Monday, September 24, 2007

Chapter 1


Her first night out since that awful night and she went into labor. At the concert she decided she just had to attend. Frannie had gotten herself a ticket and had gone alone, not really thinking anything would happen. She had dressed comfortably but still with a bit of style, well as much style as one could have at eight months pregnant anyway. Black maternity jeans and a cute black embellished top. From the back you wouldn't have guessed she was pregnant, but from every other angle, there was no denying it. As she made her way to her seat people were staring at her, but she didn’t care. She had as much right as anyone else to be there, pregnant or not. She sat when she felt she needed to and stood as much as she thought she should. By the end her back was hurting and she decided to wait for everyone else to make their way out before trying to leave. She didn’t want to get caught in the crush of people. As she stood to leave a pain caught her and she grabbed the railing in front of her. With her free hand she rubbed her belly, willing the pain to subside. As the pain eased she turned to go up the steps and another one caught her. Shit. I need to get out of here. She looked around for the nearest exit and it was still a flight of stairs away.

One of the security guys and been watching Frannie to make sure she was doing all right. They didn’t get many women as pregnant as she so obviously was at a rock concert so he wasn’t going to take any chances. He saw her stop and grab her belly three times before making his way over to her. “Are you all right miss?” She looked up and he could tell from the grimace on her face that she was far from all right. He picked up his two way radio, “boss, we got a situation.” Frannie heard the faceless voice speak back, “what’s the problem?” Frannie was in the throes of another contraction and didn’t catch anything else. As the pain subsided she realized the man was speaking to her again. “Do you think you can walk miss?” She looked at him, “what’s your name?” He wasn’t expecting that. “My name?” She shook her head, “your name, sir, what’s your name?” She didn’t have time for this. “Mike, my name’s Mike.” She smiled as best she could, “well Mike, I’m Frannie and if you are going to get me to a hospital, you are my new best friend.” They managed a few steps and another pain hit. He waited as she breathed through it and then picked her up and carried backstage and into the first room he came to. He deposited her on the couch and, being such a big man, she couldn’t see around him to figure out where the heck she was. It was only when he moved did she realize just where he had brought her and who the “boss” was.

She looked around at the five faces that were staring at her. Holy Hell. Jon, Richie, David, Tico and Hugh were all looking at her, waiting for some sort of reaction. Before she could think of something to say another contraction hit, this one more intense than the last. The men watched, not sure what they could do for her. When the pain passed she tried to get off the couch, “um, a little help here please?” She looked at the five of them still standing and looking at her. “What, I know at least four of you have seen a pregnant woman in labor before. What’s the problem?” Jon moved first, “you sure you want to get up...” he hesitated. “Frannie. My name is Frannie and yes I want to get up, this couch is damn uncomfortable.” Jon helped her up and she paced back and forth, “did one of you…” she trailed off as another pain hit. “Shit” she looked down at the puddle between her feet. “Did someone call an ambulance or something” she managed to ask before she had another contraction. They were coming closer together and way more intense, she knew she wasn’t going to make it to a hospital, whether or not an ambulance had been called. Jon moved to her, offering his support. “Where would you be most comfortable?” She looked around, “over there on the floor I guess.” She pointed to a spot by the wall. As Jon took the couch cushions and placed them on the floor for her to lean on, Richie came up beside her and took her hand. “Don’t worry darlin’ we’re gonna help you.” She tried to smile but she just didn’t have it in her at that moment. Another pain came and she gripped his hand so hard he grimaced. “That’s quite the grip you got there darlin’.” She looked at him, “sorry.”

They helped her get situated on the floor, held her hands, encouraging her to breathe through the pains and praying that the ambulance would get there. After one particularly strong contraction she looked first at Jon and then at Richie, “I need to push.” Jon and Richie both had panicked looks on their faces. “What do you mean you need to push?” Jon looked over at the others, “go find out where the damn ambulance is!” He turned back to Frannie, “are you sure?” She was panting through her contractions now, “yes… I’m… sure.” He pulled her shoes off and she flipped her shirt up as he helped her get her pants off. They watched as her stomach went rigid with another contraction. Richie got behind her to support her back and Jon encouraged her to push. “Come on Frannie you can do this.” He looked at her, making sure she was still with him. Tears were running down her cheeks as she bore down a second time. “That’s it Frannie, I can see the head.” He was between her legs, but having no idea what to do, he just let her body do what it was made to do. Richie and Jon watched, as with the next push, the little head appeared. Jon looked around and grabbed a t-shirt that was slung over a nearby chair. As the baby slid out he wrapped her up in the t-shirt and set her on her mother’s stomach. “It’s a girl Frannie.” She looked up to see a tear trail down his cheek. “Thank you.” She looked up at Richie, “thank you too.” She looked down at her baby girl just as the paramedics came through the door.


*********************


Frannie caressed the soft downy head resting against her breast. Three months had passed since that fateful night when little Sophie made her early and quite unexpected appearance; helped into the world by the two men Frannie had always wanted to meet, but not quite like that. She glanced up at the picture on Sophie’s dresser, except for her memories, it was the only proof she had that these two men had been there for her. What a story that was. She smiled down on Sophie, her little ray of sunshine. She hadn’t been conceived in love, but Frannie had vowed she would know nothing but love.

