November 1987

Luke is always so sweet. I’m in 11th grade and he works everyday but we make sure we see each other every day.

I go into the bathroom and find a bar of soap and I love you is carved into it. He buys me single roses from 7-11 all the time. We also can’t keep our hands off of each other. I want to get on the pill but my friend says the exam in painful so I’m afraid to go. Luke and I are also too embarrassed to buy condoms. We’ve used them a couple of times but we don’t like them. I am 16 and Luke is 17.

January of 1988, my 17th birthday. My mom is taking me out to dinner and Luke is coming with us. My mom doesn’t really like him but she knows I love him. I keep asking her why she doesn’t like him any more. She used too. She keeps telling me that he isn’t good for me.

We are at home waiting to leave. I am sitting in Luke’s lap and it makes him uncomfortable around my mom but I can’t help it, I am so clingy lately. I have to be touching him, holding his hand, sitting on his lap. I am never like this. Years later, I knew I was pregnant every time I got this way.

We go out to dinner and I feel so sick on the way home. I’m trying so hard not to vomit. I tell everyone I ate something bad but I am trying to remember the last time I had my period. It was in the end of October. It’s now January.

The next day I tell my friend Victoria that I might be pregnant. Neither of us have any money and I don’t want to tell Luke. Victoria goes to the grocery store and steals a pregnancy test for me. I take the test and it comes out positive. I take the second test and it also comes out positive. I throw them outside in the garbage. I tell Victoria that they were negative. I am in a panic. Luke is going to be upset and my mom is going to disown me. My mom had always been concerned with how everything looks from the outside. I think it’s because she grew up poor. Having a pregnant teenaged daughter is going to piss her off.

Luke comes to my house after work. I start crying and tell him that I’m pregnant. He is stunned. I don’t know why we are so shocked. We’ve been having unprotected sex everyday for months. He sits me on the counter top and hugs me and tells me everything is going to be OK and I believe him. I am three months pregnant.

We don’t talk about it again. We are both in denial. Luke’s friend Clint is 19 and his wife, Sky, is pregnant. We always hang out over there.

I am now six months pregnant and getting bigger and bigger. We still don’t talk about it. Every time I think about it I panic and shove those thoughts to the back of my mind. Luke avoids touching my stomach and we rarely have sex. I am still clingy and can’t stand to have him out of my sight.

I go over to Clint and Sky’s house and Clint’s mom is there. This is the first time I am meeting her. I walk in and say hello and she says ”Have you told your mom yet?” I have no idea what she is talking about and tell her exactly that. She says “Have you told her that your having a baby?”

It hits me like a ton of bricks. She might as well have slapped me. My face crumbles, I cover my face but I can’t stop the tears or the sobs from coming. This woman, who I have never met, pulls me into her ginormous bosom and comforts me in a way no one has ever comforted me before. I sob in her arms and she tells me that everything is going to be OK.

Two days later Luke breaks up with me. He can’t handle the pressure. He promises me that he will help with the baby. He immediately starts sleeping with everyone he can. I am devastated and humiliated.

I’m trying to get up the nerve to tell my mom. I’m sitting on the couch and she asks me if I’m pregnant. I tell her yes and then I get up and walk upstairs. I’m so ashamed. I’m brushing my teeth and she opens the door and tells me that we are going to the clinic tomorrow and I’m getting an abortion. I don’t say a word.

The next day we get up and go to the clinic. We are sitting in the lobby filling out paper work. I’m writing down the date of my last period and I put October. My mom looks at it and says ” No, that needs to be the date of your last period ” I tell her that is the date of my last period. It’s April. I see her mentally doing the math. I see her get so furious. She calls me a slut, loudly, and walks out, leaving me there, everyone staring at me. I am frozen for a few minutes while everyone looks at me with pity.

I get up and slink outside. We drive home in silence. At home I jump out of the car and run upstairs. I hear her leave for work so I go downstairs. There is a note for me on the counter. It says ” I don’t care what you do, get a job, get on welfare, but get out of my house “. She doesn’t talk to me until after the baby is born.

I go to Nana’s and she already knows. My aunt comes over. They are all so disappointed in me. I move in with Nana.


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