Charlotte arrived at her office around 7:45 am on Wednesday morning. It was a beautiful day, nothing out of the ordinary was happening. She said hi to her co-workers and reached for the daily newspaper. The Daily News caught her eye: CHICKEN! Baby’s three months away, but Donald still won’t say ‘I do.’ “Wow I can’t believe the rich have these problems and why did she think he is going to marry her?” She mumbled to herself and buried her head into the newspaper.
Suddenly she felt something hot on her hands. “Hey you, maybe you need to take a break from that paper and pay attention to where you’re walking!” Charlotte didn’t bother to look up, but she couldn’t help noticing his mahogany musk cologne. Charlotte took a napkin off the counter, wiped the hot coffee from her hands and rolled her eyes.
Bryan introduced himself to Charlotte and offered to buy her a drink after work; hoping it would make up for the coffee incident. She was noticeably intrigued by him and looked forward to meeting after work. Charlotte had seen Bryan a few times passing through the lobby, but she never knew which Wall Street firm he worked for or how to get his attention. But as luck would have it, their first encounter would be him spilling coffee on her hand. Getting back into the dating scene wasn’t something Charlotte looked forward to. She just felt like she was a little ‘rusty’. She was, however, eager to go out with Bryan, and at the very least, looked forward to a great dinner. They continued to meet after work and their connection grew stronger. While it was never spoken, it was understood this wasn’t meant to grow into anything serious. They were there for the good times and the ‘benefits’.
5 No – Downtown
Bryan was your average guy, a college grad, a beer drinker, a jokester, and an avid bid whist player. He was taught personally by his grandmother! He and his friends had regular Friday-Saturday card games that they took very seriously. He never talked much about his college days or shared much about his past or his personal life or his family. Because of the nature of their relationship, this did not bother Charlotte. Charlotte lived in Queens and Bryan was a native of Brooklyn but yet they met in Manhattan, sorta like the black version of “When Harry Met Sally.” They didn’t have much in common, but it didn’t stop their friendship from growing.
Over the next six months Charlotte and Bryan’s “friendship” continued to grow closer. Though still nothing serious, trust was developing, and they both knew they would be there for each other. It was not uncommon for Charlotte to just show up at Bryan’s apartment. She never had to call before stopping by and by now Bryan had even given her a key. If for some reason Bryan wasn’t there, it was nothing for her to make herself comfortable and listen to music until he arrived.
Bryan typically had his card games on Friday and Saturday nights. This one particular Friday, the game was canceled, and he invited Charlotte over. The night went on as usual. They laughed, watched television, Bryan drank a few beers, and they ate Chinese food. They made sweet love like usual, but this night something felt different. Their passion for one another was more intense. She knew, she felt it in her heart what just happened. Her female intuition kicked in and she felt the life inside of her jump. It wasn’t that she felt the kick of an actual baby, but she knew it was only a matter of a few months before she would. That night was special. Bryan was kind and he was gentle with her. They clicked and at that exact moment, Charlotte knew that this was no longer something casual for her, she had fallen for Bryan.
So, what happens now
Charlotte thought, even if she ended up pregnant, his love for her would lead him to do the right thing. She didn’t have a clue as to how wrong she would be. Charlotte would learn, she didn’t know Bryan like she thought. People have a way of changing when faced with “real life” issues. The next morning Bryan got up, washed his face, and stepped out to get breakfast. Charlotte felt he would make a great father to their baby and laid in bed thinking of how it would all play out… the day she would tell him, how she would tell him, and how he would react. She was excited and scared all at the same time. Up to this point she hadn’t seen the bad side of Bryan but that was about to drastically change.
Charlotte got out the bed and headed for the bathroom to get herself together. She had no intentions of saying anything to Bryan until after the doctor’s appointment. Why should she tell him something she wasn’t one hundred percent sure of herself? They enjoyed a delicious breakfast and stimulating conversation and Bryan was none the wiser of her dilemma. Bryan started setting up the card table for his evening game. As Charlotte watched, she replayed the night over and over in her head. She wished Bryan’s Friday night game had gone on as usual and she could have just stayed her butt at home.
Charlotte had no idea what would happen once she left Bryan’s house. Who would she tell? This was an unexpected turn of events…and she was totally lost.
Who are You and What Have You Done With Bryan?
Charlotte’s heart was broken. She was unprepared for the possibility of having a baby! She touched her stomach and thought motherhood would be great for someone else, but it wasn’t something she wanted. She felt guilty because she prayed to either get her period or have a miscarriage. She didn’t want to face the option of an abortion. She figured if God took the baby she wouldn’t have to live with the shame. This was a waiting game, but time was not on her side. A month went by and she was cautious of what she did or said around Bryan. She played it off as best she could and when the uncomfortable questions came like, “why aren’t you eating all your food?” Or “why has your attitude changed?” Charlotte would change the subject. She needed to take the pregnancy test, but her anxiety got the best of her. If she could only put it out of her mind, would it just disappear?
As the weeks went by, she crossed off the days on the calendar. Finally, it was test time. Charlotte sat motionless in the bathroom staring at the words on the box as they faded in and out, five minutes, one stripe (positive) two stripes (negative)! She peed carefully on the stick as not to spill a drop…there was no room for error! She paced back and forth and even found time to cry a little before the results came. And then just like that she saw ONE STRIPE! Time had stood still. She waited for the results to change, “Come on two stripes!”, she said crossing her fingers. But no amount of prayer would change what was staring her in the face. Her life would be forever changed. She wondered exactly how much time she had between the test and telling Bryan. One thing she was sure of…Bryan was not ready for this and neither was she.
Whether it was due to morning sickness (too early) or nerves (anxiety) she suddenly had the urge to throw up as she dialed his number. No matter how hard she searched for the right words they never came. “Bryan, I’m pregnant.” There, she had said it out loud and now she waited for a response that seemed like the longest two minutes she’d ever seen…. silence! Through Bryan’s silence, she could hear her loud heartbeat. She braced herself for the worst and just as she exhaled, he said…it wasn’t his baby! Charlotte’s worst fears had come true but ten times worse than she imagined. They went back and forth, but her tears did not change the outcome. Bryan didn’t want any parts of Charlotte or ‘her’ baby. She was on her own.
After a week or two of not sleeping, plenty of crying, and reliving Bryan’s good-bye, Charlotte found herself outside the clinic having to make a decision that would change her life forever.