Denial. It’s a strong word but it was something Georgia had been living with for many months now. It was everything to her. It was the air she breathed the food she ate and the world she lived in. Because that was what her whole life was now, one big refusal to accept her reality.
People were now staring at her wherever she went. She heard them whispering about her in the corridors. “Gosh hasn’t she put on weight.” “Who ate all the pies?” Not once did anyone think she was pregnant. They all knew Georgia’s reputation of never going all the way with boys so everyone just assumed she had gotten fat.
Georgia told herself she didn’t care. They could all go to hell, but it was when Amy started joining in the whispers when it started to really hurt.
But it was not just the kids at school who had noticed Georgia’s expanding waist line. “Hunny, are you ok,” Esme asked walking into her daughter’s room one evening after dinner. She had seen how much food Georgia had scoffed earlier and noticed her going back for seconds and then thirds. It alarmed Esme how much weight her daughter had recently gained but it seemed denial was also playing a big part in her world because she did not once suspect the real reason for it. Maybe it was because Georgia disguised it well. Or maybe it was because she never would believe her little girl could get herself into such a situation.
“Yes I’m fine thank you mum,” Georgia replied not looking up from her sketching. Even though she could no longer wear the outfits she made, she still loved to design fashions even if it was only to look at. It was not as if she even had any friends left to make-over anymore, she had alienated all of them. Pushing them away to protect herself.
“Georgia hunny, I am worried about you. You don’t talk to me like you used to. You spend all your time locked away in your room. And I don’t want to sound mean but I have to say that you have really put on a lot of weight recently.”
Not mum too, Georgia thought. Please not my mum. “What do you know,” Georgia snapped jumping off her chair and getting into her mother’s face. “Just because you’ve never put on a single unwanted pound in your life suddenly I’m the one with the problem.”
Esme recoiled back in horror. Where did her sweet, cheery little girl go? “Darling I did not mean…”
“I know what you meant mum and its cruel. Now get out my room.”
“Georgia darling please….”
“GET OUT!” Esme stepped backwards and back again until she had backed herself out of the bedroom. She would give it another couple of weeks and then she would call the doctor, this was not just teenage hormones anymore!
As Esme headed back down the stairs to clean-up supper, Kiki, Howie’s girlfriend replaced her in the doorway and snuck into Georgia’s room. Kiki and Howie had been an item for months now and she had been hanging around the Starr household more and more. Like everyone else she too had noticed a significance difference in Howie’s sister but unlike everyone else she was not in denial.
“You’re pregnant aren’t you,” she said walking up behind Georgia. She had suspected it for a while. Both her mother and her older sister had had babies recently and she could tell the signs.
“What are you doing here? Get out my room,” Georgia screamed the truth hitting her in the face like a brick.
“No I won’t,” Kiki yelled back. “I know what’s going on with you and you need to tell your mum.”
“You have no idea what’s going on with me,” Georgia cried. “You have no idea who I am or what I am going through.”
Georgia had never been a violent person, she had never even had a sibling fight with her brother, but at that moment she needed to get Kiki out of her room so she could stick her head back in the sand. She did not even hesitate; she pushed Kiki as hard as she could. So hard in fact that Kiki went flying back through the door.
Georgia did not even stop to see if Kiki was ok, she just slammed the door on her and locked it washing her hands of the truth. Sliding down, she slumped onto the floor waiting for the onslaught. She heard her brother’s voice asking what was going on and she winched as she awaited Kiki’s reply. “Oh nothing, I just borrowed something of Georgia’s i shouldn’t have,” came Kiki’s answer.
“Oh don’t worry about her, she is Miss grumpy at the moment….” She heard her brother’s voice fade as they left the outside of her bedroom and she thanked god Kiki had covered for her. This time anyway!
The pain started the following day at school. At first her belly felt so tight she thought it might burst and then a throbbing ache shot through her back. She only cried out once and was thankful that no one was around to hear her.
For the rest of the afternoon the pains got even worse and still Georgia did her best to ignore them. They’re not real, they’re not real, she kept telling herself over and over again forcing herself to sit up straight in every class and pretend everything was ok. It was during last period when she couldn’t take anymore. She excused herself from class and ran down the hallways clutching her belly like she was about to lose it. In her head she had no idea where she was going or what she was going to do. The need to push was overwhelming and she knew she needed to find somewhere safe and private.
The first place she came to had to be it, she had no choice – it was a store room, off to the side of the school building. Away from ears and eyes.
The moment she had closed the door the pain seared through her and she thought she might faint but she had to keep going. Finally denial and reality crashed together and the result was more shocking then Georgia could ever have thought.
The pain subsided when a baby girl slipped out. Georgia found a couple of old towels and wrapped the ting infant tightly in one of them, just the way they had been taught in home economics class with a doll. But this was no doll; this was a real life baby!
