RETROSPECTIVE SERIES OF NINE SHORT EPISODES FOCUSING ON THE CHARACTER OF CHLOE THOMAS AT THE DRIBBLEDINE SPORTS ACADEMY
The events of these episodes take place two months before the last scene of the final episode of Chapter Three (excerpt below) where the Loewes visit Zachary, Amanda and George in Bridgeport on easter holidays.
CC credits & the full episode 3.36 Forbidden Love available here.
When the snow finally melted away and the first snowdrops appeared on the meadows, the spring was at the doorstep closely followed by the Easter holidays. Nathan left for China in the early February and nobody was too surprised when he didn’t come back in two weeks as he promised. Once again. Chloe was aware of his adventures this time around, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was hiding something from her nonetheless. When the Easter bunny came knocking on the door, the family reunion in Bridgeport was impending. Chloe tried very hard to convince her dad that she was behind on her studying and needed to stay at the DSA during the Easter break to catch up, but the fact that she has always been a perfect student didn’t really help her much in that matter. Benjamin insisted on Chloe coming to Bridgeport with them and he wouldn’t accept any excuse. The plane landed at the airport on the Good Friday morning and by the time the family collected all of their luggage, Zachary was already waiting for them in the arrivals hall, holding a huge banner that read ‘LOEWE’ in his hand. It was really hard to miss.
“There’s uncle Zac!” Nathalie called out as soon as she noticed the banner in Zac’s hand. “Uncle Zac, uncle Zac!” she shrieked and ran towards him with her backpack jumping on her back.
“Isn’t this my favorite niece?” Zac laughed when Nathalie jumped at him, nearly making him lose the balance.
“Can we take the subway? Please, say we can!” she said excitedly.
“Well, I rented a limo, but if you really insist,” he laughed.
“Zac! It’s nice to see you, son!” David gave Zac a big hug and patted him on the back.
“So, where’s the car?” Chloe demanded to know.
“I don’t have a car,” told her Zac.
“Haha. Nice try,” she said sarcastically. “Can we go already? I really hate this place.”
“Mind your manners, Chloe,” Benjamin scolded his daughter.
“The entrance to the subway is that way,” said Zac and pointed in the direction of the escalators. “Can I help you with some bag?”
“Here, you can take mine,” said Chloe and dropped her backpack to the floor. Zac looked at Ben who just shrugged his shoulders.
When they finally arrived in the apartment building, Nathalie dashed towards the elevator and pressed the button. Soon after, the elevator door slid to the side and everyone squeezed into the tight space. When Chloe saw her family packed in the elevator like sardines in a can, she decided to take the stairs.
“What floor?” she asked Zac.
“Thirteenth,” he winked at her and the door closed.
“Ugh,” Chloe sighed and headed towards the stairs. To everybody’s surprise, she got there before they did. It was only because an elderly woman with two dogs stopped them halfway up, and even though Zac politely asked her not to get in and wait for them to get out first, she anyway squeezed in and pushed the zero button. As soon as the door closed again, a foul smell filled the air. Normally, Kate would ask who it was, but since there was a stranger in the elevator she refrained from asking.
“Here we are!” Zac victoriously called out when everybody finally got out of the gas chamber and gasped for air.
“I think it was the old lady who farted,” Nathalie shared her opinion on the way to the door of her uncle’s apartment.
“Or maybe it was you,” David teased his granddaughter. “You smelt it, you dealt it!” he laughed.
“I did not!” Nathalie protested.
“Whoever denied it, supplied it!” David continued.
“He who said the rhyme did the crime!” Kate interjected and everybody laughed.
“Alright, alright. It was me. You caught me, officer,” David confessed, laughing out loud.
“For heaven’s sake, grandpa! What did you eat?!” Nathalie asked him with disgust in her voice.
“Whatever you fed me, women,” he grinned, shifting his sight from Kate to Nathalie and back.
“I’m really glad we don’t sleep in the same room,” Chloe commented, feeling relieved.
“Actually, you are,” Zac smiled at her as he slid a key in the keyhole. “We only have one guest room.”
“Oh joy,” Chloe rolled her eyes and followed the rest of the family inside.
