Casey had yet to pick up the phone. Three days had passed, four days since he had returned to England, but he had yet to answer a single one of Ishaana's phone calls. She had tried twice on the day of her scan, leaving a message for him to call her back, and she had dialled his number fifteen times since then, each time growing more and more frustrated. Seven texts sat in his inbox and three voicemails waited in his answerphone, and she was getting sick of seeing cdsety on her screen, tired of hearing the same answering machine message each time the call rang off.
She hadn't told him. Not over text, nor in the short messages she had left. It wasn't the kind of thing she expected he would want to hear at all, let alone without even being able to react. She needed to see him. It wouldn't change anything, not when her mind was set on the appointment that was now just a few days away. She had been lucky that Melody had been able to get an appointment so soon, just eleven days after they had rung.
Every minute was counted down, every hour ticked off as she waited for the day that she could get it over and done with, to rid her body of the invasion that stopped her from enjoying herself. Every moment she found a reason to smile, her brain reminded her of the mess that she was in and her lips ducked into a frown as though she couldn't possibly happy while she was pregnant. That was the truth, though. She couldn't, and Pearl was beginning to see that. She had apologised, and she had listened when Ishaana had taken the time to explain herself, outlining every reason why abortion was the option she had chosen. Why it was the only option for her. Why it didn't matter that she wanted children in the future when right now, that was out of the question.
It would all be ok. That was what she repeated to herself over and over each night when she lay down with too many thoughts crowding out her brain, reminding herself that the worst had already happened. It couldn't get worse, not without some kind of unprecedented catastrophe. Casey's reaction would have no effect on her decision when she was dragging herself through each day in pursuit of the date she had circled in her mind. But he deserved to know.
Ishaana leant against the fridge and focused on breathing steadily as she called him again, trying to stifle the nausea that she couldn't wait to be without. It had come out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago, and now it clung to her like a limpet, churning up whatever she tried to eat. Not much had made it recently when her morning sickness had turned out to be constant sickness, her body changing to accommodate the identical foetuses that fought to survive. It was a struggle to stand as she held her phone to her ear for the third time that day. Several longs seconds passed, and she mouthed along with his answerphone message: hey, it's Casey. Text me.
"No luck?" Melody appeared in the doorway, three mugs in one hand and a stack of plates in the other that had found their way up to her room over the past week. She was an abuser of tea, often drinking five or more cups a day, and when she left one mug in her room, she could rarely be bothered to go and fetch it, preferring just to use a new mug.
"Nope," Ishaana said, and then she muttered, "Fucking prick."
"Maybe his phone's dead," Melody said, shrugging as she clanked over to the sink and waited for the water to heat up a little before she began to wash out her mugs. "Maybe he hasn't heard your messages."