When I “woke up” the next morning, mum was already up and about, pottering around the kitchen. I usually had a lie-in followed by a fry up on a Saturday, or pancakes, but just the smell of her cup of coffee sat on the side was making me feel sick. I sat at the kitchen table, away from the coffee and chatted inanely at mum, just to try to be normal. “What did you fancy for breakfast today? You look wiped out,” said mum, putting away the bread she’d had out for dad’s breakfast.
“Just a glass of water for now, please. I’m not really hungry at the moment.” I could see her looking at me around the pantry door, but there wasn’t much I could say or do about the nausea. “I’m going to head back to bed for a little while, I’m still pretty tired.” At least if I was in bed she wouldn’t be visibly worrying. That was worse.
I got up to my room just as dad came out of the bathroom.
"Good morning pumpkin.” The everyday endearment was sweet, as I gave him a hug before slipping into my room again, closing the door behind me. I lay down once again into my bed, trying to fall asleep but I was too awake again and my nipples were aching. I’d heard that it was a common side effect of pregnancy, something to do with the change of blood supply or something, but I hadn’t realised it would be this much. I was hardly even pregnant! I pulled out the scan again, and took another look at the smudge. That little thing was inside me, with its own little heart beat. How could I have an abortion? I shoved the scan away again and started to cry. I tried to be quiet because mum would worry, but she evidently heard, as a few minutes later, she knocked quietly on the door.
“Come on honey, what’s wrong?” I couldn’t tell her. She’d be so ashamed.
“Me and Chris broke up and his mates are being really mean about it. He’s going to talk to them about it for me. They just said things that hurt.” It was about as close to telling her a truth as I could. We had broken up and his mates had been rude, but it had already been sorted out. I felt bad saying that about them, but I couldn’t give her the real, current truth.
“Ok then, if they carry on though, you let me know, okay?” She bent down to kiss me on the forehead before walking out and closing the door behind her.
There was no way to sleep, so I stood up and took off my pyjamas, intending to change into jeans and a t-shirt, instead going to the mirror and looking at myself. My stomach didn’t look any different, maybe a little bit bloated, but that could have been anything. My breasts seemed a little bit bigger, but maybe that was just wishful thinking, though they still ached. I certainly didn’t see any “glow” like a lot of people talk about, unless I was mistakenly thinking it was that greenish glow from being ill. I quickly pulled on an old pair of jeans and a hoodie before heading back downstairs, texting Chris as I went. I’d meet up with him, tell him I was pregnant and see what he said. He’d support me, I hoped.
I walked out of the house, telling mum I was going to pop to the shops to get another notebook because I’d finished my old one. I went there, got a notebook and finally got a reply from Chris as I was paying. We decided to meet in the park that was about half way between our houses.
Ten minutes later, we both arrived at the park and he hugged me as we said hello. We’d broken up because he’d decided that he wanted to see someone else. As far as I’d heard, they weren’t together, but that didn’t mean they weren’t doing anything; just in private. I missed him, but if he wasn’t happy with me, then there wasn’t really much that I could do. I just hoped that he wouldn’t freak out about the pregnancy.
“What’s up? You said you needed to talk to me.” He sounded like he genuinely cared.
“I’m pregnant,” I blurted, putting my hand to my mouth as if to stop the words from getting to him. The look on his face showed that it hadn’t worked, of course.
“What? How? What?” He couldn’t seem to put together anything more than those simple, single word questions.
“The party. We didn’t use protection. We were so drunk that it wasn’t until the morning after that I realised that we hadn’t used any. I figured we’d be alright and that I couldn’t have fallen pregnant on the one time we didn’t use any.” I rambled on and on, watching as the truth of my words dawned on him. I could see as he went through a kaleidoscope of emotions: shock, surprise, joy, worry, anger, fear. They all played across his face as he listened to my rambling.
“You… You’re sure? You’re pregnant? You’re sure?” All the same questions kept falling from his mouth and he stepped back slightly, as he looked at me as the truth started to sink in. Then he stepped close again and hugged me.
“I’m sure. I did a home pregnancy test, couldn’t accept it, then had an ultrasound to see roughly how far along I am, and it all fits in. I haven’t been with anyone else.”
He hugged me again, holding me tight, before saying, “You’re getting an abortion.” He didn’t pose it as a question, or even a statement. It was more like a demand.
“I don’t know. I’m booked in for one next week, but I keep thinking about it and I don’t know whether I can. There are other options as well.” He shook his head, dismissing the possibility.
“I can’t be a father. I just got a maths scholarship and I just started dating Melissa.” He pulled out the excuses, as if it wasn’t selfish to do. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. He wanted me to have an abortion so that he could be with Melissa and not have to worry about supporting a child when he was off at university. I pulled away from him, shaking my head and starting to cry as he grabbed at me to pull me back, but I turned away and ran from him. I couldn’t believe how selfish he was being.