Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter 20

The day was passing quickly and Charlotte hadn’t heard from Jeremy at all. She had hoped that he wasn’t so upset with her that he wrote her off. She couldn’t bear to lose him again. Too much time had passed for him to disappear again.

She’d tried calling him more than once and each time she got his voicemail.

It was almost 11 pm when her house phone rang. She ran to pick it up.

“Hello? Hello?” she asked, hoping to hear the voice she longed for.

“Charlotte? Honey, what’s wrong? You sound out of breath,” came back a familiar voice.

It was her mother. She talked to her mother for about an hour, relaying to her the past couple of days.

She’d always been close to her mom. She was the only other person that knew how Charlotte felt about Jeremy back in the day. But she was a little shocked at Charlotte for letting things with Jeremy go as far as they could. She understood, but she was still shocked.

After she talked to her mother well into the night, she climbed in bed.

There was really nothing left for her to do. She didn’t want to push Jeremy, but she also didn’t want him to go away. She decided that she would try calling him one more time.

Just as she went to pick up her phone, it started ringing. She stared at the name that showed on the display. It read “Jeremy Cell”. Her heart skipped a beat as she hit the button to answer the call.

“Hello?” she said quietly into the phone.

“Lady? Were you sleeping? I’m sorry to wake you. I just needed someone to talk to and you were the first person I thought of,” he replied.

“No, I wasn’t sleep, just getting ready for bed, but I’m up to talk if you need to. I’ve been trying to reach you all day. I wanted to apologize for earlier. Terrance is…”

She stopped when he cut her off.

“You don’t have to explain. I had no right to get jealous and upset like I did. You are single and free to do whatever you want to. It was wrong of me to feel like you were mine and to show my ass, sort of speak, today. I should be the one apologizing. I’m sorry, baby. Oh, wait, maybe I shouldn’t call you that anymore. Charlotte, I mean. Terrance seems like a nice dude. He better make you happy, though. If he doesn’t, then I have every right to kick his…”

He stopped when she cut him off.

“Jeremy!” she said very sternly. “Terrance is not my boyfriend. That’s what I was going to tell you. He’s a friend, well, an ex that came to visit me. We used to date back before he went to Iraq. We were just catching up, nothing more, nothing less.”

Jeremy was quiet for a minute. Inside his heart, he was celebrating. That news brought the first smile to his face since he heard the news about Robin. But it disappeared when he remembered where he was and what was going on.

“Jeremy, are you still there?” Charlotte asked after he’d been quiet.

“Yeah, I’m here. I’m fine, it’s not me that’s the problem, though. Robin was admitted to the hospital earlier today. Charlotte, I need to talk to someone. I can’t believe this mess. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

4 hours earlier

“What are you talking about? What’s going on?” Jeremy asked Greg.

Jeremy was not facing Greg. He was getting very agitated and was starting to wonder what this guy’s deal was. From the way he was talking, he sounded as if he was trying to cover up something.

“Look, Greg, I understand that your company doesn’t want this, whatever happened to my wife, to get out or whatever, but I think I at least have a right to know what’s going on.”

He looked back and forth between the doctor and Greg, waiting for an answer.

Greg took another step forward.

“Look, I’m really sorry that this has to come out like this, but I just don’t see any other way right now.”

He took a deep breath.

“You might want to sit down for this,” he said motioning towards the chairs.

Jeremy crossed his arms and just stared at him.

The doctor took that moment to interject.

“Mr. Johnson, we really need to get this underway. Your wife and the baby need to get their treatment started. Now.”

Jeremy started at the doctor in disbelief. He had no idea that Robin was pregnant. He couldn’t help but smile at the idea of his wife carrying a little Jeremy or Robin.

“My wife and baby? Doc, she’s pregnant?” Jeremy asked.

“Yes, but she’s having complications. Right now, she does not need blood, but we need to take the proper precautions.”

He holds out his clipboard to Jeremy. He informs him that they need to run some tests first and then they will go from there. Jeremy quickly signs the paperwork and hands the board back to the doctor.

