2 years ago
I felt the hot tears trailing down my face as I stared down at the two blue lines. This couldn’t be right, could it? I didn’t even know what to do, was it a reasonable reaction to throw the stupid pregnancy test across the bathroom and pretend I never saw it?
How was this fair? I was 16, I couldn’t take care of a baby. I never wanted this, I didn’t make a stupid choice, all I did was go to a party. A stupid party, with stupid drinks, and stupid guys, and stupid drugs. I wish I had never gone to that stupid party. The tears were coming faster down my face now, as I sank against the wall until I was on the floor. I stared blankly at the test in my hand as I relived that night.
“Damn Lise, how long does it take you to get ready?” I giggled as my best friend, Gabrielle, complained from where she lay on my bed.
“It’s not my fault you choose not to look your absolute best whenever we actually go to these things,” I told her. We were both dedicated high school sophomores, so we didn’t go out to parties that often, or at all, but tonight was a rare exception. It was my cousin’s birthday, and he begged me to come to a party with him so I finally gave in and was dragging Gabrielle along with me.
She lifted her head off the bed enough to glare at me,
“If it were up to me, we wouldn’t go to these parties at all,” I glanced at her, “And I don’t know why you insist on curling your hair, you know it takes for freaking ever.”
I turned back to my floor-length mirror and watched her in that instead so I could continue to curl my hair.
“I insist on curling my hair, because that’s the way Asher likes it best, and since it’s his birthday...” I trailed off. She sighed,
“Okay, so your curling your hair because you love your cousin, but please explain why his fine ass isn’t up here helping you?” she asked, I turned around to face her a horrified expression on my face,
“And let him near my beautiful hair with a curling iron?” I paused, “He’d find some way to burn it all off!” I exclaimed, only half-joking.
“Probably,” We both turned to see Asher leaning against my bedroom doorway and I swear Gabrielle got heart eyes, as all the anime characters do? I tried to hide another giggle. I admit he was hot, with short-cropped black hair and amber eyes. He was also tall, something Gabrielle adored about him, as both she and I were short. We were both only a few inches over five feet. But I would never see him as anything more than my cousin, or an overprotective older brother at most.
Asher glanced at Gabrielle like she had grown another head or something, I knew he only saw her as a little sister and I sort of pitied her but I think it’s for the best, before speaking up.
“I might burn all your hair off if I try to help, but Gabi won’t, and if we plan on leaving in the next ten years, you need help curling,” he paused and gestured to my dirty blonde hair, that when left straight reached to my mid-back, “all of that.” I shrugged and opened a drawer, pulling my second curling iron out,
“Here you go Gabi,” I called. Snapping her out of her Asher-induced trance. She looked at me confused and spotted me waving the curling iron in the air,
“Oh yeah sure, I’ll help you,” she said getting off the bed and walking over to where I stood in front of the mirror. I saw Asher’s chuckle and struggled to hold one of my own in.
“Well now that that’s settled, I’m going to go watch some TV until you’re ready,” he told us, disappearing from my vision. I listened until I could no longer hear his footsteps on the stairs and commented,
“You so had heart eyes the whole time he was here.”
“I did not, plus how many times do I have to tell you I am not a damn anime character! Heart eyes don’t even happen in real life, therefore it’s not possible,” Gabrielle argued. I laughed, “Watch it, I will burn you with this thing,” she threatened, waving the curling iron in my face.
I froze up and followed it with my eyes for a moment, trying to make sure it didn’t get close enough to actually burn me, causing her to burst into a fit of giggles.
“Yeah, haha. So funny.” I rolled my eyes at her and continued curling my hair, watching her have her giggle fit in the mirror. “We’re never going to get to the party if you don’t help me,” I complained.
She held up a finger to say one second and struggled to calm herself. After a moment she had calmed herself enough to help me. And we worked in silence for a while before she spoke,
“So why are you really making such an effort tonight?” she asked, “And don’t give me any more of the ‘it’s Asher’s birthday’ crap. You’ve never gone this far before, I mean you look like a fucking badass princess!” she praised me, locking her eyes with mine in the mirror. I beamed at her,
“Well... I met this guy,” she squealed, and I laughed at her.
“Oh, my little baby Lise is growing up!” she exclaimed. I shushed her hoping Asher hadn’t heard her, the words, or the squealing.
“Gabi! If Ash hears you, he’ll murder Colton before he even gets the chance to meet him and you know it!” she clapped her hand over her mouth.
