I see you laughing at me
You should be laughing at me
If you should decide to leave
I'll try to make you believe
That you won't be missed
-"Laughing" (c) Shakemouse
Five years ago, I might have made the biggest mistake of my life. His name isn't necessarily important, but part of me believes that I should be with him right now. And if I was, maybe things would have been easier. Maybe I would have graduated college last year. I wouldn't have dropped out halfway through my first year. I might be living somewhere near Alta Loma instead of Montclair. Hell, I could be living in London instead of the US. I would have had more support, maybe.
When I first found out, about two months after I got back to California, I almost thought about doing away with it. It would have been so easy. Maybe I could have had half or even a quarter of the dreams I had for myself when I got out of high school. But I couldn't do that. Because this was -my- fault. Not completely my fault, but I had to live with it and start making decisions for it. I didn't want my first decision to be the last.
About five months after I left London, it became a she and I was almost happy I'd made the mistake of creating her. I knew who her father was and some part of me believed that maybe by having her, I was keeping a part of him. I used to call him long distance every weekend and I'd never told him about what was slowly growing inside of me, what I could actually feel by the time I stopped calling him. By then, it had been seven months and only two people knew about it-my mother and my future sister-in-law. I told him money was getting tight and I was sorry, but I could no longer afford the long distance calls. He offered to call me, but I made some lame excuse about not having time between work and school. When in fact I had quit school the month before and was only working about four hours a day, five days a week. He called twice after that and I never picked up. My now sister-in-law Amy called me an idiot. I probably was, but my hormones were wracking my body and I cried at the drop of a dime. So I cried and she dropped it.
Eight months and four days after I left London, she became Ashleigh Marie Blake. Under "Father," I labeled "unknown." Was I stupid? I don't know. Should I have given her his last name? Maybe. But I almost felt like I owed him some anonymity. Call me crazy. Up until Ashleigh was four months old, I hated her. The doctors said it was post-partum, but I hate blaming emotions on some medical condition. Because they didn't know the circumstances of her conception. They didn't know that, according to the conception date my doctor gave me, I had been a stupid, naive eighteen-year-old, buzzed out on a Cosmopolitan, seeking some inane refuge in the arms of a nineteen-year-old former drug dealer. I loved him, yeah. I still do. Especially when I look at Ashleigh. She's four now. She has his big eyes and nose. Thank God. I would hate myself if I had given her my nose. She's a brunette, too. The female version of Sam.
Sometimes I'll sit in the small chair next to her princess bed after she's fallen asleep, playing with her hair and wondering what would have happened if I had stayed in London when he asked me to. Agreed to marry him that night I brought him back to his flat, drunk.
Not that it matters anymore. I'll probably never see him again.