Chapter 25: Everybody Wants To Rule the World
My life was changing incredibly faster than I would have ever expected. It seemed like I was developing mentally more and more every single day. That helped me gain the ability to deflect Danny's bullshit and his groveling. He knew I was still upset with him and a little freaked out, so for a day or two, he would take it upon himself to stay out of my hair all together We still acted like a couple, but I was very distant from him. I was still a little ticked off that he just threw me into the line of fire when his mom came to visit and had completely left me in the dark when it came to why they hated her so much. The days rolled by and turned into weeks of us keeping it simple and being civil to each other without the added romance. It really didn't phase me like it used to. Ever since I felt my baby move, receiving the gratification I needed to keep my eye on the prize and block out everything else.
Candace continued to pop up every now and then to stick around for a few days only to go ghost on us and drop off of the face of the earth and she was beginning to fade from my memory. We were all convinced that she was going to drop out of school. This was only because she was at an all time low with her addiction and she wasn't the same in the least bit. All of my good memories we shared were eclipsed by drugs. I didn't know who she was anymore, but I couldn't try to save her no matter how tight I held on to the idea. It was her life and if she wanted to spend her time with a needle stuck in her arm, then that was all on her. Our classmates were pretty confused every time they looked up and saw the four of us without her. It was definitely a shock to everyone, including our teachers.
We attended the occasional football game or two, just to satisfy my craving for chili cheese fries, but as the season went on and the colder it got, we cut that out. December rolled on through and Rachel looked as if she was about to pop. She only had a month left and Danny and I were at her house almost every other day trying to help her prepare as much as possible. “You seem so calm about this. I’m about to lose my fucking mind!” she yelled at me one day as she moved furiously around the nursery she and Reggie had put together for their daughter. It was dressed from top to bottom in pink. Pink curtains, pink rugs, and even pink paint on the walls. It was simply beautiful and comfortable enough for me to even fall asleep in. Her baby shower was a week away and she hardly got any sleep over the last few days. I tried time and time again to tell her that she needed more sleep than I did. I still had four months to go and it was well past midnight when we had an appointment the next day. Rachel was my girl and I knew that she was scared out of her damn mind, so I had no choice but to be there for her. Danny was back at home catching up on sleep. He couldn’t hang with the two crazy pregnant ladies and we teased him for sounding like an old man. Reggie had to catch up on sleep as well, but that was because Rachel made him run all over town all day every day for last minute things that she needed for her hospital bag and for the baby shower.
“I have three months to prepare for my baby and I have a doctor’s visit in the morning, but here I am, helping my best friend,” I said with a laugh as I neatly tucked the blanket over the baby’s mattress. I was glad that I was spending this time with her, it was keeping my mind off of worrying about finding out the sex of the baby. I didn’t want to worry about it too much and some days I
hoped for a boy, but the important part for me was having a healthy baby. “I needed a pregnant friend and I got one,” she said as she flopped down in the rocking chair that was placed in the corner. She propped her feet up on the ottoman. “Holy shit!” I yelled, taking in the sight of her severely swollen feet and ankles. “Don’t talk about it. The worst is yet to come,” she said as she wiggled her toes.
“Speaking of the worst. I’m going to need you in the delivery room,” she added. I froze instantly. I wasn’t prepared for me heading into the delivery room to push out my own baby, I knew I wasn’t prepared to watch somebody else give birth. “I’m sorry. But that’s just too gross for me,” I said to her with a laugh. “It is not! I would do it for you,” she replied. “Of course, you would have already been through all the blood and gore. You’d be ready.” We both laughed together. “I don’t want to look at your vagina Rach,” I told her with all seriousness. “Somebody has to be there. Reggie says that he’s got this, but I know he’s a wimp when it comes to this kind of stuff. He could barely
handle the few times that I had morning sickness.” Rachel wasn’t going to let go of me being in the delivery room with her and I knew that no matter how much I tried to plead my case, in the end I didn’t even have a case. “Alright, I’m in. But you have to give the baby my middle name,” I said jokingly. “I doubt it, Sydney Gayle Trent,” she said, causing my jaw to drop. I hurled a stuffed pink
teddy bear at her head and she playfully swatted it away with her hands.
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I smiled when the text came through and I saw Danny’s name flash across the screen.
D: We have a big day in the morning.
I smiled even harder and quickly replied.
Me: I know. But you know how worried Rachel is about the baby coming.
I knew he was going to bitch at me for this. Danny always told me that I was way too worried about making sure everyone else was okay and it caused me to neglect everything that was going on in my life.
