I had started my old job and it seemed that things were getting back to normal. Max and I worked about the same schedule and got to see each other for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night. I would like to see him more, but I needed to work to help him pay for everything. The only problem was that we were still very much concerned with my pregnancy. Not knowing was killing us, and it was too early for a home pregnancy test. We barely ate and I knew that I was having great difficulty sleeping. Max woke often with bad dreams.

I came home very tired one night. I walked in the apartment, sat my things down on the kitchen table and nearly collapsed on the couch. I felt like I was going to pass out from pure exhaustion. I thought Max was in the bathroom or something when I first got there because he didn't greet me as usual. I heard nothing in the house. I opened my eyes and called his name. No answer.

A flashing light caught my eye and I looked to the answering machine. Max had left me a message saying that the guys from the band came by work again and they begged him to come by and talk with them after work. He was calling from work and must have remembered the guy's phone was out. I guess he left a message so I wouldn't worry this time. So I laid there for a few more minutes and then decided to get up and make a snack for Max and myself to help pass the time until he arrived home.

I looked in the fridge to see that their was a package or slice-and-bake cookies. Our favorite snack was slice-and-bake chocolate chip cookies with cool-whip on top and a big glass of cold milk. I heated up the oven and thought about what the guys would want with Max as I sliced the cookies. I was too tired to think logically, and thought it best not to think about it. I might jump the gun again and let my emotions get all worked up. I concentrated on baking. The smell of the cookies baking made my mouth water.

When they were just about done, I heard a knock at the door. It was Max. He forgot his keys at work again.

"Did you have another bad day?" I asked as he came inside.

"No," he answered, sitting down at the little kitchen table wearily. "The guys asked me to come over because they wanted me back in the band. They said they had managed to get a small contract to tour all over California and the surrounding states. They told me that we would be on the road for at least a year. I told them that that would be cool, only that didn't erase the harsh words they spoke before. They gave all kinds of fake apologies and then kept encouraging me to come back, telling me I was the greatest bassist ever and that kind of thing. I still told them no. Then they got mad and said they hated me. Boy, how fast loyalty shifts with those guys. They told me they had another bassist ready to take my place.," he paused. "You see, the reason I didn't want to tour with them is much deeper than that in reality. I have you to think of now. I knew they wouldn't understand that I had to take care of you, especially if you become pregnant, but I told them that anyway. They couldn't believe that I'd turned into such a 'pussy' as they put it. But I have something they'll never have. You. And the best way to show you my love is to treat you the best way I know how, and that is to put you first. Those guys don't mean anything to me but a possible way to get started in the music industry, and putting up with them just isn't worth it to me. You mean far more than they ever will. I choose you, because I love you. And if you are pregnant, I am here for you, no matter what."

I was stunned. Max turned down touring with Hard Spank . . . . for me.

"But Max, are you sure you won't regret it?" I asked.

"Never," he answered. "The only thing I would ever regret is if I lost you."

I paused before speaking my next words. "Max, I started my period this morning."

"So you're not-"


He breathed a sigh of relief and smiled a genuinely happy smile.

"Still don't regret it?" I asked.

"Nope. And I never will." He said with absolute confidence.

At that moment, the oven timer beeped and I got the cookies out of the oven. I sat them to the side to cool a bit before eating them.

"I've had this storm in my heart for the past week. A violent storm of fear. I have been so scared of not knowing how this situation was going to turn out. And now my soul is at peace." I said.

Max got up and hugged me, and we were both so relieved that this situation was over. We could be happy again and not have the worries that shouldn't have to be ours for many years to come.

"What about you, Max? How do you feel?"

"I feel relaxed and at peace. It is well with my soul again."

"I'm hungry. Let's eat some cookies," I suggested. Neither of us knew how hungry we were until we started eating. We spread cool-whip on the cookies and ate them hungrily and gulped down the milk.

Stress had drawn hunger and sleep from us for a week and yet we talked and told stories for the rest of the night. We laughed and cuddled all night and when day broke, we fell asleep. This was the first night since we meet that we hadn't made love. We fell asleep entwined in each other's arms. We slept until the afternoon and I woke up knowing that our love could withstand any strain. And it was a wonderful feeling to know that it was well with our souls, and that beholding one another's hearts had been the start of a love that would last forever.