November 10, 2007

She stands in front of the pharmacy counter waiting for the Asian man on the phone to come to her assistance. It’s always like this here, she thinks. No one rushes to help her anywhere she goes. She looks like a well-bred, polite, middle-class, suburban young lady, and she is. She knows she could be more demanding in getting what she wanted, but she’s not there yet. For now, she just stands at the counter pretending to balance her checkbook. She clears her throat and the pharmacist looks up, but doesn’t come over just yet.

She doesn’t even want the pill. In fact, she didn’t even want to have sex. There had been an uncomfortable conversation and then an understanding between them that everything but was okay, but going all the way was something sacred.

She snickers thinking about that now. Her roommate complained about him sleeping over every night, that it was awkward seeing the two of them tangled up in the morning. Back then, it was exciting just to be touched by him, even accidentally.

It happened last night when her roommate was gone, probably at a stupid frat party. It was 1:05 a.m., she remembers, when it was over, because she opened her eyes and glimpsed the digital clock on her nightstand, then shut them again. She was so tired. She had felt lips brushing her neck and stirred. Hands traveling across her chest, down to her stomach. She awoke, but said nothing, her eyes still closed. He was touching himself, she could hear it, and then he was touching her, and she finally responded by kissing him, and that gave him confidence. He was on top of her and she was tired, so she didn’t stop it. She didn’t open her eyes, but silently allowed him to do what they had agreed not to, and then it was over in one minute, at 1:05.

This morning, he told her he didn’t use protection. She didn’t think he had. You need the morning after pill, he said. I’ll buy. She declined. I’ll go alone. She waited until half an hour before the pharmacy closed to get in the car and drive. She thought if she ended up being pregnant, it would be satisfying to have the baby and leave it on his doorstep, wrapped in her dirty sheets, and a note that said, “For you.”

But instead, she walked into the pharmacy. She walked down the candy aisle and opened a package of Red Vines. She ate the whole box and then went to the pick-up window, where she now pretends to balance her checkbook.


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