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First day of tenth grade.
Just shoot me.
Not only was my summer over, not only was I going back to a place I hated and a school that taught me nothing. I was pregnant and no one knew, but me. I thought my dad knew, I thought maybe he found out this one time over the summer, but I was wrong. I tricked him. I tricked them all.
“Nadine!” Pastor Randy called out loud on that humid summer day. His voice boomed through the entire household. Jojo jumped as my father’s voice pierced his ears. In return, Fay comforted her unintelligent son and gave him a cheese stick.
Nadine trotted down from her room and passed by me in the kitchen as she traveled down to the basement to meet my obviously angered father. I assumed she had left an empty box of condoms on the couch again. Sometimes, I think that she did that on purpose.
I didn’t hear their conversation but I wasn’t interested in it either. That is, until Nadine came flying up the stairs and motioned for me to meet the Pastor in the basement. She seemed unscathed, why did he not punish her? I picked at my fingernails as my eyes met my father’s evil glare. He was standing near the computer and had Internet explorer opened to the pregnancy symptoms page that I had gone on just a month before. I wore a confused and seemingly innocent facial expression.
“I asked your sister and she said she didn’t know what this was, she told me to ask you about it” He crossed his arms and squinted.
I was scared and pissed off at Nadine. If she had ratted me out and told my father of his fetal grandchild, I would have to slit her self-righteous throat.
“What is it?” I tried to buy time by acting dubious.
“Come closer and take a look.” He pointed at the screen.
I stood there silently and stared at the screen, pretending to read it.
“Are you pregnant, Lillian?” His voice was stern and deep.
“No!” I acted as if he was crazy. As if the question was so out of my comprehension and he was so out of line for asking it.
“Then does someone want to tell me why somebody went on this website, I know for a fact it wasn’t Betsy.” Randy’s nostrils flared.
“I did, I went on it.” What the fuck was I saying? I wished I had something to back up my confession. I just wanted him to stop asking me; I just wanted silence so I could come up with an excuse.
“Why, Lily, why?” He was choked up and frightened to know the truth.
“Dad, calm down,” my voice was sharp.
“How can I? You’re pregnant for Pete’s sake.”
“I’m not pregnant,” I laughed at him, “I went on the website for a school project on teen pregnancy.”
He sighed and so did I. He believed me and initiated a hug between us. He held onto me tighter than ever before. Then he pulled away and looked at me with inquisitive eyes.
“But you went on it in the summer, why would you have a school project in the summer?” His eyes darted across my face, looking for an answer.
I panicked, but I didn’t show it. I couldn’t waste any more time.
“Summer reading,” I spit out.
“Summer reading?” He questioned me.
“Yeah,” I explained, “we had to read a book about teenage problems and then do a research paper about the issue, just so happens that my book was about teen pregnancy.”
Once again he was filled with relief. His perfect teenage daughter was not pregnant and he could once again resume his position as ‘dad of the year’. Sad thing was he was anything but right.
“Oh honey, I was so scared, you don’t even understand,” He smiled as if he didn’t just freak out like a little girl.
“Dad, me pregnant, really?” I let a fake smile crawl across my dry lips. I felt sick to my stomach. I was such a dirty, conniving little slut. It was sad, but oh so true.
My father hugged me once again and playfully punched me in the arm. He laughed to himself as he walked up the stairs leaving me in the basement alone. I needed to pee.
I got dressed in the dark. My plaid knee-length skirt had grown slightly tighter. I didn’t dare to look at myself; my body had ballooned up to about 500 lbs. I had skipped my appointment with the doctor, but I counted the weeks of my wretched pregnancy. I was somewhere around 14 weeks. I wouldn’t allow myself to spend more than a little time a day thinking about what was inside my body, if I did, my mind would let me down. Then following my insanity, all of my organs would fail and eventually I would die. This baby could kill me! And by baby, I mean alien life form using my body as its host.
I walked into St. Jude’s Catholic Academy. Everyone had new shoes, purses, backpacks, and hairstyles. I hadn’t even bothered going school supply shopping. It was just a waste of my time. To the other kids, I was just the weird, lesbian bitch who never bought new school supplies. Only if they knew my secret, I was definitely not a lesbian.
That’s when it hit me, smack dab in the face like a baseball bat. Steve. What would happen when we came across each other? I bet he wouldn’t even look at me. I bet that he’d fucked dozens of girls over the summer. I was special though; I mean he had gotten me pregnant. He was the father of my baby. He didn’t even know, and if he did, would he even care? I was definitely not the definition of hot or sexy. God, I wasn’t even the definition of decent and clean, for that matter. I should tell him. How could he not want his own child? He would have to talk to me then. He would accompany me to the check-ups and then soon we would have our little Steve junior and everything would be perfect. In six months he would be eighteen and could support us. He would finally love me! I knew this baby wasn’t completely useless. I made a pact with myself that after school I would tell him about our lovechild. It was indeed our lovechild, even if I was the only one in love at the time.
School was decent, all of the teachers whined on and on about the year’s curriculum. What a joke. There was no damn curriculum, the teachers just made it all up as they went along. I wished that I was a teacher, just so I could yell at the kids I hated everyday and assign them unfair homework and projects. I’d laugh right in their faces as they cried and begged for mercy.
After the bell rang I walked behind the school. That was the hangout of Steve and his buddies. They would smoke and just chill. The principal had threatened them many times, but they didn’t care. That was another thing I loved about Steve, he had no concern for authority. I watched the guys smoke and laugh, with their ties loosened and shirts un-buttoned. Steve looked exceptionally fine; he had grown a slight unkempt beard, even though it was against school dress code. His green eyes sparkled as he laughed and his forearm flexed as he lifted a freshly lit cigarette to his mouth. I didn’t know how to approach him without looking like an idiot. His friends would probably laugh at me and call me an ugly dyke. I needed to talk to him though; it was my one chance to receive his love and affection. I dropped my book bag and triumphantly walked over to the group of guys. I tapped on Steve’s shoulder. He turned around casually. He looked surprised and disgusted at my presence.
