Chapter 17: Turning Page
"So that's it? After everything we've been through, this is what it's come to?" Danny said, trying to
remain as calm as possible. He was standing at the edge of the driveway, staring into the dark,
mostly likely lost in though. It was a wonder that he didn't try to kill Eli instead of just storming
out the way he did. I could have sworn that he was going to knock Kelsey out though. She was
doing too much and she looked pitiful.
I stumbled down Reggie's concrete stairs, careful not to fall. I knew that I had been brave and
bold, but was I regretting it? I was a nervous wreck. I was feeling too many emotions at once
and I felt like my heart and my brain were in overdrive. "I was there for you when no one else
could handle you and this is it? You want to slap me in my face and do me dirty?" he asked, raising the volume of his voice. "I literally wanted to break every guy's face that even so much as glanced in your direction back there because I know for a fact that some of them have the potential to hurt you. Out of all people, you choose to dry hump on the sloppiest motherfucker in the room."
I surprised myself and found the courage to speak up and say what I was feeling without any
regret. "Calm down asshole!" I screamed, trying my best to make him shut the hell up and listen. "You left! You left me, you came back with all of these empty promises, and you spaz out on me and resort to treating me like shit and I can't trust you anymore! Everyone that I love leaves or hurts me and you're no different!" I shouted. I realized that the distance between us grew even bigger because I was so consumed with trying to figure out how to go about my situation. I thought
that I was going to have to figure it out all by myself at some point in time. I couldn't keep using
him as a crutch.
Even in the middle of the night in August, the air was still a bit chilly. I folded my arms to keep
from shivering and to keep myself from falling apart. "Yeah, I know and I'll fucking regret it for
the rest of my life," he said, throwing his arms up in defeat. "I love you, but I don't need you to be overbearing and controlling," I said softly. I was waiting for the right time to unveil my secret, but at this rate, I was going to have to just spit it out and hope for the best.
He stared at me in silence, almost a little confused. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?
I shouldn't have come back. If it makes you feel any better, I'll get a head start back to where
I came from and you'll never have to hear from me ever again. I just love you so much that
sometimes it hurts. It physically hurts. You've changed so much since I've been gone and I'm so
proud of you, but it feels like those changes included cutting me out of your life and forgetting
about me. I've always loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you." He looked heartbroken.
Never in a million years would I have ever thought of myself as being strong. I thought I would
always be stuck in between being shitty and broken. I thought that I would always need him to
keep me strong enough just to make it each day, but I didn't. Now I wanted him to stick around
for reasons beyond my drama from last year.
"I worry every single minute of every single day that you're going to outgrow me. You are the best
thing in this entire fucked up world to ever happen to me. I wanted nothing more than to be able
to call you mine when I came back. That is the reason. You are the reason because I was tired of
staying away when you were all I could think of." He stared at me and my heart broke over and
over again. "Just please say that you still love me because I can't live without you. Doing it for a
year was a nightmare. You are my happiness."
I pressed my lips together and I could feel all of my thoughts fighting to break out and be heard.
"You can't leave me again," I started, "this between us has been a complete roller coaster and I
know that it's been just as frustrating for you as it has been for me and it's only going to tear us
apart. That's the last thing I want to happen. I love having you in my life and I've been so happy
since you've been back. But I'm not as broken as I was before."
"Then why shouldn't I leave? If the girl that I love doesn't need me anymore, why should I stay?"
he asked with his voice cracking a little. A tear rolled down my cheek. I looked down at my feet,
careful not to trip as I closed the space between us. I felt at home again once I was able to
wrap my arms around his waist and rest my head on his shoulder. As badly as I wanted to reveal my secret to him, I just couldn't let the words escape from my mouth. It just didn't feel like the right time. I would have felt ridiculous to bring up something like this after a huge fight and barely speaking to each other. The distance proved to be slightly beneficial, but we weren't completely back on good terms.
It still felt like things were rocky and I hated the fact that I was holding onto a grudge. But our communication sucked and the way we were treating each other back at the party was nowhere near my expectations for us. I didn't think we'd immediately get together when he finally came back home, but I hoped that things would always be easy and halfway decent.
