I entered the office later that day, practically clinging to my purse as if it was my only hold to life itself. Its near noon, and Im glad to see the office is semi-vacant, lunch hour was my Godsend today. Somehow as I walk toward my desk, I can almost feel eyes on me, and yet I know no one is looking. Youre paranoid, Dana. Nobody knows. Nobody knows youre pregnant.
I approach my desk and find Mulder at his computer, staring intently at the screen. As I drop my purse on my desk with a gentle thud, Mulder looks up with a smile.
"Level 14, Scully," he replied, then appears concerned. "Are you feeling better?"
The question is caring and gentle, yet at that very moment tears threaten to escape my eyes.
"Yes." A short answer, one Mulder doesnt look completely satisfied with, but it will have to do. Im not going to talk to him now. The walls have ears. And in the FBI, they have more ears then you can count.
Yes, maybe I am a little paranoid. After working with Mulder for six years, I have picked up a habit or two. But now I have a secret that right now is threatening to take away all of my control. Control has always been something I was proud of. Thats why it hit me hard with the cancer. It was in control. But I didnt let it control me. I wasnt going to let a little thing like being pregnant make me fall to pieces.
Ha! Since when have I thought being pregnant was a little thing?
Mulders looking at me now, and all I can see the concern on his face. Mulder, please dont ask whats wrong. Not today.
"Scully, are you sure you are okay? Maybe you need some more time off."
I breath a little easier. At least he didnt ask me what was wrong. I force myself to smile. "Im fine, Mulder," I reply and get the urge to kick myself for using the same-old tired sounding line I always use. That we both always use. Its become something of a joke for us.
He nods. "So it was just the flu?" he asks casually as he turns back to the computer, which was now displaying a message saying he had mail.
"Yes," I lie, "Its all gone now." Oh, Mulder if only you knew. If only I could tell you. But not yet. But I will.
I sit back in my chair and watch him open his mail. Somewhere in the fantasy part of my brain, I imagine a child with the same hazel eyes and sense of humor. I can feel myself smile at the thought, but then questions come along with it.
Does Mulder want to be a father?
What if I tell him and he never wants to talk to me again?
And then a very paranoid question. Was my getting pregnant was part of "their" plans?
I distractedly turn on my own computer screen and shove the thought onto a dusty shelf in my mind. That way I wouldn't have to think about it. Won't have to face it. Damnit, Dana, I curse myself. I have to think about it.
Mulder's so engrossed in his e-mail that he doesn't notice my disposition and for once I'm glad he's not the most incisive person in the world.
I'm pregnant. The sentence echoes in my head, like a bad dream. Yet, it's not a bad dream, it's a miracle. Yes, my own little miracle. Growing inside of me. The thought sends a warm feeling through my body and down to my toes.
A girl. That's what I want. A little girl. Parents aren't supposed to have preferences, they just want a healthy baby. But me, secretly I hope it's a girl. One who can look at me with her father's eyes and tell me about how she thinks the kid down the street is plotting against.
Yes, it would make the perfect Hallmark commercial.
I have to stop daydreaming. This is real life. And Hallmark-style lives don't happen to women who are afraid to tell the one person who matters most that she's pregnant. No, it doesn't happen at all.
I remember a time when I was little, and woman's daughter next door died. All my neighbor would do was cry, and flowers with sympathies were always arriving at her doorstep. Yet my mother said sadly that it was a blessing in disguise. I just looked at her like she was crazy. She smiled, and told me about how the little girl was very sick, with terminal cancer (a memory that now still chills me a little) and that it was only a matter of time before she died. She was suffering greatly, my mother said, and it was better she was gone now then later, because now she was in heaven with no suffering. I had nodded my head and tried to understand. A blessing in disguise. I glanced toward Mulder, who was now back into his Doom™ game. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise. But it was hiding itself well.
I let my chin rest in my hands and knew I wouldnt tell him today. Hell, I probably wouldnt tell him tomorrow. And the day after that was iffy. What was I scared of?
Well, let me just check my check list.
Oh, yeah. There are a lot of things to be scared of. A hell of a lot. And I didnt even mention telling my mother.
Or worst yet, telling my brother.
Scared wasnt the word I was looking for anymore. Terrified was more like it.
I shifted through my paperwork, and let my mind wander into work. It was so much easier to avoid something rather then face. God knows I was doing a lot of that lately.
