The Negatives

By , Severn, MD
The Negatives

I've never looked forward to that monthly week of cramps, bloating, and an endless craving for chocolate that never seemed to be satisfied more than I did right now. The last frowning face that symbolized the dreaded week had come was drawn on my calendar about a month and a half ago.
“Analee! You're going to be late!”
I already was. I gave a sadistic chuckle and my mother continued, “Its 8:00 and you haven't even eaten your breakfast.”
“I'll be right out mom; I just need a minute please.” I pleaded and she gave a parting bang on my door and I heard her footsteps trail off through the hallway and down the stairs. I slipped a hoodie over my head, making the bed-head much worse, and danced into a pair of skinny jeans and slumped down the stairs and into the kitchen where my mother was cooking scrambled eggs. “Mom, I won't need to be driven today, Jared said he'd give me a ride.” I sped through my words, hoping she wouldn't catch the name, but she dropped her spatula, mid egg flip and turned away from the stove with her perfected glare. The glare she used so much, that it found its own special place in my conscience.
“You know the rules, no dating until after college.” she recited.
“Yes ma'am I know” of the unreasonable rule that I strictly obeyed until my senior year of high school, when I met Jared.
It began with a simple schoolgirl crush that was heavily supported by my friends. I'd see him every day on my way to lunch and gape. It was an immature dare that led to our first conversation. “Go smack his butt, right now.” Katherine challenged me with a whispering chant behind her, “Do it. Do it. Do it.” I pretended to be bashful, but deep down inside, I wanted to. Like someone on a mission, I weaved through the crowded hallways and laid a hand on his left cheek. He took a few steps then turned around with raised, expecting eyebrows after realizing that it wasn't an accident. “W-was that you?”
He looked bewildered so I was afraid to answer, “Yes.” I mumbled and walked a little faster until I was at the usual lunch table.” My friends were all right behind me, dying of laughter as I drowned in my embarrassment. I looked up with my head in my hands, “You know that can be considered sexual harassment? What's your name, I feel like I should tell someone about this.”
Katherine answered for me and I gave her a death glare. He smiled and said, “I'll keep that in mind,” and he walked away back to his normal table. For someone who was inappropriately touched he sure smiled at me a lot. It became habit for him to wave, until he finally switched things up and two weeks later, asked if I wanted to eat lunch with him at school. From then on we'd text, talk during school when we saw each other, and after a month we went on our first date. We became inseparable. He added humor, excitement, and something to look forward to every day.
“It's just Jared, you've met him like 80 times.” I shook my head to rid of the flashback
“And that's exactly the problem.” As soon as she turned away I rolled my eyes, in fear she would throw whatever was in her hand at me; in this case a hot frying pan.
“I'm sorry mom, but you have nothing to worry about.” I lied and the doorbell chimed. My mother ran to the door, asked Jared to take off his shoes, and allowed him inside.
Aesthetically, Jared was the perfect man for my parents. He was Asian. Don't get me wrong, they supported interracial relationships, but they always had a slight glint in their eye when they met a promising Asian boy my age. Jared fit all the Asian stereotypes: he had bad vision, was good at math, rice was present in each of his meals, he was musically talented, and he was even studying to prosper in a medical career. The only problem was he was too Americanized, like me. My parents would just die for a straight edge Asian son-in-law, just die.
We all sat around the breakfast table eating our food in respectable silence until it was finally time to leave for class. I kissed my mother on the cheek goodbye and Jared awkwardly bowed and we quickstepped it towards his car. We knew better than to do anything affectionate, at least until we got to the second stop sign, from there we were safe. Jared leaned over and pecked my cheek and we continued to drive.
“Jared, I don't want to go to class today.” I stared down at my fingers. He raised his eyebrows and I knew exactly what he thought I meant, “No!” I practically yelled, “We've got to talk about something important.” His eyebrows fell down to their normal position and he nodded. Ten minutes later we were at his house. He offered me a beverage, food, and even a conversation about the weather, trying to avoid the inevitable confrontation.
“No, Jared, I don't want water, I don't want crackers, and I sure as hell do not want to talk about the rain right now, I want a pregnancy test.” I spit out the words and he froze.
“Are you being serious, Analee?” he couldn't handle the truth.
“It would be a pretty sick joke, Jared.” my voice was finally calm again and we both flopped onto the couch. We stayed that way, frightened and pensive for twenty minutes until he suddenly stood up and announced, “I'll go pick up a test, you can stay here.”
I sighed, “I'm sorry if it's too much to ask, but would you mind going to a place outside of town; where no one could possibly no me or you?” He nodded and left. He left me with everything to think about. If my parents forbade me to date until after college, how would they feel if they found out I was pregnant during college? How would I face the rest of my extended family, the judgmental, insensitive aunts who would use me as an example for their own children? I shook my head in disgust. Everything would be different; I wouldn't be able to go to class after the baby came, Jared and I would feel overwhelmed with stress and our three years together would go down the drain, my parents would never trust me again, , Jared's parents would see me as the girl who ruined his son's future and bury their previous nice feelings towards me, and mine and Jared's careers would be put on hold. It felt like I just dry-swallowed a giant pill, and soon my eyes began to burn. All of the pre-crying steps were done and now all I had to do was cry, and I did.
I heard the grind of keys through a keyhole and I flew up the stairs, in fear that his parents came home early. “Analee, I'm home!” Jared slammed the door and started to empty the contents of his bag, “I bought 5; 3 are the really high-tech ones that promise accurate results, and I have no clue about the other ones. You don't really need to use all of them, but I figured better safe than sorry.” I sniffled then laughed at how calm he was. He gave me his infamous half-smile and walked over to give me a hug, “Everything's going to be fine honey. No matter what.” He grabbed my hand and led me to the bathroom, but I stopped him, “I'd rather not pee in front of you.” He laughed and shut the door.
“Do you need a timer?” he knocked.
