GENRE: YA Contemporary
Marissa considers the word, lets it roll around on her tongue like a jawbreaker, the spicy cinnamon kind that burn if they linger against the inside of your cheek for too long. Pregnant. Pregnant. She repeats it to herself as if that somehow makes it more, or perhaps less, real. The nurse hands her a stack of pamphlets, covering everything from genetic tests to her options.
She looks at Marissa with a combination of sympathy and disdain. Marissa's used to this. To people looking at her like she is a person-- or perhaps an object-- to be both pitied and feared. But in this moment, she is grateful for the familiarity of it. As if nothing has really changed even though absolutely everything has.
"You have options," the nurse repeats, placing extra emphasis on the P. Options. Like she's spitting it out. Maybe she used to stutter.
"You mean I can pick the sex?" Marissa asks. She bites the corner of her cheek to hide the curl to her lips. It is her one tell.
The nurse looks at her sideways and Marissa can't decide if she is onto her or horrified. She is, of course, hoping for the latter.
"There's an adoption agency I can refer you to," the nurse continues. "Or if you'd rather talk with the counselor about how to manage your pregnancy, I can schedule that, too."
Marissa wonders about that word, manage. As if this pregnancy requires her to add a person to her payroll.