Generation 11.11

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Following graduation I spent the summer hanging out with Lily and started my internship at Wolfson’s Hospital and Research Facility.

The next few years seemed to fly by.   I quickly moved up the ranks at the hospital.

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In addition to my work at the hospital I have also started a vaccination program were I go to different locations in town and people can come get shots.   Most people are great sports like Sarah.

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But I occasionally get a big cry baby like my cousin Keith.

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The people in Appaloosa Plains have really responded well to my outreach program and I often have Sims lined up waiting for the shots.

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I have also been asked to come speak at local businesses about a variety of health related topics.

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I also do house calls and follow up with patients over the phone.

It may sound like all I do is work and for the most part that is true.   With Lily gone at school I am home by myself a lot.

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I do hang out with my family and friends when I can.  Sarah and Lee recently had a baby boy named Dedric.   They still live with Kim and I know she loves having her grandson to spoil.

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Gwen’s daughter Kristi is now 6 and her son Greg is 11.   Gwen is pregnant again this time with twins.  I am thrilled for her as I know she wanted a big family.

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I tried online dating and posted my profile but I have not been crazy about any of my matches.

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I can’t believe how the time has flown by.   I can’t believe I have a teenager.

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I love when Lily comes home from school.   We hang out at home and play chess or watch movies.

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We go to the festival or have big house parties and invite all of our family and friends over.

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In the summer we go to the beach.  Lily loves the water and enjoys water skiing and wind surfing.  She must get her coordination from her dad because I would never have been able to stay upright.

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The beach is always a fun place to relax.

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A lot of time my family will join us and we will have a camp fire or tell scary stories.

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The summer before Lily turned 16 I bought her a car as an early birthday gift.

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I spent the summer teaching her how to drive. Students are allowed to bring cars to school.  I am hoping now that she has a car she will come visit more then just Christmas and summer breaks.   I can’t believe my baby will be 16 in a few months.  It seems like just yesterday I was 16 years old and holding her in my arms.

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Before she left she promised to come home for her birthday in a few weeks.

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After Lily went back to school I threw myself back into my work.  I saw patients.

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I started a free clinic.

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I also finished a non-fiction book called “Beating the Odds” and I decided to try writing children’s books.

I had achieved my dream of being a doctor despite becoming a teen parent. I raised a beautiful daughter, I had great friends and extended family, and I was a published author. And yet I was bored.  I felt like I needed a new purpose.  Little did I know one was about to walk through my front door.

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As promised on September 30 Lily came home for her 16 birthday.   I was in the middle of frosting her birthday cupcakes when she walked in followed by another young girl.

The girl looked like she had been crying. “Is everything ok?” I asked.

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Before the girl could answer she suddenly paled and bolted out of the room toward the bathroom.

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“You remember my roommate Alana.  We have been roommates and BFFs since I started school at Brentwood back when I was 8 and she was 9.  Mom I think she needs your help.”

“Do you know how far along she is?”

“I am not sure,” she said.  “But she is freaking out.  You will help her right?”

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“Lily, why don’t you go unpack and then maybe go next door and visit Lynn while I talk to Alana,” I said.

Lily just nodded and left the room.

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“So you suspect you might be pregnant?” I asked.

She nodded but didn’t say anything.

“What makes you suspect that you are?”

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On September 19th Lily came into our room in a rush.  I was watching TV and resting as I hadn’t felt good that morning.  I had been throwing up and thought I had the flu.  She came in she started digging around in her bags and dresser before exclaiming, “Ugg I knew I forgot something when I was packing up my room.”

“What did you forget?” I asked.

“Female products,” she said.  “I just started and other then the emergency one I keep in my backpack it looks like I forgot to pack some.  You don’t by chance have any extra do you?  I am sure I can get permission from Sister Maria to go into town today after my last class.  I can pick some up for you too,” she said.

“Sure,” I said.  I walked over to my desk where I keep them in the top drawer.  There is a calendar over the desk and I had circled the 17th. “Huh, that’s weird.  I should have gotten mine two days ago on the 17th.”

“It’s probably just stress,” Lily said.  “I mean the women who raised you died this summer.  Surely if there is any reason to be stressed it is that.”

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A week later on the 24th I still hadn’t gotten it but it never occurred to me that I could be pregnant.  It was Lily who first brought it up.

“Alana, please don’t be mad at me for asking you this but could you be pregnant?” she asked.  Before I could answer she continued, “I mean you are a week late.  Yesterday at breakfast you complained that the orange juice tasted funny when I thought it tasted the same as always.”

