Chapter 1

Evangeline is in her office sitting at her desk looking through her day planner. She is checking on her scheduled trial dates and client appointments. She has always made little notes in code regarding personal things, like or when she went on dates, where she went and with whom, when she made love and when her period would start and end. She has just noticed that it has been some time since she updated her period starting and ending.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 . . . Evangeline counted off frantically.

“No! No! This can’t be, this can’t be. I have never missed a period.”

“I’m on the pill. John and I always use condoms too. Well, except for a few, we couldn’t wait moments, the most recent being here in my office before her great aunts funeral. I told John we were very, very bad. I need to get some home pregnancy tests.”

She left her office and drove to the next town to a pharmacy where she shouldn’t see anyone she knew. Evangeline went home and locked herself in the bathroom and peed on stick after stick. All the tests, showed the same result positive.

She stood looking at herself in the bathroom mirror with her hand on her head and said, “Oh my God I’m pregnant; but I need to know for sure. I could have done it wrong. I need to make an appointment with Danielle.” She turned sideways a glanced at her figure. Someone had made a comment about me gaining weight. My clothes are snug.

Evangeline called and made an appointment with her Gynecologist and friend Dr. Danielle Rushmore for the next day. Evangeline and Dr. Rushmore met at the country club at the tennis courts and became fast friends. Danielle and Evangeline were always so busy that they hadn’t talked much lately. Danielle gave Evangeline an appointment before regular office hours.

Danielle asked Evangeline to urinate in a sterile sample cup and then she drew some blood. “Evangeline I’m going to get these tests started I’ll be right back. I will need to do a pelvic exam. Take off your panties only and here is a sheet to cover yourself. Sit on the exam table when your finished; I’ll be right back.” She left and went to the lab to run the test herself. She came back to the exam room. Danielle came back after 20 minutes with the results. “You are definitely pregnant. Congratulations!”

Evangeline looked nervous, she held her head down. She knew she was, but having it confirmed by a Doctor, the reality of the situation. She didn’t know what to say.

“Van are you alright?

I‘m guessing this pregnancy wasn’t planned.” Evangeline shook her head no. Her eyes brimmed with tears. She wanted to be married and plan a special dinner to tell John he was going to be a father. Her dream shattered like glass falling to the floor. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Danielle gave her friend some tissues.

“What do you want to do?” Danielle asked.

“Let’s just finish the exam. Ok, I don’t want to talk about this, not yet.”

“Sure,” Danielle said.

After the exam Evangeline sat in front of Danielle’s desk downcast. She did not have a clue how she was going to get through this without John. She of course, is still deeply and madly in love with him, even if he doesn’t love her.

“Evangeline your 12 weeks.”

“So, I’m what 3 months? No wonder my clothes are feeling snug. I guess I’m starting to show already. I had no idea. I think I had a least one period six weeks ago, I do remember it was lighter and less days than normal. I only used 1 tampon. I’m just not sure of the exact date. Could I have a period and be pregnant?”

“Yes Van it happens. Have you had any spotting since then?”

“No, I would remember 2 light periods, because it would have concerned me.”

“That’s why I’ve been getting sick.” Evangeline thought it was because she missed John so much, that it was making her physically sick.

“Morning sickness is common in the first trimester, but is should stop soon. There are some cases, when it lasts the whole pregnancy. If you find in the next couple of weeks that it’s not better give me a call.”

“I have nausea, but that’s it. Sometimes even the smell of food makes me gag.”

“When did you say the first day of your last period was?” Danielle asked Evangeline.

Evangeline flipped through her day planner and gave Danielle the date again. I’ve been extremely busy with a custody case, my Great Aunts death, the situation between me and. . . never mind.” Danielle didn’t know she and John split up and she didn’t want to talk about it, so she didn’t mention it.

“I only became aware of my missed periods yesterday, because my day planner wasn’t updated. I took several home pregnancy tests that were positive and that is why I am here. I wanted to make sure I results were right.

Then Danielle gave Evangeline the due date.

“Boy John have I got a birthday present for you.” She exhaled while rolling her eyes toward heaven. She closed her eyes and fantasized about presenting John with his oh so special birthday present.

Danielle wasn’t really listening to Evangeline, she was writing notes in Evangeline’s chart. “Did you say something?”

“Um, never mind.”

“Evangeline here are some pamphlets so you will know what choices you have.”

“Danielle there is only one choice for me. I am having my baby.”

“Very well Van, let’s set you up with an appointment for an Ultrasound. Bring John with you; so any questions you both may have can be answered. You will need to start taking pre-natal vitamins, you can find them at any pharmacy.”

“I’ll make the appointment for the Ultra Sound and call you with the date. Van I know you. Don’t worry and get some rest.” Evangeline put her tongue in her lower cheek, and her eyes narrowed. This is her habit, when someone made a comment to her that she didn’t like. Danielle laughed at her. Evangeline knew Danielle was right; she would over analyze everything about this appointment. What was said, what wasn’t, and how the next 6 months would go.

“Stress is not good for you or the baby. Go let John pamper you.”

“Thank you for everything Danielle, especially for seeing me before your office hours.”

“You’re my friend, anything for you. Tell John hello and congratulations.”

Evangeline just smiled and said, “Yeah.”

On the drive home from the Doctors office one thought ran through her mind. Am I sure about raising this baby on my own? Strings no longer attach me to John, but our child will forever bind us together. This was all so surreal to her, knowing that she is going to have John’s baby and that they would never raise their child together. Evangeline thought back to the day of John’s confession. John called her:

“I need to tell you something. Please meet me in Angel Square.”

“I’ll be right there John.”

