The instructions said it would take just two to three minutes and to do it in the morning, so I got out of bed while Cait was still asleep and I figured I had plenty of time and I peed on it and put it down on the floor by my toes and didn’t even look at it but just looked at the clock on my phone, watching the seconds go by, and then after exactly three minutes I reached for it and my hand was shaking and Cait walked in.
“Hey, babe. Why did you..?” and then her jaw dropped. “Oh my god, is that..?”
And I just nodded and I hadn’t even looked at it yet and tears welled up in my eyes and I wanted to make it all undone. I wanted to go back in time and tell myself “Don’t!” I wanted to go back and start over. I wanted to not be so stupid.
But I couldn’t. And I was.
And it was probably another three minutes, with Cait just staring at me with her hands covering her mouth and me just staring back at her, before she said “What does it say?”
I just shook my head. I didn’t want to look, and she said “What does it say?” again so I looked but I couldn’t see anything through my tears and I said “Cait…” and now I was bawling and she said “What does it say?!” and she sounded angry so I blinked and wiped my tears away but they kept coming and I had to hold it up close to my eyes to see and I blinked again and again and my eyes stung and there were two lines there.
There were two lines there and I threw the stick away like it had burned my fingers and I howled and Cait said “Oh my god,” and I slid down on the floor on my knees and hid my face in my hands and Cait came over and knelt down beside me and put her arms around me and I said “I’m sorry,” and she said “It’s okay,” and I said “No, it’s not. I’m sorry, Cait. I’m so sorry,” and she said “Shh. It’s okay. We’ll figure it out. It’ll be okay.” And then she said “Hey, maybe this is a good thing.”
And I looked at her and wiped my nose and tried to stop crying but I was talking through huge sobs and I said “You think so?” and she said “Yes. Of course. It’s a great thing, right? For us all. Don’t you think?” but it sounded like she didn’t believe that at all, and I cried again and said “No! I’m so sorry.”
“Shh,” she said again. “It’s okay. It’s not your fault.”
“Yes it is,” I wailed and she said “No it’s not. It happens. Those pills aren’t a hundred per cent. We should have…”
“I stopped taking them,” I said.
“I stopped taking them.”
“I… I don’t understand,” she said. “Like, just now? Today?”
“No, Cait. Like a month ago, I just stopped…” and I cried again.
“But… No,” she said. “You’ve always… I saw you.”
“I faked it,” I said, sobbing and sniveling. “I threw them away. Every time.”
“You… But… why?”
“Because…” I said. “Because, I thought… I just thought… Oh god, I don’t know.”
Cait stood up and I didn’t look but I could feel her looking down at me, I could feel her eyes burning. I could hear her breathing, short and angry breaths through her nose and it was like with every bit of air she let out, a piece of her love for me went too and I didn’t want to but I looked up at her anyway and her eyes had narrowed and she had two deep lines across her forehead, but it wasn’t just anger. Actually she didn’t look very angry at all, she just looked confused.
“But why?” she said again and I shouted “I don’t know, Cait!!”
Like somehow I had a right to be angry.
And that made her face change. From anger and confusion to contempt and condescension. And resignation, like she had finally lost patience with me, like she finally gave up on trying to deal with a troublemaker like me. Like she took one deep breath and then she let it all out, and all her love for me was gone.
It’s the most painful way anyone can look at you and it hurt so bad and I reached for her but she took a step back and away from me and that hurt too and I said “I did it for us.”
And it was just a ridiculous thing to say and it wasn’t true, and Cait knew it wasn’t true.
“Bah!” she said. “You did it for you. Only for you. You’re fucking unbelievable! You self…”
And she didn’t finish, but she didn’t have to.
I knew those words too well.
You. Selfish. Bitch.
And she left. And if you think you know how bad it feels when someone you love walks away like that, try it when you’re on your knees on the floor wearing nothing but your pee stained panties around your ankles.
I felt awful. I had to get dressed. And when I had, I went after her.
But she was gone. The apartment was empty. And now I remembered Lucy and Tobey had to leave early today. And I tried to but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where they had gone, or why or for how long. Like I hadn’t been listening. All I had thought about yesterday was that if I was right then tomorrow they would all know. And we would spend the whole day together, talking about it and making plans. And I had been excited and scared to death at the same time.
