Although this story is complete, I'm not sure about everything, so feedback is greatly appreciated along the way. (May be a little heavier than my other stories.) Hope you find something in it to enjoy.


Fall of Angela's junior year. Jordan and the guys, minus Tino, are in the loft rehearsing with the band. Midway through their practice, unnoticed by the boys, Angela pushes open the door to the loft. Before entering she stands there behind the door, hesitant, deliberating over something. She's come all this way across town to get there, but now, actually crossing the threshold is daunting, but with a long breath she does so. Mid song, the band never notices her as she crosses the room; she looks small, standing there waiting to be noticed.

When Marco whips his head up from his guitar, he spots Angela, and pauses — she looks crushed. The only one who's seen her, he stops playing and kind of taps Jordan to catch his attention; Jordan looks, then he too stops playing, triggering the others to taper out as well. Jordan looks from Angela to the guys, who, seeing how upset she is, are trying to mind their own business — retuning, shuffling around, whatever — but are definitely intrigued, and under the cover of disinterest are casting surreptitious looks in their direction.

This can't be good. It's evident to him this is not a normal Angela upset. For one thing it's unlike her to seek him out at the loft uninvited, and the expression on her face and the carriage of her body are, different, in some way. Though she's standing straight in front him, she has the look of being crumpled. Jordan pulls out the plug to his amp, and quickly glances in the direction of his buddies before unstrapping his guitar and walking over to her. When he's right beside her he ducks his toward her and speaks the words a little under his breath, "What's up?"

Looking first at the faces of his band mates, Angela averts her eyes, dodging their looks, then glances up at Jordan then away again, wanting not to be conspicuous. "Can I," she swallows, and her large doleful eyes catch his for an instant before she lets them drop, "talk to you?"

Jordan studies her — she's so solemn he doesn't know what to make of it — and nods. Wordlessly, and without turning back to his friends, he sets down his guitar, takes up his jacket, and follows Angela out the door and down the stairwell, taking care to pull the heavy industrial door closed behind him. A few stairs down she stops and with her back still to him kind of shudders.

"Angela, what happened?" It's like her to overreact to things, to let things get to her more than they should, but this doesn't look like that, and the not-knowing is getting to him.

"Okay, so…" She turns slowly towards him, and it looks to Jordan as though she's having trouble meeting his eyes. "This," she pauses again — there's a crease in her forehead he's watching deepen in front of him, "isn't something I want to say; but …" Her eyes fall to the ground.

With her head bowed, he stands even taller than her than normal, and he looks down upon her, his eyes narrowed on the sad and speechless figure of his girlfriend. He's concerned, but as he's a little thrown, he's a bit removed as he asks, "You okay?"

She raises her head slightly, lifting her eyes to meet his. "I'm pregnant." The words were impossible for her to say. She waits a minute before averting her eyes. Jordan's expression does not falter, he just looks. She clears her throat and continues, "I just took my second test. And I'm pregnant."

Instinctually, Jordan looks up the stairs back to the loft — the door is still closed. He tries to let it sink in; he swallows, and turns back to her. "So," he speaks, and his voice is heavy and raspy, "what do we do now?" Silently she shakes her head. She doesn't look as though she'll cry, but he's never seen a person more able to than she is in this moment in this dim rundown retrofitted warehouse. He asks again, "Are you okay?"

Angela scoffs darkly, "Hmph. Excellent."

Jordan exhales and scratches the back of his head, twisting his body away from hers as he does, "Shit." Turning back he studies her, "What can I do?" Angela can't say anything, she's at a complete loss. Sensing that, he takes charge, tugging her elbow, "Com'on; we'll get out of here." Angela allows herself to be guided down the dark staircase towards the street exit.

...

Outside on the street she and Jordan stand leaning against his car. She stands with arms crossed, blankly staring off, indifferent to the chill in the air and unaware he's covertly eyeing her from the side.

"Have you told your parents?" he breaks the silence.

