A woman living with depression learns to love herself first.
NEW LOCKED DOORS
I arrived ahead of schedule as usual. The walk into the waiting room was almost unbearable with anticipation. The women waiting were all in various stages of pregnancy. Their tummies were bulging, anxiously awaiting their appointment. I had begun to feel alone and empty so I scrolled through their infamous six-year-old magazines. The lonely thoughts returned when I caught a glimpse of her name on my arm; I had doubts things would ever be the same, the sense of fulfillment as I had a year ago was extraordinary. As I sat there, I listened to the women talk about their pregnancy, it made me dread the lecture I expected from my own physician. He knows what I had been up to and didn’t believe I was living up to my capabilities.
The taste of salt lightly touched my lips as I imagined the other women snuggling up with their new bundle of joy. I soon realized there was the warm comfort of a hand on my knee. Oh, geez, I’d been crying, something I didn’t want to do, but wasn’t aware I was doing it. Turning to look I noticed a lovely woman of about thirty, her dark chocolate hair was draped down her right shoulder. The color of her blue dress produced an incredible turquoise speck in her eyes and drew awareness to the protruding baby belly. The woman was apparently speaking to me but I was having a problem processing her words. The sweet and softness of her voice was the only thing that registered in my brain. My mind and face, apparently, went blank; I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she was so stunning.
I suddenly realized it was me she was speaking to, “You look like you need a friend.” The woman stated more from her eyes than her lips. “Is there anything I can do?”
I don’t usually have conversations with people in a waiting room “Oh, umm, no. Thanks though. I was just over thinking and let my emotions get away from me. I’ll be fine in a minute.” I said, attempting to smile but turned to avoid any further eye contact instead. I wasn’t supposed to cry.
When I gained control I looked at her with a smile. Her inner soul radiated a sense of comfort, I could avoid talking to her. “So, how much longer?” I asked, changing the subject nodding downward at her belly.
She sat talking to me about her life there in Holton. She was a schoolteacher who met her husband four years ago after returning from Boston College. They were expecting their first child in five months. It turned out to be a great day because I had never felt so comfortable talking to a stranger, I tend to withdraw from such a person. The connection I felt toward her was incredible, I wanted to sit and talk to her all day but the nurse came to escort her to the examination room.
“Would you be interested in meeting me for coffee sometime?” She asked and handed me her card. Her name was Kathy Burton, she is a hair stylist. We agreed I would call her later that afternoon to set up a time.
Somehow the clouds in the sky parted suddenly and the sun came through to brighten my day even more. After speaking with Dr. D’Angelo about my mood changes she changed my prescription to help, finished her exam then gave me a clean bill of health. I couldn’t believe I had worked myself up into such tizzy for that appointment.
When I had gotten home there was a message waiting for me, from Kathy. Without giving it much thought, I returned the call. It was only a brief but it was the best feeling I’ve had from a simple conversation in a very long time. I was surprised she actually wanted to meet me on Friday, at Penny’s.
Friday arrived with great prospect. I met Kathy on the porch of Penny’s at nine. She was much taller and much prettier than that day at the doctor’s office. The outfit she wore seamed tailor made to fit her tiny waist perfectly, despite the pregnant belly. I felt like a beached whale in comparison.
I began to doubt my presence with her. She would soon regret her connection to me when she realized how inferior I was to her. There was something really so regal about her; that made me want to crawl back to the hole I came from.
As we entered the diner I felt the stares coming from every direction. They must be looking at the hottie that stood at my side. I could almost hear their thoughts; “there won’t be anything left when she’s finished.” Both of those scenarios played in my head as we sat down at a booth she chose, closest to the door. She knew she would need a quick escape, I figured.
The server came to pour our coffee, assuring us she would attend to us momentarily. The menu had many delicious options to choose, I had to remind myself to not be the beast I was; “be normal”, as my mother would say. The server returned to take our order, I let Kathy order first then decided to make it a “ditto”. Whatever she ordered must be appropriate, right?
It didn’t take long before she asked the dreaded question. “So, why were you feeling so blue the other day at Dr. D’Angelo’s office?”
Normally I lied to people who asked personal questions, no need for them to know my truth. I would tend tell them that I had just lost a pet, usually that would cover for the times I found myself crying; I decided that I would actually tell the truth. “I was there for a follow-up. I lost my baby about a year ago.” My lip quivered and I felt a chill but I managed to hold back my tears.
