Part five, "Will Baby Make Three?"
Disclaimer: part one, folks. I'm really in no position to be sued.
This part is CJ's POV, again following the theme of trying to be coherent. CJ's got more issues then Danny, by the way.
"You should have made it clear why you were asking that question. How much more are you going to alienate him, CJ?" she asked herself. "First you made him think that you didn't want to be pregnant by him and now you gave him the idea that you're gonna get an abortion if, indeed, you are pregnant. How much do you think he can take?" She was near tears. Carol was gone so there was no one to prevent people from coming in and seeing her in this state. It was time to leave. Her reservation was made already so she could get there whenever. She fed Gail, the goldfish, before she left. A nice juicy little seashell full of seafood that lasts the whole weekend. She wasn't doing well with Danny lately, she certainly didn't want to kill his fish...or her fish...or their fish. "What the hell am I doing? The fish is fed. I'm outta here!" She grabbed her briefcase and headed for the door hoping against hope that no one was about to come in.
The drive to Virginia Beach was pleasant enough. She listened to the music a little louder then she normally did to try and drive out any thoughts of Danny. It didn't really work. She was exhausted when she hit the bed in the motel. Emotionally and physically drained, she wasn't up to much thinking tonight. All that would be done tomorrow.
The sun shone brightly and she was starving. She got up too fast and quickly ran for the bathroom. "This virus is kicking butt." she stated to no one but herself. "CJ, get over it. It's not a virus and you know it." That was her common sense talking to her. "Leave me alone until after breakfast." She sat down, realizing that it was probably not a good thing to be answering herself back.
Breakfast was egg whites, dry toast and coffee. Sounds appetizing, huh? It was all she was capable of eating lately. Josh had somehow picked that up because he even supplied the toast some mornings in place of the usual muffin. "He's probably just glad that I'm not chasing him for his muffins anymore." she laughed to herself.
Ahhh, the beach. Clean sand, beautiful clear water, gentle breeze, and plenty of space at this time of the day. It didn't hurt that she picked the most distant part of the beach to try and hide. She wanted all the solitude she could get today.
She was afraid to let her mind go over the past. It still hurt till this day. Pain or not, she had to go there.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CJ was nineteen, a Sophomore in college, and madly in love. Sean was a Junior. He knew more people then she did and they were invited to many parties at his friends' homes or dorms. It was a great time to be on her own. Living at the dorm gave her the opportunity to be an adult before she was expected to be one in the real world. She got to practice at it for awhile, or at least that's how she looked at it. The relationship with Sean was going great. They had been together since almost the very beginning of her Freshman year. They never talked about the future because Sean was a 'here and now' type of person.
When she first missed her period, she really didn't worry about it. She passed it off as being under stress from all the work her professors expected combined with all the partying she and Sean were doing. The next month when it didn't come, she paid attention.
"Sean, I think I'm pregnant." She was too young and inexperienced to really look at his reaction. In reality, Sean had flinched as if someone had hit him. "We need to do one of those at-dorm tests, then. Let's go."
"It's at-home, and go where?" she teased.
"Claudia, this is serious. You live in a dorm, so we get the damn test, take it back to your dorm room and do it, hence, at-dorm test. And where do you think we're going? To the drugstore, that's where. I don't want this hanging over my head at the party tonight."
Back at the dorm, she tried to do the test as accurately as she could. She was so nervous. Was she really ready to be a mother? And what about Sean? Was he father material? The results looked positive. What was she going to do?
it looks positive."
Claudia was crying at this point. "Crying doesn't help anything. You going to the party or not?" She shook her head indicating she was.
He drank way too much that night. He usually drank a lot but tonight was much worse. He was also dancing, very close, with another girl. Dani usually flirted with anybody who'd pay her any attention. She didn't mind being linked with other people's guys. She was just out to have fun. She fell in love with no one and now she was dancing with Sean. Claudia waited for Sean to sit back down with her. "Don't you think that you were a little too close to her?"
"No, but obviously you do. Listen, Claudia, I'm gonna take you home. I'll be back in the morning for the test-taking."
"Sean, don't you think it's a little early? You could stay over, you know. My roommate's at her boyfriend's place."
