Marrying the Wrong Twin

By: Nicole Casey

Mom scoffed and folded her arms under the tailored blouse, her face contorted in disdain.

“What did you think was going to happen, Asha? Did you think you were going to carry on as usual until a baby popped out?”

“Collette,” my dad said warningly but Mom was incensed, growing more so with each passing second.

“Who is the father?” Dad asked, regaining a slight bit of color in his face and I could see the wheels in his head turning.

He’s thinking about how this can be spun to the company’s benefit, I realized with horror but I couldn’t say why I was shocked. I expected nothing less from my family.

“Don’t get excited, James. It’s some son of a Russian immigrant. He’s only a scholarship student at Villanova.”

I bristled.

“Dmitri Karov is a good guy!” I protested even though it wasn’t true. He hadn’t returned a single text since I’d told him about the baby and he’d gone out of his way to avoid me but I couldn’t give my parents the benefit of knowing that I’d not only gotten myself knocked up, I’d done it by the wrong guy.

“Jesus Christ, Asha!” My dad boomed. “What were you thinking?”

The reality seemed to have struck him as fully as it had me and just as suddenly.

“She obviously wasn’t,” Mom commented with bitter dryness. “But what’s done is done, isn’t it?”

I exhaled cautiously. Yes, of course they were mad. That was to be expected but they were my parents and they would come through for me. That’s what parents did.

They exchanged a long look and seemed to be communicating without speaking, something they did a lot.

After a painfully long silence, Dad nodded.

“Pinehaven,” he said and Mom sighed.

“There’s no choice,” she agreed as I continued to look at them in confusion.

“What’s Pinehaven?” I demanded when nothing else came by the way of an explanation. Instinctively, my hands went to my belly protectively as I waited for an answer.

“It’s a school where you’ll finish out your junior year,” Dad told me but he didn’t meet my eyes. A pang of worry touched my gut and I felt my palms go damp.

“I-I have to leave Villanova?” I squeaked.

“Until the baby is born,” Mom said crisply. “We’ll tell everyone you went abroad for the winter. You can start again in September.”

I didn’t know what to say but I was far too naïve to understand what was going on yet.

“W-why can’t I just stay then?” I managed to ask. “What difference does it make?”

My parents looked at each other again, an identical line firming their mouths and for a second, I didn’t think they were going to answer me.

“Mom?” I insisted. “Why do I have to go to another school?”

“Because no one can know you’re pregnant, Ash.” It was my dad who answered. “Have you told anyone else about this?”

My mouth parted but no words came out.

Uh, they’re going to know when I come back with a baby, I thought but then it hit me; I wasn’t coming back with a baby.

“Asha, did you tell any of your friends?” Mom snapped and I shook my head miserably, tears filling my eyes. Of course I hadn’t breathed a word of it to anyone. Villanova Prep was filled with pretentious types not unlike my parents. They were the same upper-class snobs I’d been with since preschool and I knew they would take this piece of gossip and run.

And that was exactly what my family was afraid of.

“Are you sure? Does the father know?”

I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded.

“I told him,” I muttered. “But he’s not taking my calls.”

“Of course he isn’t,” Mom quipped sarcastically. “He doesn’t have any money to support a child.”

“That’s good,” Dad said quickly and I was aghast.

Good? How could any of this be good?

“He’ll be silenced with money,” Mom conceded and I was beginning to feel sick to my stomach.

“No!” I finally managed to choke out. “No! I don’t want to give up this baby!”

“You’re too far along for any other recourse,” Mom reminded me as if termination was what was on my mind.

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