Let me tell you a story about an 18 year old girl,

hanging out and having fun with her friends. School was all finished, university was on the horizon and after a few drinks at the pub everyone strolled leisurely back to the redesignated after party destination.

The night was chilly, one of those nights where winter regained control from summer. There was a mix of friends, everyone knew each other and everyone was laughing. Light music played in the background and a blanket was dragged from one of the rooms to keep everyone warm on the trampoline.

Chinese whispers and wrestling matches keep everyone occupied and right around sunrise most people said their good nights and walked home.

Two people stayed, though one of them lived there so really it was only one hanger-on, just one girl who should probably have left but didn’t.

Two weeks later the little test had 2 pink lines…

na not really but it sounds more poetic that way doesn’t it? Four weeks later she was frantic out of her mind, blew off the guy she’d kind of been seeing for a week and went to see the doctor. The doctor could hardly control his look of disgust, the midwife seemed lost for words and there was not a hope a single soul was going to find out – just yet.

“There’s a bus leaving for the clinic [insert name of town two or three hours away] would you like a seat on it?” The doctor asked.

The girl shook her head, she was scared but abortion wasn’t on her list of solutions.

What next? Not crying was priority number one. Two select friends were let in on the secret but this was completly new ground for them all. They couldn’t offer any support or answers or help.

Telling the folks was a must – but not until after the 3 month mark. There was no way she was going through the pain of telling people only to miscarry and have to take it all back.

Three months passed in a state of absolute stress and like world war three the news enticed tears and shouts and disappointment from almost every member of the family.

Still no moment could compare to the seconds when the ‘babies father’ was told, burned into her memory with twinges of shame and complete dispair. Each syllable held such hope and yet granted nothing of the kind.

“I’m pregnant.” she said. His eyes lit up like he was being let in on some great piece of gossip. “it’s yours.”

He dropped his head in his hands, sitting on the crochet rug that covered his parents sofa. He wasn’t going to say anything, or do anything, he didn’t care about her but she failed to see this.

“No one else knows, i’ve told no one so you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” she handed him her number scribbled on a shred of paper, and left.

Of course he didn’t ring, he didn’t try to talk to her, and she formulated a plan to avoid ever having to disclose the fathers ID. Simple enough, she would say he was a sheerer – a travelling worker – she didn’t know his surname so how could she track him down? He had been kind and gentle and romantic and she didn’t regret it so she’d be able to run with this story for the rest of her childs life. Especially if the real father wanted nothing to do with them.

If only the real father had been kind or gentle or romantic or even worth the five seconds of her time – but as every girl knows only a handful of guys out there know how to be any of those things. She would even have settled for exciting and passionate sex but even that was out of the question.

She wasn’t even showing when the bullying began. Names shouted out at her in the street, accusations and whispered comments and blatant harassment. She was pregnant and everyone knew it. Not from her doing, obviously, and it didn’t take long to trace the source back to the biological father. He hadn’t cared enough to talk to her or discuss anything with sensitivity but he was quite happy to start the rumor mill and let the whole town know what he thought of her. Apparently she was ruining his life, she was lying trying to get money out of him and amongst the other threads of hatred and aggression the message was clear, she was in this alone.

Worse, he had stolen both of their ‘out’. Even those whom she could have successfully lied to believed the stories and rumours, they filled out the paperwork for her and she just watched, unable to correct the hurried scribbles of the babies fathers ID, unable to but in and say ‘it was a travelling sheerer, i’m not sure of his full name, they called him …..’ it was pointless. They knew the truth and the both of them had to ware it all because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He had to spread the misery around.

The midwife gave her a list of post natal depression symptoms and before the baby was even born she was beyond that. So ashamed she didn’t even want to be seen, so scared she refused to talk to people, she tried to hide her body and work though the days on the family farm, as far out of sight as possible. Her happiest pregnant moments were those living 50km from town on a little property with no phone, no tv, a wood fuel stove and one item of furniture – a foldout bed positioned in front of the lounge room fire. No one was there to point or yell or whisper. It was easier that way.

She knew she was condemned but she refused to hate the baby. That little 8pound bundle of joy was made to be loved, even if she was not made of love.

And the desperate vein of life’s own cruel twists is that no matter how far into the future it gets the small steps misplaced in those beginning months lead inevitably to a force of fate in at least 3 lives. She is doomed to bare the scars placed by the babies father and the constant reminder of his attempts to dominate in her life and the child who should have been loved from the beginning will never know a whole home, only pieces of the live she might have been granted.

In the mothers eyes it was never ment to be this way.

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