Disclaimer: I don't own anything in this story, so don't sue.
A/N: So this is a new one and I got the idea from someone and I hope that you like it and please, please, please review, it would mean so much to me. It's probably going to be only two parts so I should have the other one soon. Please leave a review!
She hummed to herself as she walked through her house. She was making sure everything was turned off and locked up before she headed upstairs and to bed. She flicked off the kitchen lights then went to check the back door. Yup, locked, just like it had been all day. Call her paranoid, but she just liked to make sure she was safe. Besides, she was the only one there so nobody else would be checking anything. She flicked off the living room lights and then turned the alarm on before heading upstairs.
She was still humming to herself as she entered her bedroom, closing the door behind her. She didn't like having the door opened at night. She feared waking up in the middle of the night and seeing someone standing in her doorway, coming to kill her. She knew it was irrational, but that's why it was a fear, it was irrational so it didn't have to make sense. She'd made progress though and didn't lock her door anymore. That was something.
She hummed her way into her closet, pulling on a loose nightgown. The summer was warm, but the air conditioning tempered the heat outside and made it manageable in the house. Still, she got hot at night and wanted to make sure she was cool enough under her covers. She went into the bathroom and checked herself in the mirror, turning from side to side. She looked okay, nothing out of the ordinary. Then she brushed her teeth and combed out her hair and then she flicked off that light too.
Her bed was comfortable and inviting. She pulled back the striped comforter and climbed inside. She settled herself against the pillows and sat there for a moment, safe and warm in her bed. She sighed and tried to fluff her pillows, but it didn't quite work. She had an abundance of them since she didn't have anyone to share her bed with. That was okay though, nobody ever said you always had to share your bed with someone.
She looked to her nightstand and grabbed her iPod. She hummed to herself again as she grabbed the headphones. She spread out the new headphones and placed it around her stomach. It was sad how they just stayed there, but she was getting so used to her inflated stomach, so this was just par for the course at this point. She was a month away from holding her little girl in her arms and she was doing just fine by herself, no matter what her parents tried to convince her of.
She looked down at her iPod, flipping through the various artists until she settled on one. No, it wasn't classical or jazz, though they said those were "best" for the baby. Apparently they would facilitate a genius baby, but she didn't need a genius for a child. She just wanted someone healthy and happy. That's all she'd ever wanted. Ten fingers, ten toes, and pure happiness. If she couldn't have it, her daughter was damn well going to have it. So she skipped any Handel or Schumann she had or the Louis Armstrong or Dizzy Gillepsie. Those weren't what she wanted to play.
She wanted her daughter to hear her daddy's voice.
"Hey Rora, are you ready to hear some more music?" she asked her stomach. Aurora had been moving around all day, getting comfortable in there and having little regard for Stephanie's insides. "I'm going to take that as a yes."
She pressed the screen on her iPod and she could hear the first strains of Balls to the Wall playing. She laughed. People might think she was corrupting her daughter straight out of the womb. No matter, nobody had to know of her nightly ritual. This is what she did every night. She'd sit in bed and she'd pick Fozzy and then she'd let her daughter listen to the band for about twenty minutes and then they would both sleep.
She didn't know what went through her daughter's mind. She wasn't that much in tune with her. Maybe Aurora didn't have thoughts at all, not yet anyways. But when Stephanie closed her eyes and listened to the faint sounds of Chris wafting up from her stomach, Aurora would kick madly and Stephanie figured that maybe, just maybe, she knew there was a reason for her mommy played this for her every night. That was probably reaching. Aurora wasn't even living independently yet, there was no way she was in there thinking, "Hey, this is my daddy!"
No matter how much Stephanie wished it.
She hummed along to the song. She knew every one by heart. She'd known them by heart even before she'd gotten pregnant. She'd find herself humming to one of them every so often. She never caught herself immediately. She'd be halfway through a song before she'd realize just what she was doing. Silly of her, huh? The songs would just creep up on her, tiptoeing into her brain and snuggling against the gray matter. They all resided there, burrowing deep inside. She'd been on her deathbed and she'd be humming Enemy as her breath slowed; she could see it now. Pathetic, she was pathetic in so many ways. She knew it. Hell, she still slept with a nightlight, the dark terrifying her. If someone was there with her though, she could sleep with the lights off, but that was the point, nobody was with her.
