The little square in the middle of the plastic is pink and I suddenly feel dizzy. I start thinking about Alex and the way the corners of his mouth downturn when he's angry.

"What are you going to do?"

It takes me a bit of time to realize that the voice formulating the question isn't mine.

I look up at him and give him a glare. His muscles are stiff (just like two weeks ago; though not exactly in the same way), sitting on a chair beside me. He's trying to mantain his composture but his frame is slightly shaky. He didn't ask it low enough for me not to hear it, and he knows that; but somehow he likes to pretend he did when he repeats the words.

"What are you going to do?"

I sigh. He's clearly stupid if he thinks I might have the answer to that.

I can just keep myself silent or grunt at his pathetic and desperate attempt to try to find a solution. A part of me wants to tell him to go away and leave me alone, that he doesn't need to worry about this. Five months will pass and his stomach will still be flat. His hormones under control. I won't tell anybody. No one will ever know he's done this to me.

And even thought I like to play it cool, think that it's not a big deal, that I accept the idea of hands being washed clean; even though there's one part of my brain that is stating I don't care whether he stays by my side or not, the other is really not buying it and brings moisture to my eyes.

He notices that I'm swallowing hard and feels obliged to speak. "I am not going to leave."

He wants to sound confident and determined, but he pronounces it with such caution and quietness that it has the same effect as if he had said he can't actually.

I look at his face seeking for relief. A hint that will make me feel better. But I see nothing there. Just worry and concern.

I can't help but to feel cold and alone.

* * *

"Maybe you should buy another…"

I say nothing.

"…you know, in case there's been a mistake…"

I say nothing.

"…or maybe you could ask for an ecography on Mercy West."

I say nothing.

He sighs.

"Why don't you buy another?"

I say nothing.

My fists are pressed hard and my knuckles are whitening.

"Um. Why don't you…?"


"Maybe it would be good if-"

"Dude, will you do me a fucking favor and shut your mouth already?!"

And much needed silence reigns.

* * *

We are tumbled down in this on-call room, resting on our backs, looking at the ceiling.

"I could have avoided this."

I look at him and I touch his arm, wanting a reply. He nods. He knows we could have. I'm afraid of mouthing the reason why we didn't. He rests his body on his side and props his head with his elbow. His voice is deep but insecure.

"Do you love him?" It's a non-sequitur (though not really, everything's connected) and I don't want to talk about this.

I feel annoyed. I knot my fingers and rest them on my stomach.

"I don't know. I'm married." I cringe at how stupid I sound.

"If you don't know, you don't."

"What do you know. Why do you care?"

He shouldn't, but he slightly smiles, ignoring the icy tone of my voice. I narrow my eyes at him and his regain their serious appearance.

I don't feel like opening my heart to him at all (we've grown apart all these months), but that want doesn't reach my brain and I start speaking.

"Everything was so rushed. I had cancer and I was scared and dying and I wanted to make him happy. It was the only way I could really. And he was so excited… So when he asked me to marry him I somehow shut the voices inside my head that told me it was too soon, that I was being crazy and unreasonable and I let myself go with the flow." I snort a laugh, its sound anything but joyous.

"It was the only chance I had to prove him that I loved him, that I wanted the best for him. I wanted to give him what he wanted because I had the certainty that I wouldn't make it through my illness. Like some sort of parting gift."

He reaches my hair with his hands and strokes it. "I totally lied to myself. And most importantly, I lied to him."

There's a pause, the air loudly entering his nostrils before he speaks.

"I've been there."

I look at him in the eye. I realize he doesn't want to, but will tell this anyway.

"When my father died, my body went numb. My whole world stopped. And God, he loved Callie. And I loved her too. Or I let myself believe that I loved her. Then you were talking about life being short and seizing the day." My muscles go tense, I wonder what would have happened if I had told the other speech, the one I really wanted to say, the statements that brought us to my bed five weeks later.

"And so, we went to Las Vegas. We laughed, we had fun. We got drunk and we married each other. For a moment I forgot I was miserable. And even though there was still a tiny part of my subconscious that was screaming for help I decided to go along with it. It felt like honoring my father, like wanting to, somehow, assure him that I would follow the same path he did."

His breath becomes unsteady and I can feel that he's nearly sobbing and so I embrace him despite myself. My anger dissolves and I turn into something soft and caring. His vulnerability still makes my heart break, I can't help it. I tell him that we'll survive.

(Bruised probably, but we'll make it through this.)

* * *

It seemed impossible, but after a couple of hours secluded in this tiny room, I can feel we've started to gain some perspective.

"We are pathetic."

He laughs.

"Yeah," he pinches my arm and smiles. "We are. We so are."

I can see the moon pushing the sunlight beyond the skyscrapes.

