It's been a while since I wrote much of anything...so be gentle with your critiques but please leave some feedback. I'm considering using this piece for an upcoming flash fiction contest.
By Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
I didn’t read the directions as carefully as I should have, but nonetheless the lifeless plastic stick is lying flat on the vanity in front of me. I’m still sitting on the toilet with my pants around my ankles. Yup, leader of our church youth group, preacher’s kid, most likely to friggin’ succeed. No one would suspect I’d be worried about anything sexual, much less teen pregnancy. Daddy is one thin wall away. He’s working on his fire and brimstone sermon. (I can hear the tap tap tapping of the pencil while he ponders just the right words to say.) If only he knew. This is seriously the longest three minutes of my life. Wipe. Flush. Wash. Wash again. This hand soap stinks; what was my mom thinking? Dry. Close lid. Check teeth. Brush teeth. Check hair…unruly and curly as usual. Check clock.
Thank God, it’s time.
“What honey?” questioned Daddy as he stopped tapping just long enough to worry.
“Oh nothing, I just stubbed my toe, Daddy. I’ll be out in a minute, gotta find the bandaids.” I reassured him as the tears trickled down the side of my nose onto my upper lip.
“Stop in here before you head to the library. I need to run something past you about this Easter sermon.” Daddy requested as the tap tapping continued.
I cleaned up a bit, shoved the test into my backpack and headed in by Daddy. I couldn’t concentrate on what he was asking about. Good thing he is the sort of person who likes to talk to himself with an audience. I didn’t have to say much.
“You are always such a big help Martha. Study hard tonight and tell Jacob he’ll need to usher on Sunday.” Daddy said with a smile as I left the modest parsonage headed for the library.
Step on a crack…trying to remember the rest of the song. Parishioners and passersby might think I’m enjoying the budding trees and singing birds. I bet they think everything is just fine. They have no idea what’s on the inside. They see what they want to see. Truth is, I don’t want to see Jacob. Ever again. I know it’s not Jacob’s fault. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last. Daddy says it’s a sin but I enjoy sex. I don’t look like one of ‘those girls’ the Ladies Aid always talk about. No short skirts, no heavy makeup, and my swimsuit, a one piece. I play the organ and sing in the choir on Sundays. Not sure which is a costume, the good girl or the whore? Jacob once said I remind him of the song Nasty Girl and I’m a lady on the street but a freak in the bed.
“I guess we’ll get married.” Jacob said hesitantly when I gave him the news.
“Seriously? I don’t even love you.” was my realistic response.
Everything was happening so fast. I didn’t want a baby. I really didn’t want Jacob for my husband. Daddy was so angry we just did what he said. It was really difficult to tell him I lost the baby. By that time it was too late though. My miracle came too late. I was already Mrs. Jacob Langley and Daddy made it very clear I would be Mrs. Jacob Langley until the day I died, baby or no baby.
Here I am pants around my ankles again. If there’s a kid, I don’t know if it’s Jacob’s or not. I do know I don’t want it though. Positive? Damn! Time to put away my tight sweaters and grab baggy sweatshirts again. As long as no one notices I’m pregnant everything should be okay. I’ll put this one with the others. All the little children can play together up in Heaven. It’s a much better life than they would have in this miserable town, with such lousy parents.
“What’s for supper? Are you almost done in there?” Jacob asked as the kitchen chair groaned from his weight.
“Almost done dear. There’s a meatloaf in the oven. Do you want mashed potatoes or fried potatoes?” I responded cheerfully.
“Mashed is great. Hey, are these new work boots for me?” he asked
“Sure are. Just save the box please. I’ve got something in mind for it.” I said as cold eyes stared back at me from the vanity mirror.