Chapter 15: You Don't Own Me
It was no surprise at all that Danny was pissed when we got back to his place. He was slamming doors and cabinets and giving me the cold shoulder. I honestly didn't have the energy to ask him what the hell his problem was and open up a fresh can of worms. He was just going to have to sort it out with himself because I wasn't going to argue with him. The fact that I was just carrying on and ignoring him was only pissing him off even more.
"It would be nice to know that I'm enough for you!" he shouted from the kitchen, followed by slamming a few pots around. I kept my eyes glued to the TV even though I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on. I wasn't going to acknowledge him because he was being ridiculous. "One minute you act like you're done with wanting to live like that and the next, you're party planning!" he yelled in outrage. I sighed and decided to pay a little attention to his insane ranting and raving. "I'm just not gonna talk to you if you're gonna yell," I finally said back to him. I absolutely hated for someone to yell at me. We had already covered that when we were at the beach."You don't realize that I'm only looking out for your best interest." He folded his arms across his chest as he huffed. Hearing that caused me to snap."You don't fucking know what's best for me! You're not my father!" I yelled back. I shot up from the couch and quickly flew over to him. "You don't know how many times you've proven that you can't take care of yourself, Sydney! I'm trying to protect you and you basically want to swim with the sharks!"
I didn't know where all of this was coming from. He had admitted in the past that he can be a bit overbearing and it was really showing right now. It made no sense for him to be freaking out and lecturing me. "I'm a big girl and I can take are of myself, "I said, putting a hand up. I was trying my best to be the most level headed one between the two of us, but I thought we had gotten past all of the "somebody needs to save Sydney from herself", but I guess I was wrong."Are you going to go to a stupid party and get fucked up like you did every other time you've gone to a party?" My mouth flew open. I couldn't believe he took it there. I was angry and hurt because he was doing the same thing that Candace had done a few weeks ago. He was using my drinking and my problems to try and make me feel like shit.
"I told you before, you're mine and I don't want you around these assholes that run around all over the County trying to fuck anything with a hole," he said pretentiously. I stood there for a few minutes, frozen and trying to figure out if he was serious or not. "I'm not joking,"he said sternly. With that, I stormed past him and headed into the bedroom. I moved like lightening trying to gather the clothes that I could see. I stuffed them all into the duffel bag that I had taken with me to the beach and prepared to storm out. "You don't fucking own me and I don't have to put up with this bullshit!" I yelled. "I don't know what your fucking problem is, but I refuse to stick around and be talked to like a dog while you figure it out!" I yelled even louder. The smirk he had on his face only pissed me off even more. I gathered all of my strength and pushed him away from me as hard as I could. It barely moved him an inch.
"You're just so goddamn stubborn!" he added, sounding even more frustrated. "AND YOU'RE JUST SO GODDAMN CONTROLLING!" Controlling was the perfect word for him and his temper tantrum.
He didn't budge and his expression didn't change as he watched me walk out the front door and slam it behind me. He didn't try to follow me and that hurt a little bit, but I knew that after a few days, he would be in a frenzy trying to find me. I groaned loudly as I started off down the stairs. I stopped myself, wanting to scream at him again, but the thought of seeing his face again made me sick. "Have fun fucking yourself!" I screamed like a maniac. I flew down the stairs as quickly as possible in an attempt to get as far away from him as I could before breaking down.
Tears rolled down my face and I didn't know if I wanted to be angry or heartbroken. I didn't think I overreacted at all, but I was incredibly overwhelmed with emotion. My body was exhausted and I had done nothing but sit around all day before our screaming match ever started. I had never seen Danny act like that and whether he was being protective or not, I hated his guts because of the way he blew up on me.
I didn't get very far before my legs began to feel wobbly and sweat was rolling down my back. The tears flowed out even more when I decided to take a seat on the sidewalk. I prayed that I didn't plant my ass on a dirty needle, but as crazy as it must have sounded, that was the least of my worries. I didn't have the energy to go over our argument in my head anymore. I was still in disbelief that he would go off on me like that. Between the two of us, I expected something like that from me. I was known for being an emotionally unstable basket case.
I knew that I didn't want to set foot in his apartment ever again, but I also didn't want to take the walk of shame back to my house. I really didn't want to face my friends, but I began to realize that that was my only option.
With my hands trembling, I pulled my phone out and called Rachel. They were probably all still together which worked out perfectly. I wouldn't have to tell the story a million times when I didn't even know if I wanted to share it at all. "Yes ma'am?" she answered. I sniffled and got myself together before pitching the favor at her."Rach, can you guys come pick me up," I said trying to mask the pain in my voice. "Of course. Where are you? Are you alright?" she asked. I hesitated and took a few deep breaths. "Yeah, is everybody still at your place? I'm down the street from Danny's apartment." I explained. "Yep. See ya in a few." The line went dead and I fell all to pieces once again. I didn't realize how lost I felt without Danny at my side. The last thing I wanted right now was to be alone.
