Three months later…
My hand hovered over the pregnancy test and I pulled away for the third time. Just take it Mia. I’m sure there is nothing to worry about, I tell myself and I grab it this time, hiding under my jacket until I reach the pharmacy checkout. The lady cashing up doesn’t even give me second glance and for that I was glad. I remember the first time I purchased a pregnancy test at the local pharmacy in New Orleans. A guy I knew from high school worked the cashier during the weekends and he eyed me, judging me as he cashed up. I took the bag and ran out like my life counted on it. Thankfully this time no judgement passed and even if it did, the lady behind the counter didn’t know me.
My heart pounded as I used the ladies restroom at work, tearing open the packaging of the two tests. I did what needed to be done and paced with my hands folded together as I prayed. The buzzing from my phone indicated that my time was up and I peeked at the first test – Positive. No. No. No. I grabbed the second test- Positive. I sank to the ground, the tears flowing as numbness took over. The sudden flush of the toilet in the stall next to mine drew me out of my stupor and I took the tests, put in back in it packaging and hastily got rid of the evidence. My temperature rose and my body started to quake in the tiny toilet stall as I remembered my first pregnancy and all the shit that went down.
I sat in the girls’ restroom of my high school and read the directions of the test. I had missed my period last month and maybe it was due to the stress of finals coming up, but I couldn’t blame that entirely since I was sexually active. After taking the test, I bit on my nails until my skin broke and the taste of iron made me cringe. The burn was nothing compared to the fear that was eating at me. I glanced at the test stick and the cross in the middle was a darkened blue. My knees gave out and I held onto the windowsill to keep me from falling to the ground.
I ran home as I wiped the tears that blurred my vision and almost made me trip on stones along my path. I wanted to talk to Tom so instead I made my way to his house. Tom was in his first year of college and thankfully he was on study leave. I pounded his door and a few moments later he swung open the front door. He took in my tear-stained face as new batches of tears began to fall and I ran into his arms. He held onto me tightly and it made me cry harder. He led me inside, rubbing my hands with his fingers until I was calm enough to speak. “What happened babe?” he asks and the tears started again. “I’m pregnant.” I blurt in between sobs and instantly Tom’s face pales. “It’s okay Mia.” he says after an hour of staring at me as I cried. “We will go to the doctor tomorrow. Maybe the test was wrong.” he says and I shake my head. “No. What if they call our parents?” I say as panic sets in again. “They won’t. We are both of legal age so there is no need for them to contact our parents.” he says, soothing me even though I know he was hiding his own emotions. “Okay.”, I say, holding out the hope that maybe the pregnancy test was wrong and praying that it was.
Loud thuds sounded in the room as Doctor Gene slid the transducer over my belly. The cool liquid allowed it to slide freely. “There is the baby.” she said as she pointed at the tiny bean-like image and I squinted as I took it in. Its heart beat was strong and tears overtook me again. My heart melted at the thought of a little human growing within me and somehow I was happy. Tom held my hand tighter and his breath quickened. He smiled when I looked at him. “That’s our baby.” I whisper and he kisses my forehead. I look at the black and white image for a while longer, a different, stronger love creeping in and settling in my heart.
A pounding on my bedroom door had woken me. “Come in.”, I say loudly, my voice scratchy and dry from all the vomiting. Lisa, my mother, entered the room, illuminating my room with light from the hallway and I blocked my eyes when it engulfed me. “Who the fuck do you think you are?” my mother seethes as she enters. “The principal called and told me that you haven’t been in school for the last three days. Do you think that I’m busting my ass at a grocery store for nothing?” she says and the words barely reach my ears as image of the dark blue cross creeps up in my mind and tears start to fall. “What the fuck are you crying for Mia? Stop being a fucking baby. You’re eighteen years old so act like it.” she scolds and her words doesn’t hurt me like it used to. There was something bigger that I had to worry about. Suddenly the urge to vomit took over me and I grabbed the bin just in time to spill my lunch. I heaved continuously and my mother just stood there and watched. “Are you pregnant?” she spat. I shook my head. “Don’t you lie to me you little bitch. I keep track of your period and you are beyond late and now you’re vomiting continuously.” She must have seen the shock in my eyes. “Oh. My .God! You are!” she fumed. “I’m sorry.” I cowered as she neared me and nausea took over again but I gulped it down. She pulled the blanket off me, the only weak barrier that made me feel safe. “You are going to abort. You heard me?! I am calling your Aunt Hilda, and if you so much as dare think about keeping this child, I swear I am going to kill you”, she threatens, slamming the door on her way out. The sound of glass breaking and things being thrown about, along with my mother’s curses made me quake.
Aunt Hilda picked me up early in the morning for my appointment. I called Tom last night and he told me “Just do it.”, before hanging up and I haven’t gotten through to him since. He was my last hope and I didn’t have anyone else to turn to. Tension rolled off me in waves. My mother threatened me again in the morning, pushing me through the door as I tried to fight back until I was seated in the car and Aunt Hilda locked the doors. My aunt looked at me with sorrowful eyes and I begged her to take me to see Tom before going to the clinic. “Tom doesn’t want the baby Mia. He told me himself when I called him. It would be better for you to give this up while you’re so early in pregnancy. You have a bright future ahead of you and your mother only wants what’s best for you.”, she says as she tries to control her own tears. “I don’t care if Tom wants the baby. I want it. I will raise him or her. Please.” I beg, my hands clasped together. “Mia if you don’t do this, your mother will throw you out and I can’t keep you either since business has been hard lately. How will you manage on your own? Do you think this child deserves to come into a world when you can’t take care of him or her? Do you want to be so selfish?” she says and my heart sinks. She was right. I couldn’t do it on my own and Tom let me down. When I saw him smile during my check up, he was faking it. He let me think he wanted our baby and without even discussing it fully, he wants me to get an abortion. Just like that? I was numb during the rest of the drive and during the abortion procedure at the clinic. I sobbed when it was over, cursing myself for succumbing to everyone’s wishes. My baby was gone, and everyone was ecstatic while I was dying inside.
Aunt Hilda dropped me off at my house before she sped away, leaving me barren inside – literally. I crept to my bedroom and though the ajar door I saw my mother lying on her back, naked as she gasped in pleasure. My heart hammered with anger. She was fucking while I gave up my baby. I pushed open the door, ready to give her a piece of my mind, and stopped on my tracks and I think my heart stopped beating too. Tom stood bare at the edge of the bed, driving into my mother. They both stopped and looked at me once they somehow figured out that they weren’t alone. Tom’s mouth hung open and my mother smirked. “Hey baby. Back so soon?” she smiled and I threw my bag in her direction, successfully hitting her face. She screamed at me while I turned on my heels and ran. Blood from my recent surgery dripped down my legs as I exerted myself and I never looked back since.