My son is 9 years old and I can’t forget the night he was conceived.

Actually, I don’t remember that night at all but I remember when I was one day late and he asked me “Where is your period?”

I looked at him confused because I didn’t know he kept up with that type of stuff and I wondered if he could see the panic in my mind because I felt like something wasn’t right. “Get a pregnancy test” he said. I rolled my eyes and assured him I wasn’t pregnant because the last thing we needed in our crazy relationship was a lifelong commitment to one another. After 4 years and 2 marriage proposals from his crazy ass, I knew he wasn’t the one I was meant to be with but our relationship was like a sordid train wreck I couldn’t turn away from and through time, I learned to love him.

I thought about that moment of him on top of me after I drank half a bottle of Patron with no chaser. The only thing I remember was him handing me one cup after another and then eventually holding my hair hours later so I wouldn’t throw up on myself. We woke up the next morning in the same bed which was weird because we had a two bedroom apartment for a reason so I wasn’t used to seeing him lying next to me in the morning.

“Did you use a condom?” I asked. It was useless asking if we had sex because I felt fucked but I didn’t see a wrapper in the trashcan next to my bed so I was confused.

“I don’t see a wrapper” I said giving him side eye because I know the sound of a lie when I hear one and I knew him like the back of my hand. “You don’t trust me?” he asked. I believed him because why would he lie? But in my head I still had questions like “Well where the fuck is the wrapper” while running to the bathroom barely missing the toilet because my stomach was on fire and I felt like I was about to die. “I’m never drinking again” I whispered to myself, lying.

Or maybe I was telling the truth.

Imagine my excitement as I peed on the stick and only one line appeared- NOT pregnant. “Whew” I thought, “That was close. What the fuck was I going to do with a baby anyway? I can barely take care of myself.” I ran to the kitchen and got me some OJ before returning to the bathroom to put the pregnancy test up so I could show him later and tell him the good news. I was 20 and he was 41. His daughter was older than me and shit was confusing enough. I wanted to leave him anyway because he was crazy but that’s another story for another day, about the way he committed suicide when I left him.

But imagine my surprise when one line suddenly turned into two and I realized I was pregnant. I choked on my orange juice and almost died that day from shock. I stared at the test for what seemed like an eternity and replayed in my head how two lines meant “I’m pregnant”. “How did this happen?” I thought. “He used a condom.” All I did was get a glass of orange juice and come back, how could so much change in 60 seconds?

When he came home that night, I was sleep. Somehow right after knowing you are pregnant, your body gets the message and morning sickness kicks in any time of day. I showed him the test and announced my pregnancy. “Are you going to keep it?” he asked. I was slightly offended about any response outside of enthusiasm and exuberance but truth be told I was lost in the moment and couldn’t reconcile my shock with my joy. In retrospect it was obvious what he did but my 20 year old self couldn’t see it.

I told him I was going to keep it.

After 10+ hours, I grew to love the fetus inside me more than I loved myself, and him. I spent the day playing Zion from the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and I knew my baby would change my life for the better. Not keeping it wasn’t an option.

“I used a condom” he said. “It’s not mine.”

Truth be told, maybe it wasn’t. But that’s another story for another day.

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