Friday, November 9, 2012

Choices- Prologue + Chapter 1 and 2


I stare at the pink lines in disbelief; my hands are shaking profusely, tears welling up in my eyes and ready to spill over, a sick feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. My worst fears right before my eyes. My. Life. Is. Over. How could this happen? I was sure we were so careful. Well maybe not a hundred percent certain, evidently. Oh my God! Still in shock, I feel a tear slide down my cheek now as I stare at the graffiti filled stall door. This isn’t happening. Well, it is. My subconscious screams at me. You were careless.

Chapter 1:

 “What does it say?” Megan, my best friend asks. I’m unable to speak, so I open the door and once she takes the stick from my grasp, I hear her sigh. “Oh my God Gracie.”
I sit on the toilet seat of Target in horror, staring at my shaking hands. I had so much I wanted to accomplish before it came down to this-pink lines indicating a positive pregnancy test. My parents will kill me because they didn’t even know I was having sex with my boyfriend. Surely, they’ll know now. Nick!
            I close my eyes at the thought of having to tell my boyfriend that his life is on the verge of changing drastically. He’s the star football player and is probably getting a scholarship to play pro ball at one of his dream schools. I just know how he will react and it’s not a good one. What will become of us now?
“What are you going to do?” She asks, leaning against the door with her arms crossed over her chest. I shake my head. I have no idea. I know what I’m about to do as I get off the seat and heave all of my shame and fears right into the toilet. Meg stands behind me moving my hair from my face and rubbing my back. I hate that she has to see me puking and even worse, smelling it. Well, there go hamburgers for a while.
            I stand up and walk to the sink to wash my puke-filled face, but first I catch a glimpse of my tear stricken face, all red and splotchy. Oh this is a nice view. I’m sure Nick is proud to be my boyfriend. I hadn’t realized I’d been crying giant alligator tears. I must be too shocked to notice I’m in sobs right now. Ugh this sucks!
“I don’t know. I just. I don’t know how this happened.” I try to catch my breath.
“Well, typically this happens when two people-guy and girl have sex and don’t use protection and one of those stubborn little guys they call sperm enters and attaches itself to the egg and BAM…” She claps her hands for extra effect. I laugh a little at her useful lesson on unsafe sex, because apparently I didn’t know how it worked. But then again, I obviously ignored the lesson during Sex Ed so maybe I needed this lesson. It’s a little too late now.
I roll my eyes and grip the sink, trying to steady and balance myself. This is just too much. It’s amazing how things can change so quickly.
“Thanks Meg, I guess I never really knew how the whole thing worked. Glad I have you to teach me these things. Though beforehand would have been more ideal.” She smiles as if she’d just won an award for best actress at an award show.
“Well, that certainly explains why you’ve had such a bad case of morning sickness lately.”
It’s true, I’ve been throwing up for the past few weeks and I didn’t know why. I just figured it was a bug or something. But what kind of bug lasts more than a few days, let alone a few weeks? Shit! I let go of the sink and face Megan. She hands me my proof of irresponsibility. Fuck, what am I going to tell my parents? Nick? I’m so screwed! I need more time before I can face them.
“I’d hate to say it, but this is some serious shit Grace! You’re going to have to come clean. Soon.” I nod, totally zoned out as I stare at the floor. My eyes don’t blink. This is totally wack! “Grace?” She says, bringing me back to the here and now. I meet her gaze and nod again.
“I’m scared. This is going to change everything, Meg.” She takes my hand in hers and squeezes. I don’t know what I’d do without her. I couldn’t go through this alone. I give her the tiniest smile but it comes out forced.
Abortion had crossed my mind, but could I live with myself after it was done? At least I waited until my senior year to get knocked up instead of sooner.
“Well, there’s always adoption…or.” I glance at her and shake my head firmly.
“No, I’ve thought about that. But I can’t. I’ll just deal with the changes, the consequences. I have to. I mean sure, I could have the baby and then give them up for adoption but I’d never have an abortion willingly. Not ever. I need some time though, to get the courage to tell people.” I push myself off the counter and walk over to the stall and snatch my purse up, slipping the stick into the side pocket.
For some reason, I feel compelled to keeping the stick, not sure why. Weird. Who keeps stuff like that? It has my urine on it, sure it’s dry but that’s kind of gross. I quickly take it out, grab a paper towel and wrap the stick in it then put it back in my purse.
“Better.” I turn to Megan, “Ready?” I ask, as I still feel ill. She nods and we walk out of the bathroom of Target.
