Everybody Else's Girl (pt. 1 & 2)

By Courtney


DISCLAIMER: I do not own the characters of Felicity. They are the property of J.J. Abrams, et al.

WARNING: This story contains adult themes and may not be suitable for all audiences.

SUMMARY: Felicity must make the biggest decision of her life. Can things ever be the same again?

DISTRIBUTION: Post it anywhere! Just keep these headers attached and email me to let me know.

FEEDBACK: Always welcomed at MsDawCreek@aol.com

She's been everybody else's girl,
Maybe someday she'll be her own,
Everybody else's girl,
Maybe someday she'll be her own . . .

~ Girl; Tori Amos

It happened on Halloween. The worst thing that had ever happened to her in
her eighteen and three quarter years . . . how ironic. Well, not really
ironic. Irony was when what happened was the opposite of what you'd expect. A
bad Halloween was hardly ironic for Felicity Porter. She'd never really
remembered having a good one. As a matter of fact, Halloween seemed to be her
unlucky day.

It wasn't that she didn't like Halloween. She'd always liked it, or wanted
to at any rate. But, somehow, this day had never turned out very well for
her. Her first memory of Halloween was the year she was five years old and
got lost while trick or treating. She had spent two hours in tears under
someone's bushes before a neighbor finally found her and returned her to her
frantic parents.

Then, there was the time in junior high when she didn't know her class was
having a costume contest and she was the only person to show up in her
regular clothes. Or, the time in high school when she came in costume . . .
and no one else did. There had been a disastrous party in 10th grade when
she'd felt like a total outcast among all the people that she barely knew
there. And, lest she not forget the last Halloween horror story just one year
before . . . the party at Sean and Ben's when she'd shown up in her Bride of
Frankenstein get up anticipating that Ben would be the monster himself, only
to find that he'd changed his mind without letting her know. Then, she'd
found him kissing the Pink Power Ranger. She never thought she'd get over how
embarrassed she'd been that night.

Of course, Noel had come to her rescue. There she was, looking like a bad
Bela Lugosi extra, drunk, crying, the whole nine yards . . . and enter Noel.
He'd talked to her, made her feel better about the not-so-stellar evening she
was having. He had been so sweet, so understanding . . . later she would
think back on that night and realize that she'd been falling for him just a
little even then. Even after she'd lost her lunch on his shoes, it had been
her one good Halloween memory to date.

Now, her Halloween jinx seemed to be returning, and in the worst way. How
could this be happening? She just kept asking herself that question again and
again. It didn't seem real. It didn't seem possible. She prayed that this was
a nightmare, that any minute her eyes would open and this would all be just a
bad dream. It wasn't. It was real. And she had no idea what to do about it.

Felicity was sitting in a stall of the community bathroom on her floor of
the dorm. She sat crouched on the closed lid of the toilet staring down at
the offensive item she held in her trembling fingers. A test . . . the only
test she'd ever failed. Even though they called her result "positive" she
certainly didn't see it that way. This was the least positive thing that had
ever occurred in her life. Her mind flew in a million directions as she
processed the information. What would she tell Noel? How would she tell her
parents? What would people think of her?

The blue line on the test screamed back at her through the deafening
silence. She wanted to cry, but she was in too much shock for the tears to
come. She was eighteen years old. She was a sophomore in college. She was
full of ambition, full of hopes and dreams for the life that lay ahead of
her. She was in love for the first time in her life. And she was pregnant.
She couldn't imagine things getting any worse.

* * * * *

It was 9 o'clock and Noel couldn't figure out where Felicity could possibly
be. She was due at the Halloween party at 7:30pm and still there was no sign
of her. He'd called her dorm room, he'd called Dean and Delucca, he'd even
called the art room on the off chance that she'd just gotten caught up in a
project. No luck; she was nowhere.

