Story Time Assignment – Melissa Martinez

I still do a mental double take every time I see her.  Seventeen years I have grown up with her, and the not-so-little-anymore bump that her tummy has become is this beacon to my eyes.  She is singing today, as she makes yet another, hard-boiled deviled egg—her most recent pregnancy obsession.  I am outside on the patio, probably appearing somewhat stalker-ish as I unblinkingly stare at my sister prancing about in the kitchen, my mind absent; roaming in the future and past… actions, consequences, and responsibility.

She is slightly older than me, but she has always been my little sister…I could boss her around when we were younger, but then I defended her from other people and told her she had to stand up for herself, I informed her when we had to be quiet because mom and dad were fighting, and now, I worry my heart out for her.

I know she’ll be the most amazing mother because she has this devotion to the people she loves; which means she will do her utmost best to be everything that little baby girl needs.

But I wish that she had waited.  I wish that she had been more responsible.  I wish that she could hit a pause button on this baby business and go back to finish her teenage experience; without a child.  To spend more care free nights with her friends, to grow and learn, change, explore, experiment, regret, redeem, and have time to rebuild herself.

I seriously wonder if she be engaged to Ricky now if she hadn’t become pregnant?  Is he going to make her as happy as another guy down the road, could have?  Is he going to treat her right and show their child what it means to be an excellent and dedicated father, a husband, a friend to his friends, and a hard worker?  Will they always have food?  Will they always have clothes? Will they always be safe?  Could he ever hurt her?

What could’nt she have done?  She was studying to be a pediatrician; graduated high school with her associates degree in hand and as a CNA.  She wanted to travel to India, Asia, Africa and help people; could have served in the Peace Corps; could have, could have, could have.  It’s pointless to lie in the land of what might have been.

I guess she’s the one that fell through a crack in the system: protection and the after day pill.  Shouldn’t that probability be like impossible?  He was in Michigan before then, and there was definitely only him… but it always happens to the other girl, the girl that people whisper about in school and dart quick glances at.

I don’t think people, young adults in particular realize, I don’t think they have any kind of idea what it means.  What sex really means.  There’s two eyes (probably a dark brown with thick lashes rimming them, like hers), and two ears, two tiny wrinkled hands, two feet, one mind, and one heart inside that little bump, for 9 months, their hearts will be closer to each other than to any other heart in their life.  How the people understand what it really means if they just talk of banging this, or bam and scram this other one as if they had a shopping list, hit it and quit it, hump and dump.  Uh!  How can they think they understand all of the changes this implies, how can they pretend to know love, when I know there is no greater love than that from a mother to a child.  I mean if they really got it, the power, I think they’d wait.  And they certainly wouldn’t make the kind of crude jokes that I have to sit through all day.

She envelopes her tummy in a hug, one hand on bottom and one on top, guess she carries the weight of her whole world, doesn’t she.  She has to teach this little girl to be a thinking, feeling, loving, real, compassionate human being in this… mess? We’ve created.  They don’t get it.

Silver lining is, I’ve been taught the meaning of major consequences through her, I’ve definitely been shown the definition of unconditional love because God I respect my parents so much as they’ve been absolutely beyond all expectation of amazing about this, and I know I will be further given a course on the full implications of responsibility, when come March, my niece is born.


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