This is something I wrote for a creative writing assignment in the fall, I've edited and extended it and am seriously considering entering into a literary magazine contest for short short stories (less than 1500 words). Anyway, I just wanted to get some last minute opinions about this, so please tell me what you think. By the way, summer semester ended today and I'm heading home tomorrow so I have a lot of time to write (something I have had no time for for the past couple of weeks due to school). I will update "Everything I Never Wanted" and "Expect the Unexpected" (only if my writer's block goes away) soon!
Michael Lowell was washing his hands in the hall bathroom when he saw it.
He paused to stare at the object of his scrutiny for several minutes, letting the warm water continue to run a few seconds after the last trace of soap had left his hands. He continued to stare at it as he turned the water off and reached for the towel hanging on the wall to the right of the sink to wipe his wet hands off.
It was a pregnancy test. Partially covered by a piece of paper, but the pink and white box was indistinguishable.
An opened and obviously used one since there was nothing actually in the box, plus it was in the trashcan.
He bent down to pick the empty box up just to be sure, and just like he suspected, it was empty. There was nothing but the instructions inside. God only knew where the actual test was now.
What the hell? Was his first thought as he stared at the First Response® box, holding it at arms length, as if he was afraid that it would give him some kind of disease if he held it any closer.
Though, once he got over the initial shock of seeing the test in the first place, he wondered who the hell needed a the damn thing.
Since, he lived with two females, there wasn't much to guess. It was a fifty-fifty chance.
His wife would have told him if she thought she was pregnant since she very well knew that he would freak (much like he was doing right now) if he saw the opened box without knowing it was hers to begin with. At least, he hoped she did. Besides, they hadn't had sex for at least a month…
Was she cheating on him? The idea came so quickly, it nearly knocked him over… it made him stop short for a second and an ache began growing in the pit of his stomach as he thought that over.
"No." he whispered after a moment of quiet contemplation, she wouldn't… they were high school sweethearts, married straight out of high school. They loved each other, had for the past twenty years… Judy had shown no signs that she was unhappy, she wasn't hiding things from him, nor was she suddenly going on more business trips then she had been a few months ago.
Unless Judy was very good at hiding things… which she wasn't. If the 'surprise' party she threw for him a couple of years ago was any indication. He found out almost everything before the thing because Judy left it lying out almost all the time.
No…. it wasn't hers.
It couldn't be.
So, that just left his only daughter, Danielle… that thought alone pissed him off, his daughter was only seventeen years old! His little angel was too young to be getting that intimate with a boy.
He heard the front door slam and the sound of his daughter and his wife entering the house, "Michael! Dinner's here!" Judy's voice sounded from the stairs.
"Be there in a minute!" he called, still staring at the First Response® box in his hand.
Wondering what to do now that his wife and daughter were home… should he confront them right now? Together or separate? Several more questions flew through is brain, but he finally decided to keep his mouth shut until at least after dinner, then he and Judy could talk about it without Danielle overhearing.
With that decision made, he flattened the box and stuffed it into the pocket of his jeans before turning and leaving the bathroom, shutting the lights off as he went.
Throughout dinner, he kept thinking about what he had found not ten minutes before. It was bothering him… a lot more then he thought it should. He wasn't even listening to Judy and Danielle as they ate and reminisced about the crazy girl's day out they had had.
"Which one of you is pregnant?" he blurted out suddenly, before he could really stop himself.
Judy choked on the sip of water she had just taken, while Danielle dropped her fork and winced as it clattered noisily against her plate.
"What?" was the unison response he got
"You heard me Judy, I found this" he threw the flattened box on the table, "in the upstairs bathroom today… and I want to know who the hell it was for!"
"Michael…" she glanced towards her daughter, "I don't think –"
"You're cheating on me!" he accused, once again, before he could stop himself.
"What?" Judy asked, her eyes wide, "What?! No, I'm not!"
"Then, explain to me why the hell I found a pregnancy test in the damn bathroom!"
"It wasn't for me, Michael! I swear, I –"
He didn't even let her finish before his eyes turned to his daughter, "Don't look at me, dad. I told you that Robbie and I have taken an oath of abstinence until we get married!"
He stared between the two women, one of them had to be lying… it just didn't make sense otherwise. If they were both telling the truth then there would be no need for the pregnancy test in the first place.
"I know one of you is lying to me. I'll be in my bedroom when whoever that is decides to come clean." he said as he got up from the table and left the two startled, confused females in his wake.
They both stared at each other and then winced simultaneously when they heard a door slam above their heads.
After a few moments, Judy sighed, "I better go straighten this out before something worse happens. Would you mind cleaning up, dear?"
"No, mom… just please go talk some sense into dad. I have no idea where that pregnancy test came from, but it wasn't for me!"
"I know, honey, I know." Judy said before she left the room, taking the same route as her husband had taken only a few seconds before.
"Michael?" she called softly through the door.
"You are cheating on me!" he accused, his voice, while muffled was audible through the door.
She sighed, "Michael, I would never do that to you. I love you. I wouldn't be married to you if I didn't." she sighed, "Do you remember when your mother visited over the weekend?" she asked.
He opened the door to stare at her, "Yea…" he started, "but, what the hell does my mother have to do with anything?!"
Judy let out and exasperated sigh, "I didn't want to have to tell you this… at least not so soon. And I especially didn't want to tell you in front of our daughter…"
"Tell me what?" he asked.
"Your mother's the pregnant one, at least she and I think she is. I know she's a little old, but for some odd reason we think she's managed to conceive, which is something that no one – even her own doctor – expected. Though, we won't know officially since she wants to be absolutely sure before she goes blabbing it everywhere, since she could be wrong, which she…"
That was the last thing Michael Lowell heard before his head met the floor in a dead faint.