the 4th thing

Remember Monday when I said I was thinking about 4 things all weekend, and then I went on to list three things?

Yeah, well I know the world is on the brink of fucking collapse right now hahaha but I was really determined to give the 4th thing a few days to not be a problem because the 4th thing I’ve been thinking about all weekend is somehow the thing that’s making me want to fucking throw up and scream and die. But here’s the thing, it’s three days later and it’s still a problem.

So on Friday night when we were first in town, just hanging out a little bit with my mom, I was in the shower and my mom came in to pee. If that’s not the kind of thing that happens in your family, cool for you I guess, but idk my mom and I have always had the kind of relationship where as long as you knock first to make sure no one’s exposed or doing anything too sensitive, we don’t care if the other one pees while we’re showering. You live in a one bathroom apartment for long enough and totally private showers just aren’t a thing.

So anyways, my mom’s peeing and she says, “hey have you tried those period cup things? I always thought they looked sort of terrifying but listen, they’re a fricking miracle. Some of the girls at work don’t like them for a few reasons, but listen, they’re the best —” and she went on but I’d stopped listening.

Have you figured out why yet?

Have you figured it out?

See, I was doing some fucking MATH. The world is ending, and I’m doing MATH so you know it’s gotta be bad.

Just basic arithmetic. Multiples of seven.

The numbers weren’t adding up.

Now it’s Wednesday morning, and Friday was five days ago and those numbers still aren’t adding up. In fact they’re adding up worse now.

But okay listen this isn’t like POSSIBLE okay???? I am CAREFUL I’m the kind of careful that’s fueled by deep, endless wells of fear, do you understand what I’m saying here?

I’ve had an IUD since my mom got wind of me maybe having a thing with a boy sophomore year. We had a mature conversation, she suggested it might be a good idea, I agreed, and within the week I had myself some nice hormone control and didn’t have to worry.

And then you know what I did? I used condoms every single time no matter what because I HAVE ANXIETY.

And then, when a condom broke, I TOOK PLAN B ANYWAYS, JUST IN CASE. THIS HAS HAPPENED TWICE. Do you know how unnecessary that is? It is SO unnecessary.

Meanwhile, Neal and Julian are both so stressed right now. We’re doing all sorts of weird fucking driving, I think they’re trying to ensure that no one follows us. Because literally, it’s looking like a fucking war is breaking out. Billy Ace has his people all fired up over this dead kid — his name was Richie Diaz, and just like we guessed on Monday, he was literally a kid. I mean okay, so he’s just a little younger than Julian, but like Julian’s ageless on account of having to have absolute emotional control at all times so he doesn’t kill anyone.

Richie was just a normal kid who got into the business because of his friend’s house was haunted and he was just curious and wanted to help out. No tragic backstory, just a good kid, a psych major, looking to make a difference. At least that’s what’s been going around and listen it doesn’t matter if it’s true or whatever, he doesn’t deserve to be dead.

But like, I will point out here that he did shoot first. Like he for sure took a shot at what from his perspective must have looked like an unarmed 35 year old woman, you know?

“No you’re right,” Julian said when I tried to voice this frustration after yet another phone call from a hunter I didn’t know, talking about how angry people are. “He made a mistake, and did something dangerous, and she retaliated by mistake and did something dangerous. But see, Lily lived, and Richie didn’t. And the difference?”

My heart sank. Magic. Lily was carrying a very rare charm that essentially kept her alive until they could get her real medical attention. Magic was the difference.

“So in Billy’s story, he and his people are desperados, vigilantes out to do a job the corrupt system won’t do,” Julian went on. “We’re villains in that story, showing up to protect dangerous beasts instead of real people. And Richie, well he wasn’t going to let that stand, was he? No, he decided he was going to do something about it. He’s a hero for taking that shot. And what did he get for it?”

Julian said this with the utmost calm, but my blood was boiling.

So I do care about everything that’s happening in the world. But listen compared to THIS and Madelyn disappearing through a portal with a unicorn, hunter war is not what’s keeping me up at night.

Okay, next time we stop I’m going to go into the gas station, I’m going to buy a test, and I’m going to take it. It’ll come up negative, it has to because there is just no way there’s no way, but I’ll take it and then I’ll know and I won’t have to worry about it anymore.

Fuck me you know????????? Just absolutely fuck me FUCK me

Okay, so we stopped to get gas at this little old convenience store slash gas station in the middle of nowhere, you know the kinda place where you can buy everything and a can of chili, right?

And I said, “I gotta pee, anyone need anything?”

Neal was on his phone with one foot braced on the dash, and he barely looked up when he said, “yeah, but I’ll come in in a sec,” and Julian just waved me off to tell me he’s good.

Which was a good start because listen, FUCK this, and if I have to suffer this humiliation I’m going to do it by myself.

So I went in and I must have looked like I was about to rob the place because I literally like, found what I was looking for, grabbed it off the shelf, jammed it into my pocket and ran for the counter.

The woman behind it smelled like vanilla and looked like she’d seen a thing or two, and she gave me a look of total understanding and sympathy when I put the thing on the counter. I was glad to be hiding behind my sunglasses.