She shakes her head.

Telling her parents seems like the last thing he wants to do, but Jordan already feels out of his depth, and knowing his tendency to say the wrong thing, not to mention completely shut down, he figures her getting her parents involved isn't the worst plan. Besides, no matter how she complains, the Chases are close; they were going to find out. Might as well get the help now when they need it. And Jordan hates secrets. But, what would they say...?

"Do you want to go do that?" He's more than half hoping she'll say 'no'.

"I want to disappear." The sound of Angela's voice is so low, so distant. He looks at her, and she's bleak. Just, empty. And far away.

"Come here." He holds her, tightly, trying to reach her through the divide, but with his head set atop hers, trying to be of comfort, he himself feels hallow, and genuinely freaked himself.


Outside the Chase house, Jordan and Angela sit, motionless, in his car. He turns to her, "We gotta do this, huh?" Angela nods. Hooking his thumb off the bottom of the steering wheel, he asks, "You're sure? — We don't wan' tuh go through with this, if it's not really happening."

A heavy metallic echo sounds through the car as Angela opens the passenger door; she steps out, and her voice is dry and detached, "It is."

...

Jordan follows Angela up the side path, past the garbage bins and the kitchen windows, and trails after through the backdoor into the Chase's home.

Passing through the hallway from one room to another, Patty spots Angela, o more than a few feet in from the door. " Hi Honey."

Jordan, painfully uncomfortable, lingers in the background, willing himself into nothingness as Angela hesitates, mustering the will to speak. Angela swallows, and tries to get her mother's attention. "Mom—"

But Patty, who is mid-project on something, looks a little crazed in her focus and she moves quickly past them. It's only then she notices Jordan's also there, and while mildly surprised to see Jordan inside the house, as it's not missed on Graham or herself that he's mostly out on the street, in his car, waiting for Angela when he figures either one or both of them are at home — she suspects the case is different when they're out — she continues her movements around the house without taking any special notice of their demeanor. "Oh, Jordan, hello." Patty moves on, speaking quickly, "Angela, I need you to—"

Angela stands her ground miserably, "Mom." Angela has not succeeded in catching her mother's attention, and she has no alternative but to try again; Jordan hangs back, extremely tense and unsure. "Mom." Angela's voice is grave. And flat. Patty stops, turns, looks, sees, and now waits. Angela proceeds, "Is Dad here?"

Uneasy now, Patty looks from Angela to Jordan, unable to interpret their expressions "… He should, be home soon…"

There is silence as they wait.

...

In the Chase's living room, Angela and Jordan sit beside one another, Patty and Graham across from them. They have just heard the news.

Looking slightly pained, Graham asks his daughter, "You're sure?" Angela nods.

"Well," says Patty, "you'll need a blood test, to be sure. Have you done that?" Her parents look at her, Jordan too sneaks a sideways glance, she shakes her head.

Graham sounds fractionally hopeful, "So, we don't know for sure."

"I took two tests." She looks down, away, then back to her mother, "And…"

Not beating around the bush, Patty asks, "How late are you?"

Graham and Jordan, and Angela are close to mortified; Angela looks to Patty for a reprieve, but seeing none, murmurs an answer. "Almost three. Weeks." Graham exhales, Patty breathes in, Angela tugs at her earlobe, Jordan does not move.

By this point, Angela's emotionally dead, Jordan's frozen, Graham's at a complete loss, but Patty is all business. "So, if the condom didn't protect you from pregnancy, it didn't protect you from STD exposure."

"Mom." Angela doesn't want to hear about any of this; she certainly doesn't want Jordan to. She's aware that it's unrealistic to expect to get out this without suffering some humiliation, but she's hoping to avoid outright mortification.

Patty simply talks right over her, "Jordan, you've had other partners." It isn't exactly a question. Jordan looks up, then nods. "Angela, you'll need to be tested."