Kathy took my hand, “It must have been the hardest thing for you, I don’t think I could have survived a tragedy that devastating.” I could see her it was the most sincere statement I had ever witnessed.
Without knowing how to properly respond I made a stupid comment, “It could never happen to a wonderful woman like you.” What the hell? I don’t even know what that meant.
Not wanting to talk about that subject any longer I said, “Let’s talk about something more pleasant.” I nodded downward, “Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?” The smile was forced.
From there on, we only discussed either the upcoming birth or issues surrounding her life. I felt so much at ease talking to her, I never knew anyone that sweet. I hoped Kathy had a decent time talking with me too.
It was noon before she realized she was going to be late for her husband’s birthday party, at the in-law’s. Just as she was about to drive off she stopped and rolled down her window. “I almost forgot, my sister Janice’s birthday is coming up. I’m having a surprise party at my house on the twelfth, I would like you to come.” I was excited but worried. I didn’t even know her sister.
After accepting the invitation I scurried home to find that right outfit to wear. I knew, I had two weeks to prepare, it was going to take time to make a drastic change to my style. I wouldn’t normally care what I wore but that was my chance.
As I rummaged through my entire closet I just got tremendously discouraged. I had erased memories of certain times in my life therefore I had forgotten about an old black dress that I loved. which of course had no longer fit. I hadn’t worn that since I graduated from North Eastern back in….1998. North Eastern was a beginning, for many things but now, it seemed it was more of the beginning of the end.
That old, blue pants suit I owned made me look professional, ready for a job interview. It was the nicest thing I owned.I don’t recall why I ever saved it though. Everything else was either work clothes or grungy jeans with t-shirts which had had holes and stains. Janice’s party called for a throw back your hair and frolic dress not an outdated, frumpy dress. I needed something comfortable for my size but also eye- catching at the same time, I had a challenge.
My quest began at Fashion Bug that next day. It was there that I found my least favorite duo, frilly and lacey. at Macy’s I had to step away after I took a peek at the price tags; I barely avoided knocking over a huge rack of clothes on my way out. I barely even considered Nordstrom’s and Lord and Taylor, both very pricey and not my style. That brought me to J. Jill; nothing had caught my eye there either. Someone had mentioned DKNY clothing, it had great current trends, they said. I was running out of options so I had to check it out. When I set a foot inside I got an ugly face from the sales clerk so I stepped out as soon as I saw the look.
I sat outside for an hour sobbing in the parking lot at the mall. Once I was able to gain some semblance of control I drove home. All I could muster was a peanut butter sandwich and milk for dinner as I watched I Love Lucy, hoping it would cheer me up.
I dared to return to the mall later that weekend. The more I looked the more I hated everything about myself. I scoured though many types of clothing but I think I aged thirty years just trying them on. The clothing in my size were not appropriate and the clothing I was attracted to was not in my size. I decided I had to make one more effort; otherwise I wasn’t going to the party. As my last resort, I finally chose Chadwick’s. I’d never seen their stuff before but I was desperate. At first glance their clothes were mostly for the average sized woman. I wanted to find something so I could look presentable so I finally asked for help. Jackie was amazing. She was able to see past the tall, large busty broad before her and pulled out a spectacular choice. I had never considered that style or color but it worked somehow once I tried it on. I had no doubt that I was going to meet my special someone at that party.
After finding the perfect outfit it prompted me to start a new life style. I went to the gym after work twice that week and ate with my head and not with my stomach. I was shocked when I noticed it had worked. I had lost a few pounds; my clothes were looser than normal and I hadn’t had many issues with my tummy.
Things were changing and I was feeling a confidence I hadn’t experienced in a very long time. I was determined that I wanted that feeling to last, I was going to stay on the path I had laid out in front of me.
The morning of Kathy’s party I awoke to the rustle of branches on the window. I felt the cool floor as I strolled to the bathroom for the morning routine. Minutes turned to hours; my heart quickened as the time passed. Normally I would have jumped from the shower into my clothes then out the door within twenty minutes except that day. My clothes were placed out on my spare bed two days prior with my make up set up beside on the table., I had to be prepared for that particular occasion in advance, there was only one chance to give a first impression.
I arrived in a blue and gray tiered skirt with the matching twin sweater set, feeling bold. As the door opened Kathy invited me inside, instantly I felt welcomed. After introducing me to her husband Charlie, she gave me a tour of her humble estate. I wasn’t surprised by the old world Tuscan style of her home, it was warm and cozy, just like her personality. I was surprised by her husband’s broad physique though.