Noel was worried. It wasn't like Felicity to just forget something like
this. No, she hadn't forgotten, he was sure of that. Besides, how do you
forget a Halloween party on Halloween? Something must be wrong. He'd spent
the last hour and a half going over worst-case scenarios in his head and he
was getting more and more unraveled by the second. He had to do something. He
had to find her.

"Julie, have you seen her yet?" Noel asked as he caught the arm of the first
familiar face he saw.

Julie, dressed as Snow White, shrugged her shoulders and replied, "Sorry,
Noel. No sign of her yet."

"Where could she be?" he said aloud to no one in particular.

"I'm sure there's an explanation," Julie assured him.

"I'm sure there is . . . but I'm worried about what that explanation might
be," he replied. Julie didn't say anything, just chewed her lower lip
thoughtfully. She too thought this was odd that they weren't able to find
Felicity. "I'm going to look for her," Noel said definitively.

"You want me to go?" Julie asked.

"Find Elena, you guys check the art room, just to be sure she's not there.
I'll head over to her dorm room. Okay?"

"Sure, okay. I'll go find Elena," Julie said. "Call here and let Sean know
if you find her and we'll do the same," she told him.

Noel nodded and turned for the door, grabbing his coat on the way out. His
mind was racing as he prayed that Felicity was okay. Whatever had happened
would be okay as long as she wasn't hurt, as long as she was alright. Little
did he know how far from the truth that really was.

* * * * *

She was sitting by the window staring out at the night skyline when she
heard the knock on her door. "Felicity?" his voice called frantically. She
knew the voice in an instant. It was Noel. She didn't get up to answer. The
door wasn't locked and she knew he'd come in. He had a key anyway.

When he opened the door he had to give his eyes a moment to adjust to the
dark room. But then, from the light coming in from the window, he saw her.
She was in a chair with her back to him. She didn't turn when he entered or
acknowledge him when he said her name. This was not good. Something was not

He went to her, kneeling beside the chair and looking up into the face of
his girlfriend. He was still amazed that he could call her that again. After
all that they'd gone through at the end of the previous school year and over
the summer she was once again his girlfriend. They found a way to get past
their differences and work things out. He was so happy that they had. He
really did love her.

"Felicity? Honey, what's wrong . . . what happened?" he asked softly as he
took her hand in his. He could tell by her eyes that she'd been crying,
though her face was now set in a near-expressionless stare. She didn't
answer. "I was so worried about you. You didn't show up and then I never
heard anything and I couldn't get an answer here . . . why didn't you answer?
Felicity, please, talk to me."

She took a deep breath and began gnawing on her lower lip. Her hand trembled
in his and he clutched it tighter, watching her for a response to his many
unanswered questions. Finally, she said, "I have something to tell you . . .
something you won't want to hear."

"Whatever it is, you can tell me. Nothing can be that bad . . . nothing," he
assured her.

But it was. She had been sitting here for a good three hours watching the
city and its residents scurry about as she felt her own life crumbling before
her eyes. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know where to turn. Her
whole life had been turned upside down in three minutes time and now she had
no idea where to turn next.

"Felicity?" Noel said, drawing her back from her thoughts. "Just tell me,
sweetheart . . . tell me."

Another deep breath . . . she was trying to draw in her courage. She didn't
know how he'd react or what he'd say to this. She was definitely scared;
scared of what was happening, that was for sure, but she was also scared of
how he'd take this news. What if he thought this was her fault? What if he
blamed her and never spoke to her again? Her sensible side would have told
her that these were irrational fears, but she'd lost touch with her
sensibilities hours ago. All she could feel now was fear and panic and
uncertainty. There was no room for anything else.

He was still waiting, looking up at her expectantly. She swallowed and
looked back out the window. In a soft, shaky voice, she said, "I'm late."

It took him a minute to process this. Late for what, he wondered. Then, it
hit him with the force of a hurricane wind. Late . . . late for that. Oh.
Late. "How . . . how late?" he stammered.

"Too late," she replied sadly. "I took a test."

