Prom Baby! – Word count: 8,091

“Oh, just hold them,” Jessica snapped, handing off her books to Lila, who accepted them with disdain. Jessica dug around in her purse for a barrette and finally located one at the bottom, dusty and covered in crumbs. “I hate these things,” she muttered, snapping it into place over her left ear and turning so Lila could get the full effect. “Now do I look like Liz?”
Lila frowned. “Try to look a little more condescending.” Jessica gave Lila the side-eye. “Much better,” Lila said.
“OK, I’m off to find Enid,” Jessica said, taking off down the hallway. “See you later.”
“Jessica, wait!” Lila called after her. “Your books!”


Enid was hunched over a stack of old editions of The Oracle when Jessica found her in the library.
“Hey, Enid,” Jessica said, trying to hide her disgust at having to talk to someone so clearly below her on the social scale.
“Oh, Elizabeth, you scared me,” Enid said nervously, shoving aside the stack of papers.
Jessica noticed Enid was hiding a pair of scissors behind her back. “Have you been clipping out Liz’s – I mean, my – Eyes and Ears column again?”
Enid let out a long sigh. “I know that I promised you I’d stop, Elizabeth, but my ‘Enid and Elizabeth Forever’ scrapbook just wouldn’t be complete without every single one of your columns,” she said. “I’m really, really sorry.”
“It’s the meth, isn’t it?” Jessica asked, trying to muster up some Elizabethlike sympathy. “I hear it makes people all hyper and whatnot.”
“I am not tweaking,” Enid hissed. “I left that all behind me, remember?”
“Your secret’s safe with me,” Jessica said, rolling her eyes. Lila and Amy would be the first to know that Enid was back on the crank. “So, Enid, there’s something I need you to do for me.”
“Sure, Elizabeth. Anything for you,” Enid said. Jessica shuddered involuntarily at the way Enid was looking up at her, like an eager, loyal puppy.
“I want to get some extra credit in Mr. Collins’ class – you know, the one he kicked you out of,” Jessica said. “He wants us to do some research and write up a report on how people get pregnant, and between this huge article I’m writing for The Oracle and helping plan the prom, I’m swamped. Do you think you could find some books or something for me?”
“Sure, Liz. The Sweet Valley High library might not have any books on it, but I’m sure the big public library downtown has something,” Enid said. “I’ll skip algebra class and go right now, if you want me to.”
“Thanks so much, Enid,” Jessica said. “Can you drop the books off to Jessica? I’ll be pretty busy this afternoon and she said she wouldn’t mind bringing them home for me.”
“No problem,” Enid said, gathering up her Eyes and Ears clippings as Jessica turned to leave the library.
“And just think,” Jessica said, turning slightly to throw a concerned glance in Enid’s direction, “while you’re downtown, you can pick up some speed.”
“Oh, Hugh is cooking some up tonight, so I don’t need–” Enid paused. “I mean, I’m clean, Liz, I swear!”

* * *

Elizabeth had been mulling over Lila’s suggestion to research human reproduction on her own, and by the end of Mr. Jaworski’s history class, she had decided the only way her article would ever see the light of day would be if she did the research herself and proved to Mr. Collins and Mr. Cooper that it was worth pursuing. She decided to skip lunch and head on over to the Sweet Valley public library. I’m really not that hungry, anyway, Elizabeth told herself, trying to ignore the constant rumbling in her stomach that served as a reminder to stay a perfect size six.
When Elizabeth got to the library, she was surprised to run into Enid on her way out. “Enid!” Elizabeth cried. “What on earth are you doing here?”
“I got you all these books on pregnancy,” Enid said, handing Elizabeth a stack of books one by one and listing off the names. “The Unborn, Fertile and Fabulous, Nine Months of Size 8 and Beyond, Vaginal Tearing and You.”
Elizabeth smiled. Somehow, Enid always seemed to know just what she needed. “Thank you, Enid. That’s so thoughtful of you.”
“Do you need a ride back to school? I’ve got my car here,” Enid offered. “I know it’s not as cool as your Jeep, but I’d be happy to take you.”
“Oh, no, that’s all right,” Elizabeth said. “I have some, uh, errands to run. I’ll see you back at school.”
As Elizabeth walked back to her Jeep loaded down with books, she marveled over what a good start she was getting on her article. Enid had already been a tremendous help!

* * *

Jessica stormed in the front door of the Wakefields’ attractive split-level ranch and slammed the door. She had wasted precious cheerleading practice time standing around outside her locker and waiting for Enid to show with some books about getting knocked up. She should have known better than to trust a crackhead.
“Hey, Jess,” Elizabeth said as Jessica entered the kitchen and started rummaging around in the pantry.
“Hey,” Jessica said around a mouthful of chocolate chip cookies. She looked up from the box and saw that Elizabeth was sitting at the kitchen table and poring over a huge tower of books. “What are those?”
“Enid went down to the public library today and checked out some books for me so I could get a head start on my article,” Elizabeth answered. “Wasn’t that nice of her? I was really surprised, but Enid always seems to know just what I need.”
Jessica nodded. “It’s almost kind of creepy.” She picked up Fertile and Fabulous and flopped down into the chair across from her twin. “Well, this looks like a good one.”
“I was really surprised to read about how women actually get pregnant,” Elizabeth said, looking up from her copy of Vaginal Tearing and You.
But Jessica barely heard her. Elizabeth had never seen her sister so absorbed in a book. Usually, Jessica asked to be read to, especially if her reading material was full of big words. Elizabeth shrugged and turned back to her reading.
“So, wait,” Jessica said two hours later, once she had gotten past the first page. “Boys have to put their … in our … ?”
“Oh, come on, Jessica. It’s not like you haven’t been boned before,” Elizabeth said. “Don’t act so shocked by it.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t know it could lead to pregnancy,” Jessica said. “I thought it just led to a straight-to-DVD porn deal.”
Some months before, Jessica and Elizabeth had been approached by a famous director to star in a Skanks Gone Stupid film series called “Double Penetration.” The films had been a huge success, but once Elizabeth had fulfilled her five-film obligation, she had had to bow out so she could spend more time on The Oracle, concealing Todd’s sexual identity and giving unwanted advice to Sweet Valley High’s student population.
“Did you know the pull out method is 72 percent effective?” Elizabeth asked, glancing over at the notes she had taken. “Mr. Collins must be really talented, because his rate is currently at 100 percent. Well, 99, I guess, if you count Teddy.”
Teddy was Mr. Collins’ son, the product of a failed marriage. Mr. Collins had divorced his wife once she became a legal adult, and now he often enticed his Sweet Valley High students to babysit on occasion. Elizabeth was Teddy’s – and Mr. Collins’ – favorite sitter.
By the time Elizabeth was ready to head upstairs to bed, Jessica had been sitting at the kitchen table for hours, completely absorbed in her book.
“Good night, Jessica,” Elizabeth said, patting her sister on the shoulder. “Try not to stay up too late.”
“Good night, Liz,” Jessica said, not looking up from her book.
Elizabeth was halfway up the stairs when she heard her twin’s shocked cry.
“Holy fucking shit! Babies come our your vag?”

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11 2009

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