost ready!” she yelled back and shut the door of her bedroom. She was now wearing the black underwear with hold-up-stockings. A red pullover and a short black leather skirt to go with it. She was just pulling the skirt up over her hips when the door opened and Per came in.
“Hey! Wow…” he commented.
“Hey what happened to knocking?! I’m almost done…” She said and closed the zipper on the back of the skirt. But Per had already gotten curious…
“Wait, I saw something there… what’s this…” he said and stood behind her, opening up the zipper again. He spotted a part of the black lace thong and ran his fingers along it.
“That’s a surprise, but not for now.” Eveline said and turned around.
“Oh I love surprises… but when will I get my surprise then?” Per said with a cheeky smile.
“Tonight. If you’re good.” Eveline was ready to go. She kissed him on the cheek shortly and grabbed her bag.

They took a taxi to Per’s house. It was impossible to park your car in the middle of the city, where his apartment was, so he mostly used taxi’s to get around. Per also asked the driver to order a taxi to bring them to the restaurant later.
“Mmm you smell good. Soapy.” Per said and sniffled her neck when they sat in the taxi.
“Per…”
“And you look good, too.” he said with a hand on her knee. She pushed it away and tried to get rid of him.
“The driver is looking…” she whispered between her teeth.
“He’s jealous.” Per whispered back and kissed her cheek.
“Are you trying to suck up Gessle?” she said and looked at him. He grinned and didn’t say more.

It was almost six when they got to Per’s place. Per went upstairs to get ready and Eveline fooled around with his laptop. The taxi was already waiting outside when Per came down. He was wearing a black suit with a white striped shirt. No tie, even though Georgio’s was kind of a posh place. His phone rang on their way out and he talked to Marie Dimberg until they entered the restaurant. They greeted the manager with hugs and friendly words, and he brought them to their table in the back. Eveline saw a familiar face at the bar, just in a flash, but she was sure that it was Patrick…

Patrick hadn’t seen her but one of his friends pointed at her. She recognised the other guy too; he was one of Patrick’s colleagues. They were with a small group, three guys and three girls, sitting at the bar, probably waiting for a table. Or maybe they were already done… or… stop it!! Don’t give him so many thoughts, she told herself. She listened how Per ordered the wine and she was just in time to stop him from ordering for her too.
“Water for me, please.” She said to the manager.
“Sorry, I didn’t realise…” Per said when they were alone.
“I know, I forget sometimes too! But I don’t want to drink anymore, at least not a lot. Maybe I’ll have one glass later.” She said. From the corner of her eye, she saw Patrick and his colleagues, now all looking at her. It was getting annoying and she was thinking of something to say to him.
“What, do you know them?” Per asked. Ah, so he’d noticed too. Per had a sixth sense for people spying on him. Eveline nodded.
“Remember the horrible scene at Marie’s (D) party, before we were together?”
“Yes, you cried about your boyfriend…”
“Well, that’s him. The guy in the dark grey suit.” She said. The waiter came with their drinks.
“That’s your ex?” Per sounded surprised.
“Yes. I’ll go and say hi, he already knows I saw him now.” She said and got up. She walked up to the bar with a smile. Patrick saw her coming and stood up from his stool to greet her. They hugged shortly.
“Hello Eveline…”
“Hi Patrick, how have you been? I was sitting over there and I saw you were here…”
“Yeah I’m fine, I’m out with my colleagues.” He pointed at them and they nodded at Eveline. All were silent.
“Oh, good! This is a good place. Have you eaten yet?”
“Yes, we already had dinner, and it was very good.” He said. Then they were silent for a moment. Eveline was about to go back when he started talking again.
“So ehm, you’re with Gessle now?” he asked, looking at her a little bothered.
“Well, you read the papers too I guess. Yeah, we’ve been together for a while.” she replied, looking at her feet. She wondered if he was still…
“Mhm, yes I saw you in the newspaper. I’m with Carla, ehm… she ehm…”
‘She was the one you cheated on me with, you big asshole!!!’ Eveline thought. Though she replied very coldly; “Oh yes, I remember. Well good luck then, I have to get back. See you around!” she smiled at Carla and waved and then walked back to her table.
“And?” Per looked at her when she sat down.
“Fucking asshole,” she mumbled. Per chuckled.
“I ordered chicken pasta for you.”
“Oh that’s great, thanks.” She said and smiled at him. She would crawl all over the table to give him a loud smacking kiss, if it would have been only Patrick in this restaurant and not all those other people.
“So you’re with Gessle now?” Eveline said in a low tone, pulling a silly face.
“Geez what a dork. I don’t remember what I ever saw in him.” she continued. Per laughed, almost choking on his wine.
“He said that?”
“Mhm. And he’s still with that woman. She must be at least five years older than me, I really don’t get it. Maybe I wasn’t mature enough after all. That’s what he used to say, ‘you’re young but you’re so mature’. Freak..”

The waiter brought their food. Eveline smiled but she still looked angry.
“Honey, let it rest! Just let him be, you don’t need him anymore.” He said to her.
“I know he’s not even worth the thoughts. But it frustrates me that I ran into him; I never wanted to see him again.”
“Oh boy I hope I never become your ex…” Per said. He winked at her when she looked at him. They enjoyed their meals and talked about other things instead, like Per’s trip to Spain and Eveline’s visit to her parents.

Eveline didn’t drink anything but water and tea all evening so Per finished the bottle of wine on his own. It had made him quiet and sleepy, so he took a cup of coffee after dinner. Eveline’s thoughts were miles away when they sat in the taxi home. Per grabbed her hand without looking at her and just held it, squeezing her fingers between his own.

He held her hand the whole way to his house and also in the elevator and when they entered the living room. She wanted to let go then, but he pulled her to him.
“Hey gorgeous.” He whispered with his mouth close to her face. He still held her hand in his and his other wandered over her back. Eveline smiled and sighed.
“What?” she said.
“Nothing. I just want to kiss my girlfriend.” Per said and so he did. He pressed his lips on hers quite hard and made extra noise. He went with placing wet, noisy kisses on her cheek, throat and a piece of shoulder that came out of the pullover. Eveline giggled when he bit her neck.
“Mhm I wonder if you taste as good as you smell, when I take a bite out of this…” he mumbled and bit her again.
“Per! Hihi… stop it!”
“Noooo you don’t want me to stop. You love it!” he said and tickled her sides.
“Ah! Hahaha! Oh yes I love it, haha! Stop!” she yelled and tried to get away from him. She managed to grab his wrists and keep them away from her ticklish areas. She let him kiss her again, though… a little softer this time, a little sweeter. He also licked her lips and she felt her belly tingle… that still worked. That would always work. His mouth was irresistible and he knew it. He kissed her deeper and longer, his tongue playing with hers. She let go of his wrists to wrap her arms around him and his hands disappeared under her shirt.
“Is it time for my surprise now?” he hissed in her ear.
“Mm yes, maybe it is! But not here…” she replied. She broke their embrace and walked to the bedroom, Per right behind her. He took off his jacket, shoes and socks and then Eveline gave him a big push. He let himself fall onto the bed and waited.
“Actually I could use some music now, but never mind…” Eveline said and grinned at him. She started to undress, moving her body to non-existent music. First her pullover and the little black top that she wore under it. Per’s eyes went big at the sight of the bra. It was indeed a very sexy bra, Eveline thought to herself. She had turned her back to Per and now saw herself in a huge mirror that hung on the wall. She opened the zipper of the skirt and pulled it down teasingly slowly.

