The Love We Choose

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Chapter 8

Huan looked down at the papers in his hands and furrowed his brows. The same brows shot straight up when the realization spread over his face. “Oh. My. God! You’re PREGNANT!!!” Putting the items down on the counter, he grabbed her around the waist, pulling her into a bear hug before he lifted her in the air, and swung her in a circle. “I get to be an UNCLE! This is so great! I’m gonna spoil this kid rotten. I didn’t even know you were seeing someone.“′

“Please put me down, Huan.” She instructed him dryly, clamping her hands on his forearms.

“Sorry, Lyndy.” He crooned, putting her back on the ground, and leaning down to her stomach. “Sorry, baby.

“Stop that.” She swatted his head away. “I’m not seeing anyone. When would I have time to see someone? I would have told you.”

“Ok. So, I’m missing something. I didn’t know you wanted to be a mom now. Did you get in vitro?”

“Negative on the in vitro. This was done the old fashioned way. I’m six weeks pregnant, Huan.” She told him, cocking an eyebrow.

“So still in your first trimester. Morning sickness, heartburn, tender titties, fatigue, and increased urination are all coming your way.”

“I’ve already been there. In spades. I’ve had to pee so often I thought I had a bladder infection or a UTI. Back to what I was saying Huan. I’m six weeks pregnant. What else happened six weeks ago?”

“Summer ended?”

“Jesus, Mary, and Josephine Stalin, Huan!” She yelled in exasperation. “You are so smart, yet so thick at this moment. When did you turn 29?”

“August 25?”

“Ok, focus with me.” She grabbed his hands in hers and stared him directly in his eyes. “And how long ago was that?”

“About six-oh. OH. NO!” His brown eyes widened in realization, scanning her face. He slowly shook his head from side to side, his black hair following suit. “NO WAY!”

“There you go. The last horse crosses the finish line.” She let go of his hands and leaned against the island as he started to pace back and forth in the kitchen in a craze.

“You....you’re having....I mean. Are you trying to tell me that we’re having a baby?!” He asked her incredulously, pointing back and forth between the two of them. “I don’t believe this! We only had sex that one time.”

“Are you really going to stand there and make that statement? You’re a doctor for heaven’s sake. You know the risks of unprotected sex better than anyone. Or at least you should.”

“Yeah, but. But. One time.” His voice was strained.

“We didn’t use a condom and I haven’t been on birth control since I had that bad reaction back in March when I changed brands. So one time is all it took, apparently. Look at it this way, you’ve been complaining that I didn’t get you anything for your birthday this year. Well here you go, confirmation that your sperm works.” She said in a half-attempt to lighten the mood.

“Lynne. Now is no time to be joking. You just told me I got you pregnant! We have to be serious about it.”

“DON’T YOU THINK I’M TRYING?!” She snapped at him, putting her head in her hands. “I’m sorry. It’s just, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster of very high and very low points for the past few days and now I’m going to be taking you along for this ride. All this week, I tried to stay in denial of this pregnancy being a reality. I put my head down and concentrated on work. And now that I have the proof that there is a real, live, symbiote sharing my body, I am terrified. Terrified of the unknown that could possibly happen during this pregnancy, but more so terrified of your answer to my next question.”

“Which is?”

Finally looking up at him, she let the words pass through her lips clearly and quietly, “do we want to keep the fetus or not.”

Huan was momentarily rocked by the frankness of her question. “You mean like...termination?”

“Yeah. An abortion. I know this is not an easy topic, but time is of the essence and I’m rapidly approaching the closing of the window for an early-term abortion. Making that decision leads to whether or not we need to entertain option two, putting it up for adoption.”

“You make it all sound so clinical.” He said, voice no higher than a whisper.

Tapping her nails on the countertop, she responded, “I have to. We can’t afford to attach feelings to this fetus if we do not intend to keep it.”

A quizzical look appeared on his face. “You keep saying we?”

“Of course we.” She shot him an irritated look that said ‘duh.’ “This is as much your decision as it is mine. I didn’t climb on top of myself and get pregnant. I had your help.” She was rambling out of fear and he knew it. Nerves were slowly taking over her body as he remained quiet in thought. Unconsciously, she pulled her bottom lip into her mouth and started nibbling at the skin of it. Closing her eyes, she silently prayed for some type of guidance as she let Huan sift through all the information she had just given him. Minutes passed and the silence in the room was only permeated by the sounds of the traffic outside floating through the windows.

