I was surprised to discover that this story is taking a toll on me. Every day this week I’ve been replaying our time together in my head. Sometimes I’ve been amused, sometimes sad, and sometimes angry. The majority of the time I’ve just been really turned on.
You thought I was going to say something profound, right? Ah, ye of little faith in my filthy mind.
In all seriousness, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic and have toyed with the idea of talking to him about things. However, I decided long ago that the past is the past, and no matter how much “what if’ing” I do, everything turns out the way it does for a reason. Now on with the show, hmm?
We continued our trysts at his house, almost daily.
I spent my mornings and afternoons watching him move around the training room and my nights getting high and using him like a rowing machine. I was ditching the gym to buy us more time since TG was becoming more and more agitated by my nightly absences.
We spent one glorious afternoon on the lake. The only downside was the meeting of my parents. It was when they were still married and as luck would have it, dad was home and sober that day.
We only stopped by so I could drop off a package TG insisted my mom had to have. My attempt at explaining that just because we were going out on the lake didn’t mean we would be close to their home wouldn’t suffice. Chris was slightly irritated since the package in question was a head of cabbage. I can’t say I blame him.
Anyway, we delivered the important cabbage and I introduced him to my parents. My dad was immediately taken with him. He had a boat and a truck, and by gawd that made him a man’s man...even if he was a Yankee!
My mother wasn’t so easily blinded. She took me aside and said, “How old is he?”
“Um, 28, I think.”
“Right. And you work with him?”
“Right. What are you doing, Al?”
“I like him. LOOK at him.”
“I am.” She sighed and gave me a look that I now know was pity. At the time, I thought she was disappointed in me for plucking out of the company pot...the older one.
We left and went on our merry way, stopping mid lake to enjoy a little public boat sex.
I met his parents that day too. Though, unlike Chris, I didn’t leave a lasting impression. The next we met they didn’t remember me at all.
Things continued on for awhile. I’ve found that most of our time after that weekend runs together in a blur of sex. He did come over to TG’s once, late at night, and sat outside with me and a friend. He watched me roll a blunt and eat a snack cake at the same time, which couldn’t have been attractive, I’m sure. He didn’t like that I smoked pot, but I pointed out that he’d done it at my age. Again, probably not an attractive thing to bring attention to: our age difference.
He’d hurt his leg skiing a few years before I met him and had a lot of trouble with his knee. The scar was terrible...huge and oblong, but I thought it made him that much sexier. Occasionally he’d have to take a few days off work when it hurt really badly, or something.
Shortly after his visit to TG’s, he did just that. And while he was at it, he took some time away from me as well. Back then I thought it was all about the stupid pot and the age quip, but it wasn’t. He said he was resting.
I was worried that my happy ending would go up in smoke if I didn’t do something. The only thing I knew to do was talk to him. So after a few days, I called and asked him this question, “What are we? Are we dating?” Well, a variation of it anyway.
His response was immediate. “I don’t want a relationship.”
I was crushed, but I put a valiant effort into not letting him know. I said OK, changed the subject, and then got off the phone shortly after. We agreed to talk again soon.
I cried for gawd knows how long. I knew that after I asked the no-no question and received that answer, that we couldn’t even go back to the casual hanging out and sex. I’d showed my hand.
Work was terrible. I felt like everyone knew what had happened. I was positive that some of them did because one of his best friends worked there.
I spent the next week getting epically wasted and smoking massive amounts of pot. It took me that long and a remark from TG about the empty contents of the bathroom trash can to realize that I wasn’t just vomiting from being fucking up all the time.
I was too stunned to cry at first. He’d had a vasectomy. The first fear I had, however illogical, was that he wouldn’t believe me when I told him.
I called him before I had time to really digest what was happening.
I exhaled heavily. “I have to tell you something”, I said.
Pause. “Are you sure?”
“Shit. Um, what do you want to do...?”
“Have an abortion, I guess”, I replied.
He sighed. “I’m against abortion....but I can’t afford another kid...”
“Ok. So, you need my help?”
“Um, yeah.” I was choking back tears by this point.
“Ok. Find out how much you need and let me know.”
I hung up. I couldn’t deal with his nonchalance. It was like I’d just told him, for the third time, that I needed the $20 back he’d borrowed. After all, it was only my fucking uterus. Again.
I found out how much it would cost for how far along I was and I told him. He said he’d have the money in two weeks. The thing about abortions is they get more expensive every week. I didn’t tell him that, though somehow I bet he knew.
Then I did what I do best...check out of reality. I conveniently forgot I was even pregnant. It was going away soon anyway...what difference did it make?
I got fired from my job, which was just as well. I couldn’t stay on the call floor anyway, I was too busy vomiting.
