Chapter Twenty Four
Adrian quickly sits up in the bed and wipes his face with his hands. There's no way this is happening, he thinks to himself. The unknown strikes him and questions begin pouring through his thoughts. What if the baby isn't his? She had sex with complete strangers while they were apart, there's no telling how far along she is if she's pregnant, which leads to being completely lost on who this baby would even belong to. Veronica sits up next to him and runs her hand down his back to comfort him. He leans forward a bit, uneasy from her touch, unsure what to think.
“Are you okay?” She asks him.
“I don't know. I mean, I love you and I'm not going anywhere . . . but I have to admit that the thought of this possibility scares the hell out of me.”
“It's all right babe, don't even stress about it. For one, we don't know if I am or not yet.”
“If you are . . . I don't know.”
“You don't know what? You don't know if you would want to stay with me?” She pulls up the sheet in discomfort.
“It's not that at all. I want you and I want to be with you. I'm hoping one day you'll be in love with me as I am you. The only worry I have is being a father . . .”
“You'd make a great daddy.” She interrupts. “I wouldn't worry about that part, it's brand new for both of us if it happens.”
“No. Not that . . . being a father to a child I don't even know is mine.”
The words sound worse than Adrian intends, they make Veronica cringe as though he just killed a puppy. She takes it as he couldn't love the child unless it's his own and that her sleeping around makes her repulsive to him. It's not what he meant, but it's what she feels from the comment he made and his reaction to the situation at hand. He can't take it back, and he knows he messed up by saying what he said. If only he could have worded it differently. His fear wasn't of caring for a child that isn't his, but being a question if it's his worries him. He went through enough of the unknown recently and this isn't something he feels he can handle not knowing the truth about. Veronica stands up and puts on her clothes.
“I didn't know love was so judgmental.” She says before walking out of the room.
“You're pregnant.” The nurse confirms.
Veronica looks at Adrian with fear and happiness in her eyes, her mixed emotions are anything but subtle. He takes her hand and gently caresses it, hoping to bring her comfort in knowing that he's not going anywhere. This wasn't planned, it wasn't thought out, and neither of them are ready. It's a disaster . . . but he's willing to see it through, to be there every step of the way, and to accept the outcome. He's willing to try, that is.
“Don't worry, things will work out.” He tells her when the nurse steps out of the room to get the doctor.
“I'm so scared, Adrian. I don't know what to do, I've never even thought about being a mother. My whole life has been dedicated to me, I've lived so selfishly. How do I prepare to be something I've never been?” She hangs her head and he grabs her chin to pull it back up.
“This can be a scary thing . . . for anyone . . . but life change is inevitable. It's not always having children that changes lives, but everyone goes through these sort of things. This is ours, it's a huge deal, and we're going to make it work.” He pauses and looks her in the eyes. “I'm scared too, Veronica, I fear many things when it comes to this . . . but I'm still willing to accept it and make the best of it all. I love you.”
She takes a second to swallow her tears and leans over to kiss him. “I love you too.” She whispers. In the midst of the moment, the doctor walks in.
“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Thorne. You are soon to be parents.” The ob/gyn doctor says as he enters the room.
“Oh, we're not married.” Veronica assures him. Adrian feels a stab in the gut, he would've just went with it, not like it would've made a difference to the doctor if they're married or not.
“Yet.” He retaliates against the assurance of her remark.
The doctor looks up from his glasses that are sitting low on the bridge of his nose. He has a look of doubt written on his face as he eyes the two of them sitting in front of him. Adrian squirms in his seat, feeling the reading that the doctor seems to be doing over them, causing the room to fill with a sudden discomfort. As it is, Adrian doesn't trust doctors much these days, not after dealing with that slime-bag Clayton. He fidgets with the keys in his hand and looks at Veronica. Her expression is blank and cold, her emotion blocked from being seen by any present persons.
“Okay then.” The doctor proceeds with the appointment. “So you're about six weeks along, we'll be able to tell more accurately as the pregnancy furthers. Looking at your charts, it notes this is your first normal pregnancy, is that correct?” He looks down at the opened folder and back up at Veronica.