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“You have been nauseous and I know you have been throwing up some.  You wrote to me over the summer about how you were seeing a boy back home.  Is it possible?”

“OMG!” I shouted as it all made total sense.  “What am I going to do?”

“Well first let’s find out for sure,” Lily said.

“How?  It is not like we can just go to the store and buy some tests.”

“Well I started to suspect and even more so after yesterday’s orange juice incident so I went online and ordered some.  Had them overnighted,” she explained handing me a box.

I looked inside and couldn’t help laughing.  There were five different brands.  Two of each for a total of ten tests.  I took them all.

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I came out of the bathroom with the first one and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  Positive.  Two pink lines.

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“No, no, no! This can’t be happening,” I cried.  “I can’t be pregnant at 16.”

“What did the other tests show?  Maybe that one is giving you a false positive,” Lily said.

So I looked at the other nine tests.  All together I had 7 positive tests and 3 negative ones.

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“Look, even though my mom is a pediatric surgeon she still practices as an OBGYN.  I promised I would go home at the end of the week to celebrate my 16th birthday.  Why don’t you come too.  You can talk to her and she can run some tests.”

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“And here we are,” she said to me.

“So if you were expecting your period on September 17 that means you had it in August right?”

“Yes, on the 2oth.  And I always get it every 28 days.”

“Have you talked to your parents?”

“No, and I can’t. They would want me to ‘get ride of it’ and I don’t want that,” she sobbed.  “I also know they won’t let me come home and I can’t stay at school.  It is all girls private school run by nuns.  They would never let me stay there.  I don’t know what I am going to do,” she sobbed.

“And the father?”

“I haven’t told him.  He just turned 18 and joined the military.  I don’t want to distract him.”

“Are you sure you can’t go to your parents?”

“My parents are not like most couples.  They actually hate each other but stay married to avoid bad press.  They will do ANYTHING to avoid bad press. They appear all loving in public but behind closed doors do nothing but fight and cheat on each other.”

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“When I was 10, and home for the summer, I had gone into my mom’s room to ask her to read me a story, not that she would have, and I found her in bed with a man that was not my father.  They both had on very little clothing.  I was still too young to know about woohoo but I knew enough to understand that she shouldn’t have been doing any of that with someone other than my father.”

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“I raced out of the room in tears.”

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And straight into the arms of Nana Dowd.   I told her what I had seen and she said I was too little to understand but that my parents had a complicated relationship.

I was a curious child, home for the summer and bored so one day I went snooping around my mom’s room and I found her diaries.  And I read them.

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My parents meet when my dad was directing a movie and my mom had a small part. She wasn’t much more then an extra really.  But she had heard he was not only going to be directing his next project but also producing it.  My mom only ever cared about one thing her career.  So she started flirting with him on set.

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And pretty soon she was sleeping with him and sure enough he cast her in his next film not as the star but as a major supporting character.

It was a big hit and my mom was considered the next raising star.

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She won an award for best supporting actress and my parents were at the award show arm and arm.  They were the next Bridgeport “Golden Couple”.

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My dad was able to get her into the best clubs and restaurants.

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She was riding around town in a limo.

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Fans were taking her picture.

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As was the paparazzi.

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Then my father announced that in his next big picture he was making her the star.  It was everything she ever wanted.

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Only shortly after shooting ended my mom found out she was pregnant.  She was not happy and had planned to terminate but some tabloid reporter found out she was pregnant and soon the news was out that Matthew Mathiasion and Ashley Glenwood the Bridgeport “Golden Couple” were having a baby.   So rather then end their relationship as my mother planned the two went away together on a private romantic getaway and came back married.

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My father bought a house in the hills.

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Which my mother hated. She wanted to stay in in my father’s penthouse apartment in the city.  But he said the apartment was no place to raise a family.  When he let her spend whatever she wanted on redecorating the house she made sure they had separate bedrooms.   I think my father had actually loved my mother at one point but over time grew to hate her.

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At home they would fight and then when ever they had to go out in public they would appear the ever in-love couple.  I am sure you saw the famous picture outside the Bridgeport theater where my father has his hand on my mother’s stomach just moments after she won the best actress Golden Orb award.

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After I was born my parents hired a nanny.  I don’t have any memory of her as she was fired only weeks after starting her job.

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When my mom walked in on her sleeping with my father.

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Mom yelled and screamed and fired her on the spot.

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Then they hired a manny (male nanny).

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And I suppose to get back at dad mom slept with him.

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And to show her that he didn’t care dad slept with him too.   I guess dad can go both ways.

