Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*

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39. ✗ thirty-seven ✗

SHAY

 

19 July

 

Crimson, sticky blood sticks to every inch of my skin, burning it like fire. Sweat trickles down my brow mixing with the blood and large salty tears that drip out of my eyes like water from a faucet. I feel like I’m leaking, that the blood, sweat, and tears are seeping out of me until nothing is left.

 

My heart pounds in my chest. The pressure crushes me from the inside out as I run as fast as my long legs can take me. The tight fabric of my dress constricts my legs so that my sprint is slower than possible and squeezes my body to the point where it’s hard to breathe. I try to run faster, my bare feet scraping against the rocky pavement as my hands claw at the fabric, hoping it’d rip.

 

My throat burns as the tears cascade down my damp cheeks and screams leave my lips. The sticky red substance that covers the front part of my body releases an irony stench that burns my nostrils. I don’t even know where the blood came from, it just appeared.

 

I can feel him getting closer. I can hear his sickly laughter and sing-song-y voice, growing louder and louder. His face flashes in front of my eyes, causing me to jump lightly as if he had actually jumped out in front of me.

 

I scream for him to stop, my bare feet bringing me to a halt as my hands cover my eyes from seeing him.

 

“Stop running.” He growls from behind me, two arms encircling around my waist until I’m pulled against his filthy firm body. A vulgar shriek leaves my lips before I crumble to the ground, my knees bruising and splitting open upon the hard impact. My body claps against the floor like a sack of flour as choked sobs leave my mouth. “Shut up!” He booms, causing me to curl up into a ball as his arms flip me over effortlessly.

 

I try to fight. It’s hopeless.

 

His hands grab my flailing arms before his knees straddle my waist, his hips meeting mine as he sits down upon my body, leaving me helpless against his strength. I feel weak, like there’s a chemical in the air causing my body to fall heavy beneath him. His eyes bead into mine, the darkest shade of brown I’ve ever seen growing black like the night. His chapped lips curl into a snarl, showing off his yellowing teeth slightly hidden behind his short beard.

 

“Why all these tears, my dear?” I try to scream as his hand makes contact with my cheek, fingers caressing the swollen, damp skin, but my mouth seems sowed shut. “Shay.” He sing-songs, my eyes going wide as the voice no longer belongs to that horrific man that ruined my life.

 

The emerald eyes meet mine; the irises that I once fell deeply entranced now shaking me to the core. I silently sob as my eyes roam his familiar body. His shirt is missing, showing off the black ink that covers his skin. The birds, the old timey ship, the butterfly, the mermaid, and the cursive writing and everything else littered across his body mocks me. His hair cascades down over his face, brown curls identical to those I once loved running my fingers through.

 

“Harry stop!” I cry out. He smiles evilly down at me taking both of my hands in one large hand of his. His other hand is still resting upon my cheek, but it begins to slide downward. His fingertips tickle the skin of my jaw, then my neck, then my chest. I cry out as my eyes watch his hand, traveling lower. I nearly lose it when I realize I’m no longer wearing anything other than a lace bra and matching panties. “Harry, please. Stop!” I cry out, fighting against his grip but my body still feels heavy. I’m losing this battle.

 

“Uh-uh.” He says to me, his hand now placed on my hip. His thumb digs into my protruding hipbone as a scream finally leaves my lips.

 

Once I start screaming, I can’t stop.

 

I scream for anyone to hear me. I scream to the people on the streets, walking past the entrance of the alleyway, but they don’t hear me. They continue to walk, like they don’t hear my screams or see me struggling.

 

They’re completely oblivious to what’s happening.

 

 “Stop squirming so much, Shay.” He seethes out; his once comforting voice now creating fear deep inside me. I’ve never been so scared to hear his voice until now.

 

“Why are you doing this to me?”

 

“You know why.” He accuses, seeming to grow angry at the mere question. I want nothing more to shrivel up and die, but getting out of this situation won’t be that easy. “It’s not mine.” My brows furrow, his words not making a lick of sense. “It’s not mine, Shay, we both know that.” I stare up at him, his green eyes shifting from anger to a bit of sadness, before turning black with anger again.