Two weeks turned into three and I didn’t hear from him. I called again and he said to give him two more weeks.
The next time I spoke to him, my daughter was five months old.
(The months between the last two times I spoke to him aren’t his and my story. They are mine and my daughter’s.)
I could have gotten the money myself. I could have saved for those few weeks and had enough, but I didn’t. I was more comfortable ignoring the changes in my body and pretending it was business as usual. Everything happens for a reason, eh?
Being a single teenage mom, the government will help you pay for daycare and medical care. At the time, I would have been content to work five jobs and get it done myself, but my mother would have none of it. In order to get the help, they required that I pursue child support. I’d had no intention of ever contacting Chris at all.
They notified me of a court date to establish paternity and that they sent him a letter. I actually laughed when I heard that. Not just a chuckle, but fall down hysterics. My poor mom thought I’d gone off the deep end. I had for a minute. I pictured his face when he opened a letter saying his presence was required....possibly his daughter...and I just found it hilarious. I howled and hiccupped with tears streaming down my face and tried to tell her through it all just why it was so funny. He probably thought I’d had an abortion and forgotten all about me. That was FUNNY.
She gave me a few Xanax and sent me to bed.
The closer the court date got, the more nervous I became. What if he didn’t show up? What if he did? Would he think I looked fat? What would he think of my daughter?
Selfish thoughts mixed with the more logical. I’m only human.
I had his child; I wasn’t allowed to forget him. Somehow I couldn’t hate him either. I could call him names, laugh at his expense, but the truth remained that I never stopped being...attracted to him. I was disgusted with myself for it.
I showed up at court that day with my daughter, cousin, and family friend. I didn’t have any idea what to expect, but I knew what I needed. I needed my cousin to be the superficial asshole she was and validate my claim that he was hot. And I needed the family friend to glare at him. I realize that might not make any sense to you, but I had to appear normal and by trivializing the experience, it allowed me to...be normal and calm.
I sat in the huge main lobby, the kid nestled in my lap and a ferocious female on each side.
“Do you see him yet”, my cousin asked. She craned her neck and looked around the room.
“No.” I attempted to be less obvious.
“Bastard”, said the family friend.
“Is that him?” My cousin pointed at a tall man in a white t-shirt and jeans striding across the lobby.
I nodded. I watched him sit across the room on a bench and put his elbows on his knees. He looked at me and I quit breathing.
My cousin stood up and said, “I’m going to the bathroom over there so I can get a better look at him.”
“Rat bastard”, quipped the family friend, glaring for all she was worth.
I sighed. What an idiot I was.
My cousin came back a few minutes later, a look of awe on her face.
“He’s fucking gorgeous!”
I sighed again. “I know.”
When they called our names we went into a room. We sat elbow to elbow, not saying a word to each other. The woman went over some shit; I have no idea what, and then asked him if he wanted a paternity test. He said, “Yes”, then looked at me and said, “I’m sorry...it’s not that I don’t believe you...it’s just...”
We went across the hall into another little room. They swabbed mouths and the lady said she had to take our pictures to go with the sample. She asked if we wanted it done all together or all separately. Chris and I looked at each other and shrugged.
“Alright, get in closer together.”
He leaned against me while I held the kid, the woman snapped a Polaroid, and then left it on the table to dry while she went to get something. I stared at that fucking thing while it developed and I felt the keenest sense of loss...I can’t even accurately describe it.
Once we were let go, he strode to the staircase. I stood a few feet away with the kid in my arms; he paused on the step and opened his mouth to say something. I handed her off to my cousin and went to him.
“I’m sorry”, he said.
I just shook my head.
“I’ll take care of her, if she’s mine. I’ll be there.”
Over the next several months I went insane. We went to court again to figure up child support, this time without the kid. He said he wanted to be involved and to call him.
So I did. I called and I called and I called. He was always too busy to see her that day. Always working that weekend.
“Please”, I begged him, “just tell me a day...any day and I’ll make it happen.”
All my intentions of not caring, of not wanting him or needing him disappeared the moment I saw that picture. I wanted him to be something he wasn’t. I wanted him to be a father. He just didn’t care. His lies and excuses weren’t even made to sound plausible, and I swallowed them again and again.
I was disgusted with myself, but I couldn’t stop trying to make him pay attention.
Finally one day he said he had time to see her. I left work early to pick her up from daycare. I called to let him know we were on the way and he said he’d just gotten called in to work.
I fucking lost it. I screamed and cried told him what a son of a bitch he was and how I’d given him every opportunity and then some and he still didn’t care. He apologized and made more empty promises.
I didn’t call him again.
A year later I was sitting in my office. My phone rang.
It was his mother.
1 week ago