We Talked About Tomatoes: 9 - Last Memory of You

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"Where are you going off to?" Steph asked, begging for a change of conversation.

"New York. Hopefully until I graduate. My dad's already looking for an art school over there, since I want to be an artist and everything."

"Well, I'll miss you. And even though he won't say so, I think he'll miss you too," Steph said reassuringly. Georgia didn't need a hint as to who 'he' was.

"I don't think he will. Steph . . . I leave on Monday. That's a day away. Sorry that I am leaving. But we'll keep in touch, right?"

"Yeah," Steph answered, giving Georgia a small but reassuring smile. She walked over to Georgia and gave her a tight hug before leaving.

Georgia sighed. That had to be enough. Her friend hadn't treated her like a slut. That had to be enough.

*****************

It was Monday and Georgia and her father were going to leave in a few hours. Georgia lay on her bed, reading a book but not really reading it. She was just skimming the pages, waiting for time to come, waiting for the taxi to come and whisk her away to the airport and into New York. She was ready.

That was until Ivy entered the room. She was visibly shaking, her chocolate brown eyes look bloodshot and sunken, her nose was red and she looked like she'd been crying. For at least a whole day. Her lips were unusually pale and her bright glow of dark olive skin looked dull and dry. Her usually bouncy, shiny curls of brown hair look limp and dead today.

"I know I'm a bitch and a whore, but please listen. Steph said you were going to New York." Georgia nodded and Ivy gulped audibly. "Can - can - can I come with you? It's only for a while. Six months at the most. Please. You can hide me in the attic if your dad says I can't stay."

Georgia's eyes widened. She wanted to ask why. But all she said was, "We have a loft, there won't be an attic."

"Of course, it's in the city. But please. I know you're taking the plane. Just give me the address and I'll take the train."

"Ivy, what the hell is going on?"

Ivy looked around, as if someone was listening. "Don't tell anyone. I'm . . . I'm pregnant."

"Is it-"

"It's not Harry's. We never did it. I told Jack, the guy I've been with, and he's in college. He can't. And I'm just a silly teenage girl to him. I can't tell my parents. They're strict Christians. They'd send me to a nunnery! Not to mention the shame they'd remind me of after I'd given birth. It's too late for an abortion. I'm already a few months along. I already checked at the doctors. Please, Georgia, please."

"I'll ask my dad. He might say yes."

"Good, good. Can - can you do me one last favour after . . . it's born? Can you - can you keep it? Say it's your dad's or something. I want to be able to visit it after I finished uni. I know that's a lot to ask but I don't want to give it away to a stranger. I can't keep it, I want to go back to my parents. They'd think I'd have died or something."

"WHAT?! That's too much, Ivy. If you want to keep the baby, keep it! If you don't then give it away! Don't dump this on ME! You think I'd be happy to give up my life, my education, my dad, so that YOU can be happy? Do you think it's that SIMPLE?" Georgia lashed out. It was too unfair, too selfish of Ivy to ask.

"No, I don't! But I don't want to keep it. At least not for now. Please say yes. Please. I . . . You can get a nanny to take care of it. I have a bank account that links to my parents. I can pay for the stuff! While you're off in uni you can get your dad to take care of it. Please. Please. My parents will hate me for the rest of my life if I come back with a baby."

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