Prom Baby! – Word count: 16,521

Elizabeth was trying to concentrate on her article, but there was no way she could keep her thoughts together. Not with everything that was on her mind. She sat alone in the cool confines of The Oracle office and let her mind wander.
I have to know who the father is, she thought. There’s got to be a way to find out.
Her anal-retentive streak kicking in, Elizabeth abandoned her article and made a methodical list in her notebook.
Mr. Collins, she wrote at the top. He can’t be the father; his withdrawal timing is impeccable.
Todd Wilkins: Gay. And we only had sex once, so he could prove to himself he didn’t like vagina. And I guess he didn’t, because it took him FOREVER to get off.

Bruce Patman: Alcohol kills sperm, doesn’t it? And I’m always completely wasted when I have sex with him, so I’m sure it can’t survive in my womb.
Jeffrey French: Whatever happened to that guy?
Nicholas Morrow: Yes, we had sex, but it was a pity fuck. Everyone knows you can’t get pregnant if you have no respect for the guy.
Winston Egbert: AHAHAHAHA!
Ken Matthews: He went blind for a couple of weeks after that “fatal” car accident. I’m sure it made him infertile, too.

For hours, Elizabeth listed every boy she’d slept with at Sweet Valley High and beyond. When she was finished, she had filled up her entire notebook. “Oh, forgot one,” she said, snapping her fingers.
Hank Patman, she wrote, listing Bruce’s father, who had once been engaged to Mrs. Wakefield. I’m pretty sure sperm only works on one member of a family, and my mom got to him first.
Elizabeth’s list was complete, but she still wasn’t any closer to finding out who the father of her baby was. It couldn’t be any of them, she realized. And then she remembered her dream. Could it have been real? Could I be responsible for the second coming of Christ?


The nausea had finally subsided, but Elizabeth couldn’t bring herself to choke down the mountain of pancakes her mother had set on her plate. Beside her, Jessica wolfed down a huge stack slathered in butter and drowned in maple syrup.
“Elizabeth, honey, what’s wrong?” Mrs. Wakefield asked. “I haven’t seen you eat a thing in months. Are you getting sick?”
Jessica snorted with laughter, and Elizabeth gave her the side-eye. “No, Mom,” Elizabeth said. “I’m just not very hungry.”
“Well, then, I won’t worry about it,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “You’ve packed on a few pounds in the last couple of days, so I’m sure it’s fine.”
“You are getting kind of fat, Liz,” Jessica said, mopping up maple syrup with the last of her pancakes before reaching over and spearing two of Elizabeth’s. “I guess that’s the bright side to this whole thing. Oh, Mom – I’m expecting a package to be delivered today, so if I’m not home when it comes, can you just stick it in my room?”
“Of course, dear,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “What kind of package?”
“Yeah, what kind of package?” Elizabeth echoed. Something about Jessica’s comment struck her as strange.
“Nothing, really,” Jessica said breezily. “Just some, uh, beauty products. I ordered them from an ad in Ingenue.”
“My girls don’t need beauty products,” said Mr. Wakefield, ruffling each of the twins’ hair as he sat down. “They’re stunningly beautiful just the way they are.”
“Dad, that’s embarrassing,” groaned Jessica.
“Another story about the Big Mesa pregnancy pact,” said Elizabeth, glancing over at her father’s copy of the Sweet Valley News.
“Oh, yes, it’s gotten worse,” Mr. Wakefield said earnestly. “I’m hoping there’s an opportunity for a lawsuit somewhere in there. Maybe a really juicy custody battle between a homeless man and a high school student.”
“Thank goodness there’s nothing like that going on at Sweet Valley High,” Mrs. Wakefield said, looking sternly at her twins. “I’d hate to have to send one of you to a home for unwed mothers.”
“They still do that?” Elizabeth squeaked.
“In Sweet Valley, they do,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “What do you think happened to Ellen Riteman?”
“So that’s where she went,” Jessica said, chewing thoughtfully on a pancake.
“Anyway, we’re not worried about anything like that happening to you girls,” Mr. Wakefield said. “We had your wombs removed when you were infants.”
“Whaaaaaat?” Jessica screeched. “Now I’ll never be prom queen! You’re all trying to ruin my life!”
Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield laughed. “Gotcha!” Mr. Wakefield said. “Jessica, you should have seen the look on your face.”
I wish my womb had been removed, Elizabeth thought. Then I wouldn’t be in this mess right now.
Jessica still had a sour look on her face. “Come on, Liz,” she said, throwing her fork onto her plate with a mighty clatter. “We don’t want to be late for school.”
On the way out to the car, Jessica was fuming. “I can’t believe Dad would even joke about something like that,” she said. “Being barren is no laughing matter.”
“Jessica, I’m sure you’re not barren,” Elizabeth said, handing her sister the car keys. “We’re twins, remember? We have the exact same biology.”
Jessica drove to Sweet Valley High like a bat out of hell, her foot dangerously heavy on the gas pedal. Elizabeth hung onto the door handle so she wouldn’t slide all over the place and scramble her baby’s brains. Jessica took a hard left turn into the school parking lot and narrowly missed Bruce’s Porsche.
“Watch out, Jess!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “You can’t drive like that with a pregnant lady in the car.”
“I’m not that bad.” Jessica laughed grimly. “It’s not like I spiked your orange juice with grain alcohol this morning in the hopes that your baby would come out with fetal alcohol syndrome.”
Elizabeth frowned. The orange juice, which her mother freshly squeezed every morning, had tasted a little funny. Surely Jessica wouldn’t do anything like that, she thought. She’s my twin, my best friend. Even though we really can’t stand each other.
“Come on, out of the car you go,” Jessica said, shooing her sister out the door. “I’m ovulating right now and I’m going to try to trick some unsuspecting freshman into a backseat quickie before school.”
“Who?” Elizabeth wanted to know.
“Oh, whoever comes along first,” Jessica said. “Anyway, it’s none of your business. Get to class.”
After Elizabeth left, looking worriedly over her shoulder at her twin, Jessica pulled a pamphlet out of her purse. It was from the sperm bank where she had ordered her celebrity look-alike sperm. Jessica tried to concentrate on reading the directions for using the sperm, but the fancy words just confused her.
“Oh, who needs this,” Jessica said, tossing the pamphlet out the car window. “How hard can it be?”

