How do you do it?
Daria enjoyed reading on the roof of the school on spring days. Jane would when she was here sketch but today she was probably sketching in detention after he pointed question to Mrs. Li concerning the proceeds of the Fair and the still unrepaired roof. Daria decided to wait up on the roof and they arranged for Jane to meet her up here afterwards. She was half way through her selected tale of science fiction pulp when she heard the door to the room creak open.
She started to get up but quickly saw it wasn’t her friend but one of Quinn’s fashion fiends. Daria slipped as quietly as possible behind an air duct, one painful afternoon with Stacy Rowe was enough, she didn’t want to repeat it. The pig tailed girl seemed to be conducting an invisible debate, whatever it was she was clearly crying.
Daria muffled the groan that struggled to break free. :Oh god just jump already and be done with it.: She thought rudely until Stacy climbed up onto the raised edge. :Damn it.:
The girl looked out over the almost empty parking lot sadly then closed her eyes. “No!” Daria screamed as she rushed out of her hiding place. Muscles long unused failed her with a painful tearing sound, sending her falling to the rough surface of the roof with a cry. Despite her efforts, she was unable to regain her ability to stand.
“What do you WANT?” Stacy said from her perch.
“Don’t jump, please, whatever is wrong, it’s not that bad.” Daria said through the spikes of pain leaping up her leg.
“It is.” Stacy said loudly.
“Don’t.” Daria resorted to begging.
“I can’t be alone.”
“Then don’t be, call your friends, call Quinn.”
“She’s on a date and I can’t do what Sandi wants. I just can’t do that.”
“Screw Sandi, but don’t do this.” Daria said as she tried to drag herself across the roof, managing to close the distance between herself and the upset girl.
“I can’t do it all alone.”
“I can’t kill my baby and live, I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.”
“Stacy.” Daria said realizing the magnitude of the problem. “Please talk to me.”
“Why so you can make fun of the stupid girl who got herself pregnant.”
Daria continued to pull herself closer to Stacy. “Did you tell anyone?”
“I told Sandi and she told me to kill my baby and then no one would have to know.” Stacy cried out, almost screaming.
“What about Quinn or your parents?”
“They threw me out, everything I own is in the back of my car. I can’t tell Quinn that I slept with a guy so he would take me to the dance.”
“You’re pregnant.” Daria said trying to force acknowledgement from the emotional girl.
“I just told you that.”
“If you jump you’ll kill the baby and you still might live.”
“What?” Stacy said looking confused.
“Hundreds of people every year jump off of places a lot higher than this roof and survive.”
“And you’ll be laid up in the hospital for months. Just come down here and help me up. We can go someplace to talk.”
“Talk isn’t going to help anything. I can’t do this alone, I’ll lose my friends, I’ve lost my family already.”
“I can help, well maybe help you find some better people to get you help.”
“Um … why what?” Daria said puzzled.
“Why would you help me?”
“Two for one karma credit … plus I don’t think I can stand up right now so getting off this roof is going to be difficult without help.”
Daria saw Stacy look over her and sighed as the younger girl stepped down and hurried over. “You’re hurt!”
“I think I pulled a muscle.”
Daria looked down and saw that both her knees were skinned open allowing generous amounts of blood to stain the gravel. “Maybe you could give me a ride home and we could talk.” Stacy just nodded before moving behind her then lifting her by her armpits. “Thanks.” Daria said as she leaned against her.
“Do you mean it?” Stacy said looking truly terrified. “About helping me and … the baby.” Her hand dropped to her stomach.
“I’ll do anything I can do if you promise to not ever try this again.” Daria said forcefully. Stacy nodded her agreement. “Alright lets go see if Jane is out of detention yet. I warn you though; my pain threshold is very low so I’m expecting to pass out at any time.”
Stacy helped her down the steps as Daria bit her lip hard enough to draw blood to prevent herself from screaming with each step. Stacy helped Daria to her car before going back inside to find Jane. “Detention should be getting out now. I’ll go get her.” Daria nodded, knowing that for the moment at least the danger of Stacy hurting herself was over. She closed her eyes and pushed back against the seat. :What have you managed to get yourself into this time genius:
In moment though Stacy returned with Jane in tow who looked rather suspicious but started helping Stacy move enough items to the trunk to give her space to climb into the back seat. “Hey Amiga, you alright?”
“Just really sore. Tell Stacy where you live.” Daria said. “Jane you still have a decent first aid kit?”
“Fully stocked. You wouldn’t believe the ways Trent and the band manage to hurt themselves.” Jane said with a chuckle.
“Good. That’s our first stop. We’ll talk while we patch me up.” Daria assured the nervous looking Stacy.
“Someone mind filling me in.” Jane said from the backseat as Stacy pulled out of the parking lot.
“When we start talking. Let it ride.” Daria said strongly half turning to look at Jane who read her face in a blink, she quickly stopped asking questions.
In her bedroom, Jane Lane sat speechless at the new information that was banging around in her head. She tried to find a way to lighten the dark mood in the room but there just didn’t seem to be anything to laugh about. “Jane you dealing?” Daria said bringing her back to reality.
“I know you.” Jane whispered.
Stacy just titled her head puzzled.
