“The whole world is made up of things coming together and things falling apart.”
Windenburg Isle Cameron Estate
“Wait, what? Slow down, and one thing at a time, Jamie. Fight? Breakup?! Pregnant?! Did you say you found out several weeks ago that your girlfriend is PREGNANT? Pregnant with YOUR child?! You mean weeks as in the customary sequence of 7 days at a time? Those weeks?! What?! Why are we just now hearing about this?! And what do you mean you fought and broke up?!” Declan repeated, eyes wide, staring at his son who looked like he was about to start crying for desperation.
“More importantly, did I hear you right? You suggested an abortion to Averie?! After you found out she was pregnant with YOUR baby?! Are you kidding me right now, Jamie?! This better be the worst joke ever! You could not think of a more cold-hearted thing to say to a pregnant 22 year old girl?! What were you thinking?! I really thought YOU were the responsible one between you and Jordan, instead you get someone pregnant at only 22! I wanna break up with you, too, and I am your mother!” the pitch of Rory’s voice reached painful heights.
“Rory … calm down, baby.” Declan tried to keep even keel.
“Don’t tell me to calm down, Decs! Did you hear your son!? He knocked up his girl at 22! He just graduated college a few months ago! And then Monsieur takes his sweet time to even tell us about all that! WEEKS! Thanks for remembering before the kid turned 18, Jamie! How can you stand there, Declan, calm, like a stuffed animal! That’s just impossible! YOU are impossible, Jamie!” Rory was just beside herself.
“Mom! You’re missing the whole context! I wasn’t trying to keep it from you, Averie and I were both in shock. I mean, we kinda knew for weeks, but hoped the drugstore test was wrong, so we hoped her gyn would say she’s not, but it took a while for her to get an appointment, which was today, and then he confirmed it. After the appointment we didn’t even know what to think or say, so we tried to come up with ideas, a plan to present to all of you, she listed abortion as an option, she was crying hysterically, so I said maybe the abortion thing would be the best, I thought that’s what she wanted, and she got all mad and we had this terrible fight and she broke up with me – or maybe I broke up with her … or we broke up with each other … I don’t even know, but I am gonna pay for the kid and all it needs of course …”
“Damn right you will! And you will help take care of it, too! I will see you change diapers, getting up in the middle of the night, feeding and cleaning that kid, young man and if it has to happen at gunpoint! If you are old and mature enough to screw a girl, then you are old and mature enough to deal with the consequences! Prepare to wipe shit and puke of your own flesh and blood! I guarantee you, YOU WILL!”
“RORY! Baby …” Declan tried to calm her.
“You better handle this, Decs! I can’t, or I will strangle our son, right here! I just can’t with any of this right now. Just know that I am VERY disappointed in you, James Harrison Cameron! Mostly for your unwillingness to face the consequences of your actions and for not coming to us immediately after you found out! Unbelievable! I raised you better than that!” Rory stormed off, soon after both men winced at the slamming of the nearby home office door that made the dishes clink in the cupboards.
“Dad, I am sorry. All this is completely out of context. I am not that kinda ass. You know me better than that.”
“I do, kid, and don’t apologize to me! Imagine how Averie feels now. What she needed to hear from you was that you’d be there by her side every step of the way, no matter which way that ultimately would be, not hear you pick the quickest and seemingly easiest way to wiggle out of the mess. Even IF that were or is what you both choose, she needed to know she can count on you. And besides, I thought you … you … ya know, REALLY cared about Averie, you’ve been with her for almost 6 years now. Why would you even consider something so drastic as abortion. I mean, we are by no means wealthy, but not poor either.”
“Dad, I do care! But it wasn’t like that! She brought that up as an option, SHE herself listed abortion, adoption and … well … keeping it. I thought she wanted me to pick one, so I thought about it, I couldn’t see someone else raise my kid, she was freaking out about the thought of having a baby now, honestly I couldn’t see us raising one, I mean – seriously, dad – HOW? … so … I went with the third option thinking that’s what she wanted too but she totally flipped out on me. And now mom hates me …”
“Jamie. Your mother doesn’t hate you. She could never. Look, I get it, I understand why you felt that was the best choice, but we are men, and even for us, that choice isn’t easy to live with. The women are the ones who have an instant connection to the baby, their bodies have to go through all that for us and because of us. I am not going to pretend I have all the insights and answers. Now, just so I understand, are you and her really broken up or was it just a bad fight?”
“No, pretty sure we’re through. Just the things she said to me and how she said them and her behavior … she said she hates me, never wants to see me again, told me to not show up, not call, forget she even exists. Then I got mad and said some pretty bad things too and … you know how it goes. So, I am thinking, she’s done with me.”
