Seventeen-year-old Sookie Stackhouse looked in horror at the pregnancy test she held in her hand. She set it on the counter with the other four she had taken. At this point she figured five positives only meant one thing. She was pregnant. Tears rolled down her face as she sank to the edge of the bathtub. She buried her face into her hands and sobbed silently.
A knock on the bathroom door startled her and she jumped up. “Sunshine, dinner’s ready. We’re waiting for you.”
She swallowed and steadied her voice. “I’m comin’, Daddy! Be right down.” She quickly gathered the tests and stuffed them under her shirt and waited until she heard his footsteps go down the stairs. Rushing into her bedroom she stuffed them into her backpack, straightened her shoulders, took a deep breath and washed up for dinner.
Her Mama was serving the salad when she took her seat across from her brother Jason. He gave her the side-eye wondering why she would be holding up the 3rd most important meal of the day for him. “Why are ya such a slow poke today, Sook?” He grumbled.
“Sorry to keep you guys waiting,” She forced a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
Corbett, her Daddy, took her hand and said, “Let’s say grace.” Hands were clasped around the table and while her Daddy thanked the Lord for the food that her Mama Michelle prepared, she prayed with all of her might that maybe, just maybe she wasn’t pregnant.
“How was your day, Sunshine?” Corbett asked before he dug into his pork chops.
“It was just fine, Daddy, thank you. How was yours?” She adored her Daddy. She was his little girl and she could do no wrong in his eyes. The idea of telling him her secret made her sick. She knew he would never look at her the same way again.
“It was good. Hot out there today, wasn’t it?” He nodded and took a sip of his sweet tea. “Jason how was practice?”
“Great, Dad!” Jason replied with a huge grin. “I really think we stand a chance at the championship against Shreveport. Y’all are going to be at the game, right?”
Michelle patted Jason on the arm and smiled proudly. “Of course we will, Jase. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Dinner finished in peaceful silence and Sookie was relieved no one noticed her quiet mood. She helped clear the table and wash the dishes. They lived in an old farmhouse that was in the family for generations and the kitchen did not have a dishwasher.
“What time is Alcide picking you up tonight, sweetie?” Her mom asked as she dried the last plate to put away.
“In about a half hour, Mama. I really should get ready, is it okay if I go?” Sookie wasn’t very close with her mother. Michelle was a bit jealous of Corbett’s affection towards their only girl.
“Sure, go ahead.”
Sookie raced up the stairs and changed into a denim mini-skirt and a cute white halter-top that showed off her tan. She shoved her feet into a comfy pair of wedges and touched up her make-up. It was too humid to do much with her hair, so she pulled it up into a messy bun.
Pushing back the fear that was tingling through her, she clunked down the steps to say goodnight to her Daddy, who was in the easy chair watching the news.
“I’m leaving in a bit, Daddy,” she said and kissed him on the forehead.
Her Dad sighed and tugged at her hand. “You know I don’t care for that guy, all that much, Sunshine. I don’t think he’s good for you.”
She sat down on the arm of the easy chair and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. “I know, Daddy. He’s real good to me and I really love him.”
“I know you do, Sook. I just think you could do a lot better than him.” Corbett shook his head. “I’ve always figured you would wind up with that tall kid someday.”
Sookie couldn’t help but giggle. Her parents loved Eric Northman something fierce. “I know, Daddy. I know. He’s my best friend. I just don’t see him like that.”
Corbett grumbled something about not seeing something that was right in front of her face just as Alcide pulled into the driveway in his souped old hot rod.
“Bye, Daddy,” she kissed him on the head. “I won’t be late.”
“You better not, my shotgun is loaded and sitting right by the door.” He threatened with a half smile, although she knew he would probably love to scare Alcide off with it.
She and Alcide started dating in January of her junior year and had been together almost six months. That was a pretty big deal in high school. Alcide was a senior like her brother Jason, but his sport was football. He had a full ride to U of L and would be leaving in July for training. Before this big mess she had been heartbroken over the idea of him leaving her. Now she was even more worried about the idea of possibly raising a baby alone.
