The Secret's Out

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Mom blinked a few times. Her expression was blank. It looked like she was frozen in place, and the room filled with silence.

Poppy placed a bag of popcorn in the microwave. She looked at me and smirked as I shot daggers back at her. That little brat.

"You're what?" Mom asked, tapping her foot on the tile floor.

"What, you didn't hear her the first time?" Poppy said, the bag of kernels popping to life in the microwave behind her. It smelled like she went with the kettle corn. "Chrys got knocked up by Jace Hetcher!"

"Poppy, stay out of this!" I said.

"And go to your room," Mom said. The microwave beeped. "Take your popcorn with you...but I better not see one crumb on your carpet!"

Poppy huffed and took her bag of popcorn upstairs. Mom tapped her fingers on the oak table. She worked so hard for us. I couldn't ask for a better parent, and I suddenly felt like the worst daughter in the whole world. I was a slut, a screw up.

"Mom...I'm really sorry," I said. She sighed and shook her head, but didn't say anything. "I know it doesn't mean anything that I'm saying sorry, but I'm going to do it anyway...because I know you're disappointed. You can skip that part of your speech, if you want."

"I don't even think disappointed is the right word...I just can't believe you would do something like this. You've always been so responsible. And why Jace, or all people? You always tell me what an idiot he is and how much you hate him! What would make you want to get into bed with that piece of trash?"

"Um...alcohol...I guess..."

"Chrysanthemum, really?"

I swallowed hard. Not using the full name. Anything but that.

"Again, I'm really, really sorry Mom," I said. "It was the night of their birthday party, the one they threw two months late because Chase was still filming during their actual birthday in January. I just wanted to have some fun. They invited me to dance and drink so I just did. I was so stressed out and tired that week."

"Which I understand, Chrys. But being stressed and tired doesn't mean you should make bad decisions."

"I'm sorry! We used a condom and everything! I tried my best to be safe."

She shook her head and sighed. "How long have you known?"

"I literally took two tests right before I went to work tonight."

She chuckled. A good sign. "I guess you didn't have the stomach bug after all, huh? Or food poisoning from Poppy's attempt at a casserole on Sunday?" I shook my head. "Did you tell him?"


"Who do you think?"

"I'm not ready," I said.

"Okay. You can tell him later on, but you need to tell him soon. It's his baby. He needs to know," she said. "So, have you decided on what you want to do?"

"Everything's happening too fast. I don't know."

"For starters, you know how I feel about abortion, but this is your decision" she said. "If you chose to go that route, just know that I won't be happy."

"I know. Honestly I don't think I could go through with it either," I said. "I think adoption would be a good idea...but I really just don't know. It's only been a few hours but I already feel attached to it."

"Chrys, you don't have the support like I did. By the time I found out I was pregnant with you, your dad and I had already been dating for two years. You and Jace aren't even a thing. On top of that he's a troublemaker," she said. "Go with adoption. It's the best choice for you."

I half-heartedly said "okay" and we hugged. She told me everything would be fine, which she always did whenever something was going wrong in my life. I heard Poppy groan from the top of the stairwell, where she was listening the whole time.

"Oh, come on! Is that really it? You're not gonna curse her out?" Poppy yelled.

"She's pregnant. She doesn't need that stress," Mom said, looking back at me. "I'll call my OBGYN and get an appointment set up. We'll get everything taken care of."

I had a quick snack, and Mom finally ate her dinner. The topic of pregnancy was off the table. I could see she wanted to move on to something else. She told me about her projects at work, and I told her about all my gross finds from Jace's room today.

After everything was cleaned up, I took a lukewarm shower (because Poppy used up all the hot water again) and put on my pajamas, which were just a t-shirt too faded to wear to school and an old pair of shorts.

In the box-sized bedroom we shared, Poppy was giggling at some cat videos on her phone in her bed. Right over where she slept was a giant poster of a shirtless Chase Hetcher, dressed as the character Beau Beauregard from Poppy's favorite show in the whole entire world, A Castle of Shadows.

Chase was slicking his hair back while baring his vampire fangs in a way that was supposed to be hot. It didn't really do much for me. I couldn't stand that poster being the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning.

I sat up in bed and selected the name Chantecler Gubbins from my list of favorite contacts, then typed up a quick text.

Hey, 911 I need to tell you something.

Her response came in seconds later. Cler's phone was practically glued to her hands.

OMG what is it?

I just found out that I'm pregnant. And before you ask, I'm not joking.


Yeah...took two tests and they're both positive so...

I told you you should've bought the plan B pill after your night with Jace.

Stop being a smartass Cler!

Okay calm down geez. Am I the first one you told?

No. Told my mom and Poppy already.

What? Your BFF is ALWAYS supposed to be the first person to know these things!


It's okay. I don't hate you that much lol. You still coming over tomorrow?

Yeah of course.

Sweet! See you tomorrow bestie.

See ya. Goodnight.

Goodnight preggers! Ah! I'm so excited!

I closed out of the app, turned off my phone, and put my head down on my pillow. I didn't understand what could possibly be exciting about being only seventeen and pregnant...with the father being one of the worst people I knew. It was probably super easy for Cler. She wasn't the one who had to deal with it all.

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