Sequel: Folie à Deux

From Under the Cork Tree

Thirty Three

"Would you like to feed your baby?"

Another nurse had taken the morning shift; Jackie was officially gone.

I felt alone, even though I knew there was people waiting to see me. Only, I didn't want anyone to see me, I didn't want them to see how much of a failure I had become. My own mind and heart wouldn't allow me to love and hold my daughter without being scared...and I was starting to feel angry towards her.

"No," I shook my head at her.

She was a blonde named Becki. Becki with an I, and I hated her. All morning she encouraged me to hold my baby, she didn't understand the words I said. I told her I didn't want to and that I wouldn't plan on it any time soon.

I felt like hell. My heart felt hollow and empty, it was as if John died all over again. The emotion I had anticipated for my baby had gone away; I just didn't love her, and I hated myself for it. Worst of all, I blamed her for everything, even though, in the back of my head I knew it was dumb to blame my baby for it, she didn't ask for any of this. I certainly didn't ask for any of this.

I wanted so badly to feel something for her, other than fear and anger. She was like this boogie man that haunted me; a monster under my bed, an urban legend, Bloody Mary in my bathroom mirror. My child was turning into the root of my undoing.

Why? I'm not sure. I have no clue, and it hurt me so badly inside.

Hours later, after I had slept and stared at the wall, I heard the door open. I assumed it was another nurse signing in, but the person didn't announce themselves. I rolled over and looked; I frowned deeply when I saw Pete there.

"Hey," he waved his hand at me.

"What are you doing here?" I asked him softly.

"The obvious reason," he chuckled, and then came over, sitting at the end of my bed. "How you feelin'?"

I shrugged, "I don't know. I don't hurt, but I think it's the morphine."

"What'd you have?" He asked.

"The baby is a girl," I exhaled, "you were right."

Pete grinned, "She does kick like a girl."

I didn't laugh or smile. I felt empty, or very incapable of joy. Pete could see that I wasn't myself, too.

His brow rose, "You okay, Angelus?"

I shook my head, "I don't want her."

He frowned, "What the hell do you mean you don't want her?"

Pete sounded angry; I was upset with myself too. My mind and heart were cross wired wrong.

"I don't know what's wrong with me...I don't--I'm afraid of her, Pete," I swallowed thickly, "I-I don't want to see her or hold her, or anything! I don't know why...I..." I trailed, beginning to cry again. "I'm sorry."

Pete sighed softly, "Is it the morphine? Are you having a reaction or somethin'?"

I shrugged, and wiped my face, "I don't know. I saw her...I held her and I felt overwhelmed and scared! I suddenly...I blamed her for everything, even though I know I love her."

"She didn't ask for this, Angelus," Pete said, "you chose to have her."

"I know that!" I snapped at him angrily, "Jesus Christ, I know! I know she didn't ask for this! I didn't want to to feel the way I do! Do you think I like the idea of turning away from her? She's all I have left of John!"

Pete, for once, had nothing to say. He stood up, licked his lips, combed his fingers through his hair and then exhaled. He looked so confused and stuck, almost frustrated.

"You can leave if you want," I murmured then.

Pete shook his head, "Nah...I'm gonna stay here until Rae comes back from picking your folks up from the airport."

I sighed, fell back against my pillow and stared at the ceiling, "I'm so sorry."

"Are you talkin' to me?" Pete asked, sitting in the chair beside my bed.

"I'm talkin' to everyone," I explained, "I'm a coward, Pete."

"Why? What are you afraid of?"

"I don't know!" I exclaimed. "I can't look at her, I can't...I'm afraid of her. I can't deal with having her right now."

Pete sighed again, "I'm sorry, Angel."

"Maybe I'm just crazy," I tried to curl up, but I felt stiff and heavy. "I'm being punished and I don't know why."

"You're not being punished," Pete shook his head, "you're just overwhelmed and worried about fucking up. I know how that feels."

"You do?" I sniffed, and then rubbed my eyes, "Of course you do. I feel stupid asking if you do. You told me nearly everything about you."

He hummed, "Yeah. It's been the pressure of fame, the band, my friends 'n family. I don't want to let anyone down."

"That's what it is," I mumbled, "I think. I don't wanna let her down...I can't even name her."

"You won't let her down, Angelus. You only will if you don't take care of her," he said.

It didn't sink in, but it did make me feel a bit better. It made me feel better because I knew Pete wouldn't allow me to let my baby girl down. Still, I wasn't sure if I could take care of her by myself, and I was still afraid of messing up and hurting her.

Pete and I talked for a little while before Becki returned with my baby. I had inhaled at the sight of her wrapped in a little pink blanket with a pink beanie on her head. She looked so tiny compared to the day before; she had been 4 weeks premature, but according to the doctor, she was perfect and healthy.

