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Mark, there’s no way we can do this. Absolutely not,” Jane dropped onto the end of the bed, clutching her stomach, “I’m only twenty-three and you’re twenty-five, and…”
Mark paced across the room, back and forth, his eyes flicking from the floor to Jane with a mixture of love and fear apparent in his eyes.
“I wanted, we wanted, to travel, to see the world. Not even get married yet. Just blow where the wind takes us. We said maybe ten years before we settled down, if that. Now that will never happen.”
“Jane, I think that we can do this.” Mark perches on the window sill for a second, then gets back up and starts pacing again.
“We’re so young, and so…happy. Nothing was supposed to stop us. Are you saying that you just want to give up on our plans? Give up on what we want to do with ourselves? I can’t believe you’d say that.” Jane grabs the remote and starts playing with the battery cover, on and off. The clicking is the only sound besides Mark’s feet on the carpet.
“Jane, I really think that we can do this. I mean, maybe that means we’ll have to put our plans on hold. Maybe it means that our plans will never happen. Maybe it means that I’ve changed, or that I don’t have my priorities straight, but I think that we can do this.”
Jane looks at Mark with a sadness in her eyes that quickly turns to anger and borders on fear. “You have changed. You aren’t the one promising me the world anymore. Maybe I still want the world.”
“You know that you’re life will never be the same again after this, no matter what you choose to do. You know that. You can’t just run from your problems, Jane. Sometimes you have to face them. Is that the only reason you love me, Jane? Because I offered an escape? Somewhere to go? A travel companion? Is that why you whispered ‘I love you’?
“Don’t dwell on the past, Mark, you know I love you. I just can’t do this. I can’t give everything up. I can’t. I’m only twenty-three, Mark, I’m only twenty-three.”
“I know how old you are.” Mark stops pacing and stands staring out the window. Jane gets angry again.
“I can’t believe that you’re doing this to me. I can’t imagine why you’re making this so difficult. I don’t think you understand how much easier it would be if you could just tell me what to do like always. Just tell me what to do. You’re not so sure this time, are you Mark?”
Mark, his voice holding a restrained tranquility, says, “No, I’m not sure.”
“Well then why don’t you get sure? Why don’t you just decide? You could leave, Mark, you could just leave. I wouldn’t hold it against you. God, I would leave if I could. Just get up and walk out…”
“You know I’ll never leave you, Jane.” Mark’s calmness is slowly evaporating.
“What, do you feel bad for me? Do you feel bad for putting me in this situation? Because, Mark, it’s okay. It’s half my fault, but God Mark don’t stay out of pity. Don’t you dare.”
Mark turns to Jane, his arms crossed in front of him. “Do you really think so low of me, Jane? Do you really think I would stay just because I pity you? If that’s the case, maybe I should leave, and stay true to myself.”
“Fine, leave, then.” Jane puts the remote down on the bed next to her and starts playing her fingers across her stomach. “Before you leave, though, Mark, please tell me what to do.” Her voice is strangled.
Mark turns back to the window, then turns around to face Jane again, his face set. “Why don’t you just abort it, Jane? Just get rid of it? Then you could go on and fulfill your dreams. Just get a fucking abortion why don’t you? You don’t even have to tell anyone. Jesus Christ, you wouldn’t even have to tell me!” Mark is yelling now. “I mean, you want me to tell you what the fuck to do? Fine, get an abortion. Then we could pretend this entire fucking thing never even happened. We could go travel the world, not get married, never even think about settling down. Does that sound good to you, Jane? Does that sound good?” Mark turns to look out the window again, and hears sobbing.
Jane’s head is in her hands, her shoulders heaving. “Fine, Mark, I’ll get an abortion. I will, I’ll go tomorrow. It’s not too late. It might hurt a little more, but that’s okay. It’ll be gone.” She sobs some more. Mark stands looking at her in anguish. “Oh, Mark, I couldn’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. I can’t…”
Jane mumbles “I can’t” over and over as she rocks back and forth, sobbing. Mark sits next to her on the bed. “Jane, we can do this, we can. We’ve both been through college, we can both get good jobs. Sure, we’re young, but we’re smart. We can do this, Jane, we can.”
Jane leans her head against Mark’s shoulder and he wraps his arms around her, silent tears running down his face. “I love you Jane, and we’ll do this together. We will. I’ll never leave. I promise.”
Jane turns her head into Mark’s shoulder and hugs him back, still sobbing. “I love you too, Mark. Just tell me what to do, please tell me what to do.”