One day Barbara told me that she missed a period. Our friends said not to worry, it often happens at that age. Then Barbara missed the following period. We didn't feel very comfortable with this.

Those days you couldn't get a pregnancy test from the supermarket. You had to make an appointment by the doctor. Barbara didn't want to do that. She was afraid that her mother would find out. She told me all kinds of horror stories about what Chinese parents do when they find out that their daughter isn't innocent anymore. She would be the shame of the family and who knows what would happen then. But Barbara missed the following period as well. Now we got really worried. It was time for us to consider the alternatives. For Barbara there was only one option. She said: "If I am pregnant I am going to have this baby, no discussion". And she made something else clear as well, 'If you leave me now, I will certainly kill you!' When she said this she looked at me with such an aggression in her big black eyes, that I am sure she meant it.

First we had to be sure that Barbara was pregnant. Luckily the school nurse was a good friend of my parents. We could trust her that she would not contact Barbara's mother. She also tried to comfort us by saying that it often happens that girls miss periods, especially when they living in a stressful environment.

She arranged for us a doctor who would do a pregnancy test and keep it secret. When we went to this doctor to hear the results of the test, the waiting room was full. One of my classmates was sitting there as well. I started talking to her which really annoyed Barbara, she had hoped that this visit could have been kept secret. What didn't help was that this classmate immediately asked me if Barbara was pregnant (she was a gossiping type of girl). I asked her why she asked, she said 'why would you else come both to see the doctor'.

When we stepped in de doctors office and sat down Barbara had such a beautiful expression on her face, I can still remember it well. It was a mixture of intens strain compared with kind of absent mindedness nearly dreaming.
Barbara wasn't pregnant. She was disappointed. Pregnance would have forced such a major decision in her relation with her family. Her family would have to accept me or expel her. But she was also realistic enough to know that having a child was something we both didn't want at that time.



(thanks to Zhuoye for the translation)


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