"IT'S YOU WENDY! YOU'RE DEAD!"
Wendy laid across the grass with both Kevin and Julie as the last of the fireworks flashed behind them in the early summer sky. Wendy's face was still wet with Perry's blood, and kneels and chest ached from throwing herself down so hard. Staring at McKinley, she couldn't believe that this had all led up to this. That the look of madness spread across his pale young face had a slight glimmer of something deeper. She had seen a brief flash of this the night before just seconds after Erin's horrible accident. How he turned to her, almost as if he was accusing her for what just transpired, his face becoming flushed with outrage as he shook and screamed out, his eyes watering with tears. These were the same tears she had seen in his eyes the summer before. Tears only she had ever seen. Tears he shed for the secret both of them shared.
A secret they both vowed not to tell anyone for the rest of their life's. A secret their families didn't know, nor did Jason, or even Erin. A secret she suspected was a reason behind all of his anger, and hatred for the town his great, great, great grandfather had founded. A secret she was haunted by whenever she passed him in the halls, or saw his van drive by. A secret long before she began dating Jason. A secret only Carrie knew about, and had sworn never to repeat since she was the one who talked her into following her instincts.
"He may be rich Wendy, but he's weird. It was a one time mistake, do you really want that to ruin the rest of your life? Besides I got one done earlier this year, the clinic in Juniper doesn't even I.D you."
Wendy remembered her telling him, and how upset she had been, breaking down crying, hating this feeling of having absolute no control. It was then and there she had the decision, and that very night despite her own beliefs, or views towards it, understood this was honestly the only way she could solve this terrible problem. A problem she regretted, and had been haunting her for the last two months until she was completely sure. She hadn't spoken to Ian that night, and had originally planned on not telling him until Carrie called her out, saying he outta pay for it since he was the reason she was in this mess to begin with. Besides, he was loaded, and if she withdrew that much money from her savings, her mother would notice the bank statement and question her Wendy remembered the night she told him as if it was just yesterday. It was a few weeks before school started up, a few weeks before she became a senior and could start applying to colleges, and finally leave McKinley once and for all. The beginning of a new life, and all new possibilities.
As tough as this ugly ordeal was, she knew she needed to use her head and tell him. She had driven to Built-It, where Ian worked despite the fact his father was the richest man in town. Wendy remembered everything so clearly about that night. How nervous her stomach felt, twisting and turning as her head hammered in her chest. Carrie insisted that she call her that night, and had mentioned once everything was said and done she could enjoy the rest of her summer, and meet the new kid who just moved to hadn't met him yet but heard his name was Jason and he was originally from Ohio. He just moved in next door to Carrie's boyfriend Kevin who Wendy hated to admit, but was constantly annoyed by. Whenever Carrie told her about the clinic in Juniper she knew she would never be able to look at Kevin the same way again. Carrie claimed he never knew, and that accidents happen all the time, she was just smart enough to take care of it. Wendy thought she should take that route with Ian, but ended up following Carrie's advice about him paying for it since she couldn't think of any possible way to pay for it without her mother catching on. She knew there was a time window here, and she needed to act fast. She spotted Ian's van, before walking to the gated in garden section that was connected to the massive building and spotted Erin, another girl from school sweeping up. Erin was a bit of a loaner, she was one of the few school goth kids like Ian, and followed him around like a little puppy dog. She was usually moody, and gave death stares with her eyes which were caked with makeup. Confused in seeing her, she walked over to the gate.
"What are you doing here? We're closed."
Wendy stared, feeling on edge and ready to snap at any second. Instead she stared at him through the gate and asked if Ian was still here. Erin gave her a look before nodding.
"Can you go get him?"
"What do you want?"
Wendy knew Erin had a crush on Ian, and had even started working at Build-It in order to be closer to him. At this exact moment Wendy wanted to scream that he was all hers, that she wasn't a threat at all, and just wanted to get this whole mess over with. Instead, she sighed before Ian's voice made both girls jump as he strolled on over, wearing the store's blue apron, matching Erin's.
"Hey, what's up?"
Wendy stared at him, trying to hide the edge in her voice.
"I need to talk to you for a second."
Erin raised an eyebrow before Ian walked past her and leaned down, using his key ring to unlock the gate. Lifting it, he opened up before Wendy stood there, nervously clutching her messenger bag.
"Can I talk to you for a second...alone."
Ian stared at her before Erin rolled her eyes.
"Ian, you promised you would drive me home."
Ian instantly locked eyes with Wendy, seeing something was bothering her, and ignored Erin who stood a few feet behind him. Looking much older for his own age, his eyes narrowed, never taking him off Wendy's wide brown ones.
"Yeah, give me a few, I'll be out back to finish those orders and we'll go."
Erin stared at the two of them a second longer before rolling her eyes and walking away, making as much noise as possible as she left. Wendy stood there, waiting until she was completely out of sight before she shifted from one foot to another. Ian looked at her and leaned against one of the shelfs that held flower and plant pots.
"I tried calling you..."
"Listen, I know we agreed it wouldn't get weird but Jesus Wendy..."
Ian stopped mid sentence before staring at her. His all ready pale skin seemed to go a shade lighter as he blinked.
Wendy felt her chest rattle as she clutched the strap of her bag, eyes all ready watering and hating how helpless and stupid she felt.
"I'm pregnant...I took a test about a week ago, and went to a walk-in just a few days ago..."
She finished the piece of paper from her lab results and handed the highly guarded paper over to Ian, hand shaking like mad. Ian, almost in a trance stared down at the paper before Wendy tried to talk, feeling as though she needed to explain herself and put all of the blame on him. The only other person who knew was Carrie, who happened to be there the night she took the home pregnancy test. Suddenly the words started spilling out and she knew even if she tried, she wouldn't be able to stop.
"It must have been when the condom broke, I told you...you didn't put it on right. I took three separate tests and haven't told anyone, not even my sister...Carrie knows, but...well I..."
