Ellie had always read and heard that this was supposed to make you fragile. Her emotions ran all over the map, and she didn't know what to do to make them stop.
She had stayed after school to watch Wyatt at his hockey practice. He was getting better, it seemed, and each time Ellie went, she always got to point out to Wyatt on the ice and tell other onlookers that he was her boyfriend, all while wearing her prize winning smile that Wyatt loved so much.
Ellie wasn't smiling today.
She hadn't even stayed for the entire practice. She had instead driven to the doctor's office, trying not to have her car hydroplane on the way there.
The rain was coming down in buckets. Normally, Ellie liked the rain. She liked to think of it as a starting-over point for every creature that walked the Earth. The warm, soft rain would wash everything away; the problems and sorrow of everyone slowly circling down the gutters. She wanted Wyatt to kiss her in the rain, but to really kiss her – like in the movies. She wanted him to sweep her off of her feet and kiss her as the water fell onto their faces, giggling and laughing the entire time. Ellie wanted the rain a happy occasion on a day like this.
It wasn't, though. Cold, icy drops of water fell from the clouds that loomed in the black sky above. She could feel them on her face as she walked outside, each giving her the sensation of a razor cutting through her skin.
She planted herself in her car, giving the key a quick jerk in the ignition, lights on the radio glowing their familiar orange. The windshield wipers flew from each side of the car in a frenzy.
The brunette rested her forehead against the steering wheel. Her mouth dropped open before she could form a sound, eyes pinched together on her face. Soft, hysterical sobs escaped her as her stinging tears burned road maps of mascara down her cheeks.
Ellie Messini, for once, didn't know what to think of herself.
Wyatt McCormick thought that he had it made. His grades were doing okay, the hockey season was in swing, and scouts for colleges were beginning to go out and watch games, hungry eyes watching the players to see who had the promise of becoming the next Gretsky, or Gaborik.
Most importantly, however, Wyatt had Ellie. There was something so magical about having someone in his life that loved him as unconditionally as Ellie did. She praised him for everything he ever did, and Wyatt loved her back just as much as she loved him. On the rare weekends when parents would be out of town and they would spend the night with one another, Wyatt found himself lying awake next to her in bed, admiring something as simple as the way she slept. Just picturing Ellie in his head put him at ease, and it was all he wanted.
Elena Messini was perfect.
When Wyatt had changed and left the ice arena, he didn't see Ellie anywhere, so he assumed that she was out in the car, heating it up. The rain left things awfully cold; forming a thick layer of ice over the January snow.
Wyatt could see her headlights in the parking lot through the weather, charging through the rain to open the door. Ellie collected herself as quickly as she saw Wyatt walk towards her, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand.
"Hey," Wyatt said, not noticing the state his girlfriend was in. He leaned in to kiss her, lips meeting Ellie's cheek. He could taste the salt from her tears, causing him to look at her as she continued to wheeze and wipe tears from her eyes.
"Ellie… what's wrong?"
"Nothing, I'm f-fine. R-Really." Ellie dabbed her eyes with her sleeve, taking a glance at herself in the rear view mirror. "I just… I'm fine, I promise." She looked over at Wyatt, unable to make eye contact with him.
Staring into Ellie's eyes was one of Wyatt's favorite things to do. They were so bright and emotional, and the fact that she wasn't willing to let him do that now killed him. He reached out to touch her hand.
"Ellie, if you need anything-"
"Don't touch me!" She screamed, breaking down once more as Wyatt's fingers grazed dangerously close to her stomach. Ellie began to cry even harder than she was earlier; the very thought of wailing in her car once more causing her physical pain.
Wyatt had never seen anyone cry as much as Ellie was now. The way her face tightened when she began to sob, her tears running dry after a while. Hearing her rough, sorrowful hiccups made him feel queasy.
"Ellie, what happened?" Wyatt was showing more concern for Ellie now than ever before. Had she been hurt? Or had someone been hurt?
His entire train of thought vanished in an instant.
Wyatt couldn't hear the rest of the words that came out of her mouth. He didn't know what to do think, let alone say.
"I went to the doctor today to make sure, and they said I've been pregnant for about four weeks now… I wanted to tell you, Wyatt, but I-" she stopped, tears choking her. "I didn't know what you would say."