 

“What’s not yours Harry? What?” The tears streams down my cheeks as I scream up at him, my eyes shifting back and forth between his angry ones.

 

“The baby, Shay, the fucking baby.” He screams, his voice echoing throughout my swirling head.

 

“Harry, please, let me go!” He shakes his head, his long hair falling in front of his eyes for a brief instant. I wince out in pain as his thumb digs deeper against my bone, fears the bone will crack any moment surface my mind.

 

“I can’t be with you if it’s not mine.” He says to me, my glossy eyes meeting this again. His black pupils seem to take up his entire eye as his fist around my hands tightens and so does his grip on my hip. “So, I’m going to make it mine.”

 

“Stop, Harry!”

 

“You deserve this for what you did to me!” He snarls, his voice echoing in my head as I cry.

 

“What are you talking about?” I cry out as his fingers dig deeper into my skin, surely bruising. I scream, my hands no longer incased in his, but my arms fall like limp pasta to the ground. I can’t move them. “I didn’t do anything to you!” I cry, squeezing my eyes shut to try and block out his voice and the pain coming from my hip. “But I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Harry. Please, don’t do this; it’s not my fault. I’m so sorry.” His breath tickles my neck before his lips make contact with my skin, but they feel different.

 

They don’t feel as soft as they once did. They don’t feel as plump as they used to. The slight stubble above his top lip doesn’t exist.

 

My eyes spring open and I jerk my head to the side at Harry’s voice in my ear, a sob leaving my lips at the person sitting on top of me. He sits tall, his body weight weighing my hips down. I can’t fathom to look at him any longer, the image of him creating the tears that pool on the dirty street below me.

 

His green eyes are full of amusement and anger. The smug grin on his lips is evident. His brown hair hangs perfectly off of his head and he’s now dressed, no longer without a shirt. His suit looks out of place in this alleyway. The pressed fabrics making him look like he should belong at a dinner party, not in the side alley on some London street in the middle of the night.

 

“Harry.” I beg as I look to where his hand is hovering over, budding closer and closer to where I don’t want him. “Stop, please.”

 

“Shay!” He calls out, laughing hard at my despair.

 

His head falls back as his laughter echoes around us. My ears are ringing painfully, my screams getting lost in the high pitch frequency that his laughter is causing.

 

“No! Stop!” I plead with begging eyes.

 

“Shay!”

 

“STOP!”

 

“Shay!”

 

My eyes spring open, meeting Harry’s concerned gaze hovering over me. Images of the nightmare he’s woken me up from flash across my vision, his position in the dream corresponding that of his current position. I yelp loudly, pushing his body off of mine as I jump out of bed. I hear his body hit the hardwood floor on the other side of our bed, but I don’t care.

 

The tears pour from my eyes as they dart around the room.

 

The sun shines in through the blinds covering the balcony doors, no longer hidden away by the moon’s dominance. The bed is unmade, the duvet and sheets thrown about messily. Our clothes that we’ve been too lazy to pick up off the floor after long days at work still remain where they were last night.

 

I look down to my body, a thankful sigh leaving my lips as I take in the sweat-ridden vest and sleep shorts. Harry stands from the floor on the side of the bed, eyes wide and hands raised. His bare chest rises and falls heavily, the tattoos that taunted me in the nightmare seeming to have returned to normal.

 

A choked sigh leaves my mouth as the realization sets in. It was only a nightmare; a scary, realistic nightmare. I rest my hands on my knees and bend down to breathe, hoping to get air back into my lungs.

 

“Shay?” I hear Harry from across the room, concern evident in his voice. I can’t find my own voice to tell him I’m all right and that I just need a moment. “Love.” He tries again, this time his voice now closer to me as his feet come into view whilst my eyes are trained at the floor. “Baby, are you okay?” I nod my head as I breathe slowly.

 

It was just a bad dream. It’s not happening again. I’m safe.

