The world was complete, and there was no possible way something else could go wrong. Or was there?
Luke was the most amazing man in the entire universe. He hurt Rylie in unimaginable ways, but somehow she awoke to the dreams of him as an angel. She lifted her head to see his peaceful stature as he drooled on his pillow. She smiled at him, immediately feeling fatigue and sickness attack her body. Was she sick? She hadn't been feeling 100 percent, so was it just stress? She was utterly happy. Why wasn't her worries vanishing into thin air?
Trying not to wake Luke, she timidly maneuvered away from his grasp and pulled his loose fitting tee from the floor over her unclothed body. The house was silent with sleep, and Rylie was unfamiliar with the foreign territory. Her steps were quick and silent, fearing if she made a sound, the house would collapse before her.
She glanced at Luke turn over in his slumber as she turned the doorknob and winced at the creaking. Why was everything ten times louder when you tried so hard to be quiet?
She tiptoed down the hallway, making an educated guess on which door was the bathroom. The one at the end of the hallway seemed to make sense for it had a picture of an ocean hanging from a thin nail. She assumed correctly, and found herself staring at the pearl white toilet, contemplating if she would be able to throw up, and if it would even help her. Her body shook with an unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach. She was cold, and dizzy. Her vision fell out of focus if she moved too fast. She was sick, and she really needed to go to the doctor. The flu was going around; it made sense even in a foreign country.
Rylie sat down beside the toilet just in case and pulled the oversized t-shirt up over her small thighs, and hugged her knees. It was too early. The sun was barely peeking through the window, and Rylie could barely keep her eyes open.
Her mind kept thinking about Luke, and their wonderful, romantic night. She reached for her lip, and traced her fingers over the chapped skin, remembering Luke's lips healing her pain. She smiled, knowing she must have had hearts fluttering above her head. She was in deep, and even though she had already drowned, the water felt better than ever. They had jumped in with all of their heart, fighting the ridiculous past, and loving better than ever. If only she didn't feel so sick, maybe she could radiate with happiness.
Katie must have been out of her mind worrying where Rylie was. She should've told Katie everything was alright, but she was occupied with other things...
Rylie looked up seeing a near bare Luke cast a shadow over her. He rubbed his tired eyes, and gave her a quizzical expression. "What are you doing?" he asked, half a whisper.
"I don't know." Rylie admitted. She attempted to pull herself up, but her knees gave way before her, and she toppled into Luke's quick arms.
Luke gripped her worriedly, and looked down at her face turn pale. "Rylie, what's wrong?"
Rylie shrugged, feeling her limbs wear down in dreary incapability. "I think I need to go to the doctor."
Luke propped her up, and gently touched her forehead. "You're on fire..." he commented, astounded with her behavior. "It's still early so go take a nap, and when you wake up, I'll have a scheduled appointment."
Rylie smiled through her drowsiness. He was so loving. So caring. He would take care of her through their years together.
Luke smiled back, and leaned down, popping his lips out, but Rylie stuck her almost limb hand up to block it. "I'm sick you idiot..." she stifled a laugh, leaving Luke confused with rejection.
He helped her walk back to his bed, and she faintly remembered feeling the pillow absorb her mind and body. The bed was so warm. She didn't try to fight the sleep...
"Rylie, you have to wake up now."
Rylie heard Luke's voice whispering into her ears, waking her from that world. As soon as she opened her eyes, she knew the extra sleep made her feel better. Her mind was not as fuzzy, and when her eyes adjusted to Luke, he was more clear.
Luke smiled at her as he yanked the covers, exposing her body and leaving a sudden chill crawl into her veins.
"We have to go to your doctor's appointment now. Are you feeling better?" Luke reached for her forehead again, and Rylie loved how caring he was being, but she couldn't help but think of her mom. She knew Luke was being extra loving because they had just gotten back together from a rocky past, and they were taking easy, slow treads into the relationship, minus the sex last night.
Rylie nodded, and hummed a yes as she closed her eyes again. She felt a heavy presence crawl on top of her immediately, and she laughed as Luke found under her shirt, and pulled it up. He pressed his mouth to her stomach, and blew, making a tingling sensation absorb her. She laughed, and twisted, trying to wriggle out of his reach, but it was no use.
"Luke!" she screamed, feeling his hands move like spiders on her waist.