After what felt like eons to Lynne, Huan opened his mouth. “I don’t want you to get rid of our baby. I know it’s inhabiting your body and all, and it’s ultimately your decision to make, not mine, but I couldn’t live with myself if I agreed to ending its life. I mean...I’m pro-choice and all, but please don’t kill it.” His eyes were pleading with hers.

She let out a shuddered breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. “I don’t want to have an abortion either. I just wanted to know where your mind was on the topic.” At least we are on the same page to not terminate it. “What about adoption? Do you think it would be better if we gave it up? I mean it’s not like we have the best schedules to raise a child with. I work for ten hours on average a day for the school and you currently have the craziest, most unpredictable schedule over at the hospital. Would we be short-changing the child on having decent parents?”

“No, if we are bringing this child into the world, we’re keeping it. We can make this work. We are going to be the best parents for this child. The last year of my surgical trauma fellowship is up next year, then I’ll, hopefully, be an Attending somewhere near and we can create a schedule that works for us. Yeah, this can work out perfectly.” A genuine look of hopefulness was on his face as he looked down at Lynne. “Marry me.”

Her jaw dropped as her mind processed his last two words. “Have you lost your ever loving mind?”

“Still got all my faculties, but trust me on this. It’s perfect. Both our families keep pressuring us to get married. Why not marry each other? My mom already loves you like her daughter and your folks love me. Well, your mom does, your dad at least tolerates me.” He let out a small chuckle.

“Huan, you are probably on something like an endorphin high. You just got out of a serious relationship that you were in for two years. Hell, you had planned on proposing to the woman. What does it say that you rebounded two weeks after your breakup with your best friend, knocked her up, and then proposed two months later? It sounds like the basis to either a poorly written country western song or a soap opera romance gone awry. It doesn’t make any sense in the real world.”

“I think you’re wrong Lyndy. It makes a lot of sense that the only non-blood relative woman who has been there for me for practically my entire life would be the one I married and had children with. You need to stop over-analyzing outcomes and just go with it. Marry me!”

She shook her head in disagreement. “Stop it, Huan. You’re being ridiculous. You and I both know that a marriage of convenience would do neither of us any good. And this is what that would be. It would be convenient to dot all our i’s and cross our t’s by getting married before this baby comes. It would be convenient to mask this fuck-up by the two of us by wrapping it up in an bow if we got married. And it would do just that. However, no matter how much our families loved us, the marriage would be you and me. We could grow to resent each other after a while and the fetus would grow up in an unstable environment. We would end up doing more damage than good in the long run and lose our great friendship in the midst of it.”

“How do you know that Lynne? It’s evident we love each other. Maybe this is fate trying to force our hand.”

She crossed her arms across her chest and massaged her shoulders uncomfortably. “I know we love each other, but can we say that we are in love with each other Huan? You are my best friend and I love you for that. I will always love you. We are family to each other, but I feel that if we were to force ourselves into a marriage we would risk losing each other. And then where would we be?”

“So what do we do then?”

“I wish I knew. I really wish I knew.”

A strained silence fell over the room as they both struggled with what to say next. Huan perched himself on the stool that Lynne had previously been occupying at his kitchen island. He picked up the sonogram and held it in his hand. He stared at the black and grey image for a long while before he broke the stillness in the room. “What we do know is that whether we like it or not, we are having a child together. A child that was created by the two of us and who will be here sooner than we can blink. It is up to us to make sure that we take care of this child and be the best possible parents for him or her,” he finished, placing the sonogram back down on the counter. Walking over to Lynne he circled his arms around her slender frame and pulled her into his chest. “We will get through this together.” He rested his right hand lightly over her lower abdomen. “All three of us.”

Lynne allowed her body to relax for the first time in what felt like days as she rested her head on his chest. She knew that whatever obstacles were coming her way she would be safe and persevere through them because Huan was willing to go through it with her.

----

A/N: Do we really think Huan and Lynne are truly ready to take on parenthood?

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

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