"And?" he questioned, as though he needed her to verify what he could
obviously already concur from this whole situation. She just nodded her

He was up, then, pacing the floor and breathing heavily. She turned to look
at him, walking the short space in front of her bed and running his hands
through his hair.

"Oh God," he said. "God . . . you're . . . we're . . . how?" He turned back
to look at her then. "How? I mean, we were always careful . . . always. I . .
. I . . . how can this be?"

She was on the verge of tears again now and she just shook her head. She
didn't know how. She wished she did. There hadn't been one time when they
hadn't been safe. They had done everything they were supposed to do. This
wasn't supposed to happen to them. It just wasn't supposed to happen.

"Maybe you aren't. Maybe it's something else," he said hopefully.

"I don't think so," she said quietly. As the words escaped her lips she
began to cry anew. She felt like the biggest failure in the world. How had
she let this happen?

At the sound of her sobs, Noel rushed back over to her side and knelt before
her again. "Oh, honey, I'm sorry. I shouldn't . . . I mean . . . well, come
here," he said as he gathered her in his arms. She clutched at him, crying
softly on his shoulder. With little effort he got her to her feet and moved
the both of them over to the bed, sitting down and gently pulled her close as
she continued to cry. "It'll be okay. We'll figure something out," he

"I'm scared, Noel . . . I'm so scared," she said weakly against his

He ran his hands over her back and replied, "I know, baby, me too . . . me

"What do you mean he wouldn't tell you?" Elena asked.

"Just what I said," Julie replied. "He wouldn't tell me."

"I can't believe him! He has us out all night looking for her and then he
doesn't even bother to call us and let us know that she's okay? Geez, the
nerve . . ."

"I'm sure there's an explanation," Ben piped up, trying to be the voice
of reason. The three were sitting around Ben and Sean's living room. It was
after 1am and the party had ended a few hours earlier. They, however, had
spent the evening looking high and low all over New York City for Felicity,
with no luck. Finally, they'd returned to the loft to see if Sean had heard
back from Noel yet. When he said that he hadn't, Julie had gotten even more
worried and called Felicity's room one more time. Noel had answered.

"Well, if he has an explanation I'd sure love to hear it," Elena said. "I
mean, what could he possibly have to say for himself?" she asked as she
stared pointedly at Ben. He just shrugged and Elena nodded as if to confirm
that she was indeed right. She turned back to Julie. "Tell me exactly what he
said to you," she instructed.

"Okay, well, when he answered I was a little surprised, you know? I mean,
I didn't expect him to be there since he hadn't called or anything. So, I was
like, 'Is Felicity there?' and he was like, 'Yeah, but she's asleep.' So I
was like, 'Well, is everything alright?' and he was like, 'Yeah, everything
is fine.' So, by this time I was getting a little curious about just what was
going on. So I asked, 'Is Felicity okay?' and he kind of hesitated for a
second, then he said, 'Yeah, she'll be fine.'"

"She'll *be* fine? What does that mean, she'll *be* fine?" Elena cut in.

"That's what I said," Julie continued. "So Noel was like, 'Everything is
fine, really.' Then, before I could say anything else, he said, 'Look, I've
gotta go,' and he hung up. That was it."

"What in the hell is his problem?" Elena fumed.

"I think the whole thing is weird," Julie replied.

"Something is definitely up," Elena agreed.

"We should go over there," Julie said.

"Wait, hold on a second. Before you two get all worked up, let's stop and
think about this, okay?" Ben said.

"We're all ears," Elena said dryly.

"Well, why would he lie?" Ben asked. "I mean, if something were wrong
with her, why would he lie to you two?"

"He's a man. They lie," Elena said.

Ben smirked and replied, "Funny. Seriously, he has no reason to lie to
you two if there is really something seriously wrong. He'd tell you. Besides,
if there were anything to worry about then Felicity would have most likely
called you herself."

"Maybe . . ." Elena said skeptically.

"Do you want to know what I think is going on here?"

