It's hard to believe when I first discovered I was pregnant, I was estatic. I was sixteen at the time, and my boyfriend, Travis, and I, had been sleeping together for six months. But nothing had ever come of it until now.1

We were still together at the time, so I called and told him right away. He didn't share my enthusiasm.2

" You're pregnant?" he roared. " Jada, how could you do this to me?"3

I reminded him that I hadn't been the one doing anything; if anyone, it was him who was responsible. But of course he hadn't seen it that way.4

" How do I know it's mine?" he asked next. " How do I know you haven't been sleeping around?"5

As if I would do that to him! I loved him. I would never hurt him like that, the way he often hurt me. I couldn't believe he would accuse me of cheating. 6

I informed him I was a virgin until I met him and I had most certainly not cheated. But he wasn't convinced. 7

" When you can prove this kid is mine, call me. But until then, it's over, Jada." 8

He slammed down the phone, and I burst into tears. I had thought he'd be happy to have a child with me! Couldn't he see how great it would be to have someone who loved you unconditionally, someone you could care for and love? somone entirely yours? Well I washappy about it, even if he wasn't. My baby would be adorable, and it would love me like no one else had, even my parents. Especially my parents. I would make Travis see that it was his baby... somehow.9

I daydreamed about my child for the rest of the day. I didn't tell anyone else about it. I didn't want to see their stunned, angry reactions. I was already torn up enough about Travis. The daydreams were the only thing that could get my mind off of him. I didn't even care if the baby was a boy or a girl... until Travis called.10

Travis called a week after we had broken up, wanting to talk. I was thrilled, sure he had finally come around. I held my breath as he talked.11

" Look, Jada," he said. " I've been thinking about this, and I've decided you're too important to me to break up with you just because you made a mistake. I'll go back out with you, and I'll be a father to the baby."12

I was overjoyed, thrilled that he had changed his mind. I didn't catch he had said I had made the mistake,not WE, and THE baby, not OUR.13

I told him how glad I was, how wonderful our baby was bound to be. I told him not to tell our parents, or even our friends, so it would be our intimate secret that we could surprise everyone with.14

Then he had to open his mouth and ruin it all for me. " I'll be a father to the baby... under one condition. It has to be a boy. I want a son. I don't want some girl. Girls are nothing but trouble. Who would want a dumb girl baby? I want a boy, to teach father son things to. If it's a boy, I'll know it has to be mine. If it's a boy, maybe we can even get married, raise our son together."15

" What if it's a girl?" I asked, shocked by his statements. " I can't make it be a boy. What if it's a girl?"16

" If it's a girl... well I know I didn't father any dumb girl. It can't be mine, if it's a girl. You'll have to raise her yourself, Jada. Or make her real father."17

Suddenly I cared very much about the sex of the baby. In fact, I was praying I was going to have a boy.18

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as the months went by, I told no one about my pregnancy. I only gianed 15 pounds, so I could hide it easily under huge clothes. No one said anything. Who would suspect? After all, pregnant girls generally tell people that they're pregnant.20

I had morning sickness, aches, and felt tired all the time, and still no one said a thing. I began to think no one ever really saw me, that I could walk around naked with my belly showing blatantly and no one would give me a second glance. I never saw a gynecologist. I had no idea if the baby was normal, let alone a boy or girl.21

Travis, to give him credit, was nice to me sometimes, even at school, where everyone could see. " How's my little boy?" he'd ask, patting my stomach. He never acknowlegeed that it could be a girl. Neither did I. I was afraid I'd jinx it into being one.22

My water broke when I was getting ready for school one day. I was taking a shower, so luckily it didn't go all over the floor where I'd have major explaining to do. I suddenly felt sharp pains, and I doubled over. I was glad my parents had already left for work. 23

It was terrifying. I had no idea how to help myself along or what to expect. With every contraction, I was sure I was going to die. I wanted to call a hospital, but i didn't want to get up and walk into the living room, leaving a mess all over. And i hurt so bad I didn' t want to move.24

Ten long hours later, my baby was finally born. I had had a rough time of it, almost fainting, vomitiing,and the pain, all the terrible pain. Naked, sweaty, and exhausted, I took my child up from the bath tub and held it up clumsily, ready for a look at my son. When I saw the baby, I screamed and began to cry.25

My baby was not a boy. It was a girl! I had had a girl! 26

Laying my screaming child on my chest, I sank back against the filthy tub and cried. A girl! Not a boy, a girl! This ruined everything! After all the secrecy, all this torture, a girl was my reward! Now Travis would drop me, my daughter wouldn't have a father. My parents would definitely kill me. I'd be an outcast at school. And to top it off, the tub was disgusting and I knew I'd have to clean it.27

I didn't know what to do. I had never actually thought it would be a girl. I had not planned what to do if it was one.28

I must have sat there for 30 minutes in a shocked stupor. My daughter wailed in the background. I knew she was hungry and I needed to cut her cord, but I didn't want to even touch her.29

I didn't want this kid! She had ruined me! I didn't want to look at her, let alone raise her!30

If she had never been born, everything would be okay. 31

I looked down at the child in my lap and felt nothing but hatred. I wanted to kill her. I would kill her. Then everything would be perfect, everything would be okay again.32

I set her down on the floor and began to clean the tub. It took a long time, it was so filthy and I was so exhausted. Finally, I could see no more blood stains. I filled the tub with water, suddenly unsure about what I was doing.33

