Authors: Nikki McWatters
Tags: #Fiction, #Psychological, #Retail, #Suspense, #Thrillers
the teenage sex scandal that rocked the world
(based on an almost true story that never got past a whisper)
‘a truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent’
Auguries of Innocence
©2013 Nikki McWatters All rights reserved
Eugenius Publishing, Sydney, Australia.
I stared at the little window, waiting.
Come on, come on
I whispered, my voice hissing, tinny, in the cramped cubicle. I was only three days late but the back of the packet said it should still work. Something started happening. Appearing. It was…it was a red cross…a plus sign… and you know what that meant? That meant I was frickin’ pregnant. Really. Like really.
‘What’s it say?’ Abigail banged on the dunny door.
‘It says shut the fuck up!’ I yelled back.
Abigail and her big mouth. I didn’t know who might be in there. Listening. I wiped up and flushed and took a long deep breath before opening the door. She was wide-eyed. Staring at me with her eyebrows arched up toward her forehead. Blonde curls spilling down over her bulging boobs.
‘Positive,’ I whispered so hard into her ear that it came out wet. The word ‘Preggers,’ ended up as spit in her ear.
Her hands went to her mouth and she bit them, her eyes growing even wider.
We walked out into the bleached sunlight to the playground and sat on the vacant bench looking out over the school oval.
‘It’s like really cheap y’know?’ she said softly. ‘There’s even something called the abortion pill if you’re under eight weeks.’
She was staring at the tiny window on the plastic test. I’d washed it. I snatched a fist around it and shoved it deep into my pocket and glared at her.
‘Just coat-hanger me right here, why don’t you? Whoa girl. I’ve got options.’
She gave a cross between a laugh and a cough and it came out as some constipated gurgle.
‘Options? Options? Like what options, Libby?’ and then she frowned, her button nose prickling up to one side. ‘You aren’t thinking…about…about keeping it?’
I shrugged. It sounded stupid when she said it out loud but what Abigail didn’t realise was that I’d already played it all out in my head. Over and over I’d rehearsed it. It was a plan. A plan that I had worked out to the letter and it had fallen into place perfectly. In a way I couldn’t believe it was all going so smoothly. This was exactly how I would master my take-over bid of Chris Bergin. I had him. In the palm of my hand. That little knot of cells in my belly was my ticket to everything I had ever dreamed of.
‘I’ll need to discuss it with Chris,’ I said casually and as I said his name I felt a rush of belly frogs leaping in my guts.
‘Chris?’ she scrunched her face up into a question.
I just lifted my brow and waited for her to catch up. Get with the program.
‘Chris? You mean ….’ Abigail looked around and lowered her voice. ‘You mean…Chris Bergin? From
Drop Dead Gorgeous
‘Yeah, well…of course, who did you think?’ I mumbled into my lap, peeling away from her eyes, not able to meet them.
was with Chris,’ she hissed under her breath. ‘And you…did you actually..you know… do the full thing with him? When? I don’t remember.’
‘Yeah,’ I said more defensively than I meant to. ‘Of course I did. I told you about it in the cab. Remember? You went to the bathroom and you were there for ages…I thought you’d fallen asleep and that’s when…we …you know…did it.’
‘When did I go to the bathroom? That was like for a minute or two?’
I stood up and glared down at her, my face warming and my heart begin to ramp up the hammer.
‘I don’t know why you’re questioning me, Abigail. You weren’t exactly in any condition to be an official documenter of the evening, hey? It’s not like I’m some total slut screwing every guy I come across. You know that. There was only him. It was Chris and it was kind of special. We had something, you know?’
She was struggling with the information, swirling it around her pretty face, eyes wide with a confusion steeped in self-indulgent defensiveness, as if Chris Bergin somehow belonged to her. Like, exclusively!
‘You had something? Libby, I was there. If anyone had something going on, it was Chris and me. I’m the one he wanted. You were just background scenery.’
‘Fuck you, Abigail. You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I fumed.
She was screwing things up, changing them, messing with them. She looked at me and then her face softened, the frown sinking away. She realised, I guess, that a baby in my belly kind of proved it. It was just pointless for her to cling to her own version of the evening. I watched her surrender to mine. It was like bending destiny.
‘Okay. I’m sorry. It’s just….’, she shook her long blonde hair and flicked it back over one shoulder. ‘It’s just that I’m like in shock. Chris Bergin? You’re sure?’
‘Well, there is no-one else. It’s not like I’m some slut whose milkshake brings all the boys to town, y’know?’ I kind of laughed. ‘I handed him my V card that night. So of course I’m sure.’
I leaned back and looked up at the pale blue sky where a cloud hung like dirty wool, threatening an afternoon trickle of rain and then back to Abbie. She was blinking rapidly, like she had something in her eye.
‘He’s married you know? With a kid and another one on ….,’ she said, putting a hand over her sticky, glossy lips, ‘…another
on the way now. And he’s like old…like nearly thirty or something.’
‘So?’ I shrugged and shut my eyes.
Of course it was no news to me that he was married. But, that was his problem, not mine. And it was going to be his wife’s problem too. Eventually.
‘So, he’s not going to be real happy to hear about this, I’m thinking,’ Abigail said, sighing like a middle-aged woman. ‘I reckon you just hoover it and never think about it again. You’re fifteen for Chrissakes. You got your whole life ahead.’
I opened my eyes lazily and squinted across at her. Abigail was leaning forward, reaching her hands out to me like she was some kind of beggar.
‘What about school? What about all your dreams of being a famous actress? You’d be throwing all that away,’ she whined.