"I don't get it. Does he not like us or something?" Jamie asked as she patted my back. "Of course he does. I don't know what the fuck his problem was today. He practically treated me like I was a child that he was just babysitting." After explaining to everybody what happened, my eyes were red and puffy and I was even more exhausted than I was before.
"The worst part of it all is that you love him. I could see that from the moment you laid eyes on him," Candace said calmly from across the room. A lump formed in my throat and I fought to hold back more tears. "He loves you too. He's just too stupid to do better," Reggie said as he strolled into the living room. "Yeah, love can fuck up for brain and his is fried," Derek said as he strolled in behind Reggie. Rachel and Mel glared at the two of them. It took no time for them to pick up what they were putting down. "This is girl talk! Bye!" Rachel said, waving her hand to shoo them out of our conversation. "They're not wrong, but we don't need Danny to get caught up to speed with what we've been talking about. Reg is like a bad fridge. He can't keep shit." I wanted to laugh at her comment, but I didn't even have the energy to form a smile.
My stomach was curling again and the next thing I know, I dove head first into the nearest trash can.
"Alright, did you drink before you left? I can't believe you're still puking!" Candace exclaimed. I sat on the floor with my knees pulled up to my chest and I made sure that the trash can was still within my reach. "Yeah, you've been puking and crying more than me and I'm almost five months pregnant," Rachel said sounding worried. "You're not pregnant, are you?" Mel added. I chuckled and ran my fingers through my hair. "Hell no. You have to have sex to get pregnant," I said nonchalantly. All of their eyes landed on me. They were all about to call me out on my bullshit.
"What the hell have ya'll been doing over there? Playing cards?" They knew that I never wanted to be open about sex, but I was practically caught red handed and I wasn't going to be able to play it off and act like I didn't know what they were talking about.
I got up on my feet, preparing myself to plead my case. "Okay, we have been having sex, but not unprotected," I said with a shrug. Everyone raised their eyebrows at me, waiting for me to spill the rest of the details. "What?!" I shouted, wanting to know what they wanted from me. "You've been using condoms every single time?" Rachel said with a smirk on her face. "Yes!" I shouted back in frustration. "And he's pulled out?" Mel asked, letting a few giggles slip out here and there. "Absolutely!" I shouted even louder than I did with my first answer.
The suspense hanging in the atmosphere was killing me. "What the hell do you guys want me to say? There's no chance that I could be pregnant. We've been as safe as possible!" I yelled like a maniac. Candace's eyes nearly pierced my soul. "Say what you want to say so we can move on please," I demanded. I stood there with my arms folded across my chest, ready for whatever she was about to throw at me. "Did any of the condoms ever break?" She laughed a little. "What kind of question is that?! There's no--," my thoughts trailed off to the days before we went off to the beach and sure enough, that's exactly what happened. My mouth hung open and I was completely frozen. My eyes grew wider and wider as I replayed the events from that one day in particular. My heart dropped into my stomach and I was terrified.
"Damn, you're slipping Syd," Rachel said jokingly. "I am not! That's not possible. It only happened once," I scoffed, trying to brush it off. I was hoping that they would change the subject soon, but I wasn't going to get that lucky. "Oh my God," Jamie said, holding her head in her hands. "I know, right? There's going to be a baby Sanny!" Rachel said cheerfully. I put my hand up. "First of all, gross. Don't give us one of those lame ass couple nicknames. Second, there's no way." By this time, I had started pacing. It was so intense that I probably would have dug a trench in the middle of the living room. "When's the last time you had a period?" Jamie questioned. "I have no idea. I can't even think. They've been so irregular since the miscarriage." Sometimes I would have a perfect month with mild cramps in the beginning and seven days of bleeding. Then there were times when it would look like a murder scene and I spent ten to fifteen days bleeding out like a stuck pig.
"Well fuck! You bitched at me for not remembering when I had mine last," Rachel snapped, placing both of her hands on her hips. "That's different! You've never been pregnant before! My hormones have been shot for the past year!" I barked at her. "Okay, calm down. Your insane attitude isn't helping us believe that you're not pregnant. Your mood swings are giving us whiplash," Jamie said calmly.
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I quickly grabbed it and unlocked it, only to find a text from Danny.
Oh hell no. If he thought I was going to take an apology through a text, he had another fucking thing coming.
"What time is it?" Mel asked out of the blue. I looked at my phone again and it was twenty minutes til nine. "That's understandable. I guess irregular periods would make it pretty difficult to get pregnant right off the bat," Rachel said as she snatched her keys off of the coffee table,"but there's only one way to find out."
