"Will Baby Make Three?" part seven
Disclaimer: check part one
This section is their conversation.
She felt him stirring restlessly. He usually slept so soundly. He was making small noises and looked uncomfortable. CJ leaned over him and softly touched his cheek. "Danny, wake up." He woke with a start and grabbed her hand. "Danny, it's me."
"Sorry, I was dreaming..." he hesitated wondering if he should mention his nightmare.
"Danny, what were you dreaming about? You can tell me." He looked at the clock. She turned his face towards her. "It's officially Sunday, even it it's still dark out."
Planting a soft kiss on her lips, he rolled her back onto the bed. Now he was leaning over her. "I had the same nightmare in Baltimore. Everything that's happened so far gets all jumbled up. You tell me you have an appointment on Monday at 6 but instead of it being a medical check-up, you tell me it's for you to get an abortion. That part hurts but what's even worse is that you don't seem to want my opinion. I ask you not to do it but you tell me that you're going to anyway." By now tears have formed in his eyes and one is threatening to drop. CJ hugged him. "I'm so sorry. I haven't been clear about anything because I've been afraid of what you'll think of me."
"CJ?" He still held onto her. He didn't want her to see the tears falling.
"Hmm?" She moved away so she could look at him.
"If you are pregnant, do you want to get an abortion?" He was looking into her eyes for the answer. "Because I don't want you to. Does that matter?" A tear dropped. CJ wiped it off. "Of course it matters, Danny. I don't want to either." He smiled. "Then why the question about where I stood on the issue?" She sat up in bed. In doing so, his head was now on her chest and she held him tightly. "Danny, much as I love you I am so scared." He looked up at her. "Why?"
"Because like I said before, I'm afraid of what you'll think of me."
"Talk to me. I won't judge, I swear."
CJ took a deep breath. "Even though you were the first to bring up that I might be pregnant, I was thinking about it, too. I felt the same way when I was nineteen." Danny was giving her his undivided attention. "Before I go on, were you ever in this predicament before?"
"CJ, you're stalling."
"Please, I need to know." He sat up. "Yes. My girlfriend and I had just graduated from college. We were both twenty-two and just wanted to have fun before we started our careers in the real world. We traveled for the summer. She told me she thought she was pregnant so I asked her to marry me. She didn't know if that was the best thing for us to do but she appreciated that I was a gentleman. We went to the doctor together to find out. She wasn't. We were both tremendously relieved. I felt bad about reneging on the proposal so I gave her the option. Thank God she refused me. We continued dating until she was offered a job she really wanted out of state. I liked my job where I was, so we parted ways. We're good friends to this day. We both learned a good lesson from it all, though. To be careful. I swear, CJ, it never happened again until you." He was caught between wanting to be with her and wanting to hear the rest of her story. Sometimes he felt like making love just to take a break from dealing with the things going on his life. CJ's kiss broke his thoughts. "Hey, let me in."
"You are in. CJ, are you ready to finish your story?"
"Yes. I was dating someone for over a year. He was extremely non-committal. We never talked about the future. I loved him and assumed he loved me back, which turned out to be an incorrect assumption. He was not really a nice person; he was obnoxious, spoiled, ran around with a 'bad boy' attitude. I was able to ignore all that until it was turned against me. When I found out that I was pregnant, he was so angry. He didn't want children. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. I was so confused. I didn't know how to tell my parents. The only person who knew was Katie, my roommate. She tried to change my mind but I didn't think I had any options. I had the abortion on a Saturday. Katie was there for me then and she still is to this day. I don't know what I would have done without her." She had been looking at the bed sheets the whole time. The tears were flowing easily but quietly. Danny put his hands on her face to lift it. "Danny, I'm not finished yet."
"Okay. I just thought you might want to take a break."
