I squeeze my eyes shut. “I can't look.” My best friend stands next to me in the Kum and Go bathroom hunched over a white little stick with hidden blue lines. This is one test I want to fail. Now don't get me wrong, I love little kids, as long as they don’t tear up my downstairs before I'm 25. I have two years until my high school graduation. I've gotten this far with straight A’s. There is no way I was stupid enough to get pregnant. With Jack, of all people! He has been getting ready to dump me for weeks, dropping hints about having a different future than the one we planned. I’ve just been prolonging the inevitable until I know, two bars or one.
“Cara, it's been 5 minutes.” Oh god! Here comes the moment of truth. Two bars if I am, one bar if I'm not. Ana places a hand on my back.
My eyes are glued shut, with a concrete made of anxiety and a wish of failure. “Cara?”
“Can you just tell me, Ana?”
“I don't think that's how you want to find out about this.” I pull my eyes apart ripping out eyelashes and tearing apart my mental stability. 1 and half bars taunt me, and my sanity leaves.
“What the hell does that mean!?”
“It means another gallon of water and a better test.”
“Damn it!” I slam the test into the overflowing garbage can and stomp out of the sticky dirt covered bathroom. I revisit the limited section that is pregnancy tests. Of course Planned Parenthood had to stop giving out free tests the first time I skipped a period. The empty store echos with my anger.
My lack of experience shows, and I'm forced to ask the girl standing behind the counter. Long brown hair with streaks of grey spiral down her bony shoulders and the only hint of an imperfection was the lines left around her smile. She didn't look older than 25 but her hair suggested otherwise.
“Hi, I was wondering if you knew what the best test would be?”
“Oh sweetheart, did the first one not work?”
“No.” My eyes threaten to overflow.
“Come on honey, let's go find you a test that actually works.” The afternoon rush is nonexistent in this store allowing her to step out from behind the counter and place a hand on my shaking back, guiding me. I looked in my wallet seeing the sad amount of money I had left. The cheapest test was 8 with tax, and all I have is a crumpled up receipt and $2 in change. I mumble a curse under my breath when she pulls a $20 test from the shelve.
“Come on and I'll check you out at the counter.” My attempts to tell her my sad situation, fail when I'm interrupted by the crunch of bags in her hand. She tells me to wait at the counter while she walks briskly to the door in the back.
“Wait, I can't-” that's all I could make out before she was out of range. She walks back silently as I'm examining the small box containing a fortune teller. Will I go to college and become an artist, or will I be eternally bound to someone who no longer loves me? Only a bottle of water and 5 minutes of anxiety will tell.
She scans the rest of the junk she picked up while I'm encased in the thought of my future. She grabs it out of my hand carefully, like one wrong move will spark a volcano of tears. “Wait! I can't-”
“I know.”she quickly shoves $30 into the cash register and hands me a bag overflowing with kindness. Once again tears swell in my eyes, but this time I can't hold back. I manage to give her a smile and walk toward the hallway, before I erupt.
“I thought you didn’t have any more money?” Ana stands outside bathroom, phone in hand.
“I didn’t. The lady at the cashregister got it for me. How did you know I didn't have any money left?”
“I checked your wallet while you were going to the bathroom to see if I needed to text jack in case it didn't work. That particular brand kinda sucks. So, you got the test?”
“S***.” Ana mumbles under her breath frantically looking at her phone.
“What did you do?” My eyes widen as Ana's spine stiffens.
“I might have texted Jack.” A twisted regretful expression resides on her face.
“Ana! What the hell?!”
“I didn’t tell him why we needed money. I just told him it was really important.”
“Well then text him and tell him we don’t need it anymore.” My face is twisted and angry, but it's the thought that counts, right?
“It might be a little too late for that.” I turn around to look where Ana motioned and see Jack. “He was driving by when I texted him.” His dirty blonde, curly hair, sways in the breeze as he gets out of his beat up car, oblivious.
“Bathroom.” I almost yell. “Stay in there with the bag.” I shove her into the swinging door, and turn around to greet the amazing guy who's only here for an act.
“Hey baby! What are you doing here?” My attempt at acting cool fails, and my voice squeaks.
“Ana texted me. She said you guys needed money for something really important. Whats going on?”
“Oh my gosh, Ana, she's just really hungry. Sorry she made you drive all the way here for nothing.”
“Well at least I got to see my baby, plus I was near by anyways.” A smile spreads across his face as he wraps his arms around my waist. “Hey, have you been crying?” A confused expressions plants on his face. And I hunch over wiping my eyes. I can see the kind woman's face, confused at first, making a realization, and within five seconds, her face is twisted into understanding.
“Oh, no, my eyes were just watering.” I let out a small laugh trying to act like there was no way I was carrying a future he doesn’t want.
