Chapter Five: The Hidden Secret Pt. 2
"Oh my God!" Judy gasped with her hand over her mouth from what Laura had just told her. Laura's story had placed Judy in a trance-like state and kept the fourteen year old paying attention to every word as if she were imagining what was going on in her head. "Laura…I can't believe it…"
"But that's not all, Judy…" Laura sighed, placing a hand on Judy's thigh to signal that she was not even close to being finished in telling her story. Laura was about to tell Judy something that would not only affect her deeply, but it would also bring back horrible memories. Memories that she wished she would not have to tell anyone, anymore.
"Laura Lee Winslow…" Rachel loudly gasped and stared wide eyed at her oldest niece, who was still battling toe to toe with her tears. So far, the tears were winning the first round. "Why didn't you TELL anybody?!"
"Aunt Rachel…I only THOUGHT I was pregnant…it scared me so much…" Laura slowly wiped the tears gathering under her eyes with the back of her hand as well as her cheeks. The only thing Laura felt she could do at this moment was hug her aunt out of the blue. She held onto Rachel's shoulders as if they were thousands of feet in the sky and would fall to the ground if she let go. Her lips were trembling uncontrollably due to the feeling of remembering what she went through after her evening out with Ted. It took place a few days after everyone had thought Ted had slept with Laura. The rumor had spread around the school, thanks to a few big mouths, and gave everybody the impression that Laura was "easy". The rumor was ruining Laura's "miss goody two shoes" reputation and it eventually brought her to tears in front of her mother and her Aunt Rachel the night after she found out. Steve and Eddie decided to use the "good cop, bad cop" strategy of talking with Ted and his friends in front of many of the students in order to get rid of the rumor once and for all.
At this moment, Laura felt her Aunt Rachel's soft, warm hands patting her on the back and running carefully through her hair in an effort to comfort her. It ceased her flashback and brought her back to the present, but it did not work in helping her feel better. Laura did not want to reveal to anyone else, especially her father, her brother Eddie, or even her friend and next door neighbor Steve Urkel, that she could possibly be pregnant. Similar to Judy, she had tried to protect herself but was caught in the moment of young, naïve and passionate love. The only difference was that she was a year older than Judy when it happened. Laura felt as though Ted were her first, her last and even her everything. No other guy had made Laura feel the way she felt. Nobody. Ted was why she had given up her vow of remaining a virgin until marriage.
"Aunt Rachel…can I be alone, please?" Laura managed to ask after a long, eerie silence that hummed in the ears of both women.
"You sure, Laura?" Rachel wondered, looking at Laura slowly nod her head 'yes' as her reply. Rachel was deeply worried about how Laura might be feeling. She never knew what could happen to Laura being in such a shaken up and emotional frame of mind alone and without anyone to get to the bottom of her problem. The only time Rachel had seen someone act like this was during her adolescence, and it happened to Harriette. One day after the breakup of Harriette's long term relationship with one of her boyfriends, long before she met Carl, she noticed that Harriette was shaken up horribly and would cry at almost anything that reminded her of her ex. It took many days, almost a few weeks, for Harriette to get over the fact that her relationship had ended. Thanks to Rachel and their mother's help, she was as good as new. Rachel realized that although Laura was Harriette's daughter, and in many ways exhibited similar behavior of her mother, Rachel could not deal with Laura the same way she tried to comfort her big sister in her time of need. That alone surprised Harriette when Rachel came to talk with her as they were often in competition with one another.
Laura shook a little as she felt Rachel's warmth that was emanating from her body go away. Laura was surprised that her Aunt Rachel would actually comply with her request. Without looking directly at her, Laura knew that Rachel had gotten up and started walking out of the room. Taking one last look over her shoulder at Laura sitting alone on the side of the bed, Rachel nervously exhaled and shook her head. She knew that on one hand, Laura should have her privacy. On the other hand, Rachel should know how her oldest niece was truly feeling. Something wasn't right, but she just couldn't figure it out. Rachel felt a little empty. She could not have this much of a relationship with anyone else in the house besides Harriette. Judy was only almost about to turn thirteen and could not completely understand the more mature themes woven throughout the many tales she had stowed away in her arsenal of advice and lessons that she could tell.
I trust you, Laura…I don't have the time to tell you this…and even if I did I would probably be a little uncomfortable in doing so, but…I really care about you, and…I love you as though you were my own daughter. Rachel said in her mind as she left where she was standing in the doorway and headed downstairs to help set the dinner table.
I feel bad for how I acted with Aunt Rachel…but I don't think she'd understand… Laura Winslow pouted and crossed her arms, looking ahead at the blank, white wall in her room. It was the only part of her bedroom not adorned with a poster or any other kind of decoration. The wall eventually became a part of the room she used to stare at in curiosity or while in deep thought. I actually feel bad about yelling at Steve…not that I have any feelings for him. Don't even think I have any feelings for him…but he's a friend and I should apologize to him.
