Welcome to a new blog series from Indie comic creator, Johnny Craft. Come along chapter by chapter as this comic book writer explores the journey of expecting his first child and all the emotions and creative challenges that come along with it.
Daddy’s Issues – Chapter 1: Hit by a Bomb
It was Friday, January 5th. I was at work, sorting out my own plans for the evening, in my head. I knew I was going to be on my own that night, so I needed to do something to keep my brain busy. I could continue working on my comic book script for “SuperLove”, maybe trim down the stack of “to-read” comics that have been piling up for months, watch “Punisher” on Netflix finally, or maybe just actually get around to playing the X-Box One that I bought months ago. Either way, none of my potential plans included… THIS.
Jovelyn sent me a text at work, around 1 pm. I knew she had other things to do for the night, so I actually anticipated NOT seeing my lovely girlfriend until Sunday. The text exchange was as follows:
Jovelyn: “I lied. I do want to see you tonight. If that’s okay. If you have plans then that’s okay! :)”
Me: “I would love to see you tonight. It’s more than okay. :)”
Jovelyn: “It’s been pretty fucked up today.”
Me: “I can’t wait to hear all about it.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just assumed I was going to hear a really entertaining “Can you believe this mother fucker at work?” story. I certainly didn’t expect… THIS.
I took off work early and got home a few hours before Jovelyn got off of work. Had I known the subject of the conversation we were about to have, I probably would have avoided smoking a blunt that I filled with so much weed, it looked like Swamp Thing fucked a cinnamon stick.
She let herself in, as I was in the kitchen making coffee. My apartment layout is such, that I was able to just pivot my body and greet her as she walked into my front door. She looked scared.
“Hey, gorgeous,” I said. “Is everything okay?”
I could tell she was freaking out, with an almost-panic-attack tone in her voice. We walked into the living room together, where Jovelyn dropped to her knees, directly in front of my couch. She looked up at me with her big, beautiful, eyes and I could sense the concern in them. Sadly, (or maybe not “sadly”) the first thing I noticed was how amazing she looked and how much Jovelyn Jade lights up my heart whenever I look at her. She was in a sort of “Slave Leia” position on the floor, looking totally stunning.
“Sooooo….” She said, snapping me out of my love-trance.
As I started to crouch, to meet Jovelyn on the floor, she reached back into her purse to pull out a white plastic shopping bag. “I’m pretty sure this means that I am,” she said.
The white plastic shopping bag was turned over, and spilling at my feet, right in the middle of my living room… was a bagful of positive pregnancy tests. (More on the relationship between Jovelyn and I, in a later chapter.)
The point is, I was just informed that I had put a child inside of the one woman in my life who has always been there for me, always made a point to make me happy, and fuel my confidence as a worthwhile human being. I knew I had to stay strong for her, find the perfect thing to say, and help make this situation easier to digest for her. So, naturally, me being the supremely strong and ever-confident manliest of men that I am… I froze like a bitch.
“Okay…. Uh…. Okay…. Okay. This…. Um… Okay,” probably stumbled it’s way out of my mouth for a solid minute and a half.
Usually, I’m not such a (in the words of Joe Pesci) stutterin’, mutterin’, prick. Even when I just inhaled a healthy dose of smoke from Swamp Thing’s dick, I can still keep my thoughts composed, rationally. It took me a bit to gain my composure and I finally turned to Jovelyn, looked her directly in her concerned eyes and told her honestly… “I don’t know what to say”.
I felt like a total asshole for those few seconds. Literally, like a complete waste of human life. Here I am, enduring the most pivotal moment in any person’s life, with the woman of my dreams looking to me for answers… and I had none. I couldn’t even form words, how could I raise a child?
“Just be completely honest with me,” Jovelyn said.
It took, maybe, two more seconds of silence and self-loathing, but her question snapped me out of it in a big way. I didn’t even need to think anymore. I looked at her with confidence and clarity and told her for the very first time in all the 17 years that I’ve known Jovelyn Jade Ross- “I love you. I know that. I have known that, and there is no doubt in my mind.”
I wasn’t nervous or questioning anything coming out of my mouth. I was giving her the 100% honesty that she wanted, and it felt amazing to finally say it.
“No one understands me like you, and I’ve never understood anyone like I understand you. You are the greatest person I have ever met in my life, and if the decision were up to me… I would certainly want you to keep it. I wouldn’t want to go through this with anyone, other than you, and if anyone can pull this off it’s going to be us. I love you, Jovelyn Jade. I won’t screw this up.”
She took a deep breath. Smiled. Still looked scared shitless, in her amazing eyes. Still stunning.
“I love you, too,” she said. “I definitely love you. I am really glad you said that because I feel the same way. I want to go on this adventure with you.”
It seemed like we got over the first wave of radiation from the Pregnancy Nuke that was just dropped on us. We kissed, cuddled, cried, talked, and joked for another several minutes. I could still tell something was bothering the love of my life, though. I had a feeling I knew what it was, too.
“You know,” I said. “We both know a lot of really dumb mother fuckers that have kids. Look at all the stupid people in Wal-Mart that have like five of them, and those kids survive! Some of them turn out to be really successful in life, despite being raised by complete fucking idiots. If those morons can raise multiple children, we can surely handle one, right?”
She smiled and I continued.
“I’m willing to take every step with you. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m not going to be like some Seth Rogan in Knocked Up kind of character. I know my life is going to change and I know you’re going to deal with a lot of stuff that I won’t be able to understand, but I’m going to learn and I’m going to do everything I can to be there for you in every possible way. You tell me what you need, or what I need to do, and I will do it. You are not alone in this, at all. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.”
I heard a sigh of relief.
“I am so glad you’re not a fucking idiot,” she said, happily. “You are saying all the right things, and thank you for that. You’re making me feel so much better.”
“I’m just doing what you told me to do,” I said. “I’m being honest with you. I’m not saying what I think is the right thing to say. I’m saying what I want to say and telling you how I feel. This is going to be great for us.”
She told me I would be a great father. I congratulated her and told her she would be a great mother. We are going to be incredible parents.
Jovelyn looked into my eyes, lovingly, smiling her amazing smile, and put the most “Jovelyn” cap on our positive-pregnancy-test drama.
“Now, order us a pizza, Daddy. I’m eating for two, now.”
By Johnny Craft