Desperate

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fourteen

It was two weeks until the end of school. Which means two weeks until my freedom. Ever since the basketball incident, whispers and stares had been following me around like the plague. Cameron had been my only escape.

Fortunately, it was not only scarily close to finals week, but the school was in the home stretch for AP testing, meaning practically everyone was on edge. After School study sessions and late night Skype calls with Cameron had me feeling more prepared than I ever have for an AP test.

People hopelessly crammed in the hallways as they drank their twentieth cup of coffee of the morning. All week teachers were having to send kids home due to sleep deprivation and caffeine withdrawal. Someone told me the other day a freshman had a seizure during the AP for world history.

Me, being me, I could barely be a functional human being on seven hours of sleep, nonetheless three. So, as I ambled down the hallways carefully sipping a Red Bull, I didn't expect my body to be able to comprehend even the simplest of bodily functions. I should have known better, because as always Mother Nature was not on my side.

My harsh reality became more and more apparent with the growing pain in my uterus. I hurried to the bathroom before the situation at hand became embarrassingly obvious on my light wash jeans. As I moseyed across the quad, I tried desperately to remember the school plan.

On instinct I burst into the open doors of the East Gym and into the ladies room. Luckily it had no lock so I could always count on it to be open and empty, seeing as it was hidden in a dark corner behind stacks of chairs and crushed orange cones. Another deep slow pain from my lower abdomen pushed me into the stall.

As I started to pull my backup pants out of my bag, I couldn't help but notice something was off. If I stayed quiet I could hear the shuffle of feet and the shallow breathing of two out-of-breath human beings.

"Shh," a voice said.

I looked underneath the two stalls next to me.

Two pairs of feet stood entwined in the stall adjacent to mine. One pair was significantly smaller, wearing simple black ballet flats, while the other was wearing a pair of dark blue Vans. I almost let it go, assuming it was another random couple taking advantage of an empty bathroom and raging hormones, until the other spoke up.

"Babe, it doesn't matter." Another, deeper one responded in a hushed tone.

I would know that voice anywhere. It was Jason. I burst out of the stall and threw open the stall next to me.

There in front of my eyes was Amanda and Jason, so interwoven, they couldn't have just been talking. Both had a deer-in-the-headlights look on their face, and the same ruffled hair and flushed faces. A strange emotion started to course through me. Whether it was jealousy, or hope, or fear, I would never know.

My legs started to move before my brain did. Before I knew it, I was running out of the bathroom and towards the quad and straight into Shreyas. It may have been the shock, or maybe the sleep deprivation but at the moment I did the one thing that benefited no one.

I told him.

I told Shreyas.


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