Chapter 29: Valentine
The roads weren’t icy, but it was only my third time behind the wheel of his vehicle. Usually, I would have been too terrified to even sit in the driver's seat, but I didn't want to cut my time at the hospital with everyone short. I was actually surprised when Danny willingly handed over his keys. The Malibu was his pride and joy, so I didn't need any more reassurance that he truly loved me.
The events from the last few days flashed through my mind. I couldn’t believe that I was the person that I had become in just a few short months. I was still shocked by the fact that I would change a whole lot more in the next few weeks. I couldn’t believe that Rachel and I were even pregnant to begin with. Deep in my heart, I prayed and prayed that they wouldn’t do half of what we did. Especially me. I knew that I would never be able to forgive myself if I allowed my daughter to experience everything that I did growing up. It was hard for me to even show Danny how much I loved him at times. I never knew what it was like to see my parents so in love with each other until I became a teenager and even then I was never home. I was trying to avoid the two of them by any means necessary. Our relationship was fine now, but neither of them were there when I needed them.
They weren’t there for me emotionally and mentally like I needed them to be when I was trying to figure out the world. I couldn’t put Fauna through that. It would be impossible for me to ignore any sign of heartbreak or loneliness that she could be going through. Sure Danny had family problems, but at least he and Ryan had each other.
It was strange how you could be so in love with someone that you’ve never met. You carry them inside your body, wanting to protect them from every single ugly thing that was going on in the world. You want to keep them from people who would hurt them or make them sad and make them cry. What I was most thankful for was being able to have Danny the entire journey. It was scary as hell to imagine going through all of this by myself and if things would have turned out differently last time, then I would have been alone for sure.
But, Danny was right. I needed to let go of what happened with the last baby. All of the anger, fear, and guilt that was built up inside of me from that point in my life was hurting me even more now when it shouldn’t have even mattered. Dean was only able to control me because I let him. The memories and nightmares consumed my life totally and completely and some days it was hard to even get out of bed. One morning, the nightmare had been so terrifying that it had literally crippled me for a whole three days. I had talked to Bre about domestic violence and if it could cause nightmares later on and she said that it could have just been my way of coping. I was trying to repress every single memory throughout my day and then it would eat me alive at night.
Thankfully, Danny understood completely. He knew what I went through from the moment I had been admitted into the hospital after the miscarriage, up until now when my life had completely turned around. I smiled at the thought of how happy he made me. He did get on my nerves at times, but since we made that choice to be together, any hatred or anger left in my heart had completely vanished.
There was no need for me to drink to forget everything that had happened to me and I didn’t need people to feel sorry for me because of anything that I went through. I loved him because from the very moment we met, he saw the real me. He knew what I was like on my good days and on my bad days. He could always tell if there was something bothering me and he was there when I was just too wrapped up in my fears to even function. His jokes whether they were good, bad, or dirty made me feel better and I don't think that I could have done any of this without him.
I was anxious to get inside to hurry up and get out of the cold. This winter weather wasn’t being kind to my joints. Being pregnant made you feel ancient and it sucked because I had to avoid heating blankets and extreme temperatures. My hands would often go numb and ache and I couldn't take ibuprofen for it. My knees would get stiff and lock up and I couldn't take hot baths to ease the pain. I pretty much had to suffer.
I grew more and more excited to curl up next to Danny just to sap his body heat when I was able to get in bed. When I finally made it up the stairs and opened the door, the entire apartment was dark with dim light radiating from the bedroom. The house smelled clean, like it had been scrubbed from top to bottom. The scent of Pine Sol smacked me in the face and the floors were spotless underneath my feet. I quickly snatched off my shoes to avoid tracking any mud. I was surprised, but relieved that I wouldn't have to worry about the cleanliness of the floors for a while. I didn't want to spoil it when I was always barking at everyone to wipe their feet.
“Danny,” I called as I made my way through the apartment. I walked through the kitchen and the dishes were done, as well as there being a pile of neatly folded laundry that smelled like fresh roses piled up on top of the counter.
“What the hell?” I whispered to myself. Danny must have taken it upon himself to do all of the housework while I was at the hospital with Rachel and the baby. I moved even further through the house and stopped in the doorway before entering the bedroom. I was in awe.
