My name is Brooke Chambers. I am sixteen years old. I was married at fifteen after having a baby at fourteen with my now husband River Chambers. I've been through a lot in the past two years and not all my family members have been supportive of me. For example, I haven't heard from any of my grandparents since I announced my pregnancy with my daughter Jacqueline. Some family members, like my cousin Jaycee, have been extremely helpful during this tough time.
River is the best guy in the world. He didn't leave me when I got pregnant, even though we'd never had sex. After we married, we eventually did. I regret it.
My best friend Tracey has always been there for me, and she always will be. She helped me get through my first pregnancy. Now, she's going to have to help me through my second.
That's right. Pregnant again. The first (and only) time River and I had sex, we didn't use protection. It was stupid. I guess I thought that I had already become pregnant against all odds once, what were the chances it'd happen again? Well, they were high. Very high.
I don't know how I'm going to tell my family that I'm pregnant again. The first time wasn't really my fault. None of us knew that a virgin could get pregnant. But this time, I made the decision to have sex. I made the mistake of not using protection. And I'm going to have to face the consequences.
So, that brings us to our current problem. It's New Year's Eve, and I've just told River the big news.
"Pregnant?!" River whispers, his jaw dropping to the floor. He reaches towards Tracey to steady himself, not looking away from my face.
I can only sigh and nod back at him. I bite my lip.
"Brooke, you can't be. Are you sure it wasn't a mistake? Your pregnancy test...it could have been a false positive. I've heard of that happening before."
I shake my head. "I found out from good old Dr. Feint. She was so happy for me. Even thpugh it's dangerous, she thought it was the best thing that could ever happen to me. She's nuts." I look at the floor.
"No, she's not." River says, taking a deep breath. "This isn't a bad thing. Well, it kind of is. No, it's not." he argues with himself. "The bad part is what our families will think. What our peers will think. That's the bad part. But the pregnancy in itself, no, that's good. Another child. It's great! I'll have two kids instead of one." he sounds hysterical.
"River, it's awful and you know it. My parents can't afford it. My Dad's work doesn't pay THAT well, and the store my mother works at is closing down. Babysitting money isn't going to cover all the expenses, and I can't keep relying on my parents!" I feel tears spring to my eyes.
He holds me close. " I know. I'm just trying to be optismistic, like you usually are. Listen, you keep babysitting. I'll tell the people I usually sit for that I'm done with babysitting, but that they should call you if they need somebody. You're better with kids than me."
"Considering that I've given birth to one," I mutter.
"I'll leave that part out." River hugs me tighter. "And then, I'll look for some fast-food places or something that's hiring, and I'll get a job. I'll be a part-time employee, and I'll put three-quarters into the baby fund."
The baby fund. The ever dwindling baby fund. I put all my money into the jar with that label. Whenever people come over and see Jacqueline, they fall in love with her and slip some change into the jar before they leave. I hate it. I hate that I have to use other people's money to raise my daughter. And now I'll have to do it even more.
Tracey takes a deep breath. "I'll...I'll help you out, too. I've been working at a clothing store at the mall, and we get above minimum wage. Plus, some sales commision. I never really sell much, but whenever I do, the money I get from it will go into that jar."
I stare at her, and leave River's embrace to hug Tracey instead. "No." I take another deep breath. "I can't let you do that. It's not your daughter, you're not the slut who got herself knocked up for a second time. I'm not going to let you suffer because I'm an idiot."
"I want to help you." She doesn't disagree with anything I said, because we both know it's true.
"HEY!" River intervenes, a bit too loudly. "The first time was a rare occurance that wasn't even your fault. And this time, you didn't get yourself knocked up. You got pregnant. With your husband. There's nothing wrong with that. But I do agree that we can't accept your charity, Tracey. You never know when you may need the money yourself."