 

“Yeah.” I cry out, standing tall and looking Harry deep in the eyes. The tears continue to stream down my cheeks silently as I just look over at Harry. His eyes scan my face a few moments before he takes a hesitant step towards me. He bites his lip, standing a couple steps away seeming afraid to even touch me. “Harry, I’m fine.” I say, my voice faltering. I look down to my trembling hands and sigh heavily, resting them against my stomach in hopes that they’ll stop.

 

“Come here.” Harry finally breathes out, taking the last step towards me before wrapping me up in his arms. I begin to cry again once I’m in his embrace, the feeling so familiar, yet so foreign in the moment. “One minute you were peacefully asleep, then the next I find you struggling about, screaming, and crying.” He mutters before pressing a kiss to the top of my head. “You scared the shit out of me, love.”

 

“It was awful.” I admit, sobbing into his chest.

 

My tears must feel cool against his bare skin, but he doesn’t seem to mind them being there. He pulls away only slightly; cupping my face in his hands making me look up at him. His green irises stare back at me, flashes of the nightmare coming into view. I squeeze my eyes shut as a strangled sob leaves my lips.

 

I hadn’t had a nightmare in weeks; months even, not since my attacker was put in jail. They were always terrifying, causing me to wake in sheets of sweat and tears streamed from my eyes.

 

The nightmares were all the same. I’d be in that moment again. He’d be chasing me or the nightmare would begin by already being caught. He’d always torment me with his words and I would have to endure his torture all over again, but in the nightmare I wouldn’t be knocked out like I was. His words would sting, his hands would grope, and then the worse of it all would happen right before my conscious eyes.

 

The attacker would always morph into someone I’m close with, usually Harry. Even from prison, this man is still ruining my life. Usually, telling the attacker, whether he looks like Harry or not, to let me go would do it. I’d awake just as his figure had vanished, like me telling him to let me go was what brought the nightmare to an end.

 

This one was different.

 

Harry was even scarier in this nightmare. He’d never been so cruel before. It was even more disturbing as to what Harry was saying to me. His words swimming around in my head on a loop.

 

It’s not mine.

 

It’s not mine, Shay; we both know that.

 

I can’t be with you if it’s not mine.

 

“Talk to me.” Harry says, his lips brushing against the case of my ear. His words jolt me out of focusing on the words said by him in the nightmare.

 

With a heavy sigh, I nod my head against his chest. I don’t know if I can actually tell him or not, but I need to try.

 

“Okay.” I answer, before overthinking it. My eyes scan to the alarm clock on the bedside table, a mental sigh leaving my lips. Saved by the bell. “But, it will have to be after the appointment.” Harry looks to the clock too, an explicit word leaving his lips. Like usual, we’re already running late.

 

“Shay,” Harry begins off by saying, staring down at me with concern etched across his features, “I can’t let this go, not this time. I shouldn’t have let it go in the past either.” Harry says to me as I wiggle my way out of his grasp to gather my clothes from the closet. “You need to talk to me.”

 

“I will.” I promise, rummaging around in the large closet for something nice to wear to the appointment today. “Just not right now.” I beg, pleading with sad eyes as I clutch my clothes to my chest.

 

We stand across the room from each other, our eyes trained on each other. Harry stares me down for a few seconds; his jaw slightly clenched and hands on his hips. “Please, let’s just forget about it for now. I promise we’ll talk later.” I can tell he’s thinking, honestly I thought he’d at least put up a verbal fight. I’m surprised he hasn’t.

 

“Okay.” I sigh lightly. I honestly don’t think I’d be able to share with him the events that occurred. I know it will crush him. “But Shay as soon as the appointment is over and we’re back here, we’ll talk about this. I’m not letting this go.” I nod my head and motion towards the bathroom.

 

“I don’t expect you to.”

 

&&&

 

Expecting parents, sitting silently in the packed waiting room, surround us. Harry’s checked us in and now we’re left to wait. We haven’t spoken more than ten words to each other since parting our ways to get ready for the day. I can tell its bothering Harry not to have spoken about the elephant in the room as of yet. It is completely obvious.