Many emotions were running a decathlon in her head, most prominently the memory of that life changing night she had with Ted. 'How could I have been so stupid?' was the number one question she asked herself over and over again. She remembered the numerous talks she had with her father and mostly with her mother about sex, boys and relationships. Her mom and dad had promised to talk to Laura and Judy at age twelve about the "birds and the bees", which was what they did with Laura – a day she could vividly remember as if it were yesterday. Why those lessons were thrown out of the window on that night with Ted two years ago? She would never know the honest answer. A few weeks after they had sex, Laura knew in her gut that she may be pregnant. She was experiencing morning sickness, her period was late, and she had constant headaches thirteen days after their date. When she told Ted that she may be pregnant, he was speechless and had nothing to say. At first he told her that he was willing to be in the child's life if she was indeed pregnant. But as the days went on he began to see her and talk with her less and less. Steve, picking up on these turn of events, was curious as to why this was going on, and one day he arrived at the Winslow home to a sobbing Laura who gave the excuse that she caught Ted talking with another woman. Steve tried to comfort her but Laura told him to leave, which he did surprisingly and without any hesitation on his part. However, that was the least of her problems. The pregnancy was the bulk of them.
It had now been a day since she decided to stop talking to Ted. Sitting in the living room alone on the sofa, Laura turned the page of the novel she was reading. Deep into the tantalizing and suspenseful drama filling each page of the story, she almost forgot that the door bell was ringing over and over. Laura moaned with a hint of anger, carefully placed the novel she was reading on the coffee table and got up from the sofa to see who was ringing the door bell. Opening the door, she was relieved to see that it was her best friend Maxine Johnson. She had a smile that was obviously trying its best to stay on her face but eventually cracked and revealed her nervousness that was fighting to show its ugly head.
"Laura, are you okay?" Maxine asked, still standing outside and gripping both straps of her backpack. She wondered why Laura had called on such short notice. The only message she received was Laura saying that it was an emergency and to arrive ASAP with something she had requested.
"Max…we need to talk…" Laura turned around and walked over to the sofa, Maxine trailing right behind her. Both of them sat in the middle of the sofa and faced each other. Laura tried her best not to show any signs of weakness and put on the best straight face she could.
"What is it, Laura? You didn't sound too good on the phone…"
"Max…I think I might be…"
"Max!" Laura shouted in surprise. Maxine covered her mouth as she realized that she yelled too loud and was afraid that someone may have heard. Looking around to see if her parents, her Aunt Rachel, Eddie or Judy might be around, Laura sighed and shook her head in relief. "How did you know?" Laura whispered, raising an eyebrow. She was amazed at how news had traveled that fast and managed to reach Maxine without Laura telling her first.
"Well…it's no secret when you had to leave class not once, not twice, but three times to use the bathroom. Not to mention that I also asked Ted. When I saw that he was acting strange around you, I had to see what was wrong."
"And Laura…you also asked me to bring you a home pregnancy test," Maxine took off her backpack and reached into the small pocket in the front. She reached in and pulled out the pink and blue box with the home pregnancy test inside. "Saying something about how Steve Urkel asked you to get one for him because he believed his long lost cousin might be pregnant?"
"Well, it worked, didn't it?" Laura smiled nervously, taking the pregnancy test into her hands from Maxine's soft grip. It felt as though it weighed a ton when in reality it wasn't even close and it was rather light. "I also asked you to come by for support…in case I turn out to be…you know…"
"Max!" Laura looked around once again for anyone else who may have made their way into the living room. She shushed Maxine, who blushed from accidentally talking above normal volume.
"Max…pray for me…" Laura got up from the sofa and began to walk upstairs, looking down at Maxine who was still seated. "This may be the last time you see me if this test turns out to be that I'm…you know…the big P."
"I've got your back, Laura…" Maxine said as Laura disappeared upstairs and entered the bathroom, nervous as to how the results would turn out.
"Max?" Laura stood at the top of the stairs, her hands shaking nervously. One of them was clutching the test stick. It had been about ten minutes since Laura had entered the bathroom and followed the directions necessary to use the E.P.T. Pregnancy Test.
"I'm scared to read the results…I've got the test stick here," Laura said, reluctantly descending the staircase and walking over to where Maxine was sitting. Trembling as well, Maxine took the stick in her hands and quickly glanced at the small window on it which gave the result of whether it was a (+) or a (-).
"Did you see it yet, Max?"
"Yeah?" Laura could feel her hands getting sweaty and her heart rate increasing even more. The seconds passing by felt as though they were minutes and hours. Looking down again at the results, Maxine saw the results and loudly gasped. She almost dropped the test stick from the results she saw from the pregnancy test as she stood up and looked almost dumbfounded at Laura.
"Max, what is it?!"
"And it turned out that I was sick and so stressed out from preparing for my midterms, which was why I was suffering all of those symptoms…"
"Wow Laura…" Judy stared with her mouth wide open at Laura, who had wiped her eyes dry of tears for what seemed to be the hundredth time. "I can't believe it…it almost happened to YOU. Do mom and dad know?"
"No…and they'll never know. They would be devastated…" Laura shook her head, closing her eyes to try and suppress the pain of her mother and father even having an inkling of a hint that she was pregnant. "Which is why I wanted to tell you that story a few days ago, but you were still depressed about it."
"I also talked to Aunt Rachel yesterday about you and how you're moving to Detroit with her. Even though I don't tell you this much, I care about you Judy. I'm gonna miss you…" Laura's lips quivered, feeling some more tears well up under her eyes.
"I'm gonna miss you too Laura…" Judy said almost in a whisper as the two of them embraced, letting their tears flow from their faces.
"You just make sure you write to me and call me as much as you can…"
"I will, Laura. I will..."
To Be Continued…