She was partly right
But in his heart's defense he told her
What they had in common
Was strong enough to bond them for life
He said look behind your own soul
And the person that you'll see
Just might remind you of me
“I was going to give him the names Matthews and Morgan, but then I realized I wasn’t a Matthews, it’s just another lie. And since my whole life has been one life after another I decided I couldn’t and wouldn’t make him continue the lie. Then it dawned on me, the lies were everywhere. He couldn’t be a Corbin and as much as Jay likes to pretend he’s not, he’s a Quartermaine,” Courtney said, handing the infant boy to Keesha.
Keesha graciously held the baby in her arms and gently rocked him.
“So you hold in your arms Ward Corinthos Quartermaine.”
“Cory for short. I figured he wouldn’t want his mommy’s last name confused with his first.”
“His what?” Keesha questioned, sure she was hearing things.
Courtney picked up a set of folded documents on the nightstand and handed them to Keesha.
Cradling the baby in one hand, she took the documents and quickly glanced over them. “You’re giving up your parental rights?”
Courtney shook her blonde head.
“Nope, I already did. Lee Baldwin is down at the courthouse filing papers. Those are the copies. And if you sign the attached papers, the courier is waiting outside to take them to Lee, so you can be named his legal guardian until the adoption goes through.”
“Doesn’t Jason have to okay this adoption?” Keesha asked, bewildered by the turn of events.
“He signed off on the paperwork already.”
“Nene, you don’t have to do this. I’ll help you with the baby until you’re over the baby blues and back on your feet. I’ll even move here to help out on a more- -
Courtney shook her head again. “You could help with his physical needs, but not the emotional and psychological ones.” Lying back on the hospital bed, she sighed, as if the weight of the world were on her shoulders. “What can I give him when I don’t know who I am and what I want? All I know for sure is I’m not the same person I was when I came to Port Charles and I’m not particularly fond of whom I’ve become. I need to sort myself out first and that could take months, years even.” She paused. “It’s not fair for him to live in limbo all that time. And before you say it, Keesh, yes, I’ve thought about this. That’s all I thought about when I was gone. And part of me wonders if I’ll ever stop being angry at him,” she stated, staring at the baby in her best friend’s arms. Bringing her legs to her chest, the blonde rested her chin on her knees. “I look at him and all I remember is that I loved his father, but his father’s soul only loved and craved my best friend. I have so much anger inside me towards everyone. The baby in your arms, for his father’s sins or rather lack of love. My mom for leaving Mike and then lying to me about it. You for loving your Jason and never getting over him. My dad, for not looking for us. Sonny for being so controlling. Carly for being so self-absorbed. Jay for not loving me enough. And AJ for using me. I have to work through all that. Dr. Baldwin says that I also have some trust issues, surprise, surprise,” she said, sarcastically.
Tears welled up in Keesha’s eyes as she felt the pain emanating from her best friend. What she wouldn’t give so that Nene could go back to being the young, innocent woman she once was.
“She referred me to one of her former colleagues who retired to Malta and he’s agreed to see me.”
“Malta?” Keesha asked confused.
Courtney nodded. “Yeah, it’s about 70 miles from Sicily. 95% of the population speaks English. They have a top rated university that has an early childhood education program so I can finally become that kindergarten teacher I always dreamt of. At least, I remembered that one. And with a population of two hundred thousand, I can get lost in a crowd but not for too long. What better place to heal than an island?” she joked with tears in her eyes.
“Are you scared?”
She wanted to beg her little sister to change her mind, to remind her that giving up her baby for adoption was a huge step, but she didn’t because she knew Courtney had thought this all through thoroughly. “You’ll be the lone blonde there,” Keesha laughed.
“Yep, the lone blonde American with a divorce, broken engagement, and childbirth under her belt. Not the way I imagined going to college.”
Keesha walked to the bed, cradled the baby in one arm, and pulled Courtney to her. She cried openly. “You don’t have to do this. I know you’re hurt, angry, and feel betrayed by me, but I don’t want you to leave. What will I do without you? What will I do without my annoying perky little sister?” Pulling back a little, she wiped the tears from Courtney’s face. “You are my first baby.”
“Well me being away will help me become some semblance of the annoying perky person you use to know and love.”
“I’m going to miss you like crazy,” Keesha declared.
“Not nearly much as I’m going to miss you,” Courtney replied.
“You’re going to be okay,” she reassured the younger woman.
“Of course I will,” the younger woman reassured the older woman.
Both prayed that the other was telling the truth as they
hugged each other as if they were no tomorrow.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Dr. Meadows said from the doorway.
With kisses on the cheek, the women separated and wiped the tears from their face.
“No, please come in Dr. Meadows. We were just having girl time,” Courtney informed her obstetrician.
“I’ll see you later,” Keesha said, trying to hand the baby to Courtney.
Courtney grabbed the documents and the pen. “Give us one second, doctor.”
“No problems,” Dr. Meadows assured her, reviewing Courtney’s chart.
“Sign here,” Courtney instructed Keesha.
“Look in my eyes. I’m not changing my mind.”
With a saddened heart, Keesha signed on the dotted lines.
“Here you go,” Courtney said, handing Keesha more papers.
“What are these?” Keesha asked, without looking.
“His release papers. His bag is by the door. The few things I bought are at Jay’s. Now get out of here.”
Courtney got off the bed and walked them to the door. She took the baby from Keesha and put him in the car seat and handed her the baby bag both courtesy of the hospital. She motioned the courier outside of her room and handed him the signed documents. He took them and left.
“Make them happy. You’re the only one who can,” Courtney whispered to her.
“I love you,” Keesha told her best friend, crying once again.
“I love you, too,” Courtney said, closing the door on one life and starting another.
Keesha stared down at the infant, as she clicked the seat belt into place around his car seat. “Hi, Cory. In a bizarre turn of events that I’m still trying to wrap my mind around, I’m your mom. I’m new at this and you’re new to earth so I figure we can help each other out and be forgiving of our mistakes,” she said with a slight smile.
Ward Corinthos Quartermaine opened his eyes and gazed into his mother’s eyes. In that moment, Keesha’s heart was stolen.
“Let’s go home.”