Dawn woke up the next morning and looked at the little clock that stood on the table by her bed. It read nine am. The little groan she made testified to herfeelings about getting out of bed. She was exhausted. ‘Jet Lag’ she thought. It had obviously hit her hard. She decided to close her eyes for another half hourwhen her stomach began to lurch. She tried to fight the sensation, but it was persistent and she barely made it to the bathroom.
‘I must have eaten something spoiled’ she thought, and went to brush her teeth. Not seconds after she was done she was in front of the toilet again. “Are you okay sweetheart?” her mother asked as she walked into the bathroom.Dawn sat back and rested her head against the bathroom wall. The cool tiles did little to sooth her discomfort.“I must have eaten something bad. I…No!” she exclaimed. Panic swept through as she did the math. She had been so upset in France she hadn’t realized shehad missed it. The fatigue, the nausea, it all fit. She closed her eyes fighting the tears that threatened to fall.“What’s wrong Dawn?” her mother asked her.Dawn looked into her concerned face. They were going to be so disappointed in her. The tears she fought began to fall.“I think I might be pregnant” she sobbed.
Dawn sat at the dining room table, her eyes swollen from the tears that still silently fell. She told her parents the whole story.They weren’t angry at her; they believed Don had “taken advantage” of her. That might be true, but she made it clear to them that he hadn’t forced her to doanything she didn’t want. He might be a lying, conniving, cheating, manipulating… the list went on and on. He might be all those things, but he didn’t forceher. Somehow that made it worse. Dawn had thought she loved him and that he loved her too. ‘How could I be so naïve…pathetic!’ she thought as emotionsshe had tried to bury the past month came to the surface.They told her they would support whatever decision she made and that they were there for her. Her heart ached at how wonderful they were and how much sheloved them. She didn’t deserve them and vowed never to disappoint them again.
Dawn knew she had to tell Don. She didn’t want to have anything to do with the man again. She had ignored his calls, and when he came to the house, shehadn’t opened the door. He had waited hours for her to come out and she felt lucky she hadn’t needed to leave. No matter how much she didn’t want to see himagain, here she was, pregnant with his baby. She wondered what he would say. She had already decided to have the baby and raise it. ‘He could be as involvedor uninvolved as he would like’, she thoughtShe finally stopped procrastinating and picked up her phone.“Hi! It’s me.”She listened as he told her how glad he was she finally decided to call him back. How he didn’t understand why she had left so suddenly. How he missed herterribly and wanted to see her. She didn’t believe a word of it.“Can you come over now?” she asked. “I need to talk to you about something.”“Of course darling, I’ll be there soon.”She hung up the phone and closed her eyes tightly, holding back the tears that, again, threatened to fall.
“I’ve been so worried!” he exclaimed as her pulled her into his arms. “I didn’t know what to think. You wouldn’t answer your phone! Your mom wouldn’t tellme where you were.”He sounded genuinely concerned. She didn’t know why he cared that she no longer wanted him when he had other women he could take to bed. She decidednot to tell him about the phone call she had made to him the day after they had been intimate; or about the woman who answered and purred into the phone that“Mr. Don was in the shower”. What did it matter? Whatever he said to weasel out of it would be a lie. She was beginning to realize what a great actor he was.She was so disgusted with herself. Even now, the hands he rubbed up and down her back were causing her system to awaken. She knew exactly what he was,but she still wanted him. ‘Chemistry’ she thought. ‘My pheromones are just attracted to his pheromones’ There was no love here…it was pure lust. She realizedthat now.
“Where have you been Dawn?” he said as he gentled his grip on her.His mind was racing. He had been in a panic since she left. He couldn’t think of one reason why she wouldn’t want to see or talk to him. He knew he hadplayed his part well. She had been in love with him the last time he saw her, he was sure of it.“I went to France” she said, her voice hollow, showing none of the pain or anger she felt at seeing him.Her voice might be emotionless, but her eyes were full of them. He couldn’t quite make it out, but something was wrong.“To France! Just like that?” he asked cautiously.“Yes, well, Mr. McDermott set up that internship for me to go work with a nectar maker in Champs Les Sims. And I thought it was a good time to go.“That’s great! I know how much you wanted to go there and learn; but you didn’t even call me and let me know, Dawn.” He rubbed his hands down her armsand looked into her eyes. “I thought we had something special.”‘I thought so too’ she mused, as she fought for control over her traitorous body. She pulled away from him before she forgot she didn’t like him very much.“Don, there’s something I have to tell you.”He watched her grow increasingly nervous, and his trepidation grew with it. He had spent months seducing her. Not that that had been a burden, he thought,remembering the way she had responded to him. She was more than just great sex, she was his meal ticket, his chance to get off that farm and make his markon this time and place. He wasn’t prepared to let her go easily.
Dawn decided to just say it. It would be easier that way. Fast and Painless…at least she hoped so.“Don, I’m pregnant.”“Pregnant” he said, his voice calm. ‘Gothcha!’ he thought.Dawn was caught off guard when he picked her up and spun her around.“This is wonderful news darling!”“It is?” she was cautious of his optimism. A man like him shouldn’t be so happy one of his conquests was expecting.“Absolutely!” he said. He had been misreading her agitation, he thought. He thought she was angry with him, she was just apprehensive about his response tothis news. Granted, it was a bit early, but now his place with her was secure.“We’ll go down to the court house today and make it official.” There was no way she would say no; she was an unwed pregnant woman and he was offeringher what she was afraid he wouldn’t. It all made sense now.“Official?” Dawn stepped back a minute, trying to clear her spinning head. “You mean get married? You want to get married?”“Of course get married. We’re going to have a baby!”She was suddenly unsure. Maybe this man did love her. He wouldn’t be proposing marriage otherwise…right? She had to know.
“What about that other woman?” she asked him.‘There was no way she knew anything about another woman’ he thought, suddenly nervous again.“There is no other woman, my love.”“The one with the dulcet voice who told me you were in the shower when I called” Dawn said with a bit of venom. “Dulcet…Oh you mean Juanita!” Don said laughing. ‘So, she called when Juanita was there’ he thought. It all made sense now. He thought he had been verycareful. He would have to have a talk with Juanita about answering his phone.“I’m glad you think this is all laughable Don. There was another woman at your house hours after we were together” her voice cold. “She was there while youwere in the shower.” She emphasized.Don, grabbed her hand. Dawn tried to pull away, but he held on tight and laid light kisses on her knuckles.“Juanita is my maid darling.” This was true; Juanita did clean his house, among other things. But Dawn didn’t need to know how Juanita was a fire cracker inbed.“There is no one else but you” he lied as he stroked her cheek. “I love you. Marry me Dawn.”