She then felt tears blurring her vision. She remembered almost eight weeks ago. She had known Ian since preschool. Her mother and his mother used to take them to playdates together. She remembered this was ages ago, long before Ian started dying his hair yet black, and rock safety pins, and patches on his clothes. Both remained in the same circle of friends until middle school. They had separate classes, and began hanging out in different circles. They saw each other from time to time, but that was it. When high school started they had a few of the same classes, talked a little bit in passing, but that was that. Both shared a few honor classes, in which Wendy always felt was a shame since Ian actually was really smart, but let his know-it-all attitude made him come across as a jerk. They worked on a few projects together, really having nothing in common but school. She saw him around town here and there, but his crowd were the punks, and goths. The teenagers with dyed colorful hair, and went to concerts, and had their tongues pierced.
She hung out with the popular kids. The jocks and cheerleaders. She was on the track team, and worked on the yearbook. She was a member of countless clubs, and loved school spirit. She had high dreams of college, and becoming a a therapist one day. She lived in a nice two story house in a nice little neighborhood. Her mom and dad were happily married, and she had Julie as a sister who was a year younger. She worked hard on looking nice, getting good grades, and felt as if she had her whole future mapped ahead for her. Ian meanwhile lived in a giant mansion near McKinley lake, embarrassed by his family's money, and constantly clashed with his father who owned a law practice in town. He was moody, sarcastic, and worked his part-time job just to prove to his father he didn't need to rely on his money. Both in the last year hadn't spoken more than a dozen or so words to each other, and that was just fine with Wendy. Until she began hearing about all of Carrie's stories about the sex with Kevin. Carrie was never shy about the details and constantly teased Wendy about still being a virgin, and that she outta pop her cherry before she graduated.
It wasn't long before she began to notice all of her girlfriends were having sex. To her, she wanted her first time to be special as cheesy as it sounded. She wanted it to be with someone she loved, and didn't want it to be some messy embarrassing experience. Still, she felt as if all of the guys at McKinley High were the same. Immature, annoying, and disgusting. She couldn't stand Kevin, or any of the guys he hung around with despite Carrie's constant attempts to fix her up with different boys. Finally she knew she had enough when she was searching for her blowdryer and happened upon a stash of condoms Julie kept in their shared bathroom. Horrified that her little sister was actually having sex, she hated to admit that she originally was tempted to run and tell their mother. That's when it hit her, she was jealous. A few days after she discovered the condoms, she asked Julie if she wanted to take a jog around McKinley lake, hoping to try and act like a big sister, and bridge the gap of constant bickering between the two of them that had honestly started a few years ago. She hated fighting with her sister, but knew they were complete opposites.
That warm early June morning, the two of them were shorts and T-shirts and started jogging when after a half an hour, they strolled over to rest underneath a large maple tree to drink from their water bottles. Deciding enough was enough, Wendy brought up what she found in the bathroom and wanted to know if mom knew. Instantly Julie became outraged, accusing her of snooping and that none of it was her business. Wendy tried to explain that she wasn't, and that she was glad she was being safe, but just wanted to remind her that condoms didn't always work, and how heartbroken mom would be if she got in trouble. Julie then in typical fashion flipped her double birds, and said she was acting funny about this became everyone knew she was a virgin.
Those words stung before Julie rolled her eyes, and stormed away. Left stunned, Wendy couldn't believe it. That's when she heard someone behind the large trunk of the tree clear their throat. Standing back, she saw Ian McKinley get up, dressed in black jeans and a T-shirt holding a sketch pad, and looking very out of place at his family's park with his pale skin, and thick jet black hair. Wendy wondered how he wasn't looking wearing all that black on such a warm day. Ian had a cigarette in one hand, and tucked the sketch pad under one of his arms.
Wendy did a double take, knowing he had heard the entire thing. Feeling her face burn red, she stared at him before he motioned to Julie who was walking up the set of hills that opened up to the McKinley country club.
"You heard all of that?"
"Sorry, I came here to sketch a little and you guys didn't see me. You need a ride?"
"No, I took my car..."
"What about her?"
"She'll walk just to spite me, screw her."
"You know, growing up I always wished I had a brother and sister, but it's times like this I count myself lucky."
Wendy rolled her eyes making him laugh again.
"You have no idea..."
Within the half an hour, Wendy was sitting underneath the shade of the tree next to Ian. Both were looking through Ian's sketch book, and Wendy couldn't believe how good he was. There were sketches of trees, buildings, bridges, animals, and even people. She was surprised since as far as she knew he wasn't enrolled in any art classes. Ian explained his mom taught him how to draw and he just did it for fun. When Wendy asked if he was thinking about art school he softly chuckled and shook his head explaining his father was dead set on trying to get him to go to law school and follow in his footsteps. Both began talking college, and both agreed...both wanted to leave McKinley as soon as possible. Before Wendy knew it, the sky was a beautiful orange shade, and dusk was coming. She knew she needed to get back even though she didn't have a curfew. Still, she wanted to try and smooth things over with Julie before they got any worse. Still, she couldn't help but feel a little bit angry.
"Was she telling the truth about what she said?"
Wendy glanced over, nothing truly for the first time how clear Ian's skin was. There wasn't one blemish on it at all, and somehow had little to no color on it. His skin was a pale cream color, and his dyed hair thick and healthy looking. She noticed how dark his blue eyes were, and how good he smelled, like shampoo. She figured this was because she had never been this close to notice things like this before.
"You being a virgin, is it true?"
Wendy felt color flash up in her cheeks and instantly her eyes narrowed.
"That's none of..."
"I am too."
"I figured I was the only person left at McKinley high that hadn't gotten laid."
"You're joking right?"
"No...why would I joke about that?"
"I don't know, what about that girl Erin?"
"What about her?"
"I thought you two were..."
"She's cute, but we're not dating..."
Wendy stared at Ian before he smirked.
Wendy sighed shaking her head and staring forward.
"I just want to have fun next year. It's our last time we can actually be carefree before everything starts...I feel as if until it happens I'm like..."
"A little bit behind?"
Ian stared forward at the lake almost deep in thought before he glanced at her.
"Listen...I got an idea, hear me out..."