He honked the horn right as she went out the front door. She jumped in the car with him and they roared off down the dirt road. He was blasting classic rock, which she normally liked, but she really did need to talk to him so she lowered the volume a bit.
“Where are we heading tonight?” She asked meekly. He looked really nice, his dark hair was still damp from his shower and so curly and soft she wanted to run her hands through it. He flashed her a smile and his green eyes sparkled.
“I thought maybe we might go park down by the lake,” he winked at her and took a hold of her hand.
Alcide was the first boy she had went all the way with and it took her a while to give in. They had only been having sex for about two months, but boy did they seem to have a lot of it! Not that she minded too much, because it felt pretty nice and Alcide told her he loved her every time they were intimate. Sometimes she just wished they could spend time with their friends.
“I don’t really want to go out to the lake tonight, Al,” she said softly. “I would really like to talk for awhile. I have something kind of important to tell you.”
He frowned and let go over her hand, placing both hands on the steering wheel. “We have plenty of time for talking later. Come on, Sook, let’s go to the lake.”
She sighed and shook her head. “No, Alcide, I really don’t feel like it tonight.”
“Damn, what’s got you in such a mood?” His voice had lost the teasing lilt.
“Well, like I said, there is something important I need to tell you.” She gripped her hands tightly in her lap, steeling her nerves. Surely he would be upset when she told him, but he would stand by her, right?
“Fine. Let’s head on over to Merlotte’s and hang out with the gang. We can talk later.” He turned the radio back up so there was not point in her trying to talk to him any longer.
When she first met Alcide she was swept off her feet by all of the attention. He was tall, handsome and had a really nice body. He usually only dated cheerleaders but for some reason on that cold, rainy day in January he took notice of her in the hallway. She didn’t think she looked extra nice that day; she was dressed as she normally did, but apparently something caught his eye. He came up to her and asked if he could call her sometime and that was how it all began.
Alcide pulled into Merlotte’s and the parking lot was full of cars belonging to students from Bon Temps High. He got out of the car and made his way for the door before she was even out of her seatbelt. It smarted a bit, but she reasoned he was probably a little mad she didn’t want to go have sex. It seemed to be about all they did these days.
Sookie pushed open the door and scanned the room. Alcide was all ready at the pool table talking with Hoyt, Bill and JB. Her brother was shooting and it looked like they had a serious game going on.
Tara, Amelia, Eric and Tray were seated together in a booth, sharing a big basket of fries so she made her way over to them.
“Hey, guys!” She smiled, trying to sound cheerful even though her head was spinning.
“Heya, Sook!” Tara grinned and gave her best friend a hug.
Eric stood up and wrapped her in his long arms. “I don’t feel like I see you very much anymore,” he said quietly in her ear.
She felt terrible. “I know I am going to get better about that, I promise.” She responded just as softly.
Tara slid back in, followed by Eric so Sookie could sit next to him. Amelia and Tray were snuggled together, being the cute couple they were since 7th grade. It was enough to make a person puke.
“So how are things going with Alcide, Sook?” Amelia asked dipping a fry in some ranch.
Sookie shrugged. “Things are going pretty good. Not looking forward to him going away in the fall.” Or telling him I am pregnant, she thought to herself.
“You going to try and do the long distance thing?” Tara leaned around Eric with her eyebrow quirked. She was known for being practical.
“We’re sure gonna try!” Sookie plastered that smile back on her face and stole a sip of Eric’s sweet tea. He always shared with her; she didn’t even need to ask. She wondered how her friends were going to take the news.
“You are, huh?” Tray looked a bit surprised.
“What’s that supposed to mean, Dawson?” Eric was quick to pick up on the tone of Tray’s voice.
Tray shook his head. “Nothing, man.” Tray and Alcide were pretty good friends, they had known one another since Pee Wee football.
“Tray!” Amelia scolded, elbowing him in the ribs. “What do you know?”
“It’s not a big deal,” he insisted, trying to stuff a mouthful of fries in but Amelia caught his hand.
“Tray Dawson if you don’t tell us what you know right now, I am going to cut you off.” She barked. “Cut. You. Off. As in no sex, no nothing until the end of the summer.”