Luke giggled and smiled a wicked grin at her before leaving a kiss on her forehead. She met his blue eyes, and for a second, they just stayed in that awkward position, both probably thinking about happy they were together.
"We.Need.To.Go." Luke left soft, quick kisses on different sections of her neck as he breathed out the words.
He allowed Rylie to crawl out from under him, and she grabbed her previous day clothes from the carpet as she winked at Luke before heading to the bathroom.
She finally disposed of Luke's t-shirt, and as she attempted to untangle her brown hair with her fingers, she thought about her crazy predicament. She laughed at the life she lived. She had sex with Luke's dead best friend, and now she was with Luke again, about to go to the doctor because her depression was most likely causing her to be sick. It was a roller coaster.
She didn't bother looking nice because she didn't feel nice, and when she nodded to herself in the mirror that she was ready to get it over with, she told Luke, and followed him into the kitchen where his mom and dad were eating breakfast.
"She stayed over?" Liz asked with surprise. Her bottom lip quivered slightly as the realization came to her. Rylie felt her chest tighten with embarrassment. What a great way to show she was a perfect girlfriend. First, they hate her for breaking Luke's heart, and then they wake up to her "sleeping over." Could she not feel more ashamed?
Luke nodded as his cheeks resembled an apple. She loved when he blushed, especially around his family.
Luke's father eyed her disheveled state, and shook his head at the presence of young and foolish love.
"Luke..." Liz shook her head disapprovingly, and she opened her mouth to start a lecture, but dad stopped her.
"He's a grown man, Liz, he can do what he pleases." Luke's dad chuckled, and started typing on his phone again. Rylie remembered Luke telling her he ran a company which involved him constantly using his phone. She admired him for not only did she know where Luke got his good looks, but also his carefree, easy-going personality.
Luke tugged Rylie's awkward body closer to his, and nodded a goodbye as he pulled her towards the hallway leading outside.
Once the eyes of parents were out of their view, Rylie breathed out in relief. "I feel like you're parents hate me..." she admitted as they stepped into the cold weather. The contrast from the warmth the previous day was disappointing. When was winter going to leave?
"No..." Luke stifled a laugh as he dug in his pockets for keys. "We're all adjusting Rylie."
She remembered why she hated the doctor. The fluorescent lights blinded her, the air smelled of old people and medicine, and the waiting room was so quiet that she was scared breathing would cause a commotion. The doctor's office always made her feel so odd. Australian ones weren't any different than the ones in LA, and Rylie was disappointed in that fact. She was hoping for some spunk in the room, but all that she could see was an old lady with gray creeping from the roots of her dyed hair, a plant, some disgusting, disease infested chairs, and year-old magazines about home living and cooking.
She trailed behind Luke as he walked up to the reception desk, and smiled at the middle-aged nurse dressed in scrubs.
"We might be a little late, but we're here for the noon appointment." Luke smiled his pearly whites, and Rylie knew he was using his beauty as an advantage. The lady looked at him with brown eyes, and tried to bite back a smile.
"It's fine. Take a seat and fill this form out." she handed Luke a clipboard, and eyed Rylie suspiciously as she found her seat.
Maybe it was just the fact that Rylie hated the doctor, but another nausea attack hit her. She took deep gulps, trying to settle her stomach, and fight the pain as she waited. It shouldn't take long, right?
Luke noticed her ill expression, and went ahead to fill out her form himself. He knew everything about her anyway.
Rylie looked up at the TV in the midst of the room, trying to ease her mind off the sickness, and pretended she was interested in some news story. The low volume forced her ears to strain to listen. A wreckage of cars appeared on the screen, indicating a major car accident supposedly in Texas. The news reporter explained 6 dead, and 3 injured.
She shuttered. She hated car accidents, and the thoughts of someone being taken from the world by a car. Unfortunately, she had to climb into one all the time, and she couldn't get away. She lost Michael because of horrid car crashing into him, and any mention of another accident sickened her even more. How would the families take the news when they found out a loved one was gone? Those 6 people had relatives that loved him or her, and now they were gone, being blown away like leaves on a tree. At least they made the news...Michael probably loved the attention he got on every news channel in the world.
"Rylie...Higgins?" a woman appeared behind a white door, and smiled, knowing she was one of two patients in the room.
