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Authors: Brie Paisley

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BOOK: Temptation
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“You’ve nothing to worry about. I think once your parents see that I’m willing to do the right thing by you and our baby, they’ll agree and give us their blessing.”

I hope Malcolm is right. I still haven’t really talked or seen dad much since mom told him. I want to think mom and dad will agree to this choice and I hope they believe we can make it. I know I could really use them in my corner, because I can already tell Malcolm’s mother isn’t going to like this choice like she’s pretending to. I mean this woman hates my guts, and I know she’ll only cause more problems mainly for me down the road.

I grab Malcolm’s hand and we both look at each other. I don’t dare say what I’m thinking. I’m scared shitless of the future.

 

“I think that’s the last of it,” I tell Malcolm as he brings in the last box of my things into our new home. Granted it’s not ours, and it’s his parent’s guest house, but at least we have somewhere to stay. I don’t think either one of our parents would’ve liked us moving in under their roof.

My parents took our news of getting married better than I thought they would. Dad seemed saddened that I wanted to move out, but said he understood. I needed a place to start our new family with and he and mom supported us. It’s still strange not living with my parents. I still half expect to see mom in the kitchen or dad on the couch drinking a beer and watching sports. I’ve come to realize that getting older isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.

“Ava? Are you alright?”

“Yeah, just thinking.”

 

“You know, it’s not too late to change your mind. I know this is a huge change and we’re both really young. We can pack up your things and take it back to your parents if you want. Just say the word. I don’t want you to feel pressured to move in with me. I just thought since we have a kid on the way we should, I don’t know, spend more time together and try to make this work.”

I walk over to Malcolm and I take his hand. I look up at him and I tell him, “I’m not going to change my mind. I think this is probably for the best. I know we’re young and things will be hard, but you’re right. We do need a place together for us. For our family. It’s just strange not being at my parent’s home anymore. I’m just adjusting. It’ll take time for me to get used to all this.”

He leans down and gives me a light peck on my lips. His sky blue eyes meet my dark eyes and for a moment, he takes my breath away. He smiles and goes back to the boxes he unloaded and brings more into the house. I touch my lips with my fingers thinking about his sweet and innocent kiss. If I’m being honest with myself, there was no fire or sparks in that kiss. His touch doesn’t set my body on fire or makes me come alive. But then again, all those things are said in books. I highly doubt things like that actually happen. But for some reason, there’s a small voice telling me he’s doing all this for the wrong reasons. I try not to dwell on that voice and all my insecurities. I have to start trusting Malcolm. He said he’s in this with me and asked me to marry him so surely he means what he says?

I take a deep breath and push that stupid voice away. I walk into the small guest house and I start to unpack my boxes. I’m kind of glad we didn’t have to get furniture or kitchen items. Guess I lucked out with Malcolm’s parents having this place fully furnished. The guest house is very nice although I really don’t care for the blue walls. But I’m not one to be picky. The furniture is top of the line, as are all the other household things. It’s pretty much like a normal old guest house. I think Tina wanted her house to look so spectacular she didn’t bother to use the same tastes on this one.

“Want to order pizza and rent a movie tonight?”

“Yeah, sure,” I say as I finish taking out the last of my things out of the box. One down, a shit ton more to go. “Hey, Malcolm?”

“Yeah?”

“Is there a certain place you want me to put my things?”

“Just wherever you want is fine. I’m going to get the pizza and movie. I’ll be back later,” Malcolm says and leaves. No kiss goodbye or hug. He just left. Maybe we are rushing this. Or maybe he’s just as nervous about this as I am. Whatever the reason, I decide that I won’t worry with it. I’ll just let things happen the way they are meant to.

Four months later

 

Today’s the day. The day I graduate and will be finished with high school. The last day I’ll have to listen to other people snicker about me at the lockers. The last time I’ll have to look at my teachers knowing what they think of me. But most of all, it’s the last day I’ll have to see any of these assholes ever again. Most will go straight to college, while others will just move away and for that, I’m grateful. I don’t know if I can handle anymore jokes, or rude comments. I’m six months pregnant now, so everyone can see my mistake. I know I shouldn’t think of it that way, but the way people have started treating me, makes me hate what I did. One mistake, one choice, can ruin your whole life. Even my so-called friend Casey treats me like shit. I still don’t understand it, why all my peers point at me and call me horrible names. I don’t know which is worse: being called a whore to my face or all the terrible rumors of what happened that night. Funny, how not one of my classmates gave me a second glance until after my argument with Casey. I stare off into space as I remember the past like it just happened.

I was at my locker getting my books for the next period when she came up to me.

“So, did Malcolm dump you?”

I slam my locker and I just stare at her. I don’t know what I ever did to piss her off, but she needs to ask me before she started assuming anything. Ever since I told her I was pregnant she’s been hateful and blatantly rude to me. I don’t understand why she’s being this way. It started the very next day after I’d taken two pregnancy tests.

“Well? Did he or not? You’re having an abortion right?”

“No, Casey, I’m not having an abortion. And no Malcolm didn’t break up with me. In fact,” I lift my left hand up and I show her the engagement ring. Casey’s face went from being happy about my problems to looking at me with disgust and hatred.

“I see.”

“What’s your problem? I thought you’d be happy for me.”

