“Honey, what’s wrong?”
Silence. More sniffing.
“Are you pregnant?”
“I’ll be right there.”
Fifteen minutes later, my mom was knocking on my door. This is where my story differs from so many others. My mom swept me up and took me home to her house. I was instantly surrounded by love, acceptance, and A Plan. Everything would be okay.
You might be thinking my mom is psychic, but first let me tell you what happened two days before.
It’s my cousin’s son’s first birthday. Boyfriend offered to drive my whole family three hours to the party in his family van, in spite of the fact that they’re barely speaking to him since they found out that we… you know. Pretty gutsy on his part, and I can’t help but admire him for it.
About an hour into the trip, we are all laughing and talking like old times. Boyfriend might be getting the stink eye from my stepdad and brother, but he still puts his arm protectively around me. This is the side of Boyfriend I think I can love. Strong, fearless, and a flashing temper that’s scary and exhilarating at the same time. He’s the first guy I’ve met that isn’t afraid of pissing my parents off and that in itself was more than a little exciting.
It’s less exciting when that temper is directed towards me, but I can hold my own. I didn’t grow up with three brothers without learning a few things.
“Are you okay?” Different faces, same question, all day. I’m getting over the flu, and the long trip leaves me feeling nauseous.
“Yeah, just a little tired.” And lightheaded. And sick. Watching the kids take their turn being spun around before hitting the piñata, I start to lose my balance. I sit on the curb and worry. I pray I’m not getting sick again. I already missed three days of work last week because I can’t keep any food down.
My aunt starts to serve lunch and the smell is too much for me to take. I lose what little food I had in my stomach and worry some more. Why have I been sick so much lately? Am I going to die?
I curl up in a recliner and close my eyes. What seems like seconds later, I hear a noise and wake up to find my mom, my aunt, and my grandma standing over me with their arms folded. “You okay?” My mom asks.
“Yeah, I’ve just been sick.”
They’re all narrowing their eyes at me. “I-I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have come, I thought I was better. I hope I don’t get anyone else sick.” I close my mouth and breathe out my nose. My grandma gives my mom a knowing look and pats her arm. My aunt rolls her eyes. What’s their problem?
Later that night, on the way home, my brother’s girlfriend leans over and whispers in my ear. “Do you need me to take you to get a test?”
“I can get you one for free.”
“For what?” Did she know I was dying? My stomach leaps again, and this time my palms start to sweat.
She bites her lip. “Ang, are you late?”
And then I know. The curious glances from my cousin. The narrowed eyes of my sweet grandma. The steady glare coming from my brother aimed at Boyfriend. The look my dad gave me the other night when I ran out of the room and vomited in his bathroom. Twice.
I look at Boyfriend, so he can tell me they’re all crazy and he shakes his head. “I’m taking you,” he whispers.
I gasp in horror and my hand goes instantly to my stomach. And I know. I hope against hope, but deep inside, just like that—in one second, I know.