1. Racing From Love Ch. 16-18byinspirixis1©
'Have you seen your mother since that morning?'
'Yes, she asked to meet with me. I had lunch with her.'
'And how did that go?'
Emma sighed, she hated psychologists, all of this touchy feely talking about her feelings wasn't going to change the fact that her life was fucked up and she had fallen into another depressive episode. Unfortunately it had been long enough since she'd seen her psychiatrist that she had to get a referral from a general practitioner who said she'd only write one if she spoke to a psychologist first. Bitch.
At least this one seemed halfway normal, well, aside from the haircut that was straight out of the early 90's. Her office was neat and organized, and decorated with benign artwork that featured coastal scenes heavily. No pictures of kittens clinging onto ropes with the slogan 'hang in there', or those annoying inspirational posters with some idiot on top of a mountain and the label 'perseverance'.
This was still taking way longer than it should have, she had a history of depression and anxiety for Christ's sake, why did she have to go through all of this shit to get a new prescription? It had already been over a week since the thanksgiving from hell and she was sitting here wasting time in the shrink's office.
She tried to focus on the question. 'It went better than I had expected, I guess.' Emma thought back to the meeting with her mom, it went eerily well actually.
'What did you talk about?'
'She wanted to know if I was going to end it with Sam. I told her I didn't know.'
'And how did she react to that?'
God, she really didn't want to talk about this. 'She encouraged me to end it.'
'What was her reasoning?'
'She says it is unnatural, that we would never be able to have a normal life because people would always be judging us. Not to mention that she thinks it is morally repugnant. That's the word she used, repugnant.'
'What people would be judging you?'
'Everybody I guess.'
'Do you believe that?'
All these questions were making her headache pound. 'I don't know, I guess so.'
'Why do you think everybody would judge you?'
Emma snapped, 'Well let's see, I've been fucking my brother. You don't think that's a bit odd?'
Linda, the psychologist, gave her a stern look. 'It is not my job to judge what is or is not odd, Emma.'
'Sorry,' Emma muttered.
'Besides, how would people know that you are brother and sister? Do you look alike?'
Emma snorted, 'No, he's white.'
'And how does Sam feel?'
'He wants to keep seeing me, he kept on calling me, I had to ask him to stop.' She thought of the phone conversations she'd had with him lately. A lot of empty silence, a lot of empty sadness.
Linda uncrossed and crossed her legs in the opposite direction, the pause in the conversation long enough for Emma to know that she had decided to change her approach.
'Have you decided if you will end it or not yet?'
'I think so. Yes, I think I will end it,' Emma felt the sickness in her stomach intensify when she thought of it. Of course she had known since she'd awoken to find her mother at the foot of the bed, but it still made her feel sick to think about telling Sam in no uncertain terms that it was over.
'Do you always do what you mother tells you?'
Emma looked up, startled. She wasn't expecting this sort of confrontation.
'It is a legitimate question. Do you always do as she says?' Linda repeated.
Emma thought about it. 'I've never really had a reason not to. I usually agree with her. I usually think she is right.'
'Do you think she is right in this case?'
Emma sighed and rubbed her eyes. 'I don't know... maybe... probably.'
'Do you think she offers you good advice or do you think she offers you a good home, a good family?'
'Do you think your other family members, your dad and Sam, are only accessible through your mother?'
'Well obviously not Sam, but my dad always agrees with her. I'm not saying he's only accessible through her, but they're a team, he might make himself inaccessible in order to support her. Where are you going with this?'
'Emma, do you think perhaps your decision to end your relationship with Sam is rooted in a fear of being abandoned by your parents?'
Emma saw a glimmer of truth, a little slice of her own inner workings. It shocked her that this woman had so easily seen into her heart, seen something that she didn't even know herself until it was said out loud.
'It's just a question, something to think about,' said Linda as she shuffled the papers on her lap into order, signifying that their session was over.
'I do believe that you legitimately need to be medicated Emma. From your record and your symptoms I believe that you have an illness that requires treatment, so I will have Dr. Creaser write you a referral.'
Emma should have been happy, that's what she came for right? For a referral to get meds., but she was still thinking about the revelation.