"Claudia, I'll see you at 7:00 a.m. Be ready to take the test when I get there." He was already leading her to his car. There was no sense trying to change his mind. Sean basically did whatever he wanted. That was his motto in life.
She tossed and turned all night. A teenage mother. A single, teenage mother, from the way things looked right now. Her parents would be so disappointed. How would she finish college? She'd obviously have to leave for awhile until the baby was older.
The sun finally rose. Claudia was up and ready when Sean arrived. Their hello kiss resembled one between former friends who were being cordial in public. "Let's go. Let's get this over with."
The minute it took to wait for the result was the longest minute in Claudia's life so far. Sean was about to wear out the carpet. How could anyone pace that fast? She came out with the stick. "It's positive. I'm pregnant." She was confused. What was she going to do? "Make an appointment with any doctor not connected to this school." Sean's voice brought her out of her reverie. "Make sure you get an accurate result. These things aren't always correct. We may be worrying about nothing. See ya later. Let me know when you find out what the doctor says. Remember, not connected to this place. My name will not be in the same sentence as 'Claudia and baby', you hear?"
"Yes." She collapsed on the floor and cried the hardest she had ever cried in her life. "Why is he acting this way? I know he doesn't plan his future but you're not pregnant one day and the baby's here the next. Nine months is a long time to get things figured out." She was trying to convince herself that Sean was not just being a jerk, and that there had to be a reason for his behavior. She would soon find out what it was...he was a major jerk. She found a doctor in town who was willing to see her, mostly because she sounded so distressed on the phone. The receptionist felt sorry for her and squeezed her in. She would have the results back the next day.
That day was hell. Sean didn't come around at all. He had called and she gave him the information she had so far. Her mind was not really on her studies but going to class did let her think, a little bit, about something else. After all, pregnant or not, she still needed to pass her classes. That night, again, she had difficulty sleeping. In fact, she hadn't really slept since she discovered she might be pregnant. "When I finally do sleep, I'm gonna crash for days." she thought. The receptionist was kind enough to give her an early appointment for the results. "As you suspected, Miss Cregg, you are pregnant. Now, if you are planning on keeping the baby, congratulations. If you are not, I can give you the names of some people who can help you."
"What do you mean, Doctor?" She was totally confused.
"If you want to have the baby and give it up for adoption, I know people, and if you want to have an abortion, I know people. Either way, I can help you if that's what you decide to do. Again, if you are keeping the baby, I offer my congratulations to you and the father. I can treat you throughout your whole pregnancy and deliver your baby, as well." Claudia left the office in a daze. She had the doctor's business card just in case. She was a little concerned how Sean would react.
Back at the dorm, Sean was waiting for her. Her roommate was back and had let him in on her way to class. "I'm pregnant, Sean."
"Yeah, I figured as much. Two tests can't be wrong. I thought you used the damn diaphragm thing. Didn't you use it right?"
"Yes, I did. I lost weight, it seems that affects the results. It's not as successful."
"Not as successful? It wasn't successful at all." Sean yelled at her.
'Why are you yelling at me? It's not like I got pregnant by myself, you jerk! I had some help, you know."
"Well, you'll have some help fixing it, too."
"What?" She couldn't believe her ears. He wasn't even discussing this with her. He was deciding for them both. Her feelings didn't even matter anymore. Did they ever?
"I said that I'll help you fix it. That doctor knows people. He can tell us which doctor is good for abortions."
"What if I want to keep the baby? Don't I have a say in this matter?" Claudia was crying and she didn't care if it bothered him or not.
"You just said that you didn't get pregnant by yourself, so you're not making this decision by yourself either. I don't want the kid. You're not having it. My life is not being ruined by a careless mistake."
"What about my life?"
"Claudia, I'm thinking about you, too. You are destined for much better things in life. A baby is not gonna get you there. When you become famous, I'll be able to say that I helped you get there. I helped you by not allowing you to have this child. Claudia, you'll see that this makes sense when you start using your head to think. Get over the emotions, use logic. Your parents will kill you and you know that. What are you gonna do, show up on the doorstep with the kid and expect them to just let you move back in?"
"Move back in? I still live there. They're my parents, they'll be disappointed but they'll help me because they love me. Obviously, you don't."
