Everyone expects her to freak out about her situation.
Which, sure, she does. She really does.
She lives in a flat that’s basically just one single room and she’s barely been able to squeeze in a tiny crib so it’s a little bit alien to her to image being able to fit a whole baby in here with her.
The money she’s already spent on the first of two years of chef school feels wasted now that she’s been more or less unable to attend the seminars and classes. First she was ill for weeks without knowing what had happened and then, when she found out, she had been ill with the shock of it all.
If she could have, she would have had an abortion. But when she found out she was already fast approaching the second trimester and things got messy and now she doesn’t think of it like that any more.
It’s her baby. No matter how fucked up her life is, that’s her baby. Somehow it will be. Has to be.
Now she just has to figure out a way to handle the rest of it. Like the potential fathers. Because of course, since she’s just a huge screw-up these days, she doesn’t even know who the father is and it doesn’t matter anyway because both of them are men she would never ever in her life move in with or confide in or trust with important things like babies.
It’s just that Michael is so damn sweet about it.
He pops into her flat when she sleeps and drops of massive breakfasts before he goes to work. Because she mentioned once that she still is nauseous in the mornings and because he remembers things she tells him. It lands in her chest, hits her like a blow.
He comes over after work as well, just like he did before he knew and it’s something liberating about that, too, because he doesn’t treat her like she’s some kind of pregnant freak. He treats her just the same, like he finds her beautiful and desirable and wants to have sex with her.
And when she asks him to, he stays the entire night.
Dennis, on the other hand, comes with her to her routine ultrasound and there’s something about that too, something really, really strange. Hard to explain, but when they get back home they’re both sort of overwhelmed and freaked out but in an oddly happy way.
He tells her he wants to be an active part of the baby’s life, if it’s his. She doesn’t ask what he wants if it turns out the baby isn’t his and he doesn’t mention it either, because they don’t really discuss these things. Or things in general.
And it’s like they have no other means to resolve tension, so they end up in bed. Or rather – on his disgusting couch.
Does it make her feel good? She isn’t sure she knows the answer to that. It doesn’t make her feel bad, at least, and it doesn’t make much of a difference in her life at the moment.
Still, the romantic turmoil has to go when the baby arrives. She isn’t stupid enough not to understand that. She isn’t stupid enough to think it will be this simple then, either. It’s deceptively simple now because both Dennis and Michael are easy-going commitment-phobes and she knows they are both waiting and hoping that the baby is the other man’s responsibility.
She may be a lot of things, but she’s got enough self-respect never to subject herself to a relationship where she’s in that sort of position. The underdog, the not-quite-wanted, the one who wants the whole thing a little bit more than the other party.
Of course she wants stability for the baby now that she has accepted that thee will be one. She wants stability for herself, too, wants far away from this day-to-day existence with fast food industry jobs and not nearly enough money.
As her pregnancy progresses and she finds herself too tired and anxious for a lot of activities, she begins to hang out a lot with Helmer, a guy working in the same place as her. He’s a new employee, below her in the scant hierarchy structure and always pleasant, in an effortless way.
They hang out without obligations and rules, without calling it something and she finds that it’s gradually becoming something she counts on – having a quick mug of coffee together between the shifts, someone to mock the manager with, to lunch with or walk to the subway with at the end of the day.
Helmer walks her all the way home, claiming she lives in a rough neighbourhood and now that she’s pregnant he wants to make extra sure she’s not being placed in any kind of danger.
He’s a weird guy, very far from her type, but Josephine is happy to have him in her life as a friend.
* God, not yet two rounds in and Josephine’s life is already such a mess. 🙂 Her guys come and go all the time and then she dragged Helmer back home, ACR-kissed him and then immediately rolled the want to get engaged to him. I have some ideas for how her life will turn out in the next couple of years, but we’ll see what happens with her wants and actions, too.