“Oh my… you went shopping in Holland?” Per asked. Eveline had crawled onto the bed and all over him. She gave him a long kiss.
“Mmmmm no I bought this some time ago. I thought I’d better wear it now, before I get fat…”
“Oh… mmmm… I love surprises…” Per said absentmindedly. He was looking at Eveline’s hips sitting on him, and how she pushed down onto him. She was unbuttoning his shirt and kissing his chest. She felt his hands on her ass and how he impatiently pushed her down a little more. He was hard between her legs. She stripped him out of the rest of his clothes. Then he turned and lay on top of her. He kissed her wildly, a little too fast maybe. She was out of breath when he let go.
“Sorry…” he said and kissed her lips softly.
“I’m just so… I need you so much…” he whispered against her mouth. Eveline had a serious look on her face. Somewhere in his hazed and horny mind, Per kind of guessed she wasn’t very comfortable. He didn’t mention it, just went on with loving her. He pulled away the luxurious bra and licked her nipples shortly. Then he went down over her belly until his face rested between her legs. Eveline mumbled something… this was not what she had planned. She wasn’t in the mood to… oh… mmm… Per licked the inside of her thighs. Then he pulled the thong out of the way. The long, slow licks of his tongue made her sigh. She started trembling when sucked on her, swirling his tongue around and around. He was not in a hurry at all, but Eveline was on a high so fast that he was surprised. Her high-pitched moans made his heart skip a beat…

Eveline was still catching her breath when Per moved on top of her. He didn’t bother to take her thong off; he just moved it to the side and entered her quickly.
“Oh! Oh… pfff… slow down…” Eveline said, making hissing sounds.
“What? Are you ok?” he asked her with a low, hoarse voice.
“Yes, yes but slowly…” Eveline’s eyes were closed and she frowned.
“Does it hurt?” Per asked. She nodded. Per thrust inside her slow and carefully, not too deep. He pushed some hair away from her face.
“Good?” he asked again. Eveline nodded and opened her eyes. Per buried his face in her neck and kissed her there. She felt him tremble and heard him moan. Then his face came back up and he mumbled something to her barely audible. He came almost without a sound and his body relaxed on top of her.

Per had almost fallen asleep minutes later, when Eveline pushed him off of her. She went to the bathroom. Per heard the toilet and then water running in the sink. He also stood up and went to the bathroom. Eveline was brushing her teeth, wearing an old top and panties. He looked at her in the mirror. Brushing their teeth together always made her laugh, because according to Eveline it looked as if they were ‘playing house’… she didn’t smile now, didn’t even return his look in the mirror. Per felt uneasy.

In bed, in the dark, about an hour later. Per was dead-tired but he couldn’t sleep. He turned to Eveline, who seemed to be miles away on the other side of the big bed.
“Are you awake?” he whispered. She mumbled something.
“Ev?”
“Yes, I’m awake.” She said softly and turned her head to him. He only saw the soft glow of her eyes in the dark.
“Is something wrong?” he asked, still whispering. Eveline shrugged first, but he kept looking at her. Then she sighed.
“I’m a little homesick I guess… and I… I feel… strange.”
“Do you feel sick?” he sounded worried. She shrugged again. Per moved closer to her and wrapped an arm around her waist.
“I feel as if I did something wrong…” he said with his mouth against her hair.
“No no, you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s me, I’m not my best today. Sorry.”
“You know I love you, right?” he said and kissed her cheek. Eveline held her breath and felt tears prickle behind her eyelids.
“I love you and I missed you so much…” he whispered and hugged her close. A sob left her throat and Per startled.
“Hey what’s this… why the tears? Mhm?” he said in his sweetest voice. Eveline laid her head against his chest and cried softly for a few minutes.
“I-I don’t know what’s wrong, I just feel so sad, a-all the time…” she sniffled.
“Everything goes so fast, I can’t keep up!” she said and took a deep, shaky breath.
“You mean with us, and the baby? Does it scare you?” Per stroked her hair.
“I think so. It’s just… I have no idea what to do with… with everything. I don’t know if I’m ready for this.”

Per sighed and bit his lip. He thought for a moment.
“Listen honey, you don’t have to do anything you’re not ready for… if you want to wait with… well with moving in here, or maybe even with having a baby… I understand. It’s all happening at the same time now.”

Eveline sat up in bed and turned on a small light on her bedside table. Per popped his head on one arm and looked at her.
“I don’t want out, please don’t think that.” she said, sniffing a little and wiping away her tears.
“I… I love you too. I do! And… and I want to be with you. Live with you, and have your baby. I really want all this, but… it’s going so fast, and I’m not sure if I can manage…”
Per swallowed. He had been keeping his breath when she spoke and now he was happy to hear her say these words. He didn’t know what to say. He just wrapped his arms around her waist and laid his head against her belly. He sighed.
“You’re not alone you know. And you will manage, I’m sure. I believe you will.”
Eveline caressed his hair and they sat like that for a while.

“I’m glad you said that.” Per said when Eveline had turned out the light and they lay cuddled up together under the blankets.
“What? That I… that I want this?”
“Mhm. You had me worried for a moment…” Eveline pulled his arms tighter around her.
“But I love you, silly. I can’t let you go, ever…” she replied and yawned.

* * *

Three weeks later

Eveline walked around, the sound of her footsteps echoing through the empty house. Memories hung in the air as clouds. Some dark and heavy, some less complicated. There was a little scratch on the wall where Tommy threw a vase into a thousand pieces. The place where the couch had been was now empty. The couch where she and Per got entwined in kisses for the first time. The couch where they got to know each other better and better.

A car tooted outside. Eveline picked up a small carton box and her purse and walked to the front door. One last look at the hall, a sigh, and she left.

“You got everything now?” Dina asked when they sat in her car. Eveline nodded.
“You’re already missing it.” her friend stated. Eveline nodded again.
“I will miss is, there are so many memories there. But I also want to go! So drive!” Eveline said and smiled.

Dina drove to Per’s apartment in the centre of the city. She managed to find a place to park, which was a small miracle. She could park here for one hour. Enough time for the girls to go upstairs and have some tea.

“Kinda weird.” Dina mumbled when they stood in the elevator.
“Eh?”
“Going to Per Gessle’s house. I know that he had a place here but I never expected to go there. I have never thought about that, haha!”
“Well, you better get used to it then!” Eveline said with a chuckle.

Eveline went to the bathroom when they got in. She put the little box down there and looked around. The bathroom was kind of a mess… mhm… she would make some room for her stuff later. She went to the toilet and when she was done, had trouble zipping up her jeans. She looked in the big mirror on the wall… her belly was starting to show a little. She was almost four months pregnant now and still, almost nobody knew. Just her family, Dina and her boss, and Per had called Åsa to tell her. Oh and Marie (F) of course. Eveline sighed. She couldn’t decide whether her swollen belly made her happy or not. She was happy that her baby was growing and that everything was fine; the morning sickness had almost completely stopped. But on the other hand, she dreaded the thought of telling everyone about her pregnancy, and how hell would break loose when the press found out. They still hadn’t, though! They were just too stupid!

“Ev?” Dina’s voice came up the stairs.
“In the bathroom!”
“Hey… I wondered what was taking you so long…” Dina said, peeking around the door.
“Eeeh, yeah, I’m done. I was dreaming a little, sorry…”

“I’ve been looking around a little.” Dina said when Eveline poured their tea a little later.
“Yeah? And?”
“It’s amazing! What an apartment… I never thought it would be this huge.”
“You don’t see that on the outside, do you! It’s bigger than his old place in Halmstad. But this apartment was made out of two flats, originally.”
“Yeah it’s big, spacious… and I’m a little afraid to touch anything, I am expecting anything to be expensive and antique…” Dina said and giggled. Eveline laughed too.
“Well, you’re right about that, everything is antique and expensive. Or designer and expensive. Or just expensive. But you can touch everything honey, Per has very good insurance!”
“Hehe that’s good!”