Linda paused and looked at her. 'Would you like to come back to see me again?' She asked.
Emma couldn't believe that she was nodding her head. She hated psychologists.
'Good. You are going through some major changes Emma, and talking about things can help you to gain some clarity. You can make another appointment at the front desk, how about for about a weeks time?'
'Yes, that would be good. Thank you Linda,' Emma said, still not believing that she was voluntarily having an extra session with a shrink. She picked up her bag and turned to leave.
'Oh, Emma,' Linda had something else to say. 'This is not professional advice. My personal advice is that mothers, and especially mother in laws,' she paused for effect, 'are the worst people to take relationship advice from. If I were you I'd put off making the decision a little longer, if possible.' She smiled benignly. 'See you in a week then,' she said as she guided Emma out the door.
What the hell did that mean? She didn't have a mother in law.
Emma thought about the shrink session for the rest of the day and for several days afterwards. It was like there was a little ray of sunshine penetrating the dark clouds in her brain. Everything was still totally shit, the situation was still 100% fucked up, but at least now she kind of understood why she was so torn up. Apart from all of the legal crap, what she was being asked to do was to choose between her parents and the love of her life.
She was leaning towards her parents. It was hard not to, Emma owed her life to them. If it weren't for them god knows where she would be now. How could she repay them by breaking their hearts? Sure she loved Sam, she loved him so much it hurt to think about him, but she owed her parents.
The week ticked by slowly. She managed to get an appointment with the psychiatrist for Thursday. Exactly two weeks since it all happened.
Her psychiatrist was a wiry looking old guy who was really lovely and softly spoken, he was such an odd contrast with his office which was sterile and painted institutional pale green.
'What are your symptoms this time Emma?' He asked in his slow kindly voice.
'The anxiety is terrible, I feel like I have a worm in my belly that is thrashing around taking bites out of me from inside.'
'Hmm, that's an interesting description,' he smiled at her.
'The nausea is back. I can't eat, I feel sick just smelling or looking at food, and I've thrown up a few times.'
'Is that getting better or worse since the initial trigger?' He asked.
'I think it is getting worse, and it is getting more spontaneous, I have less warning between when I know I'm going to throw up and actually vomiting.'
'Okay,' he was writing notes, 'anything else?'
'This time I feel dizzy a lot more. I've been trying to drink the Gatorade, like you suggested last time, but it doesn't seem to be helping. And I feel tired, very, very tired.'
'How about suicidal thoughts?' He asked.
'No, not really. I wish I could curl up in a ball and never wake up again but I haven't been thinking about killing myself.'
'Okay dear, don't worry, we're going to try you on the Paxil again,' he said as he scribbled out a prescription. 'Now, I just need you to provide a urine sample to the lab before and then they'll put the prescription through to the pharmacy.'
She peed in the cup and turned it in to the lab along with the prescription, as the doctor had told her to.
'We can probably fit this in this afternoon, so you should be able to pick up your prescription tonight. The pharmacy closes at 6,' the technician informed her.
Thank god, Emma thought. She went back to her classes feeling a little bit more hopeful that she could get things back under control. It was only an hour later that she got the call from the health clinic which would change everything. It was a nurse asking her to come back in that afternoon.
What on earth could be wrong, she wondered. She went back over to the heath clinic and checked in where she had been told to go. It was not long before she was sitting in an exam room, waiting. She started to get nervous. What was the problem? Was there something wrong with her? She knew she couldn't be pregnant, she was on the pill and she had never missed a day, not even once.
A new doctor came into the room, she was middle aged and wore no makeup, her movements were swift and efficient.
'Hello Emma, I'm Chistine Johannsen, I'm an O-B-G-Y-N here at the university health clinic.' She held out her hand and Emma shook it.
'Please sit down, I have some news for you.'
Emma's heart was beating at a million miles an hour, why was an OBGYN consulting with her?
'Emma, your urine sample came back positive, you are pregnant,' she said briskly.
'Wh-what?' she stammered. Surely she couldn't have heard right, she was on the pill, she'd never missed a tablet.
'You are pregnant. I take it that this is a surprise?'
'I can't be... I'm on the pill.' She stuttered.
