My boyfriend came home from school over Thanksgiving and we got together. I asked him what had happened when I came to visit him at his Fraternity. He sort of scolded me for my visiting him and said, “You could have really gotten into trouble.” I said, “But I wanted to see you and I didn’t expect that you would hurt me the way you did.” He said, “Well, I didn’t mean that to happen either and if you hadn’t come, it wouldn’t have.” Bewildered, I let the subject drop. We both were working together over his vacation and things were normal “sort of.” He went back to school and finished out his semester, returning for Christmas break. Again, we saw each other but it wasn’t the same. He never apologized or even offered an explanation and I felt lost. I was still in high school, while he was on vacation and working, I was often at school or swimming. The time and experience distanced us. There were no harsh words, there were no words at all.
I was going to practice, getting ready for the next big meet. I looked down at myself and saw something. I was gaining weight. Swimming 5,000/day and gaining weight? I also hadn’t been feeling well. I went to the Doctor and the news came. I was pregnant. I will never forget that look on my mother’s face. She was horrified, so was I. On the way home in the car, Mom said, “Are you going to call him?” I said, “Yes, I guess so.” She said, “Let me deal with your father.” I knew that was going to be bad. Real bad. This would cause another of the famous fights we had in our household. One we hadn’t had in quite a while.
My father came up over the stairs 3 at a time. “So what is the little whore going to do about this?” I heard him say. All ready I had called the fraternity house and left a message, it was common to call the House phone and leave a message. It was uncommon for me to have to leave many, without any returned call, which was how it played out.
Boarding the Plane
A silent plane ride to W. Hempstead, NY and a silent 3 days set the stage for the day I killed my baby. I had an abortion. No boyfriend to hold my hand, only an ashamed mother that tried to make the best of a terrible situation. There was no “decision” to make whether I was to “keep” the baby, my parents decided I would abort. And I did.
I never told my parents about the events that led up to my pregnancy. It was bad enough all ready. I was ashamed. I knew my father would load a shotgun and kill my boyfriend and though I really thought I wanted to myself, the shame and grief was too great to deal with all that. My parents thought it was teenage sex, I got pregnant. I left it at that. Time marched on and I got back to my life, scarred and never to be the same again.
I never saw my old boyfriend again until about 5 years ago at a funeral. He couldn’t look me in the eye and how could he? He did know that I was pregnant though the news never came from me to him directly. My calls to him remained unanswered. There was no such thing as voice mail then. I learned that he knew absolutely from a mutual friend that asked me about it 10 years ago. He only asked because I had asked him where “our” friend was living. After that conversation, I got rip roaring drunk and cried myself to sleep, a cry I had been waiting for for 24 years.