She kept humming as the song ended and a new one began. This was a little slower in tempo, but not much and she was now humming along to this new song as her thoughts wandered to the man singing. She hadn't spoken with him in six months. She'd never directly told him she was pregnant? Bad? Yes. Her decision? Most definitely. He probably knew by now though. It had made it all around the internet and it wasn't like Chris lived under a rock or didn't have friends. He must've known by now she was pregnant. Whether or not he knew it was his…well…
Okay, he had to know that too. Well, maybe not. She'd just broken up with Paul when she got pregnant. Three weeks separated the time from when she'd last slept with Paul and first slept with Chris. That didn't leave a lot of leeway, but what Chris didn't know was that Paul was sterile. That had been one of the appealing things about him, which was weird, but when she'd started dating him, she didn't want kids. Hell, even when she slept with Chris, she didn't want kids, but then God decided to play a little trick on her…or a huge trick on her.
Maybe Chris believed it was Paul's. Maybe she wanted him to believe she was Paul's. It would make her life a lot easier and it would ease the ache she got sometimes when Chris didn't show up on her doorstep. She figured, well, if he knew or had figured out that he was her baby's father that he'd show up and claim her and they could be a family. But months and months had passed and she could pop any day now (though her due date was still weeks away she was considered full-term), and every day came and went and nary a knock on her door from him. Not even a call or e-mail or smoke signal. So she resolved herself to the inevitable. She was going to be a single mother and nobody would know who her child's father was, not even her child.
Her parents bugged her about it, but she said it was none of their business and to leave her alone. They said they wanted him to take responsibility, she told them she was taking her own responsibility and raising her daughter the best she knew how. They said the best was with mother and father, she said the best was with unconditional love. Potato, potato. They were never going to agree, but Aurora was hers and hers alone and they had no say in how she'd be raised.
Chris had gone back to his wife, that was the problem, why she wouldn't tell anyone. They'd been separated when she'd started seeing him. There were no illicit meetings or whatever, they'd seen each other a few times, hung out, had casual sex and then he'd decided to go back to his wife and she'd been two months pregnant and scared to tell him. That was that. And he should try with his wife, they had an adorable, little boy together and he didn't know any better than his mommy and daddy being together so that's what he should have. He should get that chance.
Aurora wouldn't know any better. She'd have her mommy and it'd be all she needed. She didn't need a daddy. Stephanie could be the provider for her, she could be everything for her and that's how she intended it to be. They didn't need Chris, but at the very least, Stephanie could give her daughter parts. There could be parts of Chris she could give Aurora, like his voice right now. He could give Aurora his voice and when the little girl was born, she could give Aurora the sight of him every now and then when they watched old tapes.
He wasn't with the company right now and if he was, she could give her his presence every so often. It was probably better he wasn't around. She'd be tempted and she fully expected that while she gave Aurora the bits of Chris she could, Chris had given Aurora more than she could ever hope for, life. And maybe more, maybe he'd given her his eyes or his nose or chin or hair or something beautiful and so him that she'd gaze at her daughter for the first time and just know that Chris had given her the best parts of him.
"And over and over I start anew," she sang under her breath. The song ended and she was tired so she pressed the pause and then turned the iPod off and took the headphones off her stomach. She placed them on the nightstand again and rubbed her stomach. "Did you like that, Rora? That last one was my favorite, what did you think?"
Aurora wouldn't answer, but it was comforting to talk to the night air. She settled back into bed and pulled the covers over her. She hummed as she fell asleep, Aurora's kicking letting Stephanie know that she was indeed alive. She needed the reminder when she went to bed because in those lonely moments before she fell asleep, the gravity of being alone fell on her so completely she felt herself being crushed. God help her, she could say a million things, but it still didn't replace Chris.
When she woke up, she was relieved that another night had passed and nobody had entered her room. Door closed? Check. Alarm didn't go off? Check. She was safe another night. A song on her lips, she got out of bed and immediately walked straight to her office. It's what she did every morning. She'd get up, turn on her computer and then get ready for the morning. She'd do a little work here then head to the office for some more work. She was working more and more out of the house these days. Once Aurora was born, she'd work straight from her house until it was okay for Aurora to stay with a babysitter during the day, probably six weeks.
She turned on her computer and then went downstairs to start her stupid decaf coffee. Oh well, she'd soon return to the land of caffeine. No use crying over it now. She turned off the alarm and opened the window above the sink to let in some of the already humid air. It felt warm across her cheek and she smiled. She got dressed as the coffee brewed and then a cup later she was at her desk. A message, her machine indicated and she pressed it, wondering what this was about. She usually didn't get calls this early.
"Hey, Stephanie, this is Chris, I wanted to discuss coming back to the company with you. If you could give me a call back, that'd be great and maybe we could set up a meeting or something. I'm assuming you're the person to come to since you're the head of creative. If you're not, let me know and I'll call who I need to, thanks."
Stephanie's heart dropped. Aurora kicked.
She knew her daddy.