Chapter 53

(Three Months later – Michael)


"Jennifer, can we talk for a moment?" I called her from the living room. I have been living with her for the past month. Victoria and I have been doing our counseling sessions...separately, but Dr. Moore did say more progress was showing when we were not in the room together. I finally told her why I cheated, which she told Victoria. I specifically chose the women I was with, because while each of them had different characteristics, they were like Victoria. Gabriella a.k.a. 1 was hot, spicy and fierce like the young Victoria I grew to adore. 2 was shy and quiet, like Victoria grew to become as she became wiser. 3 was always in the mood, much like how Victoria and I were when we got married and began making love.  4 was very much so like Victoria as far as being wife like, minus the crazy. 5 was no where near Victoria. I think I was just fucking with anyone once I got to 5. Naomi was like Victoria in her attitude and I was crazy about that. She resisted me like Victoria did in college and I loved that. It only made me want her more. When Dr. Moore told Victoria, Victoria of course burst into tears and didn't want to see me for an even longer time, but two weeks after that, Victoria told Dr. Moore why she got with Joshua the way she did. Because he was like me when I had first met her. She wasn't falling in love, but she desperately wanted him in her life, which only broke my heart. After the sessions, I got called to the doctor's office and was told Victoria and I did not have HIV. It was a misunderstanding in the lab, but I had to sue a couple of people for "accidentally" ruining my life. How in the hell does a doctor mess up in the lab and give out the wrong results? I call bullshit and had the place closed. I have yet to tell Victoria though.


Jennifer walked in the room, stomach still flat as ever. I gave her a slight smile and patted the seat beside me. "What's up?" She asked once she sat beside me.


"Are you really pregnant?" I asked.


She looked down at her stomach and rubbed it, "yes, why?"


"It's been about three months now."


"Give it some time..."


"Jennifer, are you really pregnant with my child?"


"Yes, why wouldn't I be?" She asked without breaking eye contact.


"Awesome! Well, I set an appointment with my doctor so we can see my child." I smiled.


"What time?"


"In an hour. Let's go." I held my hand out for her to take.


"Ok, well I have to get dressed." She took my hand and stood up.


"You look perfectly fine like that."


"Are you sure? I don't want to be seen like this..." She shifted.


"It's just the doctor."


"Ok." She sighed and grabbed her purse. Surprisingly, she seems so calm about this. She doesn't sound nervous at all. What if she is pregnant? What if she really is carrying my child? Well, I'm finally going to see today.



"Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, Dr. Mayo will see you now." I looked at the receptionist in disbelief. I clearly put Jennifer's last name down. I helped Jennifer stand up and allowed her in front of me to the room we were being escorted to.


"Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, how are you?" Dr. Mayo smiled as she greeted us.


"We're not married." I ignored her question as I sat down in the only open seat in the room.


"I'm sorry! What may I call you?" She asked Jennifer.


Jennifer bit her lip, "just call me Jennifer."


"Okay, Jennifer, I just have a few questions before we begin. How long have you been pregnant?"


"Twelve weeks." I noticed her hands shaking. Why is she so nervous? I don't understand why she doesn't just break down and tell me yet.


"Have you had any symptoms?"


"Migraines, throwing up, random cramps. That stuff."


Dr. Mayo looked up at Jennifer, "any shortness of breath?"


"No."


"Frequent urination?"


"No."


"Backaches?"


"Umm... no." Jennifer shook her head.


"Have you taken a pregnancy test?" Bingo.


"Yes." Jennifer answered quickly.


"Okay." I studied the doctor's face. She looked disappointed, but tried not to let it show as she continued to write. I know she's thinking the same thing I'm thinking. No way is Jennifer pregnant. "Alright. Lay back, Jennifer. Lift your shirt and get comfortable. Jennifer did as she was told. I scooted closer to the TV monitor that would supposedly show my child. "You're twelve weeks pregnant, correct?"


"Yes, ma'am." Jennifer's voice shook.


"While pregnancy is different for every woman, your stomach should definitely have a bump right about now at twelve weeks. Your stomach is flat... I can tell you work out! You must do a lot of ab work." Dr. Mayo chuckled to herself. Jennifer continued to look nervous. "I'm going to put this gel on your stomach, it's going to have a little chill to it, but your body will adjust to it." She said as she rubbed the gel on her stomach. Jennifer did not reply. Will she crack? Maybe I've been wrong this whole time. Pregnancy is different for every woman... "Mr. Jackson, could you please turn off the lights?" I went to turn off the lights just as she turned on the TV monitor. I looked at Jennifer as she turned her head toward the screen. "Are you guys ready to see your child?" Dr. Mayo smiled at the both of us. Neither me nor Jennifer gave her a response. I turned my head toward the TV monitor. Jennifer looked completely out of it. Dr. Mayo noticed our expressions and decided to keep quiet as she rubbed the probe over Jennifer's stomach.



"Jennifer?" Dr. Mayo broke the awkward silence after 5 minutes of searching.


"Yes?"


"Are you sure you're pregnant?"


"I don't know."


"I'm not seeing anything..."


