Fictional story – Inspired by true ones
Marian is pregnant. She holds the ultrasound in her fingers and paces around the room. “What would he think?”
Adam comes into the room and she quickly sits down on the couch, pretending to flip through Netflix shows. He puts his pilot cap down onto the table, walks over to the mini bar and takes out a can of beer. Then he casually sits down beside Marian, puts his arm around her and sighs tiredly. “Long day – the flight was delayed and so the passengers had to sit in the plane for 40 mins. So many complaints. Sometimes I feel more like a bus driver than a pilot,” Adam confides in her. Marian nods her head up and down in an effort to hide her nervousness. But it doesn’t escape him.
“What’s wrong, baby?” Adam asks while sweeping her baby hairs out of her face, a sweet gesture she had always liked him to do. Now however, it was just making her even more uncomfortable.
She pauses for a minute and internally panics, somehow she has a deep pit of discomfort that’s rising up like bile from her gut to her throat. Still – she has to tell him. She has to tell him so he would finally decide.
“I’m pregnant,” she says out loud and her mind takes a moment to register the words that have escaped her.
“Fuck,” she thinks to herself but reels herself to watch his expression.
“You…you’re what?” He says, in a pitch higher than normal.
“I’m….um. Pregnant?” She hates that she has to repeat herself.
Immediately, Adam stands up and starts taking long strides around the room, one hand on his left hip and the other one massaging his temples. It sure doesn’t look like he’s happy about it.
Marian feels her throat clamping up and swallows once to try and push the dryness out of her throat. Her palms are sweating and she can feel her heartbeat rising. All at once, memories of her father telling her she’s not good enough invade her thoughts. “Not. Now.” She pushes them out of her mind.
“Will you say something?” Marian asks.
“Uh. I’m sorry to ask but before I say anything, I just need to ask – is it…is it mine? Are you sure?” Adam says, with a hopeful look on his face.
“What do you mean? Of course it’s yours. I haven’t been with anyone else since we met.” Marian can’t believe what she’s hearing. How could he even ask her that?
“I’m sorry, I just – I mean – we never said we were exclusive. I mean we never had that conversation. I just thought – but no okay,” Adam flails around with these words.
Adam and Marian met at a sex party. Marian was seeing another guy before, and Adam has a wife – a wife he still hasn’t left even though since 6 months ago, he said he would.
They have never been public about their affair. Adam always said that as a pilot, he couldn’t risk being caught in any scandal. It didn’t matter that Marian herself was a director of a fund management company – their privacy was of utmost importance to Adam because of his career.
“So? What do you think?” Marian asks Adam and she registers somewhere in her mind that this is the third time she’s asking.
“I can’t. I mean. A baby? I just can’t, my wife would be completely devastated.” Adam finally spews out.
“Your wife? Didn’t you say you were going to divorce her? What’s going on, Adam” Marian understands where her anxiety was coming from and feels horrible that it was justified.
“I know, I know. I was going to tell you – but I can’t leave her so easily Mar. I tried. She won’t let me.” He sits down beside Marian and takes her hand in his. “We’re going to go for marriage counseling. I was going to tell you soon. I promise,” he continues.
All of a sudden, Marian’s world starts fading out, Adam’s face is spinning slowly at first….then very quickly and in less than a minute, Marian has passed out.
When she comes around, it’s not Adam she sees but Betty – her best friend. Betty is putting a cold compress to Marian’s forehead while talking to her husband Craig. “I didn’t say MindChamps is definitely better, I’m just saying I think we should consider it. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, just do what I say and sign up for their trial session – I gotta go, just handle it will you?!” Betty hangs up when she sees Marian waking up.
“What happened Mar? And why was Adam’s face so pale when he left?” Betty asks, helping her friend sit up and arranging the cushion to fit behind her back.
“He left? Fucking asshole” Marian said.
“Yeah, when he opened the door and saw me, he mumbled a bunch of things and just left in a hurry, he didn’t even take his cap,” Betty said, gesturing to the prestigious Singapore Airlines pilot’s cap on the table. “I don’t know what you see in these pilots honestly, they’re just atas bus drivers,” Betty is pouring herself a glass of wine from Marian’s fridge.
“How can you say that? Your husband is a pilot,” Marian says as she fingers around her head and finds it – a single bump is forming from where she hit the ground.
“Ya, and that’s why I know how useless they are. Can fly a big plane around in the air but cannot complete simple tasks like making an appointment, tsk. Sometimes I really wonder if he’s playing dumb or really dumb,” Betty says in her usual singlish accent.
Marian laughs lightly, and then turns to her friend somberly, saying, “he panicked Bets, he said he’s gonna work on his marriage. I think I fucked up again.”
“what do you AGAIN?” Betty’s eyes widened.
“I may or may not have gotten myself pregnant again…..this time on purpose.” Marian says bashfully.
“WHAT THE FUCK MAR? Wasn’t the last abortion painful enough?! How could you be so stupid to get yourself pregnant AGAIN?!” Betty yells, spilling a little of her wine on the couch.
Marian quickly soaks a cloth with Vanish and starts rubbing the stain off – it’s too late.
“I wasn’t thinking properly. We had just come back from celebrating my promotion, he was being so sweet. And I just thought…maybe if I were to nudge him a little, he would leave his wife and be with me. So, I lied to him and said I was on the tailend of my period and that it was impossible for me to get pregnant. As soon as he came in me, I started to panic but Bets!! I don’t know. Is it crazy that I don’t regret it?”
Betty’s mouth is agape and she’s staring at her crazy-ass bestfriend. “You’re fucking insane,” Betty says. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to get him to choose me. I’m going to tell his wife I’m pregnant.” Marian says with conviction.
“Mar….is this really about Adam? Or is this about….You know.” Betty starts but doesn’t dare finish her sentence.
“Don’t say his name.” Marian closes her eyes in denial to what Betty is suggesting. “Just, don’t”
The slivery memory is from 5 years ago but Marian remembers it like it was yesterday.
They were sitting on the beach, facing the waves when suddenly, he comes up behind her and whispers into her ears, “Mar…I want you so bad.”
The words linger and echo around, his salty lips hovering over her neck…..
“Stop,” Marian snaps her eyes wide open, forcing herself out of the memory, caressing her belly.
“This time, it will be different.” She promises herself. “This time, we will be chosen.”