Not Pregnant

World Literature Today|Summer 2020

Not Pregnant
In this work of creative nonfiction from Cuba, plague is something common shared with those who lived in Thebes.
Elaine Vilar Madruga

I carefully open a pregnancy test kit. It’s the most precious relic in my corner of the world. It’s the only one I’ve got. I’d rather not go out and buy another one. So it better work. I’ll have to settle for whatever the results might be. Positive or negative. I feel like Schrödinger’s cat inside a box. Will the poison be released? Positive or negative? It’s no time to cry. Will Schrödinger’s cat shed tears? It’s time to face this long wait, this headless, footless creature, while we all dilute. Time is an elephant, its feet resting on my neck.

I pee. The test stick turns pink. The first line appears, which means everything is in order. Lucky me. I’m a cat caught between the commonplace of confinement and its destiny. I wait for the second line to appear. Negative or positive? Negative. It’s a day like any other, one more to be crossed out on the calendar inside my mind.

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Summer 2020