I knew I couldn’t put off telling my parents. So that night after dinner I pulled mom aside to tell her.
“Mom I have something important to tell you. I am not even going to ask you not to get mad because well I deserve it.”
“What is it? Honey, you know you can tell me anything.”
“Mom when I was away at camp I met a boy. His name is Lucas and he is an amazing musician. We spent a lot of time together at camp and sorta started dating. We fell in love. On the last night of camp after everyone else had gone to bed I invited Lucas to join me in my tent. We slept together. I’m Pregnant.”
Mom was of course furious. She yelled, “How could you be so stupid. You are only 16.”
I apologized over and over again. Begging her to forgive me.
I eventually fell sobbing into her arms. She of course calmed down and pulled me into a hug. “Oh honey, we will figure out away to get through this.”
“Here is what we are going to do–tomorrow I am going to take you to see my doctor and we will get you checked out. Sometimes those tests can be wrong. After we know for sure if you are pregnant or not we will take it from there.”
The next day mom and I went to see Dr. Darla Jordon.
“Hey Dani, long time no see. What are we in for today?”
“Actually, we are not here for you to take a look at me but rather for you to look at Emma here. Emma suspects she may be pregnant.”
“Really?!” she said giving mom what I figured was a sympathetic look. “Well why don’t you put on this gown and then get up on the exam table and I will take a look.”
“I have sent Emma’s blood work to the lab for confirmation but while we wait how about if I do an ultrasound. No better way to be sure than that.”
She brought out the ultrasound machine. “This may be a little cold,” she said as she squirted some gel like substance on my stomach.
“You are definitely pregnant. I would say judging from everything I am seeing on the monitor you are about 11 weeks along.”
I did that math in my head and that was about right. My last period was at the end of July and then I was with Lucas at the very end of summer camp which was early August. It was now early October.
Dr. Jordan sent me home with some prenatal vitamins and a number of books and articles to read. I poured over the readings wanting to make sure that I was fully prepared.
I can’t believe their is a person growing inside of me. I have started talking to the baby. I am certain it is a girl so I have been calling it a her.
I am not sure why they call it morning sickness. I am nauseous morning, noon, and night.
I wake up in the morning sick to my stomach and go to bed at night feeling the same.
Despite how I have been feeling mom and dad refuse to let me stay home from school.
High school is a tough place. At least I have good friends like Jessica and my cousin Corina Equidae (pink top and jeans).
So far I am not “showing” but I have put on some weight. I have been trying to hide it but I think some of the “mean” girls have noticed.
It doesn’t help matters that the other day in the cafeteria I got a whiff of something and had to bolt for the bathroom.
Where I proceeded to throw up for so long I was late to 6th period.
Later in the halls I could hear Marianna Champagne and her BFF Carla Holcomb talking about me.
“Have you seen how much weight she has gained over the last couple of months.”
“Yeah, it is so obvious that she is preggers. I mean did you hear about what happened at lunch. She walked in the cafeteria got one whiff of today’s lunch special and bolted from the room. I have never seen someone turn so green.”
“I know she thinks she can hide behind the baggy sweaters but who is she kidding.”
They then proceeded to call me a few choice names that don’t bare repeating.
It seems like overnight I have popped. I now have a baby belly that even my baggiest clothes won’t hide. I guess it doesn’t matter anymore. The “mean” girls have figured it out. I am just so glad I have my cousin Corina and my BFF Jessica. Jessica is so excited about the baby. She keeps dragging me to baby stores to get supplies.
I am now 28 weeks pregnant and I think I look like I could deliver any day even though I still have over two months to go. I can’t imagine getting any bigger than I already am. I feel fat and blotted and overall just gross.
Therefore imagine my surprise and delight when Ali Broussard the most popular boy in school called me up one Saturday morning and invited me to the festival.
I threw on a pair of jeans and a tank top (some of the only clothes that still fit) and met him at the festival grounds. We participated in the hot dog eating contest which no surprise I won. (authors note: my seasons are all messed up. It should be winter in the game and I have the little snowflake on the screen which says “1 day left of winter” but I have no snow and the summer festival is in town.)
Afterwards Ali pulled me close and kissed me.
At first I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say.
“What was that for?” I asked.
“Everyone knows your easy and just give it away. I figured I brought you here and now we could make out some and then go sneak into the barn and woohoo.”
“WHAT!!! You think I will just sleep with anything that moves? Well you are wrong buddy. Yes I am 16 and pregnant but I have only ever been with one person. This baby’s father and I loved him. I can’t stand you. I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were the last person on Earth.”
With that I ran home in tears.
The following weekend was the Valentine’s Day dance and I was having second thoughts about going.
“Look at me! I look like a blue whale. I can’t go to the dance.”
“You are going. I got us a gig to play at the dance. You can sit behind the piano the whole night if you want but you are going.”
Before we left I pulled Jessica into a big hug. I really don’t know what I would do without her.
We took a limo to the dance which was really fun. On the way there we talked about what songs we would play. Neither on of us had dates and we were looking forward to playing our first real gig.
The gym was nicely decorated and all of the couples looked amazing in the dresses and tuxes.
I was in the middle of playing when I happened to look up at the crowd and my breath caught in my throat and my fingers faltered on the keyboard.
Standing at the back of the gym in clothes all torn to pieces was Lucas. I had been trying to get in touch with him for months but every call and text went unanswered.
I couldn’t face him – not yet so I asked Jessica if she could stall him while I finished the song and got my head on straight.
“Hey Jessica. Do you think Emma will talk to me?”
“She’s playing right now but should be able to take a break soon. You look awful and smell worse. Why don’t you head down to the gym and use the showers. There should be some extra gym uniforms down there. After you have cleaned up you can meet Emma in the library.”
About a half an hour later I was waiting in the library when Lucas walked in.
He sat down across the table from me and started talking. “Emma, you are probably wondering what I am doing here. And why I arrived at your school dance looking like a homeless person. There are somethings I never told you about myself — about my home life. My mother died when I was eight and following her death my father started drinking. When he is drunk he gets abusive. Shortly after I returned from camp it got so bad that I had to get out of the house. I ran away and have been hitchhiking across the country. I have been sleeping outside and playing music for tips to earn enough money for food or the occasional bus fair–just trying to get as far away from him as possible. Today I got dropped off in town and when I saw the sign that said “Welcome to Appaloosa Plains I remembered you lived here and I just had to see you.”
“Why didn’t you just call me?”
“I don’t know. I guess I was embarrassed. I didn’t want you thinking I was some loser.”
“I wouldn’t have thought that. I have actually been trying reach you for months. There is something I need to tell you. Remember our last night together?”
“I will never forget it.”
With that I stood up from the table. “Neither will I,” I said. “I’m almost seven months pregnant with your child.”
“I’m going to be a father?”
After the initial shock wore off, Lucas seemed excited about the prospects of becoming a father. He rubbed my belly and talked to the baby. He promised to be a better father than his dad was to him.
As he pulled me into his arms I started to think for the first time that perhaps everything would really be all right.