“Sorry!” she whispered. I stared at her for a moment before shrugging,
“It’s fine,” I pointed to the last strand of hair that needed to be curled. “Can you finish it?” she nodded. I stayed still as she wrapped my hair around the curling iron and held it there for a few seconds before letting it fall.
“Perfect,” she whispered. We shared a small smile before putting the curling irons away.
We stood in front of the mirror and I studied our reflections. My dark eye makeup and lipstick made my green eyes pop more than usual and my blonde hair stood out against the simplicity of the short black dress. My knee-high black boots were comfortable and fashionable and the black stone necklace I wore complimented the outfit well.
I slid my eyes over to where Gabrielle stood in the mirror. She had straightened her shoulder-length light brown hair, which was nothing out of the ordinary. She had done her makeup light and natural-looking, also nothing out of the ordinary and she was wearing a little black dress. Where I had my boots though, she was wearing these gorgeous little, strappy black wedges.
When we finished, we nodded to each other. I grabbed my phone off my desk and she grabbed her’s off the bed before we walked down the stairs. Asher looked up from the TV, studying our outfits, and whistled.
“What’s the occasion?” he joked. Gabi laughed, and I rolled my eyes, at him
“Come on, we will be late,” I told them. Asher glared at me,
“You’re going to blame us being late on me?” he asked in disbelief. I blinked up at him innocently,
“Well, I know it’s not my fault,” I glanced at Gabi, “And it’s definitely not Gabi’s fault,” he rolled his eyes and stalked past us muttering under his breath,
“Stupid girls, and on my birthday nonetheless,” Gabi and I both burst into a fit of giggles. “Well, are you coming?” Asher called. We both hurried after him,
“I call shotgun!” I said,
“I called it!”
“You’re forcing me to go so I should at least get to sit shotgun!” Asher glared at us,
“Nobody rides shotgun, you both get to ride in the back,” we looked at him and shrugged sliding into the backseat together. “You girls I swear,” he muttered just loud enough for us to hear, whether he meant for us to hear him I don’t know.
“You know you love us,” I told him blowing him a kiss as he got into his truck, which he pretended to dodge before he got in and pulled out of the driveway. As Asher drove us there, I showed Gabi pictures of Colton because surprisingly she hadn’t ever seen him before.
“He got transferred into my English class, he’s really sweet,” I whispered to her. Glancing to the front where Asher was, he was glancing back at us through the rearview mirror, his eyes narrowed before he shrugged and looked back at the road.
“He’s so cute!” Gabby whisper squealed, bringing me back to the conversation, I smiled,
“So is he Gabi approved?”
“Girl, of course!”
“What are you two weirdos whispering about?” Asher asked, glancing up I realized he was watching us again.
“Nothing!” I told him at the same time Gabi blurt out,
“Monkeys!” He looked at us both like we had grown extra heads,
“Anyway..... we’re here,” I exchanged an excited glance with Gabi and we got out of the car.
We were obviously late, the party was in full swing already. Kids I’d seen at school standing on the lawn with red solo cups in their hands, and we could hear the pulsing bass of the music inside the house.
We all walked to the doors of the big, white, three-story house together and once we were inside, we almost immediately lost sight of Asher.
“Is he here?” Gabi asked, referring to Colton, I nodded
“He texted a while ago, said he would wait for me in the kitchen.”
“Let’s find the kitchen then.” We weaved our way through all the people standing around in hallways talking, eating each other’s faces off, and drinking. Peering into each room we passed until finally, we found what looked like a giant kitchen.
“Do you think this is it?” I asked. She nodded,
“It sort of looks like a kitchen,” she mumbled,
“Damn rich people and their rich people houses,” she laughed at me,
“Amen sister.” She grabbed my arm and led me inside the kitchen which is actually what it was.
“Do you see him anywhere?” I asked. She shook her head,
“Oh wait,” she pointed to the far end of the kitchen where Colton sat on a bar stool with a drink in his hand talking to some other guy. She pushed me in his direction,
“What about you?” she rolled her eyes at me,
“I’ll find some other chick to be my best friend for the night,” she said,
“You don’t have to, I can-” she cut me off
“Go have fun,” she turned to leave but then held up her phone, “Call me if you need me, and I’ll be right there.” She trailed off, “well give me a few minutes to find you but after that...” she flashed a smile at me, and then she was gone.
I gave her one last backward glance before shoving my way through the people in the kitchen towards Colton. Once I got closer, he spotted me over his friend’s shoulder and sent me a smile.