Should I really kill her? What if Travis found out? She was his kid too, after all. 34

Travis wouldn't care, I told myself. He didn't want her. He wouldn't accept her. He'd be glad I'd killed her, probably. it would be better for us all, I reasoned. Better than her having a mother who hates her. 35

But part of me wouldn't agree. It says in the Bible not to kill, I remembered. I'd never been very religious, but burning in hell didn't appeal to me. Not only would I go to hell, but what about jail? Could I go to jail for this at 16?36

But I hated her so much! I didn't want her! I wanted a son!37

Back and forth, back and forth, I couldn't make up my mind. Finally, I decided there was only one way to choose. I would flip a coin. Leave it up to the hands of fate.38

Leaving the baby shrieking on the bathroom floor, I went into my room and took a penny form my purse. A lucky penny, perhaps. Taking it into the bathroom, I held it on my fist. 39

Heads, she lives. Tails, she dies. 40

Holding my breath, I flipped the coin. It seemed to spiral through the air in slow motion before it landed with a clink.41

Tails. She dies.42

I turned to her, my mind now fixed on my task. So be it. Who was i to argue with fate? And it really was for the best.43

I picked her up and carried her to the tub. Her cries had tapered off into sobs now. She was so ugly, red and wrinkly, with all the birth mess all over her. I plunged her into the tub. She sank down, started sputtering, bobbed back up. I could see I would have to hold her underwater. I took hold of her head and held it firmly. She waved her arms feebly, her face distorting as she breathed water into her newborn lungs.44

I watched my daughter drown. It didn't take very she was dead, I wrapped her in a towel and put her in a garbage bag, tying it. Carrying it outside, I placed her inside our trash can, rooting around a little to put her towards the bottom. I felt nothing but relief as I placed my daughter under a bag of broken beer bottles.45

I went inside, going back to the bathroom and taking a shower. I was weak and shaking from fatigue. I hurt all over. as I showered, I noticed a small spot of blood on the wall. My daughter's blood. As she had died, her nose had bled a little.46

Chilled, I tried to scrub it off, but it would not come up. I scrubbed harder. It only seemed to grow larger.47

Stepping out of the shower, I got a rag and some cleaner. I applied the cleaner to the spot and scrubbed furiously. It didn't come off. Moanning in frustration, I worked harder, making my muscles scream and shriek in pain. But the spot only grew larger and larger the more I scrubbed.48

I screamed out a swear word and attacked, beating my fists against the spot. Suddenly, it seemed to change shape. It was forming something. As I watched, horrified, I realized it was a baby's face. My daughter's face.49

As I stood numbly, the baby's mouth opened,and it spoke. " Murderer. Murderer. Murderer!"50

I screamed. " Nooo! Nooo! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"51

" Too late, Mommy," the baby said.52

And then her face was gone, along with the bloodstain. I sobbed, relieved, but stil scared out of my mind. What had just happened?53

then the bath tub faucet turned on-all by itself. And it wasn't water pouring out- it was blood!54

Then a tiny hand reached up from the gushing blood, a baby hand. It reached up, beginning to write on the shower walls- MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOM-55
" Nooo!" I screamed. " Noooo!"56

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" Jada? Jada Corde? It's your turn."58

I jerked, and my eyes flew open. I began to thrash around, panicking. 59

" Oh god, the blood! The blood! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I swear! Mommy, mommy, mommy!" I sobbed. 60

A few women turned to stare at me. I saw that I was in a waiting room of some kind, but strangely, only girls and women were in it. I stopped, confused. How had I gotten here? What about the bathroom, my baby's voice? What?61

The woman who had awakened me looked confused. She was wearing a white outfit and carrying a clipboard.62

" No, it's all right, dear. You were dreaming. You ARE Jada Corde, right?"63

I squinted at her, disoriented. What the heck?64

" Yeah... I was asleep?"65

" Yes. Now come on, it's your turn."66

Dreaming? But it had seemed so real! I could remember it so clearly... surely it had been real. I hadn't imagined it, had I? How could I have dreamed of killing my baby, of her coming back to haunt me? It had just happened! But then how had I gotten here?67

Doubtfully, I looked down at my stomach. To my shock, I had a slight bulge. I was still pregnant! None of it had really happened! It had just been a dream!68

It all came back to then, where I was, and what I was doing. i was at an abortion clinic. i was here to abort my baby. My daughter. After my talk with Travis, I had decided this was for the best.69Now I wasn't so sure. It had seemed like the best idea. How long could I hide my pregnancy from my parents, after all? And if it was a girl, which I was suddenly sure it was, Travis would leave me. I was only sixteen, i didn't want to go through labor either.70

But now, after that awful dream, having an abortion didn't seem like such a good idea. It felt like I'd be killing my daughter... again. I didn't want to kill her. I didn't know if I wanted to keep her, but I did know I didn't want to kill her.71

The woman made an impatient gesture. " Miss Corde. The doctor is waiting."72

All I could think of was the blood on the shower wall, and my baby's hand writing my name in blood.73

That is why I turned and ran from the abortion clinic, ran most of th way home, in fact. By the time I was on my street, I was exhausted, breathing hard, but I felt better,much better.74

The first thing I did when I got home was tell my parents about my pregnancy. They were angry, but they didn't kill me, thank god. And today, I 'm going to call Travis and tell him he will be the father of a baby girl. If he doesn't like it... maybe he too will dream of our daughter, writing his name on the shower wall.75

the end76