Elena rolled her eyes and responded, "Oh please, this I have to hear. Go
on, Ben. Enlighten us with your wisdom."

He ignored her and continued. "I think they probably had a fight. It was
most likely his fault, which is why he didn't want to get into the details
with you, and it has obviously already blown over since he's answering her
phone. I don't think there is anything to get worked up over here."

Elena sighed. "Well," she said to Julie, "I hate to admit it, but he is
probably right."

"Yeah, I think so, too," she agreed.

"I suppose if the drama is over for the evening I'm going to go ahead and
hit the road," Elena told them as she rose from her position on the sofa.
"Jul, wanna share a cab?"

"Yeah, sounds good," Julie replied. They both started towards the door,
stopping to get their coats on.

"You two are welcomed to stay if you want," Ben said. "The couch folds

"Nah, I can hear my bed calling me from here, but thanks," Elena replied.

"Me too, I'm beat," Julie said. "I just need to wash this Snow White
make-up off of my face and hit the sack."

"Okay, well, maybe I will see you guys tomorrow?" Ben asked as the three
of them stepped out into the hallway.

"Maybe . . . you working?" Julie asked.

"Yeah, all day," he replied.

"Cool, maybe I'll stop by," she smiled.

"Hey, if you hear from Felicity let me know, okay? I'm sure everything is
okay, but you know . . . just in case."

Julie nodded. From the look on his face when he talked about Felicity,
she was almost positive that his feelings for her were not purely platonic.
When it had started at the end of last school year, she'd been angry. True,
he was no longer her boyfriend at the time, but the breakup was still fresh
and the fact that he was into her best friend did not sit well at all. She'd
spent the majority of her first month home fuming about it and vowing never
to speak to either of them again. However, finally, she'd managed to start
seeing the situation in a whole new light.

Yes, Felicity was one of her best friends. Yes, Ben had very recently
been her boyfriend and things had ended badly. And, yes, they'd kept whatever
was going on between them a secret from her. But, the fact was that these
were still two people she cared a lot about. And, the more she thought about
it, the more she saw that life in New York without them could never be the
same as it had been all of freshman year. And she had liked how things were.
So, her better judgement won out. She decided to forgive them. It seemed like
the lesser of two evils. And, once back at school that fall, she had been
thankful for her decision.

Felicity had been dating Noel again by the start of sophomore year so the
romance between she and Ben had obviously not followed them home to Palo
Alto. Still, Julie could sense that Ben had not completely let go of his
feelings for his one-time stalker. He seemed uncomfortable when he was around
her, especially if Noel was around as well. He asked Julie about her . . . a
lot. His lingering affection for Felicity was obvious . . . at least to

That was one, but not the only, reason why she'd decided that they were
better off staying just friends. There hadn't been too many sparks between
them anyway after they'd returned to school. But, she'd known there was still
the chance of resuming their relationship. However, it hadn't taken her too
long to realize that this was not in the cards. First off, there was the
Felicity thing. His puppy dog eyes towards her friend didn't bode well for
their own romance. Secondly, she had come to see that she didn't really feel
as strongly about Ben as she'd thought. Sure, she'd missed him while they
were apart. But, she hadn't missed being his girlfriend as much as she had
missed just being his friend. And so, that was how things had stayed.

Elena was holding the elevator for her, so Julie had to go. Part of her
told her to stay and talk to him, just be sure that things were okay . . .
but another part told her that this probably wasn't the best idea. No, she
would wait. He needed to work a few things out on his own before he was ready
to talk to her about them.

So, Julie reached down and took his hand. She squeezed his palm in hers
and smiled. Ben returned the gesture. "See you tomorrow," she said. He just
nodded. Then, she turned to go.

* * * * *

Felicity woke the next morning with a start. She was surprised to feel
someone's arms wrapped around her body and the heat of another body against
her back. Just as quickly, though, she remembered that it was just Noel and
she relaxed into his embrace. Her relaxation didn't last, though, when the
memory of why he was there in the first place came flooding back. She felt a
sob rise in her throat, but held it back. She was not going to lose it again.

