I chewed nervously my fingernails as I scrolled down my phone screen. Karen came out of the bathroom and stood behind me.
“What are you searching for?” she asked me. A second later, she snatched the phone from me and gaped at me in shock.
“I can’t believe you still have this silly idea after all that I have said.”
“This is the only way out for me, Karen.”
“No, it’s not! It’s just the easy way.”
“Well, easy isn’t always bad, is it?”
“In this case, it is. I know it feels like all the chips are tumbling down but if only you’d take a minute and breathe, we can think of something,” Karen sat, facing me.
“I have done all that, Karen. If we go to the hospital and it is indeed confirmed, it proves I cheated on Fitz and he will leave me. And though I admit I love him less than I should, it would hurt me if things end badly between us.”
“Fitz has a big heart, Emily. We just have to tell him the truth. Who knows, he might even accept the child as his own.”
“Oh I sincerely doubt that. No man, especially capable of producing children would accept a bastard kid from his cheating wife.”
“You don’t know that,” Karen insisted.
“Maybe I don’t want to find out, Karen. We must call a spade a spade and save ourselves the trouble of finding appropriate euphemisms.”
“If you go ahead with this, you could be killing your only child.”
“You don’t know that,” I said, arching a brow.
“And I don’t want to find out, Em! This could lead to complications…”
“I’m not going to a quack doctor, Karen.”
“You’re desperate; you don’t care if he is qualified or not; all you want is the foetus out. You could live to regret this forever.”
“But I don’t want to keep this baby, Karen. Why can’t you see things from my point of view?”
“If you don’t want to, you can give it up for adoption. Some couples would pay handsomely for a baby. You don’t have to stain your hands with the blood of your first issue.”
“It sounds great but have you thought of how my life would be carrying someone else’s baby for nine months? My life would be ruined!”
“Unfortunately, the ship has sailed for that one but that doesn’t mean you should ruin your future too and besides, it’s not just someone’s baby. It’s Adam’s. I think it’ about time we called it that; makes it feel less impersonal.”
“It could very well be Tony’s but it doesn’t change my present situation.”
“You think there’s no other way out because all you think of doing is getting rid of this poor baby. There are options but they involve risking everything you have with Fitz.”
“I don’t want to do that.”
“You have to, Em. Getting rid of the baby won’t solve anything; it will come back to haunt you.”
“I’ll deal with it when it comes to that.”
“You’re so adamant, Emily!” Karen said with a sigh of despair. The silence that followed was deafening. I was scared, frustrated and sleep-starved. I could see my world tumbling down and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Karen’s phone rang. She took it.
“Hi Jay… Okay, I’ll come right over.” She ended the call.
“I’ll be right back, Em. We’ll think of something, okay?” It took a great effort to nod my head which felt every heavy on my neck. She gave a smile and walked out. I took the car key from the table with my hand bag and left the room.
I have to do this…with or without her. I wish she was by my side but if she is not, I have to find the strength to do it alone, I told myself as I grabbed the steering wheel hard.
“Emily, I got you your favorite…” Karen said, entering the room. She looked round the room.
“Emily? No, no, no…” She dialed her number. She didn’t pick up.
“This girl is going to kill me before my time.” She tried again but still no answer.
“If you go behind my back, I’ll go behind yours,” Karen said and dialed Adam’s number.
“Karen? Hi. What’s up?” Adam’s cheerful voice rang out.
“Where are you, Adam? We need to talk.”
“I’m at the studio. What is it?”
“I can’t tell you on the line. Give me directions, I’m coming to you right now,” Karen said as she picked up her purse and walked out.
“How do you mean Emily is expecting my baby?” Adam asked Karen.
“Are you telling me you don’t have an idea how that is possible?” Karen asked, clearly irritated by the question. Adam blinked.
“I mean I thought she would be on the pill or something.”
“She is a married woman, Adam….”
“In all fairness, I didn’t know that at the time.” Karen conceded with a nod of the head.
“But how do you know it’s my baby and not her husband’s?”
“Because unknown to her till now, Fitz has had a vasectomy so there’s no way he’s responsible.” Adam’s eyes widened when it all dawned on him.
“You mean, Mr. Daniels knows?”
“What do you mean, he knows his wife is pregnant or he knows you got her pregnant?”
“The latter,” he responded impatiently.
“At the moment, no. We managed to buy a little time but sooner or later, he will.”
“Oh no…So where is Emily?”
“Per her adamant decision, I’m sure she’s headed to a clinic as we speak if she hasn’t arrived already.”
“For confirmation and termination.”
“What? Emily is going to terminate my baby without my consent?” He stood up.
“Well, she has more to lose than you do. Besides, she doesn’t think you’re up to the task.”
“She might be right but she can’t rush to such a decision on her own.”
“She is carrying another man’s baby. She wants to save her marriage.”
“So you think she’s right to do this?”
“No, I don’t but I’m telling you her reason for taking this option. I’m here to tell you so that if you don’t want her to make this choice, you stop her before it’s too late.”
Adam slumped himself down on the chair.
“If I do that, Mr. Daniels will find out about us and…I lose everything.”
“And so will Emily.” Adam buried his face in his palms.
“So what do I do, Karen?”
“Do what you know is right. I’ve tried talking her out of it but she going AWOL tells me she isn’t budging. Maybe you can.” There was silence for a while with Karen watching Adam closely. Adam just sat there, obviously thinking hard. He took his phone and called Emily’s number.
“She’s not picking up. How do we find her?” Adam asked.
“Let me check. Pray she has her GPS on.” Karen took her phone.
“Ha! I got her. She’s at St. Mary’s…”
“I know the place,” and with that, Adam ran off.
“You’re welcome,” Karen said to herself.
I sat in the waiting hall of the clinic tapping feet impatiently. I stared at the results one more time. Positive. I’ve never hated the word like I did at the moment. If I could turn back the hands of time…would I do anything different? I loved my intimate moment with Adam so perhaps I’d have used protection. Silly me. My phone vibrated. It was Adam calling.
Why would he be calling at such an importune time? I looked down onto my tummy. Please don’t tell me you’re calling out to your father out there to come rescue you because I won’t let him, I scolded inwardly.
Why was the doctor taking this long?!