Thoughts Biology was a class of long tables and windows that would not open. Class was all about mitosis and cell division and all I could think about were the cells in my belly dividing and growing into a baby. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had to tell Tayla. But I had no idea what I would say. I mean, it wasn’t like to buy the whole virgin birth thing. Somehow, I felt empty. Muted colors echoed in my body. Thoughts and scenarios spun through me. I saw myself sleeping in an alley with the baby curled against me. I saw myself dancing in Angie’s club for tips. I saw myself working a corner, selling sex bit by bit. Suicidal fantasies invaded me like ants crowding around crumbs of stale bread. It would be so easy to just do what the voices told me to do. I could float into oblivion in water pinked with blood from slit wrists. Things would be so much easier, better maybe, if I were dead. No one would hate me. I wouldn’t hate myself. “Do it,” the voices said. “I’ll be there,” Gid said. Tears burned my face’s soft flesh. The thoughts swirled and crashed against one another, breaking into jagged fragments. They scraped me raw. For an hour, I stared at nothing. Words and sound ricocheted from me. I was a pillar of stone. Nothing meant anything. All I wanted was for everything to stop. I needed time and room to breathe but I had neither. “This is a gift,” Gid said. His invisible hand stroked my belly. “We did this,” he said. “This is real. This is love.” I pushed him away. His voice turned to light and dimmed. His hands faded. When the bell rang I shuffled with everyone else out to the hall. Kids swirled around one another, talking, griping and
laughing. I had nothing to laugh about. I felt sick. The bathroom down the hall smelled of Lysol and bleach. Girls washed their hands and did their makeup and I wanted nothing to do with them. I was going to puke, but puking with everyone there watching and listening was not good. People would talk. People made monsters from nothing. Stories would float through the school like jellyfish going with the current. I would never hear the end of it. It would get back to Tayla and I’d have to tell her something. I hated lying but I hated the thought of losing her more. In a stall, the porcelain toilet was cold against my thighs and I sucked the antiseptic air into my lungs and waited. When the last bell rang and the bathroom emptied, I allowed myself to puke. Spasms wracked my middle. Nothing came up but bile. It was not fun but when it was done, I felt a little better. I washed my face and rinsed my mouth. I stared for a moment at the mirror. Water slicked my round cheeks. My thick jaw and soft chin bothered me. I turned away and left. I went to my locker. I sat on the floor, back against the thin metal. All I wanted was to go home. All I wanted was for my life to slide back into place. This was the end of the world as I knew it. These were the last breaths I would breathe as a real person.