Chapter 18





My mother never did find out about the baby.

No one did.

Unless you counted Tommy, but by the time he knew he was all ready part of my past. And the doctors, well the doctors were there to save my life, let alone discuss what my prenatal care should be.

If It would have been alive, if It were the Superman of all unborn babies, It would still be in my stomach. I would either be in the maternity ward struggling to control my insides from destroying itself or I would be holding a wide eyed baby in my arms. But that doesn't happen in real life.

Not after a near-fatal (or fatal if you discuss the losses that were included) car accident. No. My baby was not super human. It was not the next big peace keeper, or the next world savior--but it was a martyr.

The doctors said that if It had not died, I would have died of severe internal bleeding. Don't ask me to make sense of it, because I sure as Hell couldn't, and truthfully, I still can't. I remember their words and Tommy's intermingling into one cloud of a drug-induced dragon causing nothing but havoc upon my perfectly destroyed world.

"Wait, what?" Tommy had nearly yelled as the doctor finished his report. "You were pregnant?"

My mouth had felt stapled shut, unable to reveal the private documents that I had kept inside for so long.

I remember seeing him pace back and forth while trying to make sense of all that he had just been told. I remember wanting to reach my arm to him, but nothing in my body responded; this all felt so wrong.

I remember closing my eyes and pretending to sleep just so that I didn't have to see him so distraught anymore--his pain was doubled for me. Knowing that I had hurt him was only several notches below the death of my father and several notches above the death of my unborn child. I gasped for breath and let myself shudder into a dream world where nothing had occurred. My father was there, smiling and holding onto a little boy, his toothless grin bringing tears to my eyes.

A bit later I awoke, with the taste of bile in my mouth and my eyes shut tight. I had heard voices that were familiar to me.

"We have to tell her Tommy," Lisa had been saying, urging.

"Are you crazy? We can't!" Tommy's voice had sounded decided, wishful.

"For God's sake Tommy, she was going to have your baby! We have to tell her!"

"The fact that Jenna was going to have my baby is nothing in comparison to me having to stop seeing you!" his voice diminished taking my heart with it.

I remember squinting through the dim lights of my hospital room and seeing a picture that I would rip and burn over and over in my head for the next few months to follow. My best friend Lisa, kissing my boyfriend, my love.


She wasn't kissing him. They were kissing each other.

My world stood at a standstill and they both realized that I was not in my drugged stupor any longer.

"Jenna," Tommy began.

Lisa just stood there watching me with an "o" formed on her lips.

I remember having to pry myself from the sight, having to use all my energy as I struggled out of the bed, as I pushed Tommy off of me while trying to reach the door, as I cursed them under my breath and walked out of the hospital, vowing to myself that I did not have a boyfriend and that I was a friendless, loveless, childless, fatherless Jenna.

The keys were still under the mat in front of the bungalow that my father and I had called home for the years leading up to his demise. I unlocked the door and let myself into the abandoned, boiling living room. I ripped off the pictures of birthdays, camp trips, cars, and summers that were now but a distant memory never to re-occur again that were stuck on the fridge by magnets that advertised where dad and I had gone. I itched at my cheek were a cut had recently been bandaged and felt the tear of my skin as the stitches tore under my nails. The pain seared through me, making my vision foggy, but not controllable.

With trembling, yet determined hands I reached into the drawer closest to me and pulled out a pair of scissors with rubber handles. I remembered when my dad had bought these when I was ten and I had thought that they were so neat because holding them felt like gel, so squishy in my hands. When I was thirteen I also had an idea: how ironic it was that a tool of such destruction could offer such comfort.

This is where I began to cry. The rest of my memory is filled with snippets as I remember the hysteria in my actions. Black hair floated past my face and onto the floor and the heat of the house made me itchy as the long strands stuck to my bare, bandaged arms. I scratched my cheeks and cut. Scratched and cut. This was my routine for about an hour.

My aunt, my father's little sister, was the first to find me.

She figured that I would want to be in the home that I had lived my whole life with my deceased father rather than being stranded in a hospital full of dying sick strangers. She had been partially correct.

Instead of a wide-eyed, quiet, sulking teenager sitting on her father's bed, she found an enraged, delusional me on the kitchen floor with a bloody cheek and a shadow made of black hair.

I wake up to find my mother staring down at me, worried, with a hot towel between her manicured fingers and an anxious Michael sitting on my window sill staring blankly out the window.

The End

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