When I first found out I was pregnant I was a high school senior having just returned from what I still consider to have been the best summer vacation of my life. I set my alarm for 4am on a cool Monday night and awoke Tuesday morning to a saccharine sun-kissed curtain shade my parents had bought me just months before as a sort of “room-warming” present for my jovial attitude in regards to our most recent move. I wasn’t yet used to being up so early in the day, as my school day started at 11am only the previous year. My boyfriend and I agreed we’d meet at our usual spot, the brick stairs under the two maple trees we sat under when we first met. When I got there, I noticed he had one hand ready to greet mine and the other behind his back. A few minutes and a short kiss later we both walked into school, my arms wrapped around his waist and a beautiful bouquet of a single red rose and a beady-eyed, sky-blue teddy bear inscribed with the words, “I love you.” It was the perfect start to a new school year, and as our first English, Physics, Psychology test passed, so did our time and our adolescence.
As a few months passed and nightfall began earlier and earlier on in the day, Hurricane Sandy had just hit and we found ourselves in the midst of our biggest argument. Having not been the exultant week we hoped for, Mohammed and I found ourselves hot-tempered and barricaded in a room of our closest friends on a cold Halloween night, candy and ignorance having been just a few of the things we’d collected, we sat and talked until our inhibitions lowered and our masks fell. By the night’s end, we had decided on breaking up and never speaking to each other again, our faces noticeably heavy with wear, and mine with tears. I remember feeling so helpless that night, and that that only made the walk home so much harder to bear. The constant bickering between us having proved too much on me those past weeks, my schoolwork had begun to suffer and I felt more alone than ever on my way back to what should’ve felt like a warm bed, but was instead an enormous pillow I would use to scream into through many sleepless nights. Halfway through the next day at school, I had an aching pain on the right side of my lower abdomen, a sensation like that of a needle being jabbed into my hip bone. I didn’t know what to