D: Rachel and HER baby will be fine. We have to check on our baby boy in the morning.....
Okay. I knew that he definitely wasn’t happy about that and I was going to definitely going to get bitched at in the morning. I turned to Rachel with a sad look on my face and she frowned, knowing exactly what I was about to tell her. “Go on. You’ve helped me out enough,” she said as she stood up from the rocking chair to give me a hug. “I just have to make sure you’re straight first. I know this is pretty damn scary for you,” I said as I accepted her warm embrace. “And I’m going to make sure that you’re straight, so you need to go home and get some sleep.” Rachel walked me downstairs to meet Danny at the car and when I got in and buckled my seat belt, I was not presented with a pleasant smile from him like I was used to getting. So, the entire ride home was a ride of silence.
Yep, I was gonna hear it once we walked through that damn door.
“Are you mad at me?” I asked softly as I stood in the middle of the kitchen. His expression was as cold as ice. Danny walked all through the house, back and forth, ignoring me as he gathered his clothes up for the doctors’ appointment in the morning. He stripped his clothes off in the bedroom and then strolled by me while I sat at the island in the kitchen. His next step was getting in the shower and usually if it was late at night and he didn’t feel like waiting for me to get out of the shower, he would ask me to join him. But there was still silence. I couldn’t handle all of this tension and it felt like it was about to make my brain explode. So, I went for it. I stripped my long sleeved white t-shirt off, revealing my stomach that looked even larger without a shirt on, and kicked off my black yoga pants in the kitchen and when I reached the bathroom door, I came out of my bra and panties. I heard the faucet squeak and then the water from the shower head came rushing out. I swallowed the growing lump in my throat and pushed the door open. I swear that the sight of his bare chest with the water splashing all over him, just about sent me over the edge. Pregnancy did more to your hormones than just making you a crying bitch all the time.
I don’t even think he could hear me when I stepped in and moved the curtain out of the way to join him. The warm water hit my skin and caused all of my muscles to relax. He didn’t even budge when I snaked my arms around his waist, which was pretty odd considering that Danny had admitted to
me once before that one of his greatest fears was being in the shower while someone snuck in on him.
“Why did you get in the shower? You know your hair isn’t going to be dry in the morning and you can’t afford to get sick,” he said, scalding me. Tears swelled up in my eyes. “It’s like you’re not even worried about your health or the baby’s health Syd,” he hissed as he leaned over to turn the water off and then he pried my arms from around him. “I’m going to bed. I suggest you stick your head over the heater or something. We have to be up in five hours. Goodnight.” I stood there in the shower as I watched him storm out of the bathroom. I was frozen and shocked by his words. I never really took him serious when he complained about me being out with Rachel all night and now that I could see how upset he was, I was starting to regret it. I did care about my health and the baby’s. I couldn’t believe that he had just said that and it was heart breaking to see him leave like that without even saying I love you.
I started to grow angry and tears were spilling out of my eyes and streaming down my face. What was I supposed to do now that he was mad at me? Saying sorry wasn’t going to fix anything at all at this point and I hated every minute that the thought passed through my mind.
Danny looked at me like he didn’t even know who I was when he did look at me. I had noticed that over the last couple of weeks, there was tension in our relationship. We hadn’t had sex in over two weeks because he claimed that he was too tired. He never wanted to leave the house or the bed for that matter and when he did get out of bed, all he wanted to do was flip through the same boring ass television channels for three hours. I wasn’t the only one that was neglecting this relationship if that was what he was trying to get at.
He had barely looked at me since I got a belly and I knew that was one of the things he had to adjust to because he always swooned over my tiny frame. Throughout the course of my pregnancy, I had gained twenty pounds so far and that was way out of my own comfort zone. I'm pretty sure my doctor thought I had an eating disorder because I was so fixated on my weight. I didn't have anorexia, but it was shocking to pack on weight practically over night.
The thought of my warped body image being a turn off continued to dance around in my mind. I just couldn't let it go. I knew exactly what I was going to do in order to test his ass. I stormed through the apartment and into the bedroom while I was still naked. I found him lying in bed with his hands behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. I crawled under the covers with my hair neatly piled up and tucked away in a bun. “Why in the world are you naked?!” he shouted when my ass brushed up against his hip. That comment cut me really deep. Tears began to roll from my eyes again and I curled up into a ball, wishing that this moment wasn’t happening. I wanted to be somewhere else right now because Danny was making me feel like shit to the tenth power. “Why are
you crying?!” he yelled even louder. I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I began to sob.
