Words That Hurt - Part II
I saw the hurt in his eyes and I immediately regretted sayin' those things to him. I don't actually blame him for anything and I never have but sayin' those things seemed right at the time. And the baby, well, part of me wants it but the other part won't be able to forget. I'm not sure about anything anymore.
I jumped, "Jeez Maggie! You scared me!"
"Well then, I guess that's what you get."
"What'd you want, Maggie?"
"I came to check on you. I heard you screamin' at Rick to get out. Hell, I'm pretty sure the whole prison heard you. Why'd you do that?"
"I didn't want him in here."
"Why not? He's just tryin' to help you and protect you and his baby. He wasn't like that with Lori. You shouldn't push him away. Right now, y'all both need each other."
I scoffed, "Oh, so you're on his side now? What happened to you wantin' to kill him?"
"I don't want to pick sides but yeah, I guess I'm takin' his side on this. It took me a little while but I know now that he's not gonna hurt you and that was never his intentions. He wants what's best for you. So please tell me, what's wrong? Why don't you want him in here?"
"I don't want the baby," I said closing my eyes to fight back the tears.
"Beth, sweetie, you're too far along to do anythin' about it now, an abortion is out of the question. You'll change your mind once you get to hold him or her."
"No I won't."
"Okay, so what're you gonna do? Have the baby and make Rick raise it on his own? That's not really an option, Beth."
"Lori did it. If it was good enough for her then I can do it too."
"Beth!" Maggie suddenly went from caring to pissed off and she was in my face, "You will NOT do that! You're gonna have the baby and help raise it whether you want to or not. You have to take responsibility for your child. I never want to hear you say somethin' like that ever again!"
I gritted my teeth, "I don't want it! Please just leave me alone, Maggie."
"Beth, please don't be stupid and do somethin' you might regret," she pleaded.
I left her cell and without thinkin', I was headed to the guard tower and hurried up the stairs.
He had seen me comin' and met me at the door, "Is somethin' wrong?"
"No, I wanted to talk to you about Beth. I just talked to her, she told me she didn't want the baby."
"Yeah, she told me the same thing. It's her choice," his face was a mixture of guilt and loss.
"No it's not, Rick. It's your baby too. Besides, she didn't mean it, I know she didn't. She's just upset is all. Her hormones, the stress and everythin' else that's been happening is making her act crazy and lash out at everyone and say things she doesn't mean."
He rubbed his face in his hands, "I sure as hell hope you're right. I can't lose either of them."
"I know, Rick." I put my hand on his shoulder, "I'm sorry for everythin' and how I've acted. I know you'd never hurt my sister. I can see how much you care about her. We're family and as long as you do right by her and the baby, there'll be no more problems between us. When you do talk to her, if you need me, I'll be there to back you up. Lord knows you'll need it."
"Thank you," he gave me a half smile, "I'm sorry for everythin' too."
I smiled back and left him to his watch.
On my short walk back into the prison I started thinkin'. There was definitely somethin' wrong. Somethin' wasn't quite right about this, about Beth and Rick. Their whole "relationship" or whatever it is, didn't seem right. Through all of my anger I hadn't stopped to think about things, to question them about any of it. I had just assumed.
I had never seen them together on the farm. We were all keepin' a close eye on Beth and Rick was always busy. Surely someone would've noticed them sneaking off. When were they ever alone together? Why did she suddenly not want the baby? Why was she pushing him away and why was he lettin' her? I was racking my brain tryin' to find the answers.
Then it hit me, "Oh my God," I said aloud and covered my mouth with both hands. I closed my eyes and shook my head. It all made sense now. Though now wasn't the time to bring it up, I'd have to eventually. They had other things they needed to work out.
The sun was just starting to come up which made me realize I had been sitting in the common room, in the dark, for quite some time. Hours probably.
I was waiting for daddy to wake up. There was now doubt in my mind he could perform an abortion or somethin'. It may not be what someone would want to hear this early but the sooner, the better.
I quietly sat there alone until one by one they all started coming into the room.
When Maggie and Glenn came in, she looked at me and hung her head. She looked as if she wanted to blurt somethin' out but was fighting the urge to.
I was so caught up with watchin' everyone I didn't see daddy sit down beside me.
"Bethie, what's bothering you?"
"Nothin'." I was playing with the hem of my shirt.
"It's something. Are you feeling alright?"
I took a deep breath, "I want an abortion. Can you perform one?"
The look on his face was one of both shock and disgust, "I most certainly will not. Having an abortion now would put your life at risk more than having the baby would. We don't have the proper facilities to do that and I'm not willing to risk your life for it."
I clenched my jaw and took another deep breath, "Fine!"
I hurried out before he could speak again.
I wasn't sure where I was goin' but I needed to be away from everyone and find a way to end this. I was walkin' so fast I ran into someone and fell on my ass.
"Hey there sugar, better watch where ya goin'." Merle held his hand out to me. I took it and he pulled me up.
"Sorry." I started to walk past him but Daryl was in my way.
"What'd you think you're doin' out here by yourself?" He asked.
I crossed my arms, "None of your fuckin' business!"
I heard Merle snort and Daryl just glared at me, "Turn your ass around and get back inside!"
