By Emily Liles

Jane opened her eyes and was immediately greeted by the harsh light of day. She groaned. Her head hurt like hell and she had bruises all over her body. Now… she thought to herself as she looked around. Just where am I? It didn't take long for her to realize that she had been lying on the edge of the sidewalk all night.

Damn…must have passed out on my way home from the bar.

Jane stood and stretched her arms. She winced as a shot of pain ran up her back to her neck. She sighed. She must have had a little too much to drink; her head felt like it could explode at any minute. She did her best not to trip over her own feet as she stumbled down the street towards her house. I wonder what time it is. Great! Mom and Dad are gonna be worried. She chuckled to herself, and felt an immediate pain in her stomach. "Ouch!" She gasped out loud.

About fifteen minutes later Jane rounded the corner into her neighborhood. As she approached her house she noticed that her dad's car was missing. Odd… Her dad wasn't usually gone so early in the morning. Then again, my sense of time may be a little off. She frowned, annoyed.

She reached into her pocket and pulled out her key. She unlocked the door, entered her house, and walked into the kitchen to make some coffee. After she turned the coffee pot on, she wandered down the hall to check on her parents. Their bedroom door was open, and she could imagine them sitting on the edge of their bed, waiting for her to enter so they could lecture her about staying out all night. Jane braced herself as she stepped into their room.

It was empty.

Jane was confused. It wasn't like her parents to just leave without word. She shrugged and decided not to think too much of it. She was sure they'd be back before noon, and if not, she would call them.

She went back to the kitchen to drink her coffee.

Three hours passed without any word from her parents. Jane was worried. Did they go out last night? She couldn't remember. And if they did… Had they been in an accident? She stood from the couch and went to the phone, only to find that it was not hung up. She reached for her cell phone, then remembered she'd left at Dawson's house. And after what he did to her, she wasn't sure she wanted to ask him for it. Heck, she wasn't sure if she ever wanted to hear his name again. She shook her head and tried to clear her mind. She went back into her parents' room and found the house phone lying on the floor.

Weird. She picked it up and dialed her mom's number. She was relieved when she heard her mother's voice answer.

"Hello?" Her mom said. Her voice sounded hoarse.

"Hey, mom? I was just wondering where you and Dad were. You didn't come home last-" Her mom had hung up.

Jane stood for a long moment before she hung up the phone. Why did Mom hang up on me?

Was her mom angry because she didn't come home last night?

No, that couldn't be it… her mom hadn't come home either.

Jane's eyes widened. She brushed her hands over her belly. Her parents must have found out that she was pregnant. That must be it! She felt a sudden twist in her stomach. She fought back tears as she tried to decide what to do.

But how? I took the test at Nessa's house. She's the only one that knows!

Jane ran out the door. She was going to Vanessa's house. I'll ask her if she told my parents… She walked briskly down the road.

It was only a few minutes before she was at Vanessa's house. She paused by the curb, hesitant. She felt bad for assuming that her best friend had revealed her secret. But I HAVE to know! She stepped across the grass to the door and rang the bell.

Vanessa opened the door. Her face was white and her eyes had dark circles under them. She seemed to stare right through Jane.

"Hey, Nessa!" Jane smiled. "I was just wondering if you let my little secret, well, slip to my parents?"

Vanessa looked around; her eyes never focused on her friend.

"Nessa?" Jane asked, worried. "Are you okay?"

Vanessa finally caught Jane's eye, but only for a second. Then she took one last look around her yard and shut the door.

What the hell is wrong with everyone today? Jane thought, suddenly infuriated. My parents are one thing, but Nessa?

She wanted to pound on the door, but knew it wouldn't change anything. If Vanessa was angry at her for something, she would stay angry. She was too hard-headed. Jane stormed back into the street and began her short journey home.

Why is everyone pissed at me today? It wasn't my fault I got pregnant! She began to cry; warm tears dripped down her cheeks. It's not my fault! They should know I wouldn't… She wiped her tears with her arm. That bastard forced me to! She stopped and collapsed to her knees. Her tears dripped onto the sidewalk.

She felt someone watching her and looked up to see a child. The small girl was grinning down at her, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "You are really slow."

Jane glared at the strange girl. "Leave me alone, brat!" She spat. She stood and stormed away from the kid, who just laughed.

When Jane approached her house she noticed that her dad's car was there. She raced across the yard and barged into her house. "What's wrong with everyone today?" She yelled as she entered her parents' room.

They did not look up when she entered. They acted like they hadn't even heard her. "Why won't you answer me?" Her parents remained silent. They both had tears in their eyes and seemed to be trying to comfort each other. "What's wrong?" Jane demanded. "Why won't anyone answer me?" She screamed.

"Hey!" Jane turned to see the strange little girl standing in the doorway.

"Get out of here!" She yelled angrily, tears escaping down her face. The girl just scoffed and pointed at her parents, who seemed to be oblivious to the both of them. "Don't you understand?" The girl stepped a little closer to Jane, who glared in return.

"What?" Jane muttered.

The girl stared back grimly. "You're dead."