They sipped tea in silence for a moment.
“Everything will be ok Ev, I just know it.” Dina suddenly said softly, her hand resting on Eveline hand. Eveline smiled a little insecure at her friend and took her hand in his.
“You will make it, believe me. I know you are in doubt at the moment, but everything will work out.” Dina said.
“How can you be so sure of that?” Eveline asked with a small voice.
“I just know it. You and Per are the best couple ever. This place is wonderful! You just have to shape up a little honey, get your self-confidence back…”
“You’re probably right… I wish I knew how.”
“I think you should leave EMI.” Dina said matter-of-factly, almost before Eveline was done talking.
“What?!” Eveline looked at Dina with her mouth open.
“I mean it. I think you should stop working for now, until you’ve had the baby and everything is rolling. And I think you should leave EMI forever.” Eveline bit her lip thinking about that.
“But if I stop working, what the hell will I do with my time?” she said, looking a little lost. Dina laughed.
“Oh honey, wouldn’t it be great! You can sleep late everyday, go shopping for hours, spend hours on making dinner every night… send me long e-mails… go for walks in the forest…” Dina let herself fall down on the couch and pretended to be dreaming away. Eveline giggled.
“It doesn’t sound bad when you picture it like that…”
“Uhuh! And why not, you don’t have to worry about money. And I think you can use some time for yourself. Finally read all the books you have on your list, write letters to your family, take pictures of everything in the city that you always wanted to take pictures of…”
“Oh Dina stop it! You are making me never want to work again, hahaha…”

A little later, Dina got ready to leave.
“Now I’m going to my parents… it’s going to be a boring evening, so feel sorry for me!”
“I do, I do! We have to go out soon, when I’m less tired. Maybe when I’ve quit my job hihi…” Eveline giggled.
“Oooh yes, it’s been ages since we went out! Think about quitting ok, I really think it would help you out with these insecure feelings.”
“Yep. I’ll think about it.”
“Good girl. What are your plans for today? Where’s Per?”
“He’s at the studio, I don’t know what he’s doing all the time but he’s very busy. And I think he’ll want to go out to dinner tonight.” Eveline rolled her eyes.
“What, dinner isn’t good?” Dina asked, leaning against the front door.
“Mmmm… I know it’s a stupid thing to complain about, but we’re going out aaaaall the time. And I’m just tired! I want to stay here, eat a bag of chips and watch television! Just a boring Saturday night for myself…”

Dina hugged her tight.
“I hope things work out soon honey, I really do. I’ll call you soon and if you want to rant, just let me know ok?” then she was gone.

Eveline leaned against the door for a while, thinking. It had been a very long time since she’d had an evening like she just pictured; cooking a simple dinner, get a bottle of coke and a bag of chips and spend the whole evening in front of the TV. The more she thought about it, the more she craved it! She could eat more than one bag of chips though…

After tidying up the bathroom a little, Eveline sat down with a drink and called Per’s mobile number.
“Hey you!” he answered quickly.
“Hey! How’s it going over there?”
“Fine, very good! You?”
“Dina and I got the lat things from my place and I said goodbye to my empty house. You got any plans for tonight?”
“Yes, actually, I was just about to call you… the thing is, eeeh… well… they invited us for dinner and I said yes. But just before you called, Åsa called me, and asked if Gabriel can stay with us this weekend… so actually I have a double appointment.” He stuttered. Eveline thought for a moment and then giggled.
“That’s perfect, just perfect! You go to dinner, I’ll stay home with Gabriel!”
“What? Are you sure you want that?”
“Yes. I was just about to call you to say that I wasn’t feeling like going out tonight…”
“Oh… are you tired?”
“Mhm yes. And I’m in the mood for pizza and movies with my man. You think Gabriel is man enough to keep me company?” she said with a chuckle.
“Hehehe oh yes, I bet he is! Åsa wanted to drop him off around five, but I’m not sure if I can make that…”
“That’s ok. I’ll have to hurry to the supermarket then, but five is fine. Are you coming home at all?”
“Yes, I will be home to change before I go to the restaurant. Are you sure it’s no problem that… that you’re alone when Åsa comes over?”
“Oh come on! You’re acting like she the ex from hell or something…”
“No no, she’s not, I just… well if that’s no problem, I’ll be there around six.”

It was almost half past seven when Per arrived. Gabriel was busy putting things on the table; a candle, two glasses and two bowls.
“Hey tiger!” Per said and his son came running at him.
“Hey daddy!” he said and jumped into Per’s opened arms. Per hugged him tight.
“Oooooh it’s so good to see you! I missed you, you know that? How are you?” he said and walked to the other side of the room with Gabriel in his arms.
“I’m good! Eveline made pizza!”

“Don’t make your father jealous, Gabbe!” Eveline walked into the room and greeted Per with a kiss on his mouth,
“Bah!!” Gabriel shrieked and pushed her face away.
“What is it, eh? You don’t like kisses, mhm? Come here, I’ll kiss you to death! Come here!” Eveline started kissing Gabriel’s neck, making growling sounds. He screamed and laughed and twisted in Per’s arms.

“Something smells good here…” Per had followed Eveline to the kitchen where she had just finished tidying up.
“Yep! I made Pizza Di Eveline but you missed it.” she said, staring at the buttons on the dishwasher.
“Is there sarcasm in your voice dear?” Per asked.
“No honey, what makes you think that?” Eveline replied with a voice as sweet as sugar. She leaned back against the sink, looking at him. Per bit his lip and had trouble finding out what she was thinking.
“I can’t stay home tonight, but I’ll be here tomorrow. Ok?” he said. Eveline nodded with a tired smile.
“It’s ok, I know you are busy. I just hate it sometimes…” she looked at her hands while saying that. Per came up to her and laid a hand on her belly, totally unexpected. Eveline stood there with her arms floating in the air, looking at him.
“I didn’t see this before…” he said thoughtfully and rubbed his hand over her belly.
“It’s starting to show, eh?” he said and looked at her with a bright smile which made Eveline laugh.
“Hehe yes it is! We’ll have to tell everyone soon.”

“Eveline! Are you sick?” Gabriel sounded worried. He’s come into the kitchen and saw his daddy with a hand on Eveline’s belly. Per looked at her in question and Eveline nodded.
“She’s not sick Gabriel, she’s getting a baby!” he said to his son. He looked a little suspicious, half expecting that his father was making a fool of him.
“Come here,” Per said and squatted in front of Eveline. He took Gabriel’s hand and put it on Eveline’s belly.
“See that her belly is a little bit bigger than normal? There’s a little baby growing inside!” Per said. Gabriel looked at Per and then to Eveline. Eveline started to laugh loud; Gabriel was looking at her as if he was waiting for her to say that daddy was indeed out of his mind.

“We’ll talk about it later Gabbe. Now daddy has to hurry or the dinner will be finished before he arrives!” she said and patted Per on the arm. He looked at his watch and cursed.

Eveline and Gabriel spent the whole evening talking about babies. Eveline even ended up calling Per to inquire about how much Gabriel had been told about where babies actually came from. Per and Åsa had always told him that ‘mommy and daddy make babies’ and that had been enough… but this was a little more complicated, because Eveline was not mommy so how could she make a baby with daddy…

After and extensive search through her things, Eveline found a book that would help her explain more baby-things to Gabriel. It was a little Dutch book that her mother had given her when she went back to Stockholm. Her mother had used this book to explain to Eveline where babies came from when an aunt of hers got pregnant. She was about Gabriel’s age and the book had been very helpful.

So when Per got up late on Sunday morning, he found Eveline and his son on the couch. They were both still in their pyjama’s by the tone of her voice, Per could hear that Eveline was reading to him. Gabriel stared at her in awe, his mouth a bit open, his little hands folded together on his lap.
“So you got that inside your belly now?” he asked and pointed at something in the book. Eveline nodded.
“Yep! Of course it has to grow bigger and bigger. Right now it’s only… this big I think…” she took a teaspoon from her cup and held it up.

“Good morning my lovelies.” Per said behind them.
“Daddy!!” Gabriel screamed and jumped off the couch.
“There is a baby in Eveline’s stomach!!” he screamed and took Per’s hand. He pulled with all his power to get Per to the couch and showed him the book.
“Look look!” he exclaimed all excited.
“See! I was right!” Per said and laughed.
“And Eveline said that you put it there with your penis!” Gabriel said and looked at Eveline for a second, then back to Per. Eveline chuckled when she saw Per slightly blushing.
“Eeeh, yeah that’s correct…” he said.

“Ok big guy, it’s time for a shower now, come on!” Eveline said and stood up from the couch. Gabriel was already on his way to the bathroom, but not before he’d placed the book neatly on a corner of the table. Closed, with a piece of paper between the pages where they stopped reading. Per shook his head.
“How do they become so smart so fast?!” he mumbled.
“You know, he DID spend the evening with ME.” Eveline said over her shoulder while walking to the stairs.
“Oooooh… so that’s how he suddenly got so intelligent, eh?” Per said. He followed her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders from behind, pulling her to him. He buried his face in her neck and placed wet, noisy kisses there.
“Mmmm you look good in your pyjama’s…” he growled in her neck. Eveline laughed.
“I’m sure I look very sexy in them, yes… now let me go!”
“No you can’t go…” he mumbled and bit her neck softly. He lowered his hands onto her breasts. Eveline sighed.
“Are you done?” she asked in an impatient tone.
“Oh gosh, you’re soooo romantic…” Per sighed and then let go of her.

