She’s done this before. Waiting in line at the drug store, arm weighted down to her hip, trying to be discreet about the hot pink pregnancy test box containing her fate.
She spontaneously sandwiches it between two boxes of Smarties calling her name, which she doesn’t even like, if only to fill the time that has slowed to a snail’s pace, as she awaits her turn to pay.
The cashier, always male, always 16, does his best too to quickly place her purchase in the bag, but the bag’s transparency diminishes his best efforts, and the old man behind her grumbles under his breath to his wife.
The cashier stutters over the price, but she’s already inserted the card, and knows the cost. Hell, she’d pay double if only to move on and out of there.
Now they’re both embarrassed, both diverting direct eye contact. And the exchange is complete, as her body propels her forward to the exit.
She’s on her own again, breathing a small sigh of relief as the cool air hits her face upon exiting the store. Her upper lip is sweating, her cotton t-shirt clings to the small of her back.
And her unknown fate still rests heavy in the left hand.
She remembers this feeling all too well. How heavy a couple hundred grams of plastic can feel, how consuming. And so, she welcomes the distraction of the fluorescent red and yellow lights of the nearby Wendy’s into her gaze. This would surely be a good enough excuse of a day to treat herself, come what may.
And so, after throwing the hot pink fortuneteller on her passenger seat, she walks her capable, albeit shaky body toward their open doors, asking for not one, but two, poutines to ease her mind and to give company to the rock that seems to sit in the nape of her neck, to the the butterflies seeking an escape in her belly.
And the brown bag is then placed next to the see-through white one, each calling out to her for the entirety of the ten minute drive home.
She knows she’ll still be alone there, has planned for it to be so. And as she enters the doors to her home the keys drop from her twitching hand. Her right foot slips entirely out of her thong sandal, where sweat has gathered all its slippery forces.
The house is quiet, but her heart beats loudly, as she removes the pink box from inside its new upgraded brown paper home. She looks around to ensure the house remains still and vacant, unable to trust herself that it is so, due to the ringing in her ears.
Downing half the Coke cup down her throat to ensure enough urine for the test, she dumps the other half of it in the bathroom sink with an audible clank, ice chips and all, and gives the waxy cup a rinse. And with her jeans down at her ankles she breathes in deep, balancing the cup, and its incoming liquid gold contents, between her quivering legs and the toilet.
And her thoughts puddle just as her urine does in that waxy cup, and at the same time her eyes leak forcefully, as the seconds turn to minutes and her fate awaits her, the piss stick standing still and unassuming in the warm pee.
The two poutines keep watch on the bathroom floor.
In two short minutes her whole life will change. In just two minutes, one of three things will happen, though only one or two lines will predict the outcome; Either all her world’s stars will align, all her world will come crashing down, or she will float somewhere between, in a numb purgatory of not knowing how she ought to feel. In just two minutes, one line or two will change it all.
No matter what it is she wants the outcome to be, for a long two minutes, she is here, idling at the crossroads, buttnaked, raw.
She is alone.