'Did you miss a tablet?' She asked.
Emma shook her head.
'Have you taken any other medications?'
She shook her head. 'Wait, I took a valium,' she recalled.
'And when was that?'
'Two weeks ago today,' her voice dropping to a whisper as her throat dried up.
'Yes, that most certainly would have done it.' She was writing on a chart.
'Do you have any questions, or shall we discuss your options?'
This was all happening so fast. She was pregnant? Pregnant with a baby? With Sam's baby? She felt ill.
She tried to keep up with the doctor, 'Options.'
'Okay, option number one is that you keep the baby. You come for regular checkups and look after your health. Your due date would be August 18.' She paused.
'Option number two is to terminate the pregnancy. If this is your preference then you are lucky because you are only four weeks pregnant, so you can still have a medical abortion, by which I mean that you will take a series of tablets that will make you miscarry without surgical intervention. It will feel like a very bad heavy menstrual period. The medical abortion is only an option up until eight weeks, so if you want to do that you will need to decide quite soon.
'Past eight weeks a surgical abortion is possible up to twenty-one weeks gestation, although obviously we recommend that if you choose to have an abortion you have it done sooner rather than later. Any questions so far?'
'The medical abortion, when can I have that done?' She asked. The bad heavy period scenario was the best out of the list, in her mind.
'We can book you in for tomorrow. The state of California requires that you undertake a counseling session first, then you will be given the first pill. Forty-eight to seventy-two hours later, you will take the second pill, which will induce the bleeding.'
Emma felt numb, 'Okay, yes, let's do that.'
The doctor nodded her head and made some notes in her chart. You can make the appointment at Clinic number three, which is on the second floor. You will need this referral. She ripped the paper that she had been scribbling on off her note pad.
Emma walked through making the appointment like a zombie. How could she have been so stupid? She knew that you were supposed to check before taking other medicines while on the pill. She'd just been so distraught on that day.
When she thought about it, that day had been right smack bang in the middle of her cycle. And when she thought about it, Sam had injected an unusually large amount of semen into her in the early hours of the morning that day. Shit. How could she have gone and done that?
But she shouldn't worry, she was just going to take the pills and have a bad heavy period. She shouldn't even think about it. She didn't feel like she was pregnant, it didn't feel like there was a baby in her belly, so why even think about it?
The problem was that she couldn't stop thinking about it. She should tell Sam. She knew she should tell him. God, how hurt would he be if he ever found out that she had been pregnant with his child and she'd aborted it without telling him? He'd probably keel over and die on the spot from a broken heart.
But telling Sam would add a whole extra layer of complexity to the problem. He would want to keep it, she knew he would want it. What if she had the baby and the state took it away, like their dad had said? And even if they could keep it what would she do with a baby anyway? She had no idea how to look after a child.
She felt like there was a massive windstorm in her brain. Thoughts and ideas crashed around haphazardly, nothing seemed attached or grounded. God she needed Sam right now.
She looked at her watch, it was 3 pm, she was supposed to be at weight training in another hour. Or she could get in the car and be at Sam's place by the end of the day.
It was 10:00 pm. The drive had taken longer than it should have because she'd had to stop a few times to walk around and calm herself down.
It was raining. Thick sheets of water poured from the sky. Emma sat in her car a few doors down from Sam's apartment building, willing herself to get out and walk to the door. She was about to ruin his life. Even if Sam thought that he wanted to be with her, this baby was going to ruin him. If she had the abortion he might never get over it, if she didn't they'd have a kid for the rest of their lives. The rest of their lives. It was a very long time. It was one thing to talk about it, it was another thing to be trapped into it.
She took a deep breath, opened the car door and ran up to the apartment building. Once she was inside it only took a moment to find his apartment. She knocked on the door before she could loose her momentum, before she could stop and think about it again.
After a moment a tall lanky guy with dark hair and fair skin opened the door. Emma was confused, she knew she had the number right.
'Hi,' he said tentatively.
'Ah, is Sam here?' she asked meekly.
Before he could respond she heard his voice, 'Emma, is that you?'
