“Matt, I’m not ready to be a mother. WE aren’t ready to be parents. I don’t want this child and I know you don’t want to have a child. Would you think about it for a fucking second? Do we really want to stop drinking? Do you really want to stop hanging out with the guys from school and have to go get a job?”
“I do want this Steph, I think in some ways we both wanted this to happen. I can join the Army, that will support our family. I can work until I start basic training and we can save up enough money to move out of this shitty town, we can leave all of this behind us. I don’t want to live like this anymore. How long do you think we can both live at my mom’s house? How long do you think you can be a runaway before the cops finally track you down and we all go to jail for hiding you?”
He is young. Young and handsome with the barest trace of his Mexican heritage showing on his ragged bearded face. He is wearing the clothes that were so popular in the late 70’s. Faded brown corduroy pants, a faded yellow shirt with dull brown hems that had started out fitting perfectly, but after being washed a couple dozen times too many had become tight around his waist and loose everywhere else. His face was pleading with the young woman he was talking to, asking through expressions for her to listen and give it some thought. He knew that the look he was giving her made his words seem so much more authentic and powerful, more importantly he really believed every word that came out of his mouth.
She is young, less than a year more than his sixteen. Young and beautiful, lithe in form and even at such a young age she is determined to get her way, ready to do or say whatever she has to, to get what she wants. Her long straight hair is tied back behind her shoulders and the pale orange sundress she wears almost makes her appear to be a fierce warrior in the face of an unprepared and ill-equipped adversary.
“I already took some pills. Don’t bother asking where I got them, I won’t tell you because it really does not matter. I don’t want this baby, Matt, and I don’t want to be with you anymore either. We can’t be parents and we can’t be together. I don’t know why you can’t see that. I need you to leave me alone. I am going to get my stuff out of the house and I want you to let me leave without making a big deal about this.”
Matt is silent. His mouth moves as if there are words coming out, but not a single sound issues from his moving lips. His lips continue to move as the tears begin to flow down his face, as his body starts to shake. Suddenly he blinks, his lips stop moving and he wipes his chin with the back of his hand. He watches the tears roll down the side of that hand and land on the table in front of him. The two puddles of tears join into one and he stares at the salty liquid for a moment before he hangs his head.
“I love you Steph. You don’t deserve it, or maybe I don’t deserve it, but it is still true and I want you to know that before you leave. I would have done anything to show you how much my love for you means to me. I would even support you in this if you gave me the chance”
She has nothing to say to him, she has already made her decision, and Steph always follows through with getting what she wants. She raises her hand and goes to touch his back; to pat him or rub him, maybe. But with a shake of her head, she pulls her arm back to her side and walks out of the room. Slowly shutting the door behind her.
Steph’s attempt at aborting me failed, obviously.
She was sick for a week and bled a type of blood that, she had no way of knowing if it was normal. Dark, thick vaginal blood trickled out of her steadily for 5 days. It had gotten to the point where she didn’t wear pantyliners during the day, she stayed home instead and alternated between being in the shower and holding a towel between her legs. She inspected the blood for signs that she had extinguished the life within her but the clots she saw were never larger than a dime and she had already learned in sex education that I had grown larger than that by twenty four weeks. She was alone and scared but never gave into the feeling deep inside of her to reach out to Matt for help, she would never give him the satisfaction of seeing her need him, she just wasn’t capable of doing it.
Later, when she realized the abortion had failed, she went to Matt’s house and told him it hadn’t worked, that the abortion had failed and that they needed to figure out what they were going to do. She was depressed and weakened and he talked about a dream future and told her everything was going to be alright, how could it be anything other than alright. They had the perfect opportunity to set things right in their lives.
I was never told this story by my parents, but learned it later in life. A therapist might say I was too young when I learned of this story. I don’t know though, I think it is important to know your own origin story. Spider-Man knows his, Superman knows his and while I may not be a superhero, I still have one hell of a story to share. I always tell it like it is happening right now because that is the way it always happens to superheros, it just seems to be the type of story you tell that way.
My parent stayed together by the way, for another decade or so anyway. They felt it proper to get married and have a few more children, these ones conceived in a marital bed and fully recognized by God and all of His angels. Of course, manufactured loved and the shared experience of creating life aren’t enough to keep people together. Or maybe it is the reality that the foundation for such a relationship was me, the bastard child that survived an abortion and caught the attention of some cosmic sadist with a sense of humor.