Later that night Wendy couldn't believe it. She was laying in the back of Ian McKinley's van parked up near the McKinley hills, hidden in the wooded area. She had called her mom saying she was going to be late since she was seeing a movie with Carrie. The whole time she felt as if she was floating in some kind of strange dream. For the first time in her whole life she was being reckless, and letting her guard down. Ian drove down the road to the gas station and got a pack of condoms, and now here they were.
Originaly Wendy thought maybe she outta go home and sleep on this. Shower, shave, think it over. Finally, after staring in Ian's deep blue eyes she knew if she didn't do this now, she was just psych herself out. Both had talked this over for about an hour. Both would lose their virginity to each other no strings attached. It would be one night, and one night only. Both would never tell anyone about this again, and just get it over with. She wouldn't exactly call Ian a friend, but she had known him most of her life. He wasn't bad looking, and she figured he was just as nervous as she was since when he got back in the van from the gas station he showed her three different boxes of condoms he bought, not exactly knowing which ones worked best. Both drove to the hills, parked, and Wendy kept looking around questioning if he was certain this would be private enough? Finally she knew enough was enough. Both decided no four-play. They would just get it over with. Wendy kept her bra and T-shirt on, but slid out of her shorts and panties before slipping into a sleeping bag Ian had rolled up in the back that faintly smelled like cigarettes. Ian asked if she wanted music, and Wendy, too on edge and nervous to care shrugged saying she didn't care. Ian kept his own T-shirt on, but pushed his jeans and boxers off, before ripping open one of the condom boxes open, hands slightly shaking. He sat next to her, back slightly turned as Wendy nervously chewed her lip.
"Um, make sure it's on all the way..."
Ian gave a light laugh, before she heard the sound of him ripping the foil package.
"Jesus, this hurts..."
"Nothing, just hold on..."
Wendy laid there, hating his back was to her before he swore and she saw him grab another package.
"That one broke, felt too tight."
"Make sure you use one that won't!"
"I got it, hold on..."
A minute or so later, Ian turned, T-shirt still on as he stared at her, looking five years younger than he actually was.
Wendy laid there, feeling her heart hammer in her chest before nodding. Ian drew back the sleeping bag flap, before getting on top of her, hovering, not allowing her weight to go down on her. Wendy felt her chest rising and falling faster and faster, unable to wrap her mind around that this was actually going to happen. Ian stared down at her before she saw a little bit of color raise in his cheeks.
"Um, spread your legs a little..."
Wendy stared off to the side, before doing so as far as they would allow. She felt the smooth silk like material of her sleeping bag against her bare thighs, and instantly she felt Ian lay again her, a comforting weight pinning her down. Staring down, he went to lean in and kiss her when Wendy turned her head.
"No kissing, just get it over with."
Ian made a face and rolled his eyes.
Softly on the radio Wendy heard an old 1960's song that almost sounded like a lullaby.
"There is someone, walking behind you..."
Wendy wanted to ask Ian if he knew this song, or if he outta turn on the A.C. Or if maybe they should park somewhere else. Her mind was racing, and she kept staring at her crumpled up clothes beside her, not wanting to look up at Ian and greet his eyes. She felt something graze her inner thigh, and instantly she knew what it was. Taking a deep breath, trying to mentally tell herself not to be scared, she took a deep breath before Ian grunted, and she felt him enter her. Instantly a sharp pain ripped through Wendy as her eyes snapped shut. Hissing, she couldn't believe how much this hurt, and how uncomfortable she felt. Instantly, she felt it pull out slightly as Ian looked down.
"Just...move or whatever, get it over with..."
"Does it hurt?"
"Just keep going..."
She kept her eyes closed as Ian entered her again, this time much too fast. Wendy bit hard down on her lip, trying not to cry as Ian seemed to completely lay all his weight down on her. Wendy cracked open one eye, before she saw Ian's face was completely flushed, sweat rolling down his face. He laid there not doing anything for a full two silent minuites, enough time for the song to change to another. He laid there before finally he pushed down, in which Wendy suspected was a thrust. He lifted himself slightly, and fell down again, causing more again. Wendy laid there, and instantly regretted doing this was Ian. This was magical or special. It hurt, and she suspected she was bleeding. Here she was with a guy she just happened to know since preschool, a weirdo actually, and after just a few hours of talking here they were having sex? She would never be able to experience this again, and she had been dumb enough wanting to get it over with. Ian took a deep breath and began to move, his hand finding hers by her side, trying to hold it. Wendy felt her sweaty palm closed, as his fingers tried to hold old, before she jerked it away. Annoyed, she wanted to push him off and tell him forget it.
Instead she laid there, legs slightly spread inside the smelly sleeping bag as he continued to thrust into her, causing the van to slightly creak and rock back and forth. Knowing how exposed they were, she hated that any second somebody, maybe even a police man could walk up and tap on the window. Wendy tried to crane her neck back and look up front to the windshield, but Ian had somehow found a pace. He was moving faster, and it was hurting worse than ever. His hands were fumbling, and when one swept across to her breast, she jerked her hand to slap him away annoyed. The pain building was worse than any period cramp, and she hated how flushed his face looked. For him it must of felt amazing, to her this was embarrassing and painful.
"Ian stop, get off it hurts..."
"I'm gonna...I'm gonna...oh JESUS..."
He snapped his eyes shut, back arched, and she felt his penis buried deep inside of her twitch. She laid there, feeling the dampness of her own blood, before he collapsed against her, breathing heavy against her shoulder. Laying there stunned,s he couldn't believe this was it. She had just had sex with Ian McKinley.
"Get off me..." She said almost in a trance. Ian lifted his head.
"Are you okay?"
"Get off me..."
Ian slowly lifted himself out of her, pulling out when he stared down. Wendy saw his penis for just a second, half sticking up still in a mass of dark public hair. She was repulsed by how it looked, and saw blood. She had been bleeding. Shaking her head, she tried scooting up, but knew she had bled all over his sleeping bag. Ian then shook his head.
He turned over, and with some effort snapped it off. Wendy saw it was used and bloody and made a face.
