Last two minutes.
Needless to say, I had trouble with how both limiting and limitless this challenge could be. It reminded me of “24” and I decided to write it with the countdown in mind. It’s not the strongest story I’ve written, but with the lack of internet connection and incessant sneezing/coughing, I’m glad I managed to get anything in this week.
Please feel free to comment or leave feedback.
Monica sat on the brim of her bathtub, rapidly tapping her fingers. She started the countdown: 1 minute, 50 seconds to go. She could smoke a cigarette; probably not a good idea. Maybe watch TV? It’d be about four commercials. She should call Steve. No, better wait.
1 minute, 35 seconds.
That afternoon, as Kelly took her lunch break, Monica stepped away from the pharmacy register. Steve was in the front, stacking some bottles of shampoo and conditioner. He didn’t see Monica as she reached for the latest and greatest—guaranteed results in under two minutes. 99% accurate. She had stocked it on the rack herself, right next to the condoms. The staff always thought that was a good joke.
1 minute, 15 seconds.
One week—that she had dealt with before. Two weeks— it happened once, maybe twice in her 19 years. Three weeks late, though—that had never happened.
1 minute, 2 seconds.
She had promised herself she’d stop seeing him. She was going to move out of her mother’s in August, start school in September. A new life was on the horizon for her and for Steve.
Her mother might kick her out. School wasn’t going to happen. Not this year. Maybe she could figure something out for next.
Or maybe she could get an abortion.
She’d figure it out.
She looked at her watch, counted down.
4, 3, 2 . . .
She walked over to the white strip sitting on the sink, stared at it for what seemed like another two minutes.
She dug her cell phone out of her pocket.
“Hey, it’s me,” she paused, her heart hammering the inside of her chest. “We need to talk.” She wiped the sweat off the side of her temple, felt the next words get stuck on her lips. “Peter, I’m pregnant.”