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My heart races. My hands swell up. The room feels like it’s spinning uncontrollably. I look at the clock only to see the second hand ticking away. It’s almost time. Only a few more minutes. Reality will be altered.
“Are you ready?” Max asks me. It confuses me how someone can’t see what’s written all over your face. How could I be ready for something so frightening? I look away, and gaze out the window at a mother and child crossing the street. Then to the red cardinal sitting atop a tree branch.
The room I am in is simple to describe. It’s like any other doctor’s office. It has the stench of cleanliness and sickness at the same time. A woman, perhaps in her forties, sits pleasantly behind the counter equipped with a toothy smile that screams sorrow. I have been in this office, in this same vicinity, sitting on this hard cushioned couch, three times in the past month now.
“I’m sorry, Sarah, but I think we need to run a few more tests.”
“Why don’t you just relax I’m sure it’s nothing.” These are words Doctor Arnold tries to comfort me with. But I can’t be fooled.
I tug on my chestnut blonde curls to pass the time.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Dr. Arnold walks out with a red tootsie roll pop clenched in his sweaty palm. To be courteous, I happily oblige his generous offer. What can I say? I’m a sucker for any type of candy.
“Thought I’d check on you sweetheart. Only twenty more minutes.”
Dr. Arnold pats my head and turns away, putting on a fresh pair of green gloves that were stashed away in his pocket. Max turns to look at me as I count how many times it takes to get to the center of the tootsie pop.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.
I’m bored already. Once again, I gaze around the room at the mother’s magazines and children’s books that surround me. I wondered what life would be like in a year, or ten years, or even two weeks. I wonder what life will be like in five minutes, or one.
“Sarah Phillips?” The average looking blonde haired, blue eyed nurse leads me into room number 3 and pulls a fresh sheet of wax paper over the maroon cushion.
“The doctor will be here in a second,” she says cheerfully.
My heart races. My hands swell up. The room feels like it’s spinning uncontrollably. I look at the clock only to see the minute hand ticking away. It’s almost time. Only a few more minutes. Reality is altered.
Max tousles his hair and does not help the awkward silence that fills the air. I know that he’s afraid, possibly more afraid than I am. I know him, the way he can’t express emotion, so I don’t try to make conversation. Slowly, the door knob starts to turn and the door creeks open.
Here we go.
“Sarah darling I have run over your tests a few times and have found the same results. In these cases you have two options. I do not know how else to say this except that you’re pregnant.”
My heart sinks. Lower than low. Max covers his face with his hands with both horror and shock.
“But…” I stutter, but don’t know what else to say.
“Since you are so young of age, it may not be healthy to have the baby. Although, it is your decision,” he adds. “If you decide to have the baby, I will make sure you are in great care.” Dr. Arnold pauses. He turns to Max.
“Mr. Philips, I can refer you to some other doctors that can help you if you want to do the other method.”
Max looks at me with his caramel brown eyes that warm my heart. His eyes became glassy, and his face turns as red as the box of chocolates he gave me on Valentine’s Day.
“I just don’t know how to handle this. I don’t know what to do,” Max begins to sob.
“I know this is a lot of information for me to unravel so quickly. Why don’t you come back tomorrow once you think everything over?” Dr. Arnold asks.
Max and I both nod our heads as Dr. Arnold slowly, then swiftly exits the room. Just one year ago I was entering the sixth grade, making new friends, enjoying life. My only problems were what dress to wear to the first dance or why I hadn’t had a boyfriend yet. But my dad was always there to comfort me. Just as I was always there to comfort him; when my mom died, when he was alone, confused and hurt. But now, I’m 13 years old and pregnant with my father’s child.