 

He keeps biting his lip and glancing over at me when he thinks I’m not looking. He’ll begin to say something, only to stop mid-sentence or get interrupted by a phone call or someone around us, and then he won’t continue on with what he was about to say. I feel awful knowing that this is bothering him so much, but I’m hoping this appointment will take his mind off of it for a while.

 

“Are you excited?” I say after a few beats of silence between us. Harry looks up from his disposable coffee cup, looking slightly dazed by my question.

 

“Hmmm?” He hums out, not having heard my question. I sigh and reach over the armrest of the chair, taking his hand in mine before giving it a squeeze. It feels as if the roles have been reversed since the last time we were here. I was the one out of it last time, now he’s dazed and confused. I’m still a bit emotional today, but it’s more excitement then it is anxiety.

 

“I asked if you are excited.” I repeat, eyeing him carefully as I give his hand a squeeze.

 

“Oh, yeah, of course I’m excited.” He says, a genuine smile forming on his lips as his eyes scan from my face down to my hidden abdomen. I’m still not showing, unfortunately I just feel and look very bloated like I’ve had a big lunch. I honestly can’t wait to show. “Are you excited?” He counters, giving my hand a squeeze. I nod furiously at his question.

 

The last appointment I was a nervous wreck, but now I’m full of pure happiness and excitement.

 

“I really am. I wonder what he or she is going to look like now. I read that by twelve weeks the baby will actually be fully formed. We can see all his or her organs, limbs, and his or her bones are going to be in place.” I say excitedly to Harry as I place my hand on my bloated stomach. Harry smiles over at me before bringing his coffee cup up to his lips. I pout lightly, watching him drink his morning coffee.

 

Before getting pregnant I was a big coffee and tea drinker, now I’ve had to lay off the coffee and only stick to some teas. Harry is constantly on my case about coffee. One day he caught me sniffing his coffee before I gave it to him and he thought I was going in for a taste. He nearly burst. So whilst he sits comfortably drinking his coffee, I sit uncomfortably with a full bladder from the water I’m made to drink.

 

“Don’t even think about it, Shay.” Harry says, not evening look over at me from his cup.

 

I sigh heavily and pull my water bottle out from my handbag.

 

“No, that’s fine. I’ll just stick with my water.” I answer, crossing my legs to get a bit of relief as I take a large sip of the cool water.

 

“You okay there?” Harry asks, clearly amused by my wiggling state.

 

All this talk and thoughts about water has got me wanting to run to the bathroom. But I can’t. I read that in order to get the best view of the baby you should drink plenty of water up to an hour beforehand. The website also said that I shouldn’t over do it with the water, but I can’t help having my bladder squished by a growing baby.

 

“I’m perfectly fine.”

 

“Do you have to use the toilet?” I glare over at Harry, who simply shrugs. “Just go.” He says to me, almost laughing. I shake my head and look around the room at all the other pregnant women. About half of them are fully showing and sitting like nothing in the world is bothering them.

 

“I can’t.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because.” Harry now fully laughs, gaining a few heads to turn around us. I softly slap his upper arm, regretting the quick movement because of my bladder being jostled around. “I can hold it until we’re done.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Harry.” I warn, biting my lip. He holds up both hands and sends a cheeky grin my way. He knows I can’t stay annoyed at him with a face like that. “I’ll be fine.” I assure him, smiling widely and praying that I can really hold it for another thirty minutes at the most.

 

Harry and I fall into another beat of silence and I take the time to look around the room at all the other couples.

 

We’re one of four couples sat here, and then there’s a couple women here by themselves. I’m glad Harry’s been with me both appointments, I’m not sure I would have made it through the last one without him. A couple of the women look as if they’re ready to give birth at any moment, whereas a few others look to be about where I am, maybe another month along. Those women’s partners look completely bored out of their minds, well most of them.

 

“Shay Nichols.”

