|Something in the Water
Author: booksandhockey PM
Ben and I are the first couple to get pregnant without a license in fifty years, and we're only seventeen.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 14 - Words: 27,435 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 03-23-13 - Published: 02-03-13 - id: 3098081
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello reader! This is my first story post, so go easy on me :) This is something that I've written before, but now I'm looking to perfect it. I think it's an interesting idea, so I hope you do too! Be sure to tell me what you think! Thanks for reading!
Something in the Water
Chapter One: Impossible
My eyes are closed as I try to stay asleep in Ben's bed, but he continues to distract me by running his fingertips over my cheek. I'm tired, but it feels nice, so I let him keep going. It's so peaceful. The morning sun is peeking through the blinds over the windows, and the ceiling fan caresses our skin with gentle breezes of air. It's even more heavenly with the boy here, lying beside me.
I sigh softly and deeply to trick him into thinking I am still asleep. Ben kisses my temple and redirects his fingers to weave themselves through mine. "You're blushing," he whispers, catching me in the act. "Unless your cheeks are still pink from last night."
I open my eyes just to see the smile that I know will be overwhelming his face. Sure enough, it's there, and it's contagious. "You're blushing, too." I tease, cupping his own cheek in my palm. He's leaning over me, propping himself up on an elbow.
He leans into my hand and shuts his big, brown eyes. "I can't help it."
Most people our age sleep together because there aren't any risk factors. They sleep with as many people as they can before they're married and forbidden to be with anyone but their spouse. But Ben and I sleep together because we love each other, and we don't want to be with anyone else.
I brush my thumb over his skin. "You have bed-head." I smile again. His dark, curly hair is ruffled from sleep - or lack thereof.
He chuckles in the groggy way that makes my heart skip two whole beats. "Want me to get you a mirror?"
I widen my eyes in surprise and give him a playful little slap on his cheek. "Thanks."
He chuckles again and drops his face close to mine. "You look beautiful." He says, before he leans down completely and kisses my lips.
I hold him there, and his face is captive between my hands. He pulls back before we get carried away, and collapses on to the pillow next to me. I turn to my side and watch him stare at the ceiling. His forehead has a wrinkle in it.
"What are you thinking about?" I ask, tucking my arms under the covers. I'm a little chilly, and the air beneath the covers is still very warm.
Ben hesitates for a moment. "Your birthday is this summer..." He shifts his eyes to look at me. "Em, you're almost eighteen."
I stare back at him. "I know." We'll graduate high school a year from now. After that, we have to decide where life will take us.
The wrinkle is still present. "Do you think...when we're old enough, do you think you'll want to marry me?"
I want to laugh and tell him how silly the question is, but I don't. Instead, I feel for his hand beneath the covers and squeeze it gently. "Why are you asking?"
He shrugs, shifting positions uncomfortably. "It's two years from now. Sometimes people change."
I refrain from rolling my eyes. "Ben, I've known you for seven years. Have I ever changed?"
He smile is small, but it's still a smile. "Not one bit."
I lift his fingers to my lips. "I'll marry you right now."
He looks at me lovingly, but I still sense a sign of doubt beneath his expression. "You will?"
I snuggle my bed-head into his shoulder, inhaling the sweet scent of his bare skin. "Of course I will."
The point Ben made before is still swimming in my head, regardless of what I know in my heart.
He's right. People do change.
. . . . . . . .
At first, I thought I was gaining weight. The long, winter holiday months do that to you. You put on a couple of pounds here and there, and shed them off for bikini season - well, you try. I noticed the tiny difference in my thighs and my arms, but the bulge of my tummy wasn't going away. If anything, it was getting bigger.
It's not the flabby kind of fat that everyone has. I poke it with my finger and it's kind of solid, almost like a balloon is inside of me. Almost like...
What am I thinking? Of course it isn't that.
I look in the mirror and curiously lift the thin fabric of my tank top, studying the bump for a few minutes. It has a definite round shape that curves smoothly around my middle.
"It can't be..." I mumble to myself. I hold my shaky hands around it, one on top and the other cradling beneath. My stomach drops clear through the floor, because I feel something...I feel life.