Thursday morning
Eveline and Gabriel rode the bus to his school. Åsa had dropped him off the night before and they’d had another cosy evening together, as Per of course had some dinner he had to tend to…

“Eveline, can you feel the baby move around?” Gabriel said. He was sitting on his knees on the chair, looking out the window.
“Yes, sometimes I do. Oh Gabbe don’t lick the window…” she pulled him to her, half on her lap and hugged him.
“Would you want to have a little sister or a little brother?” she asked him, looking down at his sleepy face lying in her arms. Åsa brought him over around eight and he had been too uptight to go to bed right away.
“Ehmmm… ehm… a brother! If he plays football!”
“Hihi… you can teach him!”
“Yes! Yes and then we can go to the park together!”
“Yep. But you’ll have to wait a few years because first it will be a little baby, when it’s born.” Eveline said. Gabriel looked thoughtful and nodded slowly, looking out the window again.

Later, Eveline had a talk with the teacher.
“Gabriel told me you are having a baby, congratulations!” the teacher said with a warm smile. She was in her fifties and Gabriel adored her. ‘Oops’ went through Eveline’s head. Their secret wouldn’t be so secret anymore, soon…

On her way back to the bus, Eveline thought about the previous night again. Åsa had acted so strange, there had to be something going on. She had called Eveline during dinner, asking if she could drop Gabriel off. ‘Something came up’ and she had to leave that evening, and her babysitter was unavailable… though Eveline was crazy about Gabriel, she hated being his babysitter. On the other hand, Åsa had sounded so desperate that she accepted immediately. Then it took Åsa almost two hours to get Gabriel there. She didn’t ask if Per was around like she usually did – to discuss Gabriel-topics – and she left right away, making a hundred apologies.

“Excuse me, Eveline?”
Eveline turned her head. A man was walking beside her, a man she had never seen before.
“Yes?” she asked. The man stopped walking right in front of her, about ten meters from the bus-stop. He bus could arrive any minute now.
“My name is Göran Broberg, I’m with Aftonbladet. That was Gessle’s son you were with, right? Is he living with you and Per?” the man talked so fast that Eveline couldn’t interrupt him. She shook his hand.
“Oh, ehm, hello Göran. I don’t think that’s any of your business. And I have to catch my bus.” She said and stepped around him. Her bus came around the corner already.
“Eveline? I was on the same bus and I couldn’t help overhearing the talk you had with the kid. Are you pregnant?” he went on. Eveline shook her head and sighed.
“Göran, I am not going to discuss those topics with you. So I’m sorry, but no comment. When anything interesting happens, you’ll be the first to know!” she patted him on the shoulder and then quickly stepped into the already waiting bus. Göran didn’t get on the bus.

In the evening
Åsa had picked Gabriel up from school. She’s called Eveline to apologize again and to thank her. She didn’t really respond when Eveline carefully asked if everything was ok. She was thinking about this while trying to decide what to wear… Per and Eveline were going out to dinner with Marie Dimberg. Eveline had no clue as to why, how, when and where, but Per had sent her an sms that he would pick her up ‘soon’. It had become his new tactic; he stopped asking if she wanted to join him, he just told her to get ready…

This was a fun dinner though, Eveline thought. Marie was good friend of theirs and she or Per would sure have picked a good restaurant. Finally she decided to wear a black shirt with buttons. It was the only thing in which her belly didn’t bulb out… boring, grey pants to match it. She was done with her jewellery and about to start on her make up, when she heard Per downstairs. He was talking on the phone while coming up.

“But when did you… yes. Yes I see. No I don’t rally… honey, calm down…” she already heard him talking on the stairs, he was talking loud. He walked into the bedroom and kissed her without a sound, pointed at the phone and made the word ‘Åsa’ with his mouth. See, she knew it… something was going on… she hoped it was nothing too bad. Still on the phone, Per started to undress. He took off his shoes, socks and started on his jeans. The phone between his shoulder and cheek almost fell to the floor when he stepped out of it.
“Suit?” Eveline whispered and he nodded. She pulled some things out of the closet until he nodded, and threw it on the bed. She then found a matching shirt and socks for him as well.
“Oh geez… I… yes of course. But I really think you should go to the police.” Per said while trying to wriggle out of his shirt. Eveline was sitting on the side of the bed, hanging over a small mirror and she turned around with her mouth open. She held her hands up in the air and pulled her eyebrows up. Per rolled his eyes and made a sign with his hand meaning ‘not good’.

By the time Per finished the phone call, Eveline was annoyed. It was clear that something very serious was going on. Still she couldn’t help to be pissed with her man’s ex for whining to him so much…

“What was that all about?” she asked when Per threw the phone onto the bed. He closed the buttons on his shirt.
“Oh shit, you don’t want to know…” he said and sighed deep. He dressed, walking around, went to the bathroom and when he came back, Eveline was ready.
“So what’s going on with her then?” She asked when they put their coats on.
“She is being stalked. Apparently my fans are also fans of my ex-wife.” Per added the last thing sarcastically.
“Still want to be my girlfriend?” He said with an angry look on his face.

In the taxi to the restaurant, Per didn’t speak and Eveline didn’t dare to ask. She had so much to worry about now, she forgot she was angry with him…

“Eveline! You look great!” Marie Dimberg held her arms wide open for Eveline and gave her a big hug. They hadn’t seen each other in a long time, because they weren’t working together anymore since Eveline stopped working with Roxette.
“Hello Marie…” Eveline managed to say before she was squashed against Dimberg’s bosoms.
“Honey, how are you? Sit down please. She’s sitting with me, Per, ok?” Dimberg babbled. Per just nodded and sat down. The table was a small square with a leather bench in the wall on one side and comfortable chair on the other. Per took the chair while the women got caught up in baby-talk and gossip.

Per had kept quite silent all through deciding what to eat and the first course. He spoke when their glasses were being filled and the women had finally stopped talking for a moment.
“Listen, Marie, there’s something we need to discuss.” The tone in his voice made Eveline’s belly cramp. He was pissed, maybe a little bit annoyed with the situation, but that wasn’t it. He could have easily joined their conversation, but she’d seen him lost in thoughts. He felt like he was in trouble.

Per was in a hurry now. Apart from the things he and Dimberg agreed to discuss tonight, the reason he was there, he now had another topic to add; Åsa.

The main course handled business talk and Eveline got bored quickly. She tried to enjoy herself by interfering with witty comments but they weren’t really impressed… it wasn’t until the coffee when she started paying attention again.

“And now another problem occurred. I promised not to talk about it with anyone, but I think you should know in case… well just to be prepared.” Per didn’t look up once while he said this. He was staring at his coffee intensely. He didn’t go on and there was a moment of complete silence. Eveline took a sip of her tea and looked at Per. He bit his lip and seemed to be off to another world. The world of staring into coffee-cups.
“Åsa is being stalked by a fan and apparently, she’s gone hysteric. Åsa, not the fan.” Eveline stated quickly with a very soft voice. Marie’s mouth fell open.
“Oh… dear…” she stammered. Per looked up at Eveline now, eyes shooting fire.
“I’ve thought about it the whole evening Per, I’m going to pick Gabriel up tomorrow morning. This is a very unhealthy situation for a six-year-old.” Her voice was still low and steady and Per’s eyes softened. He nodded.
“That seems like a good idea. But then… what about the girl?”
“Is it a girl?” Eveline asked. Per confirmed this.
“What do you know about her?” Dimberg asked. Per finished his coffee and took a deep breath.
“Well… Åsa called me earlier this week and complained about someone waiting at her house, she said she was scared. I said she should call the police, but she didn’t want that. She was very vague about it.” Per said. A waiter passed them and he asked for the check.
“Later she dropped Gabriel off at our place a couple of times, probably because she was scared of whoever was waiting outside her house.” He continued.
“Yes, I remember she seemed troubled…” Eveline added.
“But now, it has gone too far.” Per said. He held his hand up when Eveline wanted to speak; the waiter was back with the check. Per handed his credit card.
“The stalker was at Gabriel’s school today.” Per said. He was leaning to them over the table and spoke very softly.
“According to Åsa, Gabriel didn’t really see it as anything scary or even worth mentioning, but the teacher found out and told her. The stalker is a girl and she asked Gabriel something about his daddy. She seemed to be foreign, that’s the main thing Gabriel remembered.”

