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Twenty-two and My Baby
Pink plus sign. Positive. Dammit. How am I going to tell him? I never thought I would find myself in this situation. I have a life to protect. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. But I’m happy. And I want you to remember that I was a smart girl.
I was listening to music, trying to calm myself. It was a sunny day, and I needed to talk to someone. I crossed the road, and…wham! I saw a huge truck crash into me. Crunch. What was that? There goes my leg. I felt sharp pain in my left calf, but it numbed away. I hugged my tummy, trying to protect my baby. My body flew in the air, and I braced myself, and I fell headfirst onto the hard concrete. I made sure minimum shock went to my tummy. It was a split second, but I was thinking the whole time about what would happen to the life in me. My head was wet and sticky, and blood was oozing from everywhere. I could feel that I was bleeding all over, and I was scared. My hands never stopped hugging my tummy.
Someone rushed over. “I’m calling 911, are you okay. Can you hear me? ” It sounded like a frantic middle aged woman. She held something against my head.
I was weak, I felt hot. And I was scared to move. I could hear the lady clearly, but I could not speak. My tongue would not move. I was panting, and I didn’t know if I was going to make it. What if I died, right now? I had to tell someone. I had to make sure my baby made it. I was scared. I needed to say something. I tried to say words, but nothing came out. I used all of the energy I had left. “…twenty-two”…was the only thing I could get out of my defenseless lips. Then my world was gone.
I woke up but I couldn’t open my eyes. Someone was squeezing my hand. I tried to squeeze it back, but I was too weak. Was I okay? Was my baby okay? Did anyone know about the life in my tummy? I wanted to tell someone, I wanted to ask someone. I tried really hard, I tried really hard. But nothing came out. I had to say his name. I moved my lips again, trying to get my voice back. “Daddy…shh…twenty-two…” I said in a whisper.
“What, Taylor. Twenty-two? What about twenty-two. Talk to me again.” My mom was crying. I wish I could cry. But it was all I would force out of me. I hoped that someone got my message. I fell asleep again, deeply. Everything became like a white dream.
“She’s only sixteen. Doctor, she’s only sixteen. Why was she hugging her stomach? Maybe the pain there is the reason she isn’t waking up. ” Mom said, sobbing. This was the first time I saw mom cry. Of all the years I have lived, this is the first time I saw her cry. My sister was in a car accident, and she’s all injured.
“Is there anything else we can do?” Mom bawled, and I held her hand tight. This is one of the times when I wished Dad was still here. Dad had left us when we were little. Taylor is my younger sister, but she skipped a grade so at school we’re in the same grade. My friends were her friends. I would have to tell everyone that she was in an accident and that she slipped into a coma. When was she going to wake up?
I was scared, and I was shocked. It was just too sudden for the news to sink in yet. I wasn’t crying or anything. I was just so terrified. Taylor looked like she was asleep. I tapped her shoulder, and tried to wake her up. But did she? No. She smiled peacefully, as her breathing evened. Her hands were still on her tummy. What did twenty-two mean? Mom was too stressed to speak to me. She spent the night at the hospital. I woke the next morning and went to school. I didn’t have to, but I felt like I had to go. Not to study, of course.
The news had already spread as I got off my red Chevy. My friends came up to me and asked billions of questions. I answered as well as possible, only murmuring. I daydreamed in my classes. I prayed to God, I kept glancing at my phone. Ring, ring, ring. I wanted my mom to call me and tell me that everything was okay. But the call never came.
I looked around and saw everyone wearing shirts that said 22. Which Hollister guy, Taylor? Which one do you want me to fetch for you? I didn’t even know if 22 had anything to do with Hollister. But it was the only 22 I saw, so I don’t know if it is right or not. I asked everyone I could about “twenty-two”. Nobody knew the answer. Weeks passed as I continued to wait for Taylor to wake up. My counselor encouraged me to talk to everyone about my sister. At the school assembly, I was given 10 minutes to talk about her. Lots of eyes were on me, as I took a deep breath and spoke. “As you all know, my sister Taylor was in a car accident a few months ago, and she slipped into a coma…” I blabbered on about her life, and how we grew up. I prayed for her, and everyone silently applauded. I had to add one thing. “The last thing she said was: Daddy…shh…twenty-two. If it rings a bell to anyone, please come tell me. We have been trying to find out what it means.” The room was quiet, when a single guy raised his hand.
“Austin, I have to talk to you.” He looked stressed and lot more tired than the rest of his friends.
Later that day, someone knocked my door. I was home alone, since mom was at the hospital with Taylor. I was keeping my notes neat for Taylor when she came back. Who was it? I normally don’t have guests. I looked through the peep hole, and opened it slowly.
“Hey, Ashton. What did you want to tell me earlier?” I started to say, as I gasped. I read the number on his uniform, I blinked. Again. And again. Twenty two. The two numbers on this red uniform were definitely two’s.
His face was serious as he said, “I think Taylor has my kid. You said she was holding her stomach the whole time?” His eyes were red. He held his head in his hands, he covered his face. Why hadn’t I thought about this earlier? I grabbed my keys and motioned for him to follow.
My red Chevy screeched up and parked illegally at the hospital.
“Mom, I found Daddy 22.” I was breathless, Ashton was panicked.
Hmm…? Where was I? My head felt a lot lighter, and I could breathe. I slowly opened my eyes, and found myself in a room. Ashton. There you are. I guess someone went to call him. I didn’t know Austin knew about us. But I guess he did. I’m glad, anyways. I so have to talk. My hands dropped to my stomach. It was a lot bigger than I remember.
“Omg! Taylor! You’re awake!”
“Ashton, you could have come earlier. Austin, are you alright?” Mrs. Males was irritated or angry.
“Yeah. I am. But he’s not.” Icy cold eyes jerked in my direction.
“Guys, don’t be mean to him. It’s my fault.” A soft voice whispered gently.
“No, Taylor. Nothing is your fault.” I said. So much for a great family union.
February 22nd, 2:22 AM.
“Aww...She’s so cute.” I know, Austin. She’s your niece. Of course she’s cute. I thought.
“So, who’s going to name her?” Mom asked.
“We are.” Ashton had his arm around me. “I’m in for Holly Abigail Stoner.”
“Me too.” I said as he came closer for a deep kiss. I’m the proudest 17 year old mom on Earth. I’ve got the prettiest baby in my arms and we just thought of the perfect name. And my life is a miracle.