Jerry carried multiple bags of garbage through the living room towards the front door. A grunt of frustration slipped from his lips as one of the bags ripped, spilling its contents over the wooden floor. He dropped the other bags on the floor, opened the largest one, and began to collect the mess on the floor and throw it into the open bag. He paused when his eyes landed on the pregnancy test that laid upside down on the hard floor. His stomach dropped. He picked it up hesitantly and flipped it over to view its results. He burrowed his eyebrows; one bold line and one very faint one. His hands grew clammy.
"What happened in here?" Theresa asked as she came down the stairs.
Jerry ignored her question and held up the pregnancy test. "Is this yours?"
Theresa's face contorted into shock and confusion as she walked closer to her husband. "No…"
Jerry inhaled, his jaw clenched tightly. "I was almost hoping it was yours."
"Alex? Is it positive?" Theresa asked as she moved to look at the test. "It's unclear. You don't think she's pregnant, do you?"
"She better not be or I'm going to kill her and then Dean." Jerry said tightly. "Alex!"
Alex descended the stairs hesitantly as the sound of her name. She wasn't sure what she did now, but she knew by her father's tone that she was in trouble. She walked towards where her mother and father were standing. She froze when her eyes found the pregnancy test in her mother's hands. Her stomach lurched; her chest tightened.
"Is this yours?" Theresa asked calmly.
Alex swallowed thickly. The room suddenly felt like a sauna. "No."
"The truth, Alex." Jerry's voice was harsh as his eyes narrowed at his daughter. "We already know it's not your mother's, which only leaves you."
"It's not what you think." She blurted out. She mentally cursed herself for not being able to come up with a lie. The anxiety swimming in the pit of her stomach was clouding her thinking. "I'm not pregnant."
"Are you sure? There are two lines there." Theresa said. Was this why her daughter was lashing out?
"I'm not pregnant." Alex repeated because she didn't know what else to say. Her throat felt like it was closing. Her limbs felt weak.
"You better not be! Why was this even a possibility?" Jerry shouted furiously. "I need to have a talk with Dean. Are you even sure that's negative? You've been awfully moody lately and…"
Alex's vision blurred. Sweat beaded on her forehead. She gasped for air; she couldn't breathe. Her knees buckled and she collapsed to the floor with a thud.
Jerry's rant came to a halt as he watched his daughter fall to the floor unconscious. "Alex!"
Theresa gasped as she rushed to her daughter's side. She shook her gently before placing a hand on her forehead. She was taken aback by the coldness of her daughter's skin. "Alex, wake up. Call 911!"
Jerry darted to the phone; his trembling fingers dialing the numbers. Justin ran down the stairs, his heart stopping when he saw his sister sprawled out on the ground lifelessly. "What's going on?"
"I don't know. She just passed out all of a sudden." Theresa remained kneeling by Alex's body. She felt helpless. "She has a pulse, but it's faint and she's freezing."
Justin was frozen in front of the stair case. His eyes remained glued to his sister's eerily still body. He had taken multiple first aid classes and yet any information he learned had escaped his mind in the moment.
Justin peeled his eyes off his sister and glanced around the room. Standing in shock was not going to help. He searched his mind; he learned about what to do when someone passes out. Suddenly he grabbed a pillow and held it to his mother. "I-I think you're supposed to elevate her legs. I think it helps blood flow."
Theresa slid the pillow beneath Alex's legs. She placed her hand on Alex's forehead once more and shook her gently. "Alex, mija, can you hear me? Please wake up."
Nausea swirled in the pit of Justin's stomach. He felt like something was very wrong; he didn't think this was just caused by something minor. His mind flashed back to when she almost fell on the stairs a few days ago. His sister had been acting strange for months and he could only assume this was related.
Time seems to stand still; it felt like an eternity had passed before the sounds of sirens could be heard in the distance. Everything happened in a blur for the Russo family, but they found themselves rushing to the nearby emergency room.
Dean practically stumbled into the emergency room waiting room with Harper right behind him. They walked over to where the Russo family sat waiting anxiously. "Where is she? Is she okay? What happened?"
Theresa lifted her head from her hands to meet Dean's concerned eyes. Her own eyes were blood shot and puffy as if she had been crying. "We don't know anything yet. She just passed out."
