Short Story: The Little Pink Power Strip


the little pink power strip, a short story adaptation from my forthcoming novel
A short story adaptation from my forthcoming novel

Now that my most recent novel (In the Space Between) is finally published, I’ve been working on the next novel in my fictional universe.

The official title for this novel is still yet to be determined, but the story basically revolves around one of the side characters from In the Space Between, Dorothy, as she navigates through some life challenges a few years after her debut in my previous novel.

Today’s short story is an adaptation from one of her “life challenges” that just so happens to be an unexpected pregnancy…and the complicated way she decides to handle it.

Read for spoilers now (or else you’ll have to wait for the full novel to be published in 2025!). You’re welcome

The Little Pink Power Strip


It took the intrusive sound of her phone pinging against the cold tile of the bathroom floor to snap Dorothy out of the shock. She’d been staring at the little, pink plus sign for almost an hour, alone on her bathroom floor, her knees pulled into chest, back resting against the door, her phone and a cup of her pee beside her. Slowly, she set the Stick of Revelation on the sink counter above her head and picked up her phone to read the message she received.

One word:


She sighed, closed her eyes, and rested her head against the door. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Of all the mistakes she’d made over the years, this one seemed the biggest. She wasn’t even sure she wanted a family—especially with Mark. They had broken up about a month ago when he’d finally told his wife about their affair. Their fight the night before his confession had been about the possibility of this exact situation. She’d been on top that night and he'd told her to get off of him when he was about to come, but she’d been so enraptured by her own ecstasy that she didn't hear him until he was jumping up from the bed and screaming at her.

“Jesus, Dorothy! Do you ever think of anyone other than yourself?” he’d shouted at her. “Do you have any idea how fucked my life would be if I knocked you up?”

That's why he decided to tell his wife. It became real to him then, that they were maybe something more serious than he’d wanted to be.

He made a choice and it wasn’t her.

quote "That's why he decided to tell his wife. It became real to him then, that they were maybe something more serious than he’d wanted to be.   He made a choice and it wasn’t her."

She’d spent the past month spiraling over it, so much so that she didn’t really believe her constant nausea was an indication she was pregnant. She thought it was just a symptom of her heartbreak, the constant ache in the deepest part of her.

When she had bought the pregnancy test and sent him a picture, she’d done so to spite him. She wanted him to worry, to obsess over their relationship like she’d been ever since the split. They’d had many false alarms pver the years and she figured this wouldn’t be any different. The last thing she expected was that little pink plus sign.

With the sign out of sight, she was now focusing her obsession on the single word glowing on the screen in front of her. She knew she needed to respond, but she couldn’t decide how. Somehow “Surprise! You’re going to be a dad!” just didn’t seem like the appropriate response.

She was facing something bigger than she anticipated, and she had no idea how to respond.

She could imagine Mark’s response if she told him, and it wasn’t pretty. She just knew he would jump at the chance to throw it all in her face. It was her fault, her problem, her mistake “to take care of.” He would want nothing to do with her.


Maybe he would be a gentleman about this. Maybe he would support whatever decision she decided to make, and offer to help her in any way he could. Perhaps he wouldn’t leave his wife, but he would still be a part of her life, right? Is that what she wanted?

She thought about this for a moment.

Dorothy wonders what to tell Mark. Should she lie? Or tell him the truth?

False alarm. She eventually texted back.

Her heart raced as she waited for him to respond. She imagined he could see through her lie, that any second she would hear him pounding on the door, demanding the truth. But that wasn’t Mark’s style.

Thank God. He responded. Then, a beat later, Don’t contact me again, Dorothy. I mean it.

She didn’t respond. She tossed her phone onto the ground and began to cry.


Eventually, she found the courage to pick herself off the bathroom floor and schedule an appointment with her doctor. Even though she had decided not to tell Mark the truth, she knew she wouldn’t be able to lie to herself. And the first step to figuring out what to do next was hearing what her options were.

Her best friend, Jade, came with her and held her hand, reminding her to breathe as her doctor explained her options.

She left the appointment with a variety of pamphlets, wishing more than ever that her mother was still alive. This was one of the things a girl really needs her mother for. How was she going to do this alone?

“We can do this,” Jade told her, her bright eyes twinkling as they met Dorothy’s. “I’m here for you. We can do this together.”

Jade kept her word. She stayed by her side as Dorothy wavered between options. She couldn’t seem to make up her mind. Nothing felt right. Everything felt wrong.

Until she had her ultrasound appointment at 28 weeks and learned she was having a baby boy.

Dorothy discovers she's having a boy.

She watched him wiggle and twirl around in her belly, his heart beating in a steady rhythm underneath her own, and she suddenly knew.

This was what she wanted. He was hers to keep. Her baby boy. Her joy.


She was just past nine months along when her secret finally burst. She was walking on the beach as she did every evening, her hands cupping her ballooning belly to alleviate the pressure of gravity. She would have thought her laborious waddle hilarious if she wasn’t the one experiencing it.

Instead, she just felt ridiculous.

But her doctor had suggested these nightly walks might help speed delivery and she was desperate at this point. She was ready to meet her son—mostly so she would be able to walk again without her feet swelling and the need to pee every five minutes.

When she saw him, Mark was walking toward her, his arm around his wife’s shoulders. She stopped and thought to turn around, but there was no point. She wasn’t going to be able to get away from this—not at this pace.

She watched as his eyes landed on her, the spark of recognition and then panic as his eyes trailed from her face to her belly, the evidence of her lie.

“Dorothy?” he said.

“Surprise!” she said with a darkly humorous intonation.

And that’s when her water finally broke. At first she thought she might have peed herself. It was slight at first, the warmth trickling down her legs slowly. But then she felt a tiny pop from deep within her, and suddenly she was gushing onto the sand beneath her with a wave of pain so strong it brought her to her knees.

She doesn’t quite remember what came next, whether Mark drove her or called an ambulance. It’s a blur of pain and panting and screams that ripped through her body against her will.

Eleven exhausting painful hours later, though, Dorothy was holding her baby boy in her arms. This is it. We made it. She thought as she gazed at his sleeping eyes, inhaled his baby-fresh scent, felt his steady, hot breath on her breast. You’re my everything.

He was her son and he always would be, but she knew he was also a person of his own. He would grow and make his own choices, mistakes, and life, and she knew one day he wouldn’t need her anymore.

But she would always need him.

quote "He was her son and he always would be, but she knew he was also a person of his own. He would grow and make his own choices, mistakes, and life, and she knew one day he wouldn’t need her anymore.   But she would always need him."

And then her throat constricted and she started sobbing as the weight of her situation finally crushed her.

How would she manage this all on her own?

But then the door opened and Jade walked in, followed by Mark and even his wife. Her former roommate, Anna, showed up too, holding her phone so their friends and former roommates, Sarah and Dave, could gaze upon this newest addition too through a video chat.

As the room filled up with people eager for their chance to hold her little bundle of joy, Dorothy finally realized she wouldn’t have to do this alone. This was her family. It was a weird family full of complicated characters whose place in her life hadn’t fully been established.

But maybe that was okay. Maybe the only thing that mattered was this:

It was home.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my next novel!

As always, I'd love to hear from you so let me know what you think in the comments below! And don't forget to follow the blog on social media so you can stay up to date on more juicy sneak peeks like this!

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