A sharp, piecing cry startled Robin out of her sleep. She jumped out of bed still half-asleep and ran to Dawn’s room. But her little Dawnie was sleeping peacefully. She went down one door further and saw Brenda thrashing around on the bed. There was enough light from the hallway to see into Brenda’s room. She could see her mother holding Brenda down. She moved to the doorway of the room and heard her mother talking to Brenda in a calm, soothing, and assertive voice.
Suddenly, a second cry pierced the air and this time it was Dawn. Robin walked back into her room, picked her up, and carried her to the kitchen. In the past several weeks, she had become very adept at mixing formula and warming bottles in the middle of the night.
She had become the midnight and 2am feeder in the family. She crept back upstairs and sat in Dawn’s comfy, pink rocking chair. As soon as the nipple hit her lips, Dawn latched on like she had found an oasis in the middle of the desert. Her little Dawnie ate like a pig.
For a few minutes, she watched her eat as she played with her dark locks and gently outlined her miniature features with her finger. She looked at the baby and for the life of her she couldn’t figure out who Dawnie looked like. She didn’t look like Brenda, but she didn’t look like her father either. She guessed, Dawnie just looked like Dawnie.
Robin enjoyed this time alone with the baby. It reminded her of her time with Michael. Only once or twice was she able to see to him in the middle of the night. And on the few occasions she got to the nursery before Jason, he would storm in a minute or two later, as soon as he missed her body heat and the sound of Michael’s breath coming through on the baby monitor. Jason would ask for Michael and most of the time, she would hand him to Jason, and then she would go back to their room and cry.
Cry because it felt like Jason didn’t trust her with Michael. It didn’t make her feel better that he really didn’t trust Michael with anyone; sometimes he acted like he barely trusted Leticia. She was Jason Morgan’s first love, his soul mate, but somehow she wasn’t worthy of Michael. Jason told her he didn’t like her getting up for the midnight feedings because of her classes. She knew he was being considerate and truthful, but it still hurt. She didn’t know how to explain to this Jason, how hurt she felt that she wasn’t included in his midnight talks to Michael about foreign lands and whatever else he talked to him about.
She cried that the whole world thought that whore Carly was the mother of his child. She hated the looks of pity that some people around town would give her. She knew what they thought. Poor Robin has AIDS, so Jason had to look elsewhere to have a family. Or how courageous or dumb is she to forgive her cheating boyfriend and accept his son.
And ultimately she cried because she knew she could never give Jason or herself, a child. She had thought at the time that they would be together until she died or when she allowed herself to think about it, until his work killed him. With that thought in mind, she knew that this was his only chance at fatherhood and as much as it pained her, she couldn’t ruin it for him. So, instead, she worked around Jason to get time with Michael. She rearranged her class schedule, so she could spend time with him while Jason was at work.
Robin took the empty bottle out of Dawn’s mouth, placed her against her shoulder to burp her, and then went back to her thoughts. She remembered sending Leticia off and she and Michael would have lunch with Emily or Lila, go to the park, drive around the countryside in the back of the limo, or just simply stay at home and play.
Outside, it started raining cats and dogs, reminding her of that fateful night when everything was lost and changed forever. If she had it to do all over again, she would have done the same thing and left Michael with AJ. No, she would have told AJ the truth from the very beginning. Jason’s concerns about AJ hurting Michael were nonsense. Everyone knew the Quatermaines protected their own, even if it was from one of their own. The only reason Jason had been injured was because Keesha hadn’t told anyone that AJ was drinking again, but she didn’t fault Keesha. Keesha had just believed that her friend, AJ, was getting his act together like he told her.
Although Jason was right to worry that Carly wouldn’t have access to Michael, would that really have been such a bad thing. In that boy’s short life, he’s had to deal with surgery as an infant, being kidnapped, the loss and reemergence of his mother not once, but three times, the loss of Jason as a father, and the “death” of Sonny. She remembered her own turbulent childhood. Rocking the infant, who was striving not to fall back asleep, she got up from the chair and moved to the window.
The stars were still visible amidst all the rain. She remembered when Filomena use to make biscotti cookies and serve them with hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, whenever it rain hard.
“Filomena,” she sighed.
There were times in her life, after Anna had come back into her life full time, instead of dropping in and out, that she wished Anna had stayed gone. She had such a quiet life in Brunswick. She and Filomena lived in the small coastal town nestled between Jacksonville and Savannah, for when Filomena had a craving for something bigger. She had enjoyed the life they had built there.
Her life in Port Charles was much more complicated with her “new” mother, her “recently aware she existed” father, Tiffany, Sean, Frisco, Felicia, Duke, and the immense danger. Sometimes she prayed that Filomena would tell her that it was all a horribly unfunny joke and that she, Filomena, was her real mother and they were going back to Brunswick. Robin laughed at the remembered prayer, her younger self never took into account Filomena’s age or race, making it impossible for her to be her birth mother. She shook her head.
She knew Michael’s world well. It was ironic that Jason had thrust her out, when she was the only one who knew what it was like to grow up in that world. As similar as their childhoods were, she had one huge advantage over Michael. She had a sane, intelligent mother, who always thought things through, unlike “do something crazy, ask questions later” Carly.
Looking down, she noticed her niece had fallen asleep. Quietly they left the nursery and walked into the master bedroom. Like usual on the nights Brenda had nightmares, Brenda was asleep in Anna’s bed with Anna beside her. Brenda always seemed comforted by their presence after her nightmares. Brenda looked to be in a restful, if not peaceful, sleep. Looking at them and Dawnie, she could understand why Tad called them the brown family, or teasingly his brown-haired girls. She laid Dawn in her bassinet next to the bed, slid into the space Brenda had left for her and promptly went to sleep, lying with her family.