“I understand that I’m only fifteen, but I’ve never been a child. And my coming here asking for possibilities should show that, because any other fifteen year old girl would be glad at the fact that they can’t get pregnant. But I am not those girls, this is what I want.” Why can’t people just accept the fact that I am choosing what I want for my life? I mean it’s not like I’m going out of control; I am choosing very responsibly.
“Melanie, I can’t decide for you, I just want to make sure you know what’s going on.”
“Doctor, I think we have established the fact the both Melanie and I want this, and we’re not changing our minds. So can we please move on to how we are going to go about this?” Jeremy speaks up rather rudely.
“Alright.” She sighs, “Which option do you want to explore first?”
Jeremy and I look at each other, “The first option.” He says reading the answer from my face.
“Okay, well this is what we need to do…
“Are you sure you can pay for it?” I ask Jeremy once we leave Dr. Haynes’ office. She told us that it’s a very expensive operation and it’s not guaranteed to work, but the choice was ours.
“Melanie, I have money and it’s a very small price in the long run.” He replies.
As we reach the car, another thought pops in my head, “Nick.”
“What about him?”
“Jeremy, I have to fix things between us. I can’t just move out.”
“He’s not going to accept us, ever. He doesn’t want me in your life, at least not like this.”
“But he’s always been there for me, now it’s my turn to be there for him.”
“Melanie, I’m not going to tell you not to go to your brother, but I don’t want to lose you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask, hoping he isn’t implying what I think he is.
“Melanie, if he asked you to choose between me and him, who would you choose?”
“I…” I have nothing to say, because I don’t know. I mean, would Nick actually make me choose? Would Jeremy? If so, who do I choose? Is either of them worth choosing? I say out loud, “Where did this come from?”
“Where did what come from?”
“Your question; I mean you don’t honestly think that my brother would actually make me choose, do you?”
“I don’t know Melanie, but if I were him, I would.”
“Are you saying that you’re going to make me choose?”
“No, but I am saying that he might.”
“You know I can’t answer that.”
“You might have to.”
I can’t believe this! How the hell can I choose between my brother and the father of my future children? The man that has never treated me like a child or the brother that has always been a father to me?
We arrive home no more than ten minutes later and my head is filled with questions that I don’t want answered. My heart feels like it is about to explode and my palms are sweatier than they have ever been.
“Nick?” I call out. There’s no answer. I continue walking in my house until I hear the TV on in the living room. As I approach closer, with Jeremy behind me, I see Nick passed out on the couch and a bottle of Vodka on the coffee table. Great. Just great.
“Let him sleep it off.” Jeremy says, obviously knowing that I was going to try to wake him.
“I can’t believe this!” My anger flares. How could Nick do such a stupid thing? How can he? Then a little voice in my head speaks out: How could I? He is doing exactly what I did; he is just trying to drown out all of these problems. I try to ignore this voice but it only gets louder. He wants an answer to an unanswerable question; and it hurts him so much to not be able to find this answer that he knows doesn’t exist. What am I going to do about it? Am I going to move out to be with Jeremy and abandon Nick when he is just as troubled by what’s happening as I am, or am I going to give up Jeremy, when I promised him my life, and figure this out with Nick? Is my love for Jeremy strong enough to let him go? Is his love for me strong enough to fight for me? Is Nick strong enough to let us help each other? Is he strong enough to let me go? Am I strong enough? I have my answer. I know what I have to do. I turn off the TV and walk out of the living room, to the front door; Jeremy follows behind.
“Melanie?” He questions.
I turn around to face him. “You asked me if it was a choice between you and Nick, who would I choose and I didn’t have an answer. Now I do.”
“And that is?”
“Nick. Because I love you with all of my heart and if you truly love me, we can survive this. But Nick is my brother, the only true family that I have left, and I need him as much as he needs me, now more than ever.”
“Melanie…” He looks into my eyes for long moments before slowly walking to the door. “If this is what you want, I’ll give you your space.”
“Jeremy…” I plead. This isn’t how it was supposed to go. He was supposed to say that we will make it through this, that I made the right decision, because I know that our love is true and that he’ll still be by my side to work out the option I’ve chosen, we’ve chosen; not that he’ll give me my space and begin to say goodbye
“Melanie, I love you, more than you can ever know, and I’ll be here when you’re ready, but I can’t stick around anymore, at least not for a while.”
“What about all your promises? What about our decision to have a baby?”
“I’m sorry.” He walks out the door and gently closes it behind him.
I stand there staring at the door, tears spilling down from my eyes. Not understanding what just happened. Jeremy must have thought about leaving for a while. He had to, because he couldn’t have made the decision to leave on an impulse. But if he was thinking about leaving, then I was right all along. I knew he was too good to be true. Emptiness begins as a small hole in my heart and within five minutes it consumes me whole. But I have a job to do and I know this. I turn back around and head to the bathroom to get a cold damp towel for Nick. I place it on his forehead, and just watch as his breathing becomes steady. Steady; the way I thought Jeremy and I were.
“Melanie?” Nick whispers once he awakens twelve hours later; his throat is still sore.
“Yes?” I reply wiping his brow with the towel.
“What are you doing here?” He sits up, taking the towel from my hands.
“I asked Jeremy to leave.”
“Because you need me.”
“And he just left?”
“Why would he just leave after-”
“Nick, please. I don’t want to talk about it.”
He nods his head.
“You should take a shower and get cleaned up.”
“Yeah.” He looks at me with a look of gratitude and sympathy and walks up the stairs to his room.
When he finally comes down, an hour later, I am sitting at the kitchen table silently crying.
“Melanie?” He asks softly.
I struggle to wipe away the tears, but I find that I just end up smearing my eyeliner more.
“Jeremy had said that you might make me choose between you and him, and I chose you, because I thought my love for Jeremy and his love for me wouldn’t change and we’d make it through everything. I thought we’d still be able to have the baby. But…but he said he couldn’t take it anymore.” I sob.
“Melanie…” He tries to think of something to say, but there are no words.
I just cry into him as he just whispers that everything will be okay. But how can they be okay, when Jeremy is gone? What will do I have to live, when my only reason has left me?