The night was dark, as heavy clouds cried over South Port, and the wind sighed against the business college. Emma creeped from her bedroom to the restroom at the end of the hall, hoping no one else was awake to see her so scantily clad. The hall lights were dimmed, the linoleum cold against her bare feet. She made a mental note to request a robe for Christmas, and escaped into the restroom.
As she washed her hands, she heard a low sobbing from the girls’ shower. Emma turned the water off and listened quietly. Someone sniffled on the other side of the wall, and another cry started again. Drying her hands, Emma slightly pushed the door ajar to peek into the shower room.
Violet-Adele sat crumbled on the floor, her body quaking with each sob. Alarmed, Emma rushed into the room, asking quickly, what was the matter. Violet-Adele only cried harder and hid her face.
“Are you hurt?” Emma grabbed Violet-Adele’s arms and tried getting her to look at her. Violet-Adele only leaned into the wall, making herself smaller than Emma thought possible.
“Everything’s ruined.” Violet gasped out between breaths. Emma sat on the wet tile next to her, and put her arm around her back.
Time ticked past slowly in the confined shower room, they sat together, just the quieting of Violet’s tears and the hum of the florescent light above them. Emma would say soft words of reassurance from time to time, worried at what had caused Violet to react so desperately.
Violet wiped her eyes after the tears had gone, and let out a scoffing laugh. “Heh, you must think I’m such a mess.”
“No I don’t.” Emma whispered, and gave her a tight squeeze to affirm her words.
“Well, I am.” she laughed cynically again, and hid her face in the crook of her elbow. “Oh I am. I got myself knocked up. Can you believe it? Miss Valedictorian, the world is my oyster! Pregnant in college!”
“I..I..” Emma stuttered, her mouth open, eyes staring ahead of them. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Who would? My parents are going to be so disappointed.” She let out a half sob. “I can’t even tell them. I can’t tell Reed. This can’t be happening to me.” Her voice quavered.
Violet feigned having the flu to keep from telling anyone else but Emma and Grace. No one seemed to suspect anything above that; it helped that there was an epidemic spreading through the city.
When Violet had a few good days in a row, she arranged to hang out with Grace at the local shopping courtyard, where they could talk freely without the possibility of being overheard.
The afternoon was fading into dusk, the sun had made it’s first appearance in weeks; the earth was damp mixed together with fallen leaves. Everything was covered with a tint of gold, smelling crisp with sea breeze mixed with wet moss and fresh cut grass at the football stadium. People moved in small crowds, murmuring to one another, holding coffee in their hands as they moved along the boardwalk.
Violet saw their smiling faces, and hugged herself tight against the chill. Grace walked next to her, a somber expression across her face; that was her best friend. And she still felt alone. They made their way to an open park bench, and sat without word as they watched the people go by, and the ocean waves crash in. A crowd was preparing a fire on the beach for celebration after the football game, little children scrambled across the coarse sand playing tag and looking for seashells when their legs grew weary.
“I’m going to have one of those, aren’t I?” Violet mused, gesturing towards the playing kids.
“I guess you are.” Grace allowed a half smile to play on the corner of her lip. “You’re going to be a great mom.” Violet scoffed, but Grace continued without paying any attention to it. “Everything will work out, it always does. Even if it’s not the way we intended it.”
Violet looked to her lap and removed dirt from under her nail. “I..” she began, took a deep breath, and steadied her voice. “I don’t know if I’m going to keep it.”
“Oh,” Grace moved closer, and put her arm around Violet. “I’m here for you, whatever you need.”
“I know.” Violet sighed. “I just never thought I’d be in this situation. Before I was adopted, I spent a lot of time in temporary homes while my birth mom still had rights to me. I was so angry at her, how could she be so selfish to not want me? You know? And here I am, thinking of doing the same to my baby, maybe a daughter too. Would she know it was out of love? Is it out of love? Or am I being selfish? I want a baby, someday.” Her voice tapered off and she looked towards the beach again. “I was going to take a break with Reed.”
“What happened?” Grace asked, her voice high with surprise.
“Nothing happened, per say. I just don’t feel the way he does. I thought someday I might feel stronger for him, but it hasn’t happened. And being seniors, I think he wants to propose, and I can’t break his heart if he asked. You probably really think I’m horrible now don’t you?”
“Never. Your parents will understand though. No matter if you keep the baby or give it up for adoption. They really love you, and support you. As for Reed, if he doesn’t make your toes curl now, I can’t imagine it’d be a good sign to begin a lifetime commitment.” Grace hesitated. “But, even if you and Reed don’t get married, you could raise the baby on your own… if you wanted. And it wouldn’t be selfish of you to want to do that.”
Violet let out a soft cry. “I don’t have a house though? Don’t you have to have a yard to raise a baby right?” She wiped at her eyes.
“Don’t be silly, I grew up in the city most of my life, and played football in the street.” She held her arms out, “And look how great I am!” She teased, and both girls let out a little laugh. “Just give it time before you decide. This could be a great thing.”
Campus life continued, Violet decided to keep the pregnancy a secret until she knew her decision. She knew Reed would sway her, and she wanted to own the decision she made. She pulled back from Reed, she wasn’t certain if he noticed. She hadn’t really been under him; he’d always done the pursuing.
She talked to herself much of the time, when she was alone. Talked through the scenarios, goodbye to education and the life she worked so hard for, or goodbye to little one she didn’t know but very much wanted to.
“You ok?” Reed whispered during computer lab. Violet had been staring at the desktop for most of the class; she hadn’t realized she’d checked out. She was pretty certain she was going to raise the little bean; she didn’t know how to tell Reed. To tell Reed, that he could be a great father, but wasn’t meant to be her husband. She would well up, thinking of his face, and the sadness she knew he’d feel, and that she didn’t feel towards him.