“Sydney. What’s the matter with you?” he asked a little more calm as he placed his hand on my shoulder. I didn’t bother on rolling over. “Sydney, answer me,” he said as he pulled me into his arms. I thrashed my arms and legs until he released me. “GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME!” I shouted and then tried to wiggle back to the spot that I was in before he had decided to pay any kind of attention to me. “You’ve acted like a complete asshole toward me for the last two weeks! You don’t eat when I cook, you don’t want to be seen with me in public, and you damn sure don’t want to have sex with me anymore! Just say the word! Say the word and all of this will be over! You and I will be done!” I belted out at the top of my lungs. I continued to sob as I held my face in my hands. “I hate you!” I screamed before I crawled out of bed, ashamed of my body and at the idea that it would be somewhat sexy to climb in bed with him while I was naked.
I had it set in my mind that after this appointment tomorrow, I was packing my shit and heading back home. I was a fool for thinking that this would even work just because I had become pregnant. It was going to be close to the same bullshit that I had to deal with last year, except for the fact that I would have to take care of a baby this time and it would be on my own. I was pretty sure that I
was okay with that. Danny had shown little interest in me and I knew exactly what that meant. I wasn’t going to be anywhere that I wasn’t wanted and he didn’t have to tell me to leave. I would invite him to the doctors’ appointments whenever I had them scheduled and when the baby came, he could be there to sign the birth certificate and that would be the end of me having to deal with him.
Until then, I was stuck with him whenever my parents were working and I needed rides to the hospital. It drove me crazy not knowing whether or not I was wanted. I didn’t know what was on his mind and it had always been easy for me to dig through Danny’s brain and figure out what he was thinking. My heart was aching and I didn’t know what to do. The only thing that I could think of was curling up on the couch and getting at least a little bit of sleep until the sun came up and it was time for me to go. “Just leave me alone like you’ve been doing, okay?” I pulled the comforter off of the bed and pulled my hair out of the bun because of the pending headache starting over my right temple. I curled up on the couch and continued to sob as images of me and Danny danced through my head. I could remember when I first started moving more of my stuff into his house and we were dancing happily to an 80's rock station on Pandora when he came over to wrap his arms around my waist to help me sway to the song that he knew all of the words to. I could remember one morning when he struggled to flip pancakes and we ended up slinging pancake batter all over the
house. But now, he was turning into someone that I didn’t know and I was deeply afraid.
I had drifted off to sleep and was jolted awake by the roaring sound of my alarm clock. I dreaded having to come back to reality. It was frightening to know that as much as I hated Danny at the moment, I still loved him and I still had to depend on him.
Without him I would have had no transportation, no way to satisfy my late night cravings. I wouldn’t have anyone to curl up next to my stomach at night and rub my feet after a long day at school. The thought of it all ripped through my body and I began to sob again. Throughout my episode, I felt a pair of arms scoop me up and carry me through the house. I didn’t try to fight him. I was done fighting. Maybe if I just gave in, things would go right for once. “Sydney, I’m sorry,” he whispered as he carried me to the bathroom.
He turned on the water in the shower and I had grown silent. He helped me onto my feet and then climbed in with me. I was silent the entire time, allowing myself to process the idea of being in such a mess for the rest of my life. I didn’t even bother saying anything to him for the remainder of the morning and it didn’t bother me one bit. There was so much on my mind and it was extremely overwhelming.
Even while we waited in the doctor’s office, I still kept my wall up against him. “Sydney Trent,” the nurse said when she popped her head around the corner. Her name was Bre and over the last few months, she had been like my crutch. Any and every question I had, she was only a phone call away. She was at least twenty-five and short with dark hair that rested neatly on her shoulders. Even though she was a nurse, she still wore her piercings and even her chest was decorated with tattoos. She had told me once before that what had sparked something in her to become a nurse was knowing that anything she said to someone that was new to motherhood was important. “All of these women and young girls that come in here may not remember my face, but they will remember how I made them feel while they were in my care.” Just that one little phrase let me know that I was more than just a way for the hospital to make money whenever I would come for my appointments. We had gotten pretty close. I had found out that in this very hospital eight years ago, she was in my shoes. She was a pregnant senior in high school that was scared shitless and had to end up taking care of her son on her own. I knew that I wasn’t alone as long as my nurse at least cared about me. We had gone to the same school, but I was much younger than she was.
