Authors: Alex Apostol
© 2012 by Alexandra
Ian Hernandez and Alexandra Sands
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Any places or
characters resembling real people or places are purely coincidence.
my mom and dad. Thanks for always believing in me and pushing me to accomplish
my dreams. I love you both.
Table of Contents
My life used to
be normal, but now? Normal doesn’t even register with me anymore. I drove down
the open road using every feeling I had in my body to guide me to where he’d
been taken to. I didn’t care how long it took or how hard the hunt would be. I
would find the one I love and bring him back.
possibly be fading or have something more to gain. I could feel myself growing
colder. I could feel myself under your fate.”
The nine months after
graduation had been absolute hell for me, but through that hell came my true
purpose. My life used to make sense. I completed high school with honors and
was accepted into one of Indiana’s best universities to study journalism. I wouldn’t
have been leaving my home state, but at least I would leave my home town. Opening
the door to the run down motel room, staring at the stained crème carpet, I
wished I could go back to the supposed hard times I was going through when I
was eighteen. I had no idea then how good I really had it. With the years that
had passed since then, it all seemed so easy. There were so many things I would
have done differently if I had the knowledge I had now. But one thing I’ve
learned through the true hell I was going through now is that I cannot live in
the past. If I did, the grief of the awful events of my life would drive me to
literal insanity. But there was nothing wrong with remembering when life was
simple; when I was happy. Though I could not live in the past, I also could not
forget. The memories of the people whom I loved and were most important to me
were the ones that kept me going, kept me on track with my mission. Remembering
my hometown and the better times of my life, I smiled and set my bags down on
the squeaky, hard mattress of the used twin bed.
I’d lived in the
same house my whole life in a town called Valparaiso. Believe me, it wasn’t
paradise as the name suggests, but it was a decent place to grow up. Even
though I went to a high school with a senior class of about seven hundred, that
didn’t guarantee me to have the best social skills. I mostly kept to myself
besides my best friend, Cara. I never took an interest in my schoolwork either.
Instead of doing my biology homework, I would shut myself in my room all night
and read, and instead of taking notes during class I would write Cara notes
about everything that was on my mind. The only class I ever took seriously
wasn’t really even a class at all. It was the last period of the day when I got
to work on the high school’s newspaper. I wasn’t on the fast track to any
prestigious Ivy League schools, by far, but I had good enough grades to study
down state and follow my passion for writing. A few weeks after graduation,
though, I fell ill. At first I thought I had the flu, but after two weeks of
feeling nauseous and spending hours in the bathroom, I knew something was
As I waited for
the test to show either one line or a plus sign in the grocery store bathroom,
I thought of everything I would lose if I was actually pregnant. I wanted to
travel the world and experience different cultures. I wanted to write about
everything I saw. Hell, I wanted to experience my first time on my own at
college. If I had a baby, none of that would be possible. I would have to stay
home, get a job, and try not to screw up raising another human being. Thinking
about the responsibilities I could have to face made my stomach twist into a
million tightly wound knots.
I stopped pacing
past the bathroom stalls and sat on the edge of the sink to consider my
options. This was a different time than when my parents grew up. I could still
have the life I had always dreamed of. I was young and smart, so maybe getting
rid of it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Why should I have to give up everything
I worked so hard for because of one mistake? And what about Rob?
Rob had been my
boyfriend for the past year. He was also the first boyfriend I’d ever had. We
met at the beginning of Senior year in photography class. I made sure to sit at
the table with the fewest kids I knew in order to ensure minimal chit chat. I
didn’t want to be bothered while I read during downtime. Before the teacher
gave out the first assignment she took everyone into the darkroom to
demonstrate how to use the chemicals and equipment. It took several minutes for
my eyes to adjust to the low lighting of the red bulbs, but once they did I
noticed someone staring at me. I had never seen him before, but with a class as
large as this one that wasn’t entirely uncommon. He was taller than most of the
kids around and very cute. I had never been good at interacting with boys. As
he looked my way from the corner of his eye and smiled, I felt my face burn
with embarrassment. I lowered my head and let my long wavy brown hair hide my
As I worked up
the courage to meet his gaze, I stared absently at his jeans, which were
tighter than most, excluding the group of spiky black-haired kids who I always
suspected liked to shop in the junior girl’s department for their pants. The
jeans showed off his lean figure while he leaned back and rested his elbows on
the high countertop. Once the demonstrations, which I hadn’t heard a word of,
were over the first assignment was handed out. The bell rang and everyone
rushed into the hallways.