And now I was all alone.
And I had been home alone a thousand times of course, but this was probably the first time I was alone and not knowing where Cait or Lucy or Tobey were. Cait had run away and I had no idea where she had gone. And Lucy and Tobey were gone, and they had told me where but I hadn’t cared enough to know.
And I had never felt so alone in my life. They could be across the street or on the other side of the planet. They could be coming through the door any second. Or they could never come back again.
I didn’t know.
And I was home alone all day. No one called. No one came home.
I just sat there, with my phone on the table, staring at it. Waiting for someone, anyone to call but hoping it would be Cait saying “I forgive you,” and knowing she never would.
So finally I left too. And when I walked out the door I looked back and got this horrible, terrible, awful feeling that I would never come back. And I cried.
I took the elevator all the way down to the parking but when the doors opened I just stood there until they closed again. Because where would I go? To mom? What would she say? What would I say?
“Hi, mom! I’m having a baby, with my best friend’s who’s also my cousin and my lover and my girlfriend’s who is also my cousin’s sister’s boyfriend!”
“Gee, honey. That sounds perfectly normal. Congratulations!”
It almost made me throw up.
So I went back upstairs, but not all the way. I went and rang Natalie’s door bell, and after a minute or so I heard her through the door saying “Who is it?” and I said “It’s me,” and she opened the door just slightly and peeked out kinda nervously and when she saw me she smiled and said “Oh, hi!” and let me in.
“What’s going on?” she said and I said “I can’t tell you but it’s bad, so… Can I stay here a bit?” and she said “Oh. Yes. Of course. Like, stay the night?” and I said “Yeah. I won’t be in the way. And I’ll leave tomorrow, I just need to figure out where to go.”
“Sweetheart,” she said. “You can stay as long as you want. Did they, like, kick you out or something?”
“Not yet,” I said. “But they will.”
And I stayed with Natalie. And we talked just a little. I mostly just sat there like I had done in our apartment, just staring at my phone on the table. And no one called. And Natalie really tried to leave it alone, but she asked me now and then anyway. “What happened?” and “What did you do?” and I answered “I don’t want to talk about it.” Or I just looked at her and cried.
And when it was time to go to bed, she said “I only have one bed,” and I said “That’s okay, I can sleep here on the couch,” and she said “Nonsense”.
So I crawled into bed with her, and I had almost fallen asleep when I felt her hand between my legs. And even though I didn’t feel like it at all, I let her rub my pussy as she rubbed herself until she came, and then I fell asleep and I had one nightmare after the other but the only one I really remember I was back at Cait and her parent’s old house and I was in her parent’s bedroom and her dad was on the bed naked and dead and Cait and her mom were shouting at me and I didn’t know what I had done wrong and Cait said “You selfish bitch! Look what you have done!” and I looked at her dad and I said “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do that!”
And Cait said “No, stupid! Look at you, look what you have done!” and she was pointing at me and I looked down and I was naked and my belly was huge and it was moving like something was inside of it trying to get out, like that alien from that movie and I was peeing myself and I couldn’t stop it and there was blood in it and I said “Help me, Cait! I’m sorry! Help me! I’m sorry!” and I reached for her but she backed away from me and she kept backing away like down some never ending hallway while she said “Sorry? You’re always sorry!” over and over.
And I woke up crying and I tumbled out of bed and ran to the living room and sat down on the couch and cried and I was shaking and I picked up my phone and called Veronica.
And it rang and rang and she didn’t pick up and when it stopped I dialed again and the same thing happened so I dialed again and this time she picked up and she said “Hello?”
And I was just crying hysterically and I couldn’t say anything and she said “Darling? What’s wrong? What happened?” and I just cried and she said “Darling, you’re scaring me. What happened??” and I pulled myself together a little and I said “Can I come and stay with you?” and she said “What? Yes of course, but why? What happened?” and I said “Something terrible. Can I come?” and she said “Yes of course.”
