Chapter One: What Happened?
Sobbing heavily and violently, fourteen year old Judy Winslow kept herself under the covers of her bed in an attempt to escape the pain of the argument that had occurred earlier in the Winslow household. The shame and embarrassment that sprung out of what Judy had committed yesterday not only caused her father to yell loudly at her, but her mother to lash at her in an unusual manner that brought her to tears. Luckily for Judy, Laura and Eddie were not there to witness this event. Neither were Aunt Rachel and Mother Winslow, who were the only ones that understood Judy's plight and tried their best to comfort her. After finding out that night when they returned from school and their after school activities, Eddie and Laura were unsure of what to do and did not try to talk to Judy that unforgettable evening. After a long talk with Rachel at the dinner table after everyone else had went off to sleep, Judy asked to be excused. Not because she was tired, which was what she had told her aunt, but to retreat to her bedroom and release the anger and sadness that had built up inside her heart. She regretted having the "discussion" with her parents and telling them the news she did not want to tell. But she had to.
Judy had become pregnant.
After finding out with a home pregnancy test two days ago that she had become pregnant by a boy she had liked at school, she didn't dare tell her parents. Oh no. They would go crazy if they had found out that their youngest daughter was the first to be pregnant at such a very young age. Not to mention that the father, her boyfriend at the time, did not want anything to do with Judy and threatened her to leave him alone not only verbally but physically. Judy didn't mean for the pregnancy to happen. She never did – it just happened without thinking it through. She knew that she was too young to become a mother or have unprotected sex, and vowed like her older sister to not have sex until marriage. But now, she could not try to pretend that the sexual act that she committed with her now ex-boyfriend had never happened.
Having finished in remembering the past few days that felt like a nightmare, Judy sighed and shivered nervously at the thought of ending what most women go through when married: the process of bringing life into the world.
I'll get an abortion.
No. Don't. You'll be killing a life.
But it's a life I can't take care of by myself.
Put it up for adoption.
I don't want to risk there being a mistake and my child not knowing its' real parents. So I have to.
"Judy?" A familiar voice asked after a few soft knocks at her bedroom door. Hearing her name interrupted the conversation she had with her conscience and caused her to flinch in surprise. Peeking from under the covers, she saw the familiar outline and shape of a face she did not mind talking to at the moment. Seeing that they had poked its head through the slightly opened door, Judy let a little smile appear on her face.
"Come in, Aunt Rachel," Judy said in almost a whisper. Her voice still shaky from crying a few minutes earlier. Hearing the door open, she began to sit up from her sleep that she wished had come sooner. Her hair that had been nicely combed and sprayed was now tangled and astray due to negligence from being upset and tossing and turning in her bed the night before. She had a few dark bags under her eyes, which were now a light red that appeared almost light pink and made it look as if she had been awake for days. However, they looked that way because she HAD been awake. For a few days now.
"Judy…" Rachel ran over to her niece and kneeled down beside her, hugging her tight. She was still worried about her own flesh and blood as well as Mother Winslow. Rachel knew that Judy did not mean to do what she did those past few days ago, but what was done was done. There was no turning back. "Sweetie…I'm SO sorry about what's going on…"
"How come…HOW COME THEY DON'T LOVE ME, AUNT RACHEL?!" Judy shouted as she whimpered and began to cry again. "They ignore me…and don't want…to talk to me! Not even mom…wanted to…talk to me!" She added between sobs.
"I can understand how they feel…" Rachel began, patting Judy on the back and lightly rubbing her hand up and down her back a few times to comfort her. "But…I've never seen them this upset."
"I wanna love them, but…how can I…when they don't even want to talk to me?" Judy asked, her eyes remaining shut. She felt embarrassed to look at her aunt with tears overflowing from her eyes. She did not want to be this way in front of Rachel. Judy felt that almost anything would cause her to cry.
"I can understand Judy, because…" Rachel sighed and paused for a few minutes, biting her lip. She was afraid to look Judy in the eye with what she was about to reveal to her. "They have been treating me the same way."
"No way! Not you, Aunt Rachel?" Judy's eyes popped open as she pulled away from her aunt not in hate but in surprise and sympathy from what had flowed from Rachel's lips. Feeling her aunt suddenly wrap her arms around her shoulder, she looked down at her as Rachel continued to stare off into the distance. "But I've never seen them ignore you like they've done me?"
"It's true. Your father and I haven't been seeing eye to eye lately. You see…your Aunt Helen is sick and your mother said it was fine to use not only my money from the diner but a portion of your parents' money as well to help with her hospital bills until she gets out. But…" Rachel sighed again, feeling emotional as she sobbed a little bit. "When your mother and I told Carl about it…he understood at first. But he became angry as he saw it taking out more money than he liked, and began to lash out at me and Ritchie…"
"Aunt Rachel…" Judy cried out as Rachel hugged her tighter. "I'm so sorry…"
"And also…I haven't told your brother and sister but…in the next month, I'll be leaving for Detroit to live with your Aunt Helen."
"But Aunt Rachel…what about Richie?"
"Well…I don't want him to be affected by the move because he has so many friends here, so…Carl and Harriette agreed to let Richie stay here while I'm out in Detroit…"
After hearing the word "Detroit" for the second time, Judy began to think. She smiled to herself but did not want to show it on the outside and quickly put on a straight face.
"Aunt Rachel…?" Judy almost felt guilty of asking Rachel a particular question that had been brewing in her mind, but realized that it was either now or never to say what she had to say.
"…Can I move with you to Detroit?"
To Be Continued…