Walking around, mingling, I got the sense that the people weren’t there for a birthday party though; they wanted something else by being there. I could hear them talk about who they knew or what jobs they were involved in. Their stares were cold and distant, not the type I expected to attend a simple birthday party.
As we walked further through I hovered tightly behind Kathy. I hoped Janice was like her sister and not those party guests. The pressure compressed inside my skull; the air grew heavy. Suddenly I realized my hands began to shake while my knees wobbled. Quickly I made my way out the sliding door to the fresh, cool breeze which brushed the tiny bit of perspiration from my face. What was I thinking when I agreed to come? How did I even consider attending such a party? My heart pounded like a drum, the sound reverberated into my ears. Even outside the air got thin and a veil slowly lowered over my eyes. I sat on the frigid cast iron bench, despite the chill it helped ground my thoughts.
I heard cheering coming from inside the house. Janice had finally arrived, that’s when I determined it was a good time to excuse myself. I would skip out through the back door after I introduced myself; all I had to do was get my self to the guest of honor unnoticed. The crowd that surrounded Janice began to thin out, I spotted my opportunity. I hoped I looked presentable; I wasn’t worthy to be in the presence of such beauty. She was stunning in her black, sequenced cocktail dress with her long flowing chocolate brown hair just like her sister’s. The opening widened so I stepped forward to wish her a happy birthday, all collected and calm. Then it happened, I had put my heel through the back of my dress, pulled the bottom half of my dress to my knees and tumbled over Janice. She busted out laughing at the spectacle I made.
The heat on my face burned, I hauled myself to my feet and ran to the bathroom, trying to cover as much of my body as possible with what was left of my skirt. Never had I been more embarrassed. I sat on the side of the tub, sobbing as I examined my skirt; it was ruined. At least I had an excuse not to attend another event like that. It is unlikely any human on this hemisphere would want me at their next party anyhow. All I had to do then was escape without notice at that point. I was sure the party had moved on, forgetting the scene that had just transpired.
I peered out through the small open space of the door; there stood Janice and Kathy. “Are you ok?” Janice inquired. They both had that look of pity that I hated so much.
“Ummm, yeah, I guess. I’m not hurt or anything.” I responded. How was I going to bust out when I was trapped in that bathroom? There was no chance of going through the very small window above the toilet. No chance of any type of weapon in the vicinity unfortunately, I began to tremble.
“Can I come in?” She gently urged her way into the room and shut the door. I couldn’t understand why she would want to come in? I had nothing to say.
“I guess. Do I have a choice?” I said as I moved to make room. What does she want from me?
Standing in front of me she scanned me up and down. It was awkward but somehow comforting at the same time. “Well, you seem to be unscathed. I can’t say much for that skirt though”, she laughed. “It’s a shame, it was gorgeous.”
I began to cry. This woman was there to ridicule me; I couldn’t take much more. “I need to get some help, maybe a few safety pins to hold everything together; enough to get myself home.” I hated people seeing me cry. It was a sign of weakness I refused to be seen as weak.
“Please don’t cry. I get weepy myself when I see someone so sad.” She sat beside me as she took a-hold of the skirt. “Now, why do you want to leave? I need you here, so I can have some fun of my own.” She laughed.
Was she really laughing? I was horrified. She was going to make me the joke of the party. I was definately used to that type of thing but that didn’t mean I had to enjoy it. What kind of person would say that? “Just let me go now, please.” I took a hold of my skirt again, pulled and it ripped more. My face was fuming hot.
She realized that I was getting perturbed so she softened her face. “Oh wait, honey that didn’t mean what you thought. All I meant was that you are not like any of the other people here. Most of those people out there are really like extras in a movie. They try to act like my friends but most of them are here to get themselves noticed. Didn’t Kathy explain? I am a photographer for those professional models and actors, they need me more than I need them. You, on the other hand are more genuine.” She took my hands in hers and smiled.
“Nobody has ever said that to me.” I felt so comforted and special.
“Let me get you some clothes to wear; I think I may have something.”
When she returned with a magnificent dress I was perplexed, it was just my size. “This should do the trick.”
I was stunned she found something to fit the oversized mongrel standing before her. “How is that possible? It isn’t your size?” I commented.
