At thirty-five and single, I’m tired of the dating game. Tired of men who look at me and say, “You’d be prettier if you shed a few pounds.”
There’s only one man I want a future with — my grouchy friends with bene fits, Nolan. But he’s adamant about keeping things casual.
All that changes when one night we get careless, and those pink lines show up on the pregnancy test months later.
Nolan wants to do right by me. He wants to give me what I’ve been searching for, but I’m pretty sure he’s only doing it out of obligation. It’s not like the bearded brewmaster loves me like I love him.
Are you sure you don’t have the flu or something?” Gemma asked from across the kitchen table, stirring her burrito bowl in thought.
Gemma lived in South Philly, but commuted to the brewery in Drakesville. When we could, we’d have dinner together before her shift. I tried to cancel tonight, but she insisted. My sister could be needy.
I shrugged and pushed my untouched bowl of food out of the way. I had zero appetite tonight.
“PMS?” she asked.
I stared back at her in silence.
“Avs, when did you last get your period?”
“Not since before the Arts Fest,” I admitted in a low whisper.
Her eyes turned to saucers. “That was two months ago!”
I cringed. “Maybe it’s stress?”
Gemma looked horrified.
When Gemma was in college, she had a pregnancy scare, and I drove all the way up to State College to be with her. She didn’t want kids, and an unplanned pregnancy hadn’t been in the cards. She ended up not being pregnant and got her period the next day, but to this day, she always was stressed if it was late. If Gemma had been in my shoes, she wouldn’t have ignored the signs. She would have taken a pregnancy test the day her period was late.
She stood up and put on her coat.
I furrowed my brow at her. “Where are you going?”
She glared at me. “Going to the pharmacy to get a pregnancy test.”
Before I could argue, she ran down the steps and out of my apartment. I cringed at my door slamming shut behind her.
Gemma was gone for maybe fifteen minutes before she clomped back up the steps and waved a bag of pregnancy tests in my face.
“Come on, let’s take these,” she said and led me into my bathroom.
Ten minutes later, we stared down at the third and final pregnancy test and waited for the results. The first two tests were positive, so I didn’t have a good feeling about this one. I knew I was pregnant before those pink lines showed up on the first test, but I didn’t want to accept it. I ignored what my body told me and tried to will the pregnancy away. I had even been avoiding Nolan because if I had seen him, I would have burst into tears and told him everything.
My timer chimed, and I handed the testing stick to my sister. “Please look. I can’t.”
She gave me a sympathetic smile. “Oh, Avs,” she cooed and squeezed my hand in comfort.
“I’m pregnant, aren’t I?” I sobbed.
Danica Flynn is a marketer by day, and a writer by nights and weekends. AKA she doesn’t sleep! She is a rabid hockey fan of both The Philadelphia Flyers and the Metropolitan Riveters. When not writing, she can be found hanging with her partner, playing video games, and reading a ton of books.