So even though it wasn’t even three o’clock in the morning I got dressed, without waking Natalie, and I went upstairs and I made sure to not make a sound when I unlocked the door and went inside and the lights were all on and I realized I hadn’t turned them off when I had left and that probably meant no one was home yet, but I still carefully opened the door to our bedroom and peeked inside. But Cait wasn’t there so I quickly took a bag out of the wardrobe and stuffed some clothes in it and then my laptop and my phone charger and then I went into the bathroom and just got the essentials and just threw them in the bag.
And then I left, and I passed the kitchen on the way and we have a small whiteboard on the refrigerator, for messages and stuff and I thought about writing something there and I even grabbed the pen but then I just stood there with no idea what to write.
I started to write “I’m sorry” but I erased it right away because I thought that would only piss Cait off more.
I almost wrote “Call me”. That was good enough, almost like it wasn’t a big deal. But I wanted it to be a big deal too, at least a little bit. Not that I wanted them to feel bad, I think, but just so they knew it was serious for me too. Then I thought I’d just write “Goodbye”, but that was kinda… morbid.
I wrote “Take care. Love. T.”
Then I walked to the door but then when I had opened it I ran back and wiped it all off. And then I left.
I bought a ticket online right away, for the first flight I could find but it was still a day away so I stayed with Natalie, and the whole day I just sat there staring at my phone and Natalie stayed in the apartment with me even though I wasn’t much company and then we went to bed and this time too she touched me, fingered me with her left hand while she fucked herself with her right hand, and I just laid there and let her do it, staring up at the ceiling, and she came and then she fell asleep but I didn’t. I didn’t want to sleep because I just knew I would have that same horrible dream again.
Natalie even went with me to the airport, and hugged me and said goodbye. And then just like that I was with Veronica in London.
And in the cab she said “So, I called Cait,” and I said “Roni, no…” and she said “She wouldn’t even talk with me. I told her you were on your way and she just said ‘Good’.”
And I just groaned.
“So what happened?” she said, and I said “Can it wait?” and she said “Sure.” And she took my hand and held it and stroked it with her thumb.
And when we got to her place I told her everything.
She didn’t say anything until I was done. Then she gave me a hug and a kiss and I laid down with my head in her lap and she stroked my hair and she said “You know you can stay here as long as you want. You can stay forever. But… you really should go back.”
“Why?” I said.
“Because, you’re running away, when that’s the last thing you should do. Maybe Cait overreacted, maybe she didn’t. But you overreacted. A lot. By running away like this.”
“But…” I said. “She was so angry.”
“Of course,” Veronica said. “But not because you’re pregnant. I think because you made that decision on your own. That now was the time, and that it was going to be you. Not her or Lucy, but you.”
“I know that,” I said, almost annoyed by how right she was.
She pulled my sweater up a little and caressed my belly and that suddenly made it so real, that’s what you see the dads do to the moms, and it should be Tobey doing it. To Lucy. And I cried again.
Veronica stroked my hair with one hand and my belly with the other and then she pushed her hand under my pants and cupped my pussy and rubbed me there slowly through my panties and that felt so good and suddenly I felt so unbelievably tired, and I fell asleep like that and I woke up I don’t know how much later and I was right in the middle of an orgasm.
Veronica has a tiny apartment, I mean it’s really just living room and kitchen and bedroom all in one room and then a really small bathroom, and for three days I just sat there feeling sorry for myself, writing again and trying to build up the courage to call Lucy and every night when I went to sleep I hated myself for letting another day pass without calling her and I promised myself I would call her in the morning but I didn’t. And I wondered why she didn’t call me and why Cait didn’t call and I thought maybe that was it, maybe I would never hear from them again. They had probably talked about it and decided that was the best, the troublemaker was gone, that lying, cheating, selfish bitch.
“Good riddance, we’ll get over her. 3… 2… 1… Yup, I’m over her. You? Right, that was easy. Let’s turn Cait’s bedroom into a gym and it’ll be the three of us in one bed, happy forever. Three’s a family but four is a mess. Especially with her. More champagne, anyone?”
And the third day was a Saturday and the only one who had called was Mrs. Williams from work and I had told her I was sick and she had just sighed and hung up, and Veronica said “Look, enough is enough. You can’t just sit her and rot away. Tonight we’re going out. And we’re going to have fun.”
“No,” I said. “I don’t feel like it.”
“I know,” she said. “And I don’t care.”
So we did.
And that’s how I met Naomi.