She wakes to the sound of a cell phone vibrating. Sitting up, she braces for the expected thumping, the brain squeezing pain. She is careful to hold her head as still as she can until the pounding subsides. Slowly opening one sticky eyelid, then the other, she surveys the room for the source of that infernal buzzing.
“Fuck.” She passed out at his place. Again. She was never going to see him again. For real this time. How did she end up here?
She shuffles over to his dresser, and finds her phone among the pocket change and beer caps and empty cigarette packs.
It’s a text from her sister.
“Where are you? Did you tell him? What did he say? You’re not still with him are you? Call me!”
Oh, that’s right. They’d met at Shucker’s last night so she could tell him. She was late. Yes, THAT late. He’d insisted they pick up a box of tests at the CVS on the way back to his place. Funny he wasn’t that goddamn insistent about condoms last month.
Tests. Okay. Focus.
She vaguely recollected peeing on a stick. For the life of her she couldn’t recall the results, though she knew in her gut what they’d be.
Stepping gingerly, quietly around the discarded Levis and Birkenstocks and bottles of Guinness, she makes her way to his bathroom and flips the light switch.
The obviously broken and completely pointless ventilation fan starts up as the one remaining lightbulb flickers on. Lovely, she sighs. She can hear each heart beat through her ears, with each pound inside her cranium. She goes to flips the switch off, but it’s too late. She hears his grumbles and the creaking of bed springs behind her.
She looks around the bathroom as best she can without moving her head. This would be funny, if it wasn’t happening to her. Who am I trying to kid, she thinks, it’s ridiculously funny. Holy Balls. She finds the little white stick with the powder blue cap sitting on top the toilet tank.
Two lines. Double fuck.
“Hey.” His voice comes from her left and she slowly turns her whole body to face him, the tell tale test in her hands.
“My thoughts exactly.” She squeezes past him through the doorway and back to the chaos of his bedroom.
Last night was coming back to her in dribs and drabs. A shot or three of Jack at the bar while she waiting for him to show. Two glasses of Cab while they made small talk and she worked up the nerve to tell him. Then she’d gulped down his Rum & Coke when he’d “excused” himself to the bathroom and she’d been sure he wouldn’t come back. Then… yes, then the two six packs of Guinness they’d killed while waiting for that damn pee stick to do its magic. Neither of them wanted to go back to that bathroom and see.
“Ya know, the box says that the results might change if you let it sit too long…” He’s come out carrying the box, shaking it and they hear that second test rattling around.
“Round two?” She stands and takes the test from him. Looks at it. Looks up at him, into those starry blue eyes.
“Go for it.” He shrugs. He puts his hand on her shoulder and she wants nothing more than to slide into his arms and forget. She wishes there was one beer left. Just one… keg. She smiles. Kidding. Kinda.
She grimaces at that horrible grinding of the fan and closes the door behind her. Pulls down her pink polka dotted cotton panties and sits on the commode. See, everyone, if I had INTENDED to sleep with him, surely I would’ve chosen something else to cover my derriere. She cracks herself up. Yup, she nods, setting off another series of head thumps, still a bit drunk. Business as usual.
She unwraps the new test, closes her eyes, and sticks in between her legs, into the stream, getting a little on her fingers in the process. Now I’m really pissy, she laughs to herself.
After placing the test on the sink countertop, she then finishes her business and washes her hands.
For the first time this day, she looks at her reflection. Smudges of gray from her eyeliner and the flecks of black from her mascara make her look vaguely like Alice Cooper. Her lips are chapped, dry. She’s suddenly aware of how thirsty she is. Where’s that beer when I really need it? Now that her foundation and blush have worn off, the tallow pallor of her complexion is in full effect. Damn, I’m sexy. No wonder he tags and bags. Although that’s not really fair. She’s the one that always bails.
She notes that the pee has crawled its wily way halfway across the indicator window. Moment of truth in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Then light. She marvels that a light this bright doesn’t sting her eyes. Wait, she thinks, my headache is gone. Everything is gone. She just is.
“Love.” The voice is warm on her skin, sweet and rich on her tongue, and it’s colored pink.
“Yourself. Your life. This new life.”
“Wait, what? Where am I?”
“You’ll know. You have all you need.”
“I do. I’m sure.” The clarity washes over her as she absorbs all that light inside herself. She feels herself, feels the cold linoleum beneath her feet, the hard porcelain of the sink as she grasps its sides. She opens her eyes and sees those two blue lines.
He knocks on the door. “Okay in there?”
She opens the door and smiles. “Perfect. We are perfect.”