"I'm pregnant." As the words flew out of my mouth, I saw the look of pure fear and disappointment on Charlie's face. I'd blindsided him. I doubted this was what he'd expected when I told him I needed to talk to him earlier that day.
"You're what?" His tone was shocked, but there wasn't much anger found in it. "Bella... how, I mean I know how, but, you're so young, too young."
My voice cracked when I responded. "I know, Dad."
He closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath before pushing it out. My dad wasn't an emotional man, he was quiet and kept to himself, but I knew he loved me. It was easy to feel his love without the words always being said. So, when he opened his eyes and I could see the unshed tears there, I felt my entire world collapse. "I think I need you to go up to your room awhile, Bella."
I nodded, not uttering another word as I made my way up the stairs.
I didn't know what I'd been thinking.
Garrett and I had dated since our sophomore year in high school. We'd messed around a ton, but I was in no rush to have sex. Thankfully, neither had he, but something changed between us during our senior year.
I wasn't sure if it was the fact that we were going to college on the opposite ends of the country, with me staying in Washington to attend UDub and him heading to NYU, or it may have been our way of saying goodbye. Whatever it was, it felt right at the time.
In reality, we were just stupid kids who had no business having sex, regardless if it seemed to be the norm among our peers. I still didn't know what had gone wrong. I wasn't on birth control, but we used a condom. In the long run, I suppose it didn't matter; I was pregnant either way, and Garrett was 3000 miles away already. I had no clue what we would do, or how I would handle raising a child while going to college. I'd need to take the first year off, if I even went at all.
One night, one choice, and everything I planned for myself had shifted dramatically.
I wasn't sure how long I laid on my bed, staring at the ceiling wrapped up in my thoughts when my dad knocked on my door. "Come in," I called out to him.
He poked his head in the room. "You hungry, kid?"
"Daddy, I'm sorry." I burst into tears as I looked at him. "I know you're probably so angry—"
"Bella," he sighed, cutting me off. "I'm not angry. Disappointed, yes. Worried out of my mind for you, definitely, but I'm not angry. You're a big girl and you made a choice that has some life-altering consequences if you're not ready. So now you have some decisions to make."
This was a conversation that I had never envisioned having with my father. It was embarrassing, but there was no way we could avoid it. "I don't want to get rid of the baby. I can't do that—but I don't know if I can raise a child, either."
"Look, Bells. I'm upset, but I'm still your dad, and I'll do my best to support whatever decision you make. That being said, you need to talk to Garrett about this, not just me. He had a part in making this baby."
I wiped my eyes. "I know. I'll call him in the morning. Dad, how did you do it? How did you and mom decide what to do when you found out about me?"
He shrugged, rubbing the back of his neck. "Things were... different then, Bella. We were in love, we thought we had everything under control, which we didn't. I'd change nothing about it, though; you're my greatest achievement, and I mean that no matter what. Now can we talk about this more tomorrow or something? I'm gonna order us some pizzas, okay?"
I nodded, even though the last thing I felt like doing was eating. "Yeah, okay."
I let out a shuddering breath as my thumb hovered over the call button. Garrett and I had a clean break, agreeing that a long-distance relationship wouldn't work out. We'd cared for each other, but weren't in love. Our relationship had been easy, but now I realized we were more like friends who kissed... and apparently, made babies together. Maybe if I loved him, this whole situation wouldn't have seemed so daunting.
I listened as the phone rang, my heart racing in my chest. I half hoped he wouldn't answer so I could put it off longer, but that thought shattered once I heard his voice.
"H-hey, Garrett," I stuttered. I'd never once been nervous to speak to him the entire time I'd known him, so he realized something wasn't right immediately.
"Hey, are you okay Bella?"
"I, um, no—I mean, yes, I'm fine but—okay, look. I'm pregnant, Garrett."
He was so silent on the other end that I pulled back and checked the screen of my phone to make sure we hadn't lost connection. "You're—oh, God. Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I have a doctor's appointment next week, but I don't think all three tests I took are wrong."
He blew out a rough breath. "What are you planning to do about it? Do you need money to..."
My breath caught in my throat. "I'm not having an abortion, Garrett."
"Well, I can't be a dad right now, Bella. You know my plans. I have years of schooling ahead of me. You know I care about you, but if you keep it, I want nothing to do with it."
I heard the words coming out of his mouth, but they didn't correlate with the boy I'd known all those years. "I—right, okay. Well, I just thought you should know," I hurried to say before I ended the phone call. I couldn't say how long I laid there, just letting my tears flow freely.
I didn't think I was ready to be a parent, either, but I decided I'd still have the baby. I'd never look down on someone in my position that had an abortion, it just wasn't something I could do.
It broke my heart, but I knew the only option that would work for me was to give my baby up for adoption. There was no way I could provide the life a child deserved, even with the help of my parents.
A baby deserved to come into the world wanted and loved by both parents, and if I couldn't give them that, I needed to find the right people who could.
A/N: So...I was going to wait until Friday to post but...I didn't. Lol!
As always, thanks to my pre readers:
And my lovely beta: MeterOnAMoonlessNight