“Hey,” I heard a
deep voice greet me as I rushed to my locker upstairs. When I looked over to
respond, I saw the gorgeous boy from the dark room smiling at me. “I’m Rob.”
I smiled back,
dumbstruck and muttered my name as I set my books down on the floor and tried
to remember my locker combination.
“So was there
any particular reason you were staring at my crotch back in class or were you
just enjoying the view?” he asked as he ran one of his hands through his
tousled brown hair.
He shot me a
wide grin as he watched my face turn from pale ivory to bright red. His teeth
were perfectly straight and white as a movie star’s. And just like that, I was
My watch beeped,
letting me know time was up. I reached for the test. I could see my hand
shaking as I gripped the plastic stick. Everything I thought about before was
washed away when I saw the results. I put the test down on the counter again and
looked at myself in the water speckled mirror. I was going to be a mother. The
first thing I decided to do was tell Rob the news.
I got into my
dad’s old pickup truck and slammed the squeaky door closed. My dad had let me
borrow his truck for the first time ever, which was actually a really big deal.
He loved that Chevy as though it were a member of our family. For years he
spent most of his spare time rebuilding it and today he trusted me enough to let
me drive it. Knowing I wouldn’t be trusted like that ever again by my parents
made my eyes sting, but it wasn’t time for tears just yet.
I paused before
ringing the doorbell. There was no telling how Rob would react once he realized
he was going to be a dad, but I had to be prepared for anything. I pushed in
the lit up button, causing the whole house to fill with the melody of antique
“Hey, babe. Come
on in,” Rob answered.
He took no note
of the grief in my voice as I responded back. I decided it was best not to
prolong the conversation and just dive right in. As soon as I stopped talking
Rob’s face fell and he was quiet. He stared at me, running his hands through
his hair repeatedly causing it to fall back into his dark brown eyes as he
paced the entryway.
can keep me and give up the baby, or you can keep the baby and give up me,” he
said with panic overtaking his usually calm and cool demeanor.
The decision was
easy. Rob was my first boyfriend and he meant the world to me. I kissed him on
his soft lips. As he held me against his warm body I looked up into his
beautiful, dark eyes. He really was too handsome for this small town. I knew he
was going to do great things some day and everyone would know his name.
I turned for the
door and didn’t look back. I was going to miss him. We had shared so much
together over the past year. On the drive home I rehearsed how I would tell my
parents their only daughter wasn’t going to be the first in the family to
graduate from college. Nothing I said to them was going to make it any easier
to hear. I turned the truck engine off and sat for a minute in the driveway
while I collected my thoughts. The best thing to do was to be direct about what
I wanted. After all, I was an adult now and the decision was mine to make. I
heaved a sigh as I got out of the truck and made my way to the front door.
When I walked in,
I noticed how quiet it was. Every night after dinner, my mom liked to sit in
her pajamas on the bed and read through the stacks of magazines she subscribed
to. I stood in the entryway, picturing her brushing her beautiful shoulder
length blonde hair, wishing she had the smooth vibrant skin of Charlize Theron.
My dad was most likely in his study reading on our old brown leather couch.
When I was younger I used to read next to him every night in the book-filled
room. Whenever he wasn’t paying attention I would look up at him and try to
count the speckles of gray hidden within his curly, dark hair.
“Mom, Dad, can I
talk to you in the living room?” I echoed through the house.
surely, both my parents made their way to me with confused looks. I had never
called a family meeting before, and I hoped I would never have to again. When
the word pregnant escaped my lips, everything else I said was irrelevant. My
parents just stared ahead into space as we sat across from each other. Once the
information was processed, tears streamed down my mother’s face. My dad took
off his glasses and rubbed in between his eyes with his thumb and index finger.
I told them my plan to have the baby and raise it on my own. Without saying
anything, they both sighed and looked at each other with disappointment in
Weeks went by
and my parents didn’t talk to me or look at me. As I sat at the kitchen table
across from my mom, I ate her homemade chicken soup and tried to build the
courage to break the silence. Something had to be said. I couldn’t take it
“If you don’t
want me to live with you and dad anymore, I would understand,” I said,
continuing to stare into my bowl. “I know you both must hate me for what I’ve
My mom looked up
at me with her soft blue eyes and smiled. She rested her hand on top of mine.