The Stick

It was like a scene from a movie.

I went to the bathroom every fifteen minutes looking to see if my period had started.  After several days of this, I knew that it was time to find out what was going on.  I went, alone, on a 10 degree day, to the slightly off campus drug store.

I am the girl that to this day can’t buy her own condoms and feels funny buying tampons when there’s a guy at the checkout counter.  Every time a person I thought I might know went down the pregnancy test aisle near me I moved away, as if I was only curiously looking at the different types.

There were many different brands.  Back then they didn’t have pee on a stick tests; you had a tiny little lab kit that you had to work with.  You didn’t get two for one packs and they weren’t cheap.  Of course I am, which meant I was looking for the cheapest kind.   I found one that had the word Blue in the title and took it up to the counter.

You can see this coming right?  Not only was there a peel off coupon (that’s why I picked that brand), but the price wasn’t on the test (this was before price scanners).  They had to call “Price Check” and someone had to come and verify my 11.99 story before they’d let me walk out of the store, wallet lighter, face twenty shades redder.

I went back to my dorm room and surreptitiously read the instructions cover to cover.  The test indicated I’d need to use “first morning urine”, as that would have the most concentrated amounts of the pregnancy hormone (which I prayed, of course, that wasn’t present).  I told my roommate Karen and of course Joe that I would be performing the test the following morning, a Saturday.

After a night of tossing and turning in my top bunk, I finally got up at five and snuck into the shared bathroom to perform the test that I hoped would mean my life was not about to change.

I had to pee in a small cup and mix in a few chemicals that would turn the urine blue.  Then, I was to put a stick with chemicals on pads on the end in the liquid.  If the two pads were different colors, even if they were say a very light blue and a very dark blue, that meant you were pregnant.  If both pads stayed white you weren’t pregnant.

I performed the test quietly and sat next to the cup on the floor of the bathroom.  You had to wait five minutes before reading the test.  I was alone; the dorm was unusually quiet, even for five am.  I tried to distract myself by counting the tiles or looking at the mold we needed to clean in the shower stall.

Finally, I pulled out the stick.  I stared at it, in disbelief, numb.  There was absolutely no disputing the results.

One pad was whiter than snow.  The other was a bright, beautiful shade of aqua blue.

I was pregnant.  Eighteen, a freshman in college, unmarried, and pregnant.

What on earth was I going to do?


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