A week and a half later
A week went by, a last faster then I thought it would. The morning sickness was horrible, and almost every morning I found myself waking up and running to the bathroom to make it in time. Nobody told me it would this bad.
I had begun to eat Saltines®, and whoever said they help morning sickness is sadly mistaken. I felt like throwing the entire box of crackers into my bedroom wall, and came very close to it one day. Regardless of the fact that the crackers werent helping, I continued to consume them; Id gone through a box in about 3 days. At this rate I should probably buy stock in the company.
It was now the weekend, another Sunday was here. Another Sunday where the first thing I did was puke my guts out. Lovely.
Mulder still had no idea. I hide things well, I must admit. I could hide my bad days with the cancer from Mulder, and I could hide my morning sickness from Mulder. When he commented on my coffee breakfast my response was, "Maybe I am picking up some of your bad habits."
I wasnt going to tell him until it was absolutely necessary. Like when my water broke and it was time. Who are you fooling, Dana?
A glance at my clock told me it was 9:33 a.m. I walked out of the bathroom for the third time this morning, and took a long look toward the Saltines sitting on my bureau. Could I go through another month and a half like this? Or worst yet, longer? My medical school brain told me that morning sickness usually disappears by the third month, but that same brain told me that that wasnt always the case for all women.
Im cursing my "never follow the crowd" way of thinking right now.
I hear a knock at my door.
My mom. Shit.
I love my mom, I really do. Its just that I wasnt really up to company right now. But that wasnt even the reason I didnt want to see her. The reason is my mother has the knack for guessing whats wrong. Like guessing Im pregnant. And knowing my mothers track record, shes usually right on the money. Thats why I couldnt lie to her as a kid. As an adult, I learned that avoiding her was the only way to successfully lie.
Well, I dont think that plan is successful anymore.
The knock repeats itself and I stare out my bedroom door, not wanting to rise from my position on the bed.
Ok, shes getting impatient now. That I know. And my thoughts are confirmed as I hear a key turn and my door open.
"Dana?" This time the voice comes my living room. The thought of facing my mother right now is bringing the nausea back.
"Dana, why didnt you answer?"
She is now standing in the doorway of my bedroom, looking at me sitting on the bed. Her eyebrow raises slightly in the position I have given Mulder on more then a million different occasions. He wonders where I get it from.
"I guess I just didn't hear it," I answer lamely, knowing my mother will see right throw it.
I'm right. "Dana are you feeling all right?"
She looks at me with the typical mother look, a combination of love and concern. I love my mother, I really do, but right now I really wish she wasn't here.
She pulls the mother act. Walks into my room and before I know it her hand is on my forehead. I think of the groans Mulder is always giving my I do this to him. Maybe I should learn to be a little easier on him. But then again, it's usually a big illness with Mulder. I'm just pregnant. Not sick. Just pregnant.
"Mom." I push her hand away. "I'm fine."
Her eyes narrow at me, as if she is studying every inch of me before coming to her conclusion.
"Dana, for someone who is usually up and ready by 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday, you are not fine."
I don't answer that. Damn my early bird attitude. It's not something I wanted to adopt. My father was an early bird, a military man usually is. I was up every school day by 6, and on the weekends, it was rare for me to sleep past 8. No wonder my mom thought something was wrong.
"Mom, I'm fine really," I try to reinforce. Her eyes scan the room and fall on the object I probably should have shoved into the drawer. The Saltines.
I can see her mind working. She's putting the pieces together in her head. I look down at the floor, another bout of nausea filling my stomach. This time I'm not sure it's from the morning sickness or from the fact that my mother is close to discovering what's wrong with me. I don't know which feeling is worse.
She walks over to the bureau and picks up the box. The scene when she discovered I had cancer is running through my head. I half expect her to yell at me. I know she's knows. Or at least suspects. The nausea is having a field day with my stomach.
She doesn't yell. In fact she doesn't say a word. She's silent as she walks toward the bed and sits next to me, the box of Saltines in her hand.
I look up like a little girl whose been caught with her hands in the cookie jar.
My stomach does a flip-flop and this time I'm not going to get around it. I stare at the bathroom door and now I am going to find myself inside of it in the near future and then my mom will have all the proof she needs.