“Why would I be happy for you?” Her words are spoken with so much distain that I step back away from her. “You know what I don’t understand, is how Malcolm can’t see this as it really is. You’re no-one. Little miss goody two shoes, who never does anything wrong. When I first saw you sitting alone at the cafeteria, I felt sorry for you. And then, you go and get yourself knocked up and trap poor Malcolm. You do know he’s only marrying you because he feels sorry for you!”

Casey’s harsh words hit me like she’s throwing stones at me. Tears threaten to come and I try as hard as I can to keep them at bay. I refuse to cry in front of her. “Awe, is poor little Ava going to cry now? God, you’re so pathetic. Mark my words, Malcolm will come to his senses one day and then you’ll be all alone just like before.”

Casey shoulders past me knocking me into the lockers. I don’t know what the hell just happened. I thought Casey was my friend. She wasn’t always nice to me or acted like a friend should, but she was the only one I did anything with. How could she do this to me? That’s when the rumors started, and it seemed everyone knew I was pregnant the very next day. I didn’t want to think Casey was the one starting them, but deep down I know she’s the reason I felt like such an outcast after that day. I can’t help but recall all the hateful words or how Casey’s new friends would knock my books out of my hand. How no one would dare sit next to me in the cafeteria. I was utterly alone.

“Ava? Honey are you ready to go?” Mom’s voice pulls me out of my painful memories. The last thing I want to do is remember how awful my senior year has been. We walk into the gym and everyone’s already seated in the bleachers. There’re chairs lined up all across the gym floor with my classmates all dressed in their cap and gowns. I give mom a hug and I cross the gym floor to take a seat with my classmates. I ignore the looks and the laughing. I tell myself, this is it. This is the last time you have to hear any of it. Once this day is over, I don’t have to endure this torture any longer.

I try to find Malcolm in the stands, hoping he’s coming today. Things between us haven’t been easy. Malcolm has been staying out more and more, and most nights he doesn’t even come home to me. I never ask him where he goes or what he does. I’m too afraid of what the answer might be. Then the days he’s home, we fight and argue about the smallest of things. I’m just glad I still have my job at the ballet studio. I don’t get to teach classes anymore, since I’m as big as a house, but Mrs. Myrah was kind enough to let me take over the secretary work. I’ve known Mrs. Myrah since I was a child and started taking lessons there. I thought maybe one day I could become part owner with her, but now I doubt that would ever happen.

I give up on trying to find Malcolm in the bleachers and relax in my seat wishing, this day would hurry up and end. I know my parents are very proud of me for finishing school, even if there were tons of days I just wanted to drop out and quit. That would’ve been the easy way out and if I’ve learned anything from my parents, it’s that quitting is never the easy way. Even if it was hard on me, I stuck it out and all that hard work will pay off in the end. I just know it will. I’ve been looking into going to college, even if it’s all online. Anything to help me stay occupied.

Soon I hear the principal start talking and I tune him out. I don’t hear a word anyone says during the entire ceremony. When they call my name to receive my diploma, the girl behind me taps on my shoulder to let me know they are waiting on me. I feel my face heat and I’m aware that everyone can see the embarrassment on my face. Not only am I the pregnant girl, but now I’m the girl who doesn’t pay attention during her own graduation. I make my way up onto the platform to get my diploma and I wish I opted out of walking with the rest of my class. Pretty much the whole town is here and the entire gym goes quiet as they see me. You can hear the crickets chirping or hear a pen drop it’s so quiet. This is the worst feeling I’ve had since finding out I was pregnant. Knowing that every single person in this gym is looking at me, or more of my very pregnant belly, almost makes me run out of the gym. I quickly take my diploma and walk off the stage as fast as I can, back to my seat.

I drop my head hoping and praying that no one is still looking at me. Being a ballet dancer and preforming in front of people was no problem for me. But this, the judgement in their eyes, it’s something I don’t think anyone could get used to. And worse of all, I know the whole town looks at my parents this way too. As if it’s their fault I got pregnant. Malcolm’s parents of course haven’t felt any of this embarrassment. All they have to do is threaten not to give any more money to the community or to help with any town projects and they leave them alone. Makes things seem even more unfair. Why is it that I’m the one getting all this unwanted attention? It’s not like I knocked up myself! People seem to overlook that little detail. Especially when they can see my belly and what I’ll be bringing home with me in a few months.

Finally, the ceremony is over. I quickly get up and go in search of my parents. People are everywhere. It takes me longer than I expect to find mom and dad. I don’t even participate when everyone takes off their caps and tosses them into the air. I just want to get out of here. I want to put this past year behind me and never look back.

I see mom waving at me and I smile secretly thanking her. Mom has been so supportive since I told her my decision to keep the baby. She goes to every one of my doctor’s appointments when Malcolm forgets about them. I don’t think there has been one day that she hasn’t called and asked me how I was doing. Even dad has been super supportive. But that’s just my parents. They have always been there for me and I love them all the more for it.

I walk up to mom and she instantly pulls me into a tight hug. Dad kisses my forehead and I can see how proud they are of me in their eyes. Mom looks like she has been crying a bit.

“Oh, honey, I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe my baby just graduated.”

BOOK: Temptation
3.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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