The Truth Will Out (Chapter 5)

5:09 AM

      It had come sooner than she thought. She wasn't ready for this. Staring at the door to the hall, she willed it to open to freedom from this conversation. The doctor shifted uncomfortably in his chair as silence pervaded the room. 

"Um, Jessie?" 

     There sat David, the boy she was in love with, concern written all over his face. Concern and something else. What was it? Now that it came to it, she needed to know the truth about how he felt. She needed to know where they stood. Realizing there had been dead silence for a good minute, Jessie took a shaky breath.

"I had a positive pregnancy test this weekend," she said quietly, staring at her hands in her lap. 

"What?" David exploded in a mixture of fear and rage. 

Running his hands through his hair, he was a man out of control. 

"You're not serious. This isn't real." And then still louder, "Why wouldn't you tell me?"  

"David, I was trying to figure out how. I haven't had time to come to grips with it myself. Then there was the accident and I passed out..."

"On that issue," the doctor raised his hands silencing a nearly hysterical David. 

"Many women find their blood pressure drops in the early stages of pregnancy. It's nothing to worry about. We'll run a blood test and have a urine test as well just to confirm the pregnancy."

"Yes. Yes. I would like that very much," David eyed Jessie suspiciously. 

Giving him a fiery glare that would have made her mother proud, Jessie shot back with,  

"Yes, it's always been my secret dream to get knocked up by a college boy."

"Not to intervene in what is clearly a difficult time for you both," said the doctor awkwardly, “ but it may take awhile to get your results. In the meantime, I'll leave some pamphlets here on termination just in case you decide to go that route. There's a Planned Parenthood up the street, which I'm sure is no surprise with all you college kids roaming about!" 

Both Jessie and David shot the doctor a withering look. 

"Ahem. Well, it was good to meet you both," the older man bolted like someone running from the scene of a fire.

Taking a deep breath, David tried a different approach. 

"You know what has to be done, Jessie." David took her face in his hands. "This just isn't great timing for either of us. You still have a year and a half left of school. I have..." he let his words drift off. Somehow his meeting with Hardman had paled in the light of this news. 

"It's the right thing to do."

Jessie pulled away repulsed. "The right thing, David? Or the easy thing? I mean let's call a spade a spade here. If we take this route, there's no going back."

David shifted uneasily. "Jess, it's not even a kid yet. Why are you so worried? Would you be this stressed about getting your appendix out?"

"Because, I don't know that!" The tears came again freely. "I mean you grew up in church too, David. You've heard the talks."

"Look, Jessie. Don't let those get you down. Those talks are from flat earthers and religious extremists." 

"You sound like Hardman," Jessie looked away, feeling more alone than she ever had in her life. 

"Well, maybe he's more right than wrong. Besides all that, you've got a future, Jess. I've got one too. Maybe we even have a future together. This just isn't the time to bring a kid into all that. I love you, Jess. I know I've never said, but I realized that today when I found you lying on the floor. I need you in my life, but we don't need this."

It was the first time he'd said those words, she thought to herself sadly after they left the office. In an uncharacteristically girlish way, she had often looked forward to hearing them. And yet, in this context, they seemed almost macabre. What was really dying here? A baby, or their relationship?

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