Netty firmly believes the family that dines together, stays together. Eating dinner at the table isn’t up for debate and absences from dinner is only excusable when sick, out of town, at work, or invited to someone else’s house for dinner. I’ve been to 37 dinners since living with Netty and Deshaun. Tonight makes the 38th dining experience.
“At the next visit, we’ll know the sex of the baby. We should have been able to find out today, but the technician couldn’t get a clear view… but everything else looks really good.” Netty says passing Deshaun the serving bowl of sautéed green beans.
Dishing out a hearty scoop onto his light blue plate, Netty’s favorite set of dishware, Deshaun asks me, “What do you want, a boy or a girl?”
I hate that question. I hate that I’m pregnant. I hate that I dream about having a little girl and treating her like precious gold. I hate that I’m afraid she’ll look exactly like the jerk and I’ll detest her existence and treat her like the scum of the earth.
“A boy.” I lie.
“Really?” Netty seems surprised.
“A boy, you want a little D running around?” Deshuan hands me the bowl of green beans.
The whiff of the veggies makes me super nauseous. Normally, I love veggies, but lately I only want wings and rice. I take a little bit because Netty will lecture me about how bad it is to eating according to cravings and not a well-balanced diet.
“I just want a healthy baby.” I say honestly. “Maybe, we shouldn’t bother finding out the sex. Letting it be a surprise could be fun.”
Netty nearly choked on her meatloaf at that thought. Netty plans everything to a tee. Knowing the gender will help plan for the baby shower, how to decorate the nursery, and how to pray for the kid’s destiny. Gulping her food, she says, “Well, if that’s what you want… okay…”
That must be the opposite of how she feels on the inside.
“What does D want, huh?” Deshaun wonders.
“Um…” I can’t lie about this one. Netty confronted me in the car, on our way home from the doctor’s visit, asking me if I told Derek yet. I told her the truth, that I didn’t. I almost broke down and told her about the jerk, but I can’t. “I don’t know.” I shrug my shoulders.
Deshaun chuckles when he concludes Derek knows nothing about the baby. He sighs as he bites the food off his fork. Though his mouth is closed, we can hear him smack his food as he chews. It’s super annoying. The baby flutters and kicks me as I eat the meatloaf. This baby is a total carnivore.
Deshaun takes a swig of his beer from the green bottle. He sets his beer down on the table and after he swishes his gulp down, he asks me, “You plan on raising this baby on your own?”
“I don’t even know if I want the baby, so I until I know what I want to do, I don’t see the point in telling him.”
“He’s the father, he should know about his child.”
“D’s no more ready to be a father than I’m ready to be a mother.”
“You should have thought about that before being careless and getting knocked up.” Deshaun snaps.
Crying, unable to hold them back, I plea, “May I be excused.” I wipe my suddenly runny nose.
“You need to finish eating.” Netty mothers me.
“I’m done. I feel sick anyhow.” Guilt like a brick hits me. I’m a horrible sister for lying to Netty and Deshaun. I’m a terrible girlfriend from hiding this pregnancy from Derek. I’m an awful person. “May I be excused please.”
“Yes, you may.” Netty says.
I wish I could just leave my dishes behind, but that isn’t earning my keep.
While I rinse my plate in the kitchen, I overhear Deshaun rant how unfair I’m being to Derek. Netty defends me a little bit, but she backs off the more heated Deshaun gets.
In my room, I lie on my side, like a good pregnant woman, and I wish I just knew what to do. I wish I could stop crying, but I can’t.
Kaylie’s been a doll. To spare me from the horrors of bus travel as a pregnant woman. She picks me up whenever. I text her my location and she pops up there as soon as she can get there.
I’m surprised at how well she’s coping. She broke up with Trevor before she miscarried, but I really thought she would go running back to him after she lost the baby, but that’s not the case. I also thought she’d be in utter despair. Netty confessed to me the other night she’s had two miscarriages and she still grieves the losses. However, Kaylie’s thriving in school. Her dark brown hair chases her crimson hair away as time goes on. She brings her guitar to school and plays in the park before and after school. In Social Studies when we talk about politics she boldly tackles the topic arguing from a biblical viewpoint.
I sort of have no idea what happened to my second best friend. She continues to be a different person. When she smiles, it doesn’t seem fake. When she sings, her voice brings a peace. When she laughs, she makes me laugh.