“Nurse,” the doctor calls out, “let’s get to work.”

Jeremy was so excited that he’d forgotten about Greg standing for a second. When he turned around mid-“YES!”, he almost bumped into Greg, who was standing there with a really sad look on his face.

Jeremy looked at him hard. Again, Greg was making him feel extremely uncomfortable. He decided he just needed to get to the bottom of whatever it was Greg had to say.

“What is it that you wanted to tell me?” Jeremy asked.

“Again, I think you should sit down,” Greg requested.

He and Jeremy moved over to the white chairs lining the waiting room.

Greg, again, took a deep breath.

“Look, this is not the most appropriate time to tell you this, but I don’t have a choice. Robin is not just my co-worker. She’s also my girlfriend.”

Greg leaned back and waited for Jeremy’s reaction. He watched as Jeremy’s eyes went from light brown to black. He stood up when he saw the change.

“What did you just say to me? Please tell me you’re joking,” Jeremy said.

He remained seated and, on the outside, very calm. Inside, there seemed to be a fireball of rage building inside him.

“Look,” Greg said from the opposite side of the hallway, “she wanted to tell you about the baby, but she didn’t know how. She wasn’t sure if the baby was yours or mine. It’s been stressing her out for days now. And today, we were, um, at lunch and she went to the bathroom and came screaming. She was bleeding,” Greg finished.

Jeremy looked up from where he was sitting with his head in his hands when he heard that.

“What? What do you mean? What happened?” Jeremy shot question after question at Greg.

“I don’t know. We’d just finished, um, eating and she got up off the bed to use the bathroom. When she opened the door, she was standing there with it dripping down her leg. Then the next thing I know, she passed out. I called 911 and… here we are.”

Jeremy didn’t know what to say or do. Sure, he was mad as hell at the fact that his wife’s boyfriend was the one that was relaying to him what happened to her and he was irate at the fact that his wife had a boyfriend to begin with. But he couldn’t bring himself to feel the need to lash out. Basically, on that point, he was nonchalant. He couldn’t help feeling that way.

“Has she woken up since then?” he asked Greg.

Greg looked at Jeremy again. He expected him to react totally different, which shocked him.

“No,” he coughed. “Not that I know of, she hasn’t. I was freaking out before you came because they wouldn’t tell me anything because I wasn’t her husband. I’m so worried. I can’t lose her.”

Jeremy looked up at Greg. He noticed that Greg wasn’t talking to him like he was nervous about his reaction anymore. It was weird, but Jeremy felt sorry for Greg. And in that moment, Jeremy realized that he wasn’t in love with Robin anymore. He cared about her, sure, but he wasn’t in love with her. It was no use pretending anymore.

“Mr. Johnson,” a nurse walked up to him and said, “your wife is in and out of consciousness, but the doctor thinks she’s going to be okay. She’s doing a bit better now.”

Jeremy stood up and Greg came rushing over.

“Can I see her?” Jeremy asked.

“Once the doctor clears her for visitors, I’ll come back and get you,” she responded.

Jeremy breathed a sigh of relief. He couldn’t believe it. He found out his wife was in the hospital, found out that he was possibly going to be a father, met his wife’s boyfriend and realized that he wasn’t in love with his wife anymore, all within the course of a single hour.

He wasn’t sure that he could take anything else, but there was one thing he just had to know.

“Greg,” Jeremy called.

Greg jumped a couple of miles, it seemed, when he’d heard Jeremy call his name.

“How long have you and Robin been… you know?”

Jeremy wasn’t sure that he wanted to know the answer to that question, but he knew he had to know.

Greg didn’t answer right away.

Physically, he matched Jeremy pretty even. It was just that Jeremy had such a cool demeanor about him in a situation that Greg expected him to blow up in, that it had Greg shaken. He didn’t know what to expect.

He felt like he owed it to Jeremy to answer his questions, since everything was out in the open, but he just didn’t know what to think.

“Oh, only a little while,” he said, downplaying things.

