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2.51 Surprises

November 13, 2014

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Allie’s belly grew and grew. She went out, went to work, went home. Nothing ever changed. She still thought she saw Lazlo everywhere, but could never catch the mystery man. He walked like Lazlo, talked like Lazlo, and had his build, though not Laz’s sense of style or gorgeous hair. Everyone told her to forget it. Enjoy the break in the curse, they said. Enjoy being pregnant, they said.

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Well, they were crazy. As far as Allie thought, being pregnant was a total drag. If she thought her job as a cop was just getting exciting, well, now she was on “light duty,” aka paperwork, aka boring. She missed the thrill of chasing Bella, of getting little glimmers of the truth, of fleeing from Bella’s dogs in the moonlight. She could barely waddle down a flight of stairs without getting winded. And she’d completely given up on finding shoes that fit. She refused to wear Crocs. Absolutely refused.

One day she’d had enough. If her mother invited her to play pool or Maria offered to take her baby shopping one more time she was going to blow. She needed to do something. Anything. So she decided to waddle her pregnant self down to The Seeker Cafe to see what she would find out about this mystery man, and maybe, just maybe, pay Vidcund and Pascal a visit.

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It hadn’t changed. Not one bit. The Seeker Cafe still had the same brightly colored booth seats, the same mismatched countertops, and spaceships galore. She hadn’t been in the place since that dreaded night Vicund told her Lazlo was missing. The night they discovered the littered remains of his booze and pill fueled binge. The night she’d seen him at Bella’s lab in a vision. Since then, there had been nothing. Lost in this moment of sadness, Allie almost missed the ease of her life before – when she was just a simple waitress, and Lazlo was just her boss. But no, there was always the curse, pulling her in. Reminding her now of her purpose.

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The memories seared her heart, cracked it just a little more. Every time she thought of him she felt like a failure. Which is why it makes no sense to stop chasing the curse, she thought. If she stopped now, Bella would win, Strangetown would stay trapped in it’s perpetual time loop, and eventually her family would disappear, like had happened to every other female DiPotere born to another female DiPotere since her great great great Aunt Bella Donna’s family disappeared from Pleasantview so many decades ago.

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Allie ignored the girl yelling at her to stop as she walked down the back hall she knew so well. Must be the new waitress, thought Allie with a smirk. Then the smirk shifted, grew into a full fledged grin. It was the mystery man, heading for the kitchen. It had to be Lazlo, had to be!

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“Lazlo!” Allie said as she followed him into the kitchen. “Oh my, thank the goddess! Lazlo! I can’t believe it’s you!” Allie was beside herself with excitement. She’d hoped, and prayed, and wished so hard for this moment – to find Lazlo safe and sound. The clothes were different, the hair was different, but it was her Lazlo, through and through.

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Lazlo turned around and looked at Allie suspiciously. “Do I know you?” he asked.

Allie took a step back. She didn’t quite know what to say. Lazlo wasn’t really the joking type. He was more of a deep, mysterious brooder. This wasn’t his style at all. But still, Allie laughed it off.

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“Oh, you’re a kidder. It’s me, Allie! I know, I know…long story about the little one here,” she said, smiling and patting her belly, “but that can wait. You have to tell me everything. Did Bella have you captive in her lab? Did she let you go, or did you escape? Did you get to see Isadora one more time, or baby Bel? Tell me everything!”

“Look, lady,” said Lazlo. “I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave. I can’t have a barefoot lady walking around my kitchen. If the health inspector came he’d have a field day with this one.”

The grumpy waitress took that moment to walk into the kitchen. She sauntered past Allie with a dirty look and placed a hand on Lazlo’s shoulder. “Everything all right, dear?”

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“Oh, Isadora, thank goodness,” said Lazlo, and huddled closer to her. “Listen,” he whispered, “I don’t want to alarm you but we may need to call the police. This strange woman is asking about you, and some baby, and escaping some kind of hostage situation. I think she’s a nut. Let’s just walk out real quiet and go to the back office, okay?

And with that, they were gone, slipping through the back door of the kitchen. The one Allie knew led to Lazlo’s office – where they’d shared so many long nights after work. Where a true and deep friendship had been born.

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She wanted to cry. She wanted to stomp her feet, and scream up to the heavens. Bella had done it, she’d gotten to Lazlo. How, Allie didn’t know. But she had. And now, as much as she wanted to stay, to chase after Lazlo and slap him out of it, she knew she had to go. That was all she needed, her police co-workers to respond to a call about a pregnant nut job at the cafe and find her. So she left out the front door and walked home.

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When she arrived home she saw everyone was there – her mom, and both sisters. She was not in the mood. She lost a best friend – again – and now her stomach hurt.

“Allie, you don’t look well,” said her mother, glancing up from her game of slap hands. “Are you okay, hun?”

“No, I’m not,” said Allie. “And I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to lie down.”

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It wasn’t in the cards, though. For after this very long day, Allie finally gave birth. The baby was healthy and beautiful – no hair, but the biggest darkest eyes. Allie couldn’t believe the amount of love that flowed through her, the amount of love she could feel for such a tiny little person.

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It had been a day of surprises. And in the end, there was one last surprise. Baby Aniello, her precious little bundle of joy, was a boy. There was still no one to continue the search for the curse, no one to continue on as DiPotere matriarch.

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But at that moment, Allie didn’t care. All of her mother and Maria’s protests to slow down and enjoy the moment finally made sense. Allie’s world was crashing around her, and all she felt was love.

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