“Okay,” I nod my head, not sure what else to say. It sounds utterly ridiculous.

She smiles sheepishly at me. “Yeah, now that I think about it, it seems really silly… It was probably just a lucky guess.”

“What was?”

“Oh, nothing,” she waves her hand in the air, dismissively.

Sensing she wants to drop the matter, I ask, “Well?”

She drops her hand and blinks at me. “Well, what?”

Fuck. She must have forgot it. With everything going on, it must have slipped her mind…

“Oh!” She exclaims and her face lights up. “I got it.”

She scoots off the end of the bed and then dashes to her closet. A moment later she’s rushing back over to me, waving a small rectangular box in the air.

Seeing the box, I experience a moment of relief that she didn’t forget. Then that relief morphs into sheer, paralyzing terror.

This is it. The moment of truth.

What if I am?

What if I’m not?

Taking in the look on my face, Lily’s steps slow and she seems to hesitate.

“Are you sure?” she asks, holding the box back.

I know if I decide to back out, she’d totally understand. That’s why I like hanging out with her so much. There are no hard questions and there’s no judgment.

I take a deep, fortifying breath and say, “I’m sure.”

Lily passes the box over to me.

I grip it tightly in my hand, nearly crushing it, as we walk over to the bathroom.

“You know,” she says, swinging open the bathroom door for me. “Whatever happens, I’m here for you.”

I offer her a faint smile and nod my head. I march inside like I’m marching to my death. “Thank you.”

She smiles back at me and closes the door for me.

I look down at the box in my hand.

Now it’s just the pregnancy test and me.

Please… Please, if there’s anyone up there, don’t let me pregnant, I begin to pray.

It’s been six weeks since they grabbed me. It feels like it’s been a lifetime but it’s only been six short weeks.

Weeks that were filled with unprotected sex.

I haven’t had my period. I’m actually four weeks late. But there’s still a chance it’s because of all the stress I’ve been through. This has happened before. I skipped my period once when I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make rent.

Please, please, please.

I repeat after peeing on the end of the stick.

I’d give anything…

One line darkens.

I’ll be a good girl…

Then two.

Fuck.

I grab up the little cardboard box. My eyes scroll over the instructions.

One line—negative.

Two lines—positive.

I jump up and yank the door open.

Lily jumps back and I thrust the little stick at her.

“I think it’s broken.”

She glances down at the stick but doesn’t take it. Looking back up at me, her smile is sympathetic. “It’s very rare to get a false positive.”

That is not what I wanted to hear.

I stare at her and her smile wavers. “How long has it been since your last period?”

Amazingly, I have to think about it. Maybe because I was purposely not thinking about it.

“It was two weeks before I was grabbed…”

It’s been eight weeks! Eight fucking weeks since the last time I had my period.

“Shit,” I whisper and feel a crushing weight settling on my chest.

Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? I can’t spend the rest of my life with him. I don’t want to be permanently chained to him.

He doesn’t love me. It’s something darker. Something deeper.

More primal.

A need to control and possess.

That’s destroying me in the process.

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I want, what I need.

“What am I going to do?”

Lily stares at me helplessly.

I thought… No, I hoped that if I just willed it hard enough, I wouldn’t conceive. That my will was stronger than his.

I should have known better. Even in this, he’s stronger than me.

There’s only one thing I can do.

“Lily, you have to help me,” I plead.

She smiles at me but her eyes are instantly wary. “Of course. What do you need?”

“You need to help me get away.”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” She frowns. “I know you’re in shock, but you should really think about this…”

I laugh at her, balancing on the razor edge of hysteria. “All I’ve done is think about this. Are you going to help me or not?”

Lily shifts and sighs, her brow furrowing as she thinks it over. She glances towards the door as if she expects someone to come through it at any moment. Then she walks up to me, grabs me by the arm and leads me back into the bathroom.

“I’m probably the only person who can help you,” she whispers while shutting the door behind us.

I nod my head at her, instantly relieved that she’s not going to try to talk me out of it.

“Where do you want to go?” she asks.

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