Meanwhile, Noel awoke as well. He caught site of her face, turned towards
the window and staring blankly ahead at the new day that was dawning around
them. "Morning beautiful," he said as he bent his head to lay a kiss on her
shoulder. She didn't reply.

"Felicity? Please don't do this . . . please talk to me," he pleaded

"I'm sorry . . . I just . . . this . . . Oh, I don't know what to say
about anything anymore," she said with a heavy sigh.

"I know, I know," he whispered as he pulled her closer in his arms. "We
really need to talk this all out . . . how about I take you to breakfast?"

"I'm not hungry," she replied.

"Come on, my treat," he prodded.

"I really just want to stay here," she told him.

"Felicity . . . you can't stay in here forever. This isn't going to go
away and the sooner we discuss it, the better for both of us."

"I'm not in the mood to eat. I'm sorry," she said, remaining resolved in
her refusal.

"Alright, we'll go for a walk, then. We'll go to Central Park. It'll do
us some good to get out," he assured her.

"Noel, please . . ." she said weakly. The last thing she wanted to do was
anything that would have otherwise been normal. Nothing in her life felt
normal anymore.

"I really want us to do this; to talk," he said. "Please . . . do this
for me."

She sighed in exasperation and nodded. "Okay, fine. Let me go get

* * * * *

"Hi, can I help you?" Ben asked as he stood up from his restocking duties
to greet the customer that had just walked into Dean and Delucca. Seeing who
this patron was, he broke into a grin. "Oh, hey Jules," he greeted her.

"Hey, what's up?" she asked.

"Not much . . . just bored. We've been painfully slow today. So, can I
get you anything?" he asked.

"Um . . . how's the cappuccino today?"

"Great," he replied, then added, "since I didn't make it." He winked and
she smiled. Turning to the opposite counter, he poured her a cappuccino and
turned back. "Here ya go, on the house."

"Thanks," she replied as she took the proffered cup. "Hey, do you think
you have time to take a break and sit with me a minute?"

He looked around at the empty shop. "Yeah, I'm sure I can. Hey Danny," he
called down to the older man who was sitting at the far end of the counter
while fussing over the order list for the next week. He looked up at the
sound of his name. "Do you mind if I take my break now?" Ben asked.

"Um . . . well . . . yes . . . yes, that would be fine. I mean, no . . .
I . . . I don't mind, no. So, no. Yes. Okay," Danny fumbled clumsily over his
response, then turned back to the list for the weekly orders.

"O-kay," Ben said quietly to Julie as he chuckled. He widened his eyes in
the direction of his flighty boss and Julie giggled.

He laughed in return. "Come on, let's sit over here," he said as he led
her to the table situated in the far corner of the room. They sat across from
each other. "So, what's going on, Jul?" he asked

"Not much, just in the neighborhood so I thought I'd drop by and see how
you're hanging in," she replied.

"I'm doing alright," he told her.

"That's good."

"So . . . have you heard from Felicity today?" he asked. He was trying to
sound nonchalant, but it didn't take much to see through him.

She looked down into her cup and shook her head. "No, I haven't." He just
nodded and played with a paper napkin he'd pulled from the dispenser on the
table. "Ben . . . can I ask you something?" she questioned.

He looked up and replied, "Sure."

"Well . . . you and Felicity . . . I mean . . . well, you like her,
right?" she asked.

"Um, well . . . uh, it's not really like that. I mean, Felicity is with
Noel, so . . . well, I'm not saying that we would, if she weren't even, but,
well . . ."

"Ben, you can tell me the truth. I don't mind, I'm just curious to see if
my instincts are correct on this," she told him.

Finally he sighed and nodded. "Yeah, yeah I guess I do. I mean, I didn't
plan it this way. I knew she was with Noel at first and that was cool. And
you and I were . . . well, whatever we were, so I wasn't into anyone else, I
swear. But then, something changed. You and I broke up, Noel and Felicity had
already broken up . . . I guess I just started seeing her differently. And, I
didn't want to hurt you, honestly . . . I just . . ."