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After that they hired an older lady named Miranda Dowd but I called her Nana.

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She raised me.  Taught me to talk.

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And walk.

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She had a grandson named Shawn who would come visit her sometimes in the summer. And we would go to the park.  He was my first real friend.

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He was a year older than me and would hold my hands while we skated.

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Too bad neither of us was very good.

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Nana would read me stories at night.

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Tuck me in and kiss me good night.   I saw very little of my parents.  They sent me to boarding school as soon as I was old enough.

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When I turned 13 my dad surprised me by getting me a horse.  I had always wanted one but my mom had always refused.  Saying they smelled.   So I was surprised when my dad got me one.   I named him Midnight and anytime I was home from boarding school I would spend all my time riding him.

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That was the same year my mom announced she was pregnant.  Of course she loved rubbing it in to my father that the baby wasn’t his but rather her personal trainers.

But that was only behind closed doors.  In public dad would accompany her to award shows and movie premiers and as far as the public was concerned the golden couple were happily welcoming their second child.

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“Why do they stay together?”

“Mom likes the perks that come with being married to my father.  He is an award winning director and producer.  Before that he was an award winning actor.  His name carries a lot of weight in Bridgeport.  Even more so now that his running for office.   And my father is several years older than my mother.  I think he likes having a women that looks like my mother on his arm at events and award shows. He is also terrified of any sort of scandal affecting his campaign.  So I know he would freak out if he found out his daughter was pregnant at 16.”

“And the baby’s father?”

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Remember Nana’s grandson the one I said used to come visit her in the summer.  My first true friend.  Well he had just graduated from high school and was visiting his grandma before heading off to basic training.   Since he planned to stay for the summer my father asked him if he would like to make some money by working in the barn.  Shawn loves horses as much as I do so he agreed.

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The day I got home from school for the summer I came home and saw my mother playing with my sisters.

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My mom had twins.  Blonde haired blue eyed twin girls who look exactly like her.   She has decided to take a break from acting and is working on getting the girls modeling jobs and acting gigs.  She is also entering them in pageants.  My mom has treated me indifferently my entire life but showers the twins with attention.  I was jealous and upset so I went out to the barn to see Midnight.

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I walked in and saw Shawn.  I hadn’t seen him for a few years.  He had gotten involved with sports and other things, so hadn’t spent his summers visiting his grandma for awhile.

“Alana is that you?” he asked.

“Shawn is that you?” I asked at the same time.   Then we both laughed.

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He pulled me in for a big hug and told me it was good to see me.

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I spent most of my summer riding Midnight or just hanging in the barn talking to Shawn. He told me all about his friends and his football team.  He told me about his dream to some day be an astronaut and visit space.  I told him about my friends at school and about how I might want to be a teacher some day and work with kids.

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Every time we parted for the night Shawn would give me a big hug and kiss my forehead.

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Then one night he kissed me.  It was my first kiss and I just mumbled a good night and ran into the house.  I was up all night thinking about that kiss.

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The next day I went out to the barn, walked up to him and kissed him.

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He smiled and held my hands and asked me on a date.

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We went to the festival and spun around together on skates just like we had when we were little.

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Turns out we had not approved with age.

But we had a great time and over the summer we went and saw movies, went to dinner, and had picnics in the park.   It was wonderful.

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Then one morning in mid July, Nana was just getting up when she had a heart attack.

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I came running but it was too late.

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Shawn and I were both heartbroken.   She was his grandma and she was the women who raised me.  She was more of a mother to me than my own had ever been.

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Shawn and I were there for each other through our grief.  He would hold me while I cried.

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And I would comfort him when he was feeling sad.

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Sometimes one of us would share a funny story about Nana or a happy memory and we would laugh and then sometimes cry.

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Then one day we kissed.  I mean we had kissed before.  We had been dating for over a month but this kiss was different.

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And soon we were woohooing in one of the hay bales.  Not really how I had pictured my first time but with Shawn it felt perfect.

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My parents were gone most of the summer.  My dad was campaigning and my mom was off with the twins at this job or the next.   So Shawn and I took advantage of our time together.  We still did things like go to the festival or movies we just also added a more physical aspect to our relationship.

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Soon summer was over.  Shawn was heading back home to see his parents.  His birthday was coming up and as soon as he turned 18 he was planning to enlist.  And I was heading back to boarding school.   It was so hard to say goodbye.  I remember sobbing in his arms as we both waited for our busses.

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He gave me a present.  It was a promise ring.  He told me he loved me and as soon as I was done with school and he was through basic training he was going to marry me.   I laughed and told him that he needed to ask.

