Keep It To Yourself
When I entered the cafeteria, the voices I had heard from outside faded into silence as everyone stared. I knew they were all still playin' it safe around me. Hell, they have every right to. Though the shock of what happened has started to wear off, I still see Lori but now I know she's not really there.
"What're y'all doin'," I asked as they continued to stare.
Andrea was the first to speak up, "umm...we were discussing plans for our next run. We need some supplies and things for the baby. Daryl, Carl and I were gonna go in the morning."
"No, you stay here. I'll go with 'em," I looked around, "where's Carl?"
"He's with Beth and the baby. They're in her cell," Maggie pointed out.
Just as I entered the cell block, I felt a hand grab my shoulder, I stopped but didn't turn around.
She moved to stand in front of me, "Rick, we're all here for you. I'm here for you, so if you ever need to talk or anything else, I'm here. You can always come to me."
"Thanks for the offer, Andrea, but I don't need your help. I just need to see my kids."
I walked away before she could say anything else. I didn't want or need her help.
I made my way to Beth's cell and stopped. Carl was holdin' the baby and Beth was reading to them from her Bible. They must've known I was there 'cause they both looked up.
I walked in and looked at the baby, "How is she?"
Carl looked down at her, "She's okay. She likes Beth's voice. It's the only thing that'll make her settle down or sleep."
I smiled, "How 'bout you, Carl? You doin' okay?"
"Okay. I'm takin' Andrea's place on the run tomorrow. So it'll be me, you and Daryl."
"Can I go with y'all," Beth asked.
"I don't see why not. But you'll have to ask Hershel first. If he agrees, then you can come with us."
She jumped up and ran out of the cell. I looked to Carl and the baby. "What'd you think we should name her?"
He smiled before answering, "You know my third grade teacher, her first name was Judith. I kinda like that."
"Judith is a good name. I like it."
"I know middle names don't matter now but I think we should give her one anyway," he said while still smiling.
"Well, what'd you think it should be?"
"Lori, after mom. Judith Lori Grimes."
"Judith Lori Grimes it is."
We talked for a little while longer. I was leaving Beth's cell when she returned and she didn't look happy.
"I'm guessin' he said no."
"Yeah. He said it's not safe."
"And he's right. It's not safe out there," I told her.
"I know. But I really wanna go. Everyone else has gone on runs and I haven't. I need to get out of here for a little bit."
I looked at her and sighed, "I'll talk to him for you but I'm not makin' any promises."
Her smile was back, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
I talked to Hershel about letting her come with us and he reluctantly agreed after Daryl and Carl assured him nothin' would happen to her as long as they were there.
I was so excited and nervous. I couldn't believe daddy had actually agreed to let me go on a run.
Daryl was on his motorcycle and Carl, Rick and I were in the truck. I couldn't sit still.
"Why'd you really wanna come with us," Rick asked me when we pulled out of the prison gates.
"I really just needed to get out of the prison...," I began before I was interrupted by Carl saying, "You mean you needed out to get somethin' to get rid of your baby."
"Shit, I forgot you're pregnant. I shouldn't have let you come with us."
I looked over at Carl, "How long have you known?"
"Before mom...um, she told me Beth was pregnant and she wanted me to look out for her," he replied.
I looked back at Beth who had been sittin' there staring out te window, "What are you gonna get?"
"I'm not gonna get anythin'. I've decided not...I've decided to keep it. So, that's what I'm gonna do...keep it. I really did just wanna get out of there for a while and maybe I can find some things for Judith."
"Have you told anyone else you're pregnant?"
"No, I haven't told anyone yet. I plan on tellin' Maggie and daddy when we get back. But I don't wanna tell them how it happened. I'm not ready for that."
"Okay, I'm gonna hold you to it. You have to tell them when we get back."
When we got to the town we were scavengin', Daryl and I went into a small general store and Beth and Carl went to the pharmacy.
We were finishin' up in the store when we heard Carl and Beth scream.
"Dad! There's too many," Carl yelled as they fought off the walkers and tried to get out. We rushed in and helped clear the walkers they couldn't get.
