Jodie’s period was late, and she was totally freaking out. Was her bust bigger? Her bra did feel a little tight. Oh shit, was she showing? Had she put on weight?
She phoned Dee. Dee knew everything about sex and babies and what to do.
‘Dee, I’m late.’ She gasped as soon as she heard the voice at the other end.
‘Shit.’ breathed Dee. Jodie didn’t have to explain, Dee was a woman of the world, and she knew what she meant.
‘I know. Do you think I might be pregnant?’
‘Did you do a test?’
‘No, I haven’t got one’.
‘Well you need to go and buy one. Have you been sick?’ Dee quizzed.
‘No. Yes. I was actually, last week’.
‘Shit. In the morning?’
‘No, late at night’.
‘That’s nearly the morning, Jodie,’ Dee sighed, merrily lighting a cigarette, Jodie heard the tell-tale exhale.
‘I’d had a bottle of wine,’ Jodie remembered, casting her mind back. She hadn’t made it the toilet and had puked all down her new dress that was dry clean only.
‘That’ll be the baby rejecting the booze, they don’t like it,’ Dee said, authoritatively.
‘Shit,’ sighed Jodie.
‘Yeah, mega bummer. Who’s the daddy?’
Jodie thought. Who had she screwed, in the last few weeks?
‘Well there was Darryl from the pub, remember? I did that takeaway guy too,’ Jodie felt utterly miserable.
‘Go buy a test, and ring me back, yeah?’ Dee instructed.
Jodie wrapped her coat around herself, in case she saw someone she knew. They might guess and tell her mother and that would be freaking awful wouldn’t it? She couldn’t keep it, could she? She wasn’t about to start playing happy families with Darryl or …. What was his name? The other one? She couldn’t remember now.
She hesitated outside the door of the pharmacy, and her mother’s neighbour, Mrs. Hall, was in there. Shit. She dived into the first shop, oh for god’s sake; she was in a kid’s clothes shop.
‘Can I help you?’ asked a manicured, well groomed woman.
‘I’m pregnant,’ she stammered, the first thing that popped into her head.
‘Congratulations!’ beamed the pink lipstick mouth. ‘We have some adorable baby clothing just in, please feel free to take a look,’ she pointed in the direction of the pastel coloured area. Jodie gulped, just about managed a peevish smile and sauntered over.
And then she fell in love: with the tiny vests with the poppers, the knitted cardigans, the striped socks made for the teeniest feet. She touched the blankets, stroked the teddy bears and suddenly felt brave and happy and maternal. She touched her stomach and started to cry. She left the shop and floated home on a cloud of joy, stopping at the pharmacy for a test she no longer felt afraid of.
She hummed as she went to the bathroom, sang a lullaby as she peed on the stick, was about to call Dee when she saw it. The red. There was no baby.