"It's okay, Ben. I know you didn't mean anything. I'm okay with all of
that now . . . really."

"Are you sure you want to talk about this, Jul? Because I understand if
you don't. I mean, I wouldn't blame you. Besides, who wants to hear about and
my pathetic life anyway?"

"Ben, stop . . . I said I was okay with it. And anyway, I brought all
this up, so please go on."

He nodded. "Well, I guess I didn't really know what to expect when I
asked her to drive back to Palo Alto with me. I mean, I didn't consciously
mean it as a come on, but in retrospect . . . well, I guess it kind of was.
Anyway, it didn't turn out so well since she never showed and I ended up
driving home alone." He shrugged to show that it was all water under the
bridge, but Julie knew better. He was still just a little hurt that Felicity
had never shown that day. She reached over and took his hand. He squeezed her
hand in return.

"I spent all summer wondering if I should call her, but I never did. I
saw her once at the mall. She was there with her mom. We talked for a couple
minutes, but of course nothing came up about the trip. And she didn't mention
Berlin. I found out once we got back to school that she and Noel were an item
again, but I think I already knew that by then. It's for the best I suppose.
The more I think about it the more I think maybe it was the fact that she
*stopped* wanting me that made her so attractive in the first place." He
looked up at Julie then and smirked. "That probably makes me a class A jerk,

She smiled sympathetically and shook her head. "No, I think it just makes
you human, that's all."

"Well, it's about time I put all this behind me I think. It's silly

"It's not silly," she assured him. "They're your feelings and that's
never silly. But, I
know what you mean about putting it behind you. Truthfully, I think that
might be for the best in this case."

He nodded and sighed. "Jules, do you regret that we broke up?" he asked.

She gnawed her lower lip in thought for a moment, then replied, "No, I
don't." The look on his face caused her to quickly amend her statement. "I
mean, I did . . . for a while. But, after giving it some thought this summer,
I started to think that it might be the best thing for us just to be friends.
Then, once we got back here to the city, I realized that we were definitely
better at friendship than all that other stuff. I like having you to talk
to," she confided.

He smiled. "Yeah, me too. I'm glad we decided to be friends." They shared
a smile and then both fell silent for a while. Finally, Ben said, "Now, you
know that you can *never* tell Felicity, or anyone else for that matter, any
of what I have told you, right?"

Julie smirked at that. "It goes without saying."

"Okay, just wanted to be sure," he replied. She nodded her understanding.
Another few minutes passed as a hush fell over them once more. And suddenly,
Julie realized just how content she felt at that moment, there with Ben like
that. It felt right. Finally, it all felt right.

* * * * *

New York's Central Park was crowded with people that day as Noel and
Felicity made their way hand in hand around one of the larger lakes in the
park. The weather was cool, but not yet cold, and the entire city seemed to
be trying to catch these last days of green grass and sunshine before the
snow came and blanketed the city until spring.

Felicity wore a bulky, gray sweater to shelter herself from the crisp,
fall air. This felt useless, though. There was more coldness radiating from
inside her than this November day could ever match. Noel held tight to her
hand as they walked, as if he was afraid to let her slip too far away. She
was grateful; she needed something to hold onto.

"The lake is so beautiful in the fall," Noel commented. Felicity didn't
respond, she just looked out over the glassy surface of the water and
marveled at its stillness. How could it be so calm and peaceful on a day when
her world seemed to be turning upside down all around her? "Should we sit?"
Noel asked, breaking her thoughts.


"Sit . . . there's a bench over there," he pointed. "We could sit down
and just talk for a while."

Again, she gave no response other than to nod. He knew that was about all
he would get from her, so he led her slowly from the walking path to the
bench and they sat together.

"Well, we need to discuss what we're going to do," he stated.

