What's The Plan?

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It was Saturday, which meant I had the morning free since I didn't have to be over at the Hetcher Mansion until later. I rode my bike down our street and out of our development, down the big hill with the rows of old houses, and to the big converted factory that was Cler's luxury apartment building.

I walked in, went up the elevator, got let in the apartment by Cler's dad, and waited forever in their massive living room for Cler to finally be ready. She came out of her room dressed to the nines in her designer clothes and wearing makeup I could never dream of affording.

"You know we're only going to the usual spot, right? Not the red carpet?" I asked.

"And you know I never leave the house looking like a mess," she said, grabbing her purse.

We left and walked down the street to what we called "The Spot." It was nothing special, just a Burger King. My uneasy stomach wasn't feeling a whopper and chocolate shake, so I opted for fries and a cup of water instead.

"You're really sure it's not just a bug?" Cler asked as we sat down.

"I already told you about the two positive tests, Cler," I said.

"Ouch," she said, seeming like she was looking for the right words. "So...how are you?"

I sat there and tried to think of an answer. How am I? I didn't even know. Right now I was hungry and nauseous at the same time. Mentally, I was scared. I was confused. I was in total shock.

"I don't know," I said.

"You don't know how you are?"

"Yeah, because everything's moving really fast. I just want this to be a bad dream. Look at us. We're going to finish our junior year in a month. Even if I chose adoption, I'll have to take at least a week off after the baby's born to like, heal up or whatever. And then I'll have to go through school in the fall looking all huge!"

"Hey, if anyone makes fun of you, I'll give 'em' the ole Gubbins Slugger right to the face!"

I rolled my eyes. Cler's older brother was a boxer and she always thought she was just as tough. She'd never even gotten into a fight at school.

"So, you're thinking about putting it up for adoption?" she asked. "You know I'll support whatever choice you make."

"I definitely don't want an abortion. It just kind of hits too close to home. Imagine if my mom had aborted me when she was seventeen. I wouldn't be here right now, and then whatever is growing inside me wouldn't be here either," I said, placing a hand on my flat stomach. 

"Whatever you say. But don't take this the wrong way...if it were me, I'd already have my abortion booked," Cler said. 

"I definitely can't provide for a baby...I mean, look at me! I don't even have a car yet! I won't have enough for a loan until the middle of summer, if I'm lucky," I said. "But I still feel like I can't do it."

"If you can't, then you can't. You're always way too hard on yourself." Cler dipped one of her french fries into hot sauce. "Plus, if you pick adoption it won't interfere with all your school plans. I know you've been studying like crazy for the SATs in three weeks." She popped the french fry into her mouth. "Yeah, adoption is starting to sound pretty good, Miss Everston."

I rolled my eyes. She always called me that when we talked about the future.

"You forgot to add World's Greatest Band Teacher after it," I said.

My heart would always race when I thought about my future career. I knew my dad would be so proud that I wanted to do exactly what he did.

"I did, didn't I?" Cler said, picking up her burger. "When are you telling your baby daddy?"


"What?" Cler did that thing where she acts surprised and her voice gets all shrill. The girls behind the counter were staring. "You gotta!"

"Can you not do that every time we're in public?" I whispered.

"Well I can't help it! Chrys, you have to tell Jace. He's the father! He needs to know."

"Ugh." I sunk deeper into the hard booth. "I don't even know how I would go about doing that."

"Well for starters I'd show him the test if you still have it. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy to believe girls right off the bat. Literally every girl in the entire school is looking to get in his pants...and vice versa."

I sighed. "We threw the tests out last night."

"Then go buy another one! You've got a pharmacy right around the corner from your house. Buy one, show him the positive test, and be like, 'this little peanut is yours, buddy.'"

"I'll see what I can do."

Cler leaned in and asked, "Do you think it's a girl or a boy? Because I'm betting on a girl."

"I literally just found out I'm pregnant and you're already asking me that?"

"I want to start shopping," she said, giving me a wink. "I spend so much time shopping for myself. It's getting kinda boring. I'd love to get someone else a new wardrobe for a change."

"I don't find out what I'm having until I'm a few months along. I read that they usually do ultrasounds at like, sixteen to twenty weeks. So you're going to be waiting a while."

She groaned. "Well, which one do you want?"

"It's not about what I want. It's about what the adoptive parents want." I looked at my phone. It was getting late. "We should probably go. You especially, since I bet you haven't started studying for the SATs at all."

"Correct," Cler said, a little too enthusiastically.

We threw away our trash and started the walk back to Cler's apartment. I held my head up. Everything was going to be okay. I was going to nail my SATs, get a bunch of good scholarships, and find my little one a loving family. For now, it seemed like everything was all set up. What could possibly go wrong?

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