Anna shoved the stick under my nose. The action made it clear that she wanted my undivided attention. And she wanted me to look at the damned plastic indicator. I wasn’t too pleased because of the residual pee that must still have been on it. I craned my head away from the offending object that she held in her hand so that I might be better able to see what it had to say.
A “+” sign with the words “POSITIVE” next to it. As if there were any doubt what it meant.
“So,” she stated, her left foot tapped on the linoleum floor.
I looked at the test stick, then looked up from the newspaper at her. “Hmmm.”
“Is that all you’re going to say?” her foot still tapped the floor.
“I guess you caught me by surprise. I don’t know what to say,” I finally stated as I looked her dead in the eye.
“Well, I’m keeping the baby.”
“That’s your decision. I’ve always believed a woman’s body is her own.”
“What about us? I mean don’t you think we should get married? This baby isn’t going to come into this world a bastard.”
“You’re right. Your baby shouldn’t enter the world a bastard.”
“Then you agree. We should get married?” A tear of hope and relief streamed down her face.
I took a deep breath. The next words were going to be the toughest I ever said. I stood up, removed the test strip from her right hand, and took both her hands in mine. We stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like hours.
“You should marry the father of your child. But that isn’t me.” I let go of her hands, sat back down at the kitchen table, and picked up the discarded newspaper.
“What?” she ground out. She shoved the pregnancy test back under my nose. “I’m pregnant. We’re pregnant.” Tears freely streamed down her face.
I looked back up at her. Even with the mascara and tears streaked along her cheeks, she was still the most breath-taking woman I knew.
“I don’t doubt you’re pregnant. I’m just stating I’m not the father.”
Deep, gasping breaths issued from between her lips. “I don’t understand. Of course your the father.”
“Anna, honey, I had a vasectomy ten years ago. When we got together last summer you knew I didn’t want kids. You said you felt the same way.”
“No, that can’t be true. I’m pregnant. You’re the father.”
“No, I’m not,” I said with a little more force than I wanted. “I was snipped, clipped and cauterized. That kid isn’t mine.”
Anna began to gulp sobs. “Vasectomies fail,” she whispered.
I put the paper back down and got up again. “Anna, accept it. You’re baby isn’t mine.” I took her left hand and gave it a kiss. “I’m going to go over to Steve’s for a few days. That’ll give you time to get your stuff together and figure out what you’re going to do. I’ll be back on Friday. By then you should be gone.”
I dropped her hand and headed to the bedroom to grab a few things. When I returned to the kitchen to get my keys she was still standing in the same spot, staring at the damned pregnancy test. Tears still streamed down her face, but her eyes no longer held a wounded expression. They had become hard.
I snagged the keys off the kitchen counter and headed out the door to the garage.
“I’m glad my baby isn’t yours,” she spat. “Who wants a liar for a father.”
As the door shut I quietly replied, “Yeah, that’s the problem.”