"No," I said and pushed past him. I walked over and grabbed one of the stakes that was used to kill walkers and headed to the fence. "Until I figure out how to get rid of it, I'll take it out on them," I thought. But before I could open the fence, I dropped the stake as Daryl grabbed both of my arms and pulled me back, "You got a fuckin' death wish, girl?"
"Leave me alone!" I clenched my fist.
I had been watchin' Beth from the guard tower since she ran out of the prison. I decided now was a good time to talk to her so I headed down the stairs. I exited just in time to see her fist connect with Daryl's face.
"Shit," I mumbled to myself and ran over.
Merle was doubled over laughin' hard and Daryl was cussin' while holdin' his nose. And Beth looked like she was ready to kill someone.
"What the hell's goin' on?" I asked her but she didn't answer.
"She fuckin' broke my nose. That's what the fuck's goin' on," Daryl growled.
Merle patted Beth on the shoulder, "Blondie here's got one hell of a right hook." She gave him a look that said it all and he quickly removed his hand from her shoulder.
"I's just tryin' to stop 'er from goin' out there," Daryl grumbled.
I turned to Merle, "Get him inside so Hershel can take a look at him." I turned back to Beth, "We need to talk."
"No we don't."
"Yes we do. I'm not gonna argue about it, now come on."
She looked at me as tears welled up in her eyes. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," She cried.
Shit, Maggie was right. Her emotions were all over the place. Lori wasn't this bad with Carl or Judith.
I wrapped my arms around her and she buried her face in my chest, "I'm sorry," she kept mumbling.
"It's alright, baby. You have nothin' to be sorry for."
"Yes I do. I'm sorry. I didn't mean anythin' I said to you. It's not your fault, none of it is. I'm sorry," she continued to cry, "I shouldn't have said it, I didn't mean it."
"Beth, you shouldn't be sorry for sayin' what you did. I'm sorry for it all. For not keepin' a closer eye on him, not leavin' when I should have, all of it. Most importantly, I'm sorry for what happened to you, if I could change somethin', that'd be it. But Beth, baby, I really don't want you to get get rid of the baby or whatever you were plannin' on doin'."
She pulled away from me and wiped her cheeks, "I asked daddy if he'd perform an abortion, he said no. That was the only option I could come up with except for...," she stopped, "except for doin' somethin' I don't wanna do, not again." Then she put her arms around me, "It's your baby too. You get a say in whatever happens. If you want me to keep it, I will."
"I want you to keep it but I don't want you to do somethin' you don't want to."
"Part of me doesn't want it but...but I do want to be able to hold my own baby. I've always wanted to be a mom."
"How 'bout this, we'll do this together but if you ever decide you don't want to, just let me know. I'll raise it and you can be Aunt Beth, nothin' more. Is that okay?"
She thought about it for a minute, then said, "No, it's not okay. I actually thought about that before but I knew I couldn't do that. That's why I wanted an abortion. I..I may not want anythin' of his but I could never live with myself knowin' I gave up a child and watchin' him or her grow up."
Once we were back inside Beth talked to Hershel and Maggie. They both seemed relieved that she wasn't gonna do anything.
I wouldn't admit this to anyone but I still didn't want the baby. I wasn't lyin', I just didn't want to hurt them. I saw how Rick, daddy and Maggie looked at me and that hurt me worse than I could imagine. Maybe Maggie was right, I'd change my mind once I held it.
I guess this was an interesting start to a very long and uneventful day but I still had one more person to talk to and who knows how that would go.
"Daryl? Can I come in?" I said standing outside his cell.
"I'm sorry I hit you. I was just pissed."
He chuckled, "Ain't like you're the first girl to ever hit me but you could sure as hell hit harder than 'em. Who taught you to hit like that?"
I laughed, "Shawn. I almost forgot I could that."
"Just don't make it a habit to go 'round hittin' people, 'specially me. That fuckin' hurt."
"Did I really break your nose?"
"Naw, but it felt like ya did."
"Don't worry 'bout it, kid.." I narrowed my eyes at him, "er...uh...Beth."
I smiled and left.
I was gonna go back to my cell but I heard Judith cryin' in Carol's cell so I went in to check on her.
I picked her up and started bouncing her in my arms as I walked around the small space. I paced a few times before my eyes found the small mirror on the wall.
I gasped and held Judith tightly to me. I fell to the floor and started cryin'. It seems like I've been doin' that a lot and I hated that. It only served as a reminder that everyone was right about me, I am weak and I do need someone to protect me. But after seein' my face, I couldn't make myself stop.
I rocked back and forth, whispering to myself, "I can't do it. I can't do it."
"You can't do what?" Carl asked.
I jumped up and shoved Judith into his arms and ran out of the cell and then out of the prison. Before I knew it, I was runnin' the same direction Andrea and I had taken when I tripped. My whole body slammed to the ground and knocked my breath out. I rolled over onto my back and closed my eyes. I lied there tryin' to catch my breath before moving.
"You alright, ma'am?"
Someone I didn't know was standing over me.
I nodded my head, "Yeah, I'm alright," I groaned.
He helped me up and held onto my shoulders to make sure I could stand before letting go.
"Thank you," I said to him.
"No problem." He smiled and held out his hand, "I'm Zach."
I smiled back and shook his hand, "I'm Beth."