Hearts of the Past and Present
After rocking Avril back to sleep, Daryl laid her back in her pram next to her brother who was still sound asleep. We excused ourselves and left Hershel and Bella, who was still sleeping too, in the office.
"What do you have to tell me?" He asked in a chilled manner as he took my hand, he didn't think much of it.
"I think we should go outside." I said as I squeezed it once reassuringly.
"Okay.." Daryl took more notice of my tone of voice and expression, I had intrigued him now.
We stepped outside and it was almost back to normal. The snow had pretty much gone now, the rain had washed it all away but the excess water was too much for the soil to take in leaving large muddy puddles all over the field. At least there was green again.
Glen was up in the tower, he spotted us taking a seat on the bench and waved. Daryl gave him a short wave in return then gave me all his attention.
"So what is it you wanted to tell me?" He asked.
This was it. I was about to tell Daryl that he was going to be a father, and I had no idea how to begin.
He waited patiently for me to find the words and I was truly struggling. I could feel the anxiety and fear brewing inside me. What if Daryl didn't want a baby? What if he didn't want to be bound to me that way?
Quickly banishing those thoughts from my mind was the image of the day dream I had during the birth of Bella's twins. It was me in the bed, it was Daryl by my side and it was our baby he was holding. That, and the picture of him holding Avril, was the reason why I was telling Daryl that I was pregnant now and not any later. It looked right him with a child. He belonged in a family and deserved to have one of his own.
Actions speak louder than words, I thought.
I stood up from the bench we were perched on and pulled the zipper of my jacket down. I threw it on the bench beside Daryl who was watching me with a puzzled look on his face.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Glen tap Maggie on the shoulder and point in our direction, they knew what I was doing and they were watching to find out how Daryl would react.
Pretending that they weren't there, I reached down and picked up his hand which he was resting on his leg, wordlessly he let me lift it to the top of my stomach, now only covered by a single thin t-shirt. The higher I pulled up his hand, the further he stood up till he was up straight.
I gently pressed his hand down on my and slowed moved it further south, over my little bump. I stopped on the highest part of the bump and kept my hand over his, nervously I looked up to him with innocent eyes.
"You're going to be a daddy," I said.
Daryl remained motionless. His eyes didn't flicker, his mouth didn't twitch, his hand didn't move from my stomach. It was like he had been frozen like the tin man in the wizard of oz, or in twilight when they think another Bella is pregnant.
Oh my god, was Daryl in shock?
Still suffering badly with his head injuries, would this news of me being pregnant make him worse? Have I endangered Daryl?
"Daryl?" I asked, worried. "Do you want to sit down?"
I took his hand off of my belly quickly for him and sat him carefully back down in case he fainted.
"You're pregnant?" He asked as he was seated.
I sighed heavily with relief, he was speaking that was a good sign.
"Yeah, pretty much." I shrugged, not really knowing what else to say.
Daryl sat back so his back was on the bench back, his eyes were wide and they were staring off into the distance, not baring to look at me.
"H-how, w-when?" He stuttered, not knowing what to ask first.
"How?" I repeated. "Well we had sex Daryl, that's usually how this sorta stuff works. And when, three months ago. The day you brought Bella here."
"The day you said we are only friends." He retaliated.
"I guess we are a lot more than friends now." I joked.
I didn't even receive a smirk from Daryl at my comment. He still hadn't looked me in the eye, he still hadn't moved an inch.
I thought about that day, and now that day changed our lives in so many ways. That one thought, that one action, that one impulse based on pure desire and emotion had created a new life and brought us to this very moment.
"How do you feel about it Daryl?" I asked since the silence was killing me inside.
He thought about it for moment.
"I feel worried." He said ironically emotionlessly. "I feel worried and scared."
I wrapped my arm around his shoulders, weary of his arm, "You have nothing to be worried about, the baby will be okay if I'm careful which of course I will be. We have Hershel, and all the equipment. This baby will be delivered safely."
"No, no. Not for the-the baby! For you!" The emotion was real and obvious now, it was so present he was struggling to get the words out to declare his feelings. Daryl rose to his feet. "You'll die Lily! The baby will kill you!"
My jaw nearly hit the floor, he didn't want this baby, he just wanted me. Daryl wanted me to be okay and that was it, not baby involved, no family to have.
