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Breathe, I thought to myself. You just need to breathe.

The air I needed seemed to be caught in my throat as I stared at the results in front of me. I knew what the outcome would have been, but it still caught me by surprise. I thought the first test at school was a fluke. I'd taken three more, and they all said the same thing. And it scared the shit out of me. Knowing that it was real. That this was really happening. That I was...

I couldn't think about it. I couldn't bring myself to say that word. This couldn't be happening. This didn't happen to girls like me. I only did it once, for Christ's sake!


The voice on the other side of the bathroom door caught me off guard. I had heard my mother call my name the first time, but it hadn't registered in my head. I forced an excuse to form in my head. I couldn't tell her anything yet. I could hardly handle knowing myself.

"S-sorry, Mom! I was just looking for my earring."

I said the first plausible thing that came to my mind. Something that my mother would believe.

"Found it," I said breathlessly through the door, praying that she wouldn't see past my lie. She couldn't find out so soon. I was already about to fall apart.

"Well, good. Dinner's ready, honey."

"Okay," I answered, my voice still shaky. How would I get through dinner? I swallowed the lump in my throat, knowing she was still standing there. "I'll be down in a minute."

She didn't say anything, but I heard her walk away. I turned around, staring at the tests sitting on the counter. I put them at the bottom of my backpack, along with the wrappers and the box they came in. I had to throw them away at school tomorrow. I couldn't risk her finding them if she emptied my trash.

I threw my backpack in my closet and hurried downstairs.

"How was school today, Charlotte?" She asked as I slid into the seat across from her.

Great. I threw up my breakfast before second period.

"It was fine," I muttered, putting food onto my plate and avoiding eye contact. I offered more information, not wanting her to think something was wrong. "Less homework, y'know, since we only have this week and next week."

It was just her and I right now. My stepfather, Chris, was at work. I was almost relieved. It wasn't that we didn't like each other...We just never made an effort to get close, and it was awkward. I had a feeling that there was something about me he didn't like.

When dinner was done, I slipped back up to my room. I closed the door behind me and slid to the floor, consumed by the truth I knew I'd have to face.

I was pregnant.

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