Eric was sitting in a chair at the head of the table, as pale as a ghost.
“Are you okay?” She asked, pulling her tank top over her head.
He nodded slowly. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay. I just can’t believe we’re sitting here.”
She slipped the gown on and went to stand in front of him so he could tie up the back for her. “You and me both.” She responded grimly. She turned to face him and slipped off the rest of her clothes from under the gown, keeping herself covered.
Hopping up onto the table the paper crinkled under her. She laid down and waited. Wondering if Jacki would know what happened in the past by examining her, she exhaled slowly and said a prayer that she wouldn’t.
“What’s a pelvic?” Eric asked, his voice a little shaky.
“I actually haven’t had one before.” She admitted, a little unsure herself, her eyes still teary. “But I know it’s where they check inside you.”
His mouth dropped open. “Inside inside? Like up there?”
Sookie nodded, trying to smile a little to ease their tension. “Yup.”
“Shit.” He swallowed loudly as there was a knock at the door.
“Are we ready?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Sookie called and Jackie let herself in.
Eric and Sookie watched as Jackie wheeled a little tray over to the foot of the exam table and then uncovered it. Resting on top were some instruments that neither of them had seen before. She slipped on some gloves and sat down on the stool.
“Now Sookie, have you ever had a pelvic exam before?”
Sookie shook her head. “I’m a little scared.”
Jacki patted her leg reassuringly. “It’s okay to be scared, but it’s really nothing to be scared of. They don’t really hurt, mostly they are just a little uncomfortable. What we are going to do today is do an STI screening, a regular check up and check for changes that would indicate you are pregnant. When we are done, I will get the results from the urine test.”
“Now, Sookie, what I need you to do is slide your bottom all the way down to the very edge of this table and rest your feet in these stirrups.” Jackie pulled the stirrups out to the right position.
Sookie placed her feet onto the cold metal and cringed, keeping her knees pressed close together. She felt so exposed and tried to keep herself covered with her gown. She was so embarrassed. She turned her head to look at Eric. He squeezed her hand tightly.
Jacki quietly explained to Sookie what she would be doing.
Sookie just nodded as Eric slumped even lower in his chair. He rested his head on the side of her pillow.
“You okay over there, Eric?” Jacki asked, trying not to smile.
“Mmhmm.” He responded weakly.
“Good thing I haven’t explained to him how we test men for STIs.” Jacki winked at Sookie. “It’s a little more…invasive.”
Eric’s eyes widened.
“Let’s get started.”
Sookie took a deep breath and turned her head to look into Eric’s eyes, desperately trying to relax her legs as Jacki instructed.
“That’s not so bad.” She whispered to Eric and his face regained a little color.
She kept her eyes trained on his through out the exam, all the while Jacki explained what she was doing as she went along. He patted the tears off her cheeks.
“All right, honey, we’re all done.” Jacki snapped off her gloves and Sookie relaxed, quickly closing her legs.
“Are you okay? Did it hurt?” Eric asked quickly, concern etched across his face.
“It really wasn’t that bad.” Sookie responded feeling some relief that she hadn’t been asked any questions. “I thought it would be much worse.”
“I can’t stress how important pelvic exams are, Sookie, especially once you become sexually active. Even if you are careful, there are some STIs that are transmitted very easily, such as HPV. Men are often the carrier of this virus and they usually do not have any signs of it whatsoever. There is also no test to determine if a man has the virus.” Jacki made notes in her chart and began to dispose of the equipment she used and labeled her samples. “I would highly recommend that you both consider taking Gardisal, which is a drug that prevents HPV. It comes in the form of a shot that is given 3 times every six months.”
“Is that something I can take if I am pregnant?” Sookie asked sitting up carefully on the table. She felt Eric’s hand go to her back, stroking it soothingly.
“No.” Jacki responded. “That would be unsafe for the baby. It’s something we would discuss later. Now if you would like to get dressed, I’m going to get your results and will be right back.”
Sookie turned to Eric, who was holding her clothing. She took the towel Jacki had left her to clean up with before sliding them on. Eric untied her gown and she slipped her tank top back on, dropping her used items in the designated bins. “Wow.”
He nodded in agreement. “Wow.”
