Chapter 15: School Again
The alarm on Kauri’s watch began to beep and she awoke. She threw back the cover and rolled over, landing on a stone in her side. She sat up, rubbing her side from the previous sudden, sharp pain. She looked at her watch again, discovering that it was Monday. She didn’t want to go, figuring people would go up to her and ask about the baby.
She got up and looked through her clothing choices. She grabbed a shirt that wasn’t extremely tight, hoping no one would notice she had put on a little weight over the past month. She put her hair up, pulling the bans back over her head, causing a small bump to form in the front.
Kauri looked through her food, wondering what she should have. For some reason, an idea to make something popped into her head. The idea sounded like it normally would taste disgusting, but for some odd reason, it almost sounded like it would taste good. She pulled out a single Pringle and laid it on her lap. She placed a small piece of chocolate, a dried apricot, and a single olive on top of the Pringle. She topped her small stack of miscellaneous foods with another Pringle and took a bite out of it as if it were a sandwich. “MMM!” escaped her lips as she took the last bite of her strange breakfast. She washed down the salty snack with a small sip of her Gatorade, and she continued to get ready for school.
She brushed her teeth, trying to get the odd stench off her teeth. She did her makeup, trying not to jump every time she heard a squirrel scamper by her tent or a bird singing very loudly. She pulled out her cell phone to not only discover that it was 7:12, but also to discover that Tanya hadn’t called her back yet. She walked out to Cameron’s car that was awaiting her on the side of the road. She opened the door, got in, and started her journey to the only place she feared at this point. She feared what people would say or think. She feared how people would treat her. But above all, she feared what her friends would do or say.
Kauri took her first step into the school. Whenever she walked past somebody, they would immediately turn their head and begin to whisper to the person beside them. It almost seamed like everyone’s reflex of the day. The first to actually approach her about it was Hanna.
“Hey, Kauri. Everyone keeps saying your prego. Is it true?”
“Did they say I was raped?”
“No,” Hanna answered, wondering why that would affect the answer to her question.
“God damn it…” Kauri muttered to herself, upset that her plan didn’t work. “Well, if anyone tells you I’m pregnant, make sure they know I was raped. It was nothing more than that, ok?”
“Ok,” Hanna answered. “I wonder why that’s not already going around.”
“I don’t know. Maybe someone enjoys making me look like a total slut.” Kauri walked around, looking for Carrie, demanding an explanation.
“Hey Kauri,” Kauri heard come from Carrie’s mouth beside her.
Kauri turned to look her in the eyes. “Why does no one know that I was raped? They only know I’m pregnant, so now they think I’m a slut!”
“I don’t know. I only told Natalie, and I was sure to fill her in on that little fact. She must’ve been telling everyone. She does know a lot of people, you know.”
To Kauri, that explained everything. Natalie was a popular attention hog that hated Kauri because she felt like she had to compete with Kauri for Carrie’s attention, although Kauri couldn’t care less who Carrie paid more attention to. “Why did you tell Natalie!?!?” Kauri panicked. “You know we’ve never really gotten along!”
“Yea, I know, but you encouraged me to tell people, and other that Cameron, she was the only one I talked to yesterday.”
“Well, now you’re going to either help me clean this up, or do it yourself. I don’t want it going around that I’m loose, because I’m not!”
“Take a deep breath, Kauri. I’m sure this will be just fine. Who cares what other people think? If they know you, they’ll wonder and ask you about it just to make sure it’s not a rumor,” Carrie tried to get Kauri to relax, placing her hand on Kauri’s shoulder.
Kauri deeply breathed in and slowly let it all out. She didn’t understand how she could relax when this wasn’t her only problem. It was September, which meant winter was approaching quickly. She knew she would have to work something out before she froze to death, but that was beside the point at the moment.
Kauri stumbled to her homeroom, Mrs.Carolain. She sat in her desk, thinking for the entire 10 minutes before the announcements came on. She had so much on her mind; she couldn’t decide what was more important. If some of her friends found out about her being pregnant and they told their parents, she would never be allowed over ever again. She had to worry about the upcoming winter months, getting her homework done, saving her food, and she was going to try to get a job. Her only problem was that she would have to walk everywhere, and many places don’t employ people until they’re 16. She needed a job before 6 months had passed, and she needed that job fast. She also realized that since she got pregnant in August, she was going to be due in May, which meant she had to go he entire school year pregnant. As announcements come on, she suddenly thought of one place she could work. It would be quite easy for her to get hired, too. A small smile went across her face when she thought about the great chance of her getting hired.
When band came around, she had to tell her director she was pregnant and couldn’t march any longer. She approached Mr.Lase in his office, ready to give him her news.
“Mr.Lase,” Kauri began. “I just found out I’m pregnant.”
“So, you can’t march anymore?”
“Yea,” Kauri said, looking at the ground. She felt bad that this was her excuse to not marching. She was afraid it would hurt her grade, but she stated thing about that and thought he can’t really do that, can he?
“Ok. Now you have no reason not to memorize the music. That’s all you have to do,” he joked, looking at Kauri with a little smile.
As she walked out to the field, she sat on the bench with Nick who had recently had a surgery, and Carmen, whose baby was due in three months. Kauri began to feel out of place, less deserving to sit on the bench than the others, but more deserving than the people who had absolutely nothing wrong with them. She didn’t know whether she should be sitting there, but she was. All there was to do now was play music when the others were, and watch when they weren’t.
“You’re Kauri, right?” Kauri turned around to find Nick had asked the question.
“Yea,” she answered, feeling awkward since she had never talked to him before.
“I’m Nick and that’s Carmen.”
“Hey!” Carmen chimed in, giving a small welcoming wave. “So, why are you here, anyways. I haven’t heard anything.”
“Well, over the summer, I was raped, and now I’m pregnant.”
“Oh. You do know why both of us are here, right?” Nick asked to make sure.
“Well, of course you know why I’m here! It’s a little obvious, don’t you think?” Carmen joked. “But, do you know why Nick is here?”
“He had a knee surgery, right?” Kauri asked, although she knew the answer.
“Yea, I tore my meniscus,” Nick explained.
“Ouch. Isn’t that really serious?”
“Yea, if you don’t get it fixed. It hurts, too.”
The three continued to talk between the times they played their instruments; Kauri with the clarinet, Nick with the trombone, and Carmen with the piccolo. Before they had to go, Kauri had just one question for Carmen she had been wondering about.
“Carmen, can you feel the baby kick when it gets bigger?”
“Yea, it’s kind of annoying, too. If I had to sit for several hours taking a test, I would freak. She makes it a little hard to concentrate sometimes when I’m not moving, and sometimes when she kicks real hard, it hurts a little,” Carmen informed Kauri, ‘she’ referring to her child since she was expecting a girl.
As everyone returned to the inside of the school, she noticed that most people were talking about why “the bench” had received a new member: her. She almost felt embarrassed that everyone was talking about her being pregnant, especially since it really wasn’t her fault.
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