Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: This Rug Rat
By Donna Powers
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But hey – I’ve got it coming. Being pregnant was no walk in the park and going through labor was awful. So I don’t see any problem in being happy about how some nice churchy couple paid for me to come to this cushy hospital; that they’re going to pay my hospital bills, take the kid off my hands and give me a big wad of cash.
I’m planning on ditching this fancy town and going back home. The cash will sure make a difference and I can go back to life before the rabbit died.
Nine months ago I made the mistake of drinking too much spiked punch at some loser’s party and then me and the loser made an even bigger mistake in his bedroom. In the morning, I decided not to stick around for another round of mistakes. But six weeks later, when Mother Nature skipped her second monthly visit in a row, I went to a nearby clinic and found out Loser, Junior had taken up residence inside me.
Not exactly first on my wish list.
I’m nobody’s choice for a mother and there’s no way I can take care of a kid, but I didn’t even consider an abortion. My Mom was an unwed mother and what if she’d decided to get rid of me? I may not have any affection for Loser, Junior but I was resigned to having this rug rat. At first, the clinic wanted me to check into some lame-o halfway house where I could sit around singing Kum Bah Yah with a bunch of other unwed moms - but I told them no way. I knew I’d be fine on my own; I just needed a little help.
The folks at the clinic got me a nice doctor. I’ll admit it was pretty cool to go to a place that wasn’t next door to a check-cashing store or down the block from a crackhouse. The people at the clinic were nice, too, even though they went a bit too heavy on the Bible lessons at my monthly visits. It was a small price to pay for getting me through these last few months. When I had to stop working at Burger Palace, they helped me get food stamps and pay my rent.
Everyone says pregnancy is a drag – and they’re not kidding. First, I was sick; then I gained weight and had crazy cravings. Toward the end, I got so big and sore all I could think about was wishing I had a time machine so I could go back nine months and say “no thanks” when the loser offered me that spiked punch.
The best thing that happened was the call I got last month saying the clinic had found some nice couple who want my baby. They’re not only paying my bills and forking over the cash; they said I could even visit the kid if that’s what I wanted.
As if. Like I want anything to do with this rug rat.
So, here I am – almost done with my nine months of misery. Tomorrow I’ll sign the papers to hand over the kid, scoop up my cash and be done with it.
So… why am I standing here, in front of this nursery window, just staring at Loser, Junior? No way do I care what this kid looks like, right?
But … to my surprise, I do.
I can’t even describe how I feel. I can’t take care of a baby; I’ve got all I can do to take care of myself. He’s sure to be better off with that nice couple.
So, why do my hands long to hold him? Why does I yearn to be part of his life? Why does he suddenly mean more to me than anything else in the world?
Part of me says, “take the money and run”, but another part says, “stick around and get to know your son.”
What do I really have, to go back home for? Would it be so bad living in this nice town, and truly starting over? With the money, I could find an apartment here and get a job, and once in awhile I could check in on my son.
Maybe he’s more than a big pile of cash to me, after all.
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