"Thanks, but no." She was still looking down at the sheets. "Sean wouldn't touch me after I told him that I might be pregnant and that was only with the at-home test, not even the doctor's test results. He started sleeping with another girl before I even had the abortion. I felt so scared and alone. I felt ashamed that I had gotten into that predicament to begin with. He was such a jerk. After the abortion, I felt horrible but I knew that I had to go on with my life. Sean said he knew I would be famous one day and that I would be glad I had the operation. He promised to send a note the minute he found out. He also reminded me that the only way for that to happen, for me to get ahead, was to make sure that I never got pregnant again. I've spent the rest of my life making sure I didn't. When I was named White House Press Secretary, I was so happy and excited. I had forgotten all about the note. It arrived within days. He wrote, 'Claudia, I see you have changed your name but you will always be Claudia to me. I told you that you would make it and you did. I'm glad I could help. Do you have any children yet? I don't and still don't plan on any - so it wasn't anything against you. Good luck. Sean.' I cried as hard that day as I did when I was first going through it." Danny couldn't take it anymore. She was so upset and he wanted to let her finish but he needed to take a chance and try to hold her. "Wait a little bit longer. Every year, on the anniversary of that day, I get depressed. I go to church to light a candle. I pray for my baby because that's what I was taught good Catholics do." She was sobbing hysterically by now. Danny wrapped his arms around her as tight as he could without hurting her.
"Danny, do you think God would make something wrong with our baby to pay me back for what I did back then?" He ran his hand through her hair. "He wouldn't do that. He'll let him or her be healthy and strong because this time is the right time for both of us."
"What do you think of me?" She moved back. Tears streaked down her face. She looked so vulnerable and child-like herself. Danny felt the tears sting his eyes. He knew she would take them the wrong way if he didn't speak up fast. "I think you did what you felt had to be done at the time. I think you were a very different person back then. I can see why you like people to call you CJ. It's kinda like putting a divider between the Claudia Jean you are now and the one you were in college. I also understand why it was so important that I still wanted you. Finally, I understand the need to know if I was pro-choice or not. That would determine how to tell me what happened to you. To summarize, CJ, I think that you are a very special person. You are strong, intelligent and beautiful with the same sense of humor that I have. You are a challenge and a pleasure. I would be proud to spend the rest of my life with you and our children." She tried to hide her surprise. She didn't really know why she was at all shocked by his answer. Danny was very open about his feelings for her. He always had been. Somehow, she thought he would take it harder then he did. But then again, he did seem to always have a very generous nature. "You did tell me on the beach that I could have your affections for life, remember? And...when I said 'children', I just figured...Well, I just figured if, at some point in the future, we decided to plan on another child so this one could have a playmate than we could fulfill our obligation of 2.3 kids per family." She wasn't sure how to take that. He sensed her apprehension. "I figure we could get a dog and count that as the .3 to go with our two kids and we'll be the 'typical family' so many researchers write about." He kissed her forehead. "When did you have the operation?"
"Oh, CJ, this must have been so hard for you."
"I have never, ever told anyone about this. "Sean, Katie and I were the only ones who knew. Danny, you're the fourth person to know and the end of the line comes with the doctor. I won't ever tell anyone again after that." He held her again, pulling her into a reclining position along with himself. "I know how you think, CJ, and I will never make you sorry you told me." She wiped away the remainder of her tears. "I know you won't or I wouldn't have told you." They began to kiss. "Don't you think it's a little strange to be fully acting as if I'm pregnant when we really don't know for sure?" she asked him.
"Well, we could wait for the doctor's appointment, which, by the way, I would like to go to with you, or we could buy the test and do it ourselves. Then you could by-pass the medical doctor and go straight to the baby doctor." He was smiling at her.
"That's not how insurance works and you know it. I need to be referred. I guess we could try to do it ourselves first just to know." He was kissing her again. "Well, I agree, and we'll go buy it in the morning." She looked at the window. The sun was streaming in.
"Danny, it is morning."
"Okay. Then how about buying it right after we make love? How's that grab you?"
"That grabs me just fine." They went back to kissing. Things seemed to be going well so far.