Zac and Amanda’s apartment wasn’t as big as the house in Monte Vista, but it was definitely bigger than what everyone expected. There was a corridor leading to the open-space kitchen/dining/living area, three bedrooms – one of which was the guest room, a study and a spacious bathroom with a huge bathtub. Everything except George’s room was neatly organized and polished.
Amanda must have done some serious cleaning before they arrived. The whole place smelled like a flower field. Each room, a different scent. Rose, lavender, gardenia, lilies. A gardener’s dream for some, a headache trigger for others, let alone pregnant women.
“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Chloe said aloud, put her hand on her mouth and dashed to the bathroom. Nathalie swiftly followed her.
“Chloe?” she knocked on the door. “Can I come in?” she asked, but when Chloe didn’t answer, Nathalie turned the knob and slowly opened the door. She found her sister sitting on the floor by the toilet, hugging the porcelain throne with both her arms.
Nathalie’s own stomach heaved as the smell of vomit hit her nose. She quickly walked to the other side of the bathroom and opened the window. It was a lovely spring day. Nathalie breathed in the fresh air and observed the little people walking on the path below.
“I know it’s not the best thing to say, but this nauseating mixture of flower scents is much more pleasant than those couple of minutes in the elevator. You have no idea what that was like,” Nathalie said to Chloe and sat down next to her, gently moving the loose strands of hair away from her sister’s face. “There goes the chocolate muffin,” she noted when Chloe retched the last part of her breakfast into the toilet.
Nathalie flushed the toilet and helped her sister stand up. Chloe rinsed her face with cold water and looked at her reflection in the mirror.
“Can you keep a secret?” she asked her sister. Nathalie nodded her head and stared at Chloe breathlessly, afraid of what she was about to say.
“I’m pregnant with Nathan’s child,” Chloe confided her secret to her sister and burst into tears. Nathalie wrapped her arms around her and even though she whispered that everything was going to be alright in Chloe’s ear, she knew it was a lie. How could something like that be possibly alright?
The two teenagers stood in the middle of the bathroom and gazed speechlessly into each other’s eyes, silently observing their childhood dreams shatter before them. Then suddenly, a knock on the door and Benjamin’s muffled voice interrupted the loud silence and the bathroom door opened.
“Is everything okay?” Ben came in asking.
“Y-yeah, everything’s fine, dad,” Chloe said and looked at her sister. “It’s the heavy smell of the flowers… it made me feel nauseous, but I’m good now,” she flashed an innocent smile at Benjamin.
“I’ll open the window in the guest room so you can lie down for a bit,” he said and walked away.
“Does Nathan know?” Nathalie asked her sister.
“Shh!” Chloe put a hand on Nathalie’s mouth and dragged her to the window in the bathroom. “No more words about this, understand?!”
“No, he doesn’t. How could he?!” Chloe interrupted her. “I didn’t know till I puked my very soul into the toilet at my dormitory!”
“For heaven’s sake, Chloe! This is so wrong, so freaking wrong! He’s your brother! My brother! OUR brother!!! What were you thinking?!?!”
“Don’t you think I know whose brother he is?!”
“Then why did you… How could you… and he… This is so messed up.”
“Luckily, I know the solution to my problem and what’s even better – it’s only one step away! I can simply jump out of this window and be done with it. All of it.”
“Don’t you even think about it!” Nathalie said to her sister, pushed her aside and closed the window. “I have no idea how on earth could something like that even happen but it obviously did happen,” she said and looked at Chloe’s belly that all of a sudden looked bigger than usual. “Why didn’t you use a condom?”
“Of course we did! Do you really think we planned this baby?!” Chloe said and pointed at her bump.
“Well, then I think there’s a chance that you’re not pregnant. Maybe it was really the smell that made you feel nauseous. I kinda feel sick myself right now.”
“Yeah, and the flower power magically bloated my belly, right?”
“What do the hippies have to do with that? Oh my goodness! Have you slept with more guys?!” Nathalie’s eyes widened with fear.
“Chill, sister. It was just a joke,” Chloe laughed out loud. She sat down on the carpet by the bathtub and looked up at Nathalie. “Not even in a dream I thought I’d become a mother so soon,” she said and placed one hand on her belly.
“Wait. Are you… are you going to keep it?!”
“Yeah… plus it’s too late anyway. I’m already at the end of the first trimester.”