The next day at school I am in my own zone, and try to keep a strong hold on my emotions. I stand by Meg’s locker waiting for her, studying everyone that passes by wondering what their future plans entail. I used to know what I wanted and now, I’m at a loss. I lean my head back against the locker and close my eyes.
Hey, you okay?” I open my eyes as Meg approaches me. I move so she can open her locker and get her things for class. Our school is pretty average in size and I still don’t know half the people in my class. But a lot of them know me, being the girlfriend of the quarterback and all. I never cared about popularity, yet it claimed me. I’d rather be unnoticed. But I get the meanest looks from people I have never seen or don’t care to talk to. And I’m sure it has to do with jealousy and the fact that Nick is dating me-an average joe. People are so superficial, it’s ridiculous.
My parents weren’t always wealthy or well off. We had a lot of struggles when I was a kid. My grandparents helped us at times, which my too proud parents wouldn’t admit it at first. They hated getting handouts. My parents didn’t have the easy life and yet they managed pretty well, to give me what I needed and some things I wanted-even if it meant they would go without. They always put my brother Tyler and I first. Our house is a two-story sandstone house with a brownish color(but it could be more of a mauve color really) shutters that stand out quite nicely and make it more modern-ish, a two-car garage in the front-4 bedrooms, 2 baths. We have a garden in the front where my mother loves to plant pretty colorful flowers. My dad’s office faces the front-which is a disgusting yellow color that he painted last year. I told him I didn’t want any part in his painting party, so he made my younger brother help him. God bless that kid. I got to paint my room any color I wanted-I chose a flowery border and painted the walls light purple with pictures of unicorns and fairies-my two favorite things. Of course that was when I was a little younger, I haven’t changed it. All of my furniture is polished-nightstand, desk, bookshelf (which consists of movies and games, some books since I’m not a reader) and my entertainment center. I used to have a bunk bed where I would sleep on the top bed and all of my stuffed animals and dolls would sleep on the bottom. I got rid of that though and settled for a regular day bed. My window is cool because it comes out like those bay windows and I use that for pillows-decoration. We have a bay window in the living room too. A lot of things have changed, especially since we used to live in a one-story house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. My parents used to let Tyler sleep with them but he had his clothes and toys in my room. Life wasn’t always easy for my family.
My mother was sixteen when she had me. And now I’m seventeen and pregnant and it scares the hell out of me.
“Yeah, I’m alright.” I lie, just to appease my best friend.
“No, you’re not. You can’t lie to me. I know you’re terrified.” She can always see right through me. I sigh audibly and face her, frowning. She pulls me in for a hug and I want to lose it, right there but I don’t. “It’s going to work out. You just need to tell your parents soon. They will support you, I’m sure.”
I look at her and raise an eye brow. “Yeah, right because this is what they want for their daughter-a repeat of the shit they went through at our age. They’ll probably tell me to give the baby up for adoption since I can’t really provide for this child.” How am I going to provide for this child? I can’t even provide for myself. I’m only a student and a kid at that. So many thoughts race through my head before I realize Nick is standing behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist. I turn around quickly and find him smiling. “Hey babe.”
I swallow my guilt and fear as I fake a smile and hug him back. “Hi.” I glance at Meg and she shrugs, sympathetically.
“I have to go class.” I say, trying to escape. This is not the place to tell him, nor am I ready to. I hold my stomach feeling nauseous-unsure if it’s from the whole situation I was thrown into or if it’s one of the symptoms, but knowing I have to get out of here.
“Are you okay? You look sick.” Nick puts his hand on my shoulder and caresses my bare skin.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I answer feeling the vomit rise in my throat, the taste makes me cringe.
“Let me walk you to class then.” I shake my head and push his arm away.
“No, I need to go to the bathroom real quick. Just go, I’ll see you later.” And before he has a chance to respond, I am running to the bathroom just in time for my very light breakfast to be released in the toilet. My throat stings as more comes up and I strategically wrap my hair to one side of my side so it doesn’t get messy. I hear footsteps in the bathroom and the sound stops when they approach me.
