Dante woke up that morning with such excitement. It was July 4th, and he was going down to his girlfriend’s lake house for the next two days. He got himself out of bed and walked over to the other side of his bedroom where his phone charged for the night. He took his phone off the charger and looked at his notifications.
He opened his texts and messaged his girlfriend, Beatrice, “Buongiorno Principessa!”
He texted her that message every morning. Dante was half Italian and half French. The first movie that Dante and Beatrice saw together was an Italian movie called La Vita é Bella, where in the first half of the movie, Guido tries to seduce Dora (who’s engaged). The second half of the movie is a few years later, they’re married, have a son, but they were Jews during Fascist Italy and they were taken to the camps and split up. But Guido relentlessly saved his son (and died doing so), but at the same time would do things to signal that he is alive to his wife.
Dante jumped into the shower and gelled his hair. He packed up his clothes and gathered everything he would need for the next two days and shoved them into his Nike bad, barely fitting.
He walked over to his phone and noticed that Beatrice wrote back, “Good Morning!”
He texted, “When do you want me to come over?”
“Any time is good, I’m about to take a shower, so I’ll be ready in about an hour or so.”
Dante killed some time and left about thirty minutes later. They lived forty minutes away. Dante arrived at Beatrice’s house. He parked in the driveway, knowing he was not coming back for another day. He typically would park on the side of the road, but he did not want anyone to accidentally hit his car in the middle of the night. Dante drove a red Mustang convertible, he protected that car at all costs.
“I’m here.” Dante texted Beatrice.
Dante got out of his car. Her parents and her sister already left for the lake. The garage door was open, he walked through, put his shoes in the toat where they keep their shoes, and walked into the house. He quietly closed the door and walked up the white carpeted steps to Beatrice’s room. The door was open, Beatrice was sitting on the floor straightening her hair looking at the mirror that leaned against the wall. She was wearing a dark yet vibrant red romper. She smiled as she saw Dante entering the room. Dante placed his stuff down and took a seat on the edge of her bed. After she was done straightening her long blonde hair, she got up and kissed Dante.
“I missed you.” She said.
“I’ve missed you too, even though we saw each other yesterday.” Dante laughed.
Beatrice walked towards her purse, sitting on the floor and said, “My cramps are still kinda bad.”
Dante looked over, knowing something was not right. “They’re still bad.”
“Yeah they’re still bad. But I’m not worried though.”
Dante raised a brow and asked, “Is anything else cramping or hurting?”
Beatrice nodded, “Yeah my boobs are pretty sore, but I’m still not worried.”
Dante let out a sigh, he knew something was not right. “You know, I have never heard you complain about a period before.”
“This is nothing, I used to have really bad periods in the past.” She said, with no care in the world. She picked up her purse and her bag with her clothes, “Are you ready?”
Dante nodded, he picked up his bags and they left the house. They packed up Beatrice’s car, closed the garage door, and put her dog, Max, in the basement. Beatrice got into the driver’s seat and Dante got into his seat.
Beatrice looked over and noticed that Dante was looking down. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Beatrice,” Dante said. “You know what I think? I think that you’re pregnant.”
Beatrice laughed, “No, I’m not pregnant. This is just a bad period that’s all.”
“You haven’t bled in a week and you’re having symptoms of a pregnancy.”
“They’re also period symptoms, I swear, this is just a bad late period.”
“Okay,” Dante said. “Well, let’s not worry about that this weekend. Let’s take a test though when we come back.”
Beatrice laughed, “No.” She turned the car on and started to pull out of the driveway. “We’re going to take a test now to prove that you’re wrong.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Beatrice. What if it comes out positive?”
“It won’t though.” Beatrice laughed, thinking that she was right.
She drove to the supermarket a mile away from the house and drove back. She turned off the car and got out. Dante opened up the car door, ready to go inside, but Beatrice turned around and said, “Wait in the car, this will only take a minute, I’ll show you that I’m not pregnant.”
Dante watched her walk inside. He knew what the test results were going to be, he had a feeling of it. He walked inside and sat in the downstairs family room while she was taking the test in the upstairs bathroom. She came down a few minutes later, solemn, teary eyed, and with tears streaking down her face.
“Dante.” She croaked as she descended the final steps. She handed Dante the pregnancy tests, they were both positive. Dante felt a sudden drop in his heart, he knew this was going to be the results, but it was still hard to face reality. “Dante…what is happening?”
“It looks like we’re having a baby.” Dante said.
Beatrice sulked over to the couch and broke down crying, “I want an abortion…I can’t do this.”
Dante knelt beside Beatrice and held her hand while she cried. He could feel her cold tears drop onto his hand. “I can’t do this.” Beatrice said again, laying her other hand over her stomach, as if to feel the fetus inside.
