CHAPTER 1

Tina's parents had openly welcomed Quinn into their home, and Tina herself was glad to see her. When Tina's parents went for a night out, Tina and Quinn holed up in Tina's room.

"Are you okay?" asked Quinn.

"I don't know. I'm still kind of scared."

"I was at first, too. Is Mike the father?"

"I don't know, I haven't told him yet."

"But you still don't know for sure if you are pregnant. Have you taken a test yet?"

"No, not yet. Quinn, I don't know what to do. This is all happening so fast."

"Well, don't freak out, for one thing. Just take it slow. First thing's first: you need to go a local drugstore and purchase a pregnancy stick, do your thing, wait a while, and it will tell you if you're positive or not."

"Is there any way to do that without people there judging me?"

"They're not the ones who are or aren't pregnant, so it's none of their business. Trust me, when you know, you know."

Tina didn't know whether to relax or not. Quinn's advice was helpful, but she still had another problem.

"I don't even know what to tell my parents."

Quinn's expression lowered slightly.

"When my parents found out that I was pregnant, my dad kicked me out. I guess it wasn't entirely unreasonable. I did a lot of stupid stuff back then. But you are stronger than all of that, and I can tell. Don't tell anyone until you're absolutely sure."

"Not even Mike?"

"Not even Mike. Now, come on. With your parents out for the night, we can get to a drugstore now. They're open late."

With that, Quinn led Tina out of the house to her car, and they headed to a Walgreen's to pick up pregnancy sticks. They returned a little while later, and Tina immediately went to take a test. They waited as long as they needed to, and Tina began to check the result, but couldn't bring herself to do it, so Quinn checked instead.

"What does it say?"

"It says…"

INTERLUDE

Mike had gotten a quick ride from Chicago back to Lima upon hearing the news. He wasn't angry, upset, scared, or happy. Even during his trip, he didn't know what he was supposed to feel. His father had been uptight about him getting through his high school life alive, often considering Tina a roadblock. Now that Mike had gotten wind of Tina's pregnancy, he had no idea what his father would say. Even though his mother was more sympathetic and understanding, Mike didn't know what she would say either. As he climbed the steps to the Cohen-Chang's front door, he didn't know what he should, would, or could say to Tina when he saw her. When Tina answered the door, their greeting was relatively lukewarm.

"Tina, I'm so sorry."

"No, don't be. This is probably a good thing. Please, come in."

Mike obliged and entered, and he was surprised to see Quinn.

"Hey, Quinn", he said, and she gave him a curt nod. Mike sat down on a couch, facing both of them, and Quinn spoke first.

"I understand that this is a personal matter between the two of you, but Tina needs someone here who understands what she's going through. If you have anything to say to each other, you had better do it now."

Tina and Mike looked at each other uncomfortably. This was probably the first time that they've ever felt uncomfortable around each other. They had always been able to resolve their problems and make up for arguments and misunderstandings, but this time was different. They were now expectant parents.

"Mike, you know I love you, right?"

"Yeah, of course I do. And I love you, too."

"And I hope that this whole thing won't freak you out or anything."

"I admit, it did catch me by surprise."

"We were careful."

"Tina, I do want you know that I will be here for you. I'll put off my studies for as long as it takes."

"That's really sweet of you, but what are you going to tell your parents? You've only been in Chicago for a few months. Won't they think it's suspicious that all of a sudden you want to be back here with me?"

"I'll figure something out, something that they're bound to understand. You haven't told your parents yet, right?"

"I plan to, just not yet."

"You're going to need support, so when you do tell them, I intend to be with you."

Tina smiled, though half-heartedly.

"Mike, I really don't want to mess up your life. This whole thing is going to be a major roadblock for us."

"I'll get a job, and I will help in any way I can."

"Tina, I recommend that you wait until you are absolutely ready to tell your parents to actually tell them. I'll help however I can as well", said Quinn.

"But this isn't your problem."

"Maybe not, but you made it my business, as I am one of the only other two people who know about this."

Tina nodded in understanding, and she began to relax a little bit, knowing that she could count on them. She needed all the help she could get.