I ’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. The words keep circling around my head like a wrecking ball. I had the perfect plan. I knew what I wanted to do. Everything was planned out. I had worked for years for it,
and when it was finally time—nothing. Everything.
I had it all figured out. I worked my ass off in high school to reach every
one of my goals. Get out of the small town I grew up in. Stop feeling like I was caged into my life. My perfect little cage that came crashing down on top of me.
One small addition to the equation, and everything has changed.
Kieran with his piercing blue eyes, black hair, and perfectly toned body. Meeting him changed everything. He started it all. He brought the crazy. He
opened my eyes to the world I had been ignoring. The world is a lot easier to live in when you are ignorant to it.
He brought me happiness. He showed me a side of myself I didn’t know existed. He has been my rock as everything else in my life has fallen apart.
It has been two months since everything happened, and I still can’t wrap my head around it.
I’m supposed to be in my first semester of college. My chance at freedom and another step in the plan I had created for myself. Instead, I just got the cast off my wrist and am now sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to get an ultrasound for the baby inside me.
A baby. My baby. Our baby. I still can’t believe this is real and it is happening. Before last summer, I was a virgin, and now I am going to be a mom.
Two months ago while I was recovering in the hospital, my life as I knew it changed.
The doctors concluded that all the stress, plus breaking my wrist on top of being pregnant, was just too much for my body to handle. Since then, Kieran has treated me as if I am this breakable doll that can’t handle anything, and it is driving me crazy!
Yes, I was in shock, and it caused me to be in a sleeping coma for a week and a half. But could you blame me?
Everything—and I mean everything—in my life had changed. My dad and brother are in jail. Two of my best friends almost died. I met the love of my life and then thought our entire relationship had all been fake.
After they arrested my dad and brother, the authorities started to compile evidence against them, mainly my brother. The Barn, which the FBI raided on the night of the party, housed evidence they needed to prove that the GAP was being produced and distributed from there. Duncan, my brother, was the main person behind the GAP, but they are finding it difficult to get anything to stick to him.
GAP, short for Grandma’s Apple Pie, is a dangerous mixture of moonshine and amphetamines. Last February, it hit the market and led to many serious and fatal incidents. My best friend Alex, along with three more of my classmates, were in a car accident and sustained serious injuries.
With my local knowledge, I was able to help Kieran, an undercover FBI agent who became my fiancé, get intel leading to the raid of the Barn.
In the Barn, the FBI found records of shipments and production of the product in a filing cabinet in the office. My brother had been very careful, but he never imagined they would find his main production facility. He may not be talking, but the evidence is talking for him.
He is currently in jail without bail, waiting for the FBI to solidify their case against him. Kieran says with what they have on him, he will be in jail for a very long time. I know he is my brother, but he did some very bad stuff, and I am just happy that he can’t hurt people any longer.
My Dad, on the other hand, seems to be getting off fairly easy. He knew about the moonshine but had no idea what my brother had been doing recently. The original GAP moonshine had been around since my brother was in high school and he started making it. He was tired of my parents not having enough money, so he took it upon himself to make a solution.
When it started to become successful, Duncan had my father buy the land where the Barn was located under a false name. My brother was paying my father rent to use the property, which was the money that was showing up in his account, the same one that originally brought the FBI to investigate my family.
My brother had been producing large quantities of GAP throughout his time in college with the help of a small group of friends. He was very careful and didn’t bring in anyone he couldn’t trust. While my father knew the basics, my brother didn’t tell him when he expanded on his production and started adding amphetamines to the moonshine.
My dad has been let out on bail while they are figuring out what he will be charged with. He has been very cooperative with the cops. After they arrested my brother, the whole family saw a side of him we had never seen before.
When we were little, Duncan and I were close. Always getting into trouble around the house. Setting up contraptions and trying them out. Once, when we tied a skateboard to a rope—I was the youngest, so I always got to go first to try it out—he spun me in a circle in the open space of our living room. A new dent in the wall and a new scar on my knee later, we moved on to the next thing.
As we got older, I got more focused and determined to get out of this small town we had grown up in. We drifted apart and never rebuilt the void between us. I didn’t realize his frustration at me and the small town we grew up in until last Christmas.
I don’t remember what set him off, but he got very upset over how I was always the center of attention with our parents and they barely noticed him. Was this true and I didn’t notice? Did I not notice how everyone in our high school were just redneck nobodies who enjoyed picking on anyone who was a little different?
High school wasn’t easy for him. Is it for anyone, though? He felt like he was alone in his struggle. But unlike most people who let it go, he held a grudge. The night of the raid, he hinted that he was enjoying the pain that the new GAP was causing people. Making money was only part of the equation.
Or at least this is the best I can make of the whole situation. My brother is very careful not to say anything that could incriminate him. I have been able to piece this together from his sly comments, some from the night of the raid and others from when I went to visit him. I may be happy that he is behind bars, but he is my brother, and I wanted to hear his side of the story.
My impression was he was calm about the situation, but he showed anger when I mentioned Kieran. Duncan tried to convince me that Kieran was just using me, again. Dislike for Kieran makes sense because without him, he wouldn’t be in jail, but why is he so calm? With a pile of evidence stacking up, this is not just going to be a temporary arrangement.
Then there is my mom. She is beside herself with everything that is going on. She was completely in the dark. My dad had told her the money was coming from a rental property, but he gave her none of the details associated with it. Apparently, my dad only told her about Duncan and the moonshine a few weeks before everything went down. After I started asking questions about my brother, she got suspicious.
They have temporarily moved back up to the house until they can get some things figured out. My mom doesn’t know what to do. Like me, she was blindsided by the news, and it is taking some time to digest.