“Jamie, no. No, kid no. Let her calm down, assume she is telling her parents about it tonight as well, I’ll talk to Chad, as you know her dad and I go way back, and when he thinks she has calmed down enough, you will go over there and apologize – and go from there. Okay?”
“Dad, but how am I gonna raise a baby. I am 22 …”
“Not to sound heartless, but you were 22 when you had sex and made that baby. Too late to cry about it now, you have to look forward and make the best of it. Parenthood can be very rewarding, but it’s not easy, especially not at your age. Averie’s dad Chad can probably tell you all about that too. He got presented with Carley, Averie’s older half-sister when he was around your age, she was already 5 then, so he learned quickly and there was no mother around to help. It’s possible and if you ask him now, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Look, I am not happy about this either. I always thought your cousin Blaine would be the one with the Cameron curse, or even your brother and his girlfriend with the temper, definitely not you and Averie, and I sure as hell didn’t expect you to break up over it. But it can happen, we all know it can happen, especially if your last name is Cameron. Your mom, me, your grandparents and even that rotten, big-mouth of a brother of yours will be there for you and the baby. You know that. You’re not alone, Jamie.”
“Thanks dad. And please, make sure to tell mom I am sorry and maybe explain to her what I was trying to say …” Jamie hugged his dad.
Windenburg Mainland, outskirts of town LeClerq Residence A few days later
“So, do you think you can forgive me? Are we still … you know … together? A couple?”
“I don’t know Jamie. It’s not just the abortion thing. I get that part, honestly, I was weighing that off too, for a moment only, even though I would have never really said that out loud. But you made it sound like all this was my fault. The pregnancy I mean.”
“Well, it kinda was. I always used a condom, you are the one on the pill. That one time when I didn’t have a condom, you said just the pill would be fine. YOU said we’d be okay! YOU were wrong, apparently!”
“Well, I said that because I thought we were. I totally forgot about the sinus infection. And still, you should have had condoms on you or not have had sex with me!”
“But YOU told me we’d be fine! YOU said we’d be safe with you just taking the pill, and we probably would have been, since it does the trick for millions of other people! Just millions of other women apparently read the package insert and KNOW that if you take antibiotics for a sinus infection the pill is useless and you are practically swallowing hormone-filled prescription candy each morning?! How am I supposed to know all that was going on? That was YOUR job! You can’t put that on me.”
“You are still doing it! You are seriously blaming me for this!”
“I am not! That is NOT what I am saying, but fine, I am sorry. I take it back. We are both dumbasses. So now what? Are we gonna get married and move in together and all that shit now?”
“All that shit now?! Wow, could you deliver that any colder and more heartless?! Maybe add a root canal and a rectal exam for good measure?! So no, Jamie, I am not moving ANYWHERE, least of all in with YOU! And I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on earth! Not if my life depended on it, not the way you delivered that!”
“Averie, are you just trying to purposely twist everything I say now?! You know what I mean, you have to understand this isn’t easy on me either. I was just asking about plans and options, not actually proposing! Besides, romantic or not, even if I pulled two dozen red roses out of my ass and a shiny ring with white doves flapping off into the sunset behind us it would still not change the facts, so why be all fake about this now? We BOTH know that the only reason we would get married and move in together now would be because of the pregnancy, so why not call it what it is? I thought we are in a place comfortable enough with each other to be able to speak candid, like we always have. Guess not anymore, those pregnancy hormones are getting to you quick!”
“Hormones?! PREGNANCY HORMONES!? OUT! GET OUT, before my pregnancy hand slaps your dumb face!”
“Avy … what the hell?! What pissed you off now?! For heaven’s sake, chill for one minute, will you?!” Jamie mumbled, surprised by her outburst.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!” Averie yelled, the ruckus summoned her father, who arrived looking shocked and confused.
“Averie! Watch your mouth, young lady! And Jamie, I think it may really be best if you went home now.” Chad tried to diffuse the argument.
“But … I … I didn’t do anything! I thought we were just … fine. Fuck all this!” Jamie turned on his heels and ran out the door.
“What the fuck is happening to us? Shit, shit, shit, shit!!!!” frustrated, he kept repeating it as he was running down the road towards the landing dock of the ferry back over to the Windenburg Isle.
Willow Creek Cunningham Memorial Medical Center A few weeks later
“So, guys. Tests came back good, I’d put you at about 8 weeks now, all this looks to be within the normal range, good development. Do you guys want to know the gender? It came back with the blood tests.” the doctor in the white lab coat said in an intentionally upbeat voice.
