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Mom ran her fingers through her wavy black hair. She had goose bumps running down her caramel arms. I looked more like her, more Mexican than Caucasian like my father. Her lips were full and her eyes were the color of chocolate candies. Those same eyes were currently filled with disappointment and confusion.

“Maybe I should talk to her alone first,” Mom offered.

Dad grunted before pushing himself away from the table. He didn’t have the same look of confusion and disappointment, he just seemed disgusted with me. “Have at it.”

When he left the room the conversation with Mom moved pretty quickly.

“How do you know you’re pregnant?” she asked.

“Took four tests,” I replied.

“How do you know you performed the tests right?”

“Come on, Mom.”

“Is Simon…?”

“What? No way!”

“Why on Earth wouldn’t you use protection?”

“I made a mistake.” I cleared my throat, feeling ashamed. After seeing the condescending look in her eyes, I bailed on the logic and tried for a more playful approach. “Didn’t you say to Dad that KitKat was an accident, too? Can’t you see how these things could happen?”

“Aria Lauren, watch your words. You’re this close to the edge,” she scolded me. When Mom got upset, her face tightened and the smile lines around her mouth disappeared. She also tugged on her right ear when extremely irritated.

She was right.

I was hanging from the edge, reaching out toward her to pull me up, but she was too busy tugging her ear to death.

“Tomorrow I’ll pick you up after school and we’re going to head to the doctor and get you checked out. For now, head to your room so I can talk to your father.”

My feet dragged toward my bedroom, and I paused on the wooden floor panels before turning on my heel to face her again. “Can you ask Dad not to hate me too much?”

Her mouth softened and those smile lines returned. “I’ll make sure that it’s the perfect amount of hatred.”

* * *

It’d been fifty-four minutes of yelling and screaming between my parents. Even though they were really upset with me, they were determined to take it out on one another. I sat cross-legged on my bed, ear buds in ears, and a blank canvas in front of me. The music was cranked to a deafening volume to avoid hearing my parents fall apart. I would lose myself in my artwork and music to try to forget that I’d broken my family.

At least that was the plan until Mike came and stood in my doorway. His lips moved at a nonstop speed, but luckily my music was shutting out whatever he was saying. Lifting my iPod, I stupidly turned down the sound.

“You ruined this, you know. My senior year is supposed to be epic, but instead I’m going to be the guy with a knocked up younger sister.”

“You’re right. I should’ve really thought about how this would affect my older, popular brother. It was a lot easier when nobody noticed me, right?” I sarcastically rolled my eyes. Mike was a huge guy, the star running back of the football team and on his way to being offered full rides to play football at some of the biggest colleges in the Midwest. With his blue eyes and light brown hair, he looked more like Dad than Mom.

“You’re so fucking stupid. You really don’t know what you’ve done, do you? Listen to them.” He gestured toward the living room.

“Shut up, Mike.” I turned the volume back up on my music. He kept yapping for a good few minutes before he dramatically flipped me off and stormed away. My brother, my hero.

Hours passed before the lights in the house faded to black. Mom and Dad never came to check on me. I hadn’t been able to paint, either. The brush rested in my grip, ready, but I never pushed it against my canvas.

Grace poked her head into my room, but she didn’t know what to say to her big sister who was pregnant.

She walked back and forth for a while trying to figure out something to say, glancing into my bedroom before giving me a sly smirk. “You know KitKat is going to be an aunt to someone that’s only a year younger than her? That’s creepy.”

Twelve-year-olds were a lot more forward than I wanted them to be, that was for sure.

“Get lost, twerp.”

“You’re a twerp, twerp!” she mocked back, placing her hands on her hips and rolling her neck back and forth as if she was nothing more than a body of sass. “I have questions.”

“Of course you do.”

“Do you pee on yourself?”

“What?” I arched an eyebrow.

“Do. You. Pee. On. Yourself? My teacher Mrs. Thompson was pregnant last year and she peed all over the hallway when we were walking to music class.”

“I don’t pee on myself.” Not yet at least. Was that something I should be worried about? Would I start randomly peeing on myself for some strange reason? Note to self—Google pissing during pregnancy.

“I bet you’re going to be super fat too. Some people are really pretty pregnant, like Mrs. Thompson, but I don’t think you are going to be one of those people.”

“You can leave any time, Grace.”

“I’m not changing any dirty diapers. Do you even know how to change a diaper?!”

“Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Shouldn’t you not be pregnant?”


I did the only mature thing I could think of.

I took off my dirty socks and threw them at her face, hitting her right in her mouth.

“Eww! You’re nasty!” she whined, washing her tongue against the palm of her hand. “I’m telling!”