I woke up in a strange place, my kids not in sight. I became frantic as I searched for my phone, keys and purse. I looked at my phone and saw it was morning, I had slept through the night and didn't call my kids. I heaved a sigh and looked at myself to see I was in a guy's shirt that went all the way to my knees. I looked around and found my shirt and skirt from the show and quickly put them back on. I grabbed my sandals and quietly moved to the front door. I unlocked it with a resounding click and made my way to the Nanny's car. I got in and programmed my home address into the GPS and made my way home.
I kicked myself for the break down, for losing track of time, and for not being the woman my husband fell in love with. I slammed my hand into the steering wheel for not being the strong woman I had always been, the one that kept it together. As I got to the apartment I saw my van was there and I parked next to it. I slowly got out of the car, adjusted myself and fixed my hair, ran my fingers under my eyes to fix my makeup and then walked upstairs to the door. As I unlocked it I heard the soft sound of music and knew that Laura was on the computer. I heard a muffled giggle then a sigh. I opened the door to see Laura doing her work, the Nanny cleaning up one hell of a mess from breakfast and all of the other kids gone.
She smiled at me and nodded. "How was the shoot?" I looked at her and grunted before I moved up the stairs and into the bathroom. I heard Laura get up off her seat and rush after me as I walked into the bathroom and shut the door.
I heard a soft knock. "Momma, can I come in?" I turned the water on and got underneath it before it had the chance to turn warm.
"Come in Laura." My mind was reeling from everything, the shoot, the story and the feeling of complete loss that engulfed me after I relived a memory that belonged to my Harley.
I heard Laura put the toilet seat down and I waited. It seemed she too was waiting, but I languished in the silence.
"Momma, what happened? We got a phone call last night from a woman named Grace saying that you broke down, but one of the cast members was going to let you rest at their place."
I peaked my head around the corner and looked at her. "Grace called you?" She nodded her head. "The shoot was fine, they were pranking the bride along with six marines. I was to escort one into the wedding and reception so that they could play the joke on him. Everything was going fine until the bride came over to me and told me some of the stupid things they had done. I told her about the time that Harley's platoon tied him upside down on the truck and I lost it. I felt guilty for having fun, I felt guilty that I haven't given you guys enough and I felt like it should have been me and not him, he was always stronger."
She shook her head frantically. "No momma, it shouldn't have been you or him. It happened and there is nothing we can do but pick ourselves up and move on. Yes, daddy is gone, no he isn't coming home, yes we all miss him but we are strong for each other just as you are strong for us. The pain won't ever fully stop, but it will lessen to the point of being bearable. We won't ever forget momma, but we have to make new memories and celebrate the time we had with him. It has been six months momma and still you don't cry. Let the walls down and realize that to us you are superwoman, but you can't do it all."
I looked at her for a moment, a shocked expression on my face and she laughed. I turned off the water and grabbed the towel she held out for me. "When did you get so smart?"
She smiled at me and giggled. "When I screwed up my life and got pregnant. I have figured out a few things momma and thought about a lot more. I was going to talk to you, but you need to be in your right mind for it. Now go get your gym clothes on and have fun. I am going to finish my schooling and then I have to go to the doctor."
I nodded and went over to the closet and grabbed my grey capris and a grey tank. I grabbed my gym bag that I never unpacked and headed for the door. I looked back over my shoulder at Laura and smiled. "I will be back in more than enough time to take you to the doctor hun, I promise."
She nodded and waved as I headed out the door to the gym that was three doors down. I paid the fee and put my bag in the locker room. I grabbed out my Zune and headed for the elliptical machine. I turned it all the way up and rocked out as I moved. I increased my speed until I was at a comfortable pace. I stayed on the machine for about two hours before my alarm went off on my Zune telling me it was time to get changed and take Laura to the doctor. I headed for the locker room when I bumped into someone. I put my hand out and apologized, then looked up to see a very familiar face.