“Well, your baby bump is looking a lot rounder these days. How do you feel?” she asked as she wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my arm and stuck the thermometer in my ear. “Don’t even ask,” I replied. “Like shit, huh?” Bingo. She hit the nail right on the head. “Don’t worry. You’re halfway there and look on the bright side, you’ll get to finally find out what you’re having. I
believe I’m more excited than I should be,” she said with a smile. Of course. This was typical behavior for Bre. She always tried to keep everyone in a good mood and when she wasn’t, she was talking shit and dared anyone to say anything to her. Just from that, she pegged me as the type that took a lot of bullshit from people until she exploded on their asses.
I heard the Velcro being torn apart and then she was helping me to my feet and she ushered me into the examination room that held the ultrasound machine. I climbed up on the table and the more I stared at that damn machine, the more nervous I got. “Cross your fingers for a girl,” she said, grinning from ear to ear. She read my mind. Over the last few weeks, I had wanted a baby girl so bad that I would cry just at the thought of having a boy. I had blocked out the entire world and my mind was completely fixated on the future and how my life would revolve around this tiny person whether it was a boy or a girl. Dr. Carter came in to do the usual palpation of my stomach. The cool touch of his hands made me shiver, but I was still blocking everything else out. I stared at Danny for a split second as he hovered over me protectively wearing a look of fear. He was just as afraid as I was and he seemed to still be upset from this morning.
That didn’t matter right now though, because Dr. Carter was squeezing a big drop of that familiar cool jelly on my stomach and a fuzzy image of a pair of legs appeared on the screen. For a minute, there was a drum roll playing in my head. The loud whooshing sound screaming from the machine was an indicator that the baby was still alive and well and that this would definitely confirm that I was out of the woods and he or she would be okay. And then, there she was.
“It’s a girl! A girl!” Bre screamed from the corner. Danny was squeezing my hand tightly with his right hand and wiping the tears from his eyes with the other. I was frozen. A girl. A little version of me with Danny’s eyes running around with floppy jet black pigtails and a little button nose. “Congratulations! Now you can buy all of that pink junk,” the doctor said with a smile. He pulled the photograph from the machine and wore a wide grin as he placed her picture in my hand.
On the outside, I looked emotionless, but on the inside I was ready to explode. I wanted to rush out and buy everything pink and girly that I could find. I wanted her here now so I could change her from dress to dress at least every hour. I wanted her to be five and heading out for her first day of
kindergarten in a cute little pink dress with bows in her hair to match with a proud look on her face because she picked it out herself. Most importantly, I couldn’t wait to see her be a daddy’s girl. I was thrilled by the thought of someone so small having him wrapped around her little finger and by the expression on his face, I could tell that it had already begun.
My thoughts were interrupted by the feeling of his lips crashing against mine with my face wedged between his hands so he could keep me from pulling away. Bre and Dr. Carter had stepped out of the room to give us privacy and we were all alone. “No more fights,” he whispered when he pulled away from me. Here we go. If I had a nickel for every time I had heard that one. It seemed like
every single fight we had over the past six months came before some big milestone in our relationship. I didn’t know how to handle these emotions on a normal day, much less on an important one.
“Danny, you’ve said that a thousand times,” I said brushing him off as I tried to slide off of the exam table. He scooped me up into his arms unexpectedly and held me close to his body as if it were going to be the last time he was ever going to be able to hold me again. “I know. But you and that damn attitude drive me crazy,” he said, kissing me on the forehead before he sat me back down on my feet. “You can’t use that as an excuse! We haven’t had sex in two weeks, you don’t eat my cooking anymore, and you don’t want to shower together anymore. Are you ashamed of me now? You don’t even want to be seen with me in public anymore,” I said rambling off every single one of our issues that we failed to deal with this morning. "Keep your voice down!" he hissed, trying to keep me quiet. My hormones took over for a second and completely controlled my reaction. "I DON'T GIVE A SHIT! THESE PEOPLE HAVE SEEN MY VAGINA! WHO GIVES A FUCK IF THEY HEAR ME TALKING ABOUT IT?!"
The news of finding out that we were having a girl had been pushed to the back of my mind because of this bullshit. I stood there with my hands on my hips and my stomach protruding like I had the slight indention of a basketball underneath my shirt. I was getting huge. At twenty-four weeks, I was a pretty good ways into my pregnancy and I had barely four months left. Mom said I
wouldn’t blow up until the very end. Danny smiled and began to chuckle and I grew angrier and angrier the more I looked at that stupid grin he was wearing. “Oh! So you think this is funny!?” I said, raising my voice a few octaves. “Lower your voice. You just look so damn cute,” he said, taking a step closer to me. His hands rested on my stomach and then traveled up the rest of my body to brush my boobs. I flinched, not realizing that they were so sore. Just to tease me or piss me off, I wasn’t sure which, Danny ran his hands back across them, slightly pressing the pads of his fingers against them.
