I've been layin' in here forever it seems like. I've stared at the ceiling so long I could close my eyes and point out every crack and stain on it.
I had to do somethin' to get my mind off of what Carol and Sasha were doin'. I wasn't the least bit comfortable. Especially after findin' out somethin' could happen to us. I don't wanna end up like Lori...or worse, having to bury my own child.
"Okay sweetie, we're done," Carol said, "Do you wanna lie here a minute or go back to your cell?"
"Go back to my cell."
I saw the worry on her face and on Sasha's.
On my way out of the cell, I saw the gloves Carol had used. They were bloody.
Before I could ask about it, they both helped me to my cell without sayin' a word.
"Yeah sweetie? "
"What's wrong with me?"
She sat down on the bed next to me and took my hand.
"Bethie, I'm not sure but you're...have you been noticing any bleeding?"
"A little but I didn't think it was anythin' to worry about 'cause it wasn't a lot."
She looked down at my hand, "Beth, for the rest of your pregnancy, you're on bed rest. No walkin' around too much, no helpin' Sarah with the kids and no lifting Judith. I'll make sure she's taken care of."
"I'm not entirely sure what's wrong but if it's what I think, it could've been treated before, but now, with the world like it is, it's not easily treatable. But if you take care of yourself, everything will be fine. So you need to stay in here and rest."
I sat there and started reading one of the pregnancy books to see if there was anything that could tell me what might be happening with me and the baby.
I went through it page by page but didn't see anything.
"Beth?" Sarah was standin' at my door.
I smiled, "Hey!"
She came in and sat down in the chair.
"How're you feelin'?" She asked.
"I'm not sure."
"Well, Carol told me you won't be helpin' me. I'm actually kind of glad you're on bed rest. I was afraid you'd end up passing out on me."
I grinned, "I like helpin' with the kids."
"I know you do but you need to rest. You'll have your own little one soon and you need to be healthy for her. I can take care of the kids on my own."
"Hey, Rick!" Carol called out to me, "I need to talk to you."
I walked over to her, "How's she doin?"
"Well, she's gonna be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. I'll help out with Judith as much as possible but you're gonna have to help take care of her. I don't want Beth lifting anything or any of the kids."
"Of course I'll help out but what's wrong with her?"
She crossed her arms, "Rick, this isn't easy to say but...Beth may...not...there's a good chance that we'll lose one or both of them."
My mouth went dry and I rubbed my face, "No." I backed up from her, "No, no. I...I can't lose them."
What was I supposed to do? I could feel my body shuttin' down. If I lost Beth or the baby, I was afraid of what I'd do.
I ran to Beth's cell only to find her curled up on the bed cryin'.
She raised up and looked at me, "it's my fault."
"No baby. It ain't your fault, I sat down beside her, "these things happen but you're gonna be okay, both of you are."
"No, it is my fault. I didn't want the baby and now...this. It's my fault."
I pulled her close and held her, "No it's not and I never wanna hear you say that again. Okay?"
"Okay," she whispered but I knew she would still blame herself if somethin' happened.
-One week later-
After breakfast, Carol came and got my dishes. This was only the seventh day of my confinement and it wasn't gonna get any better.
I picked up one of my books and stared at it. I'd already read it so I tossed it to the foot of the bed.
"You're supposed to respect books," Zach said, "can I come in?"
"Sure," I shrugged.
He sat down in the chair but didn't say anything.
"Is there somethin' you wanna talk about?"
He shrugged, "Why are you with him? Why not me?"
"Zach, I've told you, I like you as friend and that's it. Nothin' more, nothin' less."
"Beth," he moved towards me and smirked, "let's see if we can change that..." he pressed his lips to mine.
I pushed him away and stood up, "I'm not that kind of girl, Zach."