Silence around the table.
“I… I just thought you should know.” Per said to Marie. The waiter returned with Per’s credit card and receipt.
“Do you want to come over for a drink?” Per asked Marie. Eveline, who stood behind her when they got up, rolled her eyes at Per. He raised his eyebrows while Dimberg gladly accepted the invitation.

“Something the matter?” Per hissed in Eveline’s ear when he helped her with her coat.
“Well, I have to get up around six, remember?” she hissed back. Per sighed deeply.
“On the other hand, I do have something else to talk to her about, so she might as well come along.” Eveline whispered to him.

The evening could’ve turned out quite entertaining, if it wasn’t for Per and Eveline acting cold as ice. Marie Dimberg wasn’t one to be fooled, she noticed within minutes that something was wrong. She questioned Per when they were standing in his kitchen. He was opening a bottle of wine and Eveline was in the bathroom.
“Oh, nothing… and everything.” Per answered when Marie asked if something was wrong. Marie raised her eyebrows, and Per let out a tired sigh.
“I can’t do anything right,” he said in a soft tone. “and the fact that I’m working day and night doesn’t really help.”
“She looks a bit sad, Per.” Dimberg spoke thoughtfully. Per nodded.
“I know. But I don’t have the time, or she doesn’t give me the opportunity, to talk about it…” he stopped talking abruptly when he heard something in the living room.

Eveline had lighted some candles and put on soft music when Per and Dimberg came in.

“There’s something we have to discuss.” Eveline said while pouring herself a glass of water from a bottle that she put next to her chair. Per played with his glass, Dimberg looked interested.
“Something you also don’t know yet, Per.” Eveline’s tone was sharp and he looked up instantly.
“The press knows I’m pregnant. I ran into an Aftonbladet-reporter today on the buss, after I dropped Gabriel off at school.” She said and looked at the other two expectantly. Per frowned.
“Shit.”
“Oh! Already! What was his name?” Dimberg asked.
“Ehm… I don’t remember, Göran something…”
“Broberg? I think I know him.” Dimberg said. She had picked up her mobile phone and flipped through the numbers.

Eveline shortly explained how Göran Broberg could know she was pregnant, while most people didn’t notice yet. Dimberg didn’t really see this as a problem and neither did Eveline. They just had to come with some statement now, before Broberg would publish his own view on things. Per stood up from the couch and paced the room.
“Shit why already now? It’s not… not even really visible yet, I mean, shit… why did you have to take the buss then? You can take a taxi?!” he said, turning to Eveline now.
“Oh Per don’t start about the buss again…” Eveline sighed and leaned back in her chair, massaging her temples to ease down her head ache. Dimberg interfered before Per could speak again.
“I don’t think this is really a problem, Per. If we just take a little time and effort to cooperate, they will have what they want and they will lay low for a while.” she said calmly.
“We can allow Mr. Broberg an interview with some pictures. That will please the public as well as all the other press, because the scoop is gone; no more competition.” Dimberg continued. Per sat down on the couch next to her again.
“Or we can just release a press statement.” He said.
“Yes, that’s a possibility. But you know they will all start asking for an interview and pictures.”

“I think we’d better do an interview then, Per…” Eveline spoke softly after a moment of silence. Per raised his hands.
“Ok, ok, if you both think that’s ok… and if you don’t mind those rats to take pictures of your belly, that’s fine with me then.” He said and looked at Eveline. His eyes were hard; she couldn’t see anything in them. Her heart shrunk.

The night seemed to last three times as long as normal. Eveline saw the hours tick away while she listened to Per’s steady breath. She wished there was a way to just stop her thoughts. Not sleeping was one thing, but the constant pondering wore her out even more.

* * *

It was around eight when Eveline arrived at Åsa’s apartment. She had taken a taxi and asked him to wait outside.
“Good morning…” she said to Åsa, who looked like she’d had just as much sleep as Eveline. Åsa hugged her shortly.
“Good morning, and thank you.”
“Of course! Is she there now?” Eveline asked and pointed at the window. Åsa nodded. She peeked through a door to another room, where Gabriel was trying to decide which toys to bring to daddy’s. Then she took Eveline by the arms and pointed outside the window. A small, dark figure sat on a bench in the park across the street.
“Is that her?” Eveline whispered. Åsa nodded and then she went to get Gabriel.

Eveline was tired, emotional and felt sick. At the same time she felt a need for action… do something about this stupid situation.

She drove Gabriel to school by taxi as Per had wanted. Then she told the taxi driver to bring her back to the same address. He didn’t ask; he was one of their regular drivers and had gotten used to the Gessle’s weird requests.

He parked outside Åsa’s building.
“Ok… ehm…” Eveline bit her lip and looked at the driver.
“Kalle, can I ask you a favour? If I pay extra?” she said softly. Kalle smiled.
“Eveline, you know you are my favourite customer…” he said and winked.
“Hehe… ok. Look, I have to go and talk to somebody over there. But I don’t know this person, and I don’t trust her. So can you wait here for me and, well… keep an eye on me? Just keep the meter running, ok?” she tried to look as calm and normal as possible. Kalle frowned, for the first time since her met her, considering saying no… he’d sometimes driven her to the same address and back three times in one night. But this was even weirder.

Åsa looked out the window again. She really had to go soon or she would be too late for her appointment… geez why was this so hard?! Why was she being such a baby about this?!

She gasped and stopped breathing when she saw someone walking towards the girl on the bench. Was that… no… it couldn’t be Eveline, could it?

Eveline sat down on the bench, about half a meter away from the dark figure she had seen from the window. She looked up at the building and tried to make out which window was Åsa’s but it seemed impossible, as they were all slightly tinted on the outside.

The girl was sitting cross-legged in the other corner of the bench. She hadn’t moved since Eveline came to sit next to her. She was wearing black, baggy jeans and a huge jacket. Her head and most of her face were covered by a hood, which probably came from a sweater she was wearing under the jacket.

“Excuse me.” Eveline said softly, turning to the girl. She didn’t move.
“I’m sure you know who I am, and why I’m here.” Eveline continued. Still, no movement.
“If there is anything I can do for you…” Eveline started and then realised she had no clue what else to say. The hooded head turned and the girl looked at her. She had a scarf around her neck which covered half her face.
“Are you Eveline?” she said softly. Eveline nodded. Then the girl turned her head back and kept silent.
“So? Do you have any idea why I’m sitting here with you, instead of being at work?” Eveline continued. She had now decided what to say. The girl shrugged, and Eveline let out a long sigh.
“Please talk to me. Why are you following Åsa?” it seemed as if Eveline was talking to a concrete wall. She wasn’t scared anymore, either. She was pissed now!
“I understand that…” she started again, but now the girl interrupted her.
“You don’t understand shit!!” she screamed and suddenly jumped up off the bench. She was small and thin when she stood up. Eveline stared at her with her mouth open.
“You will never understand. You are one of them.” The girl hissed between her teeth.

“What do you want from Åsa?” Eveline had waited a moment but the girl didn’t say more. She just stood there, staring at Eveline with an angry look on her face.
“And I am one of what?”

“You have no idea what it’s like.” The girl whispered, and repeated it. Eveline stood up. She’d seen enough.
“Ok, look, either you go away on your own or I’ll call the police.” She said calmly. The girl went mad and started screaming in another language that Eveline didn’t understand. Both kept their distance, but the girl was moving her hands in Eveline’s direction while she spoke. She was completely hysterical and tears streamed down her face. Eveline felt sad.

This couldn’t go on, though, she couldn’t just let her stand there like that.

SLAP!!!

The girl stopped screaming and looked up at Eveline in astonishment. Eveline had slapped her right in the face, the cheek turning a bit red.
“Get the hell out of here before I call the police.” Eveline said coldly, in English now. Then she walked off to the waiting taxi.

Eveline’s hands were shaking when she got her mobile phone out of the pocket of her jeans. Åsa was calling her while she walked to the taxi.
“Hello.” Eveline said. Her voice sounded strange.
“Is your taxi still there?” Åsa asked. Eveline confirmed that.
“Ok. I’m coming down.”