Ecstasy surged through my body and I had to fight to keep my hands to myself. I was more so sad in all reality than I was pissed off. Now was not the time or place for us to get hot and heavy. “I swear I’m gonna kill you,” I said sounding frustrated. Sexually frustrated actually. No sex had been killing me. I swear at some point I considered tying him up and raping him in the middle of the night, but then he’d probably bitch at me for trying to wrestle with our baby growing inside of me.
“I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you,” he whispered, trying to wear his puppy dog eyes. “No. You’re
not sorry. And just because we found out we’re having a girl and got some good news today, it doesn’t mean we can just patch it up with make-up sex, if you even know what sex is anymore.” I turned my back to him and bent down to grab my jacket from the chair in the corner. I was taken by surprise when he stood behind me with both hands wrapped around my hips and the lump in his pants pressing against my ass. It felt so damn good to be wanted again, but I wouldn’t give in.
Danny had been a moody asshole these last few weeks and it was hard to tell which one of us was pregnant. I wasn’t going to forget about it all because he wanted the same thing that I had wanted for so long. “Nope,” I said moving out of the way. He scrunched his eyebrows together and looked pissed off. “You haven’t even attempted to touch me these last few weeks. It ain’t happening just because you’ve decided that you want to do it.” I put my arms in both sleeves of my jacket and zipped it up to my neck. I looked down at my stomach protruding through the jacket and placed my hand just above my belly button where I felt little flutters.
I was getting a little frustrated with myself because of how upset I got. Usually if I got too upset, I would end up sick or my blood pressure would shoot up and I would end up with a splitting headache. Judging by the way my neck and ears were burning hot, it was going to result in a headache. I trudged down the parking lot with flecks of snow flying around me. I managed to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down, not even realizing that I had beaten Danny to the car. That was shocking considering the fact that his legs were twice as long as mine and I was packing extra weight because of the little passenger in my uterus.
He wore a soft look on his face as he unlocked the doors and came around to open mine for me like he always did. Any other time we were fighting, I would have objected to it, just to prove the point that I was mad at him, but now, I just wanted things to mellow out. I had been hit with one more life-changing detail. There was so much going on that required me to suck it up and be a woman, I didn't feel the need to be petty toward Danny.
We climbed in and buckled our seat belts. I stared out the window, captivated by the snow while Danny fumbled with the radio. I guess he was reading my mind because I was dreading the silence that was bound to happen throughout the drive home. I continued to keep my eyes locked on the bare trees. It was amazing and shocking that it seemed like we were carefree and enjoying our late summer nights just being kids. Summer time flew by quicker than we could have blinked and now we were getting ready to face the real world. Those thoughts ran through my head constantly.
"Welcome to your life. There's no turning back. Even while we sleep, we will find you, " Danny sang softly to himself, tapping the steering wheel to the beat of the music. I smiled involuntarily. This was one of our songs and I think now was the perfect time to hear it.
Welcome to your life, there's no turning back. You're damn right there isn't. With that thought, I felt like we could take on the world and conquer anything. Especially parenthood.
"Acting on your best behavior, turn your back on Mother Nature, everybody wants to rule the world," we sang in unison as we bobbed our heads from side to side as the song went on. He glanced at me from the corner of his eye and I was smiling like I didn't have a care in the world. The lyrics hit close to home. My heart felt a little lighter because I was pulling my thoughts together to realize that I was about to bring another person into this world and as much as he got on my nerves, I wouldn't want to go through this with anyone else but him.We fought like cats and dogs, but I had to admit that he was my rock.
"So, I'm thinking that "no more fights", I said using air quotations,"is jinxing us," I said with a slight smirk. "Seriously," he said with a chuckle. I nodded my head. "We've gotta come up with something new," I said playfully. "Oh! Like 'Danny, I'm so sorry that I let my pregnancy hormones get the best of me. You were right. I was wrong'," he said, trying his best to mock me without cracking even the slightest smile. "Not gonna happen. You may be Mr. Right, but I'm Mrs. Always Right," I said. When I realized that I referred to us as Mr. and Mrs. my eyes grew wide and wanted to punch myself in the face for speaking before I could think.
Danny wore a mischievous grin on his face and was obviously trying to play it off like he didn't even notice.