“There would have been an announcement at school tomorrow. People would have cried then on Friday we would have worn black at the assembly and listen to Mrs. Li and Mr. O’Neil go on about whatever.”
“Jane.” Daria said looking worried.
“No one I know has ever died like that before. It’s just overwhelming me a little.”
“I’m sorry.” Stacy cried.
“You see, this is how much it effects people just thinking about it. It would have been a nightmare if you had jumped.” Daria said using this moment to her advantage.
“I was just scared. I told my parents this morning and they told me not to comeback. Then I tried to talk to Sandi and she told me to have an abortion or it would ruin my life. She called my baby it.” Stacy started rubbing her hands together roughly. “And I sat there and listened.”
Jane wrapped her arms around Stacy forcing apart her hands. “None of that matters. All that matters is you didn’t do it.”
“But were will I live? Do I drop out of school and get a job? I don’t know what to do.”
“First one is easy, you’ll move in here. My folks are gone and my mother won’t be back for at least two months. No need to make any decisions about dropping out or getting a job at the moment. You can take your time to make the best choice available at the time. Me and Daria will help out and you’ll see it won’t be that bad.”
“And I’ll talk to my Mom about what legal options you have. I’m pretty sure it isn’t legal for a parent to toss a kid out on the street.”
“But Sandi said people will make fun of me after they find out.”
“And I’m sure that some will but that isn’t important. You’ll just ignore them then come tell us and we’ll make their lives a living hell.” Daria said honestly and rather believable.
“Why are you willing to help me?” Stacy sniffled. “I’ve never been nice to you.”
“I don’t know, because we can.” Daria said with a shrug making Jane smile. “And who knows, maybe you’ll name the kid after us.”
Stacy smiled and rubbed her stomach gently. “To late.”
“Mind if I ask?” Daria felt herself smile.
“Rebecca if it’s a girl and Richard if it’s a boy.”
“Those are really nice names.” Jane smiled at Stacy.
Stacy scooted backward onto the bed and laid back starring at the ceiling. “This morning I was scared, just hoping my parents would have the answers and then Sandi. Next thing I know I’m on the roof about to jump. Now I just can’t wait to me them.” She rubbed her stomach gently.
“The wheel turns. Things get better, life gets tolerable.” Daria said moving next to her.
“So what’s next?”
“Well I don’t want to rain on anyone’s baby parade but I have to ask, have you been to the doctor yet to confirm this?”
“Yesterday.” Stacy said before reaching into her pocket and pulling out several sheets of paper. She handed them to Daria who quickly scanned them. “Ok so you’re two months pregnant and you have an iron deficiently so they prescribed a supplant as well as prenatal vitamins.”
“It’s all so expensive, I only have a few hundred dollars saved up.”
“I think I can help with this some.” :Maybe Mom and Dad too, if I do this right.:
Daria waited for Quinn to leave the dinner table for her date before deciding to talk to her parents.
“Mom, Dad, can we talk about something really serious?”
Both her parents dropped their silverware and seemed to be trying to drill into her skull with their eyes. “Go on.” Her mother said calmly.
“Now I know this is what people always say on TV but I need you to believe me. I have a friend who’s in some trouble. I promised I would try to help her but I could use some help myself in doing that.”
“What kind of help?” Helen said looking concerned.
“First and foremost it’s going to be money but she’s going to need legal advice as well.”
“Is Jane in some kind of trouble Daria?” Helen asked.
“It’s not Jane but my friend is in trouble.”
“What kind of trouble?” Helen said straightening up in her chair.
Daria took a drink of her lemonade before answering. “The kind of trouble that has a 9 month waiting list.”
Her parents both blinked as they let what she said sink in. Her mother dropped her head into her hands while her father jumped to his feet. “You’re pregnant!”
“I’m not pregnant, my friend is pregnant.”
“IT’S NOT JANE.” Daria said rising her voice over her father’s mutter complaints.
“Can’t her parents help her?” Helen asked and from her tone Daria knew it was a fishing trip for more information.
“They kicked her out this morning. Look I don’t say this often but I need help because she’s in a really bad place right now … mentally.” Daria heard her voice tremble in desperation.
“What exactly are you asking for?” Helen said surprised at Daria emotional response.
“Just what I said. Money to help out, we’re thinking she shouldn’t drop out of school since she’ll only be about five months along by summer, might as well finish the year. Getting a job when you’re pregnant can’t be easy. Plus the stuff they want her to get is really expensive. I was hoping you could see what legal help might be available for her.”
“Where is this girl now?” Helen said looking at the phone.
“I think I’m going to withhold that information until you stop thinking about calling child welfare or something.”
“Damn it Daria.” Helen said with a shake of her head.
“We’ll help out.” Jake said causing Helen to glare at him. “What? Our daughter comes to us with help, so we help. This isn’t one of Quinn’s extra shopping trips.”
“Fair enough.” Helen said before turning back to Daria. “Alright but I can’t do anything without knowing who I’m helping and where they are. I also need to know anything that might be of importance.”
Daria sighed and took a chance. “This is me trusting YOU.” Her eyes gave the warning that such a moment might never come again if that trust was betrayed. Daria cleared her throat and told them everything.