‘Not necessarily,’ I came back. ‘Even if Chris doesn’t want to stand by me and do the right thing, he’ll have to pay child maintenance and he’s like stinking rich so I’ll be set and then I’ll be a young, cool mum and I can still study. Your body bounces back better when you’re younger. I heard my mother say so.’
Of course my mother had never said anything of the sort. Well, not really. She had me when she was over thirty and she often complained that her body had never been the same since. By reverse reasoning, I concluded that she wished she’d had me younger, if at all, so that it might have been easier on her bod. I was constantly reminded of the depth of sacrifice that woman had stooped to, all for me. Her only daughter. I’d dented not only her bones, her skin and her patience, but also apparently her career and possibly her happiness with life in general.
‘You want to push a huge big baby out of your clacker? Seriously?’ Abigail looked like she was going to puke. ‘It’s all bloody and gross and you’ll be all loose and saggy. Why would you do that any sooner than you have to and you’ll like never get another boyfriend? Only someone real desperate or a perve.’
‘Not true. I’d be a total MILF,’ I grinned.
‘Your parents will kill you. Like, literally kill you and old Madame Spencer will expel you and then who the hell will I hang out with at school?’ she was really pleading now.
‘My parents won’t kill me because my father is an English Literature Professor and Professors don’t kill people. My mother is a mental patient masquerading as a publisher. They’ll be pissed off for sure..,’ I gave a conniving smile, ‘…but that’s part of the appeal. They can’t force me to have an abortion you know? I looked into it. It will totally freak them out and all their friends will be….horrified,’ I said, rolling my eyes and over-enunciating the word. ‘They’ll be shunned, cast out of the country club set, shamed, humiliated…oh my God, I love it.’
‘My Mum probably won’t let me hang out with you anymore,’ Abigail said looking suddenly spooked.
‘Well that would be ironic since you
the biggest slut in the school,’ I said, sitting back down next to her.
‘Shut-up. I am not,’ she giggled back.
‘Am not. Portia Gillespie is a bigger slut than me.’
I looked at Abigail and she looked at me.
‘True. You called that,’ I said and we leaned back against the wooden slats of the bench and laughed out loud, being accompanied by the harmonic cackle of a Kookaburra from the Gum tree behind us.
I could see the lame boys from the experimental theatre group hanging around down the back of the canteen. They all wore their hair long and looked completely anaemic as if being in some abstract form of whacko acting drained them of red blood cells or something. Beekman House was a performing arts school. Probably the best and most expensive in the whole country. My forte was musical theatre and I’d been the lead in
earlier this year. I totally rocked it. I played Velma to Abigail’s Roxy Hart. And we were the All that Jazz gals. Hot Patootie.
Chester looked up and over to us and waved. I ignored him. He’s such a pest. Just because our folks are friends, there’s some automatic assumption that we have to be buddies. He’s like one of those droopy dogs….a floppy-eared, morose looking dog. A bit pathetic. And he totally had a thing for me. He was a senior and the Vice-School Captain. I knew I’d have to watch out for Chester. I wasn’t entirely sure how he was going to take this news of mine.
But, hell, it was only early days then, y’know? I’d only just peed on the damn preggers stick. I still had a couple of weeks up my sleeve if I did decide to hoover it or take those flushing pills. The idea of a tiny baby boy or girl was pretty weird. A little me. I’ve always liked the name Brittany for a girl or Franklin for a boy. But, yeah. It was only early days but I had a pretty strong feeling that some shit was really going to hit the fan. And I was so right about that.
‘So how are you going to find out where to see Chris?’ Abigail asked. ‘That night was their last night of the tour so it’s not like we can just rock up again to the back-stage door again.’
‘He lives in the Blue Mountains somewhere in some country mansion, apparently,’ I said casually, not letting on that I’d already done quite a bit of homework on Chris.
‘Well, that narrows it down somewhat,’ Abigail nodded. ‘But he’s not going to be listed. His address or anything. Maybe we can stalk him on Face-book. What’s his wife’s name? I think it’s Michelle or something starting with M. Isn’t she a writer? She wrote that book series…it was…’
‘Megan,’ I smiled, interrupting her. Sometimes she was such a Clatterfart. ‘Megan Bergin also known as Megan Perkins. And yes, she wrote those books and yes….she’ll be easier to track down.’
Abigail of course had read my mind. We were totally in tune like that. I’d already figured that the best way to get to Chris was through that bitch he was married to. I’d seen photos and she was mega-plain. And chunky. She was
not him. He could do much better. Much, much better. And I just needed to convince him of that.
Chris Bergin had probably never given me another thought after that night. I was just some random girl who’d partied with the guy. But you can’t just play with people. Just fuck with random people and not expect your actions to sink into some deep crevasses to fester. Chris Bergin had no doubt forgotten me as soon as I was out of sight, but he would remember me forever soon enough and so would his wife. Megan Perkins. Megan Bergin. The writer. The enemy.
‘Just don’t tell her I told you,’ I whispered to Lola.
She was completely freaked out. I could tell because her usually pale skin had gone an even whiter shade of pale. Chalky, like dead bones.
‘When did she find out?’ she asked me, eager for more details.
I checked about to make sure no-one was listening but the closest kids were metres away and absorbed in their own bullshit.
‘Last week,’ I whispered hard. ‘I saw the thing…the pregnancy test… and it was definitely positive and she reckons she’s going to have it. Can you believe that? Libby? A mum?’
‘That’s mental,’ Lola said shaking her head. She looked up sharply at me and narrowed her eyes. ‘Who’s the father? Is it someone from school?’