“Just one?” she asked.

“There’s two in the pack,” I snapped back, took it off the counter before she could give me the receipt, and hurried for the bathroom door.

I feel like waiting for a fucking pregnancy test is the 10th circle of hell. Long humiliating age passes between peeing on the thing — which is bad enough on it’s own btw — to seeing it do it’s little magic trick.

And guess what: two little pink lines ||

It all came at me at once. I just sat there in the gas station bathroom, staring.

I took the second and guess what: ||

Literally I just stared at it.

I don’t even know how to BEGIN to explain how I’m feeling right now.

Like dread is the obvious answer maybe. But like okay, I saw a tiktok a few weeks ago where a girl took a test, and you could see on her face that it coming up positive was bad news, but she was laughing, and joking, and totally, 100% unashamed. It was funny, I laughed with her. And in the comments everyone was making hilarious supportive abortion jokes and I remember feeling so safe and like… I don’t know I don’t know how to explain it, maybe a kinship with her? Like ah yes, we’re all in this nightmare cycle together but you handle it however you gotta handle it and we’ll all catch you by making insensitive jokes on the internet.

YEAH WELL THATS NOT HOW I’M FEELING NOW.

I feel claustrophobic I feel disgusted I feel betrayed I feel a level of rage that I like… I mean I can’t even begin to describe it I can’t even look at myself I don’t want to name my body parts I feel like I’m a prisoner in a bag of meat I want to tear open my torso and throw everything inside there at people I’m so angry and freaked out

This is not what is supposed to happen to me like this is NOT a thing that’s supposed to be possible my body cannot be capable of this level of betrayal this isn’t fucking JUNO okay

I am about to go to war with my damn self I literally was so freaked out I punched the bathroom mirror, but I have pathetic little noodle arms and it just hurt my hand hahahaha

Oh my god I am losing it I am absolutely losing it

I had to throw the tests in the fucking gas station garbage can. I stood outside the bathroom door, under a flickering fluorescent light, just stood there, trying to remember what to do

What was I gonna do call my mom? Hey mom, it’s Shiloh I’m — oh my god I can’t even type the word. That’s not a word that can ever EVER be applied to me. What IS this? Is there a word for when you feel so horrified and disgusted and betrayed by your body that you’d like to evacuate it immediately?

“Shiloh?” Neal called from the door, oblivious. “You coming?”

I turned like I was in a trance, followed him past the rows of colorful snacks. He held open the door for me and as I crossed the threshold the motion sensor dinged pleasantly. The woman at the counter was watching me I could feel it. I couldn’t look at her.

“Did you get a drink or something?” Neal asked. I shook my head, felt like a ghost as I stepped off the curb, crunching on an old chip bag.

“You okay?” Neal asked, off handed, as he crossed around the car towards the passenger door.

“Yeah,” I lied, without thinking, and Neal froze. He dropped his bag of gummy worms and didn’t bend to retrieve them.

Sound literally warped in and out of existence hahaha it felt like my ears were adjusting to sudden elevation change.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, and I swear the look on his face was like someone had died. I just shook my head. He came around the car towards me and I didn’t mean to but I took steps back away from him and he froze. He held up his hands and took a step back, like I was a wild thing.

“What happened?” he asked, bewildered. He glanced over his shoulder at the gas station, like he was expecting to see someone in there to fight, but I really didn’t need that kind of heat.

“You can’t ask me questions,” I said and then, because it was the only way to get him to leave me alone, I got into the back of the car.

The Hawthornes exchanged a glance through the passenger window.

“Are you in danger?” Julian asked.

“No,” I said, which is TECHNICALLY true. I mean, yeah I have a potentially deadly medical condition but not like… immediately.

Neal hesitated for a long moment, and then haltingly went back around the car, got in the passenger seat and we drove again. And now I’m writing this.

Lol he just said, “Do you need anything from us?”

And I said, because, I’ve had like two seconds to remember how to think, “not yet,” because that’s the truth.

Okay, it’s later now and bitch WHAT hahahahahahahahah W H A T hahahahahahahahahaha jesus fucking

I have been hunting monsters for a full year and THIS

T H I S

T

H

I

S

is the thing that happens???????

Honestly it’s comical it’s COMICAL I’m so over it I literally can’t even EXPRESS I’m done I’m DONE hahahaha how many monsters could have eaten me this year???? Literally everyone better hope we don’t meet anything fangy and exotic in the next few days because it’s two for one deal at the human buffet

I have to TELL THEM

I have to TELL THE HAWTHORNES hahahahahahahahahahahahaha because obviously this little condition I’m experiencing??? HAHA no it’s not going to continue it is ending at my NEAREST available convenience

There was a point in my life that I wondered, being the child of a young mother myself, if I would have some kind of quandary should I ever get 🤢 (lol still can’t say it) but NOPE. NOT A PROBLEM I’M HAVING IN THE LEAST

GET IT OUT

THIS IS WHAT I GET FOR BANGING A HUMAN WITH A PENIS

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