The young girl sat in the bathroom stall. It was the same stall, the only stall she had ever used since she arrived seven months ago. Even if it was occupied she would wait by the sink and nip nervously at hangnails until the occupant left.
Nobody could say they knew her. Nobody noticed her. Why would they? There were plenty of shy girls. Nobody remarked about the sad turns at corners of her mouth, the mouth that set off her tired and lovely face. When the stall was vacated she would glide in and sit down, the last stall at the end of the row in the girl’s room in the freshman hallway, closest to the outside wall, farthest from the door and the hallway clamor.
She removed a long box from her book bag and opened it. She tore the plastic wrapping open with her eye-teeth. That always worked in a hurry: pinch the plastic between enamel points, feel the puncture, then rip. She followed the procedure as the instructions said in their short, discreet sentences. In three minutes a pink line would appear, or maybe two. She waited. A wad of toilet paper daubed her eyes.
Her spine stiffened as the door opened, and the hallway laughter and a stampede of sneaker noise poured in, and then it went silent again with the wooden door knocking shut and the hinge that always squeaked the same three-note tune. She sat still, and expe
cted the sound of footsteps coming in to enter a stall, but there was no sound.
She checked for the pink line, and she listened again closely. A presence was certainly in the room. She smelled a person and heard the soughing of clothes. Another 30 seconds passed. Still no lines. She took a deep breath and her throat and chest rattled. She checked for the pink line again. Two lines faintly appeared, and as they did a man’s deep voice spoke. “It’s going to be a boy.” “How can that be?” she said and she daubed her eyes again. “I’m still a virgin.”