 

We both stand at the announcement of my name by the same nurse who we had met the last time we were here. I think her name is Leigh, or something like that. Harry grabs my hand in his as the two of us walk out of the waiting lounge.

 

“How are you getting on?” Leigh asks kindly as soon as we enter one of the examination rooms.

 

It’s very similar to the last room we were taken to. The bed is at the edge of the room with a similar ultrasound machine hooked up beside it. Unlike the last room, this room is painted a light blue instead of brown. I shake the mushed thoughts to the back of my head and turn towards Leigh.

 

“I’m very good. Thank you.” I say, handing Harry my handbag before I turn my full attention to Leigh.

 

We go through the same routine as before; Leigh weighing me, measuring my height (though I don’t know why’d it would change), taking my blood pressure and pulse, and finally asking a bit of questions about how I’m feeling and if there’s anything disconcerting that she should let Dr. Surrey know of. Leigh doesn’t stay long after I’ve finished answering her questions and goes off to gather Dr. Surrey for us.

 

Harry and I are left in silence whilst I hop up to sit on the bed, wincing slightly at the uncomfortable pain in my bladder. I should’ve gone when Harry suggested. Harry’s standing at the edge of the room with my bag hooked around his arm as he stares at his phone and absentmindedly brings his coffee up to his lips. He looks very focused on his phone that I don’t know if he realizes Leigh’s left.

 

“Hon,” I sing-song lightly, gaining the attention of the man to the side of the room.

 

Harry looks up to where I had been standing before noticing that I’ve moved on to the bed. He grins and stuffs his phone away before coming and standing beside me.

 

“Sorry, did you just call me hon?” He questions and I nod happily.

 

“You have so many pet names for me and I don’t have a single one for you.” Harry grins at me as he wraps his arms around me and rests his chin against my shoulder. He continues to grin as he stares down at my lap where my fiddling hands rest. “What are you smiling at?” I ask Harry. There’s a prominent grin on his lips before he swoops down and pecks me on the lips. I smile into the kiss and happily kiss him back.

 

“Just excited.” He answers in short, the shit-eating grin upon his lips growing.

 

“That all?”

 

“Well, you gained three kilograms, that’s like point-eight more than you were supposed to.” He adds, quirking his eyebrow up. I roll my eyes and laugh lightly. Only Harry would be excited about my weight gain.

 

He’s been pestering me since the last appointment to gain weight like the doctor recommended. It was easier said than done though. As much as I ate, I couldn’t seem to keep much of it down, until recently. Instead of getting sick a couple times a day, it’s gone down to around once a day, sometimes less than that, thankfully.

 

“Or maybe I’ve just got three kilograms of wee in me right now.”

 

“Ew.”

 

“Yes, Ew, but very true!” I exclaim, trying not to laugh in fears that I may have an accident. That would be extremely embarrassing. “I guess I should be thanking you for shoving food in my face then.” I say, changing the subject slightly. He simply shrugs and chuckles lightly as I nudge his side.

 

It’s true though, he wakes me up early for breakfast; then gets me out of work for a rather large lunch, usually Chinese take-away (my favorite, obviously); and for dinner he’d prepare a very large dinner for only two people.

 

“I guess you should be thanking me.” He says, raising his brows. “I’m waiting.” He says after a few moments of silence.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“You,” He leans down and pecks my lips, “are,” another kiss, “so,” another kiss, “very,” yet another kiss, “welcome.” And lastly another lasting kiss to my lips.

 

He giggles lightly and pulls away, resting my forehead against his.

 

“I love you.”  I laugh out, looking over into his green eyes.

 

“I love you too.”

 

Our peaceful moment only lasts a couple milliseconds later until we’re being interrupted, much like last time.

 

“Knock, knock.” Harry and I split apart at the sound of Dr. Surrey knocking on the doorframe before opening the door and smiling over at us. “Hello, you two. You alright?” She asks Harry, shaking his hand.

 

“Yes, you?”