"Dana, are you-"
I don't hear the rest of her question as I quickly get up from the bed and rush into the bathroom. I know that it's not lady-like and goes against all the manners my mother have talk me to interrupt a conversation by running off to vomit. But she's my mother and she's seen worse.
Though I can't think of a worse right now. In fact I can't think of anything right now. I'm too busy throwing up the Saltines I ate.
I hear the door turn and now my mother is coming in. Memories of her holding but my hair as I got sick as a child fill my mind as I sit back against the wall. But I'm not a child anymore. Still she bends down and brushes the stray hair out of my face.
"How far along are you?" she asks, as she sits down next to me. That's what I love about my mother. She's always there for me even when I don't want her. But now that she knows, I'm glad she's here. Funny how your mind can do a 360 in just a few minutes.
"About seven weeks," I reply, staring toward the wall. I know what question will follow.
"Who's the father, Dana? I didn't think you were seeing anyone."
That's right, Mom. I'm not seeing anyone. That's how my life has become. Screw my partner and yet I'm still not "seeing" him. That's my life.
I don't answer her, I just let my gaze fall to the floor.
"It's Fox, isn't it?"
Damn, my mother. She's good. The FBI should think about hiring her. Mulder would be pretty impressed how much she can get out of people with a simple "mother" look.
I nod, quietly.
"How long have you been dating?"
Dating, Mom? Gee, I think we forgot to do that somewhere along the line.
"We're not, Mom."
She looks at me with a look of confusion mixed with disappointment. I think somewhere in my mothers head she has always been trying to fix me up with Mulder. Well, I know thats not going to happen. Especially when I cant get enough courage to tell him hes going to be a daddy.
And that Im going to be a mommy.
"Were not," I tell my mom, and let out a long sigh. Thankfully my mother seems to understand. She gets up, knowing I will tell in good time, and offers a hand up off the floor. I may not be able to lie to my mother, but avoiding subjects in my middle name. As I walk back into my bedroom and sit on the bed, my mom asks another question.
"Does he know?"
My mom sure knows which questions to ask today.
"No." I answer the question truthfully and quickly, hopefully she will give me time to come around with the details. I have to give her credit; she seems to back off a little.
"I think Ill make you some tea. It helped me when I was pregnant. Why dont you take a shower," she says and leaves me for a minute. Im grateful for the time to pull myself together.
Thirty minutes later I join my mother in my kitchen, my hair wet, but feeling much better. My mother has even started breakfast.
"Mom, I dont think-"
"Its just toast, Dana. Not too much."
My mother knows me better then myself sometimes.
She sits down at my table, looking as if she has a hundred questions. I dont feel like answering a hundred questions. She seems to know that, too.
She watches me sit down and pick at my food. After taking a long sip of her own coffee, she looks at me, with a look a couldnt really describe. A disappointed look yet there was something else. I expected my mother to be a bit disappointed. I knew she expected to get grandchildren after a man had put a ring around my finger. Well, I always was different. Her face holds something more than that feeling, though. Its almost as if she was ..smiling.
She catches my stare and takes another sip of her coffee.
"If it helps any Dana, congratulations," she says with a small smile, that turns into something Ive never really seen my mother do before: grin.
"I want a granddaughter, Dana. Bill and Charlie both gave me boys, and while theyre great, nothing beats a little girl."
My mother wants a girl? The happiness and acceptance of that sentence hit before the reality did. I somehow pictured my mother acting differently, and Ive learned she continues to surprise me. My mother, full of surprises.
A little girl. That would be nice. Now Ive got two votes, counting my own for a little girl. Hopefully Mulder will chime in and make it three. They say men all want sons, but I think Mulder is a little different. I bet hed make her daddys little girl and-
What the hell am I thinking?? Ive havent even told him. He may not even want a child.
Im back to square one. Who was it that said pregnancy brought a world of joy? To me, it was bringing a world of problems. I cant really blame it though, I was the one who got myself into the situation.
But it takes two to tango.
But Im going to be doing the tango alone unless I tell him. And everyone knows the tango is easier with two people.
My mother looks at me with another look of concern.
"Dana, are you sure you are all right?"
No Mom, Im not. I open my mouth to answer, but nothing comes. Call it hormones, but I end up doing something I havent really done in front of my mother in years. I sit there and burst into tears.
End Chapter 3/?
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