One Way Not To Tell Your Friends Your Life Is Over by Karmina Lopez Beltran

We were seated around the table when she came in. Standing tall and with a smile on her face as she approached us. As she sat on the table she said, “I gathered you all here today to deliver the news.” She looked down, fiddling with her zipper, “If you don’t hear it from me, you’ll hear it from someone else, anyway. So you might as well know the truth.”  A smile broke her face in half, her eyes giving a different message as her eyebrows furrowed together and a tear rolled down her cheek. “There is something growing inside me.” Her hands touched her womb. “It started out as one cell, but quickly became two. Then, those two doubled to four, and so on and so forth.”

Shit, I thought, she’s pregnant. What could be worse than being nineteen and pregnant? We were fourteen when we decided we were going to be teachers. She had dreams of graduating college, first in her family, and wanted teach at the local elementary school. The same elementary school I planned to teach at.  But clearly, now, that was all over.

“Yeah…” she continued, “I found out six months ago. I just didn’t know how to tell you guys.”

Wait, what? Everyone around the table was as confused as I.

Seeing our faces, she smiled,  “I have cancer, they gave me a year. Well, I guess six months, now.”  She took a sip of water. “What? You thought I was pregnant or something?”


Karmina Lopez Beltran loves writing and is a transfer student at SJSU.

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