In class and in the hallways, when Trevor tries to talk to her, she kindly says she doesn’t want to talk to him. But when we’re alone, she says nothing bad about him. She wishes nothing bad upon him. Kaylie has become a saint. Kaylie’s life post Trevor is great!
I wonder, would I fair in life so well post Derek?
College GPA: 3.9
College Algebra: A-
College Writing I: A
High School, Junior Year GPA: 3.89
“FaceTime w/ Derek”
DEREK’S long locks are gone. He sports a clean cut, close fade. He looks well.
Derek: I miss you so much babe.
Savvy: I miss you too.
Though SAVVY is burning up under a pile of covers, she makes sure to hide her bulging belly.
Derek: So my mom picked up a lot of extra shifts, because a lot of nurses took the holiday off, so… she isn’t coming out for Christmas after all.
Savvy: That sucks hon, I’m sorry to hear that.
Derek: No, this may be a good thing. Maybe my dad will let me go visit my mom and then I can see you.
Panicking, SAVVY blurts-
Derek: (confused) No?
Savvy: Like I miss you like crazy. I really do. But you look really good… I can’t really remember the last time you looked so good, so happy…
Bashfully, DEREK smiles as his cheeks flush red.
Derek: I am happy. I’m really happy. Do you know why?
SAVVY waited for him to be romantic and to say something along the lines of seeing her face, but what he said surprised her and made her angry.
Derek: Jesus the Messiah.
Savvy: (rolling her eyes) Really?
Derek: Yeah, like um, last week, before I got released for Winter Break… in our last chapel service I accepted Christ Jesus and invited Him into my heart… Like I have no doubts anymore God is real. I don’t have nightmares anymore. I don’t want to get high anymore… and um… (whispering) I don’t think about sex all the time or look at porn anymore. (Returning to normal volume) And I don’t feel alone anymore… I have this peace constantly that doesn’t make sense. God is SO AWESOME.
Savvy: I’m happy for you… I’m happy that you’re doing so well.
Derek: Why don’t you believe in God?
Derek: I mean, do you believe in God, like Netty does?
Savvy: No. I don’t but I haven’t really bothered to study religion.
Derek: But knowing God isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus.
Savvy: I kind of don’t feel like the preaching right now and if that’s all you want to talk about, maybe we should just talk another time.
Derek: So you’re going to ask me to not talk about something important to me because it makes you uncomfortable. I asked you a question just trying to learn more about you so maybe I can help you and you want to avoid it…
Savvy: You want to know why I don’t believe in God?
Derek: Yeah, why?
SAVVY pushes off her heavy blankets and points the phone at her stomach as she pulls up her flannel shirt.
Savvy: Because I got fluffing raped by my mother’s boyfriend and I’m stuck having the jerk’s kid. (Pointing the phone at her cigarette burns on the upper part of her abdomen) Because my mother abused the crap out of me. (Crying, and yelling, she holds the phone back up to her face) Because you got taken away from me, the one good thing in my life and now there’s more than a physical distance between us. It’s like I’m not important to you anymore. I don’t believe in God because I have nothing good going in my life and I haven’t really seen anything to convince there’s such a thing as a good God because life sucks. I wish we had fluffed and I wish I was pregnant with your baby, because at least I would be excited about this and maybe I would have you back in my life and maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t feel like dying. Like I hope I die giving birth because I don’t want to live anymore, but I can’t kill myself, because I don’t want my mother to have the satisfaction of getting rid of me nor due I want my sisters to miss me… and truth be told I’m scared as SNIFF of death because I can’t help but think you and Netty might be right, God is real and because I HATE HIM SO MUCH FOR MY CRUMMY LIFE I’LL GET STUCK IN HELL. This life is hell enough. I don’t want to live forever in hell, but if God is real He better do one good thing for me. I don’t know what that is… but it better be something fluffing good. And you know what, I get enough God Talk living with Netty, so I don’t want to talk to you until we can just be ourselves and talk and if you can’t be the new you without Jesus Fluffing Christ, than I don’t want to talk to you. GOODBYE Butthole!
SAVVY hangs up the phone and throws it on the bed. It bounces off and falls to the ground. Fortunately, she didn’t crack the screen of the caseless phone.
Storyteller via writer, actor, filmmaker, and artist.