* * *

Penny Ayala threw a newspaper onto one of the desks in The Oracle office and looked around at each of The Oracle’s editors and writers.
“I can’t believe Big Mesa would stoop so low,” she said, her eyes blazing.
Elizabeth was worried; she’d never seen Penny so mad before. She picked up the paper Penny had thrown down. It was a copy of Big Mesa’s school newspaper. Splashed across the front was the headline “Sweet Valley High Students Are Super Lame.” She skimmed the article. In it, the author took shots at everyone from Sweet Valley High, from their “formerly obese co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Robin Wilson” to their “shitty high school band, The Droids, which sound like a dying cat.” Even Elizabeth’s own Eyes and Ears column wasn’t spared. Elizabeth winced as the Big Mesa reporter described her writing style as “predicable and boring, much like Wakefield herself.” The article ended with a call for Big Mesa students to systematically execute Sweet Valley High students.
“Well, what are we going to do?” Olivia Davidson asked. “I dress like a dirty hippie, so I guess I’m all about peace and love, but I’d gladly rip a weave from a Big Mesa bitch’s head. I can’t believe they called my hair frizzy and my artistic talent mediocre!”
“They’re going to kill us,” Elizabeth said, a note of panic sounding in her voice. She tried to will herself to remain calm, but it was difficult.
“Well, I’m going to write a scathing editorial,” Penny fumed. “I’m going to call them out on their poor command of grammar and AP style.”
“I know this has absolutely nothing to do with The Oracle, but I think we should ban Big Mesa students from the prom,” Elizabeth said.
“Good thinking,” Penny said. “The last thing we need is to be killed at our own prom.”
Penny absentmindedly patted her stomach, and Elizabeth wondered if she, too, was carrying one of Mr. Collins’ children. He had been spending a lot of time with Penny lately. And he’s still ignoring me like I’m a ticking bomb strapped to John Pfeifer’s chest, Elizabeth thought.
“Penny?” Elizabeth asked. “I don’t mean to pry, but are you expecting?”
“Expecting what?” Penny said, looking up from the Big Mesa paper.
“A baby,” Elizabeth said. “If you need someone to stare at you with pity for a few hours, or just someone to talk to, I’m here.”
“Uh, no thanks, Elizabeth,” Penny said. “That’s what Project Youth is for.”
Of course! Elizabeth thought. Project Youth! That’s it! I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner.
“Listen, Penny, I’ve got to go,” Elizabeth said, quickly gathering up her things. “See you later!”
Before Penny could protest, Elizabeth had run out of The Oracle office and was halfway to the Sweet Valley High parking lot. She had to get home as soon as possible. She had a very important phone call to make!

* * *

“Good afternoon, this is Project Youth,” said a bitchy-sounding voice on the other end of the line. “You’re speaking with Amy. Who is this?”
Inwardly, Elizabeth groaned. She had hoped Amy Sutton wouldn’t answer the phone, but since Amy and her boyfriend, Barry Rork, were the only volunteers at Sweet Valley’s Project Youth hotline for troubled teens, the chances she’d end up talking to Amy were 50-50. Why would a youth hotline even allow Amy to work there? Elizabeth asked herself. Everyone knows she’s the biggest gossip at Sweet Valley High! Well, no, that’s Caroline Pierce. But Amy’s a close second.
“Hello?” Amy said, breaking through Elizabeth’s thoughts. “Hello? Have you already slit your wrists? Oh, well, good riddance. I’m hanging up now.”
“No, wait,” Elizabeth said. “My name is – these calls are confidential, aren’t they?”
Amy stifled a giggle. “Uh, yeah, sure.”
“Good,” Elizabeth said. “I wouldn’t want this to get around town or anything.”
“No, of course not,” Amy said with a snort.
“My name is Elisabeth. That’s Elisabeth with an S, not a Z,” Elizabeth said. “The spelling is very important.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Amy said. “I can’t spell worth a shit anyway.”
“All right, here goes,” Elizabeth said, letting out a deep, shaky breath. “I’m 16 years old, and I just found out I’m pregnant.”
“Ooh, are you one of those chicks from Big Mesa?” Amy asked. “Did you sleep with a homeless dude?”
“No, I’m not from Big Mesa,” Elizabeth said. “I’d rather not say what school I go to.”
“You’re no fun,” Amy said, sighing. “So, what do you want me to do about it?”
“Don’t you have some advice for me?” Elizabeth said. “This is a serious issue!”
“I don’t really have any advice,” Amy said. “But there’s this girl at Sweet Valley High you should talk to if you want advice. Her name is Elizabeth Wakefield, and she’s really nosy.”
“I know Elizabeth very well, and she is not nosy!” Elizabeth said hotly. “Come on, you’re a hotline for troubled teens. You must be able to tell me something that will make me feel better.”
“All right, all right,” Amy grumbled. “I get it, you’re going to make me do actual work. Hold on a second. I think we have a book on teen pregnancy somewhere around here.”
Elizabeth waited patiently, tapping her foot on the kitchen’s Spanish-tiled floor and twirling the telephone cord around her finger.

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11 2009

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  1. WickedWonder #

    This? Has made me roar with laughter. SO funny!

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