They spent the rest of the morning at Eveline’s place. She’d called her boss and informed him about what had happened, telling as little as she could. The women had a long and extensive talk about the stalker and a lot of other things. Åsa admitted that she had overreacted a little bit, but she was so worried that something would happen to Gabriel that she would have done anything to get rid of this girl. On the other hand, not being chased by fans was one of the benefits now she wasn’t married to Per anymore, so it was also kind of a logical step for her to turn to him…

A week later

“A little bit more to the right, then I can catch the flower too… yes, like that, perfect…” the photographer told Per and Eveline where to stand. They were in the cosy lounge room of Marie Dimberg’s office, the only suitable place in the whole building to take pictures. The photographer’s plan was to go outside but now it had been raining all morning. Actually the journalist’s first choice was their house but Per refused. They had taken pictures of him in his study before and that didn’t feel comfortable, knowing that half of Sweden will see it too…

“Per, can you put your hand on her belly? Yes?” the photographer walked around them with his camera, looking for the perfect light. Eveline felt weird. They hadn’t touched each other in… well, it felt like ages. And now all of a sudden Per’s hand was laying on her belly.

The interview itself had been quite boring. Per and Eveline had read through the list of questions a day before, and Marie Dimberg was present as some kind of watch dog. Per didn’t hate doing interviews and Eveline had actually been looking forward to it a little. Finally they would have the chance to tell the real story, kind of… but now with the interview being sent to them in advance, and Per and Dimberg making fuss about the way the questions were asked, she quickly lost interest.

“Well, almost time to go home.” Per sighed behind her. He was sitting on a table with Eveline standing in front of him, his arms wrapped around her.
“Smile please!” the photographer said.
“Mmm and I have the rest of the day off. Do you have plans?” Eveline asked while trying to smile as real as she could. Per’s hands softly rubbed her belly.
“Ehm… I don’t think so.” He whispered back.

The photographer told them to sit on the leather couch that stood by the window. He carefully told them how to sit, and Eveline couldn’t help but laugh about it.
“I feel like a puppet.” She whispered to Per.
“But you are, you’re my little puppet…” he said softly. Their eyes met for a second, just when a picture was taken.

When they got home, Eveline went upstairs to change her clothes. She had bought maternity clothes especially for the pictures and got a little help from a friend of Per’s who was a stylist. She really liked the jeans and the wide black shirt and the other things that went with it, but now it was time for something more comfortable.

Per was reading the paper in the living room and smiled when he saw her come down the stairs. Her hair was down now and she’d put on some comfortable track pants and a sweater.

“Wait!” he called and Eveline stopped in the middle of the room.
“What?”
“Just like that, yes, beautiful, smile please!” Per went on with an imaginary camera in front of his face. He stood up from the couch and walked around her. Eveline laughed.
“Oh, you like this outfit better, Mr. Photographer? So why did I take so much time to dress up then?!” she said, hands planted in her sides. Per wrapped her arms around her and kissed her forehead.
“Oh and you’re not a puppet, you’re my supermodel.” He said softly. Eveline wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into him.
“I… whoops!” Per wanted to say something but suddenly he let go of her and looked down.
“Your belly has a life of it’s own!” he said. The baby had kicked and he’d felt it on his stomach. Eveline laughed.
“Yeah, somebody just woke up…” she said and laid her hand on her belly. Per crouched in front of her and lay his ear on her belly, then looked at it.
“Hello, baby?” he said, pretending to knock, “Can you hold still when I’m hugging your mommy?” in reply, the baby kicked again and Per held Eveline’s belly with both his hands.
“Oh oh, already a trouble maker…” he muttered and got up. Eveline smiled at him, really smiled, something he hadn’t seen from her in a while. He took her in his arms again and hugged her tight.
“Honey…” he said with his nose in her hair.
“Mmm…”
“We will make it. Please don’t worry, ok? I love you.” he spoke softly, voice a bit unsure. He meant what he said but it was hard to say it.
“I love you too…” Eveline sighed against his chest, then turned her head up to face him.
“Let’s stay inside for the rest of the day… we still haven’t watched those new DVD’s. And we can order Thai food tonight…” she said with her mouth against his throat. Per was already dragging her in the direction of the big, comfortable sofa. He pushed her down and followed, laying half on top of her, half on the couch.
“You have good ideas…” he whispered. “Got any more?” he said, and kissed her neck, on to her throat. A hand crept up to her breasts.
“Yeah… the movie…?” Eveline said. Then she pushed his hand away from her breast.
“They’re too sensitive, it hurts…” she said in defence. Per looked into her eyes. He knew that she didn’t want him to touch her, he could sense that. But on the other hand, she also didn’t seem to mind when he kissed her… and he longed to touch her.
“What?!” she said and pushed his shoulder.
“Do you want a drink?”
“Will you get it for me?” she asked with a grin. Per rolled his eyes.
“Ok ok! Water! From the fridge.” She said. Per stood up from the couch and walked to the kitchen.
“Per!!” she called. “Bring the chips too, it’s in the cupboard!”

* * *

Eveline let out a deep sigh and turned to her other side again. It’s too hot, she thought and pushed the blankets away. Per was too close, so she moved away from him a little bit, too. Now she got cold. Blankets back over her. Shit, toilet.

She crawled back into bed as silent as possible.
“Babe…” Per’s low, sleepy voice came from behind her and he moved closer to her.
“Mmm…”
“Can’t sleep?”
“No… sorry if I woke you.” He started to stroke her hair.
“Is something on your mind? Anything you want to share?” he asked with his sweetest voice.
“Nah… oh I don’t know. I feel cold and hot at the same time. And I feel heavy. Like an elephant.” Per giggled. His hand went down under the blankets, and then slipped under her t-shirt.
“Is that why you are suddenly wearing so many clothes in bed, mmm?” his head dipped into her neck. She jerked when his warm lips touched her skin.
“Mmm. Per, I…” it sounded grumpy. She wanted to push him away. But at the same time, she wanted to hear him say he was still crazy about her. Even though she was looking like an elephant. His hand caressed her swollen belly. She was six months pregnant now. She wasn’t huge, not at all. Her belly was gently swollen and rather elegant, thought Per.
“Honey. I love the way you look… does that make you feel better?” he sighed in her ear.
“Mmm… No. You are not carrying all this around. And you don’t have to buy new clothes!” It depressed her to see her body become bigger and heavier. Maybe her belly wasn’t that huge, but she knew she’d gotten fatter everywhere else, too. It never mattered much to her, until now.
“True. But I can’t get my hands off it, either.” he was kissing her shoulder now. His voice started to sound lower and a little hoarse.
“You feel so lovely… so soft… mmm.”
“Per. I am not in the mood.” Eveline let out an irritated sigh to underline her comment. She wasn’t being completely honest though.
“I am not demanding anything. Just let me hug you for a moment. Is your back still sore?” that sweet voice again. She nodded. Her lower back had been aching since weeks and it only got worse. Per moved both his hands to the sore part of her back.
“You are so tense darling… relax.” Per said, close to her ear. His hands moulded and massaged her lower back while he kept kissing her neck, sniffing her hair and brushing along her shoulder with his raw cheek. The way he was touching her felt good, it soothed her muscles even though it hurt in the beginning.

After a while, Per felt Eveline was more at ease. The muscles in her back loosened up and she seemed to sink into the bed more comfortable. She was breathing
steadily and looked peaceful, so he removed his hands and put her shirt back down.
“Mmm… Hey…” Eveline moved and her hand came under the blankets. She grabbed his wrist and laid his hand back on her hip.
“Oh… I though you were sleeping!” He whispered.
“No… Not yet. Go on…” there seemed to be something in her voice… was it a bit darker than before maybe? Or was she just so sleepy that her voice had gotten a bit thick?
Per moved closer to her, holding her against him as if he was afraid she would leave soon. He moved her t-shirt back up, now caressing her swollen belly. His hand then went on to her side, where she was slightly ticklish. Goose bumps rose on her skin when he teasingly slid one finger up and down over her side. Further down he slipped inside the thin cotton track pants she was wearing. She gasped when his fingers trailed her buttocks.

