Luke paced the white tiles as he rubbed the back of his neck vigorously. HIs breathing was heavy, and with every word he spoke, the volume of his voice increased with the intensity of anger and frustration.
"Luke..." Rylie pleaded, hoping a miracle would happen and the past 10 minutes would be deleted from life. They were on the road to recovery, and their life was supposed to be long and unburdened together.
"You told me," Luke cringed his nose, and glared at Rylie with sinister eyes, "That what happened between you and Michael was over! That it wasn't coming back!"
Rylie felt the familiar, hot tears pour from her eyes as she knew there was no going back. "I didn't know I was pregnant..."
"Well you are..." Luke shook his head in dissatisfaction. "You're pregnant with my best friend's child...who is no longer with us...how do you expect me to feel?" Luke let out an exasperated gasp as he slumped back down in the chair. He held his head in his hands as he took slow, calming breaths. Losing his temper would be more than chaotic.
A sob escaped Rylie's mouth as she tried to stay calm too. Too much was going on, and she needed him to help her through it. "You think I want this?" she whispered.
Luke looked up, and met her with sincere eyes. "You don't have to have it..." he suggested, but that was out of the question.
Rylie crossed her left foot over her right in an awkward stance, and rubbed the tears off her cheek with her sweater sleeve. "I'm not getting an abortion if that's what you mean..." Abortion was a shameful thing. No matter how much Rylie didn't want the baby, she would never destroy something so precious and innocent. She loved kids and planned to have some, but years from now. She wasn't ready.
Luke stood up again, and walked over to Rylie. He grabbed her elbows, and pulled her even closer as he met her red eyes. "We have a life ahead of us...if you don't keep this baby...we can explore the world together, and create another life. A better one. " His voice was a major contrast to the yelling earlier. It was soothing. "If you keep this baby...I'm not sure if I can help you...I can't look at it and know it's not mine, Ry, you have to understand that."
Rylie didn't. It shouldn't matter what they faced as long as they faced it together. She understood how hard it would it be, but they were supposed to get through any obstacle sent their way. "So if I decide to keep it, you're just gonna leave me?" she accused. She shot him resolute eyes.
Luke stepped back, and slammed his hand hard against a granite table. His face turned a hot pink as he let out a pained groan. "Dammit, Rylie! What am I supposed to do?" he yelled, startling Rylie as she stepped back in fright. She had never seen him that angry. Ever.
"Just...don't do this." Rylie's tone was small. She was scared, taking gentle steps towards him. "You remember the first time we did this. It was a horrible two weeks, and we both did things we shouldn't have." She reached for his hand, and he allowed her to intertwine her small fingers. "We will get through this....together...we can get through anything together."
Luke looked down at her with a battle in his eyes. He touched her shoulder with his free hand, and the mood changed again. "I love you so much, and I know I could never leave you...but how are we supposed to take care of a baby?"
Rylie shrugged, but something clicked inside her mind. It was so sudden that she regretted the things she had thought and said. Her body flooded with relief as she thought of Michael. "Luke..." she said, and smiled with glee. "This baby is a good thing! Think about it." she placed her hands on his shoulders, and bore into his soul. "This child is the last remembrance we will have of Michael. This is the gift that will keep Michael's memory alive. When we look at it, we will see Michael, and know to never forget him." she nodded at him that it was a miracle. She wanted the baby. She needed the baby. It wasn't a curse; it was a wonderful present for them. Maybe it came a little too early, but it deserved a chance.
Luke nodded, knowing she was right, but his forehead let creases form. "But I'm not his father..."
Rylie knew how hard it would be for Luke to grasp everything. It would take time. He would raise him, and fall in love, but know Michael was the rightful parent. "Luke...we will raise this child, and you will be a wonderful father figure. We'll let the kid grow up knowing how great his father was. Michael will not go down in vain. He will not be forgotten."
"You're right..." Luke smiled at her. "We can do this..." he held her cheek in his hand as he leaned in, and they kissed, sealing the decision. They could do it. It wasn't impossible. They could raise a baby together. As Rylie kissed Luke, she couldn't imagine what Michael was thinking. She knew he was watching them from above, and how surprised he must have been with the news.
There was a knock at the door, and Rylie broke away from the kiss and rested her head on Luke's chest. She smiled warmly at Dr. Dangerfield as he reentered the room.
"I see you two have made up." he stated, offering a joyful expression towards the two. He sat a stack of books down beside Rylie's purse. "Now there's not any medication I can give you for being pregnant, so what I suggest is you read up on these pregnancy and parenting books because you have a long road ahead of you. You are keeping the baby, right?" he questioned.
Rylie nodded, and looked up at Luke. "Yes sir..."
Dr. Dangerfield nodded happily. He clapped his hands together in proud triumph. "Good! Now you are an ideal couple!"
Rylie's cheeks grew a rosy red as her heart warmed with the statement. She feared Luke and her wouldn't make it this time, but they can get through anything. They would never make the mistake of leaving each other again. They were stronger together.
"Okay, it is my duty to ask this, but is the real father gonna be involved?" Dr. Dangerfield took a serious tone of authority, addressing the more legal matters.
Rylie heard Luke gulp against her body, and she placed her hand on his chest to soothe him. "No..." she looked to the doctor. "Michael's gone...and he's not coming back."
She was thankful Dr. Dangerfield didn't ask anymore questions, and left them with another matter they had to attend to. "Alright...well I believe you have some family to tell the great news."
It would be an interesting discussion. Not only did Luke's family just meet her yesterday, but now she had to tell them she was pregnant. She also had to tell her father, and she figured he would not take the news well. Nor would her mother. Or Katie. Or the boys. Also, she had to notify Michael's family...because after all, it was his baby. She had a feeling she would get very close with that family too. She knew Liz would be disturbed with the fact it wasn't Luke's, and she knew she would still treat the baby as her own grandchild. She knew everyone would embrace the happiness, and everything would be alright.