“Hi, Tommy?” Nikolas said, as he entered Simone’s room. “Where’s your mother? Did something happen?”
“Oh, hi, Nikolas,” Tommy said, turning away from the window. With a smile he said, “They’re running tests on her. She woke up last night.”
Nikolas said, “Congratulations! How? What happened?”
“Last night, Gina and I came back here. We sat with Mama for a while and then, I walked Gina to her car. When I came back, Mama’s eyes were open and she kept whispering my name. Man, I think I woke up the entire floor,“ Tommy laughed, “I screamed so loudly. I think your aunt thought I had finally lost it because when she came in here, she had an orderly with her. I think she screamed louder than I did when she saw that Mama was awake. I’m surprised she didn’t tell you when you came in. She’s been telling everyone who walks by. So many people, I’ve never even seen before have stopped by.”
Nikolas laughed, “Yeah, that sounds like my Aunt Amy. She wasn’t at the nurses’ station when I came in, but I’m sure I’ll hear an earful later. I’m really happy for you, Tommy. Have the doctors told you anything at all?”
“Nothing,” Tommy sighed. “Grandmother is with her and she said she’ll let me know as soon as she knows something. Elizabeth and Lucky are here. They went to the Recovery Room to grab breakfast. They just left. Gina is on her way over, too. She almost screamed my ear off when I called her this morning.”
“This is really great news,” Nikolas replied. He was happy for Tommy, but his own worries troubled him. Suddenly, he felt like he was an intruder and he rose from the chair to leave.
“You don’t have to go,” Tommy said. He saw the expression on Nikolas’ face and said, “Is something wrong? You don’t look so good.”
“I don’t want to disturb you with my worries on such a good day for you. I think I should just go.”
“You’re not disturbing me. What’ s wrong? And why are you here on a Saturday morning? Usually, you and Dawn visit on Sunday. What brings you to the hospital today? Is it Dawn? Elizabeth said that she’s been sick. Was she admitted?” Tommy asked, becoming more and more concerned with each question.
“You’re right. It’s Dawn. She’s with Dr. Lambert, having a few tests run. She was sick again this morning and we decided that it was time for her to see a doctor,” Nikolas said, as he moved to sit down again.
“Do you think it’s serious?” Tommy asked with a worried frown.
“Well, yeah, if what we suspect is correct. Then, it’s very serious,” Nikolas said.
“What do you think is wrong?” Tommy asked. When Nikolas looked away, Tommy felt embarrassed that he may have said too much. He quickly added, “I’m sorry. If you don’t want to talk about it, it’s fine. I want you to know that either of you need anything, please let me know, okay?”
“No, don’t apologize. I appreciate your concern, but it’s kinda personal,” Nikolas said, turning his head to face Tommy again. He wanted to talk to Tommy about it, but he wasn’t sure if he should. He never had a male friend his own age before and he wondered about whether or not some things were better left unsaid.
“Okay, I understand,” Tommy said, “but remember, I’m here for both of you if you need me.”
Nikolas digested Tommy’s softly spoken words. He knew that Tommy was sincere and that he could trust him. Nikolas decided to share his concerns with him. “I changed my mind. I would like to talk if you wouldn’t mind listening.”
“Of course, I don’t mind. Hold on. Let me close the door first,” Tommy said. He moved to close the door. When he came back, he sat on Simone’s bed and mentally prepared himself for Nikolas’ words.
Nikolas released the breath he had been holding and in a rush, he said, “We think she may be pregnant.”
All sorts of ailments had gone through Tommy’s mind before Nikolas spoke, but never pregnancy. He realized that he was at a lost for words and that none would help the situation anyway. He rose from the bed and moved to Nikolas to give him a sympathetic pat on the back.
“Thank you, Dr. Lambert,” Dawn said, resting against the paper sheet on the examining table.
“You can call me, Eve,” she said with a reassuring smile. “The note on the chart says that you wanted to tell me what you thought the problem was instead of the nurse. I’m all ears.”
“Well, I think I may be pregnant,” Dawn said, quietly. Lately, her emotions had a mind of their own and she could feel the tears collecting in her eyes, threatening to spill out onto her cheeks. She didn’t want to cry, but she was afraid that it may happen whether she wanted it to or not.
“Hey, it’ll be okay,” Eve said, giving Dawn a comforting pat on her arm. As she sat on her stool, she said, “Why do you think that? Have you been late? It says here that you’ve only recently become sexually active and that you always use a contraceptive. Is this correct?”
“We’ve always used protection. I’m not sure if I’m late. I’ve always had a hard time keeping track of my periods. My body has never really had a set schedule,” Dawn said.
