Josh sat next to me and wrapped his arms around me. He held me as I cried in silence for a few minutes. When I finally looked up to speak, I told him I felt the need to explain the situation, but he cautioned me not to. He said that if it made me uncomfortable, he didn’t need to know, but if I needed advice, he could give it.
“I don’t know whose baby it is. And I can’t lie to my husband and raise a child without knowing for certain that it’s his. And I hate Derrick; I don’t want him to be the father and if he is, I don’t want to raise it with him. I want a baby with my husband, but I’ve gone and screwed everything up,” I cried. I was distraught, but knew that I had to man up. I was no victim in this game. Any situation I found myself in, I was to blame. “If I had never lost you, everything would have been OK.”
Josh immediately interrupted me. “Stop, don’t talk like that. Things happen for a reason. Be strong and believe that this is all a part of your plan. Is this really what you want? It’s very permanent,” he said as he gestured toward the clinic.
I wiped my tears away and sat up. I thought long and hard before answering. I was almost certain it was the right choice, but to hear the word “permanent” made me second-guess myself even more. When I didn’t answer, he continued by saying that a child was a blessing from God. It was a beautiful life that could have a great future, no matter who was the father.
“Are you suggesting I have the child and lie to my husband?” I asked.
“No, I am merely suggesting that you remember there are other options. I know it seems like you are in a world of trouble, but this is a life we are talking about.” He looked calm, but his words were harsh. “Sometimes we have to take responsibility for our actions and make decisions that seem impossible. It’s a baby, Cassandra.”
“Maybe I made a mistake in calling you,” I said, feeling defeated. “I don’t need judgment right now.”
“You called me for tough love and that’s what I’m giving you. I don’t care what choice you make, but you need to stop acting like a victim. This is all your making. I just want to point out how badly you wanted a child before. And now you have one.”
“And I am also almost certain that it’s not my husband’s,” I interrupted. “I wanted a baby that is 100% my husband’s!”
“There are worse lies that people are forced to live with,” he added.
When I broke down, he held me tight and listened without interruption. “I’m so tired of lies, Josh. It all began with Derrick. You were the first victim and I’m done. I’m tired of lies, lies, and more lies. It’s my fault, I know. I have no excuse. But how can I raise a child with my husband knowing it’s not his? It will eat away at me. Plus, one day the truth will come out. One day I will be the bad one to this beautiful child. I’ve hurt enough people in my life. I don’t want to hurt an innocent child.” I talked all the way until my alarm set off. When it came time to decide whether or not to go through with it, I realized I knew what I wanted. I stood up and looked Josh in the eye. “I want what you have.”
“So, you’re not going through with it?” he asked cheerfully. I could tell he didn’t want me going through with the procedure.
“I’m sorry I dragged you into this, but I am going through with it.” I looked away towards the door and took a deep breath. As I started walking towards the door, I stopped and looked back. “I could never have the life you and your beautiful wife have if I start it off this way. I need to start over. Will you wait for me?” I asked.
“I’ll be in the lobby,” he said as he grabbed my hand and walked me towards the front. The walk seemed eternal. I felt as if I was walking to my death sentence. I knew my life would never be the same.