"I’m pregnant." Claire’s lips moved slowly, less than an inch from the phone’s receiver.
"What did you--" The voice coming from the other end of the line registered confusion.
"I said I’m pregnant."
"I’m not sure how I can help you."
"I got pregnant while using your product." Duh, Claire thought.
"Oh, I see." There was clicking. The woman was typing on a keyboard.
"I want to know how that happened." Sitting on the closed toilet seat, Claire crossed and uncrossed her fingers.
"Our product is effective over ninety-nine percent of the time."
"Like that matters to me now." Claire sighed and looked to her left. The little frogs that covered the shower curtain gazed at her with a hundred happy eyes.
"If the product is not used properly, the risk or pregnancy or contacting a sexually transmitted disease rises." More clicking.
Claire stood. "I’d rather have an STD," she said to her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail. She wasn’t wearing any make-up.
"If the condom was used after the expiration date, if it was torn or damaged in any way when it was taken out of the package, if it was not properly placed on the penis, if there was not a sufficient space left at the tip to collect the--"
"What are you talking about?" Claire looked at the little stick on the counter. The word Pregnant stared back at her.
"I’m explaining all the things that could have caused our product to fail, ma’am." There was a pause. "You asked how it happened, I’m trying to list--"
"Forget it." Claire took the phone from her face and almost stabbed the button that would end the call. Then she thought of another question. "So, what do you do for people when your product fails them?"
"Well, ma'am, usually failure is due to user error rather than--"
"I don't want to hear it." Claire glanced at the test stick again; the little blue letters might as well have said Fucked.
"Well--without admission of liability--we do provide a trained counsellor to discuss your options with you. And you may choose a selection of products from our maternity and infant care lines."
"I see." Claire pressed the phone closer to her ear, surprised at how reasonable this sounded.
"We will of course reimburse you for the cost of the condom, as a good-will gesture."
"Why, that's very gener--"
"And we'll also send you a big rubber band so that next time there's a fighting chance you'll keep your fucking legs together."
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Anonymous