“Oh. My. God. Are you freaking out?”
Tammi cocked her head back and took a long drag from her cigarette. “A little,” she exhaled. “After all, it’s a frickin’ baby!”
Tammi took another deep inhale and squinted into the sun. She thought about the baby growing inside her. She imagined her taut belly expanding. Bloated and swollen. It reminded her of the roadkill she sometimes passed on her way to the community college.
Tammi’s preacher told her how babies were little miracles, sent down from heaven. He showed her lots of pictures of what looked like pulled pork and talked about how life is precious. “Gifts from Jesus,” he’d said. All well and good, Tami thought. But, where’s Jesus at when I can’t fit into my jean shorts and milk is leaking outta my tits.
“Damn, girl,” Shari squealed, “you’re gonna hafta start savin’ some money. You’re gonna need to get a crib, and clothes, and diapers, and…”
“I know!” Tammi snapped. She tapped her long acrylic nails along the edge of the metal table. Yes, she thought, she’d need money. But, she would be damned if she had to give up her nails for a stupid baby.
Shari rolled her eyes. God, how Shari annoyed her. Tammi knew what she was thinking: Shari couldn’t understand how anyone could be dumb enough to go and get themselves knocked up. Shari was one of those girls that the old ladies at church called a “slut”. After all, Shari had been having sex since she was 13, so she certainly knew how to do it without getting preggo.
“Heyyy. How come you’re still smokin’?” Shari asked.
“Oh yeah, ” Tammi sighed. “My doctor wants me to quit. But I read that if you quit, like cold turkey, that it would be too much of a shock for the baby, or something. You know, like, from the lack of nicotine?”
Shari eyed Tammi’s student nurse uniform. “Uh huh. Didja learn that in nurses’ school today?”
Taking one last drag from her cigarette, Tammi tossed the smoldering butt into the bushes. “Naw, bitch. I learned that on the internet!”