The Choice

Here is the second short story I wrote for my fiction writing workshop. Enjoy readers. Feedback is always welcomed.

                                                         The Choice

Nina paced back and forth in the spacious bathroom of her New York City apartment. The sun was beginning to set and on a normal evening after a long day of running around the television studio, Nina would be watching the sky turn beautiful shades of red, orange, and pink from her bedroom window as the sun would hide behind the tall skyscrapers. This evening however, Nina’s routine had a detour.

As she paced from the bathroom doorframe to the tiny window on the light blue tiled wall, Nina did her best to avoid looking at the stick on top of a napkin on the sink counter. This was the second time she had to piss on this stick for a test result she hoped would be in her favor. The results from the first test were not good.

Those five minutes felt like hours until the alarm on her smartphone told her it was time to look. With shaking hands Nina picked up the pregnancy test to see her results.

“Oh no! No! No! No! No!”

Nina almost slipped on her fuzzy socks as the test showed her for the second time that dreaded plus sign. Tears began to stream down her face.

“I can’t be pregnant. Not now,” Nina said.

Being a mother was never a part of Nina’s plans, but for the past few days she had obvious symptoms; nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and worst of all her cycle was late. This morning a coworker caught her regurgitating the pancakes she had for breakfast. Nina decided to run to the pharmacy after work and get the doubt over with once and for all. She had hoped her instincts were wrong.

Nina threw the stick in the garbage pail by the sink and walked to her bedroom. The sun had already set and the lights from the buildings illuminated the city. Nina suddenly felt cold in the Juanes concert t-shirt and sweatpants she was wearing. The fear tugging at her heart sent shivers all over her. She sat at the edge of her bed, thinking about what to do now.

“I can’t have this baby now. My life is finally where it needs to be and I can’t deal with this.”

Nina had worked for everything she had. For a year she had worked as a segment producer for the Today Show on NBC, wrote a few entertainment segments for Telemundo, and just recently been offered to move to Los Angeles as a writer for an upcoming television show. Her career was driving in the right direction until this road block happened.

With the back of her hand, Nina dried her tears, took a deep breath, and collected her thoughts.

How the hell did this happen?

She did know how she got knocked up, the problem was she couldn’t remember by whom. Three weeks ago she had gone out dancing to relieve some stress from work. She had a few drinks and started talking to a man who she now could not remember. He had to have been attractive for Nina to give him any attention. She recalled dancing with him and the rest was history. The next morning she woke up with the only hangover, alone, and naked in a tangle of sheets on her bed. A note was left on her pillow from the mystery one night stand; “Thanks for the great time.”

Nina got up and walked to the bureau. She opened the top drawer and pulled out a red plaid scarf. She had no idea why she kept the damn thing, but right now it was the only clue she had to the father of this unplanned mistake.  She checked the label to see if there were any initials written on it, but all she found was the logo for GAP. Frustrated, Nina threw the scarf back and slammed the bureau.

Her smartphone rang and Nina sped to the bathroom. One look at the screen told her it was Casey, her assistant. She swiped the green icon on her phone.

“Hello,” Nina said.

“Hey Nina its Casey.”

“Hi Casey.”

“Just letting you know I emailed the files you asked for including reels, published scripts, and the recommendation letters. Everything is prepared for your meeting with the executive producer in Los Angeles,” Casey said.

Oh shit!

The pregnancy almost made Nina forget about her upcoming trip to L.A. in two days. The director had told Nina a Skype interview would have sufficed with the executive producer, but Nina was determined to meet this man in person so he could remember her face.

“Uh, thank you Casey. I appreciate the help,” Nina said.

“Do you need anything else?” Casey asked.

A way out of this mess, Nina thought, her hand instinctively touching her flat stomach.

“No Casey that will be all.” Nina said. “Good night,”

“Good night Nina,” Casey said.

With a heavy sigh Nina dragged herself to her room. She had to figure out what to do with the baby. An abortion was out of the question. She may be shallow, but her heart was not made of ice. Nina remembered that her mother had almost aborted her until she got to the clinic and changed her mind. Her mother had drilled in her mind that all miracles should be given a chance to live.

“I could give it up for adoption,” Nina said. “I’m sure a family would want him or her, but what if I don’t find the perfect couple to adopt…”

Nina shook her head at the incomplete thought. Was she really questioning about finding the perfect couple for the baby? She didn’t have time to be a mother. Her career was just taking off, and Los Angeles was calling her name. As much as she loved the opportunities New York City had given her, Nina was ready for a change. She just didn’t think a baby would be in the picture.

After retrieving her laptop from the little work desk by the window, Nina got comfortable on her queen sized bed and turned on the PC. She got on Google and researched several adoption agencies, but none of them seemed right. Then there was the option of a closed or open adoption. These options surprised Nina. Did she really want visiting rights to her baby? Could she live with herself knowing that her child was being raised with another family?

She slammed the laptop shut. Nina didn’t like these second thoughts entering her head. She understood she didn’t have the time to be a mom. It wasn’t part of the plan at all. Yet here she was wondering if there was a chance she could make this work out.

“Mom handled me all by herself,” Nina said. “Even after dad left, she kept me.”

Nina did know her pregnancy was completely different from her mother’s. Her mom had become pregnant with her at sixteen. Nina’s father was seventeen and took responsibility until her third birthday. According to her mother, Nina’s father left for work and never came back. Her mother handled the life of a single parent afterwards.

“I don’t even know who the father of this baby is,” Nina said. “And I am not a teenager. This is a completely different situation.”

As much as Nina tried to convince herself of that, in her heart she knew that the result was the same. She was expecting a baby. Nina decided there was only one person she could talk to about this. She grabbed her smartphone and tapped the “2” on the keypad. Her confidant picked up on the third ring.

“Nina?”

“Hi Mom,” Nina said.

“Is everything okay sweetie?”

Nina shook her head. Her mother’s intuition never failed. She decided to not procrastinate with the news.

“Mom, I’m pregnant,” Nina said.

There was a brief silence on the phone. Nina hoped her mom had not passed out.

“Who is the father?” Her mother finally said.

Good question, Nina thought. She was still trying to figure that out.

“I don’t know mom. It was a one night stand. The problem is I am scared and don’t know what to do.” Nina said. “I was considering giving it up for adoption, but I am having second thoughts and that is terrifying me.”

“Nina,” her mother said. “A baby is always a terrifying thing for a new mother. They don’t come with a rule book. You know I was about to have an abortion when I was pregnant with you, but keeping you was the best decision I ever made. That baby you are expecting will be the best thing that will ever happen to you.”

“But my career…” Nina said.

“You will find a way through it,” Her mom said. “I managed without your father after he left. It won’t be easy, but you are not alone. You have me.”

“Even if I decide to move to Los Angeles?” Nina said.

“Even then,”

A wave of relief engulfed Nina. She wasn’t alone in this. Her mother was right. She

would find a way through this. If she decided to take the job in L.A. then she will bring her

mother with her and they can both raise the child together.

“Thank you mom for helping me get through this. I love you so much.” Nina said.

“I love you too, and my new grandchild.”

Nina laughed and hung up the phone. She felt so much relief and her hand went to her

stomach again.

“Well little one,” Nina said. “Let’s see how it goes in L.A. for us.”

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