Lisa dropped me off in front of my house. “You gonna be okay?” she asked. I nodded, afraid that if I opened my mouth, my voice would crack and I'd cry again. “Just try to get some sleep,” she said before driving away.
Mom was sitting on the couch reading a book when I walked in. Before she could stop me, I dashed up the stairs, closed my door, locked it, and crashed bellyfirst onto my bed. This was pretty much the worst, most humiliating day of my life and the last thing I needed was to have her interrogating me about this or that.
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Last night I found out I was pregnant. I used one of those pee-in-a-stick tests while I was over at Lisa's. And this morning I had the brilliant idea to show up at Sam's place to tell him about it. Lisa waited in the car while Sam stared me down like I was a total freak and said, “I didn't even want to hook up with you. You deal with it.”
As if that weren't bad enough, that total narcissist Keri Girrow came out of his house a second later and asked if I was there to deliver the paper. So I guess Keri's his official girlfriend now. She's even invited over to his house!
Anyway, by now, even Keri knows that I'm pregnant, which means it'll be all over Newton High tomorrow, so now everyone will think I'm a pathetic pregnant loser. That's because, of course, I couldn't just keep my big mouth shut and gone to Planned Parenthood without anyone ever suspecting a thing. No! I had to share it with him. What did I expect, that he was going to say he loved me all of a sudden?
Technically, Sam had never been my boyfriend or anything, even though I've been totally obsessed with him since freshman year. Ever since I bumped into him on my way out of World Civ, and caught a glimpse of perfection: His silky black hair falls over his blue eyes, his dimples are so deep you could swim in them, and the way he glides across the room is sheer magic.
And he also smells like like cloves and eucalyptus – and I'm not even talking about perfume. This is his natural scent. As you can imagine, I'm not the only one who is into Sam, but I'm probably the only girl dumb enough to think that just because I can no longer call myself a virgin because of him, that he would develop some kind of feelings for me.
Yeah, right. And as I mulled this over, my eyes welled up again. And pretty soon, the dam cracked open. Sobs turned into wheezes, and wheezes turned into sighs.
I guess I must have cried myself out, because eventually I fell asleep, and dreamed that I was stuck on top of a mountain in the middle of the night. It must have been night, because it was dark where I stood. But only there. Elsewhere, a sunny road encircled the mountain, and guess who whizzed past in a red BMW? Sam and Keri. She was nibbling his ear and he had his arm around her shoulder, and they kept on circling the mountain again and again, like in those roundabouts in British sitcoms. I was so enraged I wanted to grind them into a pulp, but try as I might, I couldn't budge from my spot. So I just had to stand there and take it.
But at some point the mountain started shaking, and I woke up. As I awoke, I heard knocking on the door.“Just a sec,” I said, as I loosened my sweatshirt and went to get the door.
I opened it, and on the other side stood mom. She held out a plate with a blueberry muffin on it. “Wanna talk about it?” she said.
“Not really,”I answered. I took the muffin, but after one bite, I set it back down on the plate. I could hardly swallow it; it tasted like carpet.
“That bad, eh?” she said.
“It's good,” I said. “I'm just not hungry.”
She set the plate down on top of the landing and looked at me. I couldn't help myself and sighed.
“Why don't we go downstairs,” she said. “We can watch any Drew Barrymore movie you want.”
Since I knew it would be more trouble to refuse, I let her drag me downstairs, and took a seat at the edge of the L in our L-shaped couch.
The second I sat down, the interrogation started.
“How was your sleepover?” she asked.
“Fine,” I answered. “I'm not really in the mood for a romantic comedy, though. How about we download Texas Chainsaw Massacre?”
“Ugh! Since when do you like bloody fests?”she asked.
“Since now,” I said, in all seriousness.
She took a seat on the cofee table in front of me. “All right, what happened?”
“Nothing,” I said, “let's just watch a movie.”
“Yasmin, what's going on?” She never calls me Yasmin. I'm just Yase.
“I told you,” I said. “I'm fine.”
“Well, you don't look it,” she said.
“Thanks,” I said.
“That's not what I meant,” she went. “And you know it.”
I shrugged, too tired to do anything else.
“I just want you to know that whatever it is, you can tell me. I promise I will just listen,” she said.
I looked up at her momentarily. “Really?”I said.
“Promise you won't make me feel worse than I already do?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
I don't know what came over me because I actually wanted to talk. But still, I asked, “You're not going to judge me?”
She laughed at that. “Well, that depends. You didn't kill anyone, did you?”
I eyed with a look that obviously meant, “no.”
“Then I'm all ears,” she said.
So I came out with it. “I'm pregnant,” I said, meeting her eyes.
At first I didn't know if she heard me or not, because her expression didn't change. Only her mouth opened wider, making her look a little, well, stupid. She said nothing.
“Mom?” I went on.
Slowly, she straightened her back. “I heard you,”she said. “How do you know?”
“Well, I took one of those pee tests and –”
“Urine,” she corrected. “You took a urine test. And?”
I looked down at my flip-flops. “You know, two pink lines appeared.”
“When did this happen?”
“The test?” I asked.
She stared back at me.
I re-focused on my flip-flops. “Last night,” I said.
“Why didn't you tell me you were...you are having sex!” she marvelled, as if the thought had just occurred to her that a seventeen-year-old could possibly have sex.
“Mom! You promised not to give me a hard time,” I said.
She looked at me all indignantly then. “I thought we had agreed that you'd tell me before -”
“Well, sorry. I guess I just didn't think to call you in the middle of the party,” I said.
“You had sex at a party!” she went. “With whom?”
“Someone who can't stand the sight of me, that's who,” I said. “But don't worry, it only happened once, and it'll never happen again, as he's made it so abundantly clear.”
“Who is it?” she pressed on.
“It doesn't matter,” I said.
“Oh, really? He gets you pregnant and it doesn't matter. Tell me who it is. Let me talk to him!”
“No! You're not going to talk to him, alright!” I hollered. “I practically threw myself at him, okay? He didn't even want to...”
She grew silent at first, but after a while she glared at me and mumbled, “Sam?”
Slowly, I nodded.
“Why, Yasmin?” she said. “The only time that boy ever paid any attention to you is when you offered to wash his car.”
Oh god. I'd forgotten about that. “Pretty pathetic, eh?” I said.
“Yes, Yasmin. But not for the reason you think,” she said.
What then? I raised my eyebrows.
She shot me a puzzled look. “What's sad is that you don't see yourself,” she said. “Because I don't get it. How you don't see that any boy should be so lucky to win your love.”
“But Sam's so...perfect,” I said.
She waved that thought away with a dismissive gesture. “Tsk. He's only as perfect as you make him,” she said. “And that is all..”
“I don't know... I guess I've just liked him for so long...”
“Get up,” she said.
“What,” I said.
“Get up!,” she insisted.
I stood up.
“Come over here,” she went. She led me in front of the living room mirror.
“Mom...” I protested.
“Look at yourself,” she said.
“Really, Mom -”
“Look at yourself,” she repeated.
She tilted my face to fully face the the mirror. It was weird. It was awkward. But after a while I saw myself and the mirror didn't upset me. “So, okay, I'm no so bad,” I said. “I deserve better.” I had to laugh. “Feel better, mom?”
“Do you?” she said, smiling.
Slowly, I nodded.
We sat down on the couch and I turned to look at the window. Streaks of red and orange lit up the horizon. As I watched, their luminance glazed the horizon line.