Chapter Three

Rachel looked at her father for a moment before she took the phone in her hands. She slowly put the receiver up to her ear and took a deep breath.

"Hey," she said. "What do you want?"

"I want to talk about the baby. I called your house and your mom yelled at me, so I called here."

"I don't want you to call me."

"Look, Rach, I know I messed up. You've got to forgive me. I really want to be there for you and the baby."

"No," Rachel said quietly. "I don't want you in my life. I just want you to leave me alone. I hate you for what you did to me. Just never call me again."

"I have the right to call you! That's my kid you're carrying inside of you!"

"You gave up the right to call this your child . . . and the right to call me, when you cheated on me!"

"He cheated on you?" Dr. Green asked angrily. He took the phone from Rachel.

"Daddy, please!"

"You cheated on my little girl, you little bastard?!" Dr. Green bellowed. "Listen to me, if you ever hurt her again, I'll hunt you down and cut off your . . ."

"Daddy!" Rachel exclaimed again.

"You don't come near her, you hear me?" Dr. Green slammed the phone down and looked at Rachel. "You actually let that creep get you pregnant?"

"It's not like I wanted this to happen!"

"Well, you obviously had sex, so you were obviously aware of the consequences."

"I know," Rachel sobbed into her hands. "I know. But I didn't think it was going to happen to me."

"Look, I'm going to be over at your mother's later. We'll all sit down and have a family discussion."

"What about Joey?"

"I don't want him near you."

"But he's the baby's father."

"You told him you didn't want him near the baby!"

"I know! But my baby needs to at least know who Joey is, you know?"

"Are you sure you even want to keep it? You're so young, Rachel. There's adoption . . ."

"I don't know, daddy! I just don't want to think about it right now."

"Alright, pumpkin. I'll be over later and we'll have a family discussion."

"We aren't a family anymore, daddy. We're a broken family." Rachel turned around and walked out. She saw Ross waiting for her, so she got into the passenger side and buckled in.

"How'd it go?"

"I'm so confused. Joey called. I told him I didn't want him around. But he is the baby's father, you know? I think the baby needs to know him."

"It's up to you, Rachel. Your baby is . . . your responsibility."

"God, just a year ago I was still playing with baby dolls. Now I'm going to have a real one." She began to cry again, and Ross realized that it was probably better if he didn't say anything else just yet. He just put an arm around her and drove off toward her home.

Rachel woke around six that night. She barely remembered Ross dropping her off. She had walked through the back door and straight up to her room, thankfully avoiding her mother and her sisters. She locked herself in her room to sleep away the horrible feelings that inhabited her soul and her body.

"Rachel!" called the voice of her mother. Her mother had heard her slam and lock her when she got home, so she knew her daughter was home. Rachel pulled herself out of bed and walked over to her mirror. She ran a brush through her messy, tangled hair, and after her mother's third call up to her, she opened her door and walked downstairs.

"What's going on?" Jill asked. Jill and Amy were both seated on the couch next to their mother. Dr. Green was standing by the fireplace with his arms folded sternly over his chest.

"Rachel, why don't you tell your sisters?" Sandra asked. Rachel looked at her father for help.

"Daddy . . ."

"Rachel, I can't help you with this one. You got yourself into this mess, so you can have the decency to tell your sisters what's going on."

"Rach?" Amy asked. "What's going on?" Rachel took a deep breath as a lump formed in her throat. Tears welled in her eyes, and she knew that she was going to burst into tears at any moment.

"Oh God," Rachel whispered. She wiped tears from her eyes and she took a deep breath. "Amy, Jill, mom and dad already know. I only just found out. Um, basically I'm . . . I'm pregnant."

"What?!" Jill asked, jumping up off of the couch. "How can you be pregnant?!"

"Oh Rach, I'm sorry," Amy said softly. Amy stayed seated and tugged on Jill's arm to sit her down.

"Great!" Jill exclaimed. "Now my older sister is a slut. People are going to think I am too!"

"Shut up, Jill! Not everything is about you!" Amy yelled.

"Girls!" Sandra exclaimed.

"What are we going to do about this? That's the real question," Dr. Green replied.

"I think she should get rid of it," Jill replied. "Nobody has to know."

"Joey knows," Rachel replied. "And Ross and Monica know. I'm not getting rid of it. I won't do that."

"Well, I think it serves you right. You shouldn't have screwed the first guy who . . ."

"Shut up, Jill!" Rachel screamed. "I know I did a stupid thing, but this is reality now! I am living with my mistakes, and I'm not going to kill my baby!" Jill was silent after her sister's outburst.

"I think the best thing to do is to give the baby up for adoption," Sandra stated. Amy looked at her mother with disgust.