Rylie got up, suddenly panicked, feeling like she was taking steps to her doom. She yanked Luke's hand away as he finished up the paperwork, and intertwined her sweaty fingers. "You're coming with me..." she practically commanded.
Luke cocked his head in peculiar fascination as he smiled at Rylie. "Yes ma'am." he joked. He set the clipboard down beside the desk lady, and Rylie pulled him closer to her as she followed the nurse to a small room with a couple chairs, and a huge chaise in the middle.
Rylie knew she sat in the awkward seat that stood out in the room, and Luke made himself comfortable in the velvet chair.
They waited. And waited.
Rylie chewed the ends of her nails off, feeling the lights burn the top of her shoulders. Her heart pounded nervously because she had an uneasy feeling about what was next. She couldn't put her finger on it, but something was wrong. Was it the fact she would have to fill up on antibiotics for the next week? Was it because she was sick? Whatever it was, Rylie had had that feeling before she found out Michael died. There was something eerie.
Snapping her out of her thoughts, a voice perkily spoke. "Hello!"
Luke looked up from his phone, noticing the doctor too.
The man was probably in his sixties, with balding hair, and happy eyes, full of life. Instantly when Rylie saw him, her bad feeling went away. He seemed like such a nice, genuine man who really cared about his patients.
"I'm Dr. Dangerfield." he smiled, meeting eyes with the two, and adjusted the stethoscope around his neck. "I have a degree in almost every field; Audiology, Cardiology, Obstetrician, Gynecology, etc." He reached his hand out, and Rylie shook it, feeling the cold touch of his dark skin.
Dr. Dangerfield eyed her in thought. "You don't look so great..." he chuckled, and Rylie produced wrinkles in her forehead at the dumb statement. Of course she didn't look so good; that's why she was at the doctor.
The doctor then asked her a series of questions like, What hurts?, and, Do you feel nausea?
Then, he proceeded to follow the routine protocol all doctors do: check your eyes, ears, listen to your breathing, poke you in odd places.
Finally, as Rylie's patience dwindled down, Dr. Dangerfield pulled away, and shook his head. "I can't find anything that out of the ordinary." he stated, perturbed with his conclusion. "Do you mind if I take a look in the...vaginal area? I am a registered gynecologist."
Rylie shivered at the thought at first, but she would do whatever it took to feel better. She nodded him a yes, and shot Luke an uncomfortable look as she laid back. She unbuttoned her jeans, and slid them down her legs along with her underwear.
"Should I-" Luke started, but Rylie interrupted.
"You can stay." she answered. As weird as it was, she wanted Luke in there with her. It's not like he hadn't seen anything yet.
Rylie was so unfamiliar with the situation, and she wanted to retreat to a bed, but unfortunately, she had to do this. The man was an expert, and it would be over soon.
She cringed in awkward unsettlement, feeling touches of a foreign hand in tinder places.
"Do you mind taking a urine test?" Dr. Dangerfield asked after minutes of searching for the problem.
What was supposed to be a quick doctor's appointment turned into a mystery to what was wrong with her. She shrugged a yes, more than ready to leave.
The doctor gave her a cup, and she headed to the bathroom to force herself to pee. What was the test for? Why did she need to pee in a cup? Did she have some kind of disease? Was it more than just the flu? Rylie pondered on those questions as she headed back to the small room, and handed the doctor the yellow liquid.
Dr. Dangerfield smiled, and pulled a small device out of one of the cabinets. He poured her pee down the cylinder and pressed a small button. "This will only take a few minutes..." he assured them.
Rylie eyed the device peculiarly. It looked familiar, but she couldn't place it in her memory. As long as it diagnosed her sickness, and gave her some medication to feel better, she didn't care.
She gripped Luke's shoulder as she stood beside him in the chair, no longer in the mood to sit down.
Luke reached for her hand, and squeezed lightly. "It's okay..." he comforted. "We'll be out of here in no time..."
Rylie nodded at his words, but that eerie feeling she had in her gut continued to grow more prominent. She frowned at her confusing emotions.
"So what do you think is wrong?" Dr. Dangerfield asked as he waited for the results.
"A lot has been going on lately..." Rylie paused, and looked down at Luke, "And I think I've stressed my body out." She was almost positive that was the problem. With Luke's infidelity and Michael's passing, she had worn her body to the max with depression and unforgiving thoughts.
