The beginning of April was warmer than expected, and from the quick change of weather Christine was getting a head cold. She could feel it every time she got up in the morning and all throughout the day. She had headaches, as well as body aches, and nausea at any sign of food.
“I think I’m getting some sort of stomach flu,” she confessed to Jon one day at lunch, after pushing away her tray without touching anything she bought. Yes, Christine and Jon were still a couple. She just couldn’t bring herself to break up with him yet, but she knew that when the time came it would present itself. Everyone in school somehow knew that they had sex and were still together, which stunned the people who believed that Christine was only in the relationship for that first time and then she would split. Since Valentine’s Day they hadn’t had sex again which didn’t concern Christine all that much. She got what she wanted and was just waiting for the chance to split. Jon was too busy with finals to even care about sex. While Christine would be attending the local community college in the fall, Jon still had his hopes on being accepted into Harvard and was trying his hardest to keep his grades up.
Still being with Jon had its upsides, though. After school they would go to his house and he would give her a nice long back massage before sitting down to study while she took a nap. A regular school day tired Christine out more than usual, which she contributed to the rest of her cold symptoms. Of course he urged her to go to the doctors, but Christine was convinced that the cold would pass with enough rest and fluids. The more Jon took care of her, the more Christine felt guilty about breaking up with him. That was one reason she kept putting it off. She knew she couldn’t keep stringing him along though, so she decided that she would break it to him the next Saturday when they were on their picnic in the park.
That day was bright and the sun shone through Christine’s window and landed on her face, waking her up. She shielded her eyes from the blinding sun before turning her head to check the time. Since it was closing in on ten o’clock, Christine decided it was time to wake up and get ready for the day. Sitting up slowly, Christine automatically wished she hadn’t as she felt a wave a nausea overcome her. Jumping out of bed, she sprinted to the bathroom and skidded across the floor, falling right in front of the toilet. This was the first time she actually threw up, all the other times her nausea came and went casually.
“Damn stomach flu,” she muttered as she relaxed against the wall after she threw up. It was now, as she gazed lazily under the sink that a thought occurred to her for the first time. Carefully, she leaned forward, snatched the box of tampons that sat under the sink, and began to count on her fingers as she half laughed at her assumptions. It was impossible that she could be pregnant because she would never let that happen, but as she thought back over the last month she realized she couldn’t remember getting her period. She also realized that all her symptoms began at least two weeks after her and Jon had sex. Christine’s heart stopped and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. It couldn’t be true. Getting up as quickly as possible, without throwing up, Christine ran to the phone and dialed Jon’s number.
“Hello?” he answered and Christine’s heart skipped a beat.
“Hey Jon, its Christine. Listen, I need to cancel our plans today,” she said quickly, hoping he wouldn’t ask too many questions.
“Why? Is something wrong?” he asked sounding concerned.
“No, everything’s fine, I just don’t feel real well today and I want to stay home,” it was the best excuse she could come up with, seeing as it was partially true.
“Well, how about I come over and make you some soup?”
“No!” Christine jumped at his idea. She didn’t want to see him today. She just wanted to prove that she wasn’t pregnant, and then her wave of sickness would be over. Christine cleared her throat and tried to make her voice sound calm, “No, it’s okay. I’ll be fine by myself.”
“Are you sure?”
There was a short silence and Christine knew Jon was thinking about coming over anyway. Finally, still sounding unsure of himself, Jon replied, “Well, all right, if you’re sure you’re fine. I’ll talk to you later then, I guess.”
“Okay, good bye,” and she hung up the phone before she could hear his reply.
Christine waited impatiently as the two minutes that she was instructed to wait for her pregnancy results drug by. Buying the pregnancy test was the most embarrassing moment of her life. Even though no one was in the local convenience store, the old woman at the cash register gave Christine a dirty look as she paid for her purchase. Christine was glad that the store was in walking distance because she wasn’t allowed to borrow her mom’s car without permission, and she didn’t want Jon to know about this, not yet. He would only find out if the pregnancy test came out positive, otherwise the scare she would keep to herself. The whole way to the store and back she hoped that she wouldn’t run into anyone she knew, and prayed that Jon didn’t see her. If anyone stopped to ask her she would simply explain she was out getting cold medicine, and that was the story she was sticking to.
Her heart was pounding as the timer she set for two minutes went off. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she picked up the test, counting to three before opening her eyes to look at the result. A little happy face with a friendly smile stared up at her. Christine’s legs gave out and she sank miserably onto the closed toilet seat. Throwing the test across the bathroom, it hit the shower tile and clattered to the bottom of the tub. Pulling her knees close to her chest, she hugged them tightly, buried her face and sobbed. She couldn’t believe what had happened. Now she would have to tell Jon and it would ruin his future. She didn’t care about her own, only about Jon’s because he was actually going somewhere. He had his whole life planned out and Christine had ruined it all with just one night. Thinking it over Christine knew she couldn’t bring herself to tell him, not right away, maybe not ever. She would have to cut off their relationship right away without any explanations. As she thought about her plan she couldn’t help by cry harder. It was the first time that Christine wished she had her mother to talk to.