Jerry lifted his head to glare at his daughter's boyfriend. "Would you like to explain to us why we found a pregnancy test in our garbage?"
Justin and Max both whipped their heads towards their father. Justin's eyes grew wide. "What?"
Dean was taken aback by Jerry's bitter words. He ran a hand through his hair. "I…I don't have an answer for that. We haven't…"
Jerry glanced at his wife as Dean's voice trailed off. "Are you sure?"
Dean's head pounded with confusion. His girlfriend had been acting strange for weeks, passed out, and now she had taken a pregnancy test? "Not with me. Unless she's cheating on me…"
"She's not cheating on you." Harper shook her head. "Are you sure it was hers? Was it positive?"
"It's not mine, which only leaves her and her reaction made it pretty clear. The test was unclear, but she said she wasn't." Theresa explained. She was becoming even more concerned now that neither Dean or Harper had any clue about the pregnancy test.
"This doesn't add up." Harper said. She couldn't comprehend this. She and Alex shared everything with each other and now she was finding out that Alex took a pregnancy test. How much was her friend hiding from her?
"Russo? Family for Alexandra Russo?" A woman wearing a white coat with her dark hair pulled back tightly stood in the waiting room.
Theresa and Jerry jumped up and practically ran towards the doctor. "That's our daughter."
"We're running some more tests, but your daughter is severely malnourished and dehydrated. In addition, her blood sugar and blood pressure were dangerously low. We suspect she has Anorexia Nervosa."
Theresa latched onto her husband's arm to stop herself from falling. She couldn't process the doctor's words. Anorexia? Her daughter was starving herself and she had absolutely no idea. What kind of mother was she?
"This doesn't make sense. She's always so confident." Jerry whispered.
The doctor smiled sadly. "She is awake right now and stable. We're giving her fluids. We tried to ask her some questions, but she wouldn't really talk to us. We're waiting for the tests results to come back, but we're going to have a psychiatrist evaluate her as well. She's going to have to be admitted."
Theresa closed her eyes for a moment. "Can we see her?"
"Yes. I'll take you to her."
Theresa turned to her sons, Dean, and Harper. By the look on the faces she knew they overheard the doctor. She waved her hand to follow. The six of them followed the doctor down the hall. She stopped outside the room and held her hand out towards the door. "She's in here. I'll be in shortly with the rest of the results and we'll talk further."
"Thank you." Theresa smiled. She pulled the handle and stepped inside, the others behind her. Her heart broke as her eyes landed on her daughter. "Oh mija."
Alex flashed a smile that failed to meet her eyes. "I'm fine."
"Alex, they're saying that you're starving yourself." Dean said as he walked over to her bed.
Alex forced a laugh. "What? That's crazy. I'm not starving myself."
"Alex, they said you're severely malnourished." Jerry said. He could not wrap his mind around what was happening.
"Alex." Dean interjected. "Please no more excuses. We know now so please just tell us the truth."
Alex swallowed thickly. Her eyes darted around the room as she chewed on her bottom lip. "I just…I haven't been eating as much."
"Mija, it sounds like you haven't been eating at all." Theresa frowned at her daughter. She couldn't recall that last time she had physically seen her daughter eat. Lately, Alex hadn't been home for meals or claimed she already ate. It had seen reasonable at the time, but now Theresa could see they were all lies. "When was the last time you had a meal?"
Alex took interest in her trembling hands. She couldn't meet the eyes of her family. She couldn't remember the last time she had a meal. Her diet mostly consisted of the occasional protein bar, celery, and carrots. "Um…the…I had…"
"Alex, a healthy person wouldn't have to think about that answer." Dean reached into her lap and took one of her hands in his. "You're sick."
Alex blinked back tears. She had kept her secret for so long only for it to come crumbling down. She remained silent; she had nothing else to say.
Jerry hesitated, but broke the deafening silence in the room. "Why did you take a pregnancy test?"
Alex froze. She was hoping with everything that happened that they forgot about finding the test. She was also hoping it wouldn't have been brought up in front of Dean. "Can we please not talk about this right now?"
Jerry opened his mouth to speak, but Theresa cut him off, shooting him a stern look. "Drop it for now, Jerry."
Alex was grateful for her mother. All of her secrets were coming unraveled and it was more than she could handle.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed chapter 2. We'll find out more next chapter. Review!