 

“I’m wonderful!” She exclaims, washing her hands quickly before joining me at my bedside. “Leigh tells me that you’ve gained a bit of weight, which is wonderful!” I’ve forgotten how cheery she is since the last time we’ve been here. “Continuing on with weight gain during your pregnancy, you should expect to gain about half a kilogram each week until the birth.” I find myself holding back a groan.

 

Hopefully the morning sickness will go away and then I’ll be able to gain weight easier. But I also groan thinking of how much food Harry is going to be stuffing in my face for the remainder of this pregnancy.

 

“How’s the morning sickness been?” She wonders as she starts up the ultrasound machine.

 

“Better. I had been getting sick a couple times a day, but now,” I look to Harry is if he’d know the answer better than I, “I’ve only gotten sick maybe once a day at the most.” Harry nods along with what I’m saying, agreeing with that. I’m glad that I no longer have to get up in the middle of the night to get sick, I’m sure Harry doesn’t mind either.

 

“Great! You’ll see that the morning sickness will occur less and less as the process goes.” Thank God. “Well, if there are no big concerns as of now I feel we should get on with this process then,” Dr. Surrey says walking over to the counter at the edge of the room. “I just need a quick urine sample.” Harry and I both glance to the doctor with wide eyes.

 

“Urine sample?” I ask.

 

“Yes, we just need to check for any indicators in the urine that may lead to possible gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, or even just a simple UTI.” I gulp nervously. Dr. Surrey must notice the discomfort on my face because she takes a step closer to me and rests a hand on my shoulder. “Honestly Shay, I know you’re nervous, every first-time mother is. This is just standard and it won’t hurt.” She says chuckling lightly.

 

“So, she does the sample here or…?” Harry’s voice alone brings a tiny smile to my lips. I don’t know if his goal is to make me laugh, but it works. “What? It’s an honest question!”

 

Dr. Surrey and I break off into a fit of laughter at Harry’s pure look of confusion. Did he really think I was going to wee in the corner?

 

“No, she’ll head to the loo real quick.” Dr. Surrey holds up the plastic cup and I reluctantly grab it, forcing the frightening reminders to the back of my head.

 

Simple urine sample is nothing to worry about, surely. I’ve done them many times in the past.

 

“Do you need me to go with you?” Harry asks, scratching the back of his head.

 

“No. I’ll be right back.” I say, letting his hand slip from mine.

 

The trip to the loo only takes a few minutes for my need to urinate made it easy to do my business quickly. It also made the trip back to the examination room pretty awkward, though I don’t think it’s anything new for people around here to see a woman carrying around a sealed plastic cup filled with wee. God, what I wouldn’t give to be anybody else.

 

“Here ya’ go.” I mutter lightly to Dr. Surrey once I enter the room again. I send a embarrassed look to Harry, whose sat at the edge of the room, drinking from his coffee cup slowly as he watches the exchange happening between the two of us.

 

“Perfect.”

 

“Feel better?” Harry asks, coming over to my side again once Dr. Surrey leaves the room for a quick moment to deal with my sample. I roll my eyes and nudge his chest lightly.

 

“Much better, thank you very much.”

 

“That was a lot of wee.” I squeal at his words, not expecting that to come out of his mouth.

 

“Why’d you look?” Harry laughs and shrugs his shoulder.

 

“Its just wee.” I shake my head and try my best not to laugh out of embarrassment. “We live together it’s going to be sooner or later before-“ I hold my hand up, pressing it against Harry’s lips to shush him.

 

“Please don’t finish that sentence.” Harry takes my hand in his and narrows his eyes at it.

 

“Are your hands clean?” I roll my eyes again and push him back slightly.

 

“If you don’t shut it, you’ll be waiting in the car.” I threaten, trying my best to look serious. I don’t think I could actually kick Harry out. I need him too much.

 

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

 

“Ace, now shall we see the babe?” Dr. Surrey asks happily once she has returned. I look to Harry briefly before nodding excitedly.

