1999

"How well do you know that 'Tom'?" she asked between sobs.

"I've known him for eight years, I trust him with my life," Margie was annoyed at her question.

Jenny went on to explain that she had woken up naked and demanded to know how she got that way. Margie explained that when she and Tom dropped her off, Jenny invited them in, and she proceeded to take her clothes off - but only down to her underwear. She explained that nothing happened and that she and Tom left shortly thereafter.

Jenny didn't believe her, citing that she felt they had drugged her and they were both probably in on it.

Margie couldn't hear anymore after that, and hung up to call Tom.

"You need to tell me Tom, when we had sex last night, you did use a condom, didn't you?"

"What?"

"Condom…sex? You did use a condom, yes, because it would be really, really bad if you didn't. Not a good time of the month to go without a raincoat."

"Yes, Yeah, we did…don't worry. You don't have to worry."

"But I do worry, Tom. Jenny called me up and was all upset about last night. Of course, she's not going to move in now. I don't know what I'm going to do about next months rent."

"Don’t worry, I can loan you some money," Tom said.

But she did worry, she didn't want to be dependent upon a man that didn't love her, or that she didn't love. It went against every screaming fiber of her being.

Weeks later, Margie and Emma would run into Jenny and her daughter at a local dance studio. They both pretended not to notice each other, but Margie did see that she was back together with her husband.

It was another three weeks before Margie realized she hadn't had her period in two months. The last time she had sex was mid-June, and it was nearly the end of August. Strangely, she’d  had no symptoms, other than being more tired than usual – and she just chalked that up to working so much.

Callum was in San Diego, staying with his father for the Summer, and Emma was at her father’s house when Margie brought home the pregnancy test. It turned Positive.

Margie couldn’t move after seeing the results. And when she did finally release her grip from the testing stick, it was only to roll up into a ball upon the couch. Her thoughts tracking every moment with Tom since she’d returned from Oregon. The discussions about her sexlife, past abortions and several ethics discussions. How he would mention things right before she’d nod off to sleep, or while he thought she was sleeping. And that night, the one he “pre-scheduled,” which was odd itself, ending up right in the middle of her ovulation period. It seemed he knew her cycle better than she did. She hadn’t taken contraceptives since she’d gotten pregnant with Callum. And the fresh glasses of wine at the restaurant when she and Jenny came back from the bathroom…to get them drunker…or…what? Margie shuddered to think. And those pills!

Margie got online and searched “blue pills,” spotting “Viagra” which was all the rage that year. 

So he lied. He lied all along. No one would believe her, of course. Especially the friends they had together. And her family knew about Margie wanting a commitment from him for years before she married someone else.

It was a devastation she couldn’t pull out of for days, even weeks. She set up camp in her basement, watching old movies over and over. Eating popcorn all day long and drinking every drop of liquor in the house.

She didn’t go to work. She didn't answer phone calls either, but did call Ben to ask him to keep Emma for a couple weeks so she could sort out some personal things. 

She was calm, cool, collected – until she was on the phone with Callum’s father, then the tears would not be stopped.

“Margie. Listen. Just talk to me when you can, okay? Whatever it is we’ll figure it out,” Michael waited on the other side while she cried, one moment quietly, one moment not so quiet, until she was able to speak.

“I can’t…I can’t do this anymore, Michael. I need you to keep Callum for a while.”

He made her promise that if he kept Callum there, he would need to stay through to high school graduation. In desperation, she agreed.

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