"Oh," Becki said when she entered; her eyes moving over to Pete, "are you the father?"

Pete shook his head with a big smile, "Nah, I'm the uncle."

Becki narrowed her eyes at him, "Do I know you from somewhere?"

Pete shook his head again, "Nah, I don't think so."

I wanted to laugh, but I held back. Becki just shrugged and turned to me, carrying my baby over, "It's nice to see you smile, Angelus."

"Thanks," I murmured.

"Your baby girl is hungry, are you ready to feed her?"

I exhaled, "I guess."

"And she still needs a name," Becki sang happily.

"Johanna," I told her, "her name is Johanna."

Becki smiled and motioned for me to open my arms, "Alright, I'll get the certificate and we'll fill it out while you feed Johanna. Hold out your arms."

My stomach was in knots as soon as Johanna was in my arms. She squirmed and popped her lips; her eyes were shut, but she was awake, I guessed that she was lazy (like me) and didn't feel like opening her eyes. Or, as I thought over, was that she hated me and didn't want to look at me. I'd hate me too if I was a newborn who was pushed away by her mom. But, I shook that thought away and managed to cradle Johanna in my arms, swaying slowly.

"See?" Becki smiled wide, "Isn't she wonderful?"

I licked over my lips and nodded; Pete got up and looked over to see Johanna. My stomach was queasy, I hated how nervous and scared I was. It all felt like stage fright.

Then, Becki walked me through breast feeding her, showing me what to do. I had read the books, went to classes, but actually doing it was a whole other experience. Before Johanna latched onto me, her eyes opened up, and my breath caught in my throat. Tears welled up as I stared at her, and she at me; Johanna's eyes are bright blue, with a hint of green. She looks just like John; I instantly fell madly in love with her.

Why the hell had I been afraid? - I had asked myself. Johanna is perfect, she's everything I could hope and pray for. I got my wish, and I almost threw it away overwhelming feelings.

"Goddamn," Pete muttered beside me, "that's John reincarnated."

I couldn't help but to cry, my throat tightened from the chest wrecking sob. Pete rubbed my back as I choked, my baby girl stared at me with her beautiful eyes and her pink chubby cheeks. It was like she knew me inside and out, like she had been with me my entire life.

I swallowed and let out the sob; I expected Johanna to cry, but she didn't. She just squirmed and then shut her eyes. Becki cooed at me, asking if I was alright; "I'm fine," I managed to say. "She's just so beautiful...she looks exactly like my husband...he passed away."

Becki was silent, and I understood; what do you say to that? Becki smiled softly and helped me feed Johanna; Pete watched curiously, and he even wiped my cheeks of tears. I thanked him softly, keeping my eyes on Johanna; I never wanted to leave her ever again.


I named my baby girl what John wanted to name her; Johanna Cash. Pete called her JoJo, we all started to. My parents had returned from Italy, Rae and Andy showed up with Patrick. Joe was in New York with his fiancée, but sent well wishes; I didn't mind at all.

"Can I hold her?" My dad asked.

I nodded, though I felt reluctant to hand JoJo over. I love her, I wanted to keep her close. I was on a high, in love, and I was positive that I'd feel this way forever.

I handed JoJo over, making sure my dad was holding her correctly. He had laughed and commented that he held me all the time when I was a baby. I relaxed and watched my parents gush over JoJo.

"How you feelin'?" Rae asked as she sat next to me.

I scooted over and let her sit up beside me; "I'm feeling okay," I said, "sore, but okay."

Rae looked at me knowingly; I bet Pete told her everything. I cleared my throat, "I'm okay, Rae, promise."

She smiled at me, "Okay. I'll take your word for it. I'll be around a lot more now that Andy is leaving in a week."

I frowned slightly; there was something in me that felt dramatically upset. I couldn't understand why I felt the way I did. This was different, not the sadness I felt about my baby, it was weird and made me feel terribly sad.

"Angel, are you okay?" Rae murmured after a few seconds.

I nodded slowly, "Yeah, sorry, just thinkin'."

Rae put her arm around me, then rested her head on my shoulder, "I know it's gonna be tough without John, but you have all of us. John's family are even flying in, so you'll have a lot of help, love."

I forced a small smile, "Yeah...yeah."
♠ ♠ ♠
This is a mixed emotion chapter; it's gonna be that way for awhile, I apologize. But, there will be some good inbetween :)
Hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July! I played with some kids and colored until my fingers hurt.

Okay, tell me what you think and what should or what you expect to happen :)

Shameless Plugs!:
Panic Button **this is a sequel to Timeline **Rae and I decided to write some more fucked up psychotic Patrick Stump stories
Young Volcanoes
Tear You Apart **highly, highly recommend you read this! It's a rewrite, and both are fucking amazing!
Escape Artists

thanks for reading and checking out my and my friend's stories