Fitz and I were having dinner at the table when his phone beeped. He took and unlocked the screen.
“Ah! He finally sent it,” he said with a smile.
“Who finally sent what?”
“Adam just sent me his next single. You see, I get to preview it before it is released.”
“And if you don’t like it?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” he asked back, looking puzzled.
“It is possible that you wouldn’t like a particular one. Would you approve it anyway?”
“Can’t tell for now. I’m downloading it. Want to hear it right now?”
I shrugged indifferently. He played it anyway. I dropped my fork when I realized it was about our last hangout.
“This guy is so talented. His lyrics sound so real, so personal. I’d love to meet this lady of his. She must be special.” The food almost went through the wrong pipe. I quickly downed some water.
“Now I know I’ve made a good investment. This young guy would go very far. I just hope this girl wouldn’t be the end of him.”
“Yeah, hope so too; it would be too bad if she causes him to lose everything.”
“So you two are getting close. How do you see him?”
“Oh, he’s okay. Very passionate about his music and I find that inspiring,” I said, trying my best to sift out every iota of emotion from my voice.
“And has he mentioned this girl of his who obviously happens to be his muse?” he asked.
“Not really; we didn’t get that personal, Fitz.”
“Well, I was hoping you two would bond more since he’s much younger than I am so you’d find more mutual interests,” Fitz said.
“Be careful with what you wish for,” I warned and sipped my drink. He watched me closely.
After pondering about it for a moment, he said, “Maybe I’d ask him to bring over his girlfriend. I’d like to…” Before I could hear anymore, I had spewed the drink out of my mouth.
“Are you okay?” Fitz asked with his ridiculous tone of concern.
“I should be asking you that! What is going on you, Fitz? I thought you were just fascinated about the guy but you’re clearly obsessed! Why would you want to probe into this poor guy’s life?”
“I’m not probing. I just want to know him and fully appreciate his music.”
“I think you have too much time and money on your hands and you’re using it to fuel this silly obsession of yours. Don’t even think of asking him that, Fitz. You’re going to scare him away. Promise me you won’t !” I asked in a loud authoritative tone.
“Fine, I won’t,” he conceded, obviously shaken by my reaction. I stormed off to further highlight my displeasure before he could regain his composure.
My exams were coming up and I had to go on my ‘serious’ mode. So I left home earlier than usual to study with Karen.
She slapped her handout on the desk with a sigh. “I need a break.”
“Don’t we all?” Karen took her phone and within seconds, she started giggling. I shook my head for the distraction but her giggles got louder.
“Would you like to share the fun?” I asked.
“James is being funny, that’s all. I love this phone.”
“Oh yeah, enjoying your new iPhone 6, I can see.”
“Uh huh and it’s not just an iPhone 6, it’s an iPhone 6+.” I arched a brow at her.
“Is there a difference?”
“Of course there is. With the iPhone…”
“Please don’t bore me with the details. For crying out loud, why would the lecturer give us such a loaded assignment just before the end-of-semester examinations?”
“Because he has the power to. Hey, aren’t you hungry? I’m famished!”
“I hope that means you’re going to cook us something.” She glanced at me.
“I still can’t believe a lazy girl like you who also doesn’t know how to cook is having such a happy peaceful marriage.” I chuckled.
“Hey, I’m not lazy and I do know how to cook. I just don’t like to. And yes, I’m having such a happy peaceful marriage because what I lack in cooking is well-compensated for in other essential areas,” I said proudly. Karen shook her head and got up.
“So how are things with you and Adam?” she said, heading towards the kitchenette.
“Is that a trick question?” I asked back. She chuckled.
“Of course not. Just wanted to know if you two are past the awkward part.”
“It’s a working progress but yeah, so far so good. We’re keeping it clean. And the good part is Fitz is so okay with me and Adam getting along.”
“Huh. If only he knew…”
“We’re just good friends, Karen. Nothing is going to happen.”
“If it hadn’t already.”
“Have a little faith in me, Karen.”
“Yeah right, I should. If I didn’t, what kind of friend would I be, right?” She said with a tight smile with a Karen-touch of sarcasm. She was pushing me to confess any hidden sins and I wasn’t going to give in.
A few days later, I felt unwell. No matter how hard I tried to conceal it, Karen still noticed my uneasiness.
“Em, are you okay?”
“I don’t know. It seems I’m coming down with something.” She touched my face.
“Yeah, you look pale. Have you been eating?”
“Not too much.” She examined under my eyeballs.
“Okay…what are you looking for, madam nurse?” She looked at me squarely.
“Are you late?”
“Late for?” Her serious look told me what she was referring to.
“Oh…that. What are you thinking? I’m not pregnant, Karen. I’m just a few days late but it’s normal. The exam preparations have really taken a toll on me. I’ll be fine.”
Karen walked to the bathroom.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Um…are you sure about that?” She asked from the bathroom.
“Why, what’s up?”
“The towels are intact.”
“So you didn’t use them last month.”
“And you know that how?”
“I always keep a pack here for you knowing that you’d steal some every month. But I remember this was how I left it last two months.”
“Oh come on, you would have noticed the absence of my dramatic mood swings if I had missed it.” Karen closed the bathroom door.
“Come to think of it, you were bubbly all through last month.”
“Okay, stop it. I’m not pregnant. I’m on the pill.”
“And you never missed?”
“I missed once or twice but that’s because Fitz would say it wasn’t necessary.”
“Cared to ask him why?” I shrugged.
“It’s nothing. You’re worrying your already-fatigued brain about nothing.”
Karen didn’t look convinced. I sighed in exasperation.
“If I were to be pregnant, don’t you think I’d have noticed?”
“You? Even if you were dying, you wouldn’t notice it.”
“So what, you want me to prove it to you?”
“Well, a test kit from last time’s scare is still there. You can use it.”
“Fine,” I said, accepting the challenge. I got up and walked to the bathroom door.
“Are you serious about this?” I asked, shocked that she was actually waiting for me to do it.
“What have you got to lose?” I shook my head and entered the bathroom.
I stood in front of the mirror, waiting. I couldn’t be pregnant. Not now. Please be negative.
I looked at the stick which would determine my fate for the forever part of my life. I screamed.