Then there is me.
An eighteen-year-old whose whole life has been turned upside down and is living with her fiancé and is pregnant. For all the good that has happened in my life, there is equal or more bad.
Bringing my thoughts back to the present, I look up at the wall in the waiting room. There is a flyer advertising family photos for before and after birth. A family is smiling as they hold one another with the baby in the mother’s arms. Both of the parents are looking at the baby with such love. It’s perfect.
Why does my brain always come back to that word?
. Nothing is perfect. It is impossible, yet I strive for it and always come up short. Why can’t I just enjoy the moment?
I look away before I start to think about all the aspects of my life that are imperfect at the moment. Life has been crazy. But I have felt more alive in the last three months than I did during the rest of my eighteen years.
I hear the door opening and look up, hoping it is Kieran. He is supposed to be meeting me here for the ultrasound. He didn’t want me to do this alone. He keeps saying he will be there for me no matter what I choose to do, but I know he wants the baby.
I want the baby too, just not right now. I was thinking early thirties would be a good time to have kids. By that point, I’d have my career set, a husband, and a house to raise the kids in.
What kind of life will I be bringing this kid into if I end up having it? One of its grandparents is currently out on bail while the other is thought to be involved with criminal activity. Kieran’s father, Mr. Black, is a very rich and powerful man. Kieran doesn’t see eye to eye with his father due to many of the ventures he has been involved with not being legal. This drove Kieran to choose a path trying to make up for all the negative his father has done.
The baby may never meet its uncle, not that I would want them to. He may never get out of jail. The brother I went to talk to was not the same one I grew up with. Something has changed in him. One of the baby’s aunts is in and out of rehab because one of Kieran’s sisters has been struggling with drug addiction most of her life. Who wants to bring a child into this world with all that going on?
Alex tells me to stop thinking that way. I have a rich fiancé who thinks the world revolves around me, a soon-to-be husband as soon as we decide on a date. She says the only reason you wait is to make sure you have enough money to raise the child, which isn’t a problem.
Even after living with Kieran for two months, I have not been able to get used to his money. He has a lot. Like
a lot. I don’t think I will ever get used to it. Not that I have been spending much since I’ve just been stuck inside recovering, but it’s nice to not have to worry about the cost of ordering pizza.
Today is the day we have to make a final decision about the baby. I know Kieran will support whatever I want to do. He is older than I am at twenty-five, and it’s not as strange to think about having a child at his age. But I am eighteen. I just graduated high school. I am too young to be having a baby.
I look up again as the door opens, and my breath catches, and my heart beats a little faster.
Even after three months, I still react this way every time I see him. His piercing blue eyes find mine as he walks across the room to me. I stand up as he arrives, and he pulls me into a kiss. Letting our lips stay connected a little longer than is socially acceptable, I regretfully pull away. Still in his arms, I look up at him. At this moment, seeing the love he has for me in his eyes, I know there was never a choice of what we were going to do. How could I ever think of getting rid of something that we created through love?
I am going to have this baby.
As I am about to tell him that we are going to have a baby together, the nurse calls my name to come to the back.
We are motioned into a back room. The nurse takes all my vitals and then tells us that the doctor will be with us in a few moments. As the door closes, I look over at Kieran.
He can see I want to talk about something important, so he gets up and walks over to where I am sitting on the exam table and asks, “Hey, babe, what’s up?”
I blame pregnancy, but I burst into tears as I tell him, “We’re going to have a baby.”
Not understanding my meaning, he tries to comfort me. “Seryna, it’s okay. I know that life has been crazy, and this is the last thing we expected to happen, but it will be okay. We will take care of it, and everything will go back to normal.” As he talks, he is rubbing my back.
I look up at him, wanting to lay it out clearer so he will understand my full meaning.
“Kieran, I don’t want to ‘take care of it.’ I want to have the baby. I want to have our baby. I’m keeping it.”
Before I can finish, Kieran’s eyes start to mist as he looks at me. “Are you sure, Seryna? You know what that involves? I promise to help in whatever way I can, but it’s your body.”
I know he wants the baby but doesn’t want to pressure my decision.
I look at him and reassure him. “I’m sure, Kieran. I love you, and I already love this baby we created. I would forever have a hole inside me if I didn’t have it.” Kieran is so excited he grabs me off the exam table and kisses me hard. Loving the way his touch feels, I don’t pull away and push forward, making the kiss deeper. With everything that has happened and me being hurt, Kieran will barely touch me. I have tried a few times, but he is too worried that he will hurt me. I was pretty banged up, but over the last few weeks, I have felt fine. He still wants to wait. He won’t believe me when I tell him that it won’t hurt the baby if we
are together, but he wanted to wait and ask the doctor. 6
As the heat really starts to build, we hear a soft knock on the door. As Dr. Molly walks in, we pull away quickly.
Looking a little flustered, the doctor asks, “Do you want me to come back?”
Before I can jump in, Kieran begins to talk. “We were just celebrating. We have decided to keep the baby!”
Dr. Molly’s eyes brighten, and she clasps her hands together. “That’s great news! I know you guys were unsure, but this will be the right choice. Once you hold your own baby, it’s like nothing else in the world matters! Before we get started with the exam, do you guys have any questions?”
I’m slightly embarrassed, but we all know how babies are made, so I ask the question. Turning to Dr. Molly, I ask, “Will being intimate hurt the baby?”
Without missing a beat, she replies, “As long as you’re not having any discomfort and there is no bleeding, you’re free to continue intercourse up until you give birth.”
I don’t listen to what else she says as all I can think about is being with Kieran again. It’s been too long.