Horrified by her mother's candor, Angela makes a plea for discretion, "Mom."

Patty isn't having it, "Angela — no."

Slow to speak, Graham asks, "Have you thought at all about what you—" Angela is on the verge of silently crying, or if she already has been, it is more conspicuous now. Jordan does not react; rather, he reacts, but does not act. He is not sure of himself in these circumstances, but in a moment more he takes her hand anyway. Unlike what he'd been thinking, her parents take no note of it.

...

Time passes, they discuss options. Abortion. Adoption. No one speaks about keeping it, to keep. Angela, Graham, Jordan and Patty look horror-stricken and exhausted; they've been talking for a long time. Angela and Jordan are not sitting all that close together, and have experienced this conversation very differently.

In time, Graham speaks up, "Well, I guess we should eat something." The three others look at him like this is the most bizarre thing they have heard. Graham, however, is operating under the philosophy that food makes people feel better, and that regardless of this — setback — not everything's changed. "Jordan," Graham's making the effort, "would you stay for dinner?" Jordan doesn't know how he should, or wants, to respond to this, or what his obligations now are.

Eventually Patty stands up to follow Graham into the kitchen; she sounds and looks exhausted, "We'll let you talk." As an afterthought, she turns, "Jordan, when will you be telling your father?"

Hearing his name, Jordan looks up, but he doesn't say anything. Angela tries to intercede, but doesn't end up actually saying anything. Jordan finally speaks, after a quick clearing of his throat and a glance in Angela's direction. "I don't know." Patty isn't crazy about this answer, but she decides to let it go, for now, and exits into the kitchen.

Angela isn't able to move until several moments after her parents have left the room.

"Uh…" she exhales. "I feel so— This shouldn't be real. I feel like such a..." She doesn't know how she feels and she trails off. She looks over to him, taking in his countenance. "You don't have to stay."

Even as he asks, unsure if her words are to be trusted, Jordan looks and sounds a little relieved, "Do you want me to stay?"

Angela is flatly apathetic — she can't think about dinner invitations, "I have no idea …" She sighs, and runs her hands through her hair, then lifts her head slowly … "I guess there's a decision to be made." Looking to him she asks, "Any thoughts?"

Considering, he is slow in his response, "Nothing— Nothin' I'd say at this point." He questions her, "You?"

Although speaking aloud, she is more just voicing her thoughts than speaking to him; she does not look at him when she speaks, "I don't want to be pregnant." She rubs at her forehead, "I don't want to be a parent, or to have a child. " In a moment she speaks again, her voice is dry and low, "I'm scared." She takes a minute to look at him; there's a pause before she adds, "And I'm ashamed."

"You don't have to feel that way about it." Jordan too sounds tired, like he's been living with this for years. This might be the worst news he's ever had, this might have been the most uncomfortable conversation he's ever been a part of, but he's trying to make the effort to keep it together and to face it head on. They'd been careful, and it had happened, so what good was it be embarrassed or to worry about what they couldn't change.

Angela continues, bitterly, still mostly to herself, "This only happens to fools when they don't mean it to."

His voice is rough, though his demeanor is not, "You shouldn't think about it that way."

"All I can think is … regret." He lets this sink in. Angela looks at him, her face is open, her expression is somber. His eyes shut. Abruptly, she breaks the silence with, "I'm scared to have an abortion."

He clears his throat a little as begins, "Wull, it sounds like you have some time…"

Finding no comfort in this, she obligingly agrees, "Right…" No longer wishing to be lost in her thoughts, Angela shifts and regroups; looking toward the kitchen she says, "I'm going to go in, you should go home." She looks at him with sincerity, "Thank you for sitting through that."

Unsure if he's really been reprieved, "You sure?" She nods then reaches for him; they hold each other tightly. "I'll talk to you soon?"

Angela nods and tucks her hair, "I'll see you tomorrow." Jordan gives her a tight-lipped sideways smile, then moves past her and leaves through the front door.