“Gracie, honey.” Meg takes my hair from my hand and holds it with one of hers while she fiddles with her purse and gets out a pony tail. I am hunched over the toilet, wondering if there is anything left to come up. My body shakes and my head throbs inside my skull. The bell rang ten minutes ago but I can’t go to class looking like death.
“I can’t do this Meg. Being sick all the time is really starting to affect me. I can’t do it.” I grab toilet paper and dab my mouth to remove all vomit. Meg wets a paper towel and puts it in my hand, placing my hand over my forehead.
“You are going to be fine. It will suck for a little bit. But I think you’re going to be okay.” The cool water relaxes me. I sit on my bottom and lean against the stall, pulling my knees up to my chest.
“I can’t. I don’t know what to do. Please, tell me what to do. I am so scared.” I bury my face in my hands and let out a sob, until there are no more tears to cry. Meg flushes the toilet and rubs my back to comfort me just sitting with me.
After going to the nurse and being sent home for being sick, I lie in my bed staring at my ceiling. I have two options, well really three but that one I would never consider even if it’s not a baby yet. I feel that is playing God too much and I won’t do that. But I think about my other two options: adoption and keeping it. On the one hand, there are many women out there that can’t have babies and would probably be able to provide a stable and wonderful life for it. And then there is me-a careless sex crazed teenager that has no clue how to raise a baby or where to live or how to give it all the necessities that comes with being a parent. Not to mention, I have my fears about what will happen once I tell Nick about it. Will he leave me? Or will he face his responsibilities as a man? But what happens when he gets accepted into a good school? Will he drop it to help me raise this baby? I close my eyes at the prospect of the very first thought being accurate, which scares the hell out of me. I couldn’t fathom the idea of being a single parent. It makes me ill.
It’s September 13, which means if I do calculations correctly-I probably conceived middle or end of last month because my last period was...I can’t even remember what I last ate. So now I am having trouble remembering my last period. But I think it would put me at being due by the time I graduate in June, or end of May. Who knows? I need to see a doctor.
Chapter 2
“So, what did they say?” Meg asks. I purse my lips together in nervousness, though she can’t see. I was supposed to tell my parents a couple days ago about my revelation, but chickened out. Yeah, call me a coward.
“I didn’t tell them yet. Can I just move to Europe for nine months, come back and let the baby tell them?” She laughs.
“You have to tell them soon Gracie. Your parents have to get you an appointment with the doctor, to check and make sure everything is okay.” I sigh loudly, into the phone, wishing I could just disappear.
“I know, I know. You’re right. Shit. Okay.” I squeeze my eyes shut, keeping out the tears that are threatening to escape.
“I’ll tell them. Tonight.” I hastily wipe away a tear that stubbornly got through, little bastard. I curse myself for being so weak.
“Gracie?” Meg asks concern in her voice.
“Uh-huh.” I answer.
“Do you want me to be there when you tell them?” I think about it for a minute. On the one hand, it would be nice to have my best friend here for support and encouragement. But on the other, it makes me look weak and feel like a pussy.
“Thanks, but I think I have to do this alone.” I sit on my bed and clutch my pillow tightly to my chest.
“Okay, call if you need me.” I smile inwardly at her amazing love and support. She’s always had my back, since second grade. I love her and the fact that in any situation I place myself in, she never turns her cheek the other way. Friends like that are rare.
“I will.” Before I hang up, she says, “Grace?”
“Yes?” I reply.
“It’s going to be okay, you’ll see.” I hope so.
            After dinner, I help my mom with the dishes and clean the table.
            “So are you going to the game next week?” I hadn’t thought about football games or school events since I found out. That was the last thing on my mind. So I just shrug and say, “Maybe.”
            I was suddenly feeling nervous, a little sick too and emotional. But of course that maybe due to the pregnancy itself. Oh what joys I have to look forward to. I needed to get it together before I broke down, right here and now. Not a good way to break the news.
“I’ll be right back.” I told her.
I went to my room and grabbed my journal I always wrote in. I tore the previous pages out so I could start fresh. After all, this was a new journey I was about to embark on. Maybe if I wrote down my thoughts and feelings, it would help me cope better. I hoped it worked.
Dear Journal,
            I recently discovered I am going to become a mom by the time I graduate high school. Some graduation present huh? Yeah, I’m not too thrilled. Well, that’s a lie. I’m kind of excited yet scared at the same time but I’m more scared than anything. No one knows, except my best friend Meg. I’m going to tell my parents tonight. That will be an unpleasant conversation. I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.