The bed was neatly made with a big white comforter that made the bed look like a cloud that could make you go into a coma once you fell asleep. Rose petals were neatly formed into the shape of a heart. On top of the nightstand was a tiny black gift bag and my mind began to run in a million directions trying to think of what it possibly could have been.
I stood there smiling like an idiot at the sight of our bedroom. I hadn’t felt more at home until now. I started to take a step forward and go for the gift bag, but Danny’s warm hand crept up on my shoulder, giving me goosebumps. I really felt at home now. “Do you like it?” he said, whispering against my neck, causing me to shiver. I knew that he was trying to either seduce me, or make me fall even more in love with him. Either way, it was working for both. I turned around to face him and I held his face between my hands. “I love it,” I said before kissing him, “You always know how to go above and beyond to make me smile.” It was the little things like this that always brought us closer. "What did you do?" I asked with a suspicious grin. I was hinting that he had done something and fixed up the place to head off my anger. "Nothing at all," he said with a wink.
Soft music played in the background and he wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me as close as he could without my belly getting in the way. We both giggled when Fauna softly kicked when Danny’s stomach pressed against mine. “She doesn’t like having you in her space,” I said, looking down at my round belly. I could see more tiny moments dancing under my skin.“She’s gonna have to get over it. I’m gonna be all up in her space for the next fifty years,” he said with a smile. I could remember the slight panic attack he’d had a little bit after finding out that we were having a girl. He had only been raised with a brother and had no idea what to do with a girl. Based on the relationship he had with Jada and their constant bickering, I knew he’d be in for a surprise.
“What’s all of this for?” I asked curiously. We swayed slowly to the music and I began to feel more and more relaxed. “I told you that we only have a little while left before we don’t get quality time together. Plus, you won’t be able to do any of the things you like to do to relax anymore. So, tonight is your night. You’ve spent the majority of your pregnancy making sure everyone else is okay and worrying about school. I want you to worry about yourself tonight.” I smiled like an idiot once more as he kissed me on the forehead. I never thought that I was as selfless as he always made it seem. All I ever really wanted to do was treat everyone the way I would want them to treat me. Sometimes, it worked out for the best and others, I just had to move on and brush it off.
“You’re amazing baby. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me,” I told him sincerely. He raised one eyebrow as if he was confused by what I was saying. Of course, he was going to act like he hadn't done anything for me. He always said that his positive behavior always came naturally when he was around me.“You know what you’ve done. You helped me get to a good place with my parents. You’ve put a roof over my head and given me transportation. Most of all, you’ve given me support and love and that’s all I could ever really ask for.” I was afraid that I wouldn’t have been able to get those words out without crying like a baby, but I managed to hold back the tears.
“You’ve turned into such a cry baby,” he said jokingly after hearing me sniffle a few times. I playfully punched him in the chest and then buried my face in it. “You shouldn’t be doing all of this sweet stuff trying to get into my panties.” He hooked his fingers around the hem of my sweater and
pulled it over my head, exposing my big round belly, which I was growing more self-conscious about, and my swollen and tender breasts, especially when it came to undressing myself. I usually felt like a hog flopping around in the mud.
He steered me over to the bed as he kissed me softly from my neck, down to my chest. The bed was touching the backs of my knees when he pulled the hair bow from my hair, causing the thick pitch black mess to tumble down my back. He pushed me down gently on the bed, allowing me to become submerged completely in rose petals. I was completely intoxicated by scent. It was the first time in my entire pregnancy that I wasn’t getting sick from any of the smells around me.
Danny hovered over me and I stared into his eyes. I always found myself getting lost in those same beautiful grey eyes over and over and over again. I don’t think it would ever stop. “I don’t know what kind of Valentine’s Day we’ll have considering the fact that it’s getting pretty close, so I hope you’ll accept this night as a substitute,” he said with a smile before kissing me. He was right. It
was getting pretty close and for a split second, that simple thought alone scared the shit out of me.
We only had roughly two months before shit got real and then the world would no longer revolve around us as teenagers. We would be responsible for a daughter. Danny and I would have to have jobs and work all day to support ourselves and her. We would be so tired after a long day of work that we would come home and stay awake long enough to cook dinner and eat together as a family before tucking her in and then collapsing in bed just to wake up and start over again the next day. I didn’t feel like I was in for a rude awakening, but it was definitely going to change my entire life more than it already had. I was just hoping that I could handle all of the pressure.