Authors: Dina Silver
Copyright 2011 © Dina Silver
All rights reserved.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61914-162-9
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. For more information visit:
To Jeff and Ryan
irst and foremost, I would like to thank my friend Meg, for sharing her own personal story with me, and in-turn inspiring this one.
I would also like to thank the following people for their individual support: My mother, for joining me in the laborious task of reading and re-reading all my manuscripts…and still thinking they’re great each time. Jane Domino, for rescuing my first book from a slush pile. Literary agent Carolyn Jenks, for giving me validation, encouragement, great criticism, and for saying my writing reminded her of Nora Ephron. A compliment I will take to the grave. My husband, Jeff, for his unwavering confidence in me. And my son Ryan, for being the most awesome person I’ve ever met.
Lastly, to all my amazing family and friends, for (despite their initial shock that I wrote a book) truly expressing their pride, and making me feel accomplished.
inals week hit me like a gust of wind, and before I knew it, I was cramming for my last round of college exams, and trying to convince my mother to let me move back home after graduation. It was 1991, and she’d just started taking Prozac that year, so there was hope. A couple months earlier, after attending Purdue’s spring career day, I sent my resume to five hotels in the Chicago area, and was offered an entry-level job at the InterContinental on Michigan Avenue. I was due to start August 1
of that year, but had to get through finals, graduation, and potentially another summer living at home with that woman.
I knew my Spanish exam would be the hardest, because I barely paid any attention in that class, so I dedicated the most studying hours to that particular subject. Thursday night, as the intricacies of foreign grammar loomed heavily on
it occurred to me that I hadn’t had my period in a while. How that uncertainty popped into my head at that particular moment, I have no idea. My conscience had snuck up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and derailed my train of thought.
I remembered the last time I’d had it though, because I was trapped in an English Lit lecture hall with no panty liner, no tampon, and no break for an hour. As soon as the bell rang I sprinted to the bathroom, only to discover the tampon dispenser hadn’t been refilled since the turn of the century. It was a long, slow walk home with a wad of parchment-like toilet paper shifting around in my panties.
I grabbed my day planner and started flipping back through the pages to check the date of that lecture. The topic was Wicked Women, and it was exactly eight weeks before finals. A small cloud of wicked panic moved in overhead as I realized I might be pregnant.
I grabbed the phone book and dialed the number for Wal-Mart. The woman who answered told me they were open until ten o’clock every evening, which meant I had exactly twenty-five minutes to get there. Unlike my mother’s support, my menstrual cycle was always something I could count on, which is why I quickly abandoned my books that night and drove to the nearest, yet not-so-near-someone-might-see-me, super store. I convinced myself during the fifteen-minute ride that I was not pregnant. It had to be the stress of finals, the end-of-college anticipation, and starting my big girl job that was causing my ovaries to rebel. However, there was not a chance I would get through exam week without confirmation either way.
The Wal-Mart was just off State Road 52 and noticeably cleaner than the one back home. When I arrived ten minutes before closing, it was nearly empty, with the exception of a few weary people in the checkout lanes. I raced past them toward the sobering and well-lit Pharmacy aisles, and managed to find the pregnancy tests ironically right next to the contraceptives. It took me all of four minutes to grab one, pay for it, and make my way out of there with nary a judgmental glance from the sales clerk. I tossed the bag in the front passenger seat next to me, and sped home. My phone was ringing as I put the key in the door, but I ignored it and let the answering machine pick up. My instinct was to grab it, because I hadn’t heard from Ethan in three days, but I needed to stay focused on clearing my mind and getting back to my studies. The caller did not leave a message.
Once the bag was in my hands, I seized the box, dropped the receipt on the floor and began to read the instructions. Since I hadn’t paid any attention to what brand I snatched off the shelf, I needed to know exactly what type of signal would inform me that I wasn’t pregnant. It was a First Response test, and after unfolding the origami-like instruction booklet, I learned that my ultimate goal was to see one pink line upon completion. One pink line, one pink line, one pink line…
First: Remove the stick from the foil wrapper and remove the Overcap.