“Well hey, since I'm here, do you wanna ditch Ana and come with me?”
“That sounds great. Let me just tell her.”
“Okay, I’ll meet you in the car.” I nod as he slowly lets me go. He might not love me anymore, but he sure knows how to fake it. He's been really distant and strange lately. That's what he does when he falls out of love. In addition to 2 years of dating, we were friends for 4 years prior, and I watched him fall in and out with multiple girls, I just didn't know how they felt until now.
I calmly walk into the bathroom and then proceed to freak out. “Ana what am I supposed to do?”
“Just go hang out with him and get your mind off of things. I’ll take it home and when you're ready you can come over to my house. No one will find the box if we put it in the big dumpster outside.”
“What would I do without you?”
Sitting in the car with someone who may or maynot be my baby daddy is just a little stressful. I seal my lips shut, making sure I couldn’t make any stupid little comment that would make him think something was off. He hears my stomach growl and turns off at my favorite restaurant. I mean, we have known each other for six years, he knows everything about me. “What are we doing here?”
“I know we’ve been fighting a lot lately, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take my girl out for lunch.” Which means he’s either going to break up with me, or he knows. Either way, it's time to lay on the guilt, thick this time. He has to stay with me, at least until I know.
We make our way into the cute little cafè, Stacey's Corner, and sit in our special little booth in the corner, away from all life. Where he made the first move, where he asked me to be exclusive, where we had our first kiss, where he told me he loved me for the first time.
“This brings back some memories.” I say kissing him before I go to sit across the table. He pulls me back in for one more kiss, pulling me into the booth on his side. Closer than someone would sit when they are trying to break up with someone.
“Hey Jack, I’m really sorry I’ve been super moody lately, it’s just, I-”
“No, no, no, it’s fine, you don’t have to explain it to me. I’ll love you no matter how mean you can be.” He smiles and tightens his grip on my waist, leaning in for a kiss.
“What are you doing Jack?” I stop him, inches from my face. His extra kisses and affection seem so artificial.
“Um, kissing my girlfriend?” He recoils.
“You’ve been trying to break up with me this last week, don't lie, I know you too well, but now you're being all lovey? I mean, not that I’m complaining.” His face hardens, and he lowers his head.
“I-uh- I- god damn it! I was gonna- break up with you- today- here-but I chickened out.” He takes his hand away from my waist. “I'm sorry.” I don't know if it is the maybe baby hormones or the pain of being dumped by someone who I’ve been with for 2 years, but words won't leave my lips. They're stuck. All I can do is grab my coat and push against the person I love. He moves. Almost falling out of the booth, I run to the door. Eyes follow me and the waitress stands in front of the table, speechless. “Cara wait! I drove you here. I can still give you a ride home.” Again, nothing can leave my mouth. Paralyzed, from lip to lip. Heart racing I run out of the now silent restaurant and down a dark ally, out of sight.
Why did I run? I knew it was gonna happen. A gust of wind hits my face, under my eyes especially. My hand reaches tiny droplets scattered across my frozen expression. He was gone, for good, and I don't know how to cope. The frozen air stings my skin and lungs. The thin jacket I took from Jack almost a year ago did very little to keep me warm, and my halfway see through leggings helped just as much.
I wipe the tears from my eyes and start my three mile trek home. Snow crunches under my feet, and the unplowed side walk kills my now sopping wet Converse. The ghost town of a street looms and twists with lack of life. I start my slow journey across the slippery street watching the corner of Maybury drive and Aspen avenue, seeing cars race in the opposite direction.
Twisting pain springs up my spine before I even realized what happened. Black ice coats the bottom of my shoes, and as I stumble to my feet, it grabs a hold of the ground beneath me, and pushes again, hard. For a second time pain is infused into my back, and the air leaves my body. I don't know if I can grab a hold of the shaky ground once again and push myself up. My left arm doesn't move and neither does my left leg. My one armed attempt at pushing myself up fails.
A beat up little car sputters down the road toward me, blind to my existence.
“Jack!” My half assed attempt to call out fails and I can't raise myself to his range of sight. “Please! Someone help me!” My voice is gone and just like in the restaurant, but this time my lips are paralyzed with fear, not sadness.
My life flashes before my eyes and all I see is him. Seems fitting, seeing as he was my life, as well as my death.
A week later a news article was released:
A Terrible Demise
Today the results of an autopsy of one Cara Sequita came in today. Revealing the hidden horrors behind the car accident that had taken place only a week ago, in the small town of Whitefish, Montana. Prior to the accident the teenager had slipped and fallen in the middle of the street, paralyzing the left side of her body. Shocking reports from the autopsy show that Cara was pregnant at the time of the accident. The fetus was nearly 3 weeks old...