“Steve,” I cleared my throat, “I need to um speak with you.”
His friends burst out laughing. He laughed too; he shot a joking glance back at his friends. I felt like the biggest loser ever, but now was not the time to back down.
“About what?” He cocked his head back, he wanted his friends to know what I was nothing to him.
“Just, I need to talk to you, in private,” my eyes stared straight into his. His friends were all awaiting his response, giggling and snickering like that bastards they were.
“Oh okay.” He looked back at his friends and winked. They were still rolling in hysterics. I felt humiliated and demeaned.
I turned and walked away. Steve followed shaking his head, laughing and acting as if I was such a fool, that it was joke that I even talked to him. His shallow tendencies were hurtful, but I couldn’t deny my feelings for him. I stopped and turned to him, he was smirking and had his arms crossed as if he was doing me a treat by being here.
“So, what’s this all about?” He laughed, “you miss my dick?”
Steve was becoming less and less attractive every second. Yet I was surprised that he remembered our encounter over the summer.
“No,” I blinked hard.
“Then what?” Steve moved his face closer to mine and pretended to be interested.
“I’m pregnant.” My face was emotionless.
Steve’s expression had gone from joking and sarcastic, to utter surprise and disturbance. I had rendered him speechless. I felt dominant, for once.
“It happened that one day over the summer,” I informed him.
“No.” He backed away, “I only, we only hooked up once.”
“Yes, that’s all it takes.” His ignorance surprised me.
“Look, you were a mistake. The only reason we did anything that night was because I was bored and you were the only girl in the room.”
Why was he saying these things? I was brutally damaged by his comments. I wasn’t just a mistake. Why couldn’t he love me? I felt sick. My eyes welled up with tears of anger and sadness.
“I’m not gonna raise some baby, why don’t you just get an abortion?” He asked, quickly.
He didn’t get it; he didn’t know what I had been through. It was too late for an abortion now. I was not going to kill a 14-week-old baby. It was inhumane and abortions now disgusted me, too many risks for me. Steve didn’t understand and it frustrated me.
“I tried!” I yelled at him, “I couldn’t do it, Steve, do you know how horrible those things are?”
He grabbed the ends of his hair violently, “you’re such a dumb bitch, you know that,” he shouted, “now look what you’ve done, you’ve fucking brought me into this shit, you stupid slut.”
“Stop yelling at me!” I could taste the salt from my warm tears as they dripped into my mouth, “you don’t understand, you don’t know, I need your help.”
“Help?!” He was ready to explode, “you expect me to be this kid’s dad?”
“You are this kid’s dad!”
“As of right now, I don’t even know that, who knows who else you’ve hooked up with.”
I was furious, why couldn’t he just own up to his actions? “No one else!” I panted, “you were my first and only one, Steve.”
“Great, this is just fucking fantastic!” He covered his eyes and rubbed his temples.
A part of me felt sympathetic towards him. He was vulnerable and it was my doing. My voice softened, “look, we can run away and raise this baby together,” I rubbed his shoulder lightly, “no one will ever know, we’ll be a family.” I smiled at him, warmly.
His eyes widened, “are you fucking insane?!” He swatted my hand away from his shoulder violently. “You need to get the Hell away from me, just get away, don’t you dare talk to me!” He yelled.
I was frightened and offended by his tone. Why was he being so difficult? Why couldn’t he just love me and love our baby? God Dammit, this child was ruining everything in my life!
“Steve—,” I tried to sound soothing.
“NO!” He screeched, “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME, AND STAY AWAY!” He pushed me forcefully. I stumbled and lost my balance. I fell to the ground. He ran off back to his friends mumbling swear words to himself. What would he tell them? “Yo man that crazy bitch just told me she needed my dick right now.” Then his friends would slap him up as they laugh at his lie.
I sat on the ground and sobbed. This was not how it was supposed to be. I thought for sure, he would have an ounce of kindness and loyalty towards his child. I was mistaken, now I was alone with this baby forever. Why was it so hard for me to get that damn abortion? I wish that I had more will power, like Nadine. She never would have let a baby get in the way of her life. Then there was me, a pathetic, ugly degenerate who no one wanted. A tiny spider crawled up onto my index finger. At any other time I would have screamed and shook it off, but right now, he was welcome. I would not shun this little thing. Maybe the spider and me would grow old together, or maybe it could talk to me like the movie Charlotte’s Web. It was so little and fragile, I imagined that the spider had been turned away by his family and was looking for a friend.
“Did they shun you too, little guy?” I asked the spider.
“It’s okay, I’m here for you.”
“Do you like my hand?”
“You are awfully quiet today, spidey.”
The spider bit me and ran off my hand. Wow, the spider didn’t even want me. It was official; I was the scum of the earth, the lowest creature in the chain. The sore turned red and puffy. I stared at the bite-mark and cried. Steve bit me with his words, and then the spider bit me with its fangs. I was lonelier than ever before. That’s when it hit me. I didn’t have to be lonely. I had a baby inside of me! This baby would love me and stay with me; I mean it had no choice. I was its mother for God sakes! From now on I would never be alone; I would have my child to be my confidant and friend. I was having this baby, no matter what.
I got up to my feet and dusted off my plaid skirt. I rested one hand on my belly and smiled. As I looked up at the sun, my eyes watered. It felt good, I felt fresh and clear. Did I just have an epiphany? I was like a philosopher or something.
Thank you God for this companion.