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He gave me a kiss and told me that when the time came he would ask and that if I said yes he would make sure I was always in a loving home.  He joked we would fill it with kids we adored and spoiled rotten.  He said we would have a barn for Midnight and would maybe breed horses.  It sounded like the prefect life.  He said he wasn’t sure how often he would be able to write while in basic training but he would try.

He wrote me as soon as he got home.  We video chatted on his birthday and talked on the phone or texted every day for a week.  We can’t talk on the phone now that he is in basic training but we have been emailing and sending letters.  I didn’t want to say anything though until I knew for sure.   And even then it isn’t something you say in a letter or an email.

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“You headed back to school on September 2?” I asked as that was the day Lily had went back.

“The 3rd actually.  I was suppose to go back on the second but as Shawn’s bus wasn’t leaving until the 3rd I pushed my departure back a day.”

“And did you woohoo around that time?”

“Yes, we went out for a romantic supper the night before and when we got home we spent the night together,” she said blushing.

“Well if you are pregnant that is probably the date you conceived.”

Alana put her head in her hands.  “What am I going to do?  I know if I tell Shawn he will want to come be with me but he enlisted so he could get into trouble for just leaving.  I don’t know how I am ever going to tell my parents.”

“Well not only am I a doctor but I also know what you are going through.  I am not sure if Lily told you or not but I had her at 16.”

“Really?”

“Yep, I was fortunate that I had brothers, sisters, and good friends that helped me through it.  I would be happy to help you Alana.”

“How?”

“Well for starters we are going to go to the hospital and get you checked out, but unfortunately not until tomorrow.  I hate to ask you to wait but Lily’s party is starting in just a few hours.   Plus tomorrow is Saturday and the clinic is closed.  If we went today there would be no way to get you in without being seen.  Your family is often in the spotlight especially with your father’s campaign.  You would be easily recognized.”

Alana agreed that waiting a day was best.

I told her she was welcome to join the party or she could go rest for awhile.  She said she would go clean up and change out of her school uniform and then she would love to join the party.  Lily was her best friend and she wanted to help her celebrate her Sweet 16.

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Lily’s party turned out great.  Rather than cake she had asked for chocolate cup cakes with watermelon flavored frosting.  When she asked I laughed because when I was pregnant with her I craved watermelon all the time.  And for my 16th birthday Kevin had made me those same cupcakes.

We talked and danced and had a great time.

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The next day I took Alana to the clinic.  I drew some blood which showed elevated levels of hCG.  I also did an ultrasound.

“There is your baby.  I would estimate that based on what I am seeing and also the other information you provided that you are 6 weeks pregnant.  I put your due date at May 27.”

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“So what do I do now?” she asked.

“Well you should take the rest of today and just relax and then tomorrow morning you and Lily will go back to school.”

“What?  I can’t go back to school pregnant. The school will never allow it.”

“Alana you are only six weeks pregnant.  I didn’t even now I was pregnant with Lily until I was 7 weeks.  Most expectant mothers won’t even tell people they are expecting until they get to their second trimester.  Which for you will be the end of November around Thanksgiving.  I propose that you go back to school and attempt to finish out the first half of the year.  You get out for Christmas break the week of the 17th which will put you at 17 weeks.  Now I was already starting to show by then and had switched to wearing maternity tops but no one at school realized until I was at 18 weeks.  However, everyone is different. Now you will gain some weight over the next several weeks but it will look like you might be bloated or maybe ate to many sweets.  If you feel like you are showing or think people might suspect then you can call me and we will adjust the plan.”

“Ok I will go back but then what will I do after the holiday break?”

“Well we will have to let your parents know.”

“No, I can’t.”

“They can’t make you give up the baby if you don’t want to.  If you are worried that they will force you by refusing to let you come home then know that you will always have a place here.”

“Why do we have to tell them?”

“I don’t have the authority to pull you from school.  If you didn’t return after break the school would notify your parents.  They would wonder where you were.  I could get accused of kidnapping you or harboring a runaway.”

“But they will never tell the school I can’t be there because I am pregnant.  The story could get out that way.”

“Let’s consider things for a moment.  If they tell you that you can’t come home pregnant and they know you can’t stay at your boarding school what would happen?”

“I would be on the streets, oh where I would eventually be recognized.  The press would report that Matthew Mathaison’s teenage daughter was pregnant and living on the streets.  He would be ruined politically.”

“Exactly, but if you tell them you found a place were you could go that is private to have the baby out of the public eye and that all they need to do is come up with a reason to explain why you will be missing half the year of school.  Maybe get the school to send your work with Lily or email it to you.”

