CHAPTER 6

The silence spread between them and Evangeline thought hours had gone by with Johnís question hanging unnervingly in the air between them.

"Options? We have options? Well, yes, John we need to decide: stay in the penthouse or buy a house? Stay in Llanview or move? Breast feed or bottle? Nanny or no nanny? Private or public school? When to tell our mothersóthereís a conversation. My motherís head will explode at the idea of being called Ďgrandma,í your motherís heart will swell with love at the thought. What other options are there?"

Van hated when John held his tongue and let her random thoughts continue to pop out of her mouth. "Ok, yes, Iím shocked and unprepared to be a mom, just like I know you feel about fatherhood right now but Iím making the adjustment with each passing second and no, John, Iím not thinking about an abortion. This is your baby. I may not be able to adequately care for him or her emotionally but Iím sure you can, you did it already when you dad died and you stepped up and took care of your mom, Michael and later Shannon. Weíre havingÖa baby, together. I know I can lean on you and you wonít judge me too harshly for my major maternal shortcomings." Her voice trembled and she didnít meet his eyes.

John walked over to her and grasped her forearms looking searchingly into her eyes, "Are you sure? Right now itís between us and Dorian, no one else knows or needs to know if we decideÖ" Johnís voice trailed off, "Weíd make the decision together, as a couple and weíd deal with the aftermath the same way."

"First off, Iím really not thinking about it; secondly, do you really think weíd survive if I did end this pregnancy? You wouldnít resent me and eventually hate me? I think it would be the slow eroding of everything we have together, who we are together. Itís irrelevant, John, I donít want an abortion. Just make sure I donít become my mother."

"Evangeline, you wonít turn into Dina. Youíre a warm, compassionate, caring person in general and having a child will only heighten those traits. Plus, you know what it feels like to be unwanted and not loved unconditionally. Youíd never do that to any child, and certainly not to our daughter. I know you, even if you donít always know yourself."

"My fatherís love, well the man who raised me, went a long way towards making up for Dinaís complete and utter lack of interest in me and absence of any motherly warmth. I know your love would be more than enough to help fill any gaps left by me. And junior or juniorette will tolerate me and try to think kindly of me because after all, how could you love me if I didnít have some redeeming features? Theyíll figure there must be something worthwhile in me somewhere even if they canít see it. Beyond being a glamorous, successful star, I mean, something useful about me."

 John had heard Evangeline disparage herself and her inability to deal with other peopleís needs and wants before and decided now was the time to really start to delve into her fears and insecurities, "I kinda thought after we settled into this marriage, when our life together had been going along for maybe six, ten years or so that you would become less frightened about having children. Look at how great you are with Kristina, how much you care about Alexis. Before you, they never crossed my mind either but those long walks and talks with you when you and mom were working in British ColumbiaÖ.Iíd drop you at your hotel and walk back to mine and fall asleep imagining what our kids would look like. My blue eyes, your skin color, our long, dark hair or those great golden-colored catís eyes you sometimes see on mixed-race kids. I donít just want to be a father, I want to be a parent to OUR children; but weíve been together for less than three years and if youíre not ready, youíre not ready. I can handle it, we can handle this. But if you do go through with this pregnancy I will help, support and love you and our child with everything in me, all that I have and then Iíll dig deeper for more when you need it. But honey, you have to want her donít just do this to please me or to defy and show up your mother, or to prove something to yourself. WANT our baby, please."

Van leaned her head into his chest, "Okay, if you want a truly thoughtful response I need to think about this, sleep on it. We can read those brochures Dorian left us, and talk. I just need to catch my breath. I just need to catch my breath, relax a little; everythingís spinning around me right now." She looked unseeingly around the room then laughed, "You keep saying things that strongly suggest a preference for a girl. Donít you want a John, jr.?"

"I want a happy wife and a healthy baby, but whenever I thought about our child I just always saw a mini you so I could love all the pain of your childhood away. Iím sorry you were a constant reminder to your mother of her fling with Mikkos Cassadine. Iím sorry she took it out on you."

"Yeah, well, how strange and lucky for me that man would love the breathing reminder of his wifeís infidelity better than the woman who carried me ever has." Evangeline spoke softly into the quiet of the living room, "I mean he knew almost from the start that I wasnít his and he loved me still, he raised me as his own, claimed me in front of his family and my momís. It took me awhile to connect all the dots and realize all the reasons Dina canít let herself love me and why she disliked having me around. Of course, I punished her for it by having a bigger career and eclipsing her fame. Forever more the media refers to her first and foremost as Ďthe mother of superstar Evangeline Williamsoní how that must rankle and sting. And if thatís the pattern Iím not too sure I want a little girl just like me!"

John propelled her towards the stairs leading to their bedroom, "Come on, weíre both exhausted and you said you wanted to rest. Let me hold you, no need to talk or think anymore today if you donít want to."

 Van nodded and they headed up the stairs where they took off their clothes and curled together under the comforter, "John, I am my motherís daughter: I have her drive, her ambition, her talent, her looks, and unfortunately, her mean streak when crossed. Iím more subtle in revenge but my anger is there, under the surface. I donít want this child to ache into the night the way I did when my always out of reach mother entered my room to kiss me goodnight as she and daddy were going out, but only because he made her. The scent of her perfume, the rustle of her clothing was all I had to hold onto of the famous Dina Williamson. She was smoke to me, Iíd reach for her and she was already moving away from the bed. I donít want to recall that childhood of pain; I donít want our child to live that life."

Stroking her hair, running his hands down to her cheek and neck and back up again John tried to soothe Evangelineís fears, whispering reassurances and endearments to her into the night as she cried.

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