Making A Choice

B was spending lots of time at our house. I would find her on the sofa most mornings, having come home to our house after her job at the mall with my sister. I kept waiting to hear what her decision was, what did she decide to do? I kept a watchful eye on the waistband of her jeans…did she take action without me knowing? Was this something that they were all going to talk about without me knowing about it?

September passed, October passed, and finally in November it became clear to me that B clearly had made a choice. “So…you are keeping the baby?”

She looked at me. No one was coming out and using the words. No one was even actually acknowledging what was going on. Here was B, age 19, college drop out, single, and pregnant. She was avoiding the situation entirely. But it was becoming obvious that it wasn’t exactly going away. She was hiding the pregnancy well but I knew what and where to look…and it was clear to me that she was still pregnant.

“I don’t know what I am doing,” she answered. “I haven’t made any decisions at all.”

I blinked in disbelief. “How far along are you?” I asked. Based on when I found out about the pregnancy, she had to be well past the 12 week mark. I knew very well that meant that she was going to have the baby, no matter what she thought.

“Sixteen weeks,” she admitted.

“Have you been to a doctor?” I pressed, in all of my age fourteen righteousness. Anyone knew that you were supposed to go to a doctor if you thought you were pregnant.

“No,” she said. She paused. “I haven’t gone because I didn’t know what I was going to do. And I haven’t told my parents yet. Because I don’t know what I am going to do. I just keep waiting to know what to do and I still can’t figure it out.”

“But…you understand that now you have one less option available to you, right?” I couldn’t use the words either.

She looked at me. “Yes, I understand that. I do. I guess by not deciding, I really was deciding on what I was going to do. Or what I was not going to do.”

I paused, the air thick with what we both weren’t saying. She was going to have a baby. At age 19. Without being married. And her parents didn’t know yet.

“Your mom says I can stay here as long as I need to,” said B. “I think it might be a while.”

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