Sam appeared behind the mystery guy, who looked from Emma to Sam and back again. There was such tension between them, they hadn't even said hello yet and her hairs were sanding on end.
'Come in, you're soaked,' he said as he reached for her hand and pulled her inside.
Emma looked around, so this is where Sam lived. It dawned on her that the mystery guy must be his roommate, Tyler. God her brain must really be backfiring for her to forget that he had a roommate.
'You know what? I think I'll go over to Kelly's tonight. I'll see you at practice tomorrow Sam,' said Tyler, still looking at Emma. And then he left, leaving her standing alone with Sam in the living room of his small, cramped apartment.
'You should take that off, you'll catch a cold,' he said. Still holding her hand he led her down a narrow hallway and into his room. It was neat. Sam had always been neat. He let go of her hand and opened a dresser drawer, pulling out a hooded sweatshirt.
'Here,' he handed it to her and walked out of the room.
She peeled the wet sweater off, she was soaked through to the skin. She decided to take off her shirt and bra too, as they were similarly wet. She pulled on his hoodie and was surrounded by the smell of him. She closed her eyes and breathed it in for a moment, letting it soothe her frazzled nerves.
She didn't know what to do with her wet clothes, so she left them hanging over the back of his desk chair and walked back out into the living room. Sam was sitting on the couch.
'I know why you're here,' he said. He was looking at the TV, which was switched off.
Emma was confused, how could he know already? She didn't even know herself until today.
'Mom told me.'
How could mom have known? Weren't there privacy laws? Wasn't it illegal to disclose patient information?
'She told me that she had lunch with you, that you told her that you were going to end it with me.'
Emma was startled, why would their mother have said that? 'I never said that Sam.'
He looked up at her, 'You didn't?'
She shook her head. 'No, I told her that I hadn't made up my mind yet.'
He looked relieved. 'Why would she tell me that?'
Then Emma remembered the comment the psychologist had made... 'Mothers, and especially mothers in law, are the worst people to take relationship advice from,' she had said.
'She's trying to break us up,' Emma said.
'So that means we are still together?' Sam asked.
'I don't know Sam, I have all sorts of conflicting feelings, I don't know yet.'
He nodded. 'So if you don't know what you want, why are you here?'
'I'm pregnant,' she told him without stopping to think about it, lest she lose her nerve.
Sam's eyes grew wide, 'Pregnant?'
Emma felt the tears coming, she didn't want to cry, she wanted to act cool, for him to think she had things under control, but the tears came anyway.
Sam was beside her, his arm around her, leading her to the couch.
'It's my fault Sam,' she sobbed. 'I took a valium, it interfered with the pill.' Her breathing was ragged. 'I didn't mean to, I didn't even realize.'
'Shhh, baby,' he was holding her against him, rubbing her back. 'Just stop. Calm down.'
How could he be so calm? He was like a rock, so solid and dependable. She let him soothe her. He sat on the couch and pulled her into his lap, cradled in his arms she rested her head on his chest and listened to his heart beating. The steady rhythm lulled her into a sense of security. She shouldn't be letting him hold her like this, but she needed him right now. She needed him to help her through this.
They sat like that for a long time. Finally, when she had been quiet for a long time, he spoke.
'So we are going to be parents then?'
She shook her head, 'I made the appointment for the med...' her words stuck in her throat, 'for the medical abortion.'
'What? Emma, no!' He cried. He pushed her upright on his lap so that she would look at him. 'Why? Why would you do that?'
'It's okay Sam, it's just a series of pills I'll take, it will be like I'm having a bad heavy period. It's only been growing for two weeks, it's tiny.'
Sam looked distraught, his forehead was crinkled and his mouth gaped slightly. 'But Emma, it's our baby.'
She shook her head, 'It's not a baby yet, it's just an embryo, just a bunch of cells. If I get the drugs now it will just be like I'm having my period...' She started to cry again. 'Do you know how complicated it would be if we had this baby Sam?'
This time he didn't hug her to him, he didn't reach for her and try to calm her. 'I don't care how complicated it is,' he told her.
'Mom and dad would have a fit, they'd disown us.'
'They wouldn't, and even if they did it wouldn't change my mind. You're more important than them. Our baby is more important than them.'