Scott lived life in a fog after Josie’s announcement that she was pregnant. He went to court mechanically and, if not for his notes, would have forgotten he had met with most of his clients.
Clarice had been a planned baby. That Clarice didn’t have any siblings had also been planned.
Come to think of it, everything in Scott’s life had been planned well in advance. He took his time and thought through his decisions and mapped everything out in advance. He saved his money and paid cash for nearly everything.
Then he had become a vampire quite unexpectedly, and nothing had gone as planned since.
Josie got in the habit of waking up earlier in the afternoon so she could go ahead and get the puking out of her system, then she came to work, as robotic and mindless as Scott. Whereas she had always been the one to keep him on track, sometimes he had to remind her to do something two or three times. She was always exhausted by the end of the night. When she stayed the day with him—which she had started doing again—she curled up on his couch and usually cried herself to sleep before the Today show came on.
Scott wished he could make her feel better—both physically and mentally—but he had no idea how to do it. His own mental stability was questionable at the moment.
So, needless to say, he was brutally jarred on Thursday afternoon when Josie mentioned them going to her brother’s house the following evening.
“What? We are?” Scott asked, snapping out of his stupor.
“Yes, it’s Hanukkah. Remember? I told you it was the first Friday of December.”
Scott’s eyes grew wider in panic. “I have to meet your parents tomorrow?”
“Yes. We planned this over a month ago,” she said, sounding annoyed.
“Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind,” Scott snapped back, “like, you know, that whole unplanned pregnancy thing. That kind of threw all my plans out the window.”
He immediately regretted his words when he saw Josie’s lower lip quiver.
He pulled her into a hug. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“I didn’t plan this either, you know,” she said, her voice heavy with tears.
“I know, sweetheart. I know.” He sighed heavily, feeling weary. The last thing he wanted to do was battle with Josie’s parents in the middle of their current crisis. He felt lost—like he was wandering in circles, unsure of which way to go.
Sometimes he thought about the possibility of an abortion, but he felt uncomfortable bringing it up to Josie, in case the mere mention of it caused her to have a come-apart; after all, he knew her to be somewhat religious, and he wasn’t sure what the Jewish position on abortion was. Besides, he wasn’t sure if he was okay with the idea, anyways. Besides the usual moral questions, there was an extra layer of: was Josie’s pregnancy some kind of miracle? There had been times when he had wished he had more children; in fact, he had daydreamed on more than one occasion of what life might be like if he wasn’t a vampire and he and Josie could have a child or two together.
Now he had his wish. So why did it bother him so much?
Maybe it was because he and Josie weren’t married. Scott would admit he was rather old-fashioned; the idea of having a bastard child made him cringe inside. He felt like a failure as a man—that he hadn’t done right by Josie. Her pregnancy was his fault. He led her on with false promises of sterility.
And when he had time to worry about anything else, he worried about the baby’s health. Could Josie even carry it to term? Would it be grossly deformed? After all, he had been exposed to a strong dose of radiation; that mutated your sperm, didn’t it? What if the baby had three eyes or no face or an extra arm? And even if it looked normal, would it really be normal? What if it was a vampire, like him? Would it drink blood instead of milk? What if it never aged, like him? Could he and Josie handle having a newborn baby for the rest of their lives?
And what was he going to tell Clarice? The thought of confessing to her that he and Josie were having a baby out of wedlock started his cycle of shame all over again.
He tried to look at the situation as glass-half-full. Compared to the unexpected news that they were expecting, Josie’s parents—whatever their treatment of him—would be a walk in the park; they couldn’t be worse or more devastating. And he and Josie had a uniting factor in the face of her parents’ attempts to split them up: a baby’s future was on the line.
Somehow that twisted logic made him feel a little better. He gave Josie a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll get through this,” he said, with renewed resolve.
“The baby or my parents?”
Read the entire series–The Bloodsuckers: Vampire Lawyers of Middle Tennessee