I looked around the classroom. It didn't feel right to be in here anymore. I sat down in the closest chair, I wondered when my friend would come. The teacher looked at me. "April, I didn't see you come in."
"Hi, Mrs. Park." I felt awkward.
"I wasn't expecting you to be here."
"I don't think anyone did."
"So…where were you?"
"When?" I acted like I didn't know what she was talking about.
"When you were gone."
I paused and looked at the door. I shook my head and then smiled nervously. Ludivine came into the room.
"April," she called me and I got up to greet her. A great save. Something I never experienced in my life. I gave her a hug. More people piled into the classroom. There were slices of cake on the table. I grabbed a boat and picked up a piece with my hand. The others looked at me strangely, I didn't care. Ludivine and I exited just as more people entered.
"So, you gonna tell me about her?" Ludivine blurted out loud.
"Not here, lets go into the restroom."
We went down the hall to the girls restroom. Nobody was in there, I locked the door. "You got it?" I went over to the trash can and grabbed an empty plastic cup. I washed it in the sink. I handed it to her and sat on the marble counter.
"Here." she poured vodka in the cup and handed it back to me. She put the bottle back into her purse. I drank some. "I thought you were going to quit drinking."
"Yeah, me, too," I admitted.
"Tell me." She started begging, she was jumping up and down just like a little kid.
"Okay, calm down," I sighed. "She is so beautiful. She has big brown eyes and blond hair, but when I spend the night with Roger, she cries all night, I can't sleep."
"You're tired, but does she make you happy?"
"Yeah. I wish she'd stop crying though."
"Do you have pictures?" She asked.
"Uh-huh." I drank some more and pulled the Polaroids out of my back pocket.
"She is so pretty," she flipped through them. "It's too bad you can't tell anyone about her."
I sighed and drank some more, I took a bite of cake, then threw it away.
"So what are you gonna do this summer?"
"Assuming my parents don't find out I missed most of school and that I have to take summer school, I'm going to party." I raised my cup.
"But what about your baby?"
"I'm a mother," I drank some more, "I deserve to take time and relax."
I spit out the vodka and started laughing.
"That's enough for you." she took away my cup.
There was banging on the door, "Hello, is somebody in there?"
"We better go." Ludivine said.
I jumped off the counter and grabbed my pictures back from Ludivine, then washed my hands in the sink before we left.
I walked her home, she lived about 3 blocks away from me. "Are you going home tonight?" she asked me.
"No, I'll tell my parents that I'm staying with you."
"Okay, bye." We hugged and went our separate ways. I was headed to Roger's, he was taking care of the baby while I went to see Ludivine.
I didn't want to go to sleep at all, I always had nightmares. Places I didn't want to go, people chasing me, monsters, and me getting physically harmed. I would wake up with bruises.
One time in my sleep I banged my forearm on the headboard, I had a fracture. My parents were out of town and when they came back I wore a jacket around them, they didn't even notice me.
Roger was 23, I was 16, I met him at camp, he was my counselor, I just fell for him, I mean I couldn't help myself, I couldn't help but feel for him. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I couldn't tell my parents, I couldn't tell them I was messing around with an older guy. So, I hid it.
I hid my entire pregnancy, the only person I ever told was my best friend, Ludivine, she promised not to tell.
Roger and I went out of town to his sister's, she was a nurse. I left town telling my parents I was on a week long field trip, to show how observant they are, they didn't even call the school or anything, they just didn't care about me.
When I came back, I missed a lot of school taking care of the baby. Roger had a job, he did everything.
All I ever wanted to be, was a novelist, it was my goal in life, but when I try to write the baby cries, and then I cry, I can't do anything.
I swear I was going crazy, I hadn't eaten anything before that cake for about a week or so, I was so busy that when I remembered to eat, it was when I was laying in bed about to go to sleep. You can't eat anything right before bedtime, it gives you weird dreams. Or nightmares. But I would lay in bed, my stomach growling, even being so exhausted, sleep would never come.
Maybe tonight I would sleep.
It was morning. I went to the fridge, the baby was crying, Roger was gone. I know because I was laying in bed when he left this morning, he thought I was asleep. He kissed me on the cheek.
I didn't go anywhere near the crib, I didn't want to feed her, she would have to wait. I made myself a sandwich and then poured myself vodka. I sat down at the table and closed my eyes, I had no cares about not being in bed, I just wanted to sleep.
It was a school day, but school was almost over, I couldn't go back there, Mrs. Park wasn't too concerned about me missing her class, she would have called my parents by now if she did. I finished my food and the glass was empty, I went into the other room where the baby was, she was crying.
Why can't you just go to sleep? I don't know what you want and I don't know what to do for you. I thought to myself as the little girl wailed louder, I wanted to leave the room and start writing a novel but she was going to keep crying and besides I make continuous spelling errors and mistakes when I write fatigued.
I fed her and changed her, and she went to sleep, but I couldn't, not with all the endless thoughts rolling around my head, they were always there, I wished to shut off my brain, but there was no visible switch.
I walked around the house until Passions came on, it was the best part of my day, watching other people suffer, either physically or emotionally.
She woke up again and started crying. "SHUT UP!" I yelled. The show was still on, I never moved during Passions, I decided I would get up at commercial. When the commercial came, I remained still. No, I was not going to check on that horrible child.