 

Harry helps me lie down on my back and adjust my clothes so that they won’t get anything on them. My cheeks blush when Harry’s warm hand briefly skims across my bare skin of my stomach whilst he rolls down the top of my trousers. The moment doesn’t last long before Dr. Surrey’s cold hands meet my stomach to tuck a sheet of paper in my pants so the gel won’t make a mess of my clothes.

 

“Apologies, this may be cold.” The gel is cold as she squirts a bit on my bare stomach, but it doesn’t bother me much. I raise my hand and look to Harry, who gladly takes my hand in his before pulling over a stool and sitting upon it see the screen easily. “Alright, let’s see the baby.” Dr. Surrey says to us, but her eyes remain trained on the screen as the probe runs along my bloated stomach slowly.

 

A jolt of anxiety rushes through me whilst Dr. Surrey looks for the heartbeat, another real jolt of anxiety in a matter of ten minutes. I had been really good at reading the pregnancy articles and pushing all the scary things that could happen to the back of my mind, but right now as she searches for the heartbeat I begin to feel a bit ill. The urine test alone made me want to hyperventilate, but now I feel as if I may vomit.

 

What if she can’t find a heartbeat? What if something goes wrong? What if there’s something wrong with the development of the baby? What if…?

 

“Hey,” I pry one eye open and look over to where Harry is sitting. His face is a mere inch or so away from mine and there’s a comforting smile on his lips, “you good?” He questions in a low voice. I open my other eye and flicker my gaze to Dr. Surrey. She’s deep in concentration, which doesn’t help how I’m beginning to feel. Why is she concentrating so hard? Can she not find the baby? “Shay.”

 

“Hmmm?” I hum, afraid if I speak my voice will crack and show how scared I am.

 

My eyes have now welled with tears, filled to the brim seconds away from falling. I blink a couple times trying to rid the tears from my eyes, but it only results in them gliding down my cheek.

 

“Awe, love, don’t cry.” Harry coos, softly standing from his chair to lean over me and press a kiss to my forehead. His words alone spring a new round of fresh tears from my eyes for some reason.

 

“Shay, are you alright?” Dr. Surrey asks, halting the motion of the probe against my skin. I nod my head, wanting her to continue. “Are you feeling unwell or in any pain?” I immediately shake my head and take a deep breath.

 

“No, no I’m sorry.” I apologize, wiping the tears away. “Just a bit emotional and nervous.” I say, taking a deep breath as I place my hand over my eyes. “Harry, I’m fine.” I assure him, giving his hand that intertwined with mine a squeeze.

 

Silence surrounds us again, but the erratic thumping that emits from the machine to my right quickly diminishes it.

 

“Oh thank God.” I breathe out, bringing my hand from my eyes.

 

“This happens, Shay. If the baby gets in an odd position it creates a few issues, nothing to worry about.” She assures me, her eyes trained on the screen. “Happens all the time.” She says, her eyes scanning to me mine for a second. I nod my head, feeling so relieved just to hear his or her heart beat sound throughout the small room.

 

“Baby, you’ve got to calm down.” Harry utters to me, pressing his lips to my temple as he hands me a tissue. I nod my head, knowing he’s right. I’m a nervous wreck, again. I need to take up mediation and maybe yoga, I hear that’s good for the baby and it’ll be good for my stress levels. “I love you.” He whispers in my ear, causing me to smile.

 

“150 beats per minute, that’s absolutely wonderful!” Dr. Surrey cheers, turning the monitor towards us.

 

A gasp leaves my lips at the mere sight of the baby on the screen.

 

Last appointment the baby was a tiny bean, with a little sprout for a head and little sprouts where his or her appendages would be growing. But now, now the screen is revealing to me an actual baby.

 

The head is in full formation and I can make out the nose and the eye sockets just from the black and white proof before me. I can see his or her little legs, kicking about briefly before resting.

 

“Oh my God.” Harry’s the first to acknowledge any emotion aloud, but it speaks to what is racing around in my head as well. I can’t believe the difference from the last ultrasound until now; it’s remarkable.

