Late

“I think I might be late.”

I uttered the words nervously to Joe one cold January morning in a practice room.  We were both furiously practicing for this term’s auditions.  I was disappointed with my placement last trimester, and so I wanted to prepare as much as possible for the one performance that would determine my position for the entire winter term.

Joe looked at me.  “Really?  How can that be?”  I knew what he meant.  We were religious about using protection.  We were very careful, always using condoms, always well before any contact was made.

“Well, I know that nothing is 100 % reliable.  It’s probably nothing, though.  I do feel like it is coming any minute.  But it’s just so odd, because I’m never late.”  I didn’t mention all of the other things that were nervously adding up in my head:  the insane amount of tiredness that had suddenly been hitting me, the nausea that overtook me on the way up to his mom’s place, the urgent need to use the bathroom that had also hit me then.

He was quiet for a minute.   “What would you think we should do…you know…if you were?”  It was the unthinkable.  I couldn’t even let my head go there.

“I don’t know.  I really, really don’t know.  I mean, maybe I could get an abortion?   I’m not sure if I could.  I just don’t know how I’d feel…hypothetical is totally different than reality.”

I’d always considered myself pro choice.  My high school position papers were always firmly on the right to choose.  That being said, when I converted to Catholicism the year before, I knew very well the Church’s position on abortion.  It gave me pause.  I’d seen friends of my sisters go both ways; one who gave her baby away, and one who aborted.  I knew my mother had given a child up for adoption.  That was the one avenue I was sure I couldn’t take.

Joe looked at me, uncharacteristically filled with tension.  “Well, we don’t know yet.”

“No.  I suppose if it doesn’t show up soon, I’ll have to take a test.”  God, I hated the thought of having to go to the slightly off campus but not nearly far enough for my taste drugstore to buy a home pregnancy test.

“When were you due?”

I thought back.  I never kept very good track, because I was always so regular.  But I certainly knew it should have been here before now.  “Um, I remember thinking that it should have been here around Christmas, maybe a few days afterwards.”

His eyes grew wide.  That meant I was a whole week late.

I gulped.  “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” I responded, nervously.  He took my hand and squeezed, and got up to go back to his practice room.  He smiled that smile that he knew would erase my fear and closed the door behind him.

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