"Did it break?"
"I'm not sure..."
"Throw it out...it's gross."
Ian looked at her as she was reaching for her panties and shorts.
"Yeah fine, I think I ruined your sleeping bag."
"No problem, don't worry about it."
Both dressed, backs facing each other, not saying a word. Wendy knew she needed a shower instantly, she couldn't believe how sore she felt. Once they were dressed, Ian rolled the sleeping bag up and insisted he drove her home. The drive back, both didn't say a word before finally they pulled up a few houses down since Wendy didn't want her mother to see her get out of the van with him. Once Ian killed the engine they both sat in awkward silence before Ian sighed.
"I know it could have been better, and I hurt you. I'm sorry..."
Wendy shook her head.
"Hey, I got it over with, that's what counts right?"
"Listen Wendy could I..."
Wendy shook her head.
"No strings remember?"
Ian stared at her before she sighed, never wanting to get out of someplace more in her life.
"How was it for you?"
"It was...intense, that's for sure."
Wendy offered her hand.
"This was just between us right?"
Ian looked at the hand frowning before nodding.
Reaching forward, he shook her hand, before Wendy got out and walked up the sidewalk, trying to ignore her cramps. She felt his eyes on her the entire time, and noticed he didn't pull away until she was inside her house. That night she took the hottest shower ever, scrubbing herself clean, and hating how sore she felt. The following morning, she couldn't believe the big fuss was about sex. Now that she had done it, she didn't understand why people made such a big deal about it. In fact, if this was really what sex was life, she honestly didn't care if she did it again for years. Still, she had done it, and was hoping never to think of that night again. She admitted to Carrie a few days later who looked honestly stunned as the two were getting their nails done at the mall.
"McKinley?! Get out!"
"Promise me you won't say a word."
"Or course. Wow, are you two..."
"No, it was a one night thing, we both promised."
"He's weird but kinda cute I guess...glad you got it over with. How was it?"
"Honestly? Horrible. It hurt so bad."
"It always does the first time. Trust me, it gets better. Takes longer than it does when your flying solo, but when a guy figures out how to use his dick and make you come, you'll never be the same."
"I don't know about that..."
Wendy said feeling color raising in her cheeks. Laughing Carrie shook her head. "McKinley doesn't know how to use his dick, we'll hook you up with a real guy soon, trust me."
In the following weeks Wendy tried to move on from that night, but couldn't seem to stop thinking about it. One night when she drew herself a nice warm bath and locked the doors leading in, she slowly let her hands slide down, and began touching herself. Once she made herself come, she wished so badly that she had been able to feel this intense heat the night with Ian. Feeling a little more than resentment towards him for being so horrible at it, she wasn't the slightest bit surprised when she noticed she had a few missed calls from him, including an A.I.M request by his user name. Ignoring all of them, she didn't want to talk nor see him. She dreaded when school would start up and only prayed he wouldn't make things weird for her. If worst came to worst she would just have to explain it was just sex, and to leave her be. Still, she couldn't help but feel more than a little guilty. A few weeks later she began feeling sick, twice one week she woke up rushing to the bathroom to throw up.
At first she tried to convince herself it was some virus, until finally she looked at her calendar and saw that the date for her period had come and gone. Feeling pure white hot panic build, she hurried to go buy the tests. Now after all this, here she was. Ian had gotten her pregnant, the condom did break because that stupid idiot didn't know how to put one on. How because of his mistake, here she was frightened, and forced to do something terrible. Telling Ian that night at Build-It, she thought she was going to break down completely. Standing there, eyes watering she glared at him, ready for him to say one thing about this being her fault, or refusing to pay for the abortion she was about to tell him about. Instead, his stunned expression from the recent news of her pregnancy had hit him like a pile of bricks and once what she believed the shock had slowly faded back, his eyes lit up and she couldn't believe it. He was smiling.
"Wendy, that's great!"
He rubbed one hand over his face in disbelief before putting it through his hair and nervously laughed before staring at her, still holding her lab results.
"Your completely sure?"
Wendy blinked at him in disbelief. In the following weeks since the night in the van, up until a week or so ago, she had been living in some kind of strange limbo. She tried going out with Carrie, and enjoy her summer vacation, but somehow felt trapped. She couldn't explain it, as if she was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It wasn't until the morning sickness began, that a horrible building fear began to surround her. She still remembered how frightened and hysterical she felt when she first saw the positive sign on her pregnancy test. Why was this happening to her? She finally decides to have sex, and get it over with and the first time she ever does it she gets pregnant? What about all the other dumb reckless girls who did it night after night and nothing?! Why her? Wendy stared at her before Ian smiled, looking beyond happy.
"Wendy, that's great."
"Did you hear me? I'm pregnant..."
Wendy took a step back, frightened by the look of sudden joy spread across his face. No, he had to be pulling her leg. Shaking her head, she clutched onto the strap of her bag.
"I don't want it."
Ian froze, instantly the smile dropping from his face.
"Ian, I can't be pregnant. I'm seventeen...my whole life would be over. I want an abortion."
Ian's face suddenly became very serious.
"Hey, you can't decide a thing like that..."
"I wasn't even going to tell you but I thought you should pay for me."
"Wendy...I want us to have a baby."
"Are you high?!" Wendy felt her voice rising. "No seriously are you high?! We barley know each other..."
"Wendy I've known you since I was four years old..."
"We're basically strangers. Just because we went to school together doesn't mean we like each other. Ian my whole life would be ruined. I haven't even graduated high school. I want to go to college..."
"Who says you can't do any of that. You could still go to school, you could do whatever you wanted to do."
"What fantasy are you living in?!"
"Wendy, my family is the richest family in town. We own all of McKinley. I can take care of you and the baby. You could go to school, you could do whatever you wanted to..."
"My family would kill me. Money doesn't buy happiness...and it doesn't change that I don't want this baby. It was a stupid accident. I knew I shouldn't have slept with you. Why couldn't you put the condom on the right way?!"
"Wendy, I want us to have a baby..."
"You're seventeen years old..."
