The little round indicator on the pregnancy test had a plus-mark in it.

Marybeth slowly stepped backward in shock until her back met the wall, then slowly slid down along it until she was sitting on the floor. The tears were not yet flowing; she was still processing everything that was happening.

All the Friday nights after school came rushing back to her in a nightmarish maelstrom of retrospection. All the alcohol that Justin had boosted from his perpetually-intoxicated parents, freely flowing amongst the rebellious high-schoolers. All the loud and completely uninhibited parties that Derek threw in his basement, his father always turning a blind eye to the teenagers’ antics.

And Derek. Just…Derek.

Without warning, the realization that she had reaped what she had sown and the fear of her parents’ wrath hit her like a wrecking ball. It was now that the tears began to stream down uncontrollably from the corners of her eyes. She cried, silently, acknowledging that she was now between a rock and a hard place.

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