Scents are tricky too. Say, cake for example, which most people love the smell of, has become completely repulsive. So much so that I would rather spend my time in a Coachella portable outhouse than step near a bakery. Normally my mom’s strawberry shampoo is a pleasant smell, but now I have to hold my breath when I walk past her. It’s like I suddenly have the nose of a bloodhound.
The scent of bacon wafts up from the kitchen. The greasy smell instantly turns my stomach. Springing up off the mattress, I get out of bed and I trip over some clothes on the floor, knocking everything off my dresser in my rush to the bathroom. Luckily I catch myself before I fall, but I’m not able to catch the perfume bottles before they break. Great. More new scents to make my head swim. I barely make it to the bathroom on time.
“You okay, Remy?” my mom calls from downstairs when she hears all the noise I’m making.
I throw up again and again. My stomach must be the size of a keg because it keeps coming. I’m choking, trying to catch my breath. It takes me a minute to reply. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I say, even though I feel the opposite of fine. This is what road kill would feel like if it could feel anything. That’s me. Road kill. Not only that, but I look like shit, too. I can see my refection in an open compact mirror on the countertop. My skin is pasty, dark circles around my eyes that almost look green.
I’m leaning against the cool porcelain, hugging the toilet, when my mom comes into the room to check on me. She puts her back against the door, arms crossing her chest.
“What?” I say, when she gives me that observant mom look.
My stomach lurches and again I throw up. I spit into the toilet and groan. “What? No,” I say, wiping my mouth with a wad of toilet paper.
How the hell am I so cold, and yet uncomfortably hot at the same time?
In my head I’m trying to remember my last period. It’s difficult because I’m not one of those girls who keeps track. I’ve never needed to before now, so I haven’t made a habit of it. Now that I think about it, I realize it’s been a while since I last bought feminine hygiene products.
“Oh my god,” I say. For some reason, even though I know it’s physically possible, I thought it would take longer than that to get pregnant. It makes sense, though. Deacon and I fuck like crazy whenever we get the chance—which isn’t nearly enough in my opinion—and he always comes inside of me. Some of our best sex revolves around him telling me he’s going to get me pregnant. It really turns him on, the thought of me carrying his child, and having a big round belly as proof of our lovemaking.
“Come on,” my mom says with a sigh.”
“Where are we going?” Right now I don’t feel like going anywhere. I just want to crawl back in bed and hide under my sheets until this terrible nausea goes away. If it ever does.
“The drug store to get you a pregnancy test.”
After changing out of my pajamas, we go downstairs. I have to keep my shirt over my nose to avoid the breakfast smells. We get into the car. Deacon and Sam are standing outside on their front porch, arguing about something. They glance at us as we drive by. Deacon waves. Sam glares at me.
“I really don’t like that Sam guy,” my mom says, waving back.
“No one does.”
I want to turn in my seat and look back at Deacon. If he only knew where we were going. I could text him, I guess. But I don’t want to mention pregnancy tests until I know for sure.
The road is too bumpy. I’m starting to think my mom is intentionally finding all the potholes. She turns the station to easy listening. It’s like she’s trying to torture me or something. Maybe she’s pissed about this pregnancy thing. There’s an awkward silence between us. It’s as if I can hear the gears turning in her head. I want to say something too, but I don’t know what.
This is a tricky subject. She’s always had these images in her head of all the grand things I would do with my life, even though all I ever really wanted for myself was to settle down and have a family. When she was my age she wanted to travel the world, live abroad. Study other cultures and see amazing things. She never got the opportunity because she met my dad and accidently got pregnant. Her family was religious so terminating a pregnancy was out. Her mom threatened to disown her if she decided to give me up for adoption. I’m glad she didn’t and I know she’s glad about that too now. But there’s always been this void in her life, this longing to escape it. She wants things for me that she never got to experience in her own life. She can’t seem to understand why I don’t want those things for myself, too.