Authors: Annie Brewer
© Copyright by Annie Brewer 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or the author.
Requests for permission to copy part of this work for use in an educational environment may be directed to the author.
This book is a work of fiction. References to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or persons or locales, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Cover design by Airicka Phoenix Interior Design
There are way too many people to thank for making this amazing journey come to life. First of all, I want to thank my family for their never-ending support and accepting my love of writing. My little girls, who continue to surprise me daily, and make me smile every day and want to be a better person, I love you, my little rugrats.
To Jean and James for all their support in everything I do with my books and for helping with my covers! Thank you for being there for me through it all! And Jean, thanks for our late night chats and making me see the light. I love you!
To Ashley, my amazing supporter and helping with the editing process. You seriously make my heart soar with love. You’ve become one of my best friends in such a short time and I can’t thank you enough for being such a wonderful friend in my life. I love you millions!!
To Amy, you are amazing! I’ve enjoyed being such great friends and the advice you’ve given while I was writing and you were reading has really helped. Thank you so much, I’m so happy to be friends with such a talented writer! I love you, my awesome friend!
To Sylvia, Mary, Adriana, Tara, Jody, Erin, Marni, Brooke, Aricka, Fred, Melissa for always giving me words of encouragement. You all really made me smile every single day! I can’t thank you enough! To all my GR friends for being so enthusiastic about this book, I really hope it lives up to your expectations!!! Thank you for believing in me, it means more to me than you know!
Most of all, to all my readers that continue to support me. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be writing…at least not for the public. I love you all!!! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!!! XOXO
Table of Contents
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.
“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.”
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 life, over.
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, walk to the sink and wash the puke off my face, but first I catch a glimpse of my cheeks, 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! This must be what emotional hell feels like.
“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 but then her smile disappears.
“Well, that certainly explains why you’ve had such a bad case of morning sickness
lately. Or sickness, since you have it at any time of day.”
It’s true, I’ve been throwing u
p 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 Grac
ie! 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 whack! “Gracie?” 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.
Everything.” 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 because I all I want to do is throw up again.
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.
But still. I’m so young.
“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, knees wobbly about to give way and snatch my purse up, slipping the stick, test thing into the side pocket.
For some reason, I feel compelled to keeping the s
tick, 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. When we get to the car a wave of nausea hits me and I lose it right next to her car door. Shit! I look at her and she shrugs.
“Come on Gracie, I’ll get you home and you feign sick.”
“I am sick, Meg. I can’t fake the flu. My mom will make me go to the doctor and then they’ll probably be able to tell something more is going on.” Once I’m at home, I stay in my room the rest of the day until I have to leave.
The next day at school
, I try and keep a strong hold on my emotions, but I am in a zone. 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 jo. People are so superficial, it’s ridiculous. But quite frankly, I don’t give a shit if they have a problem with me. It’s just one less person I have to pretend to like. Most of these kids here come from pretty rich families, whether it was their parents or their parent’s parents. Lucky them, they were brought into money. They probably never had to struggle, considering some of the clothes they wear and cars they drive.
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 that stands out quite nicely, like that of a contemporary or modern house, a 2 car garage in the front with 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms; a beautiful and welcoming home. 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. I got rid of that though and settled for a regular day bed. My window is cool because they are bay windows, where I keep pillows for decoration. The living room has bay windows as well. 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 use to let Tyler sleep with them and I shared the room with his clothes and toys. 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 grasps my waist. I can smell his fresh scent of cologne, a bitter citrus with aromatic scents of a unique floral and ocean scents that remind me of a cool fresh smell. I really like this scent; it’s what has always attracted me to him. I turn around and swallow my guilt, fear and I smile. Could my smile be more fake? I hug him back and take in another breath, but my gut is wrenching. “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 swiftly wrap my hair to one 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 can’t do this, I can’t Meg.” 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. We’re both silent.
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 tro
uble remembering my last period? But I think it would put me at being due by the time I graduate in June, or sooner. Who knows? I need to see a doctor.