Seeing as I posted about Chris and Emily, and their decision to not go through with a planned termination, I thought it made sense to post the actual scene… so here you go… the scene in which characters completely changed the path of my story.
(you can read the post here)
Emily awoke from what had been a very deep sleep and immediately couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Rolling over she expected to melt into the warm wall of Chris’s chest, instead she was met by the feeling of cold sheets.
Where the hell was Chris?
Worried that something was wrong she got out of bed and walked out of the bedroom, surprised to see a line of light under the closed hallway door. She walked down the hallway and opened the door to find Chris sitting on the couch, a blanket around him, something in his hands.
“You okay?” Emily whispered as she walked toward him. The light in the room was dim but when he looked up at her she could see his eyes were red.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” Chris replied quietly, taking the blanket off his lap and changing positions so she could sit between his legs and rest back against his chest.
“You didn’t,” she reassured him, adding, “I woke up and you weren’t there, had me a bit worried, that’s all.”
“I couldn’t sleep, thought my tossing and turning would wake you up and I wanted you to have a good sleep,” he told her. It was only when he wrapped his arms around her she realised it was the strip of ultrasound photos he was holding in his hand. Her heart sunk.
“You thinking about the baby?” Emily could feel herself blushing furiously as she asked.
“Sorry, I know I shouldn’t.” Chris sounded ashamed and let the strip of photos drop from his hand. Emily picked them up and looked at them.
“Why shouldn’t you?”
“Because I’m a guy and I’m not meant to think about babies,” he sighed.
“Well whoever made up that rule is stupid,” Emily tried to lighten the mood, not quite sure where their conversation was going. Part of her hoped it’d end there, part of her hoped it’d continue.
“I just- seeing the baby today- it, I don’t know, it was more emotional than I thought it would be,” he tried to explain. “I knew it would be weird to see the baby, but I didn’t think the images would stay in my head all day.”
“I am glad I slept the day away because I know if I’d been awake I’d have been the same,” Emily told him, glad to know he felt the same way she did.
“I didn’t think it’d be so tough,” Chris sighed and Emily moved from between his legs, repositioning herself so she was able to snuggle up to him. She was glad she had invested in a huge corner couch, there was enough room for them to lie comfortably, side by side… it was also a great sex couch, but that was beside the point.
For a few minutes they lay in each other’s arms with the blanket over them, but sensing Chris needed to talk, she resumed the conversation. “I dreamed about the baby a lot last night.”
“I haven’t so much been dreaming about it as day-dreaming about it.” Chris’s voice was quiet and he sounded surprisingly vulnerable.
“Want to talk about it?” Emily didn’t want to push him.
“I got into bed and all I could imagine was us going to sleep in our bed and being woken up an hour later by a crying baby,” Chris admitted, continuing, “and I imagined sitting with you while you fed him, then changing his nappy while you went to get a drink of water, us kissing him before putting him back in his bassinet and getting back in bed ourselves.” He didn’t stop there though. “Then I was thinking about the three of us taking a walk through the botanic gardens, baby sound asleep in the pram with a cozy blanket over him, us sneaking a peak at him every couple of minutes just because we could.”
She was floored. She had no idea Chris had been thinking that way, no idea at all. What shocked her more was that the image he painted in her mind made her smile and, at the same time, made her heart ache. They could never have that, well, not with the baby in her belly anyway.
“Last night I dreamed the three of us were at the beach,” Emily told him, adding, “our little guy looked so much like you, he had your eyes and your smile, his hair colour was the same and he even had the same faint smattering of freckles as you do.”
“Sounds nice,” Chris said sadly and Emily nodded.
“It was nice,” she replied and it wasn’t until she felt tears rolling down her cheek that she realised she was crying.
“I am sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything, the last thing I wanted was to upset you,” he sighed.
“No, it’s okay,” Emily told him, “I think it’s important we talk about it.”
“I still feel bad though, I know you’ve made your decision, and now I feel like I’m emotionally blackmailing you to change your mind, or something” Chris sounded miserable.
“Do- do you want me to change my mind?” Emily asked, caught off guard.
“It is your decision baby, and I told you I’ll support you whatever you decide.” Chris’s did a good job of avoiding directly answering her question.
“Chris, I need to know, I need to know what you think, what you want.” Emily felt panicked.
“Let’s just go back to bed,” Chris suggested.
“Chris, no. I need to know what you really want… do you know how guilty I’ll feel if I go through with the abortion and you tell me six months later you wanted the baby? Do you know how shitty I’ll feel if you suffer emotionally because you actually wanted our child? I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if something I did made you sad, or made you depressed, and what happens if you resent me because of it? What if you decide you can’t be with me because I am a constant reminder of what could have been? What if we go on to have other kids and you can’t stop thinking about the fact they could have had an older brother? What if we-”
“Fine, I want the baby,” Chris exclaimed. “I try not to, I try to remind myself of the financial cost, of the emotional cost, of the way our lives would change, of the added responsibility, of the dirty nappies, the crying, the teething, the fact we couldn’t just drop everything and go away for a weekend, the fact your parents are going to hate me without even giving me a chance, the fact we couldn’t travel together, that your plan for life after uni will completely change.” He took a breath before continuing, “I don’t want to, but all I can imagine is you, me and our little guy, all the milestones, all the laughs, watching the little dude growing up, being a family, having our own place, baby clothes strewn here, there and everywhere, what our cars would look like with a babyseat in the back, taking the little guy to work with me when he’s bigger, letting him draw on us so he can pretend he’s being a tattooist.” His voice was breaking now. “I feel guilty as hell about it Emily, because I don’t want you to do something just because I’m romanticising it, but then I think about going to the clinic with you and how heartbreaking it’ll be to know the baby is gone. I have never felt so fucked up in my life, so petrified and excited and happy and sad and worr-”
This time it was she who cut him off. “I don’t want to have an abortion, Chris.”
Before any other words could come out, before she could tell him she’d convinced herself she wanted an abortion because it was what everyone else would tell her was best, before she could tell him what she really wanted was to be a family, she started crying. Chris held her tightly and she felt all the stress that had built up over the past few days melting away as the tears flowed.
“Can I please take you back to bed now?” Chris whispered and Emily gave him a teary smile.
“Please, I need bed, I need sleep, I need you,” Emily replied and Chris stood up from the couch.
“Come on then.” Before she could stand up, Chris swooped her up from the couch and she moved her arms around his neck, feeling slightly drunk as he carried her through the lounge and down the hall toward her bedroom.
She giggled as he lay her down on the bed and didn’t stop until she had sat up and taken off the t-shirt she’d put on earlier before going to find him. He undressed and got back in bed beside her, she instantly found her way into his arms, sighing happily when he gently kissed her neck. Emily was far too exhausted to even think about having sex, but it was certainly nice to feel Chris’s lips against her skin and to have his warm body pressing against hers.
“I love you,” Chris whispered, for the very first time.
Emily didn’t hesitate. “I love you too.”
They shared a sweet kiss, but both knew it was time for sleep. What a weird early-morning it had been for them. Emily had woken to find Chris wasn’t in bed, and now here they were, snuggled up, both having said ‘I love you‘ to each other, for the first time. More than that though, they had made the decision to continue with the pregnancy, to take a huge leap and become a family.
So Chris wouldn’t see her crying for the fiftieth time in the last five days Emily rolled over in his arms so her back was to his chest. His arm snaked around her waist as was usual when they were spooning, but this time his arm wasn’t draped haphazardly over her waist; his hand was protectively spanned over her lower belly, the simple gesture saying more than any words could.