Three minutes, the box says. I stare at the plastic applicator, willing it to tell me what I need to know, if my life is going to take a sudden and unexpected change.
Nothing yet. I sigh.
How can I possibly be responsible for something so helpless, so completely dependent? I’m essentially an eight year old, who just happens to have a credit card and the ability to drive. Half the time I eat cereal for dinner, because I’m too lazy to cook a Real Meal with Vegetables, and eat like a goddamn grown-up. How can I take on something that matters so much?
I’m not ready for this.
Besides, I’m a pretty self-absorbed person; that can’t translate well to this particular situation.
Did I pee on it enough, I wonder?
This is the longest three minutes of my life.
But then again, I guess the idea isn’t completely absurd. I’ve always loved kids. Whenever kids stay at the shelter where I work, I always seem to spend my time with them. There is currently an 18 month old who toddles into the office, and plays peek-a-boo with me. The other day, he ran up to me, but was not quite able to stop his momentum, and crashed into my legs. He looked up, startled, gave a belly laugh, and buried his face into my lap. He has dark brown curls, just like my brother did when he was that age.
I know how to play peek-a-boo.
I check the clock for the umpteenth time, but this time, it doesn’t mock me. It is time. My three minutes are up.
A single blue line stretches across the little plastic window. It is negative.
And for reasons I do not entirely understand, I sit on the floor and cry.