“Yes.” She hesitantly nods. “That's correct.”
“However, there's a record of you being admitted to the hospital around two years ago for what is shown to be a miscarriage or possible inflicted attempt at an abortion. Is this also correct?” He looks over his glasses, staring deeply while he waits for her response as though he's burning a whole in her head, almost expecting her to give false information.
She glances at Adrian with a look on her face that says it all . . . she has more explaining to do. Adrian looks away, not able to deal with the news right on the spot, he's had enough to handle since meeting this woman. He slightly shakes his head and waits for the doctor to carry on. Veronica shamefully slumps in the chair, uneasy from the way the doctor just busted her out.
“Correct.” She mumbles.
“Which means you will need to be under the extra care and attention of a high-risk physician in this field. Pregnancies with prior history such as your case need to be kept at close watch. I suggest looking into a mid-wife that can make home visits as well as a gynecologist that specializes in high-risk pregnancy. I have a list of local names should you like to consider these options after today's appointment.” He hands her the paper. “You can take that with you and look it over. Let me know your decision at least a week before the next scheduled appointment.”
She quickly scans the paper and Adrian catches her hands shaking as she rests it in her lap.
“Thank you, Dr. Scott. I appreciate it.” She says without looking him in the eye.
“This will do for today. I'll have the nurse hand you a prescription for prenatal vitamins on your way out, just stop by the desk before leaving.” He walks over to shake their hands and exits the room.
There's a cold silence in the room, chilling enough to make the hairs of a body stand on end. Adrian hadn't said a word throughout the remainder of the appointment, his shock and disbelief prevented him from concentrating on what they were there for in the first place. The awkward silence between them makes her aware that this isn't over, she's going to have to come completely clean with him before he'll let this go and move forward. The ride home is an uncomfortable nightmare that's just the beginning for the both of them.
“You said you love me.” He reminds her on the way up the stairs.
She swings open the bedroom door and throws her purse onto the bed.
“Which isn't on trial . . . I do love you.” Her defense mode kicks in and he can sense it right away.
“Weren't you the one who got upset when I was worried about how to cope with being a father? Like I didn't have a good reason to fear the unknown? You took it out on me, like I'm the bad guy, like I'm some evil person that just didn't want to be with you if you were indeed pregnant. You made me feel like I was wrong for having the concerns of the question whether or not this child is my own. How dare you! How dare you lay guilt on me for having these feelings. How dare you make it out to be you're innocent. I'm the one here for you, not anyone else you've slept with. Yet I'm the one still being lied to! Can you blame my being fearful of what's to come? Seems every turn we take leads us to more doors of the truth being opened. You promised, Veronica, you promised to be more open with me. To share your life, to let me in. I can see I'm not worth your honesty or we wouldn't be going through this right now. Me finding out some shit from your past by attending an appointment with you – what's next?” He takes a breath and waits for her response to his rant.
“It's not easy for me to talk about . . .” She begins.
“Well, talk.” His frustration gets the best of him and he interrupts with a demand in his voice.
“You know, you never acted this way when we were first together. It's like you're angry with me deep down but yet you still have love for me. Are you sure that's a healthy mix?” She questions.
“I wonder why I am the way I am. I wonder who turned me from the sweet, tender person I once was? What comes to mind when you think about that?” He sarcastically replies, leaving a sting on Veronica's pride. “What is it? You want me to ignore all of the secrets and lies I've been dealt from your crushing hand? Is it that you want me to put aside how you've made me feel and just give you all of me, all of my heart and all of my love, with complete disregard of how I'm treated in return?”
“Don't be hateful, Adrian.” She says with almost a tone of warning.
“Don't be a heartless bitch.” He points at her chest as he walks up to her.
She feels a sense of threat and instantly her wall rebuilds. Dealing with this sort of upset doesn't go over well for her. The first thing she knows to do is run and it takes everything in her to not pack her belongings and walk out of his life again. She backs away from his approach and grabs her purse.
“I'll be back when you've calmed down.” She tells him as she walks away and exits through the bedroom door.
“Typical. It's like I can predict what you'll do before you even do it.” He says, not knowing whether she heard him, and not caring if she did.