“There Is No Baby. I Lied.” (Abortion)

“What are you doing here?” Hannah asks, opening the door, tucking her bangs behind her ear. “You can’t be here! He’s going to kill—”

“I’m not leavin’ until we tell him,” I say. “Face-to-face like a man.”

“It’s his baby, not yours,” she says, shoving her hand on my chest.

“You’re lying to one of us—or both of us—and I’m gonna figure it out.”

“What are you a detective now?” Hannah shouts.

“No, you’re thinkin’ of the time we played cops and robbers in your bed,” I say.

She blushes.

“The timing says I’m the father,” I say, folding my arms across my chest.

“Adam hate you—”

“Where is he,” I say, elbowing her aside, storming through the door.

A beep echoes in the garage, and keys jingle the lock.

“Shit,” he says as the keys ding the ground. He swoops to retrieve, sniffing the air. “I must have caught the bitch this time!” Adam rolls his sleeves up, waiting for a fistfight.

“Quick, he’s here,” Hannah says.

“Wait,” I say, holding a framed picture. “This is Eric, not your husband.”

“I’m cheating on both of you.”

“Ain’t that bout a bitch,” I say.

“What’d you expect, Mike? You’re cheating with a married woman.”

“You said you loved—”

“And you’re an idiot for believing me. Closet,” she says, holding a fistful of my Polo shirt, “in the closet you go.”

I stumble behind a door that she slammed shut.

Ain’t that bout a bitch, I thought, folding my hands into fists, waiting for a fight.

“I won’t let a pregnancy ruin my other relationships,” she whispers, fluffing her stringy blonde hair.

“Everything alright, Adam?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

“You’re never home this early,” Hannah says, glancing at the wall clock.

Adam sets his briefcase down and tongues his teeth. “There’s no easy way to say this, Hannah.”

“It’s over?”

Adam lowers his head. “It’s been over. This is just goodbye.”

Hannah folds her hands to clenched fists. Her narrow eyes turn to crinkled slits, and she’d love nothing more than to slit his throat. “I fucking hate you.”

“Have for some time,” Adam says. (His eyes tell her he’s thought this through and nothings going to change his mind.)

Hannah holds her stomach. “What about the—”

“Who are you kiddin’? You’re not pregnant.”

Hannah looks down and away, shaking her head. “No, I’m not pregnant.”

Ain’t that bout a bitch, I thought. She played both of us.

“I smell him,” Adam says.

“Who?”

“Don’t play games with me, Hannah,” Adam says, slamming the closet door open.

Travis’ voice deepens. “This is your boyfriend?”

“No,” I say. “I want nothin’ to do with this broad after what she did to you.”

I turn to Hannah. “You told both of us you were pregnant. Had us both thinkin’ we might have a child.”

“Look, Hannah,” Travis says, “I’m having a baby with Cindy.”

Hannah seethes. “As in my coworker: Cindy? That, Cindy?”

“That Cindy,” Travis said.

I hold my finger in the air as if a student not often called on. “I came here to break it off, too. I wanted to take care of the baby, should it be mine. But since it’s not, I’ll see myself out.” I pat Travis’ shoulder. “I’m sorry, man.”

“What do ya say we go get a beer?” Travis says.

“I could use a long island ice tea before I go to visit my girlfriend.”

“Take care, Hannah,” Travis says, waving goodbye with his middle finger.

I move across the living room and stop dead in my tracks. I turn to look at her.

Hannah looks down and away.

I wanted to say goodbye, but the sincerity was lacking. I continue out the door.

Hannah sits on her marron loveseat and sobs to tears. “I’m not pregnant because I had an abortion,” she says as she holds her face in her hands.

(© 2020 Andrew Cyr)

 

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