“I’m fine.” She cleared her throat, and brought her thoughts back to her lessons. “Just thinking about winter vacation.” She started to load the application, then paused. “Actually, I don’t feel well, I think I’ll do this later.” She slid her chair back and went to her room on the third floor. Grace looked after her anxiously, but Violet didn’t notice. Grace waited a second and excused herself as well.
Grace found Violet in the third floor corridor, holding her stomach and gasping. Grace rushed to her side, “Is everything ok?”
“I don’t think so.” she cried between hard breaths. “Take me to the doctors.”
Grace called a cab, after Violet assured it wasn’t a medical emergency, and they arrived at the other end of the boardwalk a few minutes later. Dr. Dwyer checked Violet into a room to run tests, and kept Grace in the waiting room.
A few hours later, Dr. Dwyer returned with the test results. A sympathetic look, his arms held openly out. “I’m sorry I don’t have good news to share with you today.” Violet sat with her back to him, shielding her tears from his concerned gaze. She wiped her face on her sleeves and bit her tongue to stop the wave of emotion from overtaking her. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
She nodded in his direction; he placed an insurance paper on the counter, then excused himself so she could get dressed. Thoughts gnawed at her, did the baby not feel loved, or wanted? Was it her fault that she miscarried? Why did she feel utterly heartbroken when she hadn’t been sure until recently she even wanted to keep the baby. She grabbed the paper, and headed to find Grace. She needed to leave, to be alone and allow the emotion to wash over.
Grace stood immediately, her face tentative, searching for the news. Violet found herself wrapped in Grace’s hug swiftly, and both started to cry, the waiting room as an audience. “I’m so sorry.” Grace whispered.
“Take me home.” Violet begged.
“I’ll meet you outside, and get a taxi for us.” Grace gave a last hug, and with a quiver in her chin, turned away.
Violet had to wait in line to turn her insurance papers in; she desperately wanted to leave it on the counter, and run away. She would not be coming back, she would not be having her life changed and her career put on the side. She had no need to talk to the receptionist. But she waited nonetheless.
When it was her turn, the receptionist gave the paper a quick glance, offered a sad smile, and filed the paper without further word.
Violet turned to leave, and found her parents by the large sliding doors. “Mom? Dad?” She let out a surprised whisper. Tears burning at her eyes. “Why? How?”
Her Dad held his arms out, and Violet found herself in his strong, safe embrace. She saw their love, and acceptance of her, despite everything that had happened. She clung to her Dad’s shirt, and tried to find words to express her love for them.
“Grace called us,” Her mother cooed, patting Violet’s hair. “Let’s go home.”
Violet spent a long weekend at home, and hated the idea of returning to school. Reed had called several times, no one on campus knew why she had gone home, other than Grace and Emma. But return, she must, and her Dad dropped her off at the front of the school Monday morning. He gave her a reassuring smile, as she got out of the car. She felt safe from this horrible truth while in her parents presence.
She found Reed in her room, looking out at the rain. “Hey,” she mumbled. He nodded, without looking at her.
“I was pregnant.” She blurt out after the silence felt suffocating. “I lost it.” She held back the tears, this was not the time to break down, or be weak, she scolded herself. He continued staring out the window, not speaking a word, barely breathing. “Well?” she asked, shortly.
“Just give me a minute to digest this. I didn’t even know there was a baby to be lost.” He said, sadness in his voice. She looked at the ground, keeping her distance from him. He hadn’t known, and that was her fault. Maybe it was wrong to even tell him now, cruel on her part.
He turned to face her, his face anguished, his heart broken. “I’m sorry you went through this alone.” He spoke softly. “I know it’s not the same, but we can try and have a family of our own once we graduate in the spring, if that’s what you want.” He moved closer to her, his arms outstretched, ready to hold her as he’d done regularly since they began dating a year ago.
She stepped back. “No.” Her arms in front of her. “No, we can’t. I don’t know how to tell you this without hurting you.” her face softened. “Reed, I …”
He held his hand up as if to shield himself from what he knew was coming. She’d always been too good for him, he’d told himself regularly, but he’d taken comfort in her love for him, that she did indeed love him. He felt happy to have her, and talk of their future, though she never added much of her own dreams to it. He’d overlooked her lack enthusiasm, thinking he could make up for it, with his own. That he could carry them both into a happy little life.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I do love you, it’s just not… enough.” she let out lamely at the end.
“I don’t understand.” he said meekly. He wanted to search her face, but didn’t bring his eyes off the words on her shirt, until the words blurred into each other.
“I’m sorry.” She could find no other words to say, he gave a last shrug, and walked out the door with a slow shuffle.
An unexpected story here. The pregnancy was unexpected, and the miscarriage likewise. I haven’t had one of those in a while, none since Lucy when she was in her late 20’s, she’s in her mid-40’s now. In the grand scheme, her motives weren’t that low, so I was surprised when it happened.
Violet-Adele has never been gaga over Reed, just sort of happened, being in close quarters. They have two bolts, but he seems more smitten with her. Has been rolling up wants in regards to her since their first semester together, and still rolls up wants. She doesn’t roll up wants for him, like ever. Even on dates she rolls up random things like study, etc, after a few of the plain ones like “talk” are filled. So I’ve taken that as a sign that he isn’t the one for her. I decided that, before she got pregnant.
Grades and majors so I can keep track. Career paths are tentative, just what they are aiming for while in college, no guarantees what they’ll end up doing. I roll for each possible grade (+ and -) with a 13 *sided* die online to get their grades.
Emma: A- drama – career path – interior design
Grace: C mathematics – business or own business
Janelle: – C+ economics – ltw scia
Reed: A+ psychology – ltw police officer
Violet: D+ mathematics – ltw city planner (rolled this, and thought it was fitting)