“Abby? Are you in?” Emily whispered quietly as she entered the silent Tree. The library resounded with the sounds of her footsteps, quiet as they were, echoing ominously into the silent dark. It was an odd feeling for the grey fox, scared to shit as she was. She wasn’t used to feeling scared, at least not anymore, but after her own stupidity…
She really didn’t want to have that discussion with her friends, as they would probably tell their parents, who would turn around and tell hers, and then she’d have to come face to face with everything that she’d been doing. And that was a particular discussion she was not willing to have.
“Emily? What’re you doing here? Tree’s closed,” a high pitched voice said from above. Emily sighed in relief as she recognized Haley’s voice. She looked up to see the black cat, staring down at her from above with yellow eyes, almost glowing in the limited light there was. How the Alenkas teams had managed to get that same effect, she had no idea, but she had to admit it was definitely scary as shit sometimes.
“I uh…I need to talk to Abby. Is she asleep, because I can come back another time-“
“She’s asleep, but she’d be wanting to talk if you need to. Hold on a sec, I’ll go get her,” Haley said with a cheerful grin, disappearing back into the silence and the darkness of the Tree at night. So Emily wasn’t actually supposed to be in Alenkas at three in the morning, but it was the earliest that she could force herself to come in.
She just needed to talk about it with someone. Anyone, that wouldn’t get the news out. Her schoolmates would either laugh at her or think her a slut, or both.
“Emily? What’s up?” A sleepy voice called out. Abigail, or Abby for short, was a calico colored cat, and much like many of the other cats in the Tree -a whopping four of them, which made Simon, the odd one out, feel he would’ve been better off as a cat or something- walked down the stairs practically silent.
Emily didn’t wait long, waiting at the bottom of the stairs before launching herself up at the calico. Abby had only made it halfway there, but she stopped as the grey fox made it halfway up the stairs in only a moment.
“OhthankgodIneedtotalktoyouIdidsomethinghorriblystupidandnowIthinkIfuckeditallupandIdontknowwhattodoeveryonesgoingtobesofuckingmadandIwassostupidandIdontknowwhattodo-” she rattled off instantly, shivers coming to her back that had nothing to do with her nudity or the cold.
“Hey, slow down,” Abby said, instantly more awake. “Come on, let’s sit down,” she said, guiding the grey fox to sit down on the stairs. One of her ears twitched as she heard Haley do the same thing far above them, listening in to a private conversation, but she wasn’t in the mood to try to discourage the girl. Let her figure things out for her own.
“I did something completely stupid,” Emily said, after taking a moment to get a deep breath, trying to get some semblance of control back.
“That’s ok, we’ve all done stuff like that,” Abby responded, “what happened?” she asked.
“I had sex with William.”
Abby blinked. While she knew that William was a bit older than Emily, that wouldn’t be considered too weird. It’s not like he was ten years older, he was only a few, and even then, if it was consensual, why would it be a big deal. “Ok…go on,” Abby murmured.
“He didn’t have any condoms.”
Abby had to fight the urge to facepalm. Why he wouldn’t have any condoms lying around, as a male college student, Abby had no idea. Wasn’t that basic college 101, to always have some birth control lying around? At least, that’s what she had thought. She had no interest in sex with males at all, and even she had a few in case her friends needed any. “That was…yeah, that kind of stupid.”
“It gets worse. He came inside.”
Abby ignored the gasp that came from up top. She knew that Haley was listening in, but as the girl was only twelve, maybe thirteen now -she had no idea when the black cat’s birthday was- maybe this would have some repercussions. She’d been expressing interest in this kind of thing for a while, which only made Simon sigh. Apparently Alenkas was far more prepared for puberty that he had hoped, or imagined.
“Ok. Yeah, you’re right, that’s kind of stupid. But, it’s not the end of the world. Are you on the pill, or did you take a morning after, or anything?”
“I was, but I stopped taking it after I broke up with Ryan.”
Abby continued to fight the urge to facepalm. She could just imagine the talk that Haley would have the next day. She’d have to find something to try and keep the kitten quiet, as it was obvious Emily didn’t want this conversation going around to anyone else. “Ok, what about a morning after?”
