Written by Bob Brumfield
It started two days ago with a phone call to my best friend, Jennie Sharpe. My name is Debbie Holcrombe. I’m fifteen and half years old, and I live across the street from Jennie. I called her up, and she answered on the third ring.
“ Jennie, I’ve got a problem. A real big one.”
“ You sound scared; what is it?”
“I tested positive, and it came back blue both times.”
“ You do have a real problem, girl!”
“ Have you told your mom or dad yet?”
“ I’m afraid to. I’m going to tell Brad as soon as I can .”
Brad Kinney is 17 years old and a junior at Covington Catholic H.S. He plays football as starting quarterback. Brad and I have been dating for about a year and two months ago. We are in love. Last night I called him on his cell phone.
“ Yeah, he answered gruffly.
“ Brad, we need to talk .”
“I don’t want to talk about it over the phone.”
“I’m at the garage. Come on down .”
I hurried to the garage as quickly as I could. I couldn’t drive yet, so I had plenty of time to think of what to say. When I arrived, Brads’ friends Dennis Wilcox and Josh Bellows, Angela’s brother, were there. I asked Brad to speak with him alone. We went outside where we couldn’t be heard.
“ So, what’s on your mind was so important it couldn’t wait until I got home .”
“ Brad, I’m going to have a baby. “ I blurted out.
His answer knocked me for a loop.
“ Whose is it?” he demanded.
“ Why, it’s yours, of course. You’re the only boy I’ve ever been with. “
“ I don’t believe you,” he replied.
“ We’ve been going together for a year, and you know I’ve been faithful .”
“ Well, it’s your problem. Take care of it,” he said
“ No, I said, “ it’s both of our problems. “
“ I’m going home to tell my mom and dad; they’ll know what to do .”
Steve and Dorothy Holcrombe were at home when I arrived there. I trusted mom and dad with almost anything in my life but had never laid something this big on them. Needless to say, I was petrified. I figured the best thing to do was to start at the beginning.
I began, “Mom, Dad, please don’t be mad, but I am going to have a baby.”
“What, “ Dad said. I thought he would fall out of his chair.
“Baby, baby, baby, Mom started crying. “How could you be so foolish? “
“I thought Brad and I were in love, and everything would work out fine. I wasn’t thinking of the consequences. “
“There will be many. What about Brad? It was him?”
“Of course, it was him, “ I said
Dad said, “Go to bed now; tomorrow will take care of itself .”
This morning, I got out of bed and dressed slowly, not wanting to go to school. Mom sat at the table at breakfast, and I could tell she had been crying.
“I could stay home today.”
“No, it’s better if you go to school as if nothing has happened .”
Waiting for the school bus was torture. I couldn’t face Brad after last night. The bus finally came, and the silent ride to school was a blessing. That’s where it ended. My friend Kitty Andrews met me as soon as I got off the bus.
“Is it true you’re pregnant?” she asked.
“How did you find out? Who told you?” I asked
“Why Josh’s sister Angela and she told Amy Andersen. Do you know what she’s like? She can’t keep anything to herself. “
“I suppose it’s all over school by now,” I answered.
Just then, Josh came over and put his arm around me.
“I heard about you and Brad. He says you are through, and the baby isn’t his. Maybe you and I could hook up, sort of console each other.”
“You don’t care about me. You think I’ll make the same mistake again because I made a mistake once, and your sister is spreading tales.” I spoke
By noon I figured everyone in school knew who I was, even if they didn’t know me. At lunch, I was ignored but could tell by the furtive glances and twittering behind my back that I was not forgotten. After lunch came the counselors and teachers, all with advice but little sympathy. To my relief, the final bell rang, and I would soon be free to breathe again. As I walked to the bus to go home, Billy Cronkite tapped me on the shoulder.
“If you need someone to talk to or some shoulder to cry on, I’m here,” Billy said
It was the first kind word I’d heard all day, and it came at just the right time.
I started to cry.