I took the test. I waited. Nervously picking at my fingernails, I counted down the seconds. According to the tiny instructions printed on the pregnancy test’s packaging, I was supposed to wait two whole minutes. And it was agony. When I finally picked the pregnancy test up from off the rim of the sink, I felt my throat squeeze up, preventing me from breathing.
“Oh, shit,” I hissed.
“Did you do it?” came Jenna’s muffled voice from the other side of the bathroom door. I opened it, found myself face to face with her.
“I’m…” I felt dizzy. This all felt so surreal. “It’s positive.”
“No fucking way!” exclaimed Jenna. “What are you going to do? You can’t have a baby. They’re messy and loud. And they poop and barf everywhere! Not to mention the mess that your morning sickness will cause. Are you going to keep it? Where’d we even keep the baby? Oh my God, I don’t think I can handle having a baby around the house, Tia.”
Jenna’s meltdown didn’t help to settle my nerves. I needed space. I needed to think.
I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. I felt different, but in a good way. But there were so many questions, so many uncertainties that lingered over my head. What was I going to do? I definitely got the sense that I wouldn’t be staying at Jenna’s for much longer, what with her aversion to all things unhygienic. But that was only the start of all my worries. What if I kept the baby? What would become of my career? Where would I go? Who would help me raise the child? And what if I decided I didn’t want to keep it? I could make everything go away, all my problems, all the financial burden involved with raising a child –it’d all be gone. But something didn’t sit right with me about it, didn’t make me any more at ease.
This was Alex’s child. Mine and his. And there was something akin to exhilaration bubbling up in my chest that made me hopeful.
My fingers itched for something to do. Before I knew it, I had dialed Molly’s number. I needed to talk to her. She seemed like the only one I could turn to right now, the only one with an unbiased opinion about this whole mess. We hadn’t spoken since her outburst at Alex’s apartment, but I was pretty sure she was the only person willing to listen to me.
When she answered, she was very terse. “What do you want, Tia?”
Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was this whole crazy whirlwind between me and Alex, but my voice cracked, and I began to sniffle. “C-can we talk? I really need help right now, and…” I sobbed, cutting myself off.
“Okay,” she agreed, her voice softer than when she had greeted me. “Okay, it’s fine, Tia. Don’t cry. Do you want to meet up?”
“Yeah,” I sighed. This was good. This was working. I really wanted to talk to a friend face to face. “Remember that little bistro you took me to? Before you went on your trip?”
“Yeah, I remember. I’ll meet you there in fifteen minutes.”
I found the bistro easily enough. It was a warm and sunny day, a rarity considering it was still the middle of February. I was the first to arrive, so I had the hostess show me to a small table out on the patio where I could get plenty of fresh air. My stomach had settled down, but the crisp breeze that passed by was exactly what I needed to officially clear my head. I closed my eyes, trying to concentrate on the sound of traffic, the gentle chatter of bistro patrons, the cooing of pigeons who were resting on building ledges.
Molly sat down abruptly, the chair screeching under her weight. I opened my eyes, startled.
“What’s this about?” she asked, right to the point.
“I’m… Well, I’m–”
Before I could make a bumbling idiot of myself, the server arrived. He seemed nice enough, but there was a feeling of air headedness that radiated off of him as he smiled like there was no tomorrow.
“Good afternoon, ladies,” he started. “My name’s Tom, I’ll be your server today. Can I start you two off with any drinks?”
“We’ll have two Bellinis, please,” ordered Molly.
“Actually,” I interjected, “just one Bellini. I’ll have a water.”
“Excellent, I’ll be right back,” said the waiter before disappearing indoors.
The look on Molly’s face was priceless. It was a combination of stunned horror and delightful surprise. Her eyes were wide, eyebrows raised, lips slightly parted from speechlessness.
“You’re pregnant,” she said. This was a statement, not a question.
“Yes,” I sighed. My eyes were starting to sting again, an unbearable heaviness becoming evident on my chest. I started to cry again, weeping into my hands. Damn hormones. “I don’t know what to do, Molly.”