Jamie and I had a mutual agreement when we were younger. Our parents were real good friends. Once and a while we would go out on little dates, nothing big; a slice, movies, a party, a kiss goodnight, and that was it. After a while it was more like a weekly thing instead of monthly. Then, all at once, it stopped. I didn’t see Jamie in school, in class, anywhere. I heard he stopped going to the bunny bashes and switched his classes. When I called his house he was never there. Once, his parents even told me he told them he was with me. That broke it all. I found myself outside of his house one night, blood boiling in my eyes and hands ready to strangle anyone. He came running up the stairs hand in hand with a girl named Jessica, also known as the school slut. He swore up and down she was changed, but I could see in her eyes she was just using him.
I sat across from him in the shuttle back to the Challenger. I looked deep into space. Everything was coming to me, all types of feelings; hate, remorse, thankfulness, fear, all at once. I wanted to scream, but not in front of him.
“Discovery,” Jamie whispered quickly.
“Yeah?” I forced a smile.
“Is everything alright?” he whispered. “There’s something about you…something off. It’s probably the lighting, but are you glowing.”
This time I really did scream. I slapped him, standing up tall. “Shut up, you idiot!” I screamed. “Never, ever mention anything like that around me! Why don’t you go back to your precious rose and have freakin’ children like the rest of the stupid station and leave me the hell alone?!” I breathed heavily. “On the other hand, why not call up the little slut bag now? You know, after you left, she actually started saying you were ******** dead just to get a little bit of sympathy? She’s slept with more guys than I have fingers and toes and guess what; a week before the invasion she came to me requesting a pregnancy test.”
“What,” Jamie whispered. “She’s pregnant?”
“No,” I shouted. “She’s not, in fact. I don’t think she will be anytime soon! She’s on the pill and besides that she has an STD!”
Jamie froze. I couldn’t control what came out of my mouth. I was just so angry I kept going.
“Did I say she has one? Oh, no, she has so many I can’t remember! She even has AIDES! Is that the kind of woman you want raising your children; a woman who can’t stay faithful to her husband?” I shouted. I told you about her; warned you about how she doesn’t stay in a relationship for s**t! And what did you do; go marry the school slut-”
Jamie was up, hands out to the side as a loud and painful sting encased my cheek. He was angry, way beyond angry. Tears were running down his face. We stood in silence for a while before he gave a small growl.
“Don’t you ever,” he growled, “ever challenge my marriage like that, Discovery. I know I hurt you, I know I wasn’t there to see what that man did to you or save you from him, but I am sorry about that, just don’t take your anger out on me. Like you said, Join the resistance. If you want revenge on that man you’ll get it there, but otherwise don’t yell at me for anything other than what I did wrong at this moment.”
He was the one breathing heavily now. His eyes were firm, a fist formed in his other hand. He wrapped his arms tightly around me. We stood there for a moment, him crying because of his wife, and me crying because he was such an idiot. I enjoyed the hug while it lasted, but then a sudden pain coiled around my chest and I shoved him back quickly, wrapping my arms around my chest.
“Whoa,” Jamie tried to regain his posture. “What did I do?”
“N-nothing,” I lied quickly. “Just growing pains, I’m fine.”
“Alright,” Jamie said slowly.
I sighed. The throb was in my breast, coiling up into a large lump of stinging pain. I bit my lip until it bled.
“Disco,” Jamie grabbed my shoulders. “Are you alright?”
“Tell Middnight to call Narrow,” I whispered breathlessly. “I can’t-” My body shivered and I fell out.
The first thing I remember when I woke up was a vision of Boomer leaning over me. I jolted up. Narrow was at my bedside. He smiled widely.
“Well, Discovery, you gave us quiet a scare,” he said. “You’re lucky your friend Jamie knew CPR or else it might have not turned out so good.”
“Is that why my chest hurts?” I asked.
Narrow laughed, but then turned serious. “What caused you to stop breathing was a jolt to the lung tissue that we’re still looking into. Don’t worry, the baby’s fine. But…uh…someone was really eager to talk to you about that matter. I’ll leave you two alone.”
I knew it was coming. I could already feel Jamie was in the room and his anger was high. He rushed to my bedside as Narrow left.
“Pregnant?” he spat. “Pregnant? After all that you said about Jessica, you’re pregnant? You’re not even married. Now who’s the slut in this situation? At least she knows how to take the pill and use protection. At least she has the decency to know not to get pregnant and be married if she did. So how does your father feel about this one, Discovery?! How does the general feel to know his daughter is a hypocritical slut who-”
I knew it was coming and I sat there. I didn’t want to tell him about Boomer, nor did I want to ruin his revenge speech. I knew at any moment it would click in his mind that something was wrong about everything he was saying. But as I stared into his eyes, I found he was too blind with rage to know what he was thinking.
“Jamie,” I whispered when he paused to take a breath. “I joined the resistance because of this. I didn’t get pregnant by sleeping with anyone, nor has the thought of getting pregnant ever crossed my mind. It was his fault. He did this to me. I didn’t know….I had no clue…but I didn’t sleep with anyone.”
“What?” Jamie hissed. “Who’s he? What are you talking about? Discovery, why didn’t you-” he stopped. I could see his eyes becoming wide with wisdom. I turned away. “Oh, s**t. You mean that man on the station…but how?”
“I’d rather not go into detail,” I whispered.
“Disco,” Jamie hugged me again. I pushed him back, my chest still felt tender. “Oh, sorry. I-I’m really sorry. I didn’t know. I was just acting out of rage. If I had known, I wouldn’t have called you a slut or anything like that.”
“Just shut up,” I gave a weak laugh. “Jamie, the way you ramble is priceless. I hope you’re still like that when in the Resistance. It’ll remind me home. Please, be my friend again.”
I dreamed of the bear. It was holding me tightly and I felt the chest pain again. I was crying, trying to push him away but he was ignorant about my pain. When I gave up, he smiled, looking down at me. “Now that wasn’t so hard,” he whispered. But now I was in even more pain as I watched him walk away. I felt empty, dead inside. But there was a voice in my ear coaxing me that everything was going to be fine. And then I fell into a river of comfort.
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