"So? My mom was twenty when she had me..."
"Your mom was in love with your dad, and married into a wealthy family. It was a different time. I'm not about to change my entire life just because you think it would be a cool idea. This isn't some small little thing that will go away, this is a baby. Do you have any idea how much work they are? Just because you can hire a nanny or twenty maids doesn't make you a good parent."
"Hey, that's not fair..."
"Ian, if you won't pay for it I'll find some other way. That's the only reason I came here tonight. Why do you think i've ignored your calls. That night was a stupid mistake and I'm paying for it!"
"Wendy your upset, you need time to think..."
"I've thought about this long enough...now are you helping me or not?"
Ian stared at her in disbelief.
"Wendy, this is half my baby...unless you've been with anyone else..."
Wendy's face crumpled, and she open slapped Ian right across the cheek, causing his head to rock back. The sound was hollow, and caused a red mark to spread across his pale skin. Wendy glared at his shocked expression.
"How dare you..."
"I don't...want...this...baby. Do you understand?!"
Ian's expression changed, instead he glared at her right back.
"Yeah well I do..."
"Yeah well, it's not your body, and it's not your choice."
"I'll tell...I'll tell your parents."
Wendy's eyes widened, looking like a wild animal.
"I'll kill you."
"Then don't kill my baby."
"Stop being so fucking selfish Ian!"
"Oh, I'm being selfish!"
"I swear to God if you tell anyone I'll kill you."
"Wendy, your upset and need to think. Look at me...marry me."
"Marry me, we'll tell our parents together. You can move into our guest house, take a year off and have the baby. You can graduate and go to college, I'll take care of the baby...we can make this work..."
Wendy pulled at her hair in utter frustration before crying out.
"I don't want to marry you Ian. I don't like you! Please just stop!"
Ian stepped forward, locking eyes with her. Instantly he reached over, trying to gently touch her arm. Instead Wendy flinched away. Sighing, seeing he wasn't getting anywhere, he looked at her.
"Listen, you need to relax and think. Give me a week..."
"There's nothing to talk about, I'm not going to change my mind."
"Just give me a week okay, don't tell anyone else and neither will I. What clinic were you thinking?"
"The one in Juniper..."
"Don't make an appointment yet, we'll meet up next Friday morning, I'll take you out to breakfast and we'll talk."
"Come on, you can at least give me a week."
"Do you have any idea how horrible I've felt since I found out?"
"Just a week..."
"You're going to end up telling your parents and my parents..."
"I promise I won't. Just give it a week, if you still feel the same way I'll take you myself and we'll never talk to each other again okay?"
Wendy stared at him with uneasy eyes before nodding.
"Fine, but I swear Ian..."
He offered his hand before Wendy made a face of complete disgust and turned around, walking out, leaving him alone. That night she spent over at Carrie's. Both unable to believe Ian's reaction.
"He's completely insane..."
"I can spot you the money, but you gotta pay me back before school comes back, I'll be dead meat if not."
"Are you serious?"
"I've been in your shoes before...Hell, I'll even take you, if this is really what you want?"
"It is...I feel like I'm going crazy."
"You sure you don't wanna wait until Friday?"
Wendy shook her head.
"I don't trust me Carrie..."
"Okay, we'll make you an appointment for Tuesday. Tell your parents you're staying with me, my parents are going to be up North so you can rest up here. If you still feel shitty when you get home just tell your mom you have bad cramps, that's all."
Wendy felt the weight of the last few weeks come crashing down around her. Hugging her friend tightly, she buried her head against her shoulder and began to sob. Carrie gently rubbed her back promising her that everything would be all right. That night as she laid in Carrie's bed, with Carrie completely dead asleep beside her, she laid awake staring at the ceiling. Slowly lifting up her T-shirt, she looked down at her still flat stomach. Inside there, smaller than a grape was the baby. The same baby conceived when Ian had an orgasm that night in the back of the van. One mistake, and here she was feeling as if everything was spinning out of control.
She couldn't seem to get the look of pure happiness in Ian's eyes out of her mind. Why was he acting this way? She knew he was just being stupid and really didn't want to marry her. No, she wasn't about to ruin the rest of her life because he was judging her. She figure the might end up trying to tell, mostly after he found out that she went ahead of it, but maybe she could lie. If he told anyone, she would deny it. Still, she could tell him maybe she miscarried before the end of the week. What was done was done, and as awkward and strange things would be, she would avoid him, and count down the days until they graduated and never saw each other again. Laying there, she regretted telling him, and wished all of this would just go away. A few days later, Carrie drove Wendy to the clinic, Dressed in a T-shirt and sweats, she sat beside her in the parking-lot, never feeling so terrified before in her entire life.
Carrie sighed, nodding before getting out. Unknown to her, Ian had tried calling her over and over again. Ever since they parted ways, he couldn't seem to stop thinking about what she said. He knew they left things in a bad way, and perhaps waiting a week to address it with her being so upset was the wrong choice. Instead, she left him angry, and more than a little afraid. He wished so badly he could have explained how he really felt about her, and how sorry he was about how they went about having sex. She deserved better, and he knew he was at fault. All he wanted was a chance to explain himself. A chance to prove that he wasn't just some rich moody kid.
That he had feelings for her, feelings he had kept hidden for a while now, and would do anything to make this work with her. He thought of a few years ago, how his mother had announced she was pregnant with a little girl, and how thrilled she had been. A few months later, he remembered her coming home from the doctors sobbing and how his father informed him that she was getting an abortion. Ian, who was just twelve at the time didn't seem to understand, in which his father explained to him that an abortion was to kill the baby before it was even more. That the doctors ran tests, and saw that the baby was going to be born disabled, and both had agreed to terminate the pregnancy, stopping this terrible misfortune before it went any further. Ian kept his distance, and saw that his mother truly hadn't been the same since she took care of the "problem" his father now referred to. This he believed was responsible for the distance between his parents in their marriage. He wanted to make things right, to show her that this wasn't the answer. He knew in the end this was her choice, but he wanted to explain his feelings, and maybe, just maybe prove to her that he would could take care of them. He called her cell several times, only to have it go to voice mail. He figured she was ignoring him. Finally, he looked up her house number, and called, only to have her mother answer.
