She stared down at the stick in her hands. A fucking pink plus sign. The people who sold that god damn piss stick should know that a person buying a piss stick for two bucks at a fucking gas station would not be happy about a pink plus sign. It was too damn cheery. Not that she was mad about having a baby in her. It just wasn’t a good time. Especially not with the hillbilly outside. He couldn’t even say that he loved her and they’d been together for over three years. They’d been together since she was in high school and he was a year out. They’d known each other for ten years but it took Daryl Dixon seven to start calling her “his woman.” He wasn’t one for the label of “girlfriend” or anything sentimental like that. Georgia hadn’t minded for years, but she knew that it wasn’t a situation she wanted to bring a baby into. She buried the stick in the trash can and took a deep breath. She had to tell Daryl before she made any decisions. She could do it. There fights hadn’t been too awful recently so she knew she could handle it. She just had to make sure that….
There it was. The fucking roar of Merle Dixon’s bike. The cause of 98% of her arguments with Daryl. It wasn’t that she hated Merle. Not at all. It was just that he caused a lot of problems and he knew no boundaries. From putting his muddy boots up on the coffee table after she’d just cleaned it, to her finding a bag of cocaine hiding in the back of her fridge because the cops trusted Georgia and knew that she kept Daryl straight so they wouldn’t search her house. He just didn’t understand that there were some things he couldn’t do and it was causing stress between her and Daryl. Especially since Merle had gotten out of jail two days before for a recent problem with petty larceny that he’d luckily gotten off of.
She took a deep breath and stood up to pull up her pants and wash her hands. When she walked out into the living room, Merle Dixon was sitting on her couch with his feet propped up on the fifteen dollar coffee table that she’d bought from Ikea. His boots had mud and grime caked onto them and she knew that it would be all over her coffee table before he left. She gritted her teeth and asked, “Is Daryl outside?”
“Yep. Walked past baby brother workin’ on his piece of shit truck. Ya would figure he’d trade it in. Jus like I figured he’d trade ya in by now.”
“Shut the fuck up, Merle,” she hissed as she made her way to the kitchen that connected with the living room of the tiny trailer. She started pulling food out of the fridge so she could start dinner for Daryl. Merle needed to leave before dinner. She wanted to cook Daryl’s favorite dinner and let him know over dinner so that the blow would be softened. They could figure everything else out from there. “And please get your feet off my table. I’m tired tonight and I don’t really want to fight with you.”
“Ya got no fuckin’ reason to be tired. Ya work in a bar on weekends and take online classes durin’ the week to be a damn nurse. My brother’s the one out there workin’ his ass off day an night to support yer ass.”
Usually, Georgia would have taken the insults, rolled her eyes, and ignored him. But she was stressed and the smell of the food was making her nauseous. The smell of everything was making her nauseous. She snarled, “Shut the fuck up, Merle. You have no room to talk and we both fucking know it. You go to jail for a month or more, come back here, and mooch off Daryl. You eat our food. You dirty up the house I fucking clean and Daryl has to go get you from the bar at two or three in the morning. And if he’s not here I have to go pick you up out of some fucking ditch!”
“Ya best watch yer mouth, bitch. Ya ain’t nothin’ but a piece of ass ’round here. Prolly not even that good.”
Georgia’s hand tightened around the knife she was using to hack away at the meat in front of her. It was deer meat. She was planning on making chili for dinner. It was Daryl’s favorite. He could eat an entire pan by himself.
“Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Merle. I fucking hate you and I don’t want to fucking deal with your pathetic, white trash, loud mouth, useless ass right now. Go do something useful and take a long walk off a short pier.”
“Ya best watch yer mouth, college bitch.” Merle stood up and made his way across the living room, staring down at her. She knew better than to push him. She knew Merle had a wild temper and wouldn’t hesitate to hurt somebody else.
“You watch your mouth! Get out of my house!” Her voice was rising and she could hear Daryl moving around outside, coming inside to break up whatever fight his woman and his brother were getting into.
