Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chapter 38, part 2: Surprise Meetings

At breakfast the next morning I told Zoey the whole story.

“What did I tell you, Giselle? You can’t believe a word he says. He’s a master manipulator.”

“What am I going to do? I said I would meet him for lunch.”

“Just don’t show up. You don’t owe him anything.”

On the walk back to the German House after breakfast, a strong wave on nausea hit and I retched in a bush on the side of the walkway.  I spent the rest of the morning feeling miserable, unable to keep anything down.  Finally Zoey insisted on driving me over to the campus health clinic.

“Giselle! Long time no see, as it should be.” Dr. Swanson smiled and shook my hand. “I’m so glad you made a full recovery from that mystery illness you had last year. What brings you in today?” she asked.

“I’ve been feeling run down for about a week, and this morning I vomited a few times. I’m still not feeling all that hot, so thought I should get it checked out. A friend said it might be food allergies or something?”

“Well, let’s rule out other causes first. Could you be pregnant?”

“I thought I could have been, but …” tears choked out the rest of the sentence.

“You think you may have lost the baby?” she said gently.

I nodded. “I started bleeding last Sunday.”

“Tell me about this bleeding. How long did it last? What were you doing before it started?”

“I had just had sex with my boyfriend. It lasted just a few hours, but it was pretty heavy. I wasn’t that far along … I figured there wasn’t very much to come out.” It sounded ridiculous when I said it out loud. Had I been in denial?

“Hmmm… I want you to take a test anyway. Based on your other symptoms and what you told me, it’s possible that you are still pregnant. If you are, we can discuss your options. If not, then I can refer you to a specialist in Avondale if you want to pursue the food allergy angle."

She gave me a cup to pee in and showed me to the restroom. My hands shook as I tried to get the sample. Still pregnant? Could it really be true?

If it were, there were no options to discuss. I knew it meant confessing all to my parents and maybe dropping out of school, but I didn’t care. I loved this baby who God had restored to me. I would trust Him to make a way for us.

Dr. Swanson came back into the room with the confirmation. My baby who I thought was dead still lived and grew. And now I had a much better idea of what I was going to say at Soulfire on Tuesday night.

Monday afternoon, I spotted Kirsten across the Quad. I ran to catch up to her.

“Kirsten. I'm so glad to see you.  We need to talk. Do you have a minute?” We went to a study room on the side of the student center.

After we settled in on either side of a study table, I told her the whole story of Brad and the baby, ending with an apology for not giving her a straight answer that night in Denny’s. “You were brave to bring it up, and I missed an opportunity to be honest with you. Who knows? Maybe I could have saved myself a lot of heartache.”

Kirsten came over and gave me a hug, then sat down next to me. “I don’t know what I’m having a harder time believing: that I’m going to be an aunt or that you were so brave to spill your guts like that just now. I need to be brave too. Can I tell you what I was too afraid to say that night?”

I nodded. She bit her lip and looked away as if summoning up her courage.

“I’ve been so, so … let’s say confused. About my sexuality. Heidi and I kissed each back in high school. Just once, because we were imagining what it would be like to kiss a boy. But it scared me. Especially when all the rumors started. That’s why I rushed into an engagement with Charlie. I even let things with him go farther than I should have, hoping to prove to myself that I’m straight. But I’m still worried that the kiss meant something. And, like you, I’ve been too ashamed to bring the feelings to anyone, especially God.”

“I’m glad we can talk about it now,” I said. “I’m so sorry for shutting you out when you were right about Brad all along."

"Ugh.  I wish I weren't."

"I'll be okay. I hope God gives you peace.”

“Me too.”

I hugged her, relieved to be on good terms again. I’d been blaming her for giving me the silent treatment since we argued about Brad. How could I have known she was going through such a painful struggle?

“So how are you going to tell Mom and Daddy they’re going to be grandparents?” Kirsten asked as we headed back to the East Hill.

“I think I have to fly home to do it,” I said. “I bought a ticket for this weekend.”

“Are you going to drop out of school?”

“I haven’t decided yet. Probably? But I haven’t wanted to do anything official until I get their input.”

I sounded so calm and collected, but even as I spoke the words, fear about how Mom and Daddy would react welled up inside.  Giving my testimony to all of CSF sounded easy compared to that.  But I shoved the feelings back down. I could be brave. I had to, for the baby.  Besides, I already had the ticket bought and paid for.  No turning back now.