Picture Us by Natalie Parker

 

Prologue

My ass isnumb from sitting on the cold tile of my bathroom floor with my back against the tub, staring at the two offensive pink lines displayed in the window of the white wand in my hand. After squinting my eyes to bring them in and out of focus, I blow out an exasperated breath through my lips and chuck it towards the waste basket in the corner, where it bounces of the edge with a ping and lands on the tile beside it. I pick up another, shaking my head at the blue plus sign it displays. With a huff, I chuck that one too, missing again. Ping! I grab another, the fancy schmancy high-tech one that actually gives me a digital reading of the word “Pregnant” in the window. Fuck off. Chuck-ping!

“Yes” the next one simply says. Chuck-ping! I continue this fun little game three more times until I’m all out of shots and my bathroom floor looks like the family-planning section of the pharmacy threw up in here. Okay, so I’m a lousy shot. But apparently, I’m an excellent catcher.

One night. I’ve been so busy with my photography business and teaching dance, keeping the lights on and all that other adulting bullshit that I hadn’t been laid in months, and this is what I get for taking one night to get out and let loose. Pun completely intended. I’m so sorry, universe!

After scooping up all the positive tests and dropping them in the waste can, I head out to my living room and scoop my cell phone up off the coffee table and sit back with my feet propped, running a hand through my hair while I scroll through the contacts, stopping on Mayzie. My thumb hovers shakily over the call symbol for a moment before reality catches up to me.

The first person I tell should be him. It’s the noble thing to do. If it were the other way around, I wouldn’t want him blabbing it to his friends before me. Not that he’d be the pregnant one… whatever. You know what I mean. But I need to confide in someone. I need support. I need to hear that everything is going to be okay.

Okay, I reason. The sooner I tell him, the sooner I can tell my best friend, have a seriously warranted freak out session, and move forward.

There’s just one problem here. I don’t have his number, which is my own fault. He offered to exchange them, but I insisted that we didn’t need to.

Because there was no need for two people that wanted the opposite in futures to get tangled up with each other.

But I know where to find him.