"Nothing?" Jennifer's voice began to crack.


"It's been five minutes. I can find the fetus within a minute at the most. I'm afraid to tell you, but Jennifer, you were never pregnant." Inside, I screamed a victorious, "yes!" Outside, my face was stone cold. I couldn't even bare to face Jennifer.


"But the pregnancy test said-"


"Not all pregnancy tests are accurate. Did you try multiple ones? To reassure yourself, it's best to try different brands. The only other thing that can cause pregnancy symptoms is your menstrual cycle, but if you want, we can set up an appointment and see if it is anything else?" Dr. Mayo wiped the gel from Jennifer's stomach.


"It's okay." Jennifer pulled her shirt down and got out of the seat.


"Mr. Jackson, have you had any problems conceiving before?"


"No. Never, but I know nothing is wrong with me."


"Nothing has to be wrong, Mr. Jackson. Do you want to run any tests?"


"No, thank you. I'm fine. You helped us out tremendously." I forced a smile to clear the obvious tension in the room.


"You're very welcome. Have a great day!" She smiled as Jennifer and I left.


"Michael, I-" Jennifer began.


"Save it." I said as we got on the elevator.


"But, Michael, I-"


"Stop."


"You don't understand. Let me explain myself."


"There's nothing to explain. You've done enough. Let's go."



All was quiet as I packed my belongings. I was mad, but then again, I was so relieved. I told Dr. Moore that I had gotten Jennifer pregnant and of course she told Victoria. Now, I can tell Victoria or Dr. Moore that it was all a big lie. Everything in my life seems to be coming back together now. I don't have HIV. I'm not having a child with someone I don't love. Victoria and I can get back together. I'm just ready to start over.


"Michael, I just want to say I'm sorry." Jennifer began. I ignored her, but she continued. "I'm sorry for lying to you in an attempt to keep you in my life. I've been so lonely. You wouldn't understand that. You've been with Victoria all your life. A child could have made me complete... Us complete."


I turned around to face her. This woman is so fucking delusional. "Us? There is no us. There never was an us. Jennifer, my god, you don't understand. I'm married, happily married, and-"


"How could you have been happy if you came and cheated on her with me, huh? There is no way you were 'happily' married. I refuse to believe that."


"I cheated because she got boring! I shouldn't have cheated, but I did and that was my mistake. I'm sorry if you think that I wanted to marry you or that I was in love with you. I'm not, Jennifer. You need to accept that. It would make our lives all the more better if you just understood that I never loved you." I know that sounded so mean, but I had to get my point across. I didn't want her. My penis wanted her! My heart, my head, my soul... I didn't want her. I didn't want anything to do with her outside of sex. I took all of my things out to the car, leaving Jennifer standing in her bedroom in denial. After I gathered my things and had them all in the car, I went back to her. I didn't know what to say. I don't know what to do. Her baby story probably sent Victoria ballistic, now I have to convince Victoria that Jennifer was never even pregnant. "Delete my number, Jennifer." I sighed, "it'll be best for both of us." My intention is to go home, but I'd much rather see Dr. Moore.



"Is Dr. Moore in?" I asked the receptionist as I opened the door to the back.


"She's with a client, Mr. Jackson. You can't- Mr. Jackson, you can't go back there!" She followed me as I made my way to Dr. Moore's office. I opened the door to see Victoria. My heart was racing. I haven't seen her in a while. She lost weight...


"Victoria," I exhaled.


"I'm sorry, Dr. Moore. Mr. Jackson-"


"He's fine. Come and sit, Michael." Dr. Moore motioned for me to sit down.


I sat down beside Victoria, gazing at her the whole time, "how are you?" I wanted so much to hug, kiss and hold her. I missed her so much.


"I'm fine." She didn't even look at me.


"What brings you here, Michael?"


I shifted my attention towards Dr. Moore, "the baby."


"What's going on with the baby?" She asked.


Victoria shook her head, "I refuse to sit here and listen to him and his whore of a baby's mom." She stood.


"No, V, you need to hear this."


"Have a seat, Victoria. If Michael says you need to hear this, then you should listen." Dr. Moore suggested.


"Did your baby's mama have a miscarriage?" Victoria rolled her eyes.


"No."


"What happened, Michael?" Dr. Moore asked me.


All was silent as they waited for my answer, "the woman lied. She was never pregnant." Victoria slowly unfolded her arms. She looked like she was in utter disbelief. "She made it up. She was crazy. She wanted a family with me, she wanted to marry me... I wanted no part of it."


"When did you find this out?" Dr. Moore asked.


"Today."


"Why did it take you so long?"


"I knew it all along. Mom told me. I was just in denial. After being with the woman for so long, I noticed she showed no signs of being with child. I decided to schedule an appointment today."


"Well, I'm glad," Victoria stood up. "But that still doesn't change-"


"I need to tell you about that. We don't have anything. We're clean. It was a mistake."


"Oh, really? What sicko would make up something like that?"


"Someone new in the lab. I got called up there and was told about the misunderstanding. You'll be glad to know that the office was shut down by my direction. "We're clean, V. I'm not lying."

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