I've not proofread or edited or anything, which I KNOW it needs. It's been a bit of a rush job and a bit rubbish But I did want to write it. This is actually only the first part; if it's too late for the writing comp, or even if not, I'll finish the rest of it, hopefully asap. I know where I was taking it.
The Paths We Take
Rachel raised her arm and flung the pregnancy test violently across the bathroom, collapsing into sobs as is clattered into the wall. It had to be wrong, she thought to herself, even though in the back of her mind that even the home pregnancy tests would never give a false positive. There had to be some mistake.
Perched alone on the closed seat of the toilet, Rachel tried practically to take several deep breaths to steel herself, but failed dismally before she had even taken one. How could this have happened? They’d always been so careful. Or rather… she and Paul had always been careful. Her and Jake on the other hand…
She had never intended to have an affair with Jake, it just kind of happened. He had started at work about a month after she had. At first they’d both been too involved in their new jobs to take much notice of each other, but as they had started to get more accustomed to the place, they had relaxed a little, and as various projects pushed them together, had become friends, the two newbies together. Jake wasn't much to look at, he was rather short and had weird hair, but he made Rachel laugh, and they teased each other relentlessly.
It wasn’t that she didn't love Paul; of course she did. Even when she had been with Jake she had still loved Paul. And he hadn't done anything wrong either; he was as loving and sweet as ever. It was just… they had been together so long that she didn't feel special anymore. It was all the same; she’d wake up, go to work, drive home and watch telly. So monotonous and unchanging.
With Jake, Rachel had spent more time giggling like a love-sick teenager than she had actually doing any work, to the point where she was working late just to keep up, and he was always looking to get a rise out of her, succeeding fairly frequently. He had paid her the attention that was lacking from her relationship at home, making her feel special again.
Rachel had suspected that he had a bit of a thing for her fairly early on, but had continued to flirt with him anyway. Her own feelings, however, had caught her somewhat by surprise, appearing out of the blue as a sudden jolt in her stomach when she was asked to work through some paperwork with him. From there it had been a classic infatuation, which she well knew, yet refused to do anything about. Why should she; it wasn't like the odd fantasy was harming anyone.
Not then perhaps, but now it was evidently clearly a different matter. She was sat here, pregnant, in a freezing cold bathroom, not sure of who the father was. And she had been lying to her other half for several months. The not harming anyone argument could no longer hold any water. In truth, it never had, but Rachel had persuaded herself that it would be okay, that it didn't matter.
It had been an accident at first. Fuelled by her secret fascination for him, Rachel had imagined Jake kissing her in a private moment many times over, yet when the incident had actually occurred she had been caught completely and totally unawares. She could still remember it in excruciating detail: they had been the last two left in the office that night, something that had been becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence. Her computer had gone slightly loopy (no change there then!) and at her colourful exclamations, Jake had come to the rescue. As he leant over her, their eyes had locked, and before Rachel knew it, they were all over each other. Afterwards, Rachel had assured herself that it didn't matter, since it was only once. She didn’t need to tell Paul about a silly mistake.
Of course, it hadn't been only the once. Every time she saw Jake after that, Rachel wanted to ravage him, and he didn't seem to mind. Especially the evening the pair of them had been working late on the board report that was due the next day. A perfect excuse to stay even later than usual, they had interspersed the actual work with some rather fantastic sex.
Rachel smiled at the memory before a cold hand grabbed hold of her heart and squeezed. Oh God. That was the 3rd, right? It had to be since the report had to be given at 10am on the 4th. That date had been firmly drummed into her over the preceding weeks by the board. But if it was the 3rd, and she knew it was, that would mean…. The dates were about right.
Slipping from the toilet seat to the floor, Rachel lashed out at nothing in particular. Never before in her life had she behaved so appallingly, and never before had she managed to put herself in such a ridiculous position. All along she had known what she was doing, yet had continued to do so anyway. And now look where she was?
There was a loud bang from downstairs. “Rachel? You home, love?” a voice called up the stairs.
****. Rachel scrambled to her feet and turned to face the mirror. “Uh… yeah, I’m here, Paul. I'll be down in a sec,” she yelled, trying her best to avoid the wobble in her voice.
Quickly, she ran the cold tap and splashed the freezing water across her face. After drying herself on the little hand towel, she re-examined herself. A little better, but she wouldn't be able to get it past Paul. Not unless he had suddenly gone blind.
She was going to have to tell, but tell him what? That she was a lying, cheating cow? That was not going to go down well. She could just tell him that she was pregnant, that was bad enough in itself, but could she hide it from him for long? Jake would know, surely. What would he do? She and Jake had never been in a proper relationship; Rachel couldn't imagine him wanting to raise a kid with her, but he might still kick up a stink. Rachel had no wish to become a single mother with all that entailed. Could she keep up a charade? Even with all her recent experience at hiding things from Paul, Rachel knew that the knowledge would eat away at her continually. And he was sure to find out someday.
“Yeah, I'm coming! Nearly done.”
Now what? Rachel was no closer to making her decision that she was when the pregnancy test had first come up positive. She had got herself into this predicament, she would have to get herself out of it. No one else could help her now.
She took one last glace in the mirror and opened the bathroom door. The light was on in the lounge, Rachel could see it seeping into the hallway. She took the stairs as slowly as she dared, hoping for a moment of inspiration to hit her and solve the problem. She closed her eyes and steeled herself, still wondering if it was the right decision to make. There were so many variables! With one final deep breath, Rachel stepped into the lounge.
“Paul… I need to talk to you.”
Edited by LadyGuinevere, 02 February 2007 - 05:03 PM.