“That sucks,” Eve said.
Dawn laughed. She began to feel comfortable with Eve and soon, the words came pouring out. “I’ve been sick a lot lately. Vomiting. Light-headedness. Queasy stomach. I just thought it was because I was nervous, and that it would go away in time.”
“Why were you nervous?” Eve asked.
“I’m in a band and we had a big performance last night. It was very important that we win and we did.”
“Wait a second. Are you in that band that played last night at Jacks?” Eve asked.
“Yeah. Did you see us?”
“Oh, yeah! You guys were great. Especially your closing number. I think everyone was in shock at how good you guys were,” Eve said with a smile.
“Thanks. So were we,” Dawn said, laughing.
“Okay, tell me every thing else,” Eve said.
“Well, this morning, I woke up and I still felt awful. I had another vomiting episode. My boyfriend and I became really worried.”
“Was he the young man who came with you?”
“Yeah. Nickie. Um…Nikolas,” Dawn said, smiling.
“He’s cute. He seemed very concerned.”
“He is. On both counts. Before we came in, we stopped by a drugstore and bought one of those pregnancy kits. We went back home and I did it. It came up positive and Nikolas suggested that we come here to be sure. Eve, how accurate are those test?” Dawn asked, biting her lip.
“They can be fairly accurate at times. You both did the right thing in coming here. I’ll run a few tests and I’ll be able to let you know for sure,” Eve said, rising from her stool.
As Eve began the preparations to examine Dawn, Dawn watched her with wide eyes and asked, “Will this hurt?”
“Not at all,” Eve said, smiling at her.
“Do you think we can get the results today? We both want to know as soon as possible.”
“I’ll see what I can do. This might be better if you closed your eyes. This will all be over in a jiffy,” Eve said.
“A penny for your thoughts,” Dawn offered as she watched Nikolas. Since they left General Hospital and went to the docks, he hadn’t said much and she wondered what was going on with him.
“Just a penny?” he asked with a teasing smile.
“I may be willing to offer more…”she said, letting her offer drift.
“Such as?” Nikolas asked, releasing her hand to wrap his arm around her shoulders.
“Whatever’s your heart’s desire,” she said, turning to look into his eyes.
“But you’ve already given me that,” he said, before he lightly brushed her lips with his own.
“Are you worried about what your uncle will do if the test comes back positive?” Dawn asked.
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not. I’m more worried about what your family’s reaction will be. Your mother has been nice, but I think Dara still has a few misgivings. I don’t think they’ll be too happy if I got you pregnant.”
“They won’t be. I’m just glad that they’re both away this weekend,” Dawn sighed.
“What did your mom say this morning?” Nikolas asked.
“She said that everything is going well and that Dara is ‘one hell of a negotiator.’ She’s wanted to own a boutique for as long as I could remember, but my dad kept putting it off. I’m glad she was able to find an investor who was willing to take a chance.”
“Does Dara have any idea who the investor is?” Nikolas asked.
“None. She hasn’t been able to find out anything. Alex has been running checks, but so far, nothing. That’s why Dara was determined to represent Mama instead of having someone else do it. She wanted to make sure Mama didn’t get stiffed.”
“Your sister is amazing. She can be tough as nails when she wants to be. I pity the mystery investor’s attorney. He’ll never know what hit him,” Nikolas said with a small laugh.
They sat in silence as they watched the boats drift in and away from the docks. A gentle breeze blew in and Dawn shivered at the change in temperature. Nikolas kissed her forehead and pulled her closer to him, rubbing his hands up and down her arms to warm her.
Neither of them had spoken of how they felt about a possible pregnancy. Somehow, they had been able to shift the conversation before their own personal feelings were discussed. The truth was, neither of them wanted to think about it. Having a child…being a parent…was a huge responsibility and since both had grown up in mostly dysfunctional families, this was not something either planned to take lightly.
Dawn moved away from Nikolas when the shrill ring from his cell phone interrupted the serenity of the docks. Nikolas reached into his pants pocket and pulled out his phone. He flipped it open and said, “Yes.”
He looked at Dawn and said, “It’s for you.”
She took the phone from him. Taking a deep breath, she put it up to her ear and said, “This is Dawn.”
She listened to the voice on the other end as Nikolas gently stroked her back. She forced her face to remain expressionless as she quietly listened. As the conversation ended, she said, “Thank you. I’ll be sure to do that. Thanks, again.”
“Well? What did they say?”
Nikolas pulled her into his arms as her voice broke. She clung to him as he gently rocked her back and forth. Both of them wondered…what should they do now.