Imogen sat for what seemed hours in the bath transfixed on the pregnancy test before her. It was of course only 5 minutes. It was the second test she had taken and there was no denying the result. Coupled with the missed period and the slight dull ache in her breasts, she couldn’t fool herself any longer.
“I’m only 18” she exclaimed a little louder than she wanted to. Her family was sitting downstairs, oblivious to the catastrophe she was dealing with. She cringed as she remembered saying to Grant:
I’m 18 you know, I am a woman, I can do anything now.
It suited her to be 18 at that time but now it dawned on her that she was only 18. Regret of what she had said took over her mind. That test result had changed her maturity status in a flash. He was a doctor and in the heat of the moment, he asked her when she had her last period. She didn’t comprehend the timing of the question and that he became momentarily clinical. She thought that she had given him the right information, obviously she was wrong.
Imogen collected herself, removed all her clothes and jumped into the shower as she tried to scrub and cleanse her problems away until she was red raw all over her body. She felt dirty and unclean. She had committed a sin and now the sin was growing inside of her. ‘How could I be so stupid? I’ve just being accepted into Melbourne Uni to do law, I was school captain, an A student, I had so many friends’ she rambled in her head. Before she was confident about her future and now her hands are now gripping on the showerhead for dear life, confused that the nausea in her stomach was either due to the pregnancy or the fear of her predicament.
In a moment of clarity Imogen remembered an article she read in Dolly. “Shit” she thought, “I still read Dolly, I am such a kid”. The article informed you about how to tell your parents of your pregnancy, what your options were, who you could turn to for support. Imogen began to sob silently while water streamed down her face. This was not a typical scenario, getting pregnant to your same aged boyfriend. No the boy was not a boy at all, but a man and her father’s closest friend as well.
Grant Jackson or more to the point Dr. Grant Jackson was a young colleague of her father and although was 7 years older than her, was still devilishly handsome and charming and she admired his intellect. Imogen was not only his friend daughter but his regular babysitter. Whenever he and his wife went out she would babysit his four year old daughter Sophie who definitely took after some of her father’s looks and personality, and then he would drive her back home where they would converse with each other. It was during those 30 minute rides home where their clandestine relationship began to develop and he made her fell more like a woman than a little girl.
Imogen lay down on her bed and thought about what she was going to do about her unexpected surprise. She didn’t know why she had fallen for Grant’s charm but she knew deep inside her that there was a rebel that needed to be unleashed and thus destroying her perfect, goody two-shoes image. During those six years of high school she was every teacher’s and parents dream student. Constant straight A’s, social justice captain, had a lot of friends and not a single detention on her reports. The other kids saw her as a bit of a snob because she used to look down on them. She would never imagine doing the wrong thing. But that night when Grant pulled over onto the side of the road may have been considered wrong if she didn’t listen to her heart. Even though Grant had a beautiful and lovely wife it didn’t stop her from choosing to take their relationship to the next level.
Reminiscing that night brought tears to her eyes as she reluctantly let them pour down her face knowing that she would need to make a decision of her unborn child’s fate: to abort or not to abort. Killing the unborn would have been the last thing that she wanted to do. But now it feels like she has no other choice. One thing’s for certain was that she was going to have great difficulty telling her parents that they were going to have a grand child
‘Imogen’ her mother called from downstairs ‘Dinner’s ready’. This woke her up from her daydream. Noticing the black stains on her pillow case she quickly wiped away her mascara tears, practised putting on her best smile to hide her pain and made her way downstairs. She saw her parents sitting at the dinner table, smiling at their daughter. Her father, like Grant, was also a doctor while her mother worked as a senior lecturer so to them it was no surprise that Imogen wouldn’t turn out as a screw-up. Unfortunately. Their happiness was enough to make her sick with guilt but she ignored it and joined them at the dinner table. They were having roast beef with mash potato and salad. Imogen started to eat her food hoping it will diminish her remorse.
‘How was uni love’ her father asked her ‘Learn anything new at law school? Imogen replied ‘Yeah we learned about family law’ letting the word ‘family roll off her tongue in disgust. She couldn’t forget that day when they saw her high enter score that even the sound of popping champagne was hard to ignore. Knowing that she couldn’t drink any alcohol she poured herself a glass of water. Her mother swallowed down a piece of lettuce. ‘Honey’ she started ‘Now that you have finished VCE, we can finally go on that trip to
like you always wanted’. This nearly made her choke on her water. Since the start of year 12 Imogen made a deal with her parents that if she passed VCE with flying colours her parents would take her to her dream holiday to America which was a place that she had always wanted to go. ‘Awesome’ she said smiling widely at her mother ‘ I can’t wait’. America