“How ‘little’ is a little while? Two months? Five months? What?” Jeremy asked.

Greg started to sweat. He wasn’t prepared to explain everything today. He just wanted Jeremy to know the most important details, to help him get through today.

“A few months after you two got married.”

Jeremy stared at Greg for a long time before standing up. He walked past Greg and out the main doors of the emergency room. He didn’t know where he was going, but he needed some air.

He paced the sidewalk back and forth trying to calm down. He felt so stupid because he didn’t pick up on anything for the past four years. He was so angry with himself for not realizing it sooner.

After about 15 minutes, he went back in to the waiting room.

“Look, man,” Greg started, “I hate that this had to be dropped on you like this. If I could do anything to make it better, I would, but it is what it is.”

Jeremy didn’t even acknowledge him. He went over to the coffee machine and got a cup. Then he went back to the same white chair he’d been sitting in and sat down. He stared off into space as he sipped the hot drink.

Greg watched him from the other side of the room, but didn’t say another word to Jeremy.

About an hour later, the doctor came out and told Jeremy that Robin was going to be fine and that she just needed to get some rest. As for the baby, it was going to be fine, also. The doctor also informed Jeremy that he could go in and see Robin. He jumped up and followed the nurse down to her room. Once he was standing out of it, he put his hand on it to push it open. He hesitated for a few seconds, not sure what to say to her.

Once he stepped inside, he almost cried at the sight of her. The beautiful woman that he saw leaving the house that morning was gone. Robin looked as if she’d been hit by a truck. Her skin was very pale and hair, which was normally kept very neat, was a bird’s nest. She looked very weak and fragile and Jeremy almost visibly cringed at the sight of her.

He walked over and stood next to her bed. She gently turned her head towards him as he reached down and took her hand.

“Hey, you,” he whispered. “How are you feeling?”

She smiled weakly at him.

“I’m okay, considering,” she croaked. “I’m so sorry, Jeremy. About the baby. I took a pregnancy test and I wanted to tell you, but I just wasn’t sure. I had an appointment scheduled for this Friday to confirm it, but…” she trailed off.

“Shh,” he quietly scolded. “It’s okay. I know all about that. It’s okay.”

“You know? How?” she asked.

He looked at her with a smile. She smiled at him, too.

“Sweetie, don’t you know?” Jeremy asked.

She looked at him as if to visually ask what he meant.

“Greg, your boyfriend, told me,” he said through a grin.

Robin’s smile faded. She looked up at Jeremy with an “I’m caught” look on her face.

“Jeremy, I don’t… I…” she stammered.

“Shh, Robin. It’s okay. Everything’s going to be fine, you know. If that’s my baby, without a doubt, I will be around to raise my child. You already knew how much I wanted… doesn’t matter. I just wanted to come in and let you know that. I’m gonna head home now. Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll tell Greg its okay for him to come in now.”

Jeremy patted and then let go of her hand and headed for the door. He ignored her calls of his name from behind him and walked out of the room.

“She’s all yours, buddy,” Jeremy said to Greg as he walked past.

Greg stared after Jeremy as he walked back out the main doors of the emergency room.

Charlotte let out a deep sigh. She couldn't believe the story he'd just told her.
On the one hand, she was pleased at the outcome. She knew that was evil of her, but she couldn’t help her emotions. On the other hand, she knew that he was hurting and she wanted to be there for him.

“Jeremy, why don’t you come over and we can talk in person,” Charlotte suggested.

“I’m sorry, Lady, for earlier. I jumped to conclusions and I shouldn’t have.”

“Forget about that,” she told him. “Come over and we can talk.”

“You know what? I think I’m gonna just chill tonight. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”

He didn’t wait for an answer before he hung up the phone.


azulkrema said...

Oh wow I sure hope the baby isnt Jeremy's =| but idk then again it might be interesting if it was his!!! Either way the story is great...Thanks for post cant wait for the next one

mum said...

I have to remember to breathe when reading these posts. That was awesome! So much for Robin having her cake and eating it, too! mum