Tray paled and dropped the fries. “Well, I did overhear him in the showers yesterday after PE. He said something…about…”
“Spit it out, Tray,” Eric leaned forward, while grasping Sookie’s suddenly icy hand under the table.
Her stomach turned and she got that feeling. You know the feeling you get before something really bad is gonna happen? It was that sort of feeling.
“He said he couldn’t wait to try all the fresh pussy in college.” Tray mumbled out really quickly.
Sookie’s heart dropped and immediately her eyes filled with tears.
“That no good rat bastard!” Tara hollered, thankfully the jukebox was so loud that it wasn’t heard passed their group.
“He really said that?” Sookie looked Tray dead in the eyes, and he did not look away from her as he nodded.
“Sook, move over. I am going to have a word with that fucker,” Eric growled, trying to scooch her out of the booth. Eric might not be as built as Alcide, but he had several inches on him and he was long, lean and very strong. He used to bench press her when they were bored.
“No.” She shook her head. For a moment she felt like she was going to be sick. She took a deep breath and stood up, smoothing down her skirt. She straightened her top and marched over to wear Alcide stood with the rest of the guys.
“Hey, sugar,” he smiled at her, wrapping his arm around her waist and copping a feel of her butt in the process. She could smell beer on his breath and she wondered who had snuck him some.
“I need to talk to you. Now.” She responded, looking into his face.
His smile faded and his face hardened. “Not now, Sook, I have money riding on this game.”
“Alcide, so help me if you don’t come talk to me right now!” Her voice rose and she swatted his arm off her.
“Okay! Okay! Damn, woman! Why do you have to be such a nag?” He set down his drink and followed her to a booth.
His comments smarted. She didn’t nag him. In fact, she pretty much went along with anything he wanted. They watched the movies he liked, ate the food he preferred, and hung out with his friends and their snotty girlfriends who weren’t very nice to her.
She took a seat and he followed suit, sliding in across from her.
“Now what’s your problem?” He asked, resting his hands on the table.
“Are you planning on breaking up with me before you go to college?” She asked, barely above a whisper. Tears were welling up in her eyes again, but she knew he would get mad at her if she cried.
“What? Are you crazy, Sookie?” He was pissed off, and she was pretty sure he was also lying.
“Well how do you plan to have all that fresh pussy if you have a girlfriend back home?” She looked him dead in the eyes and watched as he quickly looked away. “Or were you plannin’ on having both?”
“Oh come on, Sook,” he groaned leaning back against the seat. “It’s college, that’s what it’s all about.”
Sookie felt like the rug was being yanked out from underneath her. “Alcide, I’m pregnant.”
He laughed. “Be serious, Sookie. That’s the oldest trick in the book. If I had a dime for every time I heard that…” His voice trailed off as he saw the tears in her eyes.
“I am serious, Alcide. I took five tests this afternoon. They were all positive.” She whispered, unable to stop the tears from flowing.
“Who’s is it? Sure as hell ain’t mine! We always used a condom!” He growled and leaned forward, pounding his hand on the table.
“Of course it’s yours, Alcide! You are the only boy I have ever been with, you know that!” She cried, her sobs making her words hard to understand. “And you know there were plenty of times you talked me into not using a condom.”
“Stop your blubbering, Sookie. You look stupid when you cry.” He looked at her with such loathing her heart burst into pieces. “Don’t blame this shit on me, it’s your problem.”
“Alcide! You said you loved me!” She whimpered as she tried to control herself. “This is our baby!”
“That’s where you’re wrong, sugar. This sure as fuck ain’t my problem and neither are you. You were just a way to kill the time before I went away to college. We could have had a couple good months left and then you had to go and ruin it.” He stood up with such force he moved the table and she could see Eric straining his neck to see what was going on. “I’m done with you, Stackhouse. Who knows who else you let under your skirt. You were easy enough for me to get, no telling what else you’ve been doing.”
He walked away from her and she heard the door to Merlotte’s slam behind him.
She sat there in stunned silence before she let her head drop into onto the table and she buried her face in her arms and just cried.