She always wondered when John would profess his love for her. Although, John still hadn’t said the words, she knew he loved her. It always felt so right when they were together. She felt it with every kiss, every caress, whenever they made love. She just knew in her soul that John loved her and hoped he was going to say the words soon, maybe today.

When she arrived in Angel Square John was waiting for her. He was sitting on a bench in front of the Angel statue. John saw Evangeline approaching, and stood. As soon as Evangeline saw his eyes she knew something serious was happening. His crystal blue eyes always gave away his mood even before words were spoken.

“Hey.” John said, with a slight smile on his face.

“Hey. So what’s going on? Is everything all right? Evangeline’s eyes were big and expressed a deep love and concern for him.

“Let’s sit down.” John took one of Evangeline’s hands as they sat down, and started rubbing it with the pad of his thumb.

He was nervous so he didn’t look her directly in her eyes, he was looking past her into the near distance. “I need to tell you something. Something I should have told you a long time ago. John’s face was flushed, and he stammered; I haven’t been completely honest with you about my feelings for you. When I thought Natalie had died. I realized then that I’m in love with….

She tried to pay attention; she was dreaming that he would say I’m in love with you. Then she heard him say Natalie’s name. What? No, John couldn’t have said Natalie’s name. He wasn’t honest about his feelings for me. She repeated in her head. John’s not in love with me, he’s in love with Natalie.

Evangeline cut John off with a voice quite calm for how she actually felt and said, “I appreciate your honesty.” Then she stood up and walked away from him on shaky legs. She felt like the wind was knocked out of her, she couldn’t breathe; there was a ringing in her ears. She was going to be sick. It took all her will power not to run. She was not going to let John know how devastated she was.

Tears flowed like a water fall. Evangeline needed to pull over. She pulled into the first place she saw. It was a shopping center. She sat there until there were no more tears to cry. Once she pulled herself together; Evangeline said, “I can do this, I can get over John, and have my baby. I’ll be a good mother. My father did not teach me to fail, or to quit.” Evangeline left the shopping center feeling more confident about the future.

As soon as she entered her apartment, she kicked off her heels and put her purse and briefcase in the chair by the door and went to the kitchen for something to eat. She was hungry, but she only wanted ice cream, cookies, peanut butter, and a pickle.

She sat on the couch with her legs tucked under her eating a container of ice cream, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, and a pickle. It wasn’t healthy, but she was craving already. Pregnancy could have its advantages she thought. I can eat anything I want and blame it on a craving. She burst out laughing; but then became serious as she thought, what now?

Should I tell John that he is going to be a father? But how can I not tell him? I don’t think I can trust him again and this town is way too small; someone will notice and start asking him questions. Maybe I should move home. Yes, I’ll leave town. With that settled, she started making mental notes on everything she would need to do to prepare for her move.

Nora, she had to talk to Nora; but then she would get a lecture on the rights of the father. Evangeline knew John’s rights, but she couldn’t face him, not yet maybe when it didn’t hurt as much.

Evangeline hasn’t spoken to John since that day in Angel Square, not since his confession. He left her messages everyday; at home, the office, and her cell phone. John also tried to see her at home, her office, the courthouse. One day he actually walked past her assistant and straight to her office, but she wasn’t there at the time. She left instructions that she was not available for Lieutenant McBain, even if he flashed his badge, so he took matters into his own hands.

After she finished the ice cream and cookies; she checked the answering machine for messages. One call was from Nora and several from John. The last time she saw Nora the truth about Daniel came to light. Nora was mortified, she wanted to dig a hole in the ground, climb in and die. Evangeline was there for her. Nora wouldn’t allow Bo to comfort her, she was too angry with him about how he handled the whole situation. Bo took Matthew home with him for a few days to give Nora and Evangeline sometime to talk. Evangeline thought about all of Nora’s “cold feet” times realizing her conscience was warning her not to marry Daniel. Evangeline was even more turned off to marriage now. She remembered how she cried to John at Nora and Daniel’s wedding how she wanted someone to love her like Daniel loved Nora. “Oh God” she said, be careful, what you pray or wish for.

Now several weeks later Evangeline needed Nora. So she returned her call. When Nora answered her office phone, Evangeline said, “Nora I really need you. I need to talk to you if you are up to it”, and before she could continue she started crying again.

Nora said, “Honey what’s wrong? Where are you?”

“At home.” She said in a tearful whisper.

“Give me about an hour, I need to file some motions at the courthouse, then I’ll come right over.”

“Thank you. I’ll, be waiting for you.”

Evangeline fell asleep on the couch. The sleep was so deep that when Nora rang the doorbell she sat up quickly startled by the sound and it caused her a little dizziness. She closed her eyes to stop the room from spinning; then she looked around as if she did not know where she was. Recognition came to her and then she remembered Nora. As soon as the door was open Evangeline babbled John’s confession in Angel Square.

Nora led Evangeline to the couch and they sat down. “Whoa, slow down breathe.”

Evangeline repeated the whole story as she heard it, and then Nora began to cry.

“Nora, I’m so sorry it’s too soon to lay all this on you, especially with what you’ve gone through. How are you doing? Can I do anything for you? I am so selfish, never mind me.”

“It’s all right. She sniffled looking at Evangeline. I was just thinking what a pair we make. Did we pick the wrong men, or what? But, we’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I have Matthew and Rachael. Rachel flew in last night and even RJ has called to check on me. Bo has been great too. I didn’t want to see Bo, but he helped me see that Matthew needs to see us together as a family, so he could begin to heal.”

“Nora that’s great, I am so happy for you. You should have nothing but happiness from now on. Are you and Bo getting closer?”

“I have always loved Bo, but we need to take it slow. We’ll see.”

Evangeline decided not to burden Nora with anything else, so she kept the pregnancy to herself.