“How old do you think it is?” Beatrice asked.
Dante shook his head, not knowing the answer, “I don’t know. For all we know I could have gotten you pregnant last week…I would say at most four weeks.”
Beatrice cried harder at the fact, she did not want to accept reality, but it struck her much faster and harder than she realized. Dante did not know what to do. On one hand, Dante was very Catholic and pro-life, he did not want the baby to die, even if it was less than four weeks old. At the same time, he also saw Beatrice’s crying and how upset she was, if she did not think she could do it, he did not want to force her to do anything, especially a lifetime commitment.
“I’ll support you no matter what you decide.” Dante said.
Beatrice picked up her head and said, “What?”
“I’ll support you no matter what you decide whether we keep it or not.”
She gripped tightly onto his hand, “Thank you. I just don’t think this is a good time. There’s Corona. We’ve only been dating for like three months. I barely know you.”
Dante had a wave of sadness come over his face. “I understand.”
Beatrice let out a sigh, “I’m sorry, it doesn’t make me happy to say those things…Can you get me more tests?”
Dante nodded, “Anywhere specifically or a brand?”
“Go to CVS, get like ten of them, I need to make sure that I actually am pregnant.”
Dante left and went to CVS. He walked in and noticed their small collection of pregnancy tests. He picked one of each kind and went to the desk. The cashier tried not to judge, but it was obvious that this was in a hurry. Dante paid for the tests, got into his car, and drove back. He walked through the door and handed her the tests.
“What kind of tests are these?” She asked.
“The ones they had at CVS.”
“I wanted brand names; I need reliable ones.”
“Some of these are brand names.” Dante said.
“It’s fine, I just need to take these.” Beatrice concluded as she marched up the stairs to take the tests.
Dante sat downstairs waiting for her to come down. She came down some time later, all of the tests were positive. She sat on the couch upset, angry, confused, and sad. Dante walked over and said, “I’ll support you no matter what.”
“You already said that.” Beatrice barked; she was not in a good mood. Her entire life got turned upside down.
“All I ask is that we take a week or two to think things over before we decide to keep or abort, okay?”
Beatrice nodded, “I can do that. But we can’t tell anyone.”
“My mom will literally kill me.”
“I won’t tell anyone.”
They got off from the couch, gathered their things, put the tests results in a plastic bag, and returned to the car to go to the lake.
A lake house tradition, they would go to Starbucks on the way down as they passed through the city. They agreed not to talk about it, but that silence was quickly broken.
“My mom will literally kill me.” Beatrice said.
“How do you know?”
“I have a cousin who got pregnant before marriage, and my mom makes judgments of her all the time for getting knocked up. It’s been years since she got pregnant, and they’re married now with other children, but she still holds a judgment on them.”
“Okay, so let’s not tell your mom unless if you want to keep it.”
Beatrice nodded, she pulled into the plaza where the Starbucks was and pulled up to a trashcan. “Here, throw out the pregnancy tests.”
Dante took the plastic bag full of pregnancy tests and tossed them in the trash. The people inside the laundromat looked oddly as he rushed out of the car to throw out something that he did not want anyone to see. They quickly drove off towards the Starbucks.
“I think we need to stop talking about it now.” Dante said, an hour into the drive, a few minutes away from the lake house.
“I’m sorry, we do need to stop talking about it, but I can’t, there’s so much to discuss about.”
“Okay, how about this, once we pull into the house, we do not talk about it until we come back.”
A few minutes later.
“Okay, what if we use a codename.” Beatrice said.
“A codename?” Dante said in reply.
“Yeah, a codename, that way we can talk about it and no one will know what we are talking about.” Beatrice explained.
“Yeah, I guess we can.”
“What should it be?”
“They won’t know what we are talking about, and neither will the ghosts.”
Beatrice gasped, “Do you think that’s why there’s activity in the house now, because they know I’m pregnant?”
“Maybe, I mean there wasn’t that much activity before.”
“Let’s also use a codename for the ghosts.” Beatrice said. “I don’t need my dead relatives knowing what I’m talking about.”
“Okay. We do need to stop talking about it so much though.” Dante said.
“I know, I’m sorry.” Beatrice said as she began to tear up. “There’s just so much going on.”
Dante sighed, “I know. But we definitely have to change the subject because we’re close.”
Beatrice turned down the residential street where the lake house was. She came to the stop sign, looked both ways, and continued and turned into the lake house.
“We definitely have to stop talking about this.” Beatrice concluded as she pulled into the lake house.
She pulled into the driveway and stopped the car. They both sighed, knowing that they would not keep their silence on it, and knowing that this was the worst place to talk about it.