“Ain’t yer house, bitch! Now shut yer mouth an cook the fuckin’ dinner. Ain’t good fer nothin’ but cookin’ an layin’ on yer back wit yer leg’s spread!”
She slapped him. She knew better than to hit Merle but it didn’t stop her. She couldn’t stop. There was so much wrong with the day and she couldn’t deal with it. The slap rang out in the room and she could hear Daryl’s shout lightly as Merle’s roar rang out. Before she could get her hand up to block it, her ears rang with the slap that echoed in the room. He’d fucking hit her hard. Her lip was already bleeding. He’d cracked it straight open. Daryl raced into the trailer, opening the door so fast it slammed against the wall and banged loudly. He raced to her and grabbed her face roughly in his hand. He examined her split lip carefully and swiped his thumb over it slowly.
“What did ya do, Georgia?” he asked quietly. “What did ya do to provoke him?”
“What did I do?” she yelled. “What did I do, Daryl? Your brother just slapped the shit out of me and you’re asking what I did?”
“She hit me first!” Merle snapped from behind Daryl.
“What’d ya hit him fer?”
She stared at him in awe, her mouth hanging open and her muddy brown eyes wide with disbelief. She asked, “Your brother hit me, and you’re asking what I did?”
“Well, I know how ya an Merle are wit each other.”
She brought her hands up and shoved him hard, knocking him back towards his brother. She shouted, “Fuck you, Daryl Dixon! I didn’t do shit that deserved getting hit! I didn’t deserve to get hit!”
“Georgia,” he reached out his hand to grab her and she shoved him away again.
“Fuck you! Cook your own dinner! I’m leaving! I don’t need this! I don’t need him or you, Daryl Dixon!”
She stomped past both of the Dixon brothers and stormed into her room. She yanked a duffel bag out of the closet and threw clothes into it. She looked down at the first piss stick on the dresser and the first positive. She snatched it up and threw it into the bag as well. She left her perfume, her makeup, and her hygiene products. She could buy more of them. She stormed through the living room and out the front door. Daryl followed her to her truck and shut the door as she opened it.
“Where the hell are ya goin’? ’m sorry he hit ya. I’ll teach ya some self-defense so ya can take care of yaself next time.”
“Next time, Daryl? Next time?” Tears filled her eyes.
“Ya know how Merle is.”
“Yeah, I do, Daryl, and you know how he is too. What if I were….what if I were pregnant? What then?”
“We’re careful. It wouldn’ happen. It’d be fine.”
“It would be fine that he hit me? It would be okay?”
“It wouldn’ be okay but ya could take care of yerself. Ya could defend ya self.”
“No, Daryl. No. Why do you keep letting him come around?”
“He’s family. He’s all I got.”
“You’re right, Daryl. He is all you got. Because I’m not staying here. This, this is the last straw. I can’t do this anymore. We do great when he’s gone. We don’t fight, we don’t argue, we take care of each other. But the second he gets back, you don’t give a shit what happens to me. You don’t give a shit what he does to me or to this house and I just can’t do it anymore. It just can’t happen anymore. I can’t let it.”
“Yer askin’ me to pick ya or my brother?”
“No, Daryl. Because it would hurt too much when you chose him, and I can’t deal with that. So you don’t have to choose. You can keep Merle.”
With that, she yanked the truck door open and threw her duffel bag inside. Daryl stared as she climbed in and started the truck up. Once she started backing it up, he realized what was happening. He yelled, “Fine! I don’ need ya anyway! Ya were jus a piece of ass. Ya don’ matter. Millions out there jus like ya. Don’ need ya! Never needed ya! Fuck ya! Ya can fuckin’ go to hell, ya stupid bitch!”
When Daryl stormed back into his house, Merle informed him, “She’s leavin’ ya fer good this time, brother. She ain’t comin’ back.”
“Don’t fuckin’ care.”
“Damn, baby brother. I didn’ think ya was a Dixon until now.”