“I've got my phone, thanks.” And I sat on the toilet reading over the instructions. I did my business and waited for the annoying, alarming, and effective beep of the timer. When the timer went off Jared knocked and I let him in. I grabbed him and he said, “Did you wash your hands?”
I laughed hysterically, “I appreciate the humor, but we need to get this over with.” He put on a straight face and we walked towards the counter, covered with toilet paper strips to keep things sanitary. He squeezed my hand and we looked down at the determining factor of our future.
Negative. We were absolutely positive it was negative, especially after the 5th test. Luckily it was trash day, so I wrapped the evidence and threw them away in some random person's trashcan. Although we were overcome with happiness, the idea of what could have happened was still fresh in our minds. We spent an hour discussing the importance of each other and our family when it came to our relationship and realized it was time we told my parents. Oh, and we agreed on the decision of no more pre-marital sex. That was a biggie. He dropped me off at home and I tried to continue my day as I normally did. I called my best friend since 6th grade, Katherine and I told her of the calamity. She showed her sympathy, while still expressing how stupid she thought I was.
“It took you three years to tell your parents, really?” she said in disbelief, “I understand how strict they are, but three years is something serious, something your parents should know.”
I completely agreed with every word, but it was harder than you think. My parents held me on such a high pedestal that telling them I disobeyed one of their most important rules would break their hearts.
For the rest of the evening we practiced what I was going to say. The following content was seemingly offensive, but Katherine and I were thicker than thieves. “Okay, okay, okay. Now, pretend I'm your mother.” She squinted her eyes and began to speak, calling my name and replacing the l with an r, “Anaree, what is it you wanted to talk about?”
“I cannot take you seriously like that.” I chuckled and she went back to her normal self and we discussed it like adults. By the time she left I felt ready. “Well, maybe I should sleep on it.” I thought.
The next morning I woke up early and prepared for the worst. I made breakfast to soften her up, I wore full layers to protect me from any harm, and I even packed an emergency suitcase filled with some basic belongings for Katherine to bring home just in case they kicked me out. My father was first to awake, he came downstairs in his robe and slippers, appreciative of the coffee. I heard my mother's footsteps creak from above and I anticipated her arrival. When they were both seated I felt it was time to begin, “Mom, Dad can I talk to you for a minute.” I exaggerated the time. My father put down his newspaper and my mom's grip on her coffee mug tightened. “I forgot about the hazardous coffee that could easily be thrown in disgust.” I thought.
“Go ahead Adalee.” My father encouraged me with such a sweet smile and I began. I told them about senior year when Jared and I began to date, nothing too serious or at least serious enough to alert my parents. My mom had an, “I knew it” face on, but shut her mouth, waiting for me to continue. I moved on to our first year of college where things were more serious, but we hardly had time to see one another so I lied to myself and said telling my parents would just upset them for no reason. Then our second year of college came and we were almost always together and the only reason I didn't tell was because I was scared of their reaction. “None of my actions were excusable, I know and I am extremely sorry.”
“Adalee, you have been lying to us for three years.” My father began and my mother finished it, “For three years! I don't know if we can ever trust you again.” Pang. The lump in my throat came back, “I don't want you to see this boy anymore.” My eyes began to water.
“Meilyn” he patted my mother's hand and whispered, “I think that may be a little too extreme.” Her eyes widened and she grabbed her toast and chucked it at him. “Meilyn, please, let's go somewhere private where we can talk about this.”
They left me in the kitchen anticipating. I couldn't imagine that they'd let me live here any longer, and if they did. I wasn't sure I wanted to because I would constantly be reminded of my misbehavior. I couldn't imagine how I would gain their trust back. I was hoping they would consider the years prior to my senior year, or that even with a significant other I managed to get all A's my whole school-life. I couldn't imagine having to give up Jared after all we've been through. My imagination was clearly limited.
My parents shuffled back into the kitchen and calmly sat down, “We've come to a decision.” My father said. “You can continue to see Jared, but we want him over more often so we can get to know the boy. If we see your grades suffer, we want the relationship to end. We understand that our rule was something hard to comply to, but we are still disappointed. But we also realize that you've done everything we've asked throughout your lifetime with no complaints and respect for the most part.
“We are sad to think that you've kept something from us out of fear. But, we're definitely not trying to excuse your misbehavior. Continue doing what you have been and things will be fine. Respect both me and your mother, and eventually you'll gain our trust back. You aren't allowed to physically go out with him for a month, no internet for 2 months unless it's for school, but even then we'll monitor you, and no phone until we say so.” I nodded with gratitude and jumped up to hug them both. It was a very unenthused group hug, filled with mixed emotions. I took my mother's silence as anger and asked to be excused. I laid in bed to contemplate I was going to call Jared to update him on where we stood and Katherine to bring my stuff back, but I forgot I was phoneless. A knock on my door startled me, it was my mom. She slowly walked over towards my bed and she sat with me. She gave my knee a pat and a weak smile, then she got up, grabbed my phone, smirked and walked out. The small gesture filled me with reassurance that things would get better.





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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

simplysarah318 said...
May 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm
very good job! keep it up. :)
 
CLC93 said...
May 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm
This is pretty good! I love the idea, and I hope you write more. :D
 
kmill replied...
May 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm
thank you :D
 
CLC93 replied...
May 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm
You're welcome.
 
RonCame1993 replied...
May 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Wow, I really liked this and the way you wrote it made it seem non-fictional rather than fictional. Nice job. Keep it up!
 
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