I chew on my nail as I wait for the test to do its thing. Two minutes. That’s it.
I can wait two minutes.
I look at my reflection and grimace. I’m tired and there’s dark circles under my eyes.
I’m three days late in starting my period. I’m usually one or two days late, that’s what happens when I come off my pill for seven days. I’ve never been three days late before.
I was freaking out about it last night when Braxton was sleeping soundly next to me. I told myself that, if I hadn’t started by morning, I would go and buy a test for peace of mind.
The only trouble is, what if it is positive?
We’ve only been dating five fucking weeks. We can’t have a kid at five weeks! We haven’t even met each other’s families. This would be a disaster.
I don’t want to think about what I’ll have to do. I know what I’ll have to do, I can’t keep it. I don’t want to keep it. I don’t want a baby now; I want one in a few years’ time. Not now.
The front door of my apartment shuts and I mentally curse myself for agreeing with Braxton that we should use our spare keys on each other’s apartments whenever we like, because that’s what people in relationships do.
“Baby?” He calls out.
I check that the bathroom door is locked. “I’ll be out in a minute!” I call back.
“Okay, I’m in the kitchen.”
I rush over to the test, and I feel like my entire world just fell back into place. I breathe a sigh of sweet relief.
I close my eyes and say a quiet prayer to the big man above, thanking him for not forcing me make that horrible choice. I throw the test in the bin and put some tissues on top of it. I pat down my hair and check that I don’t look too flustered.
Braxton is in the kitchen, getting out the pans for making dinner. “Hey, baby,” he greets me with a smile. “Are you feeling better?”
He knows that my period should be starting soon and that I didn’t sleep well last night.
“Yeah, I am. Thank you.”
Braxton looks through the fridge as I pour myself a glass of water.
“I got you steak and some bacon for breakfast,” I tell him with my back turned.
“Thank you. How much do I owe you? Oh, the receipt is here, I’ll work it out,” he replies.
I take a sip of my water and turn around. Braxton is sat at the kitchen table, reading through the receipt. His phone is at his side, calculator app open, ready to work out how much he owes me for buying his food. My heart suddenly beats faster as I realise that I bought my pregnancy test in that shop. The glass I’m holding almost drops from my hands.
Braxton looks up at me, shock on his face. “You bought a pregnancy test?” He asks.
I quickly put the glass on the side before I drop it.
“Um-” I swallow hard. “Yes.”
His mouth is still open, and he quickly shuts it. “Well?”
I shake my head. “Nope. Not pregnant.”
“Shit,” he mutters under his breath. He runs his hand through his hair.
“What time do you want dinner? I was thinking six thirty,” I suggest, and he just stares ahead. “I’ll find something to watch on TV,” I tell him, looking for an excuse to leave the room.
I sit down on the sofa and reach for the TV remote. I don’t get to turn it on though because Braxton sits down next to me. He still looks shell-shocked. “Wait, Melia, we need to talk about this,” he urges me.
I frown. “What is there to talk about? The test was negative.”
He frowns back at me. “Yes, but what would we do if it was positive?”
I scowl at him. “Why does it matter? It wasn’t.”
“It matters because, one day, it might be positive. We need to talk about this just in case,” he says with a sigh.
I can see that I am frustrating him, but he’s agitating me. “It doesn’t matter, Braxton. Let it go.”
“No, Melia!” He says firmly. “I won’t. Stop brushing me off, this is important.”
I lose my temper. Blame the period hormones. “Alright! Do you want to know what I would have done? I would have gotten rid of it, Braxton,” I snap.
He stares at me, looking even more shocked than he did in the kitchen. “What?” He gasps. “You’d get an abortion?”
I give him a sharp look. “We’ve been together five fucking weeks, Braxton. What do you suggest we do? Keep it and play happy families? We don’t even live together!”
He stands up and glares down at me. “I don’t understand how you can talk about this so calmly, with your mind so made up. We are talking about killing our child, Melia.”
I stand up too, glaring right back at him. “A child that doesn’t even exist! It was negative so why are you getting so bothered?” I shout.