"Um, hi Mrs. Christensen...is Wendy home?"
"I'm afraid not, she's spending the night at her friend Carrie's, may I take a message?"
Ian said no thank you and hung up, before looking up Carrie's number. In less than ten minuites, he dialed her house number, when another woman, who he suspected was Carrie's mother answered. Ian asked if Carrie and Wendy were around, and Carrie's mother said they weren't, they said they were going shopping in Juniper for the day. Before she could say another word, Ian hung up, feeling numb all over. Juniper. That was the town the abortion clinic was in. Instantly he knew what they were up to. She wasn't going to wait and hear him out. She was going ahead with it anyways. For a split second he felt pure rage, the next complete terror. Grabbing his keys, he rushed out running to his van, hoping it wasn't too late. In Juniper, a half an hour later, Wendy had finished filling out her paperwork, and had gone in.
Carrie had gone with her. Changing into a paper gown, and putting on the hair net, Wendy turned and looked at her with wide scared eyes.
"Does it hurt?"
"It isn't comfortable. We'll get you set up tonight, you're gonna wanna sleep."
Nodding, Wendy sighed and looked at her. "I'm doing the right thing right?" Carrie nodded.
"It was a mistake, and your taking care of it. In a few weeks, you'll learn to forget...and you can start living your life the way you want to."
Sighing, Wendy wasn't so sure, but sat down on the table, nervously twisting her hands together before a few minutes later, a knock on the door came, and the doctor and nurse came in, all smiles, explaining what they were going to do. Fifteen minutes later, Carrie was holding her hand, as she laid back, legs spread up in strips, as the doctor turned in the machine. Staring at the ceiling, she had a brief random thought that caused her heart to ache. She wondered if the baby would have had her brown eyes, or his dark blue. Forcing the thought away, she stared up at the I.V drip, sighed and waited before she stiffened, and tried to take deep breaths, as the doctor began.
Less than ten minuites later, as the doctor explained they were almost finishing up, she heard faint yells from the hallway. Carrie looked in the direction of the door, before the nurse raised an eyebrow and excused herself. The moment she opened the door, she nearly screamed as Ian burst in, the security guard huffing and puffing behind him. Ian stared at Wendy on the table as Carrie screamed, Ian's eyes looked confused before he locked his confused eyes with Wendy's, and then saw what the doctor was doing, and that he was too late. Instantly his eyes began to water with tears, as his face become flushed with complete loss and rage as he screamed...
The security guard grabbed hold of him, pulling him out of the room. Ian fought him, before she heard shouts and yells from outside.
"Call the police!"
Instantly Wendy, despite the drugs they had given her, felt panic. If the police came, everyone would know. Pulling on Carrie's arm, she stared up at him.
"No, don't. Make him get kicked out, no police..."
She knew her speech was becoming slurred. Carrie nodded before she hurried out. Laying there, Wendy allowed the drugs to take hold, unable to believe that any of this was happening. Shutting her eyes, she listened to the sickening sounds of the machine, and felt her own tears water beneath her closed lids. When she woke up later she was in the recovery room. She was groggy, and out of it, but Carrie was sitting next to her, petting her hand. Looking around, Wendy felt completely out of it.
"Is it over?"
"How you feeling?"
"Like a brick hit me."
"They want you to be monitored for another hour before I take you home. My mom and dad left the house an hour ago...she said some guy called looking for us, I lied and said we were about to go to the movies...I think it was Ian."
"Did the police..."
"No, they threw him out...he left."
"He's going to tell everyone..."
"And I'll back you up that he's full of it. You did the right thing Wendy, he's crazy..."
Closing her eyes, Wendy ignored anything else that Carrie said and allowed the drugs they had given her to make her feel completely numb and block herself out of this madness. The ride home was mostly in silence, as was when they got to Carrie's. Wendy kept expecting her mother to show up any second, but instead nothing happened, not even a phone call. Somehow Wendy in the end, as she curled up on Carrie's sofa, taking a few pain meds that Carrie offered her that were her dad's for his back, laid there with a heating pad, trying to ignore the cramps, as she figured Ian in the end was just all bark and no bite. Still she couldn't believe he had shown up, and the look of complete grief and outraged that spread across his face when he saw her on the table, getting rid of the baby. Now none of this mattered. The baby was dead, and that was that. She hardly slept that night, and when she did go home the following morning, she lied to her parents saying she had the flu.
Her mother didn't suspect a thing and brought her up ginger ale, telling her to get plenty of sleep. A few days later, she was well enough to leave, and knew she outta see Ian and try to talk to him. She drove to Build-It wondering if he was working, when she saw his van. Pulling in, she parked before seeing him leaving for the night, most likely having worked an earlier shift and just getting off. His face looked pale, and he was carrying his bag. Parking, she got out and walked over.
Ian turned and looked at her as she walked over, really not exactly knowing what to say. He stared at her before she sighed.
"Listen, I need to..."
"Save it. I made a scene and seriously fucked up. You were right, you did the right thing. No way I could have handled a baby. I was acting like a nut, and I'm sorry."
"It's over...here I was going to try and figure out a way to get this to you but figure you needed your space..."
He dug into his bag and pulled out an envelope. He handed it over. Wendy turned the envelope over in her hands and looked puzzled.
"It's for the abortion. Least I can do..."
"Ian I don't want..."
"You were right, it was a stupid mistake and you were smart enough to fix it. I'm sorry I gave you such a hard time. I should have been there for you but I was acting selfish, I'm sorry."
Wendy stared at him, seeing the hurt in his eyes before she saw Erin stick her head out of the passenger window of Ian's van.
"You ready Zip?"
Ian waved his hand to her as she got back in the van. Wendy watched, still stunned before Ian shrugged.
"Time to move on. I know things won't be the same but we are going to have to see each other from time to time. But it's over and I won't bring it up, what's done is done. Sorry again Wendy."