They sat there for a moment, side by side in the chairs, Eric grasping her hand like he was a drowning man. “Are you okay?”
Sookie shook her head, not meeting his eyes. She stared at the ceiling, willing the tears back. Even as she fought against them, they began to run over. She bit back a sob and her shoulders shook.
“Hey.” He said soothingly, wrapping his arms around her. “Come here.” She cried into his shirt as he touched her hair, waiting for Jacki to come back.
The door opened and they both looked up. From the look on Jackis’ face, they knew. “Well, Sookie, it looks like your test confirms what I suspected from your pelvic. You are indeed pregnant. Based on your last menstrual cycle…” She paused to look at the calendar. “Today is June 4th…I would guess you are about 5-6 weeks pregnant.”
She buried her face into Eric’s neck as she continued to cry. She was nearly inconsolable and all he could do was hold her. Jacki looked at them sympathetically as she waited for Sookie to regain some form of control.
When she had slowed down to the occasional sob and gasp, Sookie met Jacki’s eyes and nodded, accepting her news.
“You know you do have plenty of options. I have some pamphlets here for you.”
Sookie shook her head. “No, I’ve all ready decided what I want to do. I’d like to keep it. I’m going to be 18 soon, so I can make that decision as an adult.”
“All right. I’m not going to push you in any direction, but since you are still in high school, I would hope you would at least consider your other options.” Jacki said softly, still holding the pamphlets.
“I’ll take them but I am pretty sure.” Sookie stood up and tucked them into her purse.
Eric cleared his throat. “Ummm…Jacki? How would I go about getting tested? And I think I would like to have that shot, too.”
Sookie looked at Eric in surprise, her stomach clenching. He never told her he had lost his virginity. He didn’t meet her eyes, just waited for Jacki to respond.
“We can make an appointment for you to come back Eric, or if you like, we can do it right now. Sookie is the last appointment I am taking today, I would be happy to take care of you really quick.”
“You sure?” He asked and raised his eyebrows at Sookie to see if she minded waiting. She shook her head.
“Not at all. You won’t need to change into a gown, but Sookie, you might want to wait in the waiting room.” Jacki suggested.
Panic crossed Eric’s face for a moment, but he pushed it away. If Sookie could go through what she just did, he could handle whatever it was the physician’s assistant was going to do to him.
“Okay.” Sookie agreed. “Maybe I can fill out his forms?”
“That would be fine. He will need to sign them when we’re done, so just hand them to the receptionist and answer whatever you can.” Jacki suggested.
“See you in a little bit.” Sookie walked down the long hallway and back into the waiting room. When she was done with his paperwork she went to stand outside, needing to breathe in some fresh air. She stared into the empty field next to the clinic, watching the tall grass blow gently in the breeze.
She couldn’t even fathom how she was going to tell her parents; if she would tell them together or separately. She knew Eric wanted to be there to support her and she appreciated that deeply. Prom was Friday night and she wanted to tell them by Saturday at the latest. Since she was so close with her Dad, she thought maybe she and Eric would talk to him alone.
She sighed and turned around just as Eric was walking out of the clinic. “Jacki told me to tell you that you need to make an OB appointment for next month or come back to the clinic.”
“Thanks,” Sookie said softly, following him to the car. “How’d it go?”
“I don’t wanna talk about it.” Eric huffed and they were on the road in a hurry.
“Why?” She asked, surprised.
“Do you know how they test a guy for STIs?” He looked at her, his eyes wide.
“No? A blood test?”
Eric laughed. “I wish. They stick one of those long swabs in your you-know-what!”
Sookie’s mouth dropped open. “Inside your…your…penis?”
Eric glanced at her sideways and nodded quickly, his eyes back on the road.
“Oh dear.” Sookie was horrified. She couldn’t even imagine how that would feel. “Did it hurt?”
“What do you think?” Eric was thoroughly traumatized and Sookie wanted to laugh just from the sheer look of horror on his face.
“All righty then. You hungry?”
A/N: Hi guys! sorry for the lack of comments for last chapter. I am having a lot of issues with my hand. I was actually worried I might get this posted this week! LOL Anyways, thank you so much for your wonderful comments. They mean so much!