“Lise.” I smiled back and walked the rest of the way to him,
“You made it! Ethan here was sure you’d ditched me,” he said motioning to his friend. I laughed and offered him a small wave,
“Nope, just a little late.” Colton chuckled,
“More like a lot late,” his friend Ethan commented.
“Do you want anything to drink?” Colton asked, ignoring his friend’s comment, and motioning to the beer in his hand, I scrunched my face up in disgust,
“Designated driver,” I told him,
“I take it you’re not too upset about it either,” he observed, “Don’t worry Ethan’s got coke too, a lot of the freshmen on the football team don’t drink either,” I nodded.
“Then sure, I’ll take a drink,” Colton exchanged a glance with Ethan and Ethan trudged off somewhere, presumably wherever the drinks were held.
“Come sit down,” I glanced at the seat Ethan had been in, not wanting to steal his seat, but it was the only open one. Colton must have seen the inner dilemma in my eyes, “He won’t mind. I promise.”
I sighed, not so sure, but sat down anyway, setting my phone down on the bar and facing Colton.
“Did you come here by yourself?” he asked, I shook my head
“My cousin and best friend came with me, but they’re both elsewhere,” I said motioning in the general area of, well I guess I just motioned. Colton shook his head in amusement a twinkle in his eye.
Ethan came back and set down a red solo cup with ice and a can of coke on the bar next to me,
“My lady,” he said smirking before he turned and walked off into the crowd. Colton shook his head in amusement and grabbed the can. I opened my mouth to ask what he was doing but shut it when he began talking,
“I’m just pouring it into the cup for you,” I nodded my thanks. I scanned the kitchen, looking for Asher, I couldn’t have him killing Colton before I had the chance to introduce them, “Are you waiting for someone else?”
I fixed my gaze back on Colton and smiled,
“No, just you,” I took a sip of the coke. We sat at the bar for a few more minutes talking about random things.
The jiggling of a doorknob pulled me out of my thoughts, not that there was anything else to remember. The last thing I remembered was talking to Colton, but that’s not the last thing that happened. The assholes had drugged me, and then they raped me. And now I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom, crying, and pregnant. The doorknob jiggled again, and I realized it was probably my parents trying to get in again,
“Go away,” I managed to say in between sobs. I heard a sigh, and what sounded like footsteps. I can’t believe that actually worked, shows how much they care. I set the stupid test on the floor next to me and pulled my knees to my chest and tucked my head in between my knees. I sat like that for what felt like hours, just crying. Wondering how the hell I would raise a kid, I didn’t even have a job. And I knew my parents wouldn’t care what I had to say they weren’t going to help. In fact, they’d probably just kick me out.
There was a knock at the bathroom door,
“Go away,” I said again,
“Lise, whatever it is you can talk to me about it.” I lifted my head at the sound of Asher’s voice. Could I tell Asher about this? I told him everything, but this was different. This was a baby, “Lise please, can we talk this out?” I continued to ignore him as I sat on the other side of the bathroom, I heard angry muttering and knew my parents were out there with him. I heard him snap back at them.
He had become even more protective of me since the party. Especially towards my parents, who insisted that it was my fault I ended up raped. I should’ve done something about it, worn better clothes. Not taken the drink from him, no matter what I or anyone else said I was pretty much scum to them now. Dirty and used, might as well not be their daughter.
That was how they took the news. Gabi blamed herself for leaving me alone with them and I haven’t spoken to her much recently. I think she just needs time and that’s okay, I just hope eventually she can see that it’s no more her fault than it is mine. And depending on how you look at it Asher took the news the best, or he took it the worst.
At first, I thought he was ignoring me too, but he was actually tracking Colton and Ethan down. From what he told me, which I know is either a complete lie or a tiny portion of the truth, he only beat them up and threatened them. Anyways whatever he actually did it was enough to have made them both skip town. And ever since he has been treating me as if I’m made of breakable glass or something.
“Lise if you let me in right now I promise I won’t strangle you later,” Asher called through the door. I giggled through the tears, knowing he didn’t mean it at all. He deserved to know I decided, he was the only one who has been here for me through this,
“Fine, but you have to promise me that Mom and Dad aren’t out there,” my voice was shaky, but I was no longer crying. There was no response for a moment and then I heard a loud noise and loud footsteps leading away from the bathroom.
“They’re gone, can I come in now?” he asked, his voice soft. I pushed myself off the floor and walked over to the door.