His entire body was trembling. "You can't do that to me again. Not ever," he said nervously. I closed my eyes and held onto him tighter. "It's okay," I said, stroking his back, trying my best to soothe him. I was a little scared of what he was capable of at this point. I had never seen him this mad before and suddenly, I felt like I was in love with a stranger that I was going to be tied to for the rest of my life.
Things were off over the course of the next few days. I still wasn't quite sure who the hell I decided to lay down with. This wasn't the Danny that I parted ways with a year ago and I was still pretty scared and shaken up. I blamed myself for getting this whole mess stirred up, and I deserved that, but I didn't deserve the asshole he became. I could tell that he was terrified of leaving me, but I was almost afraid of getting too close to him again.
Danny could sense that something was wrong, but he usually brushed it off and continued to ramble on about the future every chance he got. I couldn't forget about how awful he had been to me. I could only think about how things with Dean started out the same way. We would fight all the time, he would lash out and be verbally abusive and intimidating, and then we would make up and carry on like nothing ever happened. That was exactly what landed us in such a mess of a relationship and all the aftermath that came with it. I was tired of that cycle back then and I was already getting tired of it now.
Sometimes I was in denial about how bad things were. I was just numb and I didn't have the energy to pull out all of our issues and my feelings. I would just carry on and pretty much ignore it. I still stayed at his house and we still had sex and sometimes that was only because I was bored and didn't feel like fighting with him.
Today, like a lot of other days, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sometimes, he wouldn't stop bugging me long enough for me to even close my eyes. It was the only way to kill time and keep my distance from him. I didn't have to fight so hard to seem like he didn't bother me.
I was awakened by a pair of lips that I knew belonged to Danny kissing my neck and shoulder. I felt like I had slept maybe five minutes and I was still groggy. I was hoping that I had the strength to fight him off, but I didn’t. I stayed still and didn’t bother rolling over to look at him. I cracked my eyes open and was hit by the sunlight breaking through the window and filling up the bedroom. “Sydney,” he said softly. “I know you’re awake.” I still didn’t move. It was the first time in a while that he decided to use a gentle tone.
"Does it matter? You’re just going to yell at me again or have some kind of psycho mood swing on me. I don’t want to talk to you or even look at you for that matter.” I didn't know why I chose now to air out my feelings, but slowly I was coming to the realization that this wasn’t going to work. I was traveling down the same road that I wasn’t prepared to go down again. First you argue over small things and then you start physically fighting each other and then you’re in too deep and can’t leave without having feelings left for that person. If I was going to spend the rest of my life on pins and needles watching what I had to say or do around him, I would be better off alone. This wasn’t something that I could deal with. Especially not after everything that I put up with before.
“Well, I’m not going anywhere until you decide to turn over and look at me.” Great. I wasn’t getting rid of him that easy. I surrendered and turned over. “What do you want?” I asked with tears threatening to spill out of my eyes. "I need you to do something for me.” I sat up in bed and stared at him, ready to snap at any given moment. “You want me to do something for you and you acted a fool toward me for more days than I can even remember? If you think I’m going to have sex with you, you might as well get your shit together and get ready to stay out of my life for good. I can’t do this shit anymo--,” he interrupted me with a kiss.
“I know what’s wrong with you,” he said with a grin slowly spreading across his face. I had shut my mouth so I could attempt to hear what he had to say. "You’ve been moody, throwing up, your boobs are fuller and your walls feel all gushy inside. If I'm right, we can make up and be done with this.” I grabbed a fistful of his hair, too mad to keep from putting my hands on him, but too scared to do anything else. “Don’t act like you know my body. You’ve sent me on more roller coaster rides in
the last month or so than I can handle." I panicked a little because I was nowhere near ready to tell him, but I couldn't hide it forever. I wanted to wait until the right time, but at this rate there wasn't going to be a right time.
The look he had on his face made me want to choke the life out of him. “Danny, I was trying to tell you before I was rudely interrupted, but I can’t do this anymore. We’ve fought non-stop for as long as I can remember. Things can’t be okay one minute and then not okay the next. You of all people know what it does to me when people scream and shout at me. My nerves have been totally and completely shot.”
My voice was trembling and tears were streaming down my face. “I’m sorry, but we can’t be together anymore. Not like this.” He sat quietly for a moment as I began to sob. “It hurts so much because I love you. But, I can’t handle this kind of stress. One minute you’re sweet and then the next you’re scaring the shit out of me. I expected so much more from you." I knew that Danny
couldn’t understand where I was coming from.
