8 - Broken

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Trigger Warning: This chapter deals with abortion. Do not read if you find this topic disturbing.

Disclaimer: This chapter takes a clear anti-stance on the topic of abortion which is only developed to advance the plot. It's not meant to pass judgment or criticize women who choose to terminate their pregnancies each year. I strongly believe in the freedom of choice and that each woman has to make her own decision on what is right for her under the circumstances. 

8 – Broken

This part is set approximately two years after Patrice confided in her mom  and loops back to the beginning of the first chapter.

"Fuck." Despite the nausea that is slowly crawling up my throat, I can't tear my eyes off the little plastic stick I hold in my hand. Two pink lines, not one, as I had hoped. After the two blue lines on another stick and the pink positive sign, my chances that all these tests are wrong are slim to none. I'm pregnant with Marcus's baby.

"Fuck." The swearing doesn't get rid of the unwanted being growing inside me but helps with the growing fear that is crushing my chest. What am I going to do?

The oncoming tears evaporate when anger seethes and my mind lashes out at Marcus. Everyone knows that one-time unprotected sex is enough, but he laughed it off and called me dumb when I reminded him of that fact the day he ran out of condoms. Since I had just gotten off my period a few days earlier, he said I shouldn't worry about it. Now Murphy's Law is coming back to bite us.

Deciding that this is one problem I shouldn't have to tackle alone, I drag my feet across the bathroom floor toward his study. As usual on a Friday afternoon, he's working from home and my mom is busy with one of her AA meetings. Even though she's only going through the motions after being caught while driving under the influence, she has been doing a little better by locking herself into her room when she is drunk instead of leaving the house.

Marcus looks up when I enter and regards me with a small smile. Exhaustion reflects on his face—he has been working a big case that has required a lot of extra hours. Trials are the times I cherish the most since they give me a reprieve. His mind is running in constant overdrive and he's usually not in the mood for sex. As far as I'm concerned, all those criminals should insist on their constitutional right to be judged by a jury of their peers instead of plea bargaining their cases.

"Do you need something, Patrice?" he asks. "I'm really busy."

I hold up the stick with the two pink lines.

His jaw drops as he squints at it. "Is that one of your stupid jokes?"

I can't help but snort. Leave it to him to think I would make something like this up. "I took three tests and they're all positive. I don't know what to do." My mouth dries up as I swallow down the lump in my throat. He looks thunderstruck. What if he is not going to help me?

"Fuck." His palms massage his forehead, his fingernails scraping over his short hair. All of a sudden, his head snaps up. "Who did you have sex with besides me?"

I gasp. "Nobody."

"Don't lie to me, Patrice." His pointed finger almost touches my nose when he shoots up like one of those Jack in the Box toys. "We only had unprotected sex once and that was right after your period. There must be someone else."

"Well, there isn't." I glare at him, refusing to break eye contact. I will not let him blame this on someone else.

His fist hits the desktop and I instinctively pull my head a little closer to my shoulders. His eyes are blazing and for a second, I am afraid he'll strike me, but then his balled fists relax.

Patrice's Story (A "Living With The Choices We Make" Novella) ✔️Where stories live. Discover now