The contraption dinged, and as the doctor's eyes looked down at it, he laughed. It was a small chuckle, like what Rylie said was comical. "You really think that's the problem?" he raised his eyebrows, questioning Rylie's common sense.
Rylie nodded sheepishly, feeling like an irrelevant schoolgirl.
Dr. Dangerfield laughed again, and clenched his eyes together as he gripped his stomach.
Rylie met Luke's confused eyes, and tightened her grip on his shoulder.
"Why you're not stressed....You're pregnant."
At first Rylie's eyes widened, but she soon got the joke. He was one of those doctors. He loved to joke with his patients. He was just pulling a laugh, trying to pull the gullibility out of Rylie. She giggled too, waving her hand in the air at the statement. It was really funny if you think about it. Her pregnant? Enough to rise a laugh out of anyone.
She laughed so hard that her stomach twisted, and her lungs gasped for breath. Why wasn't anyone else laughing at the hilarious joke? She opened her eyes, feeling the laughter evaporate into thin air as the serious smoke filled the room.
Dr. Dangerfield looked at her with an honest, no longer humorous expression, and that's when the languishing reality hit her.
"What?" she gasped, still not fully soaking in the statement.
The doctor pointed his index finger at the device, and an easily visible plus sign appeared on it.
She couldn't be pregnant. That was absurd!
"Have you had sex in the last month?"
Rylie met Luke's astonished eyes, and couldn't fathom the situation. "Last night but-"
Dr. Dangerfield shook his head and stifled a laugh. "No, you were pregnant before last night. Any other intercourses?"
Rylie dug in her memory, trying to process the perplexing predicament. Then it hit her. The realization hit her like a ton of bricks. She clasped a hand over her mouth, unable to grasp the horrid concept. "Michael..." she whispered so inaudible through her hand that she was surprised they heard her.
The doctor looked at Luke who had been silent the entire time. "Are you Michael?" he asked.
Luke barely shook his head as the realization came to him too. He gripped the arms of the seat so tightly that the knuckles of his hands turned to an ashy white. His expression was struck with indescribable mix of sober curiosity, and impossible probability.
"I...I took the morning-after pill...I-"
Dr. Dangerfield interrupted her yet again. "Those things hardly ever work, sweetheart..." he met Rylie's grim eyes. "How old are you?"
Rylie was so astounded with the matter at hand that she could barely remember her age. "I'm...18."
The doctor poised his lips, and rubbed his sweaty hands against the denim of his jeans. He sighed heavily, and glanced between the shocked teenagers. "I'll leave you two to talk this over..." he got up, and nodded to the two before gently closing the door behind him.
The silence in the room was deafening. Rylie couldn't be pregnant. It was beyond the bounds of possibility. She was only 18! She wasn't ready to be a mother. She still have life left in her, and a baby would take everything away.
Her and Luke had just now gotten back together, and she was pregnant with his dead best friend's baby. The test had to be wrong. It had to be!
Michael. He was dead. He was in the grave, and she was carrying his unborn child in her belly. The child could never meet her father. Michael could never hold it in his arms, or kiss it goodnight. He was gone. The burden of him would weigh on her every time she met the eyes of that child. She created something with Michael, and that was one thing she couldn't take back. And Luke. They were back together; back in love, and she promised him that the Michael incident would never haunt them again. She couldn't imagine how he felt. He would have to look at that child too, and know it wasn't his, if they could get past this bump in the road. There was no way. They were over, for sure this time.
Rylie touched her stomach, and she knew. She knew she really was. It was all coming together. The puking; the fatigue; her period was supposed to come in the next week, but she knew it wouldn't. That pensive feeling she had felt was a sign. She knew deep down another explosion would come. This was it. The curse inside her stomach would ruin her life. How would she tell her mom? Sister? Dad? Friends? The judgment on their faces would kill her. She was finally happy. She had everything back, and it got ripped away from her reach. She couldn't raise a child, let alone a dead man's child. She was too young. She couldn't carry it. She wasn't strong enough. She was just a teenager. A foolish teenager who made one mistake. One mistake.
Rylie looked at Luke, and knew when she met his stunned, dejected eyes that the bewilderment of his expression was the last un-angered face he would look at her with.