T or R, by Eva Silverfine
I can’t believe I’m pregnant. Worse, I don’t know who the father is, but it’s gonna be clear to everyone when the baby is born, cause it’s either gonna be black or gonna be white. And neither choice is good. If it’s white, mom and Roger might figure out that I’ve been screwing T, and he’s like my third cousin or something. And if it’s black, well, they’ll know it’s R. It’s not that I mind having a black baby—it’s just that I know life might be harder for him or her in this stupid world. People like my Uncle Bubba—yeah, we do call him Uncle Bubba, so retarded—is just a racist pig. I would never go to his house again, but my mom and Roger insist, “he’s family—you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” Fuck that. No one should have to go listen to Uncle Bubba’s shit. Especially if you do have a black baby.
But really, it would be worse if it were T. To be honest, I don’t even like him that much. He’s cute and all. And there’s no one else to hang out with when we go up north to visit. Really, the thrill of it is knowing we shouldn’t be doing it. I wonder if something might be wrong with the baby since we’re cousins…
God, I can’t believe this. I always insist on condoms. I don’t want to get STDs. I would get on the pill or something, but it is so hard now. I can’t go to our doctor—he would tell mom and Roger—and the one clinic I could drive to is closed down now because those old white men who get to make all the decisions decided it was a bad place because they might do abortions there.
I did think for a minute—well more—about having an abortion. That would be pretty difficult. I’d have to drive hours away. Don’t know how I’d get away with that. And the money. And mom and Roger would find out. Plus, I’m afraid. If I tell T or R they’d say, “no, no, no. We can raise the baby and have a family. “Yeah, right. For a year before they decide it’s no fun. I know about that. I’ve seen the girls who’ve dropped out or just graduated dragging their babies around with them while they’re trying to still have fun.
I don’t know how I feel about abortion. It is sort of like killing a baby. I know all the girls round here would get on their high holy horse about killing innocent babies. But I know that they—like Kalie Courts—do stupid shit like give themselves alcohol poisoning hoping it will cause the baby to abort. They’re frigging hypocrites anyway. All this holy stuff about the sanctity of life—only when it’s a cute little baby. Otherwise, they really couldn’t care less about other people.
This is NOT what I wanted. Ms. Conseulo keeps telling me I should to go to the community college. She says my grades are good, and I’d do well there, that I could probably even transfer to a 4 year school. She wants me to get mom to go to that meeting next week about filling out the forms to get money from the government to help pay. She said she would help her do it. And mom and Roger want me to go to college. They want me to get a degree so I can get a job that pays better than minimum. If I’m going to have a baby, I really would want it to be with someone who has a good job too. Now it may be a struggle just to finish high school.
God, everyone at school will figure out right away it’s R—unless it’s white. If it’s white there will be more of a mystery cause no one at school knows about T. If it’s white, then R will know it’s not his and that will be the end of me and him. But if it’s his, R will be acting like the big man. It’s still more okay for guys. They don’t have that baby going with them even if the relationship ends. Fuck! What am I going to do?
Maybe I should talk to Marissa. She had some foul-tasting herbal stuff she was drinking when she thought she might be pregnant. Just thinking of it makes my stomach hurt. Man, my stomach really does hurt. Probably because I’m worrying too much. Or maybe I put too much hot sauce on my tacos.
Well, I’m not pregnant. Not anymore at least. I probably just ruined my peach-colored pants—the blood came so fast and so much. I’m soaking them in cold water, but I know I won’t be able to wear them again.
I guess it’s all for the best, as they say. Adults, that is.
But I am kind of sad. A little baby would have been so cute.
Eva Silverfine is a biologist by training, an editor by profession, and a writer by calling. From living above her parents’ hardware store besides the elevated subway in Brooklyn, NY, to a mile down a gravel road near San Marcos, TX, she has meandered through a variety of urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. Her work has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine and Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative. Please visit her at EvaSilverfine.com.
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Tags: Eva Silverfine, family, teens