He offered his hand, his nails painted black. Wendy looked at his hand uncertain before slowly shaking it. Smirking, Ian nodded before making a face.
"I'll see you around school..."
There was so much Wendy wanted to say at that exact moment, but instead she was left stunned. Ian turned, walking away, before climbing into the van. Tossing his bag behind him, he started the engine as Erin smiled, overjoyed now that they were about to go on their second date. Smiling, she rubbed his arm.
"Yeah, just had to give her notes for some stupid book report. You ready Pip?" Erin smiled.
Glancing one last time in the rearview mirror at Wendy, who was walking back to her car, he felt his heart ache. He hoped this act had fooled her as much as he wanted it to fool himself. Pulling out of his space, he drove away. In the following months, Carrie and Wendy didn't speak about what happened at the clinic again. Carrie thanked Wendy when she gave her the money, and told her Ian must have gotten scared when they almost called the police. Must have snapped out of it and is moving on. She told Wendy to keep her distance, he was a weirdo, but seemed helpless. As school started, Wendy and the new kid Jason were fixed up, and somehow things started to slowly go back to normal. She saw Ian once or twice, but was thankful they didn't have any classes besides a study period once a week together. He avoided eye contact with her, and was now from what she heard seeing that Erin girl who was joined at his hip. Wendy meanwhile was getting used to her school schedule, and beginning to enjoy senior year, pushing that terrible day away, deep in her memories. Jason was sweet, and playful, and despite some heavy make out sessions they never went any further than that.
He respected her choice, and was more than patient. Wendy felt in control again, and began applying to schools. Finally Grad Night came, and Wendy planned on finally going all the way with Jason. Since last summer she was on the pill, and suspected she wanted to sleep with Jason to prove to herself she had truly moved on. She wasn't sure if they would last going to separate colleges, but she wanted to at least try. McKinley since last summer had spoken just a handful of words to her, usually something sarcastic or a little remark about her and Jason. In the beginning she was nervous he might say something, instead he would just mumble something and walk away. Jason always dismissed him as just being McKinley, then town weirdo. Wendy on the other hand knew better...she had almost had a child with him. In fact it seemed insane, had she kept the baby, it would have been less than a year old all ready.
Thoughts like this she always forced away, hoping it wouldn't come to the surface. When the vision happened, a new sort of fear came, and yet again her life came crashing down. A few weeks following when Kevin and her went to Build-It to warn Erin and Ian, she kept sensing how anger hidden beneath his know-it-all attitude. Then Erin's accident happened, and the same look of utter outrage came across his face as he stared at her. Once Kevin called 911, Ian just got up, surrounded by the fallen pieces of lumber, and stared down silently crying at the horrible sight before him. When Wendy tried to say something he pushed her arm away, and waited for the police by the exit. Now tonight at the park, as the fireworks lit up the sky, she was convinced McKinley had come here to kill her. Not only for believing she had caused Erin's death, but his unborn child's as well.
How just moments before he pointed at her, madness in his eyes before they widened.
"Oh no way...do I cause your death? Just like how you caused Erin's and the baby's?"
Kevin and Julie were too scared to hear this, but Wendy heard just time. She knew how much he had hated her for killing their baby, and all this time his anger had been building for this.
That's when she heard the steel sign above him start to creak. Staring at it, she knew he was standing directly beneath it. Laying there, suddenly everything came boiling up to a head. She thought of the accident, of losing Jason, the safe guy, the safe choice. The accidents, the photos, the visions, and now this. Looking, Wendy screamed at the top of her lungs.
Ian stared at her as if she was crazy when the creaking became louder, the base of the cherry picker that held the sign was about to collapse. Instantly Ian raised his eyes before a horrible snapping sound echoed in the night air. Wendy held her breath, before Ian saw the sign about to come down. in just the matter of seconds, he stood there, then threw himself to the side. With lighting speed, the sign came crashing down, slamming down against the grass with a heavy thud. Wendy snapped her eyes shut, before she heard the thud of the sign echo. Opening her eyes, she saw Ian laying on the grass. He missed the sign by just a mere inch. Wendy laid there panting, blood still splattered across her face as she stared at him. Laying there, Ian stared at her in complete and utter shock. 5 months later. New York City. Wendy stood wrapped up in her jacket with Ian standing behind her, arms around her waist as they studied the subway map. Wendy, always uneven on her feet stood against Ian as he steadied her, the two trying to figure out where they could go since nearly every restaurant, bar, and pub downtown was jammed packed due to the holiday weekend.
Tomorrow was Thanksgiving, and Wendy's family was planning on coming in and checking into the Hilton, and spending the day with the two of them since Ian's family was away in business. It appeared a race way was being built on the outside of town, and was a huge new investment for Mr. McKinley. Wanting to spend the night alone with Ian, they decided once both got out of their afternoon class as they crossed the campus together, heading back to the apartment they were currently renting, that they would grab a few drinks and dinner. It was freezing out, and both had decided to figure out the subway system on where to go. A lot had happened since that night in McKinley. Wendy really remembered mostly a blur. Ambulances and police were all over, and as Julie and Kevin were being loaded up into the back of one of the ambulances, she saw Ian being treated near one. He had a pretty bad bloody nose, and looked ten times paler than he usually was. That's when his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed.
The paramedics were on him instantly as Wendy hurried over, hearing something about him being in shock. The next morning, despite what her mother said, she stayed at the hospital waiting for him to wake up since his parents were away in Europe for the week. When Ian opened his eyes, now in scrubs, his eyes fluttered open before he turned and saw Wendy sitting there, squeezing his hand. Now here they were, living together, and currently engaged. Wendy usually wore her engagement ring on the inside of her hand whenever she rode the subway. Since that night nothing happened. Julie was released from the hospital a week later with just a few bruises on her neck, and Kevin with slight first degree burns. Ian was released earlier, and finally Wendy and him talked. He drove her out to the amusement park which was currently closed since the coaster accident, and sat on the hood of her car, looking out and talking. Ian now believed about the chain of deaths, and both couldn't seem to figure out if it had even stopped.