When the show was over, I stood up from the couch and strolled over to the crib in the other room. I looked at her, who could say no to that face? I'll tell you who, me!
I went back into the living room, to the drawer where Roger kept his gun. I couldn't explain what came over me, nobody could, I reached for it and let it weigh down my hand.
I went into the room and pointed it at her, the child that would not shut up, be quiet, or let me write anymore. The wailing rung in my ears. Do you see what you've done to me?! Do you see what you've driven me to?!
I hated her at that instant, "I want you dead! I'll kill you!" I moved my arm away from the crib. "What is wrong with me?" I snapped out of it, "I'm sorry, baby, I am so sorry," I broke into tears, I dropped the gun and picked her up. "Baby, oh, god, please forgive me" I rubbed her back. What did I just do?
Her parents stood there, they couldn't see the baby growing inside her, nor could they see her holding hands with the camp counselor, the very same camp counselor that they had entrusted with her safety, he wasn't supposed to knock her up.
April screamed. They would not look at her, they just kept going about their lives. Her mother gathered her belongings. Her father grabbed his suitcase. She fell flat on the ground and started banging her fists on the floor like a toddler. They walked through her like a shadow.
"SEE ME!" April lifted her chin off the floor and then threw a book at the wall. The book's title was Alone.
I woke up, I couldn't believe I fell asleep, The baby was on top of me. The front door opened. I lifted the baby who was also asleep, I went to the door.
"Here.'" I handed Roger the baby. "I'm going to go home."
"All right." he nodded his head, he tried to kiss me, but I pulled away.
"Nothing." I went down the steps and walked home. Maybe it was time to tell my mom the truth.
I arrived, mother and father were in the living room watching TV. "Hey, Punkin," Dad greeted me as I walked in the door.
"How was school, dear?" Mom asked.
"Actually… I was wondering if I could talk to you."
"What about?" Dad seemed concerned, I hated him so much.
"Okay, let's go into the dining room."
I went to the dining room and sat down. Maybe I could remain calm while doing this, but I doubted that I could.
"You see I have a secret."
"Oh… what secrets could you possibly be hiding?"
"I have a baby, she lives with her father. I haven't been to school in two months, I've been lying to you." I was calm. Now, to hear Mom's yelling.
She said nothing, she was thinking intently. Then, "Honey, I think I would've noticed if you were pregnant, why are you telling me stories?"
"Mom?" What the hell was wrong with her, she thought I was lying? I stood up and kicked the chair away. "But I was, I have a baby! I had sex with the camp counselor, Roger, I live with him. I haven't been to fucking school in 2 months!"
"Lower your voice, your father will hear."
"Fuck you, bitch!"
My father entered. "What's going on?" He demanded, like he had any authority.
"April says she has a baby,"
"What?" he looked at me "Why, April? Why would you say these things?" The son of a bitch didn't believe me either, he turned to my mom. "It must be the stress from school,"
"No! I do . I have a baby, I barely slept an hour today…" I started to cry, there was a huge lump in my throat, I could barely speak. "Why can't you shit-heads believe me?" I fell to my knees and then I screamed out, "Why can't you believe me now?! Why don't you love me?! Why didn't you ever pay attention to me?!" I wailed and fell. Instead of stopping myself I let my body hit the wooden floor. There was a light, I groaned and closed my eyes, I felt like I couldn't breathe…
April's parents called an ambulance, what they thought was stress was actually a nervous breakdown, had they called the school or Ludivine, they would know the truth, but those thoughts slipped away from them as the paramedics took their daughter away on a stretcher.
At the hospital, the doctor examined April, he imposed lack of sleep theories about their daughter's breakdown and possibly all the alcohol she had consumed. However, nobody noticed her body, how she had gained weight around her abdomen, or the stretch marks, it was as if everyone including the nurse who changed her out of her jeans and t-shirt, was blind to her condition.
"I cannot believe the stories she told me, it was as if she was psychotic or something, Doctor." Her mom confessed.
"It was the stress is all, like you said." The doctor stated. "She should be hospitalized for a few months, pending therapy and treatment.."
They agreed, after all, school was almost over and they didn't want her to return "psychotic".
Later, her mother called Roger, the camp counselor, "…I mean, you should have been there, she was totally unstable, she was just not herself."
"Yeah, I mean you love your daughter you would have noticed if she had a baby." he hung up and bent down to pick up his gun from the floor of the nursery. He rubbed his daughter's belly and kissed her gently. Only 2 people knew the truth.
I got out of the treatment center. Maybe I never had a baby. I looked around my room. I picked up the phone and called Roger. He said that I had to come feed the baby, My God, it was true?! I went over to his house and I looked at the kid. What was her name? I was 16, I didn't deserve this. I went over to the drawer. I got Roger's gun.
"What are you doing, April?" I aimed it at the baby's head, I pulled the trigger, the gunshot rung out my ears. Roger was in shock.
"I don't deserve this." I picked up the body and wrapped it a blanket.
"Mom," I came home and smiled at her. "You were right., I don't have a baby," I showed her the baby, she stared at me, she was mouthing, It was true? and started crying. "At least… not anymore."