"The swans are gone," she said as casually as if the statement fit
perfectly into the conversation Noel was attempting to have with her.

"What?" he had to ask.

"The swans . . . they're gone," she repeated as she looked out over the

"Well, it's getting cold. I'm sure they've headed south. They've probably
been gone a week or more now," he said, wondering what this had to do with

"I didn't realize . . . I was hoping to see them one more time," she
replied sadly.

"They'll be back in the spring," he reasoned.

"Yes . . . in the spring," she repeated distantly.

"Felicity, are you with me?" he asked.

"Hmm?" she murmured, her eyes never leaving the lake.

"Look at me," he said. She didn't, so he gently took her chin in his
fingers and turned her to face him. "Look . . ." When her eyes met his, he
saw the tears in them. One slide down her cheek and he gently wiped it away.
"It's going to be okay, Felicity," he assured her softly.

"How? How is it ever going to be okay?" she wanted to know.

"I . . . I don't know. It just will. We'll work it out," he answered.

"But how, Noel? I mean, what can possibly make this better? I can't
believe I let this happen," she moaned as she lay her head down in her hands
and let the tears come full-force.

"Felicity," he said as he moved closer and took her in his arms, "You
were not alone. We both did this. And we'll figure it all out together," he
promised. She sniffled and nodded.

Noel leaned back so that he could see her face, but still kept one arm
around her to hold her close to him. With his free hand, he wiped her cheeks
and brushed her hair over her shoulder. "We need to discuss this," he said

"I know," she replied as her lip quivered.

"We need to think about our options," he continued. She nodded. "There's
always the option of keeping it, of getting married," he said.

"How can we do that?" she cut in. "I'm barely a sophomore, you're still a
junior . . . we'd never get finished. One or both of us would eventually end
up quitting. We can't do that . . . not now."

"Well, there's still adoption to consider," he pointed out.

"Yes, there's that . . ." she said shakily.

"You don't want that?" he asked.

"I don't know if I can do that," she clarified. "I mean, if I have a baby
. . ." Tears spilled over her cheeks again and she took a deep breath. "If I
have a baby," she repeated in a whispered voice, "how can I give it away?"

He pulled her against his chest again as she cried. "I know . . . it's
hard. But what else can we do?" he said quietly as she cried into his shirt.

She sat up then, pulling away from him a little. "Well, there is one
other option," she said sadly. He was just looking at her, staring really.
She continued. "I . . . if we don't have the baby . . . I mean . . ."

"Abortion?" he said in astonishment. "You're talking about abortion?"

"Well . . . yes. Why does that surprise you so much?" she asked.

"Well, I just . . . I never thought . . . I mean, we can't do that," he
said. "No," he stated, "we cannot do that." He sounded so definite, like that
was the end of the discussion. It infuriated her.

"What gives you the right to decide that?" she asked.

"This child is half mine, you know," he pointed out.

"Yes, and half mine, too. And it's *my* body we are talking about. Let's
not forget that." She was yelling a little now and Noel lowered his voice in
an effort to calm her down.

"Look, Felicity, I just don't believe in abortion. I think there must be
another way," he said.

"So, either I give up my life to have a child I didn't plan, or I drop
out for a few months, have a baby and then just give it away to people I
don't even know? What kind of options are those?" she cried.

"A child is not something to ruin your life. It's a blessing," he stated.

"Noel, does this feel like a blessing to you?" she asked coldly. He
didn't respond. "I honestly cannot believe that you are saying this to me. I
never thought you would . . . God, I feel like I don't even know you."

He stood up then and stared down coolly at her. "If you are prepared to
do that . . . to just get rid of our child that way . . . well, then I guess
I didn't know you as well as I thought either." He ran his hands through his
hair as he paced a few steps from the bench. When she stood and came up
behind him, he turned around. "Look, I can't talk to you about this right
now," he said. "I'll see you later." And with that, he was gone. And she was
left standing in the park all alone.

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