twenty years old. scared to death. call my cousin and she braves the crowd at walgreens with me, a handful of pregnancy tests in her hand, along with a huge water she encourages me to drink in line. her baby is fussy, she hands her to me. i laugh at her mini tantrum, lifting her into the air and blowing zurpies on her stomach as steph watches me, worried and amazed at the same time. we talk in line. "so what if you are? what are you going to tell him? i like him, but i don't know, meg... you're both way too young. besides, you've got school and everything. i'll go with you if you need to take care of it." i politely let her know if i am, i'm gonna deal with it. its my own fault for drinking to the point of sleeping with him. i don't want to think about calling one of my best friends and telling him that he's gonna be a dad, but at the same time i know that if it comes down to that, i'll play the single mom role. its still just too much. when we go out to the car i tuck madison safely into her carseat, talking to her in my calm voice the whole time, getting her to hold still long enough to buckle her in. i climb into the passenger seat, scared to death but relieved that i've got steph next to me. she looks at me before pulling outta the space. "you know no matter what you've got me and i'm gonna help you through everything?? don't worry. if it comes down to it you'll be an awesome mom. you've got us." and she leans in for the hug i really needed. she doesn't let go, just holds onto me for a minute. i know my best friend from childhood, the girl i grew up with, even though we grew up to be two completely different people, she's still steph. she'll still tell me when i'm being stupid but she'll stick around through thick and thin. "i know. just shut up. this is gonna be a big waste of money, they're all gonna be negative and we're gonna laugh and say thank god i didn't end up pregnant with some braindead drug baby." i end up being right. pee on a million little sticks, in between i'm chuggin water. my uncle walks in and sees the tests lined up on the bathroom counter. he just looks at me. "now i know you're not that stupid." and i chime "its all good, uncle mike, four down, one to go. all signs point to no babies. HIGH FIVE!!" and laugh. good. no babies. but still i'm disappointed somehow. i can't wait to have that unconditional love. so in the meantime i scoop up mads again, spinning in circles with her, slowing down to say "auntie megan's gonna puke.... but you like it..." and spinning some more. her sweet little baby laugh filling up all the empty space in the room. i'm surrounded by people who love me, people i love and trust and would give my life for. its a good feeling. finally i sit with mads on the floor, playin with her, stealin her bink, bitching at steph on how she's gotta stop buying her such creepy dolls. changing diapers, laughing when she gets so mad at me for it... "i'm not the one who pooped in your pants. sit still, homie. you're okay." and i'm complete.
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