“No.” Averie said.
“Yes. Wait, what do you mean by no?” Jamie had answered at the same time, now was confused.
“Sorry, is ‘no’ too complicated a word for you? I want the baby healthy, Jamie, I don’t care what gender. I’d like a surprise.”
“Well, I don’t. I want to know if I am having a son or a daughter. Or … twins … oh my god, it’s not multiples, right doc? Cos, you know, I am a twin!”
“No, Mr. Cameron, just one. So, what are we doing here, folks?”
“YOU are not having anything, Jamie, I am. And I don’t want to know. So, a surprise.”
“I could always speak to the father alone and ..” Dr. Abe suggested.
“NO! Because he’d run around telling everyone and someone is gonna blurt it out. It has to be a surprise!”
“All right, Miss LeClerq, I’ll let you two sort that out among yourself. One more question: Will the father be present for the birth?”
“No!” Averie said determined.
“Are we going to need to add a paternity test?” Dr. Abe carefully inquired.
“WHAT?! NO! I am no hussy!” Averie glared at the doctor.
“Uh, no from me for that as well, I don’t doubt I am the father. But a definite YES on me so going to be there for the birth!” Jamie argued.
“Oh no, you won’t!”
“Oh, dear goodness! Come over and let’s have a seat, guys.” Dr. Abe sighed and went over to his desk.
“Like hell I will! It’s my baby too!”
“It’s my body it’s coming out of and I do not want you there! You wanted an abortion!”
“Only because YOU brought that up as an option!”
“You know what folks, we still have many months to decide, just make sure to have that on the forms when the time comes. Also, starting to think you may want to look into name options asap. You seem to have a hard time agreeing on things. That poor kid may end up with 6 names or none at all.”
“Love to, but I need to know for a boy or a girl!” Jamie growled.
“Just make lists for BOTH, you moron, or pick unisex ones!” Averie hissed.
“Or, the doctor could just tell us, so we don’t have to waste time chasing our tails! Cos I work late hours and sit in commuter traffic for …”
“Not THAT again! Yes, Jamie, I know. Everyone knows how rough you have it! Nobody ever worked harder in an office, your boss doesn’t even know how he managed without you while they were biting their nails waiting for you to be done with university so they could hire you immediately, I am sure all the interviews were just for show. The whole world knows that nobody makes better spreadsheets than you, the existence of the entire universe apparently depends on that, we all need you! Not like I work too, ever changing shifts, really long hours, all in a high stress environment …”
“High stress cooking, huh? Oh my god, if that milk were to boil over, we’d all be doomed! You poor thing! Laughable! At least you can almost walk to work and not have to …” Jamie mocked.
“Guys! As much as I hate to get in the middle of this lover’s quarrel …”
“We are not lovers, Dr. Abe! He is just some stupid douchebag I wasted 6 years of my life with and because of one tiny little oversight he managed to knock me up!” Averie corrected.
“Oversight, my ass! Helps if you could read. And I would gladly be gone from your life forever, since apparently I am such a burden of a sudden, but unfortunately has YOUR ‘little’ oversight made that impossible now! All I have to say to all that is: that poor kid!”
“Guys, you need to keep it down or leave the practice. This is a doctor’s office, not daytime reality TV!” Dr. Abe interrupted.
“Right. Sorry about him! He was raised in a cave, that NEANDERTHAL! I’ll call your office to schedule the next appointment. ALONE. No need for him to be there, not like he cares anyway. I’ll just send you a quick text after the birth, Jamie, how about that?!”
“Don’t you dare! I am going to be part of this all the way or I swear I’ll send you CPS into the hobbit house you live at, so the baby can come live with me after the birth and not be shoehorned into that tuna can you call home with the rest of your dysfunctional family!” Jamie followed Averie, after both briefly waved at a very relieved looking Dr. Abe, who had been gently directing both of them out the door of his office.
“Well, sorry that we don’t have famous and wealthy relatives to mooch off on who buy us giant estates on prime real estate! And the Camerons wrote the book on dysfunctional! The LeClerqs are just simple, normal people trying to get by!” Averie told Jamie outside the door of Dr. Abe’s treatment room.
“Simple?! I have never laughed harder! And normal? I wouldn’t go that far!” Jamie countered.
“Bitch on wheels!”
To be continued ...
A.N.: To anyone wondering about this, no, this was NOT planned by me, nor did I intentionally gamble on a pregnancy. I was likely busy with another household when this came about, so I blame this arc on MCCC.