            I close my journal, feeling a little relieved. Maybe this will be a good thing after all. I put my journal in my desk drawer and head down to the kitchen to face my mother.
“Where’s dad?” I ask when I enter and see her making a pot of coffee. Ooh, yeah I need some of that.
“He’s upstairs in his office. Is everything alright? You left so suddenly. I thought I said something wrong.” She had a genuine look of concern on her face and my stomach sank. I pull a chair out and sit down. My stomach starts hurting and my palms begin to sweat.
“You look pale. Baby you sure you’re alright?” I sigh and rest my elbows on the table, not in the least bit ready for this.
“No. I need to speak to you and dad. It’s urgent.” She is frantic now as she walks out of the kitchen and stands at the bottom of the stairs.
“Allen, can you come down please? Your daughter needs to talk to us.” My heart starts pounding in my chest. This is it! I think. There’s no going back now.
I enter the living room and sit down. My mother sits on the couch across from me, worry etched on her forehead. I try to smile. I hold my stomach, as if in pain but don’t make a sound. She glances at me, and then looks at the staircase.
“Allen! Get down here!” She yells. As if on cue, my father skips down the stairs two at a time, mumbling something I can’t quite decipher.
“I’m here. I’m here.” He joins my mother on the couch.
Both of them look at me, waiting for my confession. My leg starts shaking uncontrollably.
“What’s going on?” My eight year old brother comes down the stairs and enters the room. I turn to his innocent face and say, “Hey, I need to talk to mom and dad for a minute. Can you go upstairs and play for a little while?” He looks sad, like I took his favorite toy away. I grab him in a big bear hug and kiss the top of his head messing up his hair.
“You can play with the play station.” His face lights up excitedly. “Really?” I nod my head and off he goes, back up the stairs.
“What’s going on Gracie? You’re starting to freak me out.” My mom brings me back to the reason my legs are shaking uncontrollably and my sweaty palms. I look at them, take a deep breath and plunge right in head first. “I’m pregnant!”
Their eyes widen in shock, no blinking between either of them. Yeah, that was me a few days ago too. I start to wonder if either of them is breathing, it’s been a few minutes at least. I lean forward a little to inspect.
“Mom?” She blinks and shakes her head, tears running down her cheeks. I sit back and cross my legs, waiting for them to say something, anything. Yell. Scream. Storm out. Anything but remain motionless. I’m starting to rethink telling them was a good idea. Maybe I should have waited until I was showing then told them. They wouldn’t hit their pregnant daughter, would they? Finally my mom breaks the tension, my father is still motionless.
“Grace, go upstairs. I need to talk to your father.” I obey and head to my room. I grab my phone from the charger and text Meg.
“This is not going well.”
“I’m guessing you told them. What did they say?”
“Nothing. They sat with no expressions for what seemed like an eternity and then my mother started to cry. They are talking in private now.”
“Well at least it’s out. You just have one more important person to tell.” Yeah, the father. I can’t even imagine how that conversation is going to go. “Hi Nick, I know you had plans for your future, but it looks like the stars had a better idea for you. And it includes smelly diapers, piles of laundry and a college fund- not for you.” Great, I’m so screwed.
I toss my phone on the bed and move to the doorway where I strain to hear the conversation downstairs through the cracked door.
“What are we going to do?” My mom asks. She is pacing and he seems to still be glued to the couch from what I can see or can’t see. “Allen, say something.”
“I don’t. I can’t. How did this happen? My little girl is going to be a mother before she graduates high school. How is this possible? I saw a bright future for her. Oh my God, I’m going to be a grandfather.” He laughs but it sounds forced, strained. And I make out a little disappointment in his tone.
“This is not the time to be funny. This is exactly what I didn’t want for our daughter. She’s repeating our history.” I hear her sigh loudly, almost a choking sound.
Tears stain my cheeks. Dammit all to Hell. How did I become so careless? I let my parents down. I slide down to the floor in my bedroom, closing the door unable to hear any more of my parent’s sad, worried voices. I was irresponsible and now I have to pay for it.
I hastily run my hands through my hair, grabbing a handful and yanking as hard as I can. I bite back a scream as my scalp feels the sting. I pull my knees up to my chest and fold my arms then bury my head and sob.


Megan said...

Annie!! I can't wait to read your book!! :)

goddess793 said...

Yay!!! Thanks hun! I can't wait for everyone to read it too! :)

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