"There's a mistake," I stammered. "Do it again."
Maybe she had a lot of practice, maybe she was a bitch without sympathy or empathy for such a life altering occasion or maybe she just was.....but she pulled a stick out of her pocket, dipped it in the cup still filled with my pee and then rested the stick on the counter atop of a paper towel which she gently placed under it. She glanced at her watch and about 10 seconds before the time was up, she picked up the stick without looking at me once and put it in my lap. I watched that blue line crawl across the piss soaked pad and form that very obvious blue cross.
The farther that line crawled, the more the blood drained from my brain. I felt like I was having an out of body experience and that I was watching all of this from somewhere else.
She put her hand on mine and patted me and then turned and walked out of the room. I never heard the door close.
What I did hear was the pulse of my brain trying to wrap itself around the notion that I was pregnant. Questions flooded my mind. How? When? Why? I don't know how long I sat there until the physician came in. She was much more emotionally gentle than that punative, condescending, bitch of a nurse. I recall the gentle facial lines of the Dr as she sat very close to me and held my hand. She spoke softly and tenderly. She dabbed the tears that were spilling into my lap. i believe that she also stroked my hair a few times. She wore a perfume that was sweet and nauseating. What words she said escaped me. Due date. Prenatal care. Pregnancy counseling. Father of the baby. Adoption. Future. Parenthood. Where those words that she was saying to me? All I could focus on where the questions running through my mind and how I wanted to flee somewhere far away.
I left the health center in a daze with a pamplet in my hand titled, 'So You're Going to Have a Baby.' I must have gone to my car because I remember being in the car just sitting there looking at the paper pamphlet on the passenger's seat. It was sitting there, screaming at the sound of speed. I didn't return to the dorm but instead drove straight back to the bouncer's apartment. He saw the car pull up into the parking space and opened the door. I took one look at his face and he reached out to touch my face as he said, "You're pregnant, aren't you?" And when I bit my lip and my eyes filled with tears, he pulled me to him in an embrace as I sobbed into his chest with a muffled yes. Typing this now brings tears to my eyes as I feel the emotions of that moment in time stir up within my chest.
We didn't speak for about 10 minutes. I just cried and he held me. I don't remember who spoke first but I know that the next few minutes were filled with a roller coaster of ideas, opinions and emotions. He also asked the same questions that I didn't have an answer to. Then, he turned my chin upward, looked straight into my eyes and said with full conviction, "Well, I know what I want."
"I don't know what I want," I choked back. "I need some time to process all this."
I could detect the hurt on his face. His expression communicated, "how in the world can you even ask what we need to do?" I know he must have felt kicked in the gut with the realization that I wasn't as immediately sure as he was. I was sorry to have hurt him and even though I was sure of my love for him, I wasn't sure of what I felt about the pregnancy or the future and how it related to the pregnancy.
"I want to move the wedding up," he stated.
I could only respond with what had to have been a deafening silence. Again, he tilted my chin toward him and I choked through my tears. "I don't know. Please give me some time," was all I could manage. I really needed to sort all this out in my head. I was looking at my future filleted bare before me like a fish that had just been gutted.
"I love you. I want to move the wedding up. I want to have this baby. I want us to be together. I want to spend the rest of my life with you." I could hear these things rattling off his tongue with full conviction. I felt like I was dangling from a rope high above a bottomless pit. I needed to figure out what I wanted and only then would we be able to make a decision about the future. Sort. Sort. Sort.
The hour passed and he needed to go to work. There were not many words shared during that time. I needed to return to campus. I had a lot to digest. I needed some food. I couldn't tell if the nausea was nerves or hormones. Whatever it was, I needed to eat or I was going to be sick. He kissed me goodbye and I stunned him again with my request.
"Please don't contact me for 3 days," I said.
The hurt on his face was obvious. "Why?" he pleaded.
"Because I have a lot to think about and I can't do it if you're emotionally in the middle of my thoughts. You have a lot to think about too and you can't do it if I'm in the middle of the questions that you need answers to." I saw the further sting of hurt on his face. "I'll call you in a few days," I said as I closed the door.
I doubt if he ever heard the door close.