The Morning Of (a very short story)
Sunlight poured in through the tiny window over the toilet in the bathroom so there was no mistaking the deep pink plus sign on the stick. Kristen stared at the damning evidence and decided there was no sense in going out and buying more of the stupid things. She had all the symptoms, she was having unprotected sex, and that does a baby make.
Now the only thing to wonder was if the baby would come out with Steven's wavy dark hair or if he or she would be a blondy like her friend Michael. She inhaled deeply and leaned against the corner of the wall nearest to the bathroom sink and closed her eyes willing herself to stay calm. Steven was still asleep, no need to wake him, not this early, or he'd know something was wrong. She hadn't had a panic attack in months and now was hardly the time for her to lose control of anything. She felt lightheaded and made her way over to the toilet just in time to lose her midnight snack. This wasn't good. Definitely not good.
What would be her excuse if she decided to tell Steven anything? That he didn't satisfy her? They would both know that would be a lie. He was the one who'd given her her first orgasm and hundreds after that. Did she really want to be with Michael? She thought about it and didn't even answer it in her own head. He was offlimits, he had a girlfriend, she had a fiance. She looked down at her ring, a three carat princess cut that glinted perfectly in the light with a platinum band on a perfectly manicured hand. She was sitting on the side of a marble bathtub in a bathroom the size of her first apartment. She led a good life and she was trying to throw it all away.
She did the calculations in her head and decided that the baby could be either of their's. Men double and triple dipped, but it's women who got the criticism because of this very thing. She thought of his mother's Pro-Choice bumper sticker stuck proudly on the back of her car. A feminist to the core the last thing she'd wanted for her son was to be with some girl who would forego a career to meander throughout the house and latch onto his or their children's identities and merging them with her own. "Don't get me wrong, the point of feminism is that women have the choice to do whatever we want, same as men, but I just can't figure out why on earth an intelligent woman would actually chooseto stay at home. I can bake on the weekends." After which she'd complimented Kristen on her new Louboutins. She adored Kristen. Why wouldn't she? With Kristen's girl next door looks and her job as one of the youngest journalists with the local news broadcast station, she was a gem. The fact that she had style and a spunky infectious personality only sweetened the pot. She was perfect for Steven in his mother's eyes. Kristen smiled bitterly and wondered what her reaction would be if she found out about this little predicament. Would she be still be the fist pumping women's rights activist or would she break down and just be Steven's mother, willing to protect her cub from the lady lioness trying to pull him into her trap.
Was she trying to trap him?
If she lied to him, what would that make her? She'd always thought girls like that were morons who were trying to hold onto the good man while their true desires were with the unattainable
baby daddy that would forever be the one that got away in their minds, or they needed the guy they were with for his money or status or simply because they knew he would be a better father than the other guy. Kristen thought of all the judgment she'd made before she'd had the opportunity to make such huge life altering decisions and mistakes. That was when she'd had it all figured out. Right down to what outfit she was going to wear to attract the guy who she wanted to ask her to the prom (which, by the way, she'd succeeded at getting him to do).
Would she be able to look at herself in the mirror everyday and her baby in the eyes and smile and go along with the lie?
So this was the price of lust.
Michael had the better body, he'd known her the longest and he knew how to make her laugh. He'd tickle her in just the right places to make her giggle and have a manic reaction and then touch her in the same place to make her moan and arch her back. And she saw his face in her dreams. She still wasn't used to that. The idea of having him all to herself tantilized her, but she didn't know when that dam had been unleashed. All she knew was that the flood gates were open and her pulse quickened when they were together. He was what she wanted, like a person salivated over a delectable chocolate mousse that you would never ever turn down if offered. Yet, Steven was the main course. She could still taste the man lying in the next room on her tongue, she could still feel the way he'd been inside of her and the way he held her close to him. His smell was embedded in her, it was though he were right there with her.
There was no point in making a list of pros and cons or comparing the two of them. She undressed and took off her ring and got into the shower, got out and dressed for work. Steven was still sleeping, holding onto his pillow with his eyebrows furrowed. He was cute like that, and after his late delayed flight the night before he wouldn't be up until noon. He wouldn't have to be at the office officially until tomorrow anyway. She leaned down and kissed his neck and he stirred. She burrowed her nose deeper into his skin and breathed in deep.
"You leaving already?" He mumbled. He didn't open his eyes, he reached out his hand to touch her and she she grabbed his arm and held it.
"Yep, the rest of us don't have the luxury you do right now." She was still holding onto him and she leaned down to kiss him once more only this time he grabbed her and kissed her back.
"Gotcha, morning breath and all." He laughed and flopped back onto his pillow. "And trust me, if you'd been at that conference you wouldn't consider this a luxury, babe. It was madness. Trust me."
"Tell me about it when I get back." She whispered.
He nodded, a smile on his face. She smiled back even though he wasn't watching her. In her head she noted a con: Works too much, he's always gone. She wondered if that was it, why she'd wanted to be with Michael. Then she got a text and wondered if it was him and decided not to answer it. Playing with fire...her mother had always said. Too late, she was burned already.
She peered into the bathroom before she made a beeline out the door and saw her ring sitting there beside the positive pregnancy test. She looked back over at Steven, so calm and reassuring, snuggled beneath the comforter the color of coals. Without another thought she walked out of the room and didn't look back. Some things, she felt, were certain. And she was certain that all three of those things would still be there when she got back, if she made it back. So would Michael and so would the baby. But for the next few hours, it was all her little secret.