"Hi Sid, how are ya?" His masculine features grasped my attention and I had to tear myself away.
"Hi, Andrew right?" He nodded his head. "Good to see you again."
He looked at me for a moment and then smiled. "Are you doing better, it seemed like you were distressed yesterday. I don't like a damsel in distress."
I giggled. "I'm fine, just some memories that were better left buried for now. Did you guys have fun after David pulled the prank on you?"
He nodded. "Yea, but Parker didn't come. He watched out for you the whole night, he is sleep deprived today or he would have joined us. By the way, I have to tell you, you have a gorgeous body and I would love to see if your skin would rival the softness of my sheets."
I giggled. "I bet you say that to all the girls, and I actually have to go. I have to get my girl to the doctor. I promised her I would take her, so if you don't mind excuse me." He quickly moved out of my way and I quickly changed and then ran out the door with my gym bag. I made it just in time to see Laura coming down the stairs and heading to the car. "Sorry I got held up, one of the guys from the show was in the gym and wanted to ask how I was."
She smiled at me. "No problem mom, now let's go see if you are having a grandson or daughter." I nodded and put my arm around her shoulder, leading her gently to the car. We got in and headed off, I saw Andrew come out of the gym with four other guys and I smiled to myself. If only my daughter knew what I did, she would have strung me up alive.
We arrived at the doctor's office twenty minutes early, I was too eager to sit still and I began to fidget with my phone, tap my fingers and then tap my foot. Laura started to laugh as I started to pace, then they called her name. We headed back into the ultrasound room where they took her weight, blood pressure, temperature and measured her "bump." As they put the gel on her stomach I started to feel giddy and looked at her for a moment before I grasped her hand. The sound of a heartbeat assaulted the silence of the room and I couldn't help but stare at the screen.
"Alright, well you and the baby look at healthy as can be, now let's see if we can get a pink or blue answer." Laura gripped me tight and I felt how anxious she was. I watched as the tech moved the wand into position and cried as I looked up at the screen. Laura looked at me and then at the tech.
"Momma, why are you crying, everything's alright isn't it?" I nodded to ease her worry and then showed her what I was looking at.
She was speechless and I smiled as I looked into her eyes. "It's a girl, you're gonna have a baby girl." She smiled as it slowly started to sink in. The tech started to rub off the gel and then quietly left the room. I looked at her worried expression, but held her hand tightly.
"Momma, I have been thinkin, and thinkin, and thinkin and I came up with a solution to our problem, but you have to agree on it. Do you think you can fully hear me out before you answer?" I was worried but I nodded. "I still have two years of school left before I go to college. Yes, I could finish them up online and start college early, but then there is the problem of Claudia. I am going to be a teenage single mom in college with no income and no way to raise her. That is why I was thinking that maybe you could raise her as your own, I could go to school and make something out of myself. Momma I am not ready yet and I know it, I am not even close to ready to being a mother. I would still help out with her of course, but I need a chance to do something with myself."
I looked at my little girl, little no longer. Such a grown up choice she had to make, that I couldn't help but respect her wishes. I nodded my head. "There will be rules Laura Marie Reynolds, do you understand?" She nodded. "If you ever feel like you are ready and you want to have her, the choice will be there for you, but I don't want you to think for one second that I would keep her from you. Each choice you make is going to affect what happens, do I make myself clear. Mess up once, and get yourself in this situation again and she is all yours, you will bring her to school with you, and you will be a full time mother, do I make myself crystal clear?"
She nodded. "Momma I don't want to be in this situation again, I don't want to hear of the word sex until I am thirty at least. This is an experience that I just wasn't ready for, I jumped way ahead of myself and I won't make that mistake again." I nodded and held her close as she got off the exam table and we headed out to the car. Things in my life were changing quicker than I could plan for. I was starting to wonder if I could even keep control or if it was all going to spiral into something I just couldn't do.