“Because this is important! If we’re going to have a future together, then we need to plan ahead! I want us to be on the same page!” He raises his voice back.
“We’re not on the same page, though! It’s my body so if I want a damn abortion, I’ll have one!”
I turn on my heel and storm into my bedroom, slamming the door behind me. I pace up and down in front of my bed, trying to calm myself down.
Why is he pushing this so much?
There’s silence for a few minutes before Braxton knocks on the door. “Melia? Please could you come out?” He asks quietly.
I sigh. “I don’t want to fight.”
“Neither do I. I promise we won’t, I want to talk about this calmly.”
Communication is key to a healthy relationship.
I huff in annoyance, but I come out to the lounge. Braxton takes a seat on the sofa and pats the space next to him. I sit down and eye him warily.
“Right, no shouting, no swearing. Let’s talk calmly about this. You tell me your side first. Why are you annoyed?”
I narrow my eyes at him. How is he so mature? Why can’t he just let me wallow in my anger for a bit?
“I’ll confess that the period hormones might be making me more snappy than usual, but what really annoyed me is that you kept pushing it. The test is negative, we have nothing to worry about, but you kept asking what would happen if it were positive.”
“Anything else?” He says quietly.
“You don’t want me to get an abortion. I understand it’s a huge decision, but we can’t have a baby now. Look at us, Braxton. We’ve only been dating a few weeks; we live in separate flats and we both have the same demanding job. Where does a baby fit in here? We’d have to move and learn to be together as well as look after a baby. I think it would break us apart.”
Braxton nods solemnly. “Any more?” I shake my head. He reaches over and takes my hands. “Look, I’m sorry for pushing it but we need to be sensible about this. We’re having sex. Yes, you’re on the pill, but it isn’t 100% effective. This may be a situation we have to face in the future, and I want to know how we’d deal with it.”
He strokes his thumb over the back of my hand. “Of course I wouldn’t want you to abort our child. Anything that is part you and part me is something that I will love. But I understand what you’re saying that it wouldn’t be easy for us to have a child right now.”
Braxton takes my face in his hands and looks into my eyes. “But, Melia, having a child with you doesn’t scare me. Sure, I’d prefer it be in a few years’ time, when we’re living together and we’re both ready for one. But the reason it doesn’t scare me is because I already know that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
His words leave me speechless. I stare at him, unable to believe that my boyfriend is so incredible. “You know that?” I ask dumbly.
Braxton smiles and pecks my lips. “Yes. I know that you’re the woman I’m going to marry and spend the rest of my life with. When you know, you know.”
I stare at him, completely amazed. A small part of me is terrified that he’s so sure about me.
What if I’m not good enough?What if he changes his mind?
“Hey.” He takes my face in his hands again. “Stop over-thinking, I can practically see you freaking yourself out.”
I laugh quietly and he holds my hands on my lap.
“I love you,” he tells me.
“I love you, too.”
I grab his face and kiss him. Braxton falls back slightly with the force of my body being thrown at him, but he recovers quickly. He kisses me back, his lips moving ardently with mine.
I tug at his clothes, silently telling him what I want. Braxton stands up abruptly, breaking our kiss. He scoops me up in his arms and carries me through to my bedroom. He places me on the bed and his lips find mine again.
In a frenzied hurry, we strip out of our clothes. Our lips barely part for more than a few seconds. Our clothes are discarded, and our hot bodies press together. I can’t form a single other thought than getting him inside of me.
Braxton rips away my lace thong. The fabric tears easily, but it cuts into my skin a little. I stare at him in shock, the spell momentarily broken. I’ve heard about guys doing that, I’ve read about it, but I’ve never experienced it.
“Did you just rip my underwear off?” The question is useless, but I ask him anyway.
Braxton grins at me. “Yes. They were in the way.”
“In the way?” I echo his words as he kisses down my neck.
Braxton abruptly pushes two fingers inside of me, making me arch my back and gasp in pleasure.
“Does that answer your question?” He asks teasingly. “They were in the way of me getting inside you.”
Well, I guess it does.