Then just as quick as the pain had stopped, it started again. What now, she thought bearing down and delivering a second baby girl. After she had wrapped the second new-born in the other towel Georgia looked down and realised what had just happened, she had just given birth to twins, Luke’s babies!
Emotions were so high Georgia did not know what to do. She sunk to the floor and cried and then when the babies started to cry she cried even more. Such was the shock she could not think straight – all that was running through her head was that she had to get rid of them, no one could find out what she had done.
Though she was still in pain, she managed to drag herself from the dirty storeroom floor. The corridor of the school was deserted as she popped her head around the door and the lights were turned off, everyone had gone home. This was her chance. She scooped the two babies up and tied them to her chest under her jumper with a piece of old cloth she had found and formed into a sling. Then she set off on foot towards the hospital. She was exhausted and her brain was spinning. She did not allow herself to think of the two babies she was grasping under her jumper as she knew it would be the worst thing for her sanity to acknowledge their existence.
By the time she arrived at the hospital it was dark throughout Bridgeport and the outside of the hospital was empty.
She crept up to the doorway and lay each baby down so that the next person who walked in or out would spot them immediately, they would not be alone for long. And then she ran. She ran faster and further then she had ever run in her life until she finally got home, had a shower and then flew into her bed – sleeping off the pain and all the exhaustion.
The next morning Georgia awoke thinking the day before had all been a dream. There were no babies and her tummy was significantly smaller – maybe the last few months had all been a dream too?
She had a quick shower and headed down for breakfast. Her family were already around the table tucking into pancakes and Kiki had joined them as she did most morning these days.
Kiki glared at her as she sat down and helped herself to pancakes. It was a morning like every other and as Georgia looked around at her family she had a significant feeling that she had forgotten something, she just could not remember what it was.
Instead she tried to put the thought to the back of her memory and listened to the radio that was playing in the background – something her father insisted on every morning even though Georgia and Howie always begged for the TV to be on. Bridgeport FM was playing a sweet melody, just the sort of thing her mother liked when the music suddenly stopped!
….WE INTERUPT THIS BROADCAST TO BRING YOU BREAKING NEWS…..TWO NEW BORN BABIES HAVE BEEN FOUND ABONDONED AT BRIDGEPORT CITY HOSPITAL. BOTH BABIES ARE IN GOOD CONDITION BUT POLICE ARE CALLING FOR THE MOTHER TO COME FORWARD. THEY ARE CONCEREND FOR HER HEALTH…
At the same moment the announcement played Kiki and Georgia starred at each other like they had both been slapped around the face. Georgia could feel the colour drain from her face at the realisation that the day before was not a dream afterall. “Georgia what have you done,” Kiki stuttered.
Georgia could not talk. She could not even breathe; it was too much to take it.
“What do you mean,” Howie asked looking from Kiki to Georgia and back again. “What’s Georgia done now?”
Georgia’s breathing sped up and she felt like she was going to faint. Heat washed through her body and she felt like she was suffocating. She rose out of her chair and staggered across the room not sure what she was looking for.
“Georgia hunny what is it,” Esme said jumping from her seat and running to her daughter. “Georgia?”
But Georgia could not speak. Her breathing was getting worse and she felt like she might die. She dropped to the floor grabbing the air for breath. Her mother tried to catch her but it was no good. “Alfie Alfie,” Esme shrieked. “Something’s wrong with Georgia.”
“It looks like she is hyperventilating,” Alfie said rushing to his daughter’s side.
“Err mum can I have a word,” Howie suddenly piped in.
“Not now Howie, can’t you see something’s wrong with Georgia.”
“I think I know what’s wrong with her,” Howie replied sheepishly. “Kiki just told me something.”
“What is it son,” Alfie asked.
“Go on,” Kiki said prodding Howie’s side.
“It’s the babies.”
“What babies,” Esme snapped totally exasperated by Howie trying to chat at a time like this. Could he not see there was something seriously wrong with Georgia!
“The abandoned babies on the radio,” Howie continued. “Kiki thinks they’re Georgia’s.”
At the mention of her name, Georgia’s world started to spin and then it all went black!
When she awoke she was in a white room. She felt light. So light she believed she was floating on a cloud. “Am I in heaven,” she asked out loud.
“No darling, you are in the hospital.” It was her mother’s voice. As she turned her head her eyes re-focussed and her mother’s warm concerned face was peering back at her.
“What happened,” Georgia asked.
“You fainted darling.” Esme took in a deep breath of air. “And there is something else I need to talk to you about darling. I know this may be hard for you to understand right now. Heaven forbid I can’t seem to get my head around it. But it appears you had a baby Georgia, two babies in fact. Twin girls! Do you remember any of this?”
Georgia starred up at the celling and then back to her mother. “Can I see them,” she asked.
“Of course you can,” Esme said jumping up. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Georgia watched her mother rush off to bring her her daughters. Her children! She was a mummy. It was like the bubble had burst and reality was a wide open space. She was finally ready to run into it.