When a Third World Came West: Segment 35

Segment 35

Sam called and called and I even removed my portable telephone from its socket and put it at the floor of our hall closet so I wouldn’t be tempted to answer him.  He kept calling my cell phone too until I kept it off permanently, storing it in my wicker night stand and not opening the drawer.  I took to writing poetry in a half-used journal and I sat outside writing in it, on the porch, on the couch, and on my bed in the afternoons.  One day my mother asked when I was going to get a job to pay her back for when I used her credit card to pay for Sam’s and my dinner at the Olive Garden and for other things that I bought, so I started looking for ones in the Want-Ads and in the Classifieds.  I put in applications at local restaurants, at an old deli sandwich place that I’d worked at when I was fifteen my freshman year of high school, I applied at Lynx, my old job, and I was successful at contacting a staffing agency.

A week later we held a shower for my cousin who was going to be having a baby but the father didn’t show up because it wasn’t that kind of a relationship.  I helped my mother to make the potato salad and I set out the napkins, the forks, filled up the glass cups with ice, and put tea bags into the tea kettle to brew it for drinks.  My cousins showed up a half and hour later and I hugged them pretending that nothing that had gone on with Sam and I had gone on at all.  I was dressed up in a sun dress and my hair was pulled back into a pony tail and I pretended not to miss Sam even though I was wondering if he had tried to call my dead cell phone that was shut away in my nightstand.  I played cards with my aunt and my grandmother, I hugged my grandfather, and helped my uncle load my pregnant cousin’s gifts into foldout seats in the back of his truck.  I’d gone running before my pregnant cousin left and so I waved to them as they passed out of our community while I ran up Horatio and three miles down towards the 7-11.

When I got back that night I took a shower, felt rested, wrote some more in my journal, ate cereal while I figured out more jobs, and then lay down on the couch.  My head was burning up and I felt hot and warm.  I’d thought all day about what it would be like to be embarrassed by having to admit that you were pregnant and I felt sick to my stomach just thinking about what my pregnant cousin had had to go through.  Somehow my parents must have been reading my thoughts because they picked up on it and they asked me what my condition was and I said I didn’t know.  In my head I tried to think back to when I’d had my last period but I couldn’t remember and I just hoped and hoped that I would get it.  My mother didn’t save anytime asking me if I was pregnant and I felt sick again even having this conversation and I said I didn’t know.  She took me to the Walgreens where I had to pay for three of the tests in front of a teenager who was the cashier by the automatic doors.  When I got home I drank two bottles of water until I peed on all of the tests and until I’d watched all of them turn out pink positive.

I went to my therapist a few weeks later, told him that I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what I should do and then I visited my gynecologist two weeks after that.  Things were a mess.  My gynecologist was also my mother’s poker friend, Jewish, and extremely talkative.  Despite my insistence that this be a private affair, my mother encouraged me to go to her anyway because she was a good doctor and anyway I felt awful.  She told me that I was six weeks pregnant and she gave me some options and I made her swear that she wouldn’t tell anyone and I’m sure that she did tell someone.  I made an appointment to get the thing taken care of but I came home that night still holding onto me being pregnant and not wanting to let go of it.

The next day I called and told Sam that I was pregnant, I packed up my things, my new credit card and I drove all the way to the beach.  I called into work, I ate at a Waffle House, and I rented a room from a lady with a red BMW who was blond, nice, and motherly looking.  I called my friend Karen and asked her to wake me up early in the morning so that I could make it into work on time.  I put down my things next to the bathroom and then walked out to the beach so that I could think and make up my mind.  I walked out to the dock where there were bugs and moths hovering at the lamps to light the way for the fisherman and I felt the breeze from the ocean when I got towards the end of the wooden walkway.  I still couldn’t think and I had no words to say to myself in my head that would help decide one way or another.  The bugs were starting to bite at my legs and I was in the way of the men trying to cast of their lines to get something to catch that would feed off the bait so late this time of night.

In the morning I woke up early and I sat on top of the covers in my work dress and jean jacket.  I was drinking coffee even though I knew that I wasn’t supposed to in my condition and this already told me that I wasn’t ready to go through with this or to deal with it in the long haul.  I’d kept quiet from Sam all these days but I’d brought my dead phone and now I turned it on.  At a quarter till 7 he called me and this time I picked it up.  We talked for awhile about why I’d ignored him, about how he hadn’t given up faith in me and about how he’d felt that my parents put me up to this.  But I said no to all of this, I’d just said that I was preoccupied because I was busy, I told him that I was pregnant, that I didn’t know what to do, and that I was scared.  He reacted really well, he was over-the-moon, he was really happy, and I guess he thought it was a free get of out of jail card.  He’d been trying to stay in the country for months and now here was his chance just handed down to him, but I wasn’t so sure.  I still couldn’t make up my mind.  I hung up with Sam, loaded my things into my car, threw up on the way to work in an old coffee cup, and made it through until 5 pm at my work desk without any other interruptions.



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