"Claudia, you were the one who loved me. I never said anything to suggest I loved you. Right now, I can't even think of having sex with you. You need to make an appointment to handle this situation because I am not paying child support for the next eighteen years for a kid I didn't want in the first place."
"Make the appointment. I'll take you if that makes you feel any better."
"Yeah, much." she said with as much contempt as she could muster at the moment. The call to the doctor was difficult. He sensed she really didn't want to do this. She was just another scared teenager who got in over her head. He gave her the name of a good friend of his. She didn't make the call right away. Dealing with Sean was getting increasingly difficult and she couldn't bring herself to call her parents. She was so lost. Katie, her roommate, offered an ear if she wanted it. "You look like hell, Claudia, and Sean hasn't been around in days. What's going on?"
"Nothing. I'll talk about it later if I can."
"Might wanna talk about it before you do anything, if you know what I mean." Katie offered. She seemed to already know what Claudia's overwhelming sadness stemmed from.
"Thanks, but no thanks. There's really nothing to talk about. The decision has been made already."
"You have a say, too. It's your body."
"Katie, he'll make my life miserable and you know it. It's done. I just can't believe what an idiot he is. He's not even being at all supportive of me. He actually thinks he's doing me a favor."
"You never liked him."
"You're not gonna ask me why after this, are you?"
"No, I was in love with him, Katie. You, on the other hand, were deeply in hate with him. I guess you were much more objective then I was."
"Love is blind, Claudia, don't take it personally." She hugged her friend. "You want me to go with you?"
"No, Sean said he'd take me."
"At least the SOB is willing to do that. Don't let him upset you after it. You'll need your rest. You come straight back here and I'll take care of you, okay?"
"Thanks, Katie. You will be the one bright spot in this whole ordeal." Claudia actually felt a little better after the talk with Katie. She made the appointment 'for it' and called Sean to let him know that he needed to bring her there tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Tomorrow was a Saturday and he partied all night every Friday, so he wasn't going to look like much at 9:00 in the morning. He didn't appreciate the early appointment. "Couldn't you get a later time? Claudia, I'm not usually up at 9."
"Well, excuse me for not taking your inebriated self into consideration while I do something I don't really want to do in the first place. You taking me or not?"
"Yes. If I don't, you'll never let me forget it." She heard soft laughing in the background. "Who's there?"
is she there?"
He arrived promptly at 8. "Let's go."
"Good morning, Claudia. I'm here to take you to the doctor as expected. Your chariot awaits."
"You're a pig!"
"A pig you used to love. How quickly things change. You were so much more fun when you let me do all the thinking."
"I'm still letting you do the thinking."
"No, Claudia, you have a stubborn streak that you always squelched for me, to please me. If you really wanted my baby, you'd take a chance and have it. You don't want it anymore than I do."
The ride in the car was so uncomfortable, Claudia wanted to walk to town to get away. The procedure was explained to them while they waited for her appointment time. She filled out what seemed like a thousand papers. Sean's name was on none. He had already distanced himself. She knew better then to try to involve him at this point.
He waited for her to come out. She was a bit unsteady. They didn't speak on the way back to her dorm. When they arrived, though, they said their good-byes. "Claudia, take care of yourself, okay? You deserve a lot better then me. We both know that. And when you become famous, I'll send you a note. You'll be glad you did this, okay?" He almost seemed sincere. Claudia decided to believe he meant it in the best way possible. "Have fun with Dani."
She turned away from him. "I need to get upstairs and rest. Oh, and I'm not leaving college. Just stay away from me from this day on."
"I will. But I also will send you that note. You're gonna make it, Claudia, as long as you don't get pregnant again. Be careful."
"Oh, I will. I definitely will."
He decided to help her to her room. Katie was there waiting for her to come back. Good friend that she was, she took care of Claudia the rest of the weekend and every day after that she needed her. She was there for her in the middle of the night when she regretted her decision. She was there for her when she felt guilty about going on with her life. She was there for everything.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It had been a long road since that day.
Sorry this one was so long. I did warn y'all that CJ had more issues, though.
Note: this is actually a few individuals' stories melded together to make one. I hope I did them justice. I also hope I offend no one who reads this.