"What are you talking about?!" I exclaimed.
"It's so dangerous Lily, anything could happen in the next six months and during labour." He was pacing up and down in front of the bench with his hands running through his hair.
"You're going to die, you're going to die." He repeated to himself.
I had driven him insane with one sentence!!
I jumped up to my feet and ran in front of him, I grabbed his forearms.
"Daryl, calm down and listen." I ordered. "I am not going to die, our baby is not going to kill me. The baby will not hurt me and the baby won't get hurt. Please just calm down and listen."
He was frantic, his eyes were flickering all over the place then he suddenly squeezed them shut. I held the sides of his face, my warm palms on his cold cheeks, and sat him back down.
"This is just a shock, you are panicking for no reason Daryl. We'll be fine. Hell, Bella's just popped two out and she's doing great." I soothed with some added humour. "I will do everything and anything I can to deliver this baby safely okay? I promise I won't leave you." I said and kissed him on the cheek.
Daryl was taking in deep breaths but he was looking down at his fiddling hands, "I can't be a father." He said.
"What?" I asked, now I was the one shocked.
"I can't be a father." He repeated.
"Yes you can!" I protested in despair.
"No I can't. Dixon men are horrible people, never mind fathers." Daryl said, I teared up as he continued. "You know what my dad did to me, just look at my back. All the marks, all the scars. He couldn't have gave less of a shit about me, he couldn't have treated me and my brother any worse. And for Merle. Merle was a daddy as well you know, he fathered two or three kids, they were never sure about the third. He played no part in those poor kids' lives. They knew who he was, as did he with them. There wasn't one birthday card or Christmas card, not even an explanation as to why he wasn't playing a important part in their lives. Just like our dad, Merle didn't give a shit about those kids. I'm telling ya Lily, its in our genes to be bad fathers. I can't do it Lily, I can't."
Tears rushed down my face as Daryl doubted himself so harshly right in front of me. "Don't you ever compare yourself to those two cowardly men. Now I know I never knew him, but everyone else knew Merle and they can tell you that you are NOTHING like him. You are kind, gentle, trustworthy and always there for people. You would never let anyone down when they need you most, like I know you will be there for the baby. And I don't need to know you father to tell you that you aren't like him. They way you are with Judith, just then with Avril, would your dad have been like that with them? No, he wouldn't have. You have it in yourself to be an amazing father. Any child would be lucky to have you as their daddy. So don't you ever say bad things like that about yourself ever again Daryl!"
I had worked myself into such a state while talking, my cheeks were red and wet, my nose was running, my voice was cracked and the whole time through my little speech, Daryl, not for even one second, took his eyes off me.
"Don't cry," he said as he wiped my tears away.
"Hormones," I joked pathetically.
He knew I meant every single word I said, I could see in his eyes that he had realised how stupid he was being.
In a moment of fear and weakness, after I had been so strong and brave and even slightly funny, I broke.
"Please don't let me do this alone." I cried.
His face dropped into an expression of pure upset, "I would never do that to you Lily." He said when I showed that I really was scared deep inside.
Daryl pulled me onto his knee and pressed my head tightly to his chest. He repeated kissed the top of my head as I cried into his chest.
"I'm here for ya, I'm sorry for saying that and making you think you had to do this alone. I will be here for you always." He said to me.
I lifted my head up and wrapped my arms around his neck, "Do you want this baby Daryl?" I asked, I had to know.
He pulled me back so he could look me in the eyes, "Yes I want this baby. What I said wasn't because I didn't want it, I said that because I thought that I'm not good enough to be the baby's dad. I'm not worthy enough."
"You are," I said and forcefully kissed him, "You are." I said slowly into his mouth.
He broke off the kiss and a smile appeared on his face for the first time since we came out here, "I can't believe it Lil!"
Daryl now looked excited.
"I can't believe you're having my baby!" He exclaimed.
He looked down to my stomach and touched my small bump, "3 months?" He asked. "Around it, yeah, 3 months," I confirmed.
This sudden change of heart was such a relief, I don't know what I would have done if Daryl just ran away.
"I can't wait." He said.
"Me either." I replied and kissed him passionately once more.
There were two cheers and a small round of applause from the top of the tower. Daryl and I looked up to see Glen and Maggie jumping around with excitement like little kids on Christmas morning.
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