A Bird in the Hand

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Story of Nathan - part 2

Domenica is seventeen and she's pregnant. Naturally, she freaks out. Until now the kind of birth control they used involved 'pulling out' and very occasionally a condom. Not the safest option, but it was the first time for both of them not that long ago. It hasn't really occurred to her until now that this is a thing that can happen, no matter how unprepared she is. Underage pregnancy is for other people, like they say on TV. It only happens if you're poor or otherwise loose, like if you take drugs or hang out with gang members. Domenica has good grades and the only weird guy she hangs out with has never done anything worse that skipping school.

This is just the first level of confusion. Adding to this, the way she learned about her pregnancy seems to carry a deeper meaning. What exactly, she has no idea. She just had that strong intuition that something important has happened. Maybe it's Aaron, reaching out with those weird powers he has? What made him leave so fast and decide to never go back?

The only person she thinks she can talk to is her grandmother. She's always be this carefree, outspoken woman. She's pushed her out of her comfort zone when she needed to and she's listened to the trouble she had times and again. To Domenica, she's the obvious choice. She lives in the mountains, though. It's quite far away.

Domenica decides to tell her mom she needs a few days. While her mom thinks Aaron is just a kid on the run, Domenica still lost her best friend. Doesn't she deserve a break? Her mom agrees without much trouble when she hears Domenica wants to go visit her grandma. Domenica's mom finds it reassuring that her little girl is still behaving in the same pattern. Things can't be too bad, though, if she can be comforted by Granny as usual. Granny Wendi, though, is not so blind when it comes to her granddaughter.

"What kind of trouble did you get in this time, chiquita?" she says over the phone when Domenica calls her. Wendi speaks loudly, she's slowly going deaf, which is not surprising given her age. "You always come crying when you find something you can't handle. What hurt you this time?"

Domenica swallows. She wants to spill it all out but not right at that moment, not on the phone. "Can I come and stay just for a couple days, tata? I can't explain now."

Wendi hears in her voice that it wouldn't be a good idea to pry harder right now. "Of course you can," she says, trying to reassure her favorite and only granddaughter. "Just have your mother drive you to the station, all right? I'll have your bed ready."

Domenica agrees and starts packing a bag. She feels heavy, even though she knows it's all in her head. The big question for now is not whether she wants to keep it or not, it's about the situation she's in really happening. Like, in her real life. For real. She's pregnant and she has no proof that she is but she is and the other culprit has disappeared and she knows it's forever but she has no proof about that either. Talk about confusing.

Did Aaron know? That thought has crossed her mind several time since this morning. Is that why he went away for good? If that's the case, if the good friend who she trusted let her down at the very moment she felt like crap and had to deal with a life-altering situation, she's going to find that guy and beat the living shit out him.

In the afternoon, her mom drives her to the train station. She has taken the afternoon off, saying her girl is down with some illness. It's not that far from the truth and they let you place a last-minute leave from work more easily if you have a viable excuse that can't be checked out.

Domenica has packed very little. She knows her grandmother will be there and she doesn't wanna think. Can't think. Can't face all of this stuff right now. Later is a good time.

She doesn't know yet that she's gonna be over there for a while.


***


Granny Wendi has spent a lot of time over a few weeks trying to mend poor broken Domenica. Wendi always thinks of her as a kid, even though she's taller and broader than her dad, even though she has the shapes of an adult, even though she's pregnant. It's awful for it to be under these circumstances - where did that Aaron guy go, anyway? - but it's also a way for Wendi to reconnect with her granddaughter. To get in touch with the young woman Domenica has become. She's changed a lot in a short amount of time and even if she loves her, Wendi is a bit lost sometimes.

Then there is the question of the pregnancy. Grandma Wendi strongly wants to push for an abortion: Domenica's a young girl with her whole future ahead of her. Also, legalized abortion is something she fought for.

All in all, it seems like an unnecessary risk. While she sometimes seems uninterested by what's going on in school, Domenica is a smart one. Wendi has noticed for a long while how good she is at science. She has a knack for it. It would be a shame not to let her pursue her studies after high school.

On the other hand, Wendi knows perfectly well that Domenica is the one who's going to choose. She may have to protect the girl from her parents, Wendi's own daughter, if it comes down to it. Well, she could always commute to the Brooding U. from this house if she wants to. There's enough space and Wendi doesn't have much to do around there. It could be done, but there's not much point in speculating.

In the room her grandmother has set up for her, Domenica is still very confused. Her parents don't know yet, but they will need to. She needs to know for herself what she wants to do with all of this before anyone tries to pressure or sway her. She needs to know what she wants.

It surprised her at the beginning, the hesitations she has. She's not even out of high school, how could she be a mother? Then again, there is something already happening in that direction, a little event that made Domenica immediately care. She knows it's not a person yet, but it's a possibility. This decision feels way heavier than if it was just about her own life.

On the practical side, this is impossible. She can graduate while being pregnant, there's no rule about that except all the social stigma, but it's a pretty safe bet to say she can say goodbye to the rest of her studies if she goes down that road. She'd have to find a cashier job to pay for diapers, or something along the line. That's no one's dream. It can be easier on this point because Granny Wendi has offered to help raise the little one, as in time and money. but there is still the question of raising the kid properly. What if growing up with a parent running around to do their stuff instead of holding you and telling bedtime stories made you broken? She has no idea and it seems reckless to just risk it.

All in all, she's going to have to decide. For herself, for the possibility of that tiny someone and to be able to face her parents. Every night now, she dreams. She's in the middle of an underground lake. There's no light but somehow she can see around her, like if there was spacial information even without light, carried by the small movements of the water. In the lake somewhere there is something, maybe a fish. They are aware of each other, but not trying actively to find each other out. Not yet. Usually after what seems like hours swimming on the same spot at the surface of that lake like she's waiting for something, Domenica wakes up.

She's never had those kind of dreams before and it almost feels like it's not her dream. Needless to say, it doesn't help her with her decision.

Not when that small possibility she's carrying inside is seemingly trying to communicate.

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