Two Pink Lines

two pink lines
I waited downstairs in her parent’s empty living room while she went to the bathroom. The fabric on the couch had been worn down in places and was covered with white cat hair. Felix, the cat, rubbed against my legs leaving a swathe of hair as he purred. I slapped my hands against my legs trying to relive the tempo of the song that had been playing in the car. The notes played over and over in my head, but the only words I could hear were:

Responsibility, too young and baby.

I’d dated lots of girls, but none of them were like Shelby. She had a way of looking at me that I could feel all the way down to my toes. I’d do stupid things just to make her smile and sometimes laugh at me. She wasn’t laughing now.

“Babe, you alright up there?” I called up the stairs. No response.

I stood up and paced the living room, my hand reaching for my cigs without thinking. I used to keep them right in my back, left pocket, but since I started seeing Shelby, I’ve stopped. She didn’t like the smell. Instead of finding a smoke, there was a pack of gum. I pulled out a stick of juicy fruit, inhaling the scent and started chewing. Chewing and pacing.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I climbed the stairs, each one creaking under my weight. The bathroom door was closed.

“Babe?” I called, wishing she’d open the door. Nothing.

I looked down the hall toward her parent’s room. The house smelled musty. The carpet was brown and ragged and I wondered how it must have looked when Shelby was little. I couldn’t picture her in this house, this ragged shell of emptiness.

I tried the door, the handle moving easily beneath my grip. Shelby stood there with her coat and hat on, her eyes far away and vacant. Around her, an explosion of her mother’s favorite color, orange. In her hand, a white stick. I took it from her as she stood there. There were two pink lines inside that were going to change our futures forever.

I pulled her into my arms.

This was written with a visual prompt and the emotion of anticipation. Click the link to read the other entries and vote for your favorites!

6 thoughts on “Two Pink Lines

  1. Your description of Felix, the cat, was really vivid and helped me picture the cat, its movement, and the fur it left behind really easily. That same level of detail was what I was looking for with your mc and Shelby. I had some trouble visualising how old they were, or any physical details about them, which led me to wonder why they were both so worried about pregnancy. A little more background about them would have helped with that.

    I do like the way you incorporated anticipation into this story. Your portrayal of your mc’s emotions was really clear, and like Michelle, I really appreciated the reflection of reality in a mix of feelings. The photo prompt was a little less integrally incorporated. The bathroom and the wallpaper details were helpful, but it would have been helpful to include a few more details (her hat/taupe/beanie, a reference to the datedness of the decor, the quality of light, her clothes, etc.) so the photo was immediately identifiable.

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  2. You joined the prompts together well. I like that you brought the story out of the bathroom while still making the events in there integral to the plot. I think a few more clues could have been added to nail down the characters’ ages. The fact that they were in Shelby’s childhood home gave me some idea, and I had the photo of the girl in the bathroom in my head. But without the photo, I would have wondered if Shelby still lived there or if she was in college and just visiting.

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  3. I assumed that the characters were teenagers so I didn’t feel the need for any clues. Interesting twist on anticipation. I felt really sorry for your narrator and would have liked to hear a bit more of his thoughts. I hope it all works out for him and his girlfriend on their fictional world.

    Liked by 1 person

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