After checking the door to find it unlocked,Jordan entered the quiet apartment. It seemed bare and dank- Josephine had been the only one living there since her parents kicked her out. He could hear the leaky faucet in the stark kitchen, pale sunlight lit up the hall to the bedrooms.
" Josie!" Jordan growled. For a moment he thought he heard a baby crying, "Damnit Josephine! Rich said you wanted to see me! Where the hell are you?"
He walked into the hallway and almost passed Josephine's bedroom when she gave a small moan. He did a double take before walking one step into the room. Josephine sat slumped in the corner of the room wearing a long navy blue maternity nightgown. Her hands rested on her stomach (she was eight and a half months pregnant,) and her once well kept long brown hair was tied up in a tangled bun. She gave him a dizzy smile.
"Jesus...you look like he-" Jordan gasped. Josephine gave an-ill sounding cough.
"At last, my prince has come," she sputtered and then let her head roll back.
Jordan moved closer,"I-I was hoping you'd hear me. I couldn't shout much louder,"
"Josie.. what is this?"Jordan whispered, "Josie..."
"You want to know why I told Rich to get you here...Rich is the only one who comes over to see me anymore. He gave me food-stamps the other day....Not even Mama comes over....Papa must've stopped her..."
Jordan bit his lip; Josephine's mother had died of a heart attack the week before. He felt a pang of guilt as he watched Josephine; her bed was nothing but an old mattress. He should have taken care of her...of the baby...
"Josie." he exhaled. She was so pale and gaunt for someone who was pregnant.
Josephine gave a small chuckle.
"I'm not as beautiful as I used to be am I, Jordan? I'm not the young girl you had in the back seat of my parent's car, am I?" She looked him in the eye until he looked away, "Look at me, Jordan. I am what we've both become."
"What can I do?!!! "He shouted," I don't have any money, Josie! I can't support you or that!"
"You don't have to take care of me and the baby, Jordan" Josephine smiled,and looked lovingly at her stomach, "I've taken care of us both. I just want you to...oh!" Josephine cried out and jumped a little, "Come here, Jordan. I want you to feel something. Our little bundle of joy's been moving all day you know,"
As Jordan's anger failed him he looked at Josephine in horror. She had gone insane, he was sure of it. From his new position he observed the wild look her deep black eyes and patches of blood spread on her cheeks. She frowned when he didn't come nearer, "Don't be scared, it doesn't bite,"
She laughed at the thought.
Jordan kneeled before her. Josephine grabbed his hand with one of her own while lifting up her dress with the other. She pressed his hand against the bulge of her stomach.
Suddenly Jordan felt a warm fluid pouring onto his hands. He looked up at his hand, blood was slowly trickling onto his fingers from Josephine's stomach. It was Josephine's blood- his baby's blood. And beside Josephine on the mattress was long gore-covered kitchen knife. Indeed, Josephine had taken care of herself and the baby.
Jordan tried to pull his hand away and look away but Jospehine pulled him closer. She wouldn't let him leave... again.
"Can you feel it?" She asked, as a look of motherly pride spread across her pale dementia ravaged face. She leaned towards him and hissed delicately and proudly in his ear " Do you feel it, my darling? That's the sound of our baby screaming!"
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