"How could you say that? You want to give a part of our family away to some strangers?!"

"There are a lot of people out there who really want babies and can't have them, dear," Sandra started.

"Rachel can't give her baby away!" Amy argued. Rachel sighed heavily.

"Who's making the decision here?!" Rachel asked. "Who's the one that's in this mess?"

"We all are, thanks to you," Jill snapped. "You're such a slut. Thank God Amy's clean."

"Shut up you spoiled little brat," Amy said. "You're only thirteen. You don't know a damned thing about this situation, so I suggest you shut your mouth before I shut it for you."

"Amy, don't talk that way to your sister," Dr. Green warned.

"We aren't getting anywhere. I'm the pregnant fourteen year old, and I'm acting more mature than the rest of you!" Rachel exclaimed. "I'll make this clear to you all right now! I'm not having an abortion and I'm not giving up my baby. I'm going to have it because I made the mistake and I have to live with it. I'll be a mother for the rest of my life. I'll have responsibility, but at least I won't have to worry about my baby not being loved or not being paid attention to. While you are all fighting, I'll be with my baby in my room!" Rachel stormed upstairs and slammed her bedroom door. She threw herself down on her bed and held a pillow against her stomach. "I'm sorry . . . I'm so sorry. You're not even born yet and I'm the only one that wants you here."

At that moment, the phone rang again.

"I've got it!" Rachel screamed down. She picked up the phone, hoping it was Monica or Ross. "Hello?"

"Hey babe."

"Leave me alone," Rachel said angrily. "You don't care about me."

"Of course I do."

"You don't care about my baby."

"It's my baby too, so I think I should get some say."

"What do you mean?"

"Look. I've been thinking about this. We're both young and we have a lot of future ahead of us."

"So?"

"Well, don't you think it might be easier if you just get rid of it?"

"No!" Rachel exclaimed. "I'm not doing that. For the millionth time, I'll never do that!"

"Rachel, calm down."

"I won't calm down."

"Look, if it means that much to you then . . . I want to be there."

"No you don't."

"I do. I really do." Rachel smiled a little, being taken over by Joey's charm. He had always had that effect on her. That's probably why she slept with him in the first place.

"Well . . . alright," she started. "But if you really want to do this, you prove it to me."

"How?"

"Come talk to my parents about it."

"No . . . come on. Your parents hate me."

"Yeah, but at least they'd know that you are going to keep your word if you come by . . ."

"Fine. When?"

"How about on my birthday?"

"That's when?"

"Next week."

"Fine. Next week then."

"Good. I'll see you later." Joey hung up and Rachel hung up, really hoping that Joey would be true to his word. Little did she know, she still had a lot of growing up to do before she could realize that Joey wasn't a guy to keep promises.

Rachel hurried downstairs with a big smile on her face. She saw her parents talking with her sisters. When she walked back into the living room, they all turned to stare at her.

"What was that phone call about?" Sandra asked.

"That was Joey."

"I told him to leave you alone!" Dr. Green exclaimed.

"It's okay, daddy. He's coming over here on my birthday to talk to you and mom. He wants to let you know that he's going to be around."

"I don't believe him."

"You'll see. He can change, daddy. He'll be there."

"I don't trust him, Rach," Amy commented. "He's in my grade, and he's all the time trying to . . ."

"Look, Amy," Rachel started, "Joey's going to change. Just wait. You'll see."

That evening, Monica and Ross were sitting on the couch in the living room. Jack and Judy had long since gone to bed. Little Chloe was sleeping on her Uncle Ross' lap. The movie they were watching was just going off.

Monica yawned and stood up.

"It's time to go to bed. Here, give Chloe to me." Ross lifted Chloe off of his lap and handed her to her mother. "Night Ross."

"Good night." He watched Monica go upstairs with the baby, and he walked outside to sit on the front porch. He stared out at the foggy night and sighed heavily thinking of Rachel. What was he doing? She was fourteen and he was sixteen. She was a week away from her fifteenth birthday, still so young, but she was having the problems of a twenty five year old. He hated that she was suffering, and he only wanted to whisk her away from all of her problems. But he knew that could never happen. Rachel was one to face her problems head on after she thought about them. He knew that right now, she was probably determining what she was going to do for the rest of her life after the baby was born.

He sighed and shut the front door. He took off walking down the road. He needed some fresh air. But the only place he could think to go was to Rachel's house. He walked up her lane and saw her bedroom light on. He stood by the gate of her house and watched as she sat on her bed clutching a pillow to her body. He then saw that she was talking on the phone with a big smile on her face. That was when he knew she was talking to Joey. He hung his head and turned to walk away, knowing that the girl of his dreams was just that. A dream.