"Do you want me to go with you?"
I looked at Tiffany and thought absolutely not. She'd given me the name of a doctor at the clinic in town and I'd decided to go get the test done. I hadn't of course told her the whole truth about the men I'd slept with, only one of them.
Brock was easy because he was just some guy she'd known because he'd worked closely with her father. Even if they weren't really friendly now, that didn't matter to her. She'd told me how cool she thought it was for me to land a hot looking guy like him.
"I think I'd better go alone," I said, "I don't know how long this will take."
"Shouldn't be too long…we can go shopping afterward."
I just looked at her.
"I'm not sure I'll be in the mood for that," I said, "I have no idea what'll happen if I'm pregnant."
Just saying that word had been so damn difficult. Thinking further than that, impossible as my mind had shut down whenever it tried to factor in an unplanned pregnancy into the future I'd so carefully planned for myself. Finishing college, going to a grad school maybe law and then landing myself a great job out of this town had been what I'd figured on doing forever. But if I got pregnant, I didn't even know how that'd work. I didn't even think I could stay in school and I might just wind up back here, the last place I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Then came the complications of writing a back story about the child's father because once I started showing or if word got out before that, everyone would speculate. Some of the bigger gossips would come up with crazy even lurid stories about my being impregnated by everyone including the mayor to some religious leader to aliens.
I didn't think that Devlin would slip past anyone's lips because what we had done had been beneath the radar. But people knew about Brock.
"Then we can go someplace and hang out and talk if you get bad news."
I sighed. If that happened, the last person I wanted to hang with was her. But I'd probably need to talk to someone I could trust which was no one else. Damn, I hoped that the test would be negative and I could just move on with my life. I'd be so much more careful. I'd already told Devlin I didn't want to see him anymore.
He'd backed off with the texts and I hadn't heard from him in a couple of days. Maybe he'd finally gotten the message that I couldn't be his fuck toy anymore.
"No…I think I just want to do this alone," I said, "Look I'll call you later with the news."
Tiffany considered that and I knew she didn't like it but she nodded her head finally.
"If that's what you really want," she said, "But if it happened to me, I'd freak and I'd definitely want you there."
Perhaps but except for Gary, Tiffany had stuck to fucking men who wouldn't get her into trouble. Her getting pregnant by Lars was no way like me getting pregnant by her father or even Brock whose girlfriend would no hear about it not long before it became official.
Tiffany hung up not long after that and I got into my car and drove to the clinic. I'd never been there before though I'd gotten my BC and some pap smears at another one a few blocks way. I parked the car and saw some people leaving that I didn't know. That made me feel a little better but my stomach clenched from not eating anything that morning.
I'd been way too nervous to handle food because today was the day I'd find out about the rest of my life. The lobby looked stark with not much furniture just chairs most of them empty and a window up at the front where some woman sat checking in patients. I didn't recognize her and the names of the doctors and nurses staffing the clinic hadn't been familiar either. It hadn't been opened as long as the other one and had imported in its own employees.
The woman smiled at me.
"Just take a seat," she said, "and fill out the paperwork completely. Have any questions, leave it blank for the nurse."
She gave me several documents that didn't look different from others I'd filled out. So I sat down and started working on them, as the clocked ticked noisily on the wall.
The doctor, a young woman looked at me after the initial exam. I hated the stirrups but it hadn't taken that long for her until she finished. She took a swab for the PAP and did a thorough exam, before pulling out the dreaded speculum.
"Okay we'll run some blood and urine," she said, "for pregnancy and the STD panel."
"I just had that done," I said, "When I got the pill."
"Never hurts to do it again," she said, "You didn't use condoms with either man you had sexual intercourse with in the past few months."
I told her the details of what I'd done keeping the men's identities of course to myself.
"Look I'm not casting judgment on you," she continued, "It's just that pregnancy is not the only thing that you have to protect yourself from."
I knew that, knew about all the STDs but I hadn't worried about it. Maybe I should have been more concerned but it was too late for that.
"When will I know?"
The doctor jotted a few notes on her clipboard.
"Oh by the morning…"
My brows shot up.
"That long but I thought…"
She looked at me.
