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Innocent Decisions

“Has it been six minutes yet?”
Gabriella’s head jerked up. Her skin was atypically pale, and her ginger hair was uncombed and wild. Adam wondered how much she’d slept the passed few nights.

“No, four and a half more minutes to go.” Adam ran his fingers through his curly hair and paced from the front of the bathroom to the back, again and again. It was a small space, more akin to a closet. One that made you feel cramped and uncomfortable, like if you stayed in there for long enough you’d suffocate. The brightness of the mint green walls- the hue seemed more obnoxious than usual- burned Adam’s eyes, further irritating his throbbing head.

“Are you sure you, you know, did it right?” He halted mid-step, waiting for his girlfriend’s answer. Gabriella grumbled.

“I think I can pee on a stick, thank you.” He exhaled loudly and continued pacing. She watched him from her seat upon the sink, a thin, white pregnancy test firmly held in her hands. Up and down, up and down. His movement was nauseating. “Can you just stay still for, like, a second? You’re making me anxious.” Adam rolled his bloodshot eyes.

“Anxious? That’s an understatement of how I’m feeling right now.” Try terrified, misanthropic, infuriated, he thought as he slammed his fist against the door.

“Will you just calm down?” She hissed. “Your attitude isn’t making anything better!”

“My attitude? How the hell do you expect me to react to this, Gab? For Christ’s sake, you might be pregnant!” He looked straight at her with a wounded expression painted on his face, like he’d been betrayed. “You said you were taking the pill.”
Gabriella scowled.“I was. It must of reacted weird with my other medications or something.” She glanced at her watch. Three more minutes.
“This isn’t my fault.”

“Oh, so it’s mine?” Adam barked back defensively. How could she possibly blame this on him? As far as he was concerned, he took all the precautions to guarantee that this wouldn’t happen. He chuckled to himself. So much for that.

Gabriella pushed her petite body off of the sink, positioning herself between Adam and the door.

“We did everything we could. Sometimes things just…happen. It’s out of our control.” The girl cradled her head in her hands. “Just stop acting like you’re the victim here. It’s not the end of the world. Far worse things could have happened to you.” Her boyfriend laughed maliciously.

“What the hell could possibly be worse than this?” I have a scholarship to Princeton, Adam mentally affirmed. I’m going to college! I can’t juggle my education and a full-time job! How am I going to support a family?

“Oh, I don’t know, being a knocked-up teenager, maybe?” She spat back. Now it was her turn to punch the door. “Dammit!” I can’t be pregnant, she told herself. Oh please God I have to graduate what am I going to do if I don’t get my diploma oh Go oh God.

Adam shook his head and swore under his breath as he turned away from her. For a moment they stood there in complete silence. “I knew we should have waited.” He suddenly muttered softly. Gabriella cackled.

“That’s not the impression I got that night. ‘I love you Gabby. We’ve been together almost two years- I think we should take our relationship to the next level’.” Her mimicking ceased as she realized thereality of their dispute. “Admit it: the problem here isn’t that I might be pregnant with your baby-” Just hearing it made Adam want to vomit.

“Well let’s hope to God that you’re not.” That did it for her.

“You son of a bitch, you know as well as I do that the issue’s not that you might have gotten a girl pregnant, it’s that the girl is me.” He gawked at her, completely flabbergasted. “Don’t look at me like that. I know what your parent’s say about me when you think I can’t hear you.” Adam couldn’t look into her eyes.
‘She’s trash, Adam honey.’ His mother had admitted gently, as if what she was saying wasn’t snobbish and insulting. ‘You could do so much better.’ His father agreed. ‘Think of all the fine young ladies you’ll meet at Princeton next year, son.Intelligent, well-raised women from families with prestigious backgrounds. There is no need for you to tie yourself down to a girl with no certainty of any decent future.’ Adam had defended her, like any loyal boyfriend would. But deep down he knew very well that he could do much better than Gabriella Lucas, the “skinny piece of garbage from the local trailer park” as his parents so often pointed out. The daughter of a mindless alcoholic and a bum that was out of the picture before she was could even spell “dad”.

His face turned bright red. “Don’t try to make this into something it’s not. You know I love you.”

“Then why do you look like you’re having a heart attack? Because you know you’re parents would kill you if you knocked up a girl of ‘few prospects’?” He leaned against the tacky wall, overcome with guilt.

“It’s nothing against you personally. They just…” He didn’t know how to say it. “…Want me to have an unblemished reputation. Be respectable.”

“Well, you’ve got about thirty seconds to think of a back-up plan.” Adam did not dare to make a response. Neither of them spoke, let alone budged, as Gabriella’s wristwatch ticked. “What are we going to do?” She quickly whispered, suddenly petrified and vulnerable. “What if it’s positive?”

“Everything will be ok,” Adam assured her, though his tone suggested that he was unsure himself what would happen. “If you’re pregnant, we’ll get married.”

“Don’t destroy you’re future because of this.”

“My future is you. No matter what my parents say. I love you, Gabby.”

“I love you, too.”

“How much time is there left?” They both glimpsed at the watch.

Five. Four. Three. Two…

One.


“I can’t look!” Gabriella exclaimed, handing the test to her boyfriend. Adam reluctantly accepted it. The moment of truth, he thought and examined the result.

“Oh God,” he whispered. She grabbed strands of her hair and began to tug.

“No, no, no, this can’t happen!”

“Gab, dammit, the test is negative!”

“What?” Incredulous, she ripped the pregnancy test out of his hand. After seeing for herself that the result was indeed negative, Gabriella dropped it on the bathroom floor and burst into tears upon the toilet. “Oh, thank God.”

Adam stood there, awkwardly watching her sob. What the hell am I supposed to do? He asked himself. I can’t just hug her and say “Wahoo, our lives aren’t destroyed!” That’ll just make everything worse. The truth was, Adam was more ecstatic about the results than she was. After all, Gabriella was right- his parents would have killed him if she’d gotten pregnant.

“How could you do this to yourself, to us?” His father would have said. “After everything we’ve taught you, how could you make such an asinine mistake?”

His mother would have cried hysterically. “My Adam never would have hurt us like this!” She would insist. “He would have kicked that girl to the curb when we told him to!”

Adam gulped, knowing very well what he would have said. “I let my adolescent desires make me irrational and selfish. You were right all along- she’s not good enough for me. What can we- I- do to fix this.” Fix. Like impregnating Gabriella was just something that could be erased and forgotten about with a snap of his parent’s fingers.

But he loved her. She was the most amazing girl he’d ever met: funny, witty, beautiful. Had she been born under different circumstances, Adam knew his parents would have loved her. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation was just too large to ignore: their worlds were polar opposites, and no matter how strong their love was, they could never last. Though Gabriella insisted that nothing was impossible and “love always prevails”, Adam knew this truth and accepted it. He’d been lying to her through his teeth from the start. From the time they met to their first kiss to this pregnancy scare, it had all been a mere dream and nothing more.

Gabriella wiped the teardrops from her cheeks and wrapped her fingers around Adam’s lovingly.

“This doesn’t change how I feel about you,” She promised him. “Let’s just never talk about this again, ok?”

“Ok,” He said, knowing that their pregnancy scare had changed everything. “We’ll just pretend this never happened.”



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