Chapter Thirty Six
Monday September 27th, 2010 Afternoon:
Kolleen was standing at the far end of the field, with her gym clothes on. The short, black shorts, showed off most of her legs. It matched the knee pads and cleats, but her shirt was a light gray. She had her hair tied into a ponytail so she could see freely and her tongue pursed between her upper and lower teeth, as she waited for the soccer ball. This was one of her favorite sports, which coincidentally she was the captain of her college’s team.
She also happened to be the best female goalie within the last fifty years, blocking almost every shot. “Be careful Kolleen, Lauren’s coming up hot!” one of Kolleen’s team mates yelled, as she passed by the goal. “Will do, thanks Kary!” The dark skinned girl gave a thumbs up, then sprinted over towards the ball. Kolleen watched hard, as the ball made its way over to her. She was ready; her stance was perfect and her mind was focused. The ball was only thirty feet away, now twenty feet; ten feet. It was just outside the goalie area, she readied herself for the shot. And then an enormous wave of nausea swept through her.
She couldn’t hold it back and instantly fell to her knees. Shortly thereafter, the ball whizzed by her ear, and then vomit poured out. She heaved over and over, unable to stop the burning sensation in her stomach. The whistle blew off, and then she heard her coach yelling for a time out. Then a pair of white legs met Kolleen’s eyes. She felt the vomit subsiding, but not entirely as she propped herself up, and then shakily got to her feet. Coach Mill was staring into Kolleen’s eyes. She had the face of a cat, with almond shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and thin lips. “Are you okay Sparks?” she asked.
Her coach liked to call them all by their last name. Kolleen figured it was a reference to her coach’s military past. She grasped her stomach and just grunted in return. “You’ve done great for this class and the team Sparks. Don’t let that one last goal detour you. Hell, I wouldn’t even consider that fair since you were vomiting.” Coach Mill placed her hands on Kolleen’s shoulders and looked her deep in the eye.
“You’re our star goalie and a senior now. You’ve brought this college to so many state championships; more than I can count. Go on. Get yourself cleaned up and have some rest. I won’t mark you bad for this.” Kolleen nodded, and let Coach Mill guide her to the surrounding fences. It was then that she spoke once more. Kolleen rested against the cool metal, and let it calm her down. “I didn’t want to say this in front of the other girls, but I know when a woman is pregnant.” Kolleen nearly jumped, as if the fence shocked her.
“Don’t think that I don’t know Sparks. You’re vomiting for no reason; you’re in great health and shape. I saw you clenching your stomach on the way in, but let’s be honest; that could have been anything. I digress. You’ve got all the symptoms Sparks. Swollen ankles, emotional sensitivity, which I detected when Loren flipped you off. My only concern is, have you gotten tested yet?” Coach Mill asked. “I‘ve tested myself at least five times, but it can‘t be true. It just…can‘t be.”
“Look. I understand that you’re afraid and if taking all these pregnancy tests make you feel some sort of comfort then I say do it. But you have to face the facts sooner or later. You are pregnant; it’s just you who’s stopping yourself from believing it.” With that Coach Mill left her at the fence, still grasping her belly. What was that all about? Kolleen thought as she began her descent.
The college’s fields were behind the college, way up on the hills, which were surrounded by tall fencing. Kolleen continued to walk downhill, again clenching her stomach. The bile was threatening to pour out of her again. She started to pick up her pace, turning a slow stumble into a slight jog. She saw the side entrance way, underneath the campus work out room, and sprinted through the doors. There was a long hallway, which ran from one side of the school to the other.
Bathrooms would be placed every other hallway. Kolleen noticed the nearby bathroom and started walking towards it. Once she got there, she was stopped abruptly by the janitorial services. A short, gray haired woman, clad in dirty clothes refused to let her in. “The bathroom’s a mess, after this last poor girl left. I pity what happens to her house bathroom.” The woman stated. Kolleen ignored her, and walked further down the hall, bypassing an outside courtroom. It had a few tables and chairs, along with some kids studying.
The next set of bathrooms, thankfully, were open. Kolleen stepped inside, and immediately rushed to the last stall. She preferred to be in this stall, since it gave her some security. She withdrew her pregnancy test, set it on the toilet paper holder and immediately dropped to her knees. The vomit was already rising up her throat once more, and then spewed into the toilet. She heaved for what felt like a half hour, until she was dry heaving. Slowly, she stood up, and then sat down on the toilet. Her hands were shaky, as she reached for the pregnancy test.
Shortly after administering the test, Kolleen held onto it tightly, as if her life depended on it. She was muttering to herself, until the door of the bathroom opened. A familiar voice met her ears; it was Kary. “I saw you entering this bathroom, are you okay Kolleen?” she asked. Shortly thereafter, a pair of dark legs rested outside the stall. “I’m fine Kary, I just felt sick is all.” she replied. “Well I’m done with classes today, but felt like checking up on you before I left.” “That’s very much appreciated.”
“Hey, it’s no problem. If you ever need me, I’m just a call away. I gotta get going now though. I have some things to take care of. See you later!” “Yup!” Kolleen replied. She heard shuffling and then the front door. Kolleen exhaled lightly, then read the pregnancy test box. “It says that I have to check it after five minutes. If it’s a minus sign, then I’m good. If it’s a plus…” she stopped there. She closed her eyes, then looked down at the test in her hand. And there it was, the ominous plus sign. Fuck. She thought.
She dropped down on the floor, and started to cry. Both of her arms were wrapped over her stomach. Her face had been contorted into sadness, as she wept on and on for minutes on end. It’s not like she didn’t know but she was praying that this was some type of nightmare, to only find out it was true. The crying lasted so long, that it made her feel drowsy, and then she passed out. The pregnancy test lay in her hand still, with the plus sign burning even darker now.