Bella hurried to the end of the queue, trying to keep the pregnancy test hidden. Her heart was beating hard and fast and she could feel the heat rising to her face. She gripped the little box in her clammy hand. She should have changed out of her school uniform but she hadn’t brought any clothes with her, hadn’t been able to pin down enough thoughts to form a plan. All she’d thought about was that this would have to be done. This test.
And what if she was. What the hell would she do? Would she tell Nick? She hadn’t spoken to him for weeks now. Not since she’d told him she couldn’t do the whole being friends thing. It had been too hard. Besides, he’d changed. Or stopped pretending. And as if the bastard had blamed it on her – called her selfish – and then got with that slut days later.
Oh shit that was Adrian. She hadn’t seen him since before the break-up. And if he saw her now. Saw the test. He and Nick were still friends.
She looked ahead so as not to catch his eye and saw with a jump that she was next. She took the few steps to the till, shaking now. She couldn’t look the woman in the eyes.
She stared at the insides of her purse but couldn’t make sense of the notes. Was that a twenty? Maybe she should pay by card. What was her pin? How had she forgotten? She yanked out the twenty and let it drop to the counter.
The woman placed it into Bella’s sweaty hand.
‘Would you like a bag?’
‘Er…Yes.’ The bag would hide it.
‘There you are.’
Bella snatched the bag and stumbled out of the shop as fast as her trembling legs could carry her.
In the toilet, she dropped the lid with a clatter and sank onto it, trying to steady her breathing. Then she peeled off the bag, opened the box, drew out the instructions, read them, read them again, then pulled out the test itself.
It was time.