“They could tell the school I was taking care of a sick relative or that I was helping with the campaign and they were employing private tutors.  I go to school with a lot of child actors.  They will miss months of school but have tutors that help them keep up with their school work.  Should I call them now?”

“You can or you can wait until the second trimester.”

“I think I will wait.  So say my parents agree with your plan.  What happens after that?”

“Well the way I see it you have a few options.  Option one you will stay here with me until you have the baby.  Your official due date is May 27 but you could have the baby before or after that date.  Then after the baby is born you could give it up for adoption, spend the summer recuperating, and then go back to school in the fall.”

“No I don’t think I can do that.  I know I am young and I am not sure I am ready for this but this baby is part of me and part of Shawn and I want to keep it no matter what my parents say.”

“Ok then option two much like the first you stay here, have the baby, spend the summer bonding with your child and recuperating, and then you go back to school in the fall.”

“What about the baby?  I can’t take a baby with me to boarding school.”

“We have some time to come up with options but one that comes to mind is that you let the baby’s father know.  By the time you go back to school he may be in a position to help provide care.  It sounded like from your story he is close to his parents so they might be willing to provide care for the child until you are done with school.  But like I said you have time.”

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After we left the clinic I took the girls to the fall festival.

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Then we spent a relaxing night at home watching movies.

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The next day the girls went back to school.  Before they left I gave Alana some vitamins to take and also something to help with nausea incase it got too bad.

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The rest of fall past quickly.  I held a flu shot vaccination clinic at the festival grounds which had a great turn out.

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Gwen held a costume party for Halloween.  It was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to play with her twin boys Nathaniel and Luther.

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A few days before Thanksgiving the girls came home.  I of course had to pull Lily in for a big hug.  I always miss her when she is gone at school.

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Once the girls were settled I took Alana to the clinic for an exam.

“How are you feeling?” I asked.

“Ok, I had some nausea but it wasn’t too bad.  I think for me the worst part was I was so exhausted.  I think I could have slept all day.  But the last couple of weeks have been better.  I noticed that I have gained some weight but it seems to be more in my hips than my belly.  I had to buy a new uniform in a size bigger.  Fortunately I was able to order it online directly from the company.  I don’t think anyone at school suspects.”

“Do you feel comfortable going back for a few more weeks?”

“I thinks so.  The school is old and drafty in the winter so we have these big sweaters we can wear as part of our uniform.  They have always been baggy and unflattering so I think even if I do start to show a little it will cover it.”

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After my appointment with Alana I headed into the house to start cooking.

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All my family and friends came and brought food

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After we all ate our fill I went over to Kim and gave her a big hug.

“What was that for?” she asked.

“I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for me when I was that scared pregnant 15/16 year old.  I couldn’t have gotten through that without you and the rest of the family.”

“You are welcome and we love of you so of course we would help you.”

“Not everyone is so lucky.”

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Kim looked over at Alana who was chatting with Lily and her cousins.  “How far along is she?” Kim asked.

“You can tell?”

“If you are asking if she is showing not in anyway that is visible no.  I didn’t really know her before so I can’t say for sure.  But she has a look in her eyes that I have seen before in you.  It is a this scared girl look but with a hint of determination to get through it and be stronger than ever.  So like I said, how far along is she?”

“She starts week 14 today.”

“I take it you are going to help her?  Let her stay here after the holidays until the baby is born.”

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“You don’t approve?” I asked.

“The opposite actually, I think it is great what you are doing for Alana.”

“Well I figured it was the least I could do.  She has no family support.  I don’t know what I would have done without you and the rest of the family, not to mention Sarah, Gwen and Dr. Colvin.”

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“I wasn’t going to say anything but the last few years you haven’t seemed real happy.  I figured it was mainly because you missed Lily but I think it is more than that.  I think you were feeling unfulfilled despite all you have accomplished.   You achieved your dream of becoming a doctor and you are great one.  So great you moved very quickly through the ranks and are one of the youngest surgeons they have ever had.  But now what?  I thought maybe you would start dating, get married and maybe have more kids – you are still young enough.  But the last few weeks I have seen this spark in your eyes again.  I didn’t realize what was causing it until today.  I think you can relate to what Alana is going through and you are the perfect person to help her.  Have you thought about perhaps creating a home for young teenage girls in need?”

It wasn’t something I had considered.  I figured I would help Alana because she was Lily’s best friend but maybe I could take my experiences as a doctor but also as a teen parent to help other girls like myself.  It was definitely something to consider.

Next Chapter

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