He was still smiling like an idiot and it was still pissing me off.“Syd,” he said softly. “Yes?” I answered sleepily. “Are you going to keep my baby?” he asked. I had no choice but to be scared when I pondered the idea of telling him that I was pregnant. A million and one things ran through my mind. Question after question about the unknown sprung up from all angles. Fear of the unknown was certainly a bitch. My heart dropped into my feet and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. Right now, fear of the unknown was eating me alive. I wasn't to the point of a mental breakdown like I had been a few days ago, but I was still nervous and scared.
I didn't even have to say anything. The look in his eyes confirmed that he had figured it out and there was no denying or trying to hide it anymore. He pulled me into his chest and held me gently while I continued to cry. “For what it’s worth, I’m happy,” he said, holding me tighter. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders and I was relieved even though we still had some pretty big issues.“I know you’re happy Danny, but what are we supposed to do? We’ve been fighting so much. How are we supposed to raise a baby and we fight like cats and dogs?” I asked.
“Well, now that we know you’re pregnant, I can be more understanding when it comes to your mood swings. One of our fights was about having a baby and another was about you protecting
our you, so what are we supposed to fight about now?” he asked wearing a smile in an attempt to lighten the mood. It might have seemed stupid to sweep things under the rug like I always did, but I had a good feeling even though I spent a good portion of my time thinking that I was dating a sociopath. I chuckled a little, hoping that we wouldn’t fight anymore. “Now all I have left to do is sit around and get fat,” I said with another chuckle. “You won’t get fat. You may gain maybe ten pounds. Generally if you’re small, you stay small,” he said trying to make me feel better. I
glanced down at my stomach once more and felt the same wave of panic all over again. This wasn’t something that we could just ignore. I wish it could have been that easy, but life had a way of twisting and flipping things all around as much as it could for you.
Danny held my hand tightly. “Everything will be okay Syd. You have my word. And if things don’t end up okay, then you can leave. If I can’t give you what you need while you’re carrying my baby, then leave my sorry ass.” His words were comforting but they still didn’t help much. “I swear to you. Things will be better now. This isn’t just about us anymore. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen? Look at me. I fled all the way to West Virginia from North Carolina to be with my brother after being rejected by my mother and after only a few short months, I had to live on my own. I’ve been alone for three years. Who do I have? No one and I still haven’t gotten used to that nor will I ever. I finally have the opportunity to have a family.” He was still young, but he had been through so much and it was scary.
I had only been through stuff that only happened because I put myself in those situations. Danny had no choice but to deal with all of this. He really had no one and who was I to take away something that he had so desperately dreamed of. “You don’t always do what you’re supposed to do because you want to. You do it because you have to and if you don’t then no one else will and
doing what I’m supposed to do is what will make me the happiest man alive.” Slowly, I was accepting this. He was so sincere and I could see it in those enticing gray eyes. This was what he wanted and this was becoming what I wanted. I had a family. A dysfunctional family, but I still had one. Now I had the chance to show my child what it was like to have two parents that loved each other.
Playfully I pushed Danny back on the bed and climbed on top of him, kissing his lips when his head rested on the bed. “Quit that!” he said, scalding me. I had forgotten that quickly. “Sorry. I guess this will have to take some getting used to,” I said with a giggle, placing both hands on my belly. In a few short months, it wouldn’t be so flat anymore. It would have a pair of little feet tap dancing on the inside. “It’s alright. We can’t do all of that wrestling anymore, and you can't smoke or drink,” he said. It sounded like he was lecturing me and I was getting annoyed. He pulled me down on his chest, hugging me tightly.
“I hope you’ll give us a chance to do this. I’m in if you’re in.” Of course I was in. I felt like I was getting a second chance with turning my life around. Being a parent meant that you had to get your shit together. So many people ran around partying and getting into any and every little that thing they could and they’d be stuck doing that for the rest of their lives. You couldn’t be a professional teenager. At some point you had to know when to get your shit together in order to have a future. “We can make this work. It’s my job at this point to make you the happiest woman alive and I intend on doing just that,” he said. He rolled me over on my back and caressed my stomach. I guess this was going to be a brand new start for me and I couldn’t have been more excited.