“Don’t have any money for it, and my parents…needless to say, I don’t want to have this kind of talk with them,” Emily answered. She hadn’t looked up the entire time, just staring straight down into the steps as if completely ashamed of her actions. Which, to Abby, kind of made sense. Hormones drive people to do stupid stuff, but it was best to always keep judgment handy.
Abby nodded in silence. “Am I fucking screwed?” Emily asked lightly.
Abby couldn’t help herself. It was too easy. “You were, yes,” she chuckled out before quickly going back to seriousness. It was a joke in bad taste, and it got a small mirthless laugh out of the grey fox. “No, no you’re not. Here’s what I know; unless you’re actually pregnant, don’t assume you are. Instead, go back on your pill if you can, maybe it’s not too late, maybe it is. Keep an eye on your periods. If you miss one, you might still be ok. Miss two though, then…yeah you’ll have to think of something.”
“I might still be ok?”
“You’re probably still ok.”
Emily let out a loud sigh as she relaxed for the first time since Haley had woken Abigail up. “I might still be ok.”
“I just wouldn’t recommend making that kind of thing a habit. Or if you do, make sure that you’re back under some kind of birth control. Now, if you don’t mind me, I need to write a reminder for me to yell at William,” Abby said. As she pushed herself up, Emily took her hand and yanked her back down.
“Don’t. It’s not his fault, I…I told him I was safe. And I thought I was!”
Abby stared at her for a moment, “Ok. I won’t yell at him about that. But I will yell at him for not having condoms around. Pretty sure that’s college student 101. I never planned on having sex with a guy either, and I still had some for in case my friends wanted some.”
Emily shocked her then, by simply pulling her into a hug. “You’re a lifesaver, Ab.”
The calico cat merely grinned at the new feeling that her friend was far better than she was before. She seemed much like the old Emily, that same fire in her eyes, yet a simple relaxing nature to her. “Go on, get some real sleep,” she said. Emily grinned at her, before logging out.
She waited a moment before calling out, “Alright Haley, you know that you shouldn’t spread that around, right?”
The black cat bounded down the stairs with an energy only a child could have. “Of course I know that. I just wanted to…ask her some questions, that’s all.”
“The inappropriate kind of questions that I’ve told you multiple times I will answer at any time, and I know the others would say the same thing?”
“Well, yeah, but…mostly it was what went through her mind. What was she thinking, doing that with someone out in the real world without taking any precautions?”
“Hormones make people do stupid stuff all the time, Hail. Think about it like this; if I told you, you could have two pieces of candy at anytime. After you eat one, would you eat the other immediately?”
“Well, yeah, because I can always have more candy lat…oh I think I see your point,” Haley said, thinking aloud. “People always want more now, so they don’t always think if it’s what they should actually do.”
Abigail blinked. She had to remind herself once more that Haley was practically a genius in many ways, an overenthusiastic twelve year old that she had to say reminded her more and more of other people she knew. Or at least characters. “Exactly. And for most people, sex feels good, so they want it to continue, but that leads to problems.”
“Some exceptions apply.”
Haley looked at her oddly but simply nodded. Abby was grateful at that, as that would be a discussion she wanted Simon and Sam to have, not necessarily her. Though she’d probably be brought in anyways -Simon and Sam had figured her out within a day or two, and Cal wasn’t far behind. Cal was an interesting one, as he merely shook her hand and said “If you ever need to talk, I’m here.”- but she still didn’t want to just…jump ahead.
“You know, Haley…why were you awake at three in the morning?” Abby said suddenly, turning to the kitten.
Said kitten looked around nervously, “I uh…I’m more comfortable at night, if you know what I mean. I feel that at night I can just go outside and explore, jump around and be crazy, but during the day I don’t want to go out because-“
“No, I understand. Just wondering. Why don’t you ever ask me or Sam if we want to come with you?”
“Because whenever I ask Sam, she hits me with a pillow telling me to go to sleep. Cal’s the same way, although at least his room doesn’t stink as bad as Sam and Simon’s do. And…I was afraid you’d tell me no too, so I just…didn’t ask.”
Abby patted her head softly. “Come on then. I’m awake now, at least,” Abby said, heading towards the door. She heard a mumbled celebration as Haley stuck with her, eager to explore the darkened world that was their home.