WHAT IT IS: I gave in. I wrote the first chapter meaning it to be a stand alone, but it kept speaking to me. Or maybe there really are voices in my head. Geez, now I'm worried. . .
WHAT I OWN: Again, nothing, but especially no rights to GG, the book or movie 'Freaky Friday', or the Dave Matthew's Song "Stay or Leave". But I do love Dave, he rocks.
"Stay or leave,
I want you not to go,
But you should.
It was good, as good goes.
Stay or leave I want you not to go,
But you did."
"GOD! You aren't even listening to me!" she screamed at him, not caring how loud she was or what a spectacle she was making of herself. She was 4 months pregnant, standing before him in disgust. She didn't seem to want to be there, but there out of some sort of obligation. Maybe she just wanted him to feel guilt or shame or responsibility. But he sat there, dumbfounded. None of this could be happening. It made no sense at all. But when he uttered those exact words to her not a moment ago, she erupted at him.
"I am listening to you! I just, this can't be happening."
"Well, buddy, it is, so you better get used to it."
"If it is true, why are you just telling me now?"
"I had to find you. You are impossible to find. I understand that you wouldn't want to show off this pigsty you call an apartment, but it was like cracking the freaking witness protection program to find you. I mean, what are you in some sort of trouble? Are big men named Sal and Vic looking for you?"
"Stop, just stop! No, I'm not in trouble. I'm not that hard to find. You seem to have done it."
"Because I'm dedicated. And in, well," she gesticulated to her stomach. He looked down at her still mostly flat, but slightly rounded stomach.
"If you're pregnant, it's not my doing."
"How can you say that? I knew I shouldn't have come here. God, Mom told me that you were just going to react this way."
"Great, now your mother's going to be after me?"
"No, jackass, she's not. Forget I came. Don't know your kid. If I even keep it," she spat back at him, turning on her heel to leave. She was stopped when the door to the tiny apartment swung open and a woman walked in. He immediately recognized his mother, who shut the door behind her. He realized he was trapped.
"No you don't, mister. You aren't going to be like him!"
"What are you talking about?"
"You aren't going to leave this girl like Jimmy left me! Do you hear me?"
"Why do you care? Not like you'll listen either, but if she's pregnant, it's not MINE!"
"Jess, she's not a dumb girl. Look at her, only you could have screwed her up."
"Thanks, Liz, really, but I don't think I need you here telling me about my life. You've never cared before."
"Nice way to talk to your mom," Rory commented.
"Hey, you don't know anything about it. Not all of us had a Freaky Friday type childhood," he shot back.
Rory narrowed her eyes at him, "It's not like you ever would have told me anything anyways. I don't know why I tried so hard with you in the first place."
Again, the door opened, this time it was Lorelai. Jess let out a deep breath, shutting his eyes and putting his head into his hands. Well, this was it. How he was going to die. Or maybe just a preview of hell. He wasn't sure which, maybe both.
"Well, now that the firing squad is all here," he uttered, to no one in particular.
"Don't start with me. You've got a lot of nerve, do you know that?" Lorelai began.
"I have nerve? You all come here accusing me of something I DIDN'T DO!"
"Cause Rory's going to lie? Jess, I know she's pregnant, I've seen the ultrasounds. I'VE been there for her."
"It doesn't matter anymore, I told him, he doesn't want to accept it, that's fine. I'm finished here."
"Rory, explain it to me. We never had sex, how can you be pregnant? I don't get it. If I'm that stupid, speak slowly, use small words."
"You really are Jimmy's kid. You know he only stayed until he saw your face. He held you once and then bolted. At least he acknowledged that he was the father."
"Stop comparing me to him! I'm not him! I've never gotten anyone pregnant!"
Jess was growing very tired, and his stomach was beginning to burn. 'Great, now I'm getting an ulcer or something equally fun,' he thought. None of this made sense, all he knew was he had three very pissed off women glaring at him.
"I want to talk to Rory alone. Please." He nodded towards the door, and Lorelai looked at Rory, who nodded. She turned and huffed off and disappeared out the door. Liz shook her head vehemently and followed.
Rory crossed her arms and cocked her hip out signaling she wasn't in the mood to listen to him. He motioned for her to sit next to him on the mattress on the floor, but she shook her head.
"No. You wanted to talk, so talk. What do you have to say to me?"
Déjà vu hit him, and it was almost enough for him to loose his nerve. He took a moment to regroup, knowing if he took too long she'd leave.
"Look, Rory, I still don't get it. You know we never slept together. And if you're four months pregnant, I know I saw you four months ago, but we barely spoke—whatever. If you are pregnant, I'll be there for you. I'll help you out in anyway you need. I don't really have any money, but I'll do anything you need me to do."
And with that, Rory began laughing hysterically. She couldn't seem to stop, and he just looked at her, confused, a little hurt and growing more and more pissed off by the second. The angrier he grew, the more she laughed.
"STOP! STOP LAUGHING! What the fuck is wrong with you?" he yelled.
Something hard hit him in the back, and he sat up in defense. He picked up the shoe that had just been thrown at him.
"What the --?,"
"Dude, shut the hell up! Some of us only get four hours of sleep as it is!"
"You were talking and yelling in your sleep," Josh explained. It was still dark outside, and he could barely make out the outline of his roommate who was talking to him from across the small apartment they shared with another guy, who was gone for the night.
"Sorry. Sorry. Go back to sleep."
