"It's for the best."
"Thank you for staying with me," I say softly.
"You couldn't keep me away," Frank answers, shifting his gaze from the television to me.
"Where's my mom?" I ask noticing that the chair next to the bed is empty.
"She went home this morning."
"Why’d she leave?"
"She had to."
"Mikey," Frank is being vague. I don’t want people to keep things from me.
"What's wrong with Mikey?"
"He was uh... pretty upset."
"Oh...." I decide not to question further. I don’t really want to know what happened with my cousin. "What are you watching?"
"Power Puff Girls," Frank answers, not even glancing at the TV.
"That show is stupid."
"I missed you."
"I missed you too."
Frank kisses my head. We don’t talk after that. I enjoy the silence, just sitting here being able to feel him against me. I’ve missed the familiarity of him. It’s nice to have it back I just wish it didn’t have to happen under circumstances like this.
Eventually some nurses come in to check on me, bring me something to eat. I sit up and Frank moves to the chair so I can eat properly. I’m not hungry, actually the smell of food makes my stomach churn, but I eat anyway cause I don’t want people worrying about me anymore than they already are. Once I am done I lean back on the pillows that are propped up against the back of the hospital bed. Frank scoots the chair closer so that he can rest his head on the bed. I play with his hair, as he watches the television.
"How are you feeling this morning?" my doctor asks as she comes in to check on me.
"I'm... I'm okay," I reply telling the truth. I’m alright with Frank here to keep me company.
"There are a few things I'd like to discuss with you alone, if that's okay?" She says looking towards Frank.
"I'll be right outside," he says.
I just nod, my eyes following him as he walks to the door, disappearing behind it. The doctor takes a seat at the bottom of my bed; I pull my knees up under my chin, holding onto the stuffed dog Mikey had brought over last night.
"We're going to go ahead and release you today," she starts. “There are a few things we need to talk about first.”
"Like what?" I ask genuinely curious.
My doctor hands over a few brochures and pamphlets, “These are a few services we provide, counselors, therapists, a few groups that specialize in these kinds of cases. If you’d like I can put you in touch with some of these people. It’s all voluntary but we do recommend you at least try them. The main reason I asked to speak to you alone is because I’ve got some personal matters to talk to you about.”
"When we did our tests last night we successfully extracted a DNA sample from your body."
I avert my gaze down to the waffle pattern blanket, a few tears spilling down my cheeks. I wish Frank had been able to stay in the room.
The doctor gives me a moment before continuing on, “This means that your attacker didn’t use a condom. I don’t know about your religious background so I’m not sure if you’re against what I’m about to offer you but I figured I might as well tell you about it. What I'm offering you is a pill called a Plan B Emergency Contraceptive or more commonly referred to as The Morning After Pill. Basically it's a prevention of an unplanned pregnancy. The reason I wanted to discuss this with you ahead of time is because it is a form of abortion. We can't know for sure if you became pregnant during your ordeal, but it’s a possibility. If you take the pill, we'll never be able to tell for sure. My question for you is if you would like me to have a prescription made for you."
The doctor’s words hang in the air for a few moments. I’d heard of the pill but never in a million years did I think I’d have to make the decision on wither to take it or not. Overwhelmed by everything I cover my face with my hands and begin to sob. I have no idea what to do in this situation.
"I can go ahead and put in the prescription and have it sent up here for you. You can think about it while it's being filled and if you decide against it all you have to do is not take the pill."
I nod, “Alright.”
"Read this over while I'm gone. I'll be back later."
I nod again as she hands me another yet brochure; this one is about the pill she had just told me about. After a few seconds she gets up and walks out of the room.
Frank comes back in a moment later, noticing I’m crying. He comes right to me, wrapping his strong, muscled arms around me. I’ve missed these arms.
"Are you okay?" he asks.
I shake my head, “No, I’m not okay.”
"You'll never know how sorry I am."
"Please, stop saying that? Just don't say anything at all, please?"
"Fine, if that's what you want."
I nod as he keeps holding me. After a little bit Frank climbs off the bed to take up his seat in the chair. The doctor comes in again, smiling at both Frank and I politely. I don’t smile back. She places a cup of water and the pill on the table beside the bed.
“You’re free to go whenever you’d like,” she says.
I return her words with a simple nod.
Frank doesn’t say anything as I reach for the little blue pill, rolling it around between my thumb and forefinger. I sniff back tears. Is there really a possibility that I could be pregnant? If I am what will the baby look like; probably blonde with muddy brown eyes like Garry’s. Will I think about him and what happened every time I look at it? Will I be able to love it? Will I resent it? What will my life be like with a kid? Will I be a good mother? Will Frank take care of me? Aunt Donna? Mom? Mikey? Gerard? Jonny? Liz? The faces of my friends and family flash before my eyes causing me to burst into tears. I can’t do this.
"Amber," Frank says looking up at me with concerned eyes.
I can tell he wants to ask what the matter is but is frightened of the answer or maybe he’s scared that I will get mad. I let the pill roll into the palm of my hand, holding it out for him to see.
"I don't know what to do," I explain to him.
"What is it?"
"The morning after pill,” I answer simply.
Frank’s jaw goes tight but he refrains from saying anything. He’s always been against abortion…so have I. Life is supposed to be lived to it’s fullest, not destroyed before it can even start.
“She said there's a possibility that I could be pregnant,” I glance down at my lap, "and if I take this little pill... I could prevent that."
"It's like abortion," he says still eyeing the little blue pill held in my hand.
"Kind of,” I answer, handing over the pamphlet.
I cry silently as Frank reads over it. When he’s done he drops it to the floor, looking away, eyes glued to the white hospital wall.
"I don't know what to do," I admit.
I watch my best friend wipe away a tear. In a sad, pathetic attempt to comfort him I lay my hand over his. I don’t want him to hurt because of some stupid mistake I made.
"Amber," Frank says after a minute, "No matter what you chose to do. I'll support your decision."
"Will you think less of me?"
"You couldn't make that happen even if you tried."
More tears spill down my face again. My biggest fear is having Frank hate me. I won’t take it if I know he doesn’t approve.
"What do you want?" He finally looks at me.
"I don't want to have his baby," I answer, my eyes locking with his. If I am ever going to have children I want them to be Frank’s.
He nods slowly, "Then do what your heart tells you."
My heart? I can’t feel much of my heart anymore. I place my head in my hands again and think about it some more, trying to locate my heart so I can figure out what it says. My heart has been broken and shattered but it is still there, struggling to fix itself already. Right now the most active feeling I can gather from the shattered thing is my love and appreciation for Frank. My heart is telling me to take the little blue pill.
"There's a possibility that... I'm not... and if I take the pill... I'll never know for sure." I say. I might just be staling or maybe I’m trying to justify taking it…trying to convince myself that I’m not really pregnant and I won’t be killing a human.
"I know," is all Frank gives me. He’s trying not to influence my decision too much.
"Don't hate me, please?" I whisper as I a few tears fall from my eyes.
"Amber," Frank says standing up and climbing onto the bed, settling himself down beside me, holding me tightly. “That isn’t possible.”
Closing my eyes I drop the pill on my tongue, chasing it down quickly with water, giving myself no time to change my mind. As I feel it slide down my throat the water gates burst yet again and I’m reduced to a sobbing mess in Frank’s arms. He simply pulls me close to his chest, letting me soak yet another one of his shirts.
"It's for the best, Ambo," he whispers.
Note: Another not so easy chapter to write. Please let me know what you think by leaving a review or even just rating...maybe even tell your friends about it. Hope you enjoy :)