It started innocent enough, Grace commented that I was going to get fat if I didn’t stop eating all that junk food. I shoved her playfully, I always eat junk food and I’m no where near fat, maybe even a little underweight.
It got me counting though. On my own, I had consumed more bags of chips than they keep on the shelf, in the past week. Chris was working towards a healthier lifestyle, he boasted, and wouldn’t touch anything fried, unless it was his precious chicken.
Once I started counting bags of chips, and calories consumed, and packages of cookies, I started counting days.
And I found myself feeling sick, sick from a lifetime supply of monounsaturated oils, consumed in a week.
Sick because all things pointed to one giant sign, and I was too fucked up to even begin to imagine it. Grace wasn’t, she had a test, cause they are sometimes trying, she says. I joke that she can pee on it for me, she already peed on one this morning, she confessed and it was negative.
It’s not negative for me. It wouldn’t be, my worst nightmares are my life.
Grace has a mild panic, she steps into Mom-mode, and asks why I didn’t use protection. She asks who is the Dad, and my gut-sinks lower.
I don’t have answers. I don’t know why I do half the things I do, I’m no closer to knowing the purpose of my life, than I am knowing how to solve a chemistry problem. All I can think of is Chris, and his face. Busy at work, but home soon.
Grace calms down, and sits with me in the living room, while we wait for Chris. She says she won’t stay past that point, but I enjoy her quiet presence now.
“It’ll all work out.” She coos, “I’ll help you with this.”
The only work out I can see is a loss, cause this was a mistake, but I don’t say it outloud. It would hurt Grace’s feelings, she wants one of these, and I’m the ungrateful sister who doesn’t want to be pregnant. Life isn’t fair.
Chris comes home. She doesn’t stay and chat, or ask about Chris’ workday, all the normal social things she enjoys doing. She just smiles slightly, and leaves quietly.
I don’t hedge, I just blurt it. I don’t know how to mince words, or soften blows, I think this is a skill that would be handy right now. Chris looks like he could die from shock, it almost pisses me off. Doesn’t he know how babies are made? Doesn’t he know there’s a risk when you fool around?
He sputters for a good minute, then with a wild look in his eye he darts out the bedroom door. He mutters about needing to work on the car, and he’s gone. I hear him as he leaps down the stairs in a panic, he wouldn’t be faster if I chased him with a chainsaw. I sink into the couch and wait.
My hand rests on my abdomen unconsciously, and I move it as soon as I realize what lays beneath. A mother, at 23. My apartment is a mess, it’s not even mine. I don’t own anything but my clothes and cell phone. This is Chris’ pad, his stereo, tv, even his junker car in the lot. I can’t raise a baby in this tiny one bedroom apartment, I can’t go back home. I can’t marry Chris with a giant belly, I don’t even know if I can marry him without a baby.
It’s closing on ten when I go downstairs to retrieve Chris. He can’t stay outside all night, the pregnancy isn’t contagious, and I realize he might need more support than I do right now. Men can be such weak creatures.
He’s in the hood, he looks up, and he smiles.
“I think I can get this done before summer, then we can drive the baby to daycare.”
“Daycare?” I whisper the words, but he seems to hear me.
“Unless you want to stay at home with the baby, I’m sure Grace would understand if you stopped working at the salon.”
I feel my lips move, but not even air is escaping. Daycare, Stay at home Mom, I can’t be ether of these people. “I can’t… do that.” I have disdain in my voice, but I don’t know which part I’m disdaining, working Moms, stay at home moms, or Moms in whole.
He stops, and moves to stand by me. “What are you saying?”
I hold my arms out, begging him to look at me, see me for the first time, ever. He doesn’t see though. “I’m no good.” I’m forced to mumble it. I don’t want to tell him, I want him to see, and move on, without my humiliation in the process.
He doesn’t laugh or run. “Emma,” He chokes with some heavy emotion. “We can do this. We’ll have a car, we can move downstairs to a two bedroom unit. We are old enough, we can handle parenthood.”
I meekly nod. He doesn’t see me, not truly.
He smiles again like all the problems of the world have just been solved. “Hop behind the wheel, and rev the engine for me. I figure as long as the engine works, it doesn’t have to be pretty.”
He wants to be a mechanic, own his own shop, sell repaired cars. He’s going to make a killing, he says. This is his dream. I sit on the old leather bucket seat, and grip the steering wheel, and I search my soul for my dream. If I had a dream, then I could have a direction, a purpose.
He stands innocent and trusting in front of me, and all I want to do is run him down, and never come back to this stupid town. Rewind time to… I don’t know when.
Notes: This actually happened at the end of her last play session, but I needed time to figure this out for Emma. I finally got it figured out, so now I’ll let her “be” pregnant, and move forward with her story. Prepare for more Emma updates this round.
That was actually Chris’ reaction too, little baby bubble comes up over Emma, and Chris gives me that.