Frank was staring at me with his mouth open, eyes wide. He held that position without moving or even blinking so long that I really got worried. Finally Anu moved over and sat on him,or rather in him. That’s a very weird sensation unless you are used to it. He jumped up, and said, “What the hell was that?” I said, ” what do you mean, I thought you were in a coma. ”
He said, “Did you say pregnant, like having a baby?” “Yep, having a baby is what pregnant means.” “I am going to the doctor next week!” Back in the olden days, you had to go to a doctor to find out.
Frank looked like he was in shock! His face was pale and his eyes looked funny. Then he said he had two children, almost grown. Then he said, “How did you get pregnant?” Yes, he did, grown man said that!
By this time, I was starting to get angry! I pulled him up off my sofa, and told him to go home!! I have a bad temper, yes I do!
I started to yell at him that I would take care of my baby by myself, and needed no help from him or anyone else, just go downstairs and drink your beer, smoke your pot and then go to hell!! Then I pushed him out the door.
Anu ran through the door and I heard Frank yell and I think he fell down the stairs, or maybe he was pushed by an angry panther!
Anu came back in with a satisfied smirk on her face. I sat on the sofa, and Magic and all my kitties came and sat with me. I must have looked kind of shocked myself. I was thinking how am I going to take care of a baby all alone. Isis was licking my face and purring. She said don’t worry mom, we will help you! Nikki said, “I will change her diapers!” I laughed!
Agnes said and I will feed her. Magic chimed in with and I will wash her face just like this! Then my little Magic jumped on me and started washing my face and I actually felt it. I fell over laughing buried under all my loving kitties.
I was dreaming! I was sitting among the flowers while my lovely stream flowed past. It was so peaceful! I looked up and in the distance I saw two people coming toward me. I closed my eyes for a few minutes and when I opened them, he was standing in front of me holding the hand of a little girl with long blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes.
He said, “yes, my dear, it’s your time”. She held her arms out and I pulled her to me. She put her chubby arms around me, I melted. This was love! I held her and I knew this was what heaven would feel like.
I woke up! I felt tears on my face and I cried out, “no, no, I’m not ready to wake up yet!” Come back!! I couldn’t stop the tears! You are probably saying, Geesh, what a wimp this woman is, always crying!! You are certainly right. I cried all the time!! Such is life, or my life at least!
The next day I went to the women’s free clinic. No appointment needed. I sat in a hard chair and read magazines two or three years old. Magic sat on my lap and Anu under my chair. When it was my turn I urinated in their little cup and the nurse told me it would be about 3 days. talked about last period, yada,yada,yada!!
Gave me prenatal vitamins to start taking anyway. They would call me with results. I went straight to work. slow night. I ran to the bathroom when Joe came in again. I just sat in there until my boss knocked on the door. He was gone. I was crying, crying through my numbness. No Frank again. I took the El home. I wasn’t afraid. I had my pepper spray my boss gave me.
I went through the next 3 days still kind of numb. I went to work and back home. Ate, drank, took care of my babies. Actually they took care of me. None of them left my side. Finally on the 3rd day the phone rang. I jumped and finally fumbled it up to my ear. The voice on the other end said, yes, I was pregnant, and could I come in on Monday to talk about my options. Options! What does that mean ? The disembodied cool voice went on to caution me not to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, use any drugs at all, so no harm would come to the fetus. Fetus? Chubby, blonde haired, blue eyed fetus. What a vision!
I made it through the week-end. Went shopping, made spaghetti. ordered pizza. cleaned my apartment. Still no sign of Frank. Washed clothes at night. didn’t sleep too good. Monday finally rolled around humid, hot day.
Clinic I was assigned a case worker and a doctor. I was almost 3 months along, and due end of November or beginning of December. tentative due date November 23rd. Case worker wanted to talk about giving my baby up for adoption. Absolutely not an option at all. O.k then she suggested I go down to welfare department and apply for a medical card and cash assistance. I wasn’t too happy about that, but like she said what would I do when I couldn’t work and needed to pay hospital.
I went home to think about it and there was a soft knock on the door. I asked “who is it?” the voice on the other side said, “It’s me, honey, Mrs. Baker, can I come in?” I was really surprised. I asked her did she walk all the way over, and she said, of course she did. It’s only a few blocks. She didn’t even look winded after climbing 3 flights of stairs, with a cigarette in her mouth.
I made some coffee and put out a plate of store bought cookies. She was worried about me after I fainted and Bill took me home. She didn’t think I would talk to her on the phone.
Mrs. Baker said she wanted to help and when was I due. I guess my mouth dropped open because she laughed. She said, “I’m a country woman that has birthed 4 babies of my own, and helped birth others”. We sat and talked and I told her about everything that happened to me and yes, I told her I miscarried Bill’s baby! She looked surprised because doctors told Bill he probably would not be able to have any more children.
She talked about how she wanted me and Sherry to be friends. Mrs. Baker said forget about Bill, you two girls need friends. She said Bill comes home from work, eats his supper, goes out side with Kenny, his brother, and they work on their cars until bedtime. She said the only time he spends in the house is with Erika. He’s crazy about his daughter. She said they raised Bill to always do the right thing, and Bill has his own code of ethics from being in Vietnam. I told her I didn’t know if I could do it, because I still loved Bill, and that would just hurt me to see him and to know I was being friends with his wife.
She asked me to think about it. She agreed to go down to the welfare department the next day. I called her a taxi and she went home. I had so many thoughts and emotions swirling around inside of me. I forced myself to eat the left over spaghetti and it made me sick. I got morning sickness mostly. I went to work told my boss I wouldn’t be in the next day.
I was pretty nervous when I got in the taxi to go and pick up Mrs. Baker. Waiting for her to come down to the taxi, I was making sure I had all my receipts and stuff. I looked up when The door opened and it was Sherry getting in the taxi. She said Mrs. Baker was sick and she came because she didn’t want me to have to go alone. I told her I didn’t mind.
The welfare office was packed. I got a number and sat down to wait. Sherry had a shopping bag, and produced two sodas and some chips out of it, along with a couple of magazines.
We talked about Erika and how I was really excited to be having a baby.
Finally after hours my number was called. I had to stand in line anyway. I finally got to see a friendly person and after I gave her all my papers and told her my story. Father didn’t want me or baby, and so on. Working as a waitress not making much money. She told me that they would review my case and let me know within 6 weeks if I was accepted or not.
Sherry and I got back in the cab and she asked me to come up for dinner and not to worry about going home after dark that Bill would take me home. I declined, gracefully I hoped.
I got out of the taxi and trudged up the stairs, more tired than I had ever been in my life.
At the top of the stairs stood Frank. He said he was waiting for me and wanted to know if we could talk. Anu stood between growling softly. I patted anu on the head and said, o.k we can talk, come on in!
Is this business or what?