Jess lay back down, and realized that he was covered in a layer of sweat. His stomach still burned, as it had in this dream. Dream, more like nightmare. Rory pregnant. That was a nightmare. He'd had plenty of dreams about her, especially since he'd seen her a few months ago, but nothing like this. He heard the words over again, his mother's, Lorelai's, and then Rory's laughter. He didn't understand at all. He knew she probably hated him. He'd left her, what, three times now? The last time he'd told her what he considered to be his biggest secret. He loved her. He'd known that for years now, and he knew it wasn't just going to go away.
He knew going back to sleep wasn't an option. His heart was racing a mile a minute, and he felt the need to get out of the apartment. He felt as if both mothers would burst through the door at any time. 'Maybe this is what I get for not sending a mother's day card,' he mused, pulling on his clothes and jacket and heading out for his car. He barely needed his jacket, as the warm May air enveloped him as he hit the sidewalk. He got into his car, destination in mind and started driving. By the time the sun came up over the horizon, he pulled the car to a stop and stared at the building in front of him. He'd looked it up a million times before, just to see her name and know she was out there, living her life. He looked down at the piece of paper he'd scribbled it on, just to make sure.
'Rory Gilmore, Dufree Hall, Suite 5, Yale University.'
He took it in his hand, as if he were going to be stopped and need proof of where he was going. It was only five thirty in the morning, he doubted many people would be milling around the halls. He took a moment before he knocked. What if she wasn't there? He didn't know if he could take knowing she was out all night, probably with some guy. 'Stop thinking, just do it already,' he thought, fearing he'd lose his nerve. He wasn't sure why he'd even come, but it was too late now. He felt his fist making contact with the door.
A few moments went by, but he didn't want to wake the entire floor knocking. He heard shuffling movements from within, and felt his heart skip when the door began to open. She stood there before him, half asleep; hair mussed and still pulling on her robe. She blinked a couple of times, taken aback at the vision before her, hoping it wasn't yet another dream.
He said nothing; instead he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. He hugged her like he'd never hugged anyone. He clung to her as if she was the only thing holding him to this earth. She stood motionless for a moment, and then hugged him back. She felt a tear slide down her cheek and she pulled back out of the embrace.
"What are you doing here?"
"I can't even tell you—I don't know. I had this dream, and I just had to see you. I had to see that you were okay."
"Why wouldn't I be okay? What was your dream about?"
"You were pregnant, which I know was totally crazy, but I just had to see you. It was a really, unsettling dream."
"Those are going around," she whispered.
He raised his eyebrow at her, but he got no response. Was she dreaming about him too? 'Forget it, it's impossible.'
"So you're okay, I'm going to go," he started to say feeling foolish for coming, but she grabbed his arm suddenly.
"Do you really love me?"
Her face was serious, her eyes expectant.
"But you don't want to be with me?"
Her words cut to the center of him. He felt nauseous, and really wished lightening would hit him or something heavy would fall on him. He knew that was more than unlikely, and it would be too kind. He had to say something to her. If they didn't get all this out, they were going to continue to have these meetings. Him not being able to stay away from her. Him hurting her. Her wanting to hurt him back. Creating a vicious cycle, that's what they were doing.
"I never, ever in my life said I didn't want to be with you."
"Well, you never said you did."
"Wanting to be with you isn't enough."
"Why not? You've never even tried."
"Why? Just tell me that, and you can run away again. Why do you keep leaving?"
"I don't want to hurt you."
"Well, I've got to tell you Jess. You really suck at that."
He nodded again. He knew he was making it worse; it seemed to be what he did.
"What if I did stay with you? Then what?"
"Then it would be a real start."
"Why would you even want me around?"
"Are you that dense? I love you! Why else would I put myself through any of this? I love you."
"You love me?"
"Why are so surprised? You fell in love with me, but you didn't think you had any effect on me whatsoever?"
"I never said that. You deserve better than what I can give you. Rory, I live in a room with two other guys. I'm a messenger. I just now, at age 19, have figured out how to be in a room with either of my parents and actually speak to them like a normal person. I can't even stay out of fist-fights with my mother's freak of a boyfriend."
"The etch-a-sketch guy?"
He looked at her oddly.
"My mom told me, some story Luke had told her about him."
"You shouldn't love me."
"Well, you're going to have to get over that. Stay."
"Or are you telling me that the rat hole you're living in and the sucky job you have are so irreplaceable that you can't find something just as crappy here in New Haven."
"This is a bad idea."
"You're smarter than this, Rory."
"Not when it comes to you."
He sighed, wanting to kiss her and wanting her to make him leave all at the same time. He stared into her eyes, and she stared back. They were at a stalemate. This is what it always came down to, would he stay or would he leave. He wanted to be able to do it for her; he wanted to be that guy that proved he was it for her. He knew that they were supposed to be together, but he feared that he wasn't ready. He couldn't tear his eyes away from hers. His thoughts went blank and he heard himself beginning to speak.
"For real this time? I mean this, as much as I love you, if you leave again, it's over. For good. I can't take anymore of this. It's been ripping me in half, what I feel for you and trying to hate you."
"Yes. For good. I'll find a place here, I'll get a job. I'll figure it out. This is more important. You're more important," he gave in, knowing in some respect that it was useless in trying to fight this any longer.
She stepped forward again, and kissed him. They hadn't kissed for over a year, not since that party where it had all spiraled out of their control. She kissed him until neither of them could breathe. She kissed him for all the time they'd been apart, for all the hurt they'd caused each other. Finally, she collapsed against him and for the first time, really let herself cry for him. They had worked their way over to the couch during all of this, and he held her and let her cry until she fell asleep in his arms.