Still, here they were, a haunted history behind them, and an uncertain future before them.
"I don't think anything would have made me change my mind about the baby, but it was wrong of me not to at least listen to you. I'm sorry, and I'm sorry about Erin."
Sighing, Ian shook his head.
"I thought I could make her you...and even after she died, I knew how wrong of me that was. We've lost too much...I'm just done waiting around to die."
With that, Wendy slipped her hand into his, looking at the remains of the coaster, and knowing from this point forward, she would never look back. Now this evening, they stood looking at the map, bundled up in coats, and leaning against each other. Wendy and Ian had left McKinley in mid August, after everything had settled down. Originally Ian wasn't planning on going to college right after high school. He mentioned he was weighing his options, before deciding to follow Wendy. The weeks following the Tricentennial was crazy. News coverage was all over about what happened, and after everyone was released from the hospital, all seemed calm for the moment. Wendy kept waiting any second for another fatal accident to happen, instead...silence. Wendy wasn't exactly sure when her and Ian became an item, but it just sorta happened. One night he came over, both sitting on Wendy's porch swing, drinking soda, and talking. Next thing she knew they were kissing.
A few days later, Wendy found herself walking down the street, holding hands with Ian when they ran into Kevin, who's face was dealing nicely. The second he saw them together, he seemed stunned. A few days later Kevin invited her out for coffee and instantly was all over her, asking what was going on between McKinley and her? Wendy, feeling on the spot simply shrugged, knowing that Kevin was just confused since that night. She had been so certain that Ian had been in the clue in the photo when it actually was the sign she had avoided. A lot had happened, and seeing them together, mostly with Jason being his best friend was a shock, plain and simple. She knew people were talking, but now nobody besides Ian and her knew their history. Things went deeper, and all of this madness had brought them together.
"I don't know what's going on with us, but I know he couldn't have hurt me that night. I've known Ian a long time...we have history."
"McKinley?! You said he was going to kill you."
"I was wrong...but we've lost people, and instead of looking over my shoulder every two seconds I want to live. He deserves it, I deserve it, you deserve it. I'm done being afraid."
Sighing, Kevin nodded, but both knew this was the last time the two would ever see each other again. When Wendy came home, she dialed Ian's number, and asked him to come over. Less than a half an hour later, Ian was at her house, both watching movies up in her room and talking about college. Ian knew where she had applied, and had casually brought up maybe checking that school out.
"That is...if you want me to?"
He looked at her and Wendy smiled, brushing some of his fallen bangs away before glancing over. On the nightstand was a framed photo of Jason. Sighing she knew she shouldn't feel guilty. No, she would keep going and live for Jason. He deserved that much. Less than a week later, Wendy found herself back in Ian's van. This time, things were different. They took it slow and steady, this time not as steady, skin against skin, hands squeezing, lips touching. breathing heavy. Slowly the two of them moved together, arching, stretching, and responding. Wendy felt an orgasm, and when she came, Ian pressed his forehead against hers, kissing the sides of her mouth gently.
A few weeks later Ian told her he would go to the city with her. Wendy and Ian had been enjoying life in the city, sharing a very over priced apartment, and all ready making plenty of friends on campus. They explored the city together, and just this past Halloween Ian surprised her after class by getting down on one knee and proposing. At this exact moment Wendy felt completely at peace, finally happy for the first time in months since the coaster accident. Ian's arms were around her waist, before suddenly Wendy stared out the window at all of the people passing by at a blurred speed. Remembering the photo, she thought of Jason's blurred face. Feeling a chill, she stunned against Ian before she looked around. Suddenly she began thinking about that night, and how everything seemed like a clue. Feeling her stiffen against him, Ian cocked his head and leaned in closer.
Wendy felt the train slowly begin to slow down when she watched the street performer playing his guitar playing the same song she had first heard that night with Ian, then on the radio when everything had started happening. Locking eyes with the performer, she watched as the train stopped, and he left from the other exit. Standing, Wendy felt suddenly ice old. Squeezing Ian's hand, she looked around before she yanked him towards the exit.
"Whoa, Wendy another few stops..."
"Come on I don't feel so good..."
In just a matter of seconds both were standing on the platform, surrounded by dozens of people. Wendy pulled Ian close as they walked through the busy crowd and finally stopped. Wendy couldn't believe how hard she was breathing. Ian instantly looked concerned.
"Yeah, I was just...getting another one of those funny feelings..."
"What? Like that night?"
Wendy nodded, feeling herself shake. Instantly Ian's arm hands squeezed hers before smiling.
"Listen, we've been over this over and over and over. If anything would have happened it would have...it stopped. Julie and Kevin aren't worried, and neither and I and until all three of us die, you have nothing to worry about."
Wendy hated for how stupid she felt but she nodded, before staring down at her sparking engagement ring. Nervously she smiled before gathering Ian in for a hug. Burying her head against his shoulder, she heard him whisper...
"We're going to die when we're both ninety...side by side in bed okay?"
Wendy nervously laughed before she closed her eyes and held him when suddenly she heard a two separate voices behind her.
Both turned and were surprised to see both Julie and Kevin there, walking over from the crowd. By the end of the evening, all four of them were catching up at a local pub. Kevin had come into the city to catch a hockey game, and Julie had rode in a day before when their parent's car broke down. The four of them laughed and talked, having dinner, and for once not talking about death or signs, or photos. Instead, they all sat around like four young people without so much as a care in the world. That night after they saw Kevin off, Julie slept on their couch, as Wendy and Ian slept in their shared bed. Laying awake, Wendy watched as snow had just begun to come from the sky. Smiling, she nudged Ian awake, who mumbled and turned over, hair a mess. Smiling, she pointed, making him squint half asleep.
Ian opened his eyes and watched the snow with Wendy as she kissed his bare shoulder blade and leaned against him. Somehow no longer scared, and wanting to make moments like this count. After all, they only had one life, and she was't about to waste it.
"I love you Ian McKinley..."
She whispered, before nuzzling and laying against him as snow continued to fall from the night sky.