"Hurry, get the bags and lets go," I told them. When we go back to the truck we noticed Beth wasn't with us.
"Where the hell's Beth," Daryl asked Carl.
"I don't know. She was right behind me but I don't know where she is now."
"Damn it. I'll go in and get 'er," Daryl volunteered.
He came out of the building a few minutes later with Beth in his arms, "She's out. She must've fell or somethin'. Looks like she has a piece of glass in the side of 'er stomach and some smaller pieces in 'er head."
"Put her in the truck. We need to hurry back," I told him.
The whole way back to the prison, Carl held her head in his lap so nothin' would hit the shards of glass. I was impressed at now protective he was being of Beth.
When we got back to the prison, I grabbed Beth and carried her to Hershel while the others unloaded the truck.
"How did this happen, Rick?" He asked when he saw her unconscious.
"She fell while tryin' to get away from walkers. Her and Carl were in the pharmacy and the walkers swarmed 'em."
"Is all this blood hers?", Carol said motioning towards Beth's shirt and pants, "there's too much for it to be from her wounds."
"Damn it!" I mumbled, "yeah, it's all hers. She um...she's pregnant."
"Pregnant? My Bethie is pregnant?", he quickly removed his hands from her head and just stared at her in disbelief.
"That explains why she hasn't been eating much and when she does eat, she's been gettin' sick. I thought she had the flu or somethin'," Carol stated more to herself than us.
"How did this happen? Who's the father?" He was still in shock.
"She asked me not to tell anyone and I agreed I wouldn't. She'll tell you when she gets ready."
"So you decided to keep it from us because she asked you to? How long have you known about my Bethie being pregnant?"
"Beth's pregnant!" Maggie yelled as she entered the room and quickly drew her gun on me, "you son of a bitch! You kept this from us knowin' she could end up like your wife! Answer daddy, how long have you known?"
"I've known for a while now, since the night we found the prison."
She stepped closer, "how far along is she?"
"I don't know. My guess would be about 4 months, maybe 5. I'm not exactly sure."
She shoved the gun into my face, "Who's the father?"
"She'll tell you when she's ready."
It took Glenn, Daryl and Andrea to pull her away and get the gun from her hands but she was still screamin'.
"Stop it! What are we gonna do about Beth?" Carol yelled nervously.
Hershel took a closer look at her, "The glass in her head doesn't look too serious but the piece of glass in her stomach looks like it may be in there pretty deep. I won't be able to tell until it's removed." He paused for a moment, "Everyone except Carol needs to leave so we can get to work. Maggie, dear, go outside for a bit and calm down."
It took them a good hour or so to finish. By the time Hershel reappeared, we had all gathered and were waitin'.
"How is she, daddy?" Maggie was calmer but she was still pissed.
"I think she'll be okay but we'll need to keep an eye on her. As for the baby, we'll have to wait and see but I'm sure it'll be fine."
Maggie turned to me, "So help me God, if somethin' happens to my baby sister, I'll kill you myself!"
"Maggie! Now's not the time for this. Go help Carol clean her up and get her to bed. She'll be on bed rest until further notice. Rick, I need to have a word with you."
I nodded and followed him. He stared at me as we walked out of the cell block. He finally spoke after a few minutes. "If she is still pregnant, I don't want her goin' on any more runs. You know I trust you with my life and with the lives of both my girls but Bethie is just a kid herself and now she has to raise one in this world." He paused and shook his head, "you put her in danger carrying her out today. I was against her goin' but I agreed to it because I thought she would be safe. Beth is too fragile and now she's in more danger because of this pregnancy. If there's somethin' I need to know, then you need to tell me now."
"Hershel, all I know is, she's gonna need all of us. Especially you and Maggie. Other than that, there's nothin' I need to tell you."
"Bethie is my child and I love her more than anything. I know she's goin' to need us but I do not approve of this pregnancy. I don't approve of it or the lyin' and secrecy that has come with it. So until she decides to tell us the truth, I will not...I don't want to see her in that condition. I refuse to see her like that."