How? How can I be pregnant? It doesn't happen that fast, the last time Ben and I were together was a few days ago. Unless it happened before...no. It's impossible.
Then why do I feel sick to my stomach?
I sprint to the bathroom and lean over the toilet, painstakingly waiting for whatever it is in my stomach that wants to come back up. When I become violently sick, my eyes start stinging with fresh tears. No one is home with me, both of my parents work on Sundays. My father works every day of the week; he's an Evaluator.
After I'm finished, I slouch back down on the cold, tiled floor and lean against the bathtub. Maybe it was the burgers we had last night...or maybe I'm pregnant.
How the hell am I pregnant? The answer is simple: I'm not. The water provides a zero percent chance for anyone to get pregnant unless they are professionally detoxified, and to be detoxified, you have to pass the Evaluation and be married, and to be married, you have to be at least 20 years old.
In other words, I can't be pregnant. It's physically impossible. The solution they added to the water supply over fifty years ago guarantees it.
I lift my shirt again and draw a circle around my belly button with my finger. The tears start to sting again, and I realize I need another opinion.
I wait for Ben in the same place, leaning against my bathtub. He knows something's wrong just by the tone of my voice, but I tell him everything's okay. It is okay, I'm just overreacting. I tend to do that a lot.
I hear him open the front door. "Emma?"
"Up here," I say weakly, hugging my knees close to my chest. He'll probably just laugh at me, tell me I'm being ridiculous. I am being ridiculous.
He almost passes by the open door to the bathroom, catching himself on his heels when he sees me. "I brought you a milkshake." He shakes the styrofoam cup. "Strawberry's your favorite."
I smile the best I can and raise myself to my feet. "Thank you."
He leans forward to kiss my forehead, handing me the cup. "What's the matter?"
I take a deep breath and set the cup down on the counter.
"You don't want it?" Ben asks with a frown.
I shake my head. "No, I..."
His expression turns toward concern, and I know I should just ask him what he thinks. I'm not sure if I want to know.
"Em, you're scaring me." He says. "What's wrong?"
The stingy tears return and I laugh them away. "It's silly..."
He spots them before I can hide, catching my face in his hands. "Emma, please talk to me."
I try blinking the tears away. "Do you remember what it looked like when Kate was having a baby?" Kate is his older sister. She used to babysit us when we were young.
He wasn't expecting that question. "What do you mean?"
My heart is threatening to beat through my chest. I step around him to close the bathroom door, revealing the full-length mirror behind it. I thought maybe looking at him through the mirror would be easier, but it's just the same. "I mean what did it look like?"
He shakes his head, unsure of where I am going with this. I sigh and yank my shirt up for the hundreth time.
He stares at the bulge of my belly with a blank stare. "What's the problem?"
"Do you think I'm fat?" I ask bluntly, annoyed that he's going to make me say it out loud.
"No way." He says instantly. "Is that what this is about?"
I turn my eyes back to the mirror and examine my stomach with another poke. "I don't know..." Maybe I am just fat.
"Is that why you don't want the milkshake? That's stupid, Emma."
"No, Ben. Forget the milkshake." I snatch his wrist and press his palm over my stomach, holding it there. His fingers spread evenly over my sensitive skin, and I watch his face closely the entire time. "What do you feel?"
He looks down at his own hand and moves his fingers around a little. Then, he slowly takes on the face that I'm sure I had when I felt the life inside of me. He raises his eyes to meet mine. I bite my lip, realizing that he feels it, too. I'm not crazy. There's something in there.
"No..." He yanks his hand away from me. "That's impossible." He takes an extra step backwards, like I'm toxic or something.
"I know it is." I say gently. "But do you feel it, too?"
His wild eyes stare at my stomach as he continues shaking his head. I feel a thick and sticky lump in my throat.
The shock is beginning to wear off. "What is it, then?" I ask him, praying he has a logical answer. "What else could it be?"
Again, he says nothing. I worry that his eyes will dry out, because he still isn't blinking.
"Ben," I wait for his eyes to connect with mine. I cradle my stomach like I did before, trying to knock him out of his frozen state. The wall of tears resting on my eyelids spill over. "What if I'm pregnant?"