Cherry Moone: Mooneshadows: Chapter 9: "Zero" (starter)

I feigned sleep the entire trip to Reardan; only because I didn’t want to talk to either of them. Alex dropped me off at Christy’s house and I shambled down the stairs to the basement of the house. Christy opened the door and we rushed to her room.

“I picked one up.”
“Seriously?”
“Yep. I really didn’t want to. It’s like mental torture. I want to know but you know, I really don’t want to know.”
I opened my bag and tossed the box to Christy.
“Okay, let’s say you are. Are you going to tell Josh?”
“Hell no.”
“Your mom?”
“Double Hell to the no.”
“Will you at least tell me?”
I nodded—at least Christy wouldn’t scream at me or say that I did something stupid…even though it wasn’t like it was MY fault.

Christy opened the box to reveal a multi-folded poster-like manual and the wrapped test.
“It’s a frickin’ book,” she said as she unfolded and flipped through it.
“Five minutes, right?” I asked as I picked up the wrapped package.
“Yeah, it says do the thing on the thingy and in five minutes, mommy detector.”
“Not helping."

I went into the bathroom and closed the door.
“His mother is going to freak if she finds out.”
“I thought that too,” I said as I did what needed to be done for the magic to occur. “She’s the last one on my last of people who need to know.”
“Do I see a shotgun wedding in your future?”
“The hell you don’t!”
“She’ll make the two of you take parenting classes. Oh my God, could you see him in a Lamaze class?”
“Nope, because she’s never going to know.” I replied as I placed the test on the edge of the sink, knowing fully well where it had just been and feeling a little queasy because of it...the counter was so nice and clean.
I opened the bathroom door, stepped into the hallway and into Christy’s room.

“Whatever that says, it’s lying.”
“If it says yes or no?”
“If its says yes, it’s lying. If it says no, it is the greatest creation in the history of mankind.”
Christy looked beyond me and into the bathroom, as if she could see the results form there.
“It doesn’t really matter either way.”
“Are you going to get an abortion?”
“Haven’t thought that far ahead,” I whispered.
“I mean, I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t, I-“
I nodded as I sat down on the edge of her bed. “That’s kind of a half truth. I have thought of it.”
“Having one?”
“Nope, not having one....but then I think about my mom doing the single mother hustle and...do I want that shit for my kid?”
“But, Josh?”
“Single mother with two kids then.”
“But you could get help.”
“People will help, a little,” I sighed. “But at the end of the day, it will all be my fault and I’ll have to take care of everything on my own. School and all that. I seriously doubt that I could ever get child care and can you imagine taking a baby to first period anything?”
“Speaking of periods, or-“

“Shut-up,” I replied as Christy got up and walked into the bathroom. “Whatever it says, it’s defective!”

I looked away from the bathroom door. I knew what it would say.

It was going to be positive. What was the point of pretending that it wouldn’t be? While someone else would hold onto the hope that the results would be negative so they could breathe a sigh of relief and then jump with joy that life would merrily roll along like a happy little puppy. My puppy would be the one to take a huge dump on a freshly mowed lawn and then look at me with eyes that said “yeah, bitch, I did that. You just try and clean that up.”

“Well?” I asked.
“It’s lying.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Cherry, you're pregnant.”
“Dammit.”
Christy walked back in with the test. I took it from her and started at it with hatred in my eyes; hoping that I could make it burst into flames under sheer willpower.
“It's okay, Cherry, everyone--“
“No, Christy, it isn't ok. I'm not everyone. I'm thirteen, I have a crappy life so far and now this.”
“How many months are you?”
“I don't know. Not like I keep a little black book of dates.”
“Well, you're gonna need to find out.”
“How?”
Christy went to her desk and sat down. “There’s a clinic in Spokane.”
“Great, when do we steal a car?”
“What?”
“Not like I can ask someone to drive me downtown.”
“Becky could get us a car and we could go tomorrow.”
“With what money?”
“I think it’s free.”
“Even better.”



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This story is 830 words long.