Sophia

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POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

SOPHIA, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

“Bridge, I know, that is – it isn’t supposed to be likely, I mean, what are the chances, right? But I think – I don’t know, --” I’m blabbering and stammering all at the same time and yet still managing to say nothing. Bridget reaches out and pulls me into her arms and hugs me, saying nothing. I stop talking, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Closing my eyes I muster the strength to say what I need to.

“I think I need to take a pregnancy test.” Bridge freezes in her motion of rubbing my back and I can hear her heart skip a beat.

“Ok,” she says, leaning back to look me in the eye. She asks me no questions and passes no judgment, simply holds me tight while silently I beg for her support. “Do you have one here?” I nod and get up, pulling it out of my suitcase. I brought it with me, wanting to do it when I had my sister around for support.

She sends me to the bathroom to take the test, then I return to the bedroom with it to wait out the two minutes for the results with Bridge. Two minutes is not a long time but it is suddenly the most excruciating length of time in my life – it feels like days. Bridget keeps track of the time on her phone and seventeen days later, at least that is what it seems like, the time is up.

Positive.

Oh God. I’m suddenly lightheaded and the room begins to spin so Bridget sits me down on my bed before I collapse. I can’t believe it – how is it possible? I mean, I know how it is possible but why? Why is this happening?! Oh God, what is Hayes going to say? He’s going to hate me, I know it. He’s going to think I did this on purpose to try and trap him into a commitment – I know it. Women have done weird shit to him in the past because of his money and now he’s going to assume I am too and leave me – oh God!

Panic attack.

One time! One time we had unprotected sex! Maybe he didn’t pull out in time, or it was his precum – I don’t know but the end result is the same.

I’m pregnant.

HAYES, DISTANCE BETWEEN FRIENDS

After Sophia returns from up north and the holidays, she is distant. She’s distracted during our date nights and when she smiles, they’re half smiles that don’t meet her eyes – something is drastically wrong and she isn’t saying anything. January passes by exceedingly cold and miserable and is made even more unremarkable by our lacklustre facetime conversations, each one worst than the one the week before.

By the beginning of February I can’t take it anymore and I get Aidan to rearrange my schedule so I can make an overnight trip to see her. We got everything settled with Jeremy finally and the bastard no longer works for me and is facing criminal charges for assaulting a woman in a bar - turns out he is a piece a shit everywhere he goes. Things have also been particularly hectic at work and I’ve been in the office a minimum of six days a week for months now with the only exceptions being the times I’ve gone to see Sophia. I can’t really afford to take the time off right now but Sophia is more important than anything business-related and it is clear to me that something is going on with her.

I don’t give her a heads up that I’m coming which I come to regret when I’m standing outside her apartment door, listening to strange noises coming from within. Moaning and the odd groan – Sophia. I can’t believe what I’m hearing – is she having sex with someone else?! I turn around, determined to leave and never speak to her again but decide that I’m not letting her off the hook that easy. Not after everything we’ve gone through – how can she do this to me?!

I pound on the door angrily, shouting her name. The sounds inside stop immediately and I hear shuffling – likely them trying to hide the guy before she lets me in. A minute later I hear her unlock the door before opening it slightly, she herself mostly hidden behind it.

“H-Ha-Hayes – what are you doing here?” Her face is covered behind her hair and her voice is shaky, hoarse. The little bit of her I can see is trembling visibly, either from emotion or adrenaline.

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?” I ask as nastily as I can. She silently opens the door wider and steps back out of the way. I stomp into the room and immediately start looking around for the asshole I need to beat up. Sophia watches me through hooded eyes hidden behind her hair.

“Wh-what are doing?” She genuinely sounds confused by my behaviour so I give her credit for being a good actress. Ignoring her distress, I continue my search.

“Where is he?!” I demand as I keep coming up empty. I know what I heard – I’m fairly sure. I mean, I heard her… oh God.

I’m fairly sure I’m an asshole.

Again.

“Where is who?” She asks, shaking her head, definitely confused. I stop looking around and go to her. When I gently tip her face toward me, it is then I see that she has been crying. Her eyes are swollen, red and full of unshed tears. Her nose is red and sniffly, and her entire face is flushed.

Sophia wasn’t having sex, for Christ’s sake – she was crying.

Yeah – definitely an asshole.

The question is… why?

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