Per had trouble not to start panting right away, when he felt the change in her, when he read her body language… she was letting him touch her. It had been a while. He felt excitement shoot through his belly when his fingers slipped between her legs from behind. A wet spot in her panties greeted him.
“Hey… what’s this…” he said to her neck with a tight voice.
“That’s… your fault…” she sighed the words, very softly. Her eyes were closed, mouth a bit open. Per’s naughty fingers crept passed her panties, moved it out of the way a little. He started exploring her, feeling her up and down.

She was smiling and moaned softly. Suddenly she moved onto her back and grabbed Per’s shoulder, pulling him down in a breathless kiss. She probed his mouth with her tongue, needing to taste and feel him. Per took his time, there was no rush… and he didn’t want to explode too soon and ruin everything…

He answered her passionate kiss and then let go, only to kiss her throat and let his hands hold her waist. He slowly moved the t-shirt up and over her head. Carefully, he placed a kiss between her breasts. They were big and swollen.
“S-softly,” she hissed.
“I know…” he growled. He kissed her breasts, gently caressed them with his hands. Then he moved the rest of the blankets out of the way and helped her out of the track pants. Now she lay naked before him. He stared at her for a moment. Her eyes were filled with love, calling him. He lay beside her and stroked her belly.
“Darling… you are so beautiful,” he had trouble speaking.
“I only want to touch you… have to touch you.”

Eveline shivered when his soft hands kept running up and down her body like that. He was kissing her shoulder and neck and for a moment she though this was it, this was all that was going to happen tonight. She touched him too, hugging him closer. It had been weeks, maybe even months ago that she’d felt him this close. His body felt good against hers. He was hot and every muscle seemed to be tightened and hard.

A low groan sounded when she grabbed the hardness inside his boxers. They wasted no words when he took it off and lay behind her, as two spoons in a box.
“Ahh…!” Eveline moaned when she felt Per enter her carefully. He held her hip in place with his hand and slowly pushed deeper inside her.
“Oh… oh Ev…” he sighed. Eveline started panting fast, her body twisting against him and for a moment Per stopped thrusting.
“Oh yes… go on!” she whispered.
“Mmm… mmm…” was all he replied.
“Per… go on…” she moved her hips backwards into him and made him gasp.

He let go of her hip and his hand went between her legs. Eveline let out short, loud moans when he started to rub her softly. She pushed her hips back and forth, thrusting herself on him.
“Oh yes… oh yes…” Eveline was completely lost in the sensations he was making her feel, shuddering and moaning, giving in…

“Geez Ev…” Per panted in her ear when her orgasm seemed to have faded a little.
“Mmm… I love you…” she whispered back and giggled.
“How did this happen, so suddenly? Mm?”
“Ohh…” she moved her hips again, back in the same rhythm.
“I don’t know… what does it feel like…?”
“Mmm… So warm… so wet…” he held her tightly and now started to move his hips as well. Per’s senses were on overload, he was going crazy for her smell, the feeling of her skin, and that hot, wet spot where there bodies linked. He rested his face against her shoulder and gently squeezed the flesh of her buttocks.
“Come on… faster…” she whispered under her breath. And he did. He felt the contractions inside her getting stronger and stronger. With every thrust, she seemed to catch him, hold him tight, not wanting to let go…
“Oh Ev… oh oh oh…” he needed his release so badly… needed to come so badly… Eveline trembled against him and all Per’s muscles tightened as he poured deep into her.

* * *

Eveline arched her back with her hands on her hips and moaned. Her back was hell. She shouldn’t have carried those boxes downstairs…

“Ev!” Per’s voice came from upstairs, “do you want those red crates too? I don’t know what’s in them!” he yelled.
“Ehm… no you can leave those!” Eveline screamed back.

Per stumbled down the stairs with two more boxes.
“Phew!” he panted and blew some hair out of his sweaty face.
“You know just the job for such a hot day, I am soaked!” he said and put the boxes on the table. Eveline grinned at him.
“Oh I don’t mind to see my man sweat a little bit! Some cold lemonade then?” she said and squeezed his side a little bit when walking past him.

Per and Eveline had been staying at his house in Halmstad since the beginning of July, just after Eveline had quit her job. August was now halfway and it was hot outside, very hot. Eveline was going back to Stockholm later that week, alone. Per had planned some work with MP in his studio for the end of the month. But Eveline didn’t want to stay that long, because then she wouldn’t be able to fly back anymore in the ninth month of her pregnancy…

They had been carrying stuff from the attic, old baby-stuff from Gabriel. Åsa had called Eveline to tell her exactly where she could find some useful things. They had been seeing each other a couple of times since the thing with the stalker. Åsa was glad to have Eveline to tell her everything was fine, and Eveline really found comfort in Åsa’s baby-experience – after all, Eveline didn’t have any friends who had babies. Per didn’t seem too happy with this thing between them but he was wise enough not to comment.

Eveline poured cold yellow lemonade with crushed ice in two glasses. Per came into the kitchen and finished his glass in one go.
“So ehm, when do your parents arrive?” Per asked, whipping his face with his hand. Eveline looked at him and shook her head.
“Friday evening around seven. And you better take a shower before you meet them.” she added dryly.
“Oh do I smell bad or something? Gosh I wonder how come eh?” he said and pulled her into a hug, pressing against his sweaty t-shirt.
“Eeeew you are all wet!! Gross! Let me go!” Eveline shrieked and tried to push him away.
“No way, those boxes were your idea, so you sweat to!” Per laughed and hugged her tight. He looked down at her smiling face and touched her cheek.
“Mhm… I think I will take a shower after all. Will you join me?” he asked, his voice now soft and charming.
“You wish… after this trick, you can sleep on the couch Gessle!” she said with a giggle in her voice and escaped from his embrace.

* * *

“Eeeeeeeeev!” her brother and sister, Richard and Christine, ran through the hallway at the airport. She caught them both in her opened arms, laughing and crying at the same time. It had been almost nine months since she’d seen them.

“Oh I missed you so much, you twats!” she said softly while hugging them to her. They were both a lot younger than Eveline and still living with their parents. They were next up for a hug and Eveline took a moment for both of them. Then it was time for all of them to comment on her belly, which was big and round. Still not huge, some people wouldn’t expect that she was in her ninth month.

Eveline shoved her whole family and their bags into Kalle’s taxi and off they went. None of them had ever been to Stockholm, not even in the long time she was now living here. It was always Eveline to visit home, never home that came to visit her. She felt great now, being able to show her family around in ‘her’ city. She told Kalle to take the interesting route instead of the fast one, so after the highway, he took a little de-tour. Eveline pointed at some buildings, companies and monuments.

In the apartment, Eveline showed them around and to the guestrooms. Richard and Christine shared one room with two single beds and her parents also had their own room. They shared the bathroom in the hall, while Per and Eveline had their big bedroom on the other end of the hall with their own bathroom. In between was Gabriel’s room.

Later she made tea and coffee and they finally sat down.
“Oh my, Ev, I can’t believe it that you are going to have a baby soon, I just can’t!” her mother said, next to her on the couch. Over the past months, Eveline had sent a lot of pictures to her parents via e-mail, to show the progress of how her belly grew, and she had written them long mails about how she was doing.
“It’s really true mom. Just a couple of weeks to go!” she said and smiled. Her mom nodded and bit her lip.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if… well, if the baby was born while we are here?” she said, a twinkle in her eyes. Christine moved in her chair, all excited
“Ohhhh Eveline, that would be great, then we can see her already and help you with everything and stuff!” she said. Eveline laughed.
“Haha… well I can’t exactly tell the baby to just come out right now, can I? And what’s this with ‘then we can see her’? Is it going to be a girl?” she looked at her little sister with her eyebrows up in the air. Her sister was sixteen and she was becoming quite a missy. Though around her big sister, whom she adored, she was a little girl again… Eveline father let out a deep, loud sigh.
“Oh Eveline, please put an end to this! Chris had been going on and on about that fact tat it’s going to be a girl. She’s absolutely positive!” he said, his hands rose to the air as if he was desperate.

The talking went on and Eveline looked around at her family. She realised even more how much she had missed them, and that she had to change her ways about visiting them.

“So, when are we going to meet the daddy?” her father asked her. He sat on a chair beside her and had laid his hand on his.
“Per is coming home next week, he had some work to finish in Halmstad. So we’ll have the place to ourselves first…” the last thing she said with a wink.