She tried not to think about the night Sophie was conceived very often, but every now and again the memories snuck up on her, catching her unaware. Like now. She sat back down in the rocking chair and let herself drift back to that awful night.

Frannie had met some friends out for dinner and a drink. This was the same group she got together with once a month. They enjoyed a lively dinner and they talked for what seemed like forever, catching up from the previous month. It was a night out that Frannie always looked forward to. Normally they all left together, but this night Frannie left early. She had a headache and wanted to get home and get to bed early. She had to work the next day. As she headed to her car she was grabbed from behind and knocked to the ground. She tried to fight off her attacker but he was twice her size. She managed to scratch his face before he backhanded her. She closed her eyes, trying to blank out what he was doing to her. She felt him rip her shirt and she felt something cold against her belly before feeling her jeans give way. “No, please!” She cried and begged to no avail. He ripped her underwear from her body. She chanced a glance at him. He had flat, emotionless gray eyes, a scar on the left side of his face and a menacing mouth. He smacked her before hissing out “stupid bitch, you’re gonna get what you deserve.” She screamed as he rammed into her and he hit her again, leaving her in a daze. She clawed at him but he was relentless. He finished, hit her once more and left her in a heap on the pavement near her car, bloody and broken and, unbeknownst to Frannie, pregnant.

Frannie managed to gather her purse and keys and get into her car, driving herself to the nearest police station. She hadn’t waited for her friends, she didn’t want them to see her like that. She stumbled into the station and collapsed in a chair. A policewoman took her statement and took her to the hospital. After she was treated and the rape kit was done, the doctor admitted her and kept her overnight. She didn’t find out until several weeks later that she was pregnant. When she went for a check up with her gynecologist her doctor confirmed it. Frannie sat in her doctor’s office in disbelief. Not only had she been raped, but now she was carrying that bastard’s child. Her doctor gave her information on adoption and told her to keep her faith, that fate was a funny thing and everything would work out in the end. Frannie shook her head at her doctor’s words, Bon Jovi was her favorite band and words to one of their songs came to mind.

Faith: you know you're gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don't let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Lord we got to keep the faith

In the weeks following she poured over the information on adoption, not sure of what she was going to do. She knew abortion was out of the question, she just didn’t have it in her to take a life, no matter how it was conceived. Adoption seemed like the right thing to do, until she felt the baby move. After that her decision seemed to have been made for her, she was going to keep this baby.

They never caught the man that had raped her. This left her more than a little unnerved. Frannie stopped going out at night and took to her studio. Her sketches and watercolors and music kept her from totally falling apart. She slept with the lights on for more than a month after the attack. The nightmares had lessened, but every now and again, out of the blue, they surfaced.

She immersed herself in her work. Her sketches and paintings sold at a local gallery and were always in demand. She didn’t need the money they brought her, but she needed the outlet. It was a way to work out her anger and aggressions, her fears and insecurities. It was her passion and it showed in her work. She had sketched the man who attacked her, to best of her ability, but it hadn’t helped. She could only hope that one day he would be caught.

Blinking, she came back to the present. She really needed to stop dwelling on the past and start living her life again. She checked on Sophie and left the room, heading to her studio. Work, that’s what she needed. It would help to ease her mind. As she walked through her little house her doorbell rang. She walked quickly to answer it so the bell didn’t wake Sophie. Peeking though the peephole she gasped in shock. What was he doing here?

He had no idea what possessed him to show up on her doorstep now. It had been three months since that night. After their last show a girl had gone into labor and she had been there alone. He and Richie helped her out, but that night, that girl had stuck with him. He had seen her during the show, thinking it odd that a woman as pregnant as she had been was there, but didn’t give it any further thought. She had been on Richie’s side of the stage, just up off the floor. She had stuck out to him for the obvious reason that she was very pregnant, but there had been something else about her as well. He had the immediate instinct to protect her but couldn’t understand where that had come from. He put it from his head, but made sure to keep an eye on her throughout the rest of the show, just in case.

The sound of a lock disengaging brought him out of his reverie. He hoped he wasn’t making a big mistake coming here. He had wondered about her and just wanted to know that she was doing all right.

Frannie opened the door as far as the chain would allow. Even though he was who he was, she still had trust issues. “Jon, what are you doing here?”

5 comments:

jonsguttergirl said...

Steph LOVE the start of this! It's a great idea for a story.

Luce

Starr said...

OMG I love this story! I am hooked already!
You had me with tears in my eyes I was so moved with the birth scene. It was very believable the reactions from Jon and Richie too.
I am really loving this Steph and look forward to chapter 2. And thank you for writing a Jon story this time, as I am a Jon girl all the way. I did like your A Little Faith story though. :)

Hathor said...

Stephanie, I only wish I was up last night when you sent me the PM to come check out this story! What a great start. Very powerful and dayum girl you've got me sucked in.

-- Jen

PhoebeSmellyCat said...

Steph! You are my new best friend! LOL!

Absolutely LOVED "Faith" and now I'm treated to another one of your gems!

Here we go on another ride!

Jen

Opester said...

Wow, this an awesome and very unique beginning. I am totally enthralled! looks like that cleaning i had planned to do today can wait a bit longer...