This time there was no hiding, there was no denial and there was no rejection. Joe Starr was cherished and celebrated the moment it was known he was growing in his mummy’s tummy and when he was born, everyone was with Georgia at her bedside to welcome him into the world.
Unlike his sister’s, his hair was dark like his dads, with olive skin and bright green eyes that seemed to twinkle at anyone who he looked at. Even though so far he looked a spitting image of Luke, Georgia swore she spotted the slight tinges of flecked red in his hair and that his features actually bore much of a resemblance to her. But she let Luke believe he was a clone of him, she knew Luke had been eager for a boy.
Sadly, Alfie never lived long enough to meet Joe. He passed away on December the 11th; a week before Joe came tearing into the world. Esme took his passing the hardest and wept at his grave every day for a month.
Sometimes Georgia would hear her mother muttering to herself. And one time whilst out shopping she was sure she saw her mum slip an apple into her pocket without paying. But Esme was too old and stubborn to confront so Georgia left her to it understanding that everyone deals with grief in their own ways.
The twins adored their new baby brother. They had been nagging Georgia for another sibling since the day they could talk. They treated him as their own baby, wheeling him around in their doll prams and dragging him into the sandpit to have tea parties with them.
But there was also another reason to love their baby brother, the blame game! If they knocked something over they would blame it on Joe. If they played a prank on their mother like putting a whoopee cushion under her seat – they would blame it on Joe.
“Joe put it there, Joe put it there,” they would shriek hardly able to speak they were giggling so much.
Anything they did bad – little Joe was put straight in the firing line. But Georgia and Luke weren’t stupid. If it were a silly accident or a joke like the whoopee cushion they would play along with the girls pretending to reprimand Joe even though he didn’t care, he was too young and far too excitable to understand what was going on.
But if it were something more serious like smashing a vase or dropping their brother, then they would call the girls on it and they were either sent to their room without supper or had something like their stereo confiscated. Individually the girls were naughty, but together they were wicked!
Even though they did not have to choose their lifetime wishes yet the girls talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up all the time changing their minds on a weekly basis. One week they wanted to be a fashion designer like their mother. And then the next week they wanted to be a couple of princesses waiting for their handsome prince to come and rescue them.
When Joe turned one, they wanted to be dancers. Georgia spent hours wiling away at her sewing machine making the girls the most fabulous outfits. The moment they saw they squealed with delight and from that day on they refused to take them off.
“Come on you two. Tutu’s off – its time for your bath.”
“Noooo,” they would scream running round the house. “We won’t take them off!”
It would take Georgia at least an hour to catch the girls and strip them so she could scrub them down and wash the tutus. Izzy and India screamed the whole time.
“Wow,” they would gasp trying to make the girls feel as special as possible.
“That was amazing,” Luke would clap stealing a look at his wife and rolling his eyes.
“Indi, Izzy dance,” Joe would coo from his front row seat on the floor.
But as was the case with most things when it came to the twins, India and Izzy’s enthusiasm for dance soon waned and they were pleading with their mum to pull them from dance classes.
“But what happened. I thought you loved dancing,” Georgia asked.
“Yeah but its sooo boring mum,” Izzy complained. “And Miriam Sanchez is a cheerleader so we want to do that now!”
“Who’s Miriam Sanchez,” Georgia asked getting very confused.
India and Izzy looked at each other and rolled their eyes. “God your so clueless mum.”
“Yeah,” Izzy piped in. “Miriam Sanchez is only the most amazing pop star in the world.” “Duh,” India finished off.
Nothing like a couple of nine year olds to make you feel old, Georgia thought.
So that was that. India and Izzy went to school the next day in their brand new cheerleader costumes ready to try out for the squad. Georgia prayed they would get in and stay in as she was exhausted with their constant mind changing!
Georgia’s days had become one of routine. She would get up, make the kids breakfast, make sure the girls got off to school ok and then drop Joe off at his Day-care. It was run by a lovely lady who had been looking after the toddlers of Bridgeport for decades and Joe adored her. The moment Georgia dropped him off; he would cling to Mrs Butterfield like a spider monkey screaming for his favourite book to be read to him.
Being free from children for a few hours a day was a welcome relief for Georgia as not only was she still working part time at the Boutique, but she was also pregnant again!
“Sit down sit down,” Madame Dubois would fuss every day when Georgia would turn up for work.
“Stop fussing will you,” Georgia replied batting her arm away.
“I do worry about you Georgia. You have three children to take care of, another on the way, a husband and an elderly mother. You need to take it eazy!”
“I’m fine,” Georgia snapped. And she was. Despite the bad back and the swollen ankles she was just grateful to be able to bear Luke’s children at all. Plus she loved her job.
She was now Head Stylist and had built up a large portfolio of customers from across town. With her keen eye for fashion and her stylish bravura, Dubois was no longer a place full of pensioners and trailer park trash. High profile men and woman from across the city now flocked to the little boutique in their droves to be styled by the notorious Georgia Starr.
Sometimes she had to make house calls. The client in question was either too busy or too high-profile to make it to the boutique so Georgia would go to them, carting her trunk of make-up and outfits for them to try on and styling them for maybe a big party or Red Carpet Premier.
“Georgia, why don’t you come on tour with me,” asked famous movie actress Jessica Lee one day when she was styling her for a Red Carpet event. “I have to go all over the world for my next movie release and need a woman I can trust. I’ll pay you well.”
Georgia would have been lying if she was not tempted by the offer. But all she had to think of was her children and Luke back home and knew the answer was no.
“But can’t your husband look after the children,” Jessica whined when Georgia gave her her answer.
“No not really. My husband works too I’m afraid so my family really need me here.”
And it was true; Luke had gotten himself a job!
Georgia had never forgotten the conversation she had had with Luke the night before they got back together under the stars – about his dreams of becoming an astronaut and his frustration of his accident ripping away any chances of fulfilling his ambition. The conversation played over and over in her mind and she would often spot Luke late at night staring into his telescope, a faraway look of sadness in his face.
Getting Jin Ling on board had just been Stage One of her mission to revive Luke. Stage Two was getting pregnant. Then finally Stage Three was resurrecting Luke’s career. And it had not been an easy one. Firstly, although Jin Ling was a miracle man they all knew and had accepted that Luke would never ever be 100% again – his injuries were too severe for that. He would always walk with a limp and he would never be fit enough to go up in a Space Shuttle. Luke got opportunities to work around Bridgeport in varies vocations including being a Corporate Drone at Doo Peas Corporate Tower. Or a Ballot Counter at City Hall. He was even offered a job as a Bed Pan cleaner at the hospital which he happily turned down. His passion lay with the army and Georgia convinced him that he should not stand for second best even if he would never be an astronaut.
Therefore Stage Three commenced with Luke going back to school. As money was not an issue for them he signed up to full time classes at Bridgeport City College majoring in Engineering.
Although Luke had never been very academic, he pushed himself day and night studying hard and completing his course in a record two years.
The day after his graduation he got a job as an Engineer for the military. And by the time another set of twins came along, he was the head of his department in charge of top secret assignments. He would never be on the front line, or visit the moon, but he could gaze up at the stars every day and help the rest of his team and that was enough for him.
Georgia and Luke named their new twins Kirk and Karis!