"Not that kind of girl?!" It scared me the way he kept his voice calm and even, "It sure seems like you are if you're willin' to get knocked up by some asshole that's old enough to be your dad. Besides, I just wanna mess around a little. You actually think I wanna put my dick in you while you're carrying that little bastard?" He laughed.
I was furious but all I could do was fight back tears, "My baby is not a bastard."
When he chuckled, I slapped him.
He just glared at me and for the first time I saw what Maggie and Carol saw in his eyes. It wasn't like everyone else. It almost reminded me of Shane and the Governor.
I backed up but before I could leave, he pushed me against the wall and his fist connected with my face.
I was too stunned to cry, "I'm not scared of you, Zach."
He got close to my face, "If you tell anyone I did that, I'll hurt you and that baby." Before I knew it, he was runnin' out of my cell.
A few minutes later, Carol, Sasha, Sarah and Daddy rushed in.
"Oh my God, Bethie," Carol moved me to the bed, "Sweetie, what happened? What did Rick do to you?"
Carol put her hands on my shoulders, "Beth, has Rick raped you?"
"What!? No!" I tried to stand but she held me in place, "Why would you ask that? Rick hasn't touched me!" Okay, so I lied a little but did they really need to know that? Besides, he hasn't forced me into anything.
"Bethie, Zach and several others have told us they witnessed Rick forcing you to have sex with him," daddy said.
"Zach's lyin', they all are!"
"Why do you both disappear sometimes?" Daddy asked.
"So we can talk. Sometimes we don't even talk, we just sit there quietly with Judith or he...he holds me while I cry. That's it! Nothin's happened. Have you even considered the possibility that Zach isn't really a reliable source and neither are the other people. We don't know them."
Daddy looked at Carol and then me.
"Beth, I know you trust Rick but if he did somethin' to you, you need to tell us. How do we know you're not lyin' just to protect him," Carol said.
"Because I'm not! He hasn't done anythin' to me."
Daddy sighed, "Bethie, tell us the truth."
"I am! Zach is the one who hit me!"
Carol looked at me skeptically, "Zach hit you?"
"Yes! It wasn't Rick! Zach said if I told anyone he'd hurt me and the baby but I'm not scared of him."
Carol touched my cheek, it stung. "I'll be right back to clean that up."
Everyone left except for Sarah, she was holdin' Judith and brought her over to me, "I can't believe Zach hit you."
"Me either but he did."
When Judith started fussin', Sarah left.
I was alone again, sittin' there tryin' to sort out my thoughts when Carol came back in to look at my face.
"I want you to know, I never believed Zach but you can see why we have our concerns, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so. But Rick's never hurt me and he hasn't made me do anythin'. How long has Zach been tellin' you that?"
"A while. He told us once and then the others told us. It wasn't until today that Zach told us he saw it again." She stopped and put some ointment on the small cut on my cheek, "Beth, what do feel for Rick? Is it safety, happiness, lust, love? What is it?"
"I don't know. Everythin' maybe...I feel all of that and more. I've never felt like this, Carol." I got as close as I could to her, "Why are you doin' this? Why do you want to keep me away from Rick? Is it because you wanna be with him?"
She pulled her hands away from my face, "No Beth. I don't want to be with him but I do want to protect you. You're a child and he's a grown man. It's not right. If things were the way they used to be, Rick would be in jail." She looked down and wiped a few tears away, "Ed did things to Sophia that no father should ever do. I couldn't protect her from him, from the things he did but I can protect you, Beth."
"Carol, Rick isn't like that."
"I know but it doesn't change the fact that you're a child. What if you meet someone your own age and you want to be with them but you don't want to leave Rick? And what if Rick meets someone his age? Either way, you are the one who ends up hurt."
I really didn't know what to say. What if she was right? I wasn't thinkin' that far ahead. I still don't know if I actually love him or not. But I love bein' with him.
I watched as Daryl drug Zach out of his cell block, I was waitin' by the truck.
Hershel had told me what happened with Beth and agreed to let me deal with it.