Wyatt didn't even know what he was supposed to say. His girlfriend was pregnant with his baby. His entire world would be flipped on its head. He would have to assume the role of father in a baby's life, dropping everything on a dime to make sure he could provide the best for his kid. What would his mom think? Would she tell him to support Ellie in everything that happened, or would she be more upset with him that he was irresponsible, not taking the necessary precautions when they had sex so that this kind of thing didn't happen?
"Ellie, I…" Wyatt couldn't find the words to describe how he was feeling. "I thought you said we were going to be okay?"
"I guess I had to wait a few weeks for the pills to actually be effective," she said, voice laced with regret. "I'm so sorry, Wyatt."
As she cried, Ellie tried to take stock of her options. She didn't want her family to know about any of this, because she knew what the results would be. Her mother would start to cry and her father would just shake his head, and while she knew she wouldn't be kicked out of the house, the tensions would run high enough in the Messini household for the nine months Ellie carried her child. And afterwards? What was she supposed to do with the rest of her life once her child was born? Was she required to drop everything and begin to become a mother, stumbling through the obstacles her own mother would refuse to explain to her?
Adoption wasn't an option. She couldn't give her baby away to someone else who she hardly knew.
"Ellie, we're going to get through this, okay?" Wyatt watched Ellie as she began to try and collect herself, placing a hand on her knee. She didn't flinch this time. "I'll talk to my mom, and I can take off school for a year, okay?" Wyatt sighed, looking over at his girlfriend. "I'm going to help you through this, Ellie." Wyatt didn't want to just leave her to raise his kid on her own.
Ellie felt her stomach ties itself into a knot.
"I don't want to keep the baby," she said, voice soft and almost unheard. She looked over to Wyatt, shell shocked.
"I'm going to go to the abortion clinic tomorrow to get a checkup," Ellie said. Her lips felt like they were glued together, unable to say anything. "I can't have this baby."
"I what, Wyatt? How are we supposed to make everything perfect and wonderful for a kid if it can't even be that way for ourselves? You and I both know that if I tell my parents, they won't bother to help us. I don't even know if I'm going to school this fall, and you don't either. I can't raise a baby, Wyatt. Not yet."
Wyatt couldn't believe his ears. Since when had Ellie gotten to be so selfish? Caring more about her own future than one of the child she was carrying? His eyebrows furrowed together, looking at Ellie.
"Are you serious right now? Ellie, you didn't want to talk to me about this first? This is my decision just as much as it is yours." A hand came up to his face, rubbing his eyes and shaking his head. He couldn't believe his ears right now. Wyatt thought he could never find anything wrong with Ellie, but now, especially now, he was beginning to prove himself wrong. "I thought… I always thought you would take more thought into something like this." Wyatt began to feel anger boil up from his stomach, tears stinging at his eyes.
"Wyatt, I'm sorry," she said, turning away from him and looking through her windshield at the rain. "But it's the best thing for all of us, I promise. Don't you want to go to school and make something of yourself?"
"I want you to be happy," Wyatt interrupted, his voice breaking a bit. "I want both of us to be happy. Together. And if having a baby together still means that we get to be happy together, then that's just what we have to do."
Ellie sighed, tears welling up in her eyes once more. "I can't be a mother, Wyatt. I can't be."
She began to cry, a hand moving down towards her stomach. She ducked her head down and continued to cry, a hand reaching out for Wyatt's to grab. All she wanted was to be close to him, and if it weren't for the damn console in the middle of the car, she would sit in his lap as he held her, crying into his shoulder like she always did when she was upset.
"I love you, Ellie," he said, giving her hand a squeeze. "And I promise that no matter what you decide, I'm going to support you, okay?" He swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat, blinking back his own tears. "But please consider what you're doing. I'm going to be there for you one hundred percent if you have this baby." Wyatt leaned over and pressed a kiss to her cheek, wiping her tears away with his thumb as she looked over at him. "We'll be the best parents ever."
Ellie smiled, continuing to cry.
"I love you too," she whimpered, swearing never to let go of his hand. "And I want to have your baby." Ellie leaned over to kiss him, resting her other hand on the side of his face.
Ellie started the car and began to drive back to Wyatt's house, not letting go Wyatt's hand throughout the entire ride.