"Grab whatever will work and let's go!" I screamed frantically as we rushed through Family Dollar. Anyone else might have thought that we were panicking like the Apocalypse was only seconds away, but we had a much bigger crisis on our hands.
"CHARGE!" Rachel screamed as she punched her fist in the air in an attempt to make light of the situation. "RACHEL! QUIT ACTING SO FUCKING STUPID AND MOVE YOUR ASS!" I barked at her. Jeez, I was being such a bitch. "Damn, maybe you are pregnant," she said as she ran past me. "SHUT UP AND PUT SOME FIRE UNDER YOUR ASS!" I shouted with the thickest McDowell County accent to ever escape from my lips. I could have probably been committed for the way I was acting. It was hard to remain calm, so since scared shitless was easier to handle, that's what I went with.
The look from the cashier was priceless. I couldn't take the time to laugh because I was such a nervous wreck. My mind was in a million places and I wanted so badly to shut it all out. There was just too much going on. Danny wouldn't stop blowing up my phone and I knew that in a few more hours or possibly minutes, he would begin his search. It also didn't help that my friends acted like this was a game when I was seriously about to lose my shit.
Rachel drove us to my house as fast as her lead foot would allow her and for once, none of us feared for our lives. I knew that my parents wouldn't be home and it was the only place where we wouldn't have to worry about someone stumbling upon us and nearly every single pregnancy test they had in stock at the store. We ran upstairs like lightening.
"Throw me one! I gotta piss like NOW!" I yelled. I had started to panic even more. This was the actual moment of truth and I felt like if I so much as sneezed, I was going to piss all over myself.
Rachel threw me three of the small cassette tests where you had to pee in a cup and use the dropper to place it on the test. It was awfully convenient. My bladder felt like it was going to explode any minute. I was overwhelmed by the relief when I was finally able to let it all out. Just like the directions said, I placed two drops onto each cassette and kept my eyes glued to them as I saw all three of them reveal two dark purple lines. I even got my face only a few centimeters away from where the tests sat on the sink and convince myself that I wasn't having a paranoid delusion.
The four of them barged into the bathroom, dying to find out what the future was going to hold. I stood there, unable to move because of the shock, and I saw my entire world crashing down. Being pregnant again wasn't what scared me. It was the death of another fetus that had me shaken up.
"Holy shit," Candace said slowly, almost in a whisper. Their voices were beginning to fade into the distance and I was pulled back into the black hole in the back of my that I hadn't felt the need to retreat to in over a year. This couldn't be happening. I couldn't convince myself that the same situation wasn't going to have the same outcome. I would have to relive the pain and the torture all over again and I knew that I wasn't strong enough to handle it. How was I going to tell him? How was I going to tell my mom? If I thought our relationship was shitty before, she was probably going to disown me after this.
"Syd, it's going to be okay!" Rachel yelled, shaking my upper body to pull me back to what was going on right now. The flood of emotions was suffocating me and I was starting to gasp. I felt like my entire body was shutting down. Recovering a year ago wasn't easy in the least bit, especially because I was caught off guard. This time was going to be ten times worse.
My eyes darted around the room before landing on my friends. I tried to ground myself to control my anxiety like I learned during my short time going to therapy. Find five things you can see, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. I failed miserably. My fear took me back to the familiar smell of copper and I couldn't imagine anything else besides the splotches of blood that were all over my bathroom.
A piercing scream erupted from my throat and I began to sob. I felt broken, empty, and hopeless. There was no way I was going to survive another miscarriage. My body might have been okay afterwards, but there was no way that I was going to have the mental and emotional stability to heal from it all over again. The thought of it left me sobbing and screaming even more. You would have thought that I was having a full blown mental breakdown.
"SYD, STOP!" Mel screamed. I didn't even see her hand coming at my face, but the swift slap across my left cheek pulled me back down to Earth. "OW! FUCK!" I screamed, rubbing my face to alleviate the stinging sensation. I heard a few gasps and Jamie and Rachel were teary eyed."Sorry, but I had no other choice," she said quickly. All of them were scared, but it was nowhere near what I was feeling. "What the fuck am I going to do?!" I shouted, "I can't handle another miscarriage! Hell, I don't even know if Danny and I are still together!" I was beginning to panic again. "No one said you were going to have another miscarriage? Things can turn out differently this time," Candace said in an attempt to keep me from flying over the edge again.
"Just try to stay calm. Even if you and Danny split up, you have us. It's not going to be the end of the world and no matter what the outcome is, we're here for you just like we've always been." They all huddled around me in my tiny bathroom. Seriously, it was probably a fire hazard for five people to be crammed into such a small space. But their hugs showed me that they truly cared. Once again, my friends were showing me their true colors and it was the only thing that could have possibly made me feel better at this point. "You're going to be alright," Candace said, hugging me even tighter.