Jack of Truths 2 - Prologue

Faith held her cell phone to her ear with her shoulder, using both of her free hands to hold two different boxes up. The drugstore was almost empty except for the night pharmacist and the front end cashier, but it didn’t stop her from looking up and down the aisle every ten seconds in paranoia.

“This one says you hafta use it in the morning, and this one says you can use it whenever you want,” she said into the phone.

“No no no, don’t look at when you can take it, look at how the results are read,” Buffy’s voice echoed from the other end of the line as she gave a very playful and excited Jackson a bath.

“Well shit, how the hell am I supposed to know this stuff? They all look exactly the same to me: pink, box-like, and completely intimidating,” Faith said, frustrated.

“Calm down, baby,” Buffy replied, trying to hide her amusement. “None of them are wrong. Some are just easier to read than others. Pregnancy tests can be tricky.”

“Are the results in Japanese or something?”

“Ha ha,” Buffy pretended to laugh. “Now are you going to buy the test or do I have to come there and get it myself?”

Faith grinned.

“That sounds good to me; you know I’m no good at this shopping shit.”

“Back to business,” Buffy said, serious now. “Come on, what do the packages say?”

Faith sighed before looking up and down the aisle one last time, then back down to the boxes.

“This one – Clear Blue Easy – looks kinda like one of those digital thermometers and it says ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’. This one – First Response – I dunno, looks like it’s got some kinda squiggly lines or something.”

“Oh no, not the lines. And nothing with reading the color either,” Buffy chimed in.

“Right then, so Clear Blue Easy it is,” Faith said as she stood up from her squatted position and placed the other box on the shelf. “Besides, this is the only blue box in the lot. Smurf blue, even.”

Buffy laughed aloud, causing Jackson to laugh in response. Faith smiled as she pictured the scene: Jackson in his bubble bath, splashing around and playing with his toy trains as Buffy struggled to keep some of the water in the tub and not on the floor.

“Smurf blue. It’s a sign,” she said.

“Must be,” Faith replied as she strolled casually down the aisle and up to the cash register.

“Hurry home. I’m anxious.”

“Me too. Love ya, B.”

“I love you too.”

Faith clicked the small phone shut and shoved it deep in her pants pocket. She wasn’t looking forward to the checkout process.

The bored-looking cashier took the box and moved to scan it, taking no notice of the item being purchased or the person who was buying it. Faith breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that she might be able to exit without being made a spectacle of.

The cashier, however, couldn’t seem to get the scanner to read the bar code. She swiped the box again and again before inspecting it carefully, noticing that the bar code had been partially ripped off and was unreadable.

“I just need to get a price on this,” the girl said as she picked up the store intercom phone. Faith’s eyes widened as she heard, “I need a price check on a Clear Blue . . .”

“Fuck no!” Faith practically yelled as she yanked on the chord, accidentally ripping it from the phone. The cashier looked at her in shock, but Faith didn’t have the time, patience, or spine to wait around while someone announced that she was buying a pregnancy test.

Instead, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a fifty dollar bill and tossed it haphazardly on the counter in exchange for the small blue box.

“Keep the change!” she said as she practically ran out of the store, stopping only for a second just before making it out the door.

Eyeing up a small display, she grabbed a chocolate bar from it and held it up for the cashier to see.

“Add this to my bill. I might be eating for two.”

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