“What’s wrong?” Jen frowns at Beth.
“I think I’m in trouble.” Beth replies.
“Well hurry up, I don’t have all day.” Jen pulls off her nightie and chucks it on the bed near where Beth is seated. “Gotta get to work.”
“Jen, I think I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant! What? Who? Oh. You been running around with that boy next door huh. Shit Beth. Why weren’t you careful?”
“We were. I don’t know how this happened.”
“When was your last period?”
“About seven weeks ago.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were fucking around eh? I could of helped make sure this didn’t happen.”
“I’m sorry. I was scared. I’m fifteen Jen, what am I supposed to do?”
“Well we can’t afford another mouth to feed Beth, I’ve had to stretch everything since you got here. Shit. Six months and you’re already bloody pregnant. You’re going to have to call Mum”
“No! Jen. She’ll lose it. You know she’s been crazy since she got in with those Seventh Day Adventist’s. That was part of the reason I had to get out of there. She’ll show up here and try and make me marry him or something.”
“Well I can’t look after you and a baby, maybe you should marry him.”
“Jen, please. I have nowhere else to go.”
“Look I gotta go, we can talk later. There’s a couple of tests in my bedside table. Make sure you are before you call Mum. But if you are, I’m sorry Sis you have to go.” Jen leaves the room and Beth crumples into a pile on the floor. What the hell have I done? I’m so stupid. Tears tumble gently down her cheeks. Suck it up Beth. Just do the bloody test first. She reaches over and opens the draw, she fishes out a box that has a few in and picks one out. She reads the instructions and goes to the bathroom. Beth removes the cap, pee’s on the stick and puts the cap back on. She checks the time on her watch. Okay, two minutes. I’ll know in two minutes. Two minutes stretches into two million as she sits on the loo waiting.
“Aunty” Noah’s voice pipes through the door. “Jim won’t stop copying what I say.”
“Aunty” Jim’s voice now, “Jim won’t stop copying what I say.”
“Bugger off, let me have some peace.”
“Bugger off, let me have some peace.” Jim echoes as he runs off down the hallway. Beth checks her watch. It’s time. She turns over the stick to look at the results panel. Two lines. One line means the test worked and your not pregnant. Two lines means pregnant. Two lines means completely and utterly fucked. The white walls of the bathroom close in around Beth and she struggles to breathe. Two lines. The floodgates open and tears pour down her face, dripping off her nose and running through her fingers. I’m fifteen. I’m fucked.
“Aunty, are you okay?” Noah asks through the door. Beth realises she’s been sobbing loudly. Wailing might even be a better descriptor.
“Yup, I’ll be out soon.” Beth pushes herself off the floor. How did I get down here? Pulls herself up by the vanity and looks in the mirror. Red. Everything is red. My face is red. My eyes are red. My lips are red and swollen and trembling. She splashes her face with cool water and walks out of the bathroom. I’m fine. Everything is going to be fine. I can sort this out. I’ll be okay. Jen will come around. We’ll just put another crib in my room and it’ll be me, Lena and the baby. I can quit school and get a job. I’ll help with the money. The phone ringing breaks Beth’s train of thought.
“Did you do the test?” Jen is on the line.
“Shit. Okay. It’s time to call Mum.”
“I can’t look after another baby.”
“I’ll help out, I promise I will.”
“Look my cunt of a husband up and left. I’m sorry but I can’t deal with your problems. I have enough of my own.”
“I’m sorry.” The line goes dead. The phone slides from Beth’s fingers as she slides to the floor. Her body shakes violently, she gasps for breath and crumples more into herself. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Can’t breathe. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I’m going to die. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I’m just going to lie here and die.
“Beth” George’s arms wrap around her and he lifts her easily and places her on the couch. “Are you okay? Noah just came over freaking out.” What am I supposed to tell him? He won’t want me anymore. He won’t love me anymore. I’ve ruined everything. These last two months have been the best in my life. He completes me. Look at the way he’s looking at me, he loves me, he must.
“Hey.” She smiles up at him.
“Hey you.” Relief softens his brow.
“I have to tell you something.”
“You’re not going to like it.”
“What is it?” his brows burrow.
“Yeah, shit” She looks up at him with worry imprinted on her face. “I’m sorry.”
“Beth this is my fault too.” He strokes her hair.
“Jen’s going to kick me out.”
“It’s okay, my family look out for whanau.”
“Says she can’t afford me and a baby.”
“It’s okay, I’m working, I can look after you.”
“She wants me to call Mum.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Mum’s going to lose her shit.”
“I love you alright?” He leans in and kisses her forehead.
“What should we do?”
“What do you want to do?”