“I promise,” he sighed. I nodded, even though he couldn’t see me, and unlocked the door. It made a clicking noise, and I stepped back away from it. The doorknob turned, and I ducked my head. Asher slipped inside the bathroom and shut the door behind him again. I felt his fingers on my chin and he tilted my head up to look at him,
I must have looked like a complete and total mess, and I could see it in his eyes but he just looked at me sympathetically,
“Oh, Lise honey, what happened?” I shook my head, showing that I didn’t want to talk just yet. And the tears pooled in my eyes again before streaming down my face. He sighed and held out his arms to me, “Come here, baby girl.” I let myself fall into him and I buried my face in his shoulder, my hands in fists on his chest. He set his chin on top of my head and muttered comforting things to me while rubbing circles on my back until I calmed down enough to talk to him. The first thing I got out was,
“I’m sorry.” he shook his head almost angrily at me,
“Don’t be sorry, whatever’s got you this upset we can get through it together. I promise.” I looked into his wide, sincere eyes with my sad and hopeful ones. I shook my head sadly, knowing I couldn’t hold him to that promise. This baby would already ruin my life, I didn’t have to let it ruin Asher’s as well.
“Don’t promise that,” I whispered
“And why not?” I looked at him,
“Because what if you don’t want to keep that promise when you find out what’s wrong?” he hesitated, considering my words, for a moment before he answered.
“I don’t think it will matter. You could tell me you just found out you were an alien and I would still love you and help you through it,” he said.
“So if I told you that I was pregnant...” I let my sentence trail off as I searched his face for a reaction. His face lost all emotion for a moment and then masked over in anger,
“Those bastards.” I pulled away from him slightly,
“Ash,” he didn’t seem to hear me, he was muttering incoherently, clenching and unclenching his fists. “Ash! You’re scaring me,” his eyes snapped to mine and I could see the anger fading from his gaze. It was quickly replaced by guilt,
“Shit, Li-Li. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you, whatever I said I didn’t mean it.” I stared at him without saying anything. I had only seen this side of him once before, and that’s when I told him that I had been raped.
“I-it’s fine,” I responded shakily, backing away from him and sitting down on the ground where I had been before. He sat down next to me,
“They’re lucky they’re not in town anymore,” I swatted at him,
“Ash please, they aren’t worth it. Plus we have more important issues,” I paused unsure of myself, “Or at least I do.” I felt him freeze up beside me and risked a peek at him through the curtain of my hair.
He was staring down at me, no not at me at the floor in front of me. I glanced there and saw the pregnancy test. Oh, well that would explain why he was kind of a statue. He just continued to sit there and stare until I couldn’t take it anymore,
“Say something? Please?” His eyes snapped to me. He still looked like he was in some sort of daze, but I could see past it to the wheels turning in his brain, trying to figure out how to deal with this no doubt.
“So this is really happening?” he asked, “You’re really pregnant?” I nodded slowly, waiting for some sort of freaking out, maybe more angry muttering, but he said nothing else, did nothing else. Except run his hands through his hair a few times.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked him. He looked at me in pure disbelief,
“What am I thinking about? Lise, what are you thinking about?” I winced at the tone of his voice, “You just found out that one of your rapists got you pregnant, you don’t know which one, and you’re asking me what I’m thinking about?” I nodded hesitantly, he sighed.
“Your 16 Lise, I know you want to keep this baby but you’re only 16. You have your whole future ahead of you, a baby would ruin that. Your parents will not support you, I want to support you, but that’s a lot to ask of me!” I ducked my head.
“I will have another chance at a future after this baby,” I gave him a sad smile, “But this baby doesn’t have any other chances, I’m the only one it’s got. And I don’t care who the father is, they are both terrible people. This child will not grow up like either one of them.” Asher was looking at me pleadingly, “So I don’t care if I do this with or without you, but I will not kill this child, so please don’t even suggest it.”
Asher looked pained, but he nodded.
“Your parents will disown you and you can’t live by yourself at your age,” I didn’t miss a beat before I replied,
“But you’re 19, and you won’t disown me,” I paused uncertainly, “Will you?”
“No, of course not Li-Li, I would never. But I also can’t support both of us and a baby on my own.”
“I can help, I’ll drop out of school and get a full-time job, at least for a couple of months.” Asher looked thoughtful,
“What happens after the baby is born?”
“I’ll take it with me to work if we can’t find daycare.”
Austin watched me for a few moments, his eyes calculating. He took a deep breath and nodded. “Ok, if and most likely when your parents kick you out in a minute this is the plan,” he paused and looked me in the eyes suddenly he stuck his hand out to me, “Deal?”
I took his hand and said just as seriously, “Deal,” he enveloped me in another hug and we turned to the bathroom door to face this next chapter in our lives.