"The basic tests weren't conclusive," she said, "It might be too soon but it'll show up in the blood work if you're indeed pregnant."
I nodded; this was all so new to me after all. My mind swam with all the information she'd given me in the past half hour.
"Then you'll need to consider your options of course," she said, "and I can explain them to you."
But I hadn't even thought that far along. I knew them all, raising the child, adoption and of course abortion. They all still seemed so abstract to me that I couldn't really think about it…not until I knew the results of the tests.
So I just nodded eager to get out of there. I'd been so sure I'd leave knowing whether or not I was pregnant but now I had to wait longer.
I didn't want to call anyone let alone Tiffany so I got dressed and left the clinic to head to the diner. I walked in there and I saw Lacey picking up an order to take back to her boutique. She smiled when she saw me.
"How you doing Ruby…?"
I just shrugged and got in line but didn't feel much like eating. My stomach tied itself into knots but maybe a half sandwich and some soup.
"You might want to try the cream of broccoli soup," Lacey offered, "It's pretty good."
I nodded and placed my order then stood waiting for it. Lacey looked over at me.
"You are doing okay Ruby?"
I just looked at her so set with one of my pat answers but I just sighed.
"Not really…I'm not really all that hungry but I haven't eaten since last night."
"Hey why don't you join us for lunch at the store," she said, "Glen's there doing some floor work and the other clerks…I gave them the afternoon off."
I thought about it.
"Okay…I don't have anything else planned. Took the day off from the nursery."
"You like working there?"
"Yeah I like being outdoors except when it's blazing hot but the money's good."
Lacey ran a hand through her thick curly hair.
"I imagine a lot of men shop there."
"They do but I'm not really looking right now."
"Oh yeah…I heard you were seeing Brock."
I braced for her to judge me, to tell me how wrong it was for me to screw him with his girlfriend in London but she didn't say anything like that.
"He's a nice guy," Lacey said, "Not ready to settle down of course."
Yeah I'd guessed that much but then my plan had been to say goodbye to him when I headed back to school without any complications.
"Neither am I….so he's been perfect…"
She just smiled at me the waitress handed her food to go. She waited until my order came back and we then left the diner to walk back to her boutique.
I loved her store. I didn't shop at it except with Tiffany. I'd always felt like blushing when I looked at the items on display and not just the lingerie and party dresses. I had heard of the passion parties she'd held there but of course never attended one. Glen sat waiting after having finished some of the flooring in the bathroom.
He and Lacey kissed before they started hitting the food. My appetite came back in a rush as we sat there and ate. Glen said that he would finish caulking the bathroom later that afternoon.
"Great…we're having another party tomorrow night."
Glen bit into his sandwich and then he looked at me.
"Have you ever been to one?"
I shook my head barely able to think of it. My mind too damn focused on the news that I'd be getting on the results of my tests. Just thinking about doing it made me remember that my life could change forever in ways I hadn't planned.
"You should try it," Lacey said, "Come tomorrow night. I think Tiffany has plans to drop by."
My stomach tightened again, another reminder of how messy my life might get in just a few hours. But if Lacey noticed, she said nothing.
"I'll think about it."
Though I had no plans on going either way…
"So you are seeing Brock?"
I blinked my eyes at Glen. Did anyone in town not know about us? But then it's not like we'd been keeping our relationship a secret.
"He and I hung out together," he said, "Years ago…when he was doing renovations on some friends' house."
I remembered that Glen grew up at the same time as Brock and Devlin.
"Really, I knew he did some construction…"
"It was at a couple's house," he said, "They had a little boy. The wife was pretty hot…I think Brock had a thing for her. He was such a flirt back then."
That piqued my interest. God knew that he was intensity personified but he didn't always show it. Sometimes he seemed so laidback.
"Oh…that must have been some time ago."
"Almost 20 years I'd guess," Glen said, "I don't know how the wife felt about him. Her husband and her seemed pretty tight."
"Yeah a bit before my time," she said, "but it wouldn't surprise me. I heard stories about Brock being a bit of a ladies man not that he was ever serious."
This all interested me but my mind remained focused on the phone call that would be coming soon about whether or not the man they were talking about had knocked me up.
Unless of course Devlin had beaten him to it.