In spite of the fact that Eveline had some physical problems and that she got tired very quickly, she managed to go to some sight-seeing things with her family in that first week. Most of the things they visited, Eveline found a quiet place to sit. It kind of scared her how her body had changed in just a few weeks; from quite carefree, to a wreck… she had horrible back-aches, her feet hurt after three meters walking, and she had no energy and no condition at all. But she knew it would be over soon, so she just carried on.

Eveline also took both her siblings shopping with her, spoiling them to death in Stockholm’s best stores.

Per arrived late Thursday evening, two days later than planned. Eveline and her family were having a glass of wine in the lounge room when she suddenly heard the door. It was almost eleven.

“Hey love…” he said softly when she came to the hallway.
“Hey, you’re late!” she commented, voice low.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, the flight got delayed and later cancelled, so we had to take the next one, pff… it was horrible.” He whispered. Then he walked to her and kissed her forehead, then hugged her.
“Mm I am happy to be back. I was worried about you, how are you holding out?” he said half in her ear. Eveline giggled.
“Why are we whispering? They don’t understand Swedish! Haha… I’m ok. Tired, but happy to have them here. Come on!” she pulled Per with her to the lounge room to finally introduce him to her family.

She spotted instantly that her mother was quite charmed by him. Due to the big age difference between Per and Eveline – almost twenty years – her mother was only a few years older than Per…

“He doesn’t look like a pop star.” Chris whispered in Eveline’s ear when Per sat down with a drink. Eveline laughed.
“Hahaha… but he’s not, at the moment. And you don’t have to whisper honey because he won’t understand.”

Conversation between Per and Eveline’s parents was difficult at first, because their English wasn’t that good. But the more they talked, the better, and Per and Eveline’s father occasionally added some German words.

“Shit, my dad and my boyfriend are speaking German with each other, no way!” Eveline said in Dutch, laughing loud. Per looked at her with a silly smile, not understanding what she said and she quickly explained in Swedish.

They sat there for a while, Per in the middle and Eveline’s family around him, asking tons of questions. It was almost one when everybody was in bed and Eveline went to check on them.

“Well done honey, well done.” Her dad mumbled to her when she left their bedroom. He patted her shoulder.
“So you like him?” she asked. Her dad nodded.
“He’s a good guy, a very good guy. And you’re mother thinks he’s cute, so I guess you’ve done well…” he winked at her and gave her a kiss.

“Everything ok in Halmstad? I didn’t really get why it was so delayed?” Eveline looked at Per who was busy folding his clothes. She was undressing on the other side of the bed. Per sighed.
“Oh it was just stupid, you know, this girl we are working with? She couldn’t come to Sweden until last week, and then it turned out we really have some serious work to do with her. We’re supposed to help her with her debut album but nothing is written yet, nothing! So we added two days, but it didn’t really help. She’s coming over to Stockholm next week.” He didn’t look at her while saying this. Eveline lay on her back in bed while Per brushed his teeth in the bathroom.

“She’s coming over next week… so does that mean you have to work next week?” she asked. No answer.
“Per!” she said a little louder. He emerged from the bathroom, wiping his face dry.
“I can’t bloody talk when I’m brushing my teeth…” he mumbled a little annoyed and crawled in bed.
“Yeah I think I’m looking at at least three months with this girl, writing and recording demos alone.” He said absentmindedly.
“What?! Per, you can’t be serious…” Eveline said and sat up in bed.
“The timing sucks, I know, but…”
“But what? When are you finally going to care about your own life instead of work all the time?!” she snapped at him. Then she lay down, turned her back to him and switched the light off. Per didn’t say anything. He lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. Exactly when did everything become so difficult?

Later that week

On Friday night, Per took the whole group out for dinner. They all dressed up and went to Giorgio’s. Eveline couldn’t even remember the last time she’s seen her father in a suit, and he looked so good!

Eveline didn’t feel good. She had a funny feeling in her stomach all evening, and ate very little. Per was giving her questioning looks but she just smiled at him and he was a little annoyed by that. Since he told her about his new project, she was acting differently. It seemed as if she was trying to make everything easier. She never commented anything he said or did, not in a negative way but not positively either. If Per asked ‘does this look good’, she nodded and smiled. He might as well ask ‘shall we jump in the river’ and she would have done the same. He was getting a little pissed but most of all worried about this. This was not Eveline. Eveline was a smart girl who always spoke her mind. It was not like her to approve to anything and everything he did, that was exactly what he liked about her…

The funny feeling stayed when they got home, and Eveline announced that she was going to lie down. Both her mother and Per glanced at her suspiciously but she waved that away with a deep sigh.

At night
Per had gone to bed around twelve, finding Eveline asleep. Now it was in the middle of the night and he stirred, then woke up. First he thought it must be morning already, but the room was still dark, except for a little light on the other side. Per sat up a little bit and looked at the clock: a quarter past four. Eveline sat in the rocking chair on the other side of the room with a cup of tea and a magazine in her hand. She was wearing an old, long-sleeved shirt that was Per’s, and soft cotton track pants. Her hair was tied back in a little knot, and Per thought she looked beautiful with the dimmed light shining over her face.

“Oh I’m sorry if I woke you…” she whispered to him.
“Are you ok?” he asked. She gave him the same nod as always and went back to her magazine. Per saw something in her face; she was not ok. He could tell when something was wrong, like the whole week something had been wrong, but this was something else. He got up and walked to her, crouching in front of her chair. She was sitting on it side-ways, her legs dangling over one side.

“You sure?” he asked, placing his hand softly on her belly, which had become a habit. Eveline sighed and swallowed, then looked at him, eyes wide and worried.
“I think I’m having contractions. But I’m not sure.” she said softly. Per’s mouth fell open.
“Oh my god! Is the baby coming?” he asked wide-eyed. Eveline shrugged and bit her lip.
“I don’t know… if it’s supposed to feel like this. I think so, but… well, it’s too early then, isn’t it?”
“Mhm, yes, a little bit earlier than the gynaecologist said, but he said that it would be fine, right? So are you in labour then?” his face looked excited.

Eveline softly pushed him away and stood up. She put her hands on her back, moaned softly.
“I’m getting all these… these cramps…” she mumbled. She sighed deeply a couple of times and walked up and down the room. Her face looked hurt.
“Anything I can do? Should I call the midwife?” Per asked. Eveline shook her head.
“But you can rub my back…?” she said, glancing at him with one eye closed and her face concentrated. Per nodded and stood up. He rubbed her lower back softly, while Eveline leaned against the wall.

The situation stayed like this for a while. Eveline was walking up and down the room, sighing, moaning, breathing, complaining, and Per sat on the bed, in the chair, on the toilet, waiting, rubbing her back, her shoulders, not rubbing, holding her, not holding her…

At around six in the morning, they were quite sure that she was actually in labour and that the baby was going to be born. Per managed to appear quite calm while inside, he was panicking. He called the midwife, talked about the time between and the heaviness of the contractions. While he was on the phone with her, Eveline was sitting on the floor on hands and knees, breathing like a horse that ran 100 miles.

“I think it will still take a long time Per, this situation usually lasts for ten hours or more. Maybe Eveline can take a nice warm bath if her back hurts a lot.” The midwife said. Per sighed and looked at the ceiling.

Indeed it took many more hours… it wasn’t until about three in the afternoon until they went to the hospital. Eveline had taken a bath and it helped, and after that she’s walked miles and miles around the room. Her family and Per were by her side all the time, annoying the hell out of her. Her stress level was way up and she got into a row with Per, who was wise enough to let it be…

* * *

“Come on Eveline, PUSH!!!”
Eveline’s dad could hear the midwife’s voice coming through the door. Eveline, her mother and Per were in the delivery room. He heard groans and shouts and curses from his daughter, too.

He hopped from one foot to the other nervously, looking at his other two kids. Oh he remembered so well, when they were born… all three of them. He remembered every detail, every inch of them when they were born. Weight, size, the look on their mother’s face…
“MMMRRRAAAH!” another scream from Eveline. Her father smiled over the scared faces of Christina and Richard. They looked white as a sheet, holding on to their chairs when they heard their sister scream.

Then it turned quite silent. The silence took minutes and the three in the hallway all got up and gathered around the door.

Suddenly, Per came out. He looked as if he’d been to war, his shirt, face and hair a big mess.

“A girl! It’s a girl!” he said with a huge smile.

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