"We had everything." He's confused, trying to read my expression.

"What do you mean?"

I take a deep breath.

"I was in love with you."

He looks almost surprised, as if he had forgotten that there was a time, not so long ago, I was head over heels for him. "Me, too."

I put my hand on his thigh and fix my gaze on his collarbone, unable to look at his face.

"I don't get it. I can't fully grasp what happened. Why we couldn't make it work. I used to believe it was because of the timing, but then again I feel like we could have made an effort. Like we waved the white flag too soon. We didn't fight for it. For ourselves, really. We surrendered, we gave up."

He doesn't know how to follow the conversation or what to say. He is at a loss of words because truth is there's nothing else to add. We simply let it go.


But he wants to make excuses up, find a valid reason that would explain why we broke up and redeem us from our errors.

"I think…", he trails off. "It's not really that we surrendered. It's just that we got tired of it, that it had been draining. That we got exhausted because we battled against the world for so much time that we let ourselves believe that maybe we weren't meant to be together. That, if it was that hard to be with each other, maybe it wasn't worth it. That we would find something less special but safer."

He rests his head back against the pillow. "We wanted to settle for something easier. It was the best thing to do at the time."

And he's right. But it still hurt when I was thinking of his lips and yet I got kissed by someone else.

It still was maddening when I was traced by hands that weren't his.

It still burned when the person inside me wasn't the one I really liked.

And now I'm pregnant. I'm fucking pregnant. Just like 10 years ago.

Sometimes I feel like no matter how hard I try I always make the wrong decisions.

It's become a theme, really.

* * *

"I could always, you know…" Somehow the word is immensely painful to say out loud. I already feel like the person who is growing inside is a part of me. I can feel another heartbeat. "I could always…" I gesture with my hands, and although someone not named George couldn't have figured out the end of my self-interrupted sentence, he just holds up one finger and shakes his head. He understands me.

"Abort? No."

I let out a breath in relief, I whine. "But-"

He puts a hand on my mouth because he can sense how extremely confused and insincere I am. "We've done this," he whispers. It's the first time he's used the word 'we' to refer to the situation and I like it. I was getting tired of the 'you's. "We get to deal with this."

I want to say that he has no right to decide, that he doesn't get to choose whether to crumble the life, the lie that I have carefully built over the course of these last months. That he's putting me against a wall. And that no, that I don't want this. And that I hate him.

But I have no energy left to decieve myself anymore. I don't want to play that game. I want to be me.

And though I am trying to mask my feelings, he's already noticed my uneasiness.

"I'm going to help you. It's going to be awful, but I will always be by your side."

He's looking into my eyes and his eyes pierce through my irises. Somehow, it becomes extremely hard to return the gaze. Over the last hours, he's gained focus and he's surprisingly become more sure of how he expects things will play out and his boldness is terrifying.

"I'm your best friend."

The words sound truthful. The tone convincing. He doesn't hesitate.

"I love you." He kisses my forehead and envelopes my body with his arms. He rests his fingers against my navel.

I am almost certain he's not lying now.

* * *

We spend the next couple of hours thinking of ways we could explain my husband that soon his wife will start vomiting, or craving the most unusual things in the most bizarre moments, or feeling herself aroused by anything, or too tired to have sex- without making it sound like we're just giving him the worst news someone can announce to a person who's incredibly in love with his significant other.

("I'm pregnant.")

The time is running out. We can't be stuck in this room anymore. We need to go face the lions out there.

("No, it is not yours.")

In the end, we opt for simplicity. To go straight to the heart of the problem and blurt it out.

("I'm sorry.")

To be frank, the way we break the news is irrelevant.

What matters is the outcome and sadly, we can't control that.

* * *

I decide to meet him in the forests outside Seattle, where no one can really see us.

He tries not to dwell on the fact that my fourth finger on my left hand is now bare and his right eyelid is black.

"Are you ready?" He sounds almost enthusiastic.


We take the highway and head south. He drives with one hand, takes mine, resting it against his thigh. Squeezes my fingers, and I know that everything is going to be okay.

We follow the sun as it sets in the horizon. We listen to the seagulls, smell the deep green seaweed. It feels so good and for a moment I forget about the events that have made us flee to California.

This is supposed to be something forced, something against our will, but it doesn't feel like it when he looks at me and smiles lovingly. It doesn't feel like running away when I trace his cheek with my fingers, when he turns his face and kisses my palm.

It just feels like starting fresh.

And I will never be able to forgive myself, and Alex won't either.

These last months will always haunt me. I'll wear my scars forever.

George touches the ends of my hair and my shoulder and rubs my belly and mentions baby names and wooden cradles. I roll down my window and I feel a sudden heat permeate to my bones.

And it has nothing to do with the warm summer breeze that's blowing against my temple.