I lifted up my baggy jumper and looked at myself in the mirror, focusing on my stomach. My bump wasn't that big, but big enough to see through my vests and tops. I needed to wear these sort of jumpers all the time to hide my secret. I felt so ashamed. I hadn't wanted this to happen. We both didn't. Me and Tom, that is. Tom is the father of my baby. He is 17, the same age as me. We'd been a couple for many years now, 4 and a half. I knew that he'd stand by me through anything, even pregnancy.
That's right, I'm pregnant. 20 weeks to be exact. I haven't told my parents yet, neither has Tom. I don't want to tell them. Well, I do. But I can't. You have no idea what the punishment will be, what the shame and disappointment will feel like, how their faces will look when we tell them. I couldn't bare that sort of life.
So as I'm standing here, admiring my bump, I feel that feeling again. The feeling where it feels like something is getting caught at the top of my throat, leaving me hardly any space to breath or swallow. I feel my heart pump louder and louder. The feeling where I know that I have to tell my family, but I can't bring myself to say those words... 'I'm pregnant.' Not without Tom anyway.
In an ideal world, I'll wait till Tom arrives at my house and sit in a room with him and my parents. Me and Tom will both tell them the news and they'll jump up with joy. We'll have a big group hug, jumping around the living room, minding my bump though. And Tom's 'rents will be the same.
But in this world, no way is that gonna happen. I don't even want to think about their reaction.
I remember a few weeks ago when me and my parents were watching television. Dad had turned the channel accidentally onto a programme all about teens being pregnant. I felt a sudden sharp pain in my chest, I remember it so well. The way my breath shortened and sweat produced from my forehead. How my cheeks went an, what seemed like, enduring shade of bright red. I remember running to the bathroom and seeing that description before my eyes.
I lowered my jumper and took my phone out of my jeans pocket. It read: 'Tom calling'. I answered.
"Hello sweetie. I'm almost at your house. There's quite a bit of traffic out here." Tom called above the noise surrounding him.
"Okay. Are you on a bus?"
"It's really loud."
"I know. Can't wait to see you."
"Me too. We need to have a talk."
"I think I know what you're on about." He lowered his voice. "The baby?"
"Yes. We need to make a decision. We'll talk when you're here though. Love you."
"Love you too. Give my love to the baby." I laughed to myself when he hung up. Your daddy sends his love gorgeous, I say to my bump. This might be a coincedence, but I feel a reply: a very big kick.