 

“I can’t believe this!” I exclaim, laughing lightly as I watch the baby in my stomach kick his or her legs around a bit more. I can’t believe he or she is moving inside me and I still can’t feel anything. It’ll be extremely weird when I do though. I can’t imagine the feeling.

 

“Well your baby is quite an active little one.” Dr. Surrey says, chuckling a bit. I can’t help but feel the tears brimming again, my emotions now flooded with happiness. I’m astonished by the movement this baby still has, almost doing somersaults in my stomach. “Here you can see that he or she is wiggling their little toes.” She says, pointing to the baby’s foot.

 

A large than life smile appears on my lips at the sight. The toes are extremely tiny, but you can make out them wiggling lightly.

 

“Oh yeah, he or she is definitely going to be a footballer.” Harry says, “Which is brilliant because I love football.”

 

“Or maybe a dancer, something less contact than football.” I suggest, biting my lip a bit.

 

“That too.” Harry agrees, shrugging before smiling down in my direction.

 

I smile back up at him as he leans down for a quick kiss. Yet again our smooches are interrupted, this time by the sound of a phone going off.

 

“Harry, I told you to turn off your phone when we got in the hospital.” I scold lightly, looking to the screen to make sure the sound hasn’t in some way startled the doctor or the baby residing in my person, but both look completely unfazed.

 

“I did.” Harry mutters, scrunching his eyebrows before picking up my bag off the floor and reaching in, pulling out my ringing phone. “Hmmm, look who was the one who didn’t shut off her phone.” I bit my lip and grin up at Harry.

 

“Oops? Pregnancy brain.” Harry chuckles and rolls his eyes, glancing down at the screen. His eyes narrow momentarily as a large huff leaves his lips. Clearly, he’s not pleased with the caller. “Who is it?” Harry immediately declines the call and stuffs my phone into my bag, shaking his head. Harry acts like nothing’s just happened as he sets my bag back down, but I continue to stare until he let’s up.

 

“Your mum.”

 

I do my best to hold in the immediate groan that wants so badly to leave my throat. She has the absolute worse timing.

 

“I bet your parents are excited for the news.” Dr. Surrey says, grinning to Harry and I without breaking eye contact with the screen before her. I blink slowly and bite my lip, trying my best not to begin to cry again and begin to curse to myself. She couldn’t be more wrong.

 

“Very.” I lie, laying flat on the bed before letting my eyes waltz back to the screen.

 

I can’t help but think about my parents.

 

Would they even want to know? Would they be incredibly mad if I just showed up one day with my son or daughter in my arms? Would I regret not telling them in the end?

 

They are awful people, yes, but they’re still my parents. They raised me until I learned to rebel and they gave me my love of art, I’ll give them that.

 

I can’t forgive them for raising me the way they did or trying to screw up my life. I can’t forgive them for shutting me out of their lives when I needed them the most. I can’t forgive my mother’s behavior at the restaurant what seems like ages ago. I can’t forgive my father for just allowing me to walk out of his life.

 

But, without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be this confident woman that aspires for greatness. Without them telling me no, over and over again, I would never have taken a chance and done something for myself. If they hadn’t steered me in the other direction I wouldn’t have joined university and agreed to the internship at Styles Inc. Unfortunately, without the decisions they caused me to make I would have never met Harry.

 

“Well, actually they don’t know yet.” I say aloud. Harry’s head snaps in my direction, eyes widening slightly, trying to figure out where I’m going with this. “We wanted to wait until after the first trimester just in case something happened. But we’re planning on telling them this week.” I blurt, making my decision final.

 

I’m going to tell my parents, and soon before I begin to overthink it.

 

“We are?” I look to Harry, whose facial expressions I just can’t quite gauge. He’s probably going to be pissed, but this is my decision. I’m carrying the baby.

 

I didn’t have a good relationship with my grandparents before they both died, but I wish that I had. If my child can have a decent relationship with his or her grandparents then maybe they’ll have a better home life. I will love them with every bone in my body and grandparents are just two more people to share their love. I hope.

 

“Yes, honey, we are. Today.” 

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