Your hand reached for the bottle. It sat there innocently, small and a pretty shade of white that gleamed in the fluorescent lights above. Funny, you’d never thought of a medicine bottle as pretty before, but it figured you would now. Life had thrown you a lot of curveballs lately. What was one more?
You didn’t grab the bottle, though. Your fingers twitched, prepared for the weight, but it never came. You should take the medicine; it was the right thing to do. If you’d been told the truth then right now you were harboring the cause of the Apocalypse. How could you continue on and let it live? How horrible of a person would you be if you allowed humanity to be destroyed just because you couldn’t go through with the most obvious course of action?
But what if it was all a lie? It was crazy to think you carried the antichrist. Maybe he’d been messing with you; thought it funny to yank the chains of a clueless, lonely, unwed pregnant girl. What you were thinking of doing was irrational. Really, did making things better have to be the result of you ending everything? Why couldn’t you shrug it all off and go through with your original plan?
Why did you have to believe him?
“Because it’s the truth,” you whispered, the conviction resounding deep in your gut as the memory of his proof flashed before your eyes. All doubt drained away and you stared sadly at the little medicine bottle. One or two of the pills wouldn’t do much; maybe make you drowsy at the most. But them all at once? It was a sleep you would never wake up from.
At least it would be peaceful…there would be no pain.
And everything you’d ever aspired to do and be would fade with the last of your conscience thoughts.
Those you loved would mourn your shocking death and blame themselves for not seeing the signs. But how could they notice something that wasn’t there a week ago? This definitely wasn’t how you pictured your junior year in college going, so of course they possibly couldn’t, either. And what was this going to do to them? How many tears would be shed? Would they ever stop?
It’s for the best, you reminded yourself as you shuffled closer to the shelf. This was ridiculous, you dragging this all out. The bottle was right there, the answer to all future problems was staring you plainly in the face. Why couldn’t you just take it and leave the store? What did you think you were accomplishing by waiting? Nothing was going to change the fact that you carried the Devil’s spawn and you had to get rid of it. What good Christian would keep something so wrong? You wouldn’t be the reason for a lot of death. You had to do this. You were going to do this.
Your entire hand finally engulfed the little bottle and you picked it up. Just as you did something inside you shifted. It felt like your stomach had flipped, but you knew nothing had changed about it. The shifting was another thing entirely. Was it the—
A second movement, almost like a fist trying to force its way out of your center, came from the same spot. The little medicine bottle dropped to the floor in your surprise, and your unoccupied hand flew to your swollen abdomen, noticeable under your loose t-shirt.
It can’t be, you told yourself, though you honestly wanted to believe it was. This would be the first time that you’d felt life stir inside of you, the first time all of this would seem real, but there was no way—
But there it was again, and it definitely was a fist or maybe a foot.
It was the baby…your baby.
It was the antichrist, your antichrist, and you loved him. That loved filled every portion of your soul and you glowed from its intensity.
You were going to have him, no longer any doubt, and raise him and do everything in your power to give him the best life he deserved. And who knew? Maybe he wouldn’t end up being the end to the world. Maybe you being his mother would change all that. Maybe he would become someone amazing, a force for good.
But maybe he wouldn’t.
However his life turned out, it didn’t matter. He was your baby and you weren’t going to buy the little medicine bottle today. You were never going to buy a little medicine bottle.
You turned away from the shelf and walked down the aisle. Your hand was still resting on your protruding belly and your baby kicked again.
Your smile was wide as you left the store.