“To tell you the truth, I was about your size not long ago. This dress was made for a very special event. I loved it so much I couldn’t bear to get rid of it, special memories ya know. See, there is a reason for everything isn’t there.” She draped the dress across my shoulder.
The dress sparkled and shimmered in places I had never thought possible. When I finally opened the door everyone applauded and laughed. I had begun to get that shaking feeling, I wanted to run out the door again but it was too late, “Can I have everyone’s attention?” She announced as we slipped into the crowd
“Oh my, we never had proper introductions,” she whispered in my ear.
“Jennifer LeRoche,” I replied as the sweat rolled down my spine and multiple tingles ensued.
“May I introduce Jennifer LeRoche, the center of my next book?”
I stared at her in disbelief. Wait, what? What new book? What was she talking about? What did she possibly see in me that would warrant a statement like that? The questions kept rolling around my brain.
Things began to get fuzzy and lines blurred. Was the night ever going to end? I begged her to stop making those statements but she ignored me. She just kept walking me around like a puppet. I understood at that moment what those people meant to her. The trembling in my hands worsened and the sweat continued to roll down my spine; I thought for sure I’d leave a stain on her beautiful gown. That’s when the drums sounded against my skull into my eardrum.
I wasn’t going to stay standing much longer; I needed to get some more air. I bolted out the door back onto the patio I had gotten to know so well. After a few moments I noticed Kathy had stepped out. I didn’t even have to say anything for her to realize what was happening, she just placed her gentle hand on my knee as we sat quietly on the bench. It brought back that same comfort I had back at the doctor’s office. I was immediately calmed, it was like heat melting the ice.
Another few moments passed until she spoke, “I know Janice can get like this. She would get an idea then she runs with it, as fast as a blink of an eye. Things will be different in the morning, just let her have her moment.”
She was right, it was Janice’s birthday, and who was I to take that away from her? I needed to make good on my promise to Kathy so I headed back into the house and I began to play out my departure in my head, looking for the opportunity.
I found Janice in the dining room; before I could speak she was obviously reading my mind. “You can’t leave yet, the party’s just begun. We haven’t even had a chance to talk.”
“I’m sorry but I am not feeling well. Can we make it for another time?” I was proud that I sounded so intelligible without stumbling over my words.
She hugged me and smiled. “It was so nice of you to make it to this god awful party. I am sorry you aren’t feeling well, was it the fall?”
I lied, “Oh, no, I am just feeling beat, I just want to hit the hay”. I smiled half-heartedly. I couldn’t wait to feel the softness of my comforter.
“I will call to make plans, Kathy has your number, right?” She hugged me again.
I nodded and walked out the door. I had not felt that relieved in a long time but was shocked at the fact I was that relieved after leaving a party. For many years I had wanted to be a part of something larger than my own world. I had always felt alone. I hadn’t grasped the full concept of being truly alone until I left that party.
It turned out that the call I made was the best and worst decision I had ever made. I made the call to Kathy and she knew what I was trying to get at before I could even say anything.
“Oh, honey. I knew you would love Janice. She couldn’t stop talking about you either.”
I didn’t know what to think at that point. I was excited that someone was thinking about me the same way I did about them. On the other hand I was not sure about being out on the limb with my emotions again. It hadn’t been all that long ago since I was rejected by Samantha.
Once I decided to talk with Janice, all those feelings of apprehension disappeared though. She was so easy to talk to. I hadn’t realized I was on the phone for nearly two hours until she brought up the time. “I hate to end this but I need to get some sleep,” She said with a sigh.
It was almost midnight. “I understand. I have to go too. I don’t want to fall asleep while I was working in someone’s mouth,” I laughed.
I was relieved when she followed it with a sweet laughter of her own. I was on my way, she had me.
“Can I call you tomorrow night?” She asked.
“I would love that.” It sounded so corny but I loved it.
After we hung up I wrote in my diary for the first time in months. I hadn’t felt this way since Sam, I didn’t know what I was thinking until the words came out on paper. I hoped I was doing the right thing. I had made a mental note to myself that I had to talk to Suzi in the morning, she always helped me.
I wanted to say that I am in for some challenges. I hope that I am really prepared this time. I have to remember I made mistakes with Sam but I know what happened, I can avoid them.. I hope. I don’t want to make those same mistakes with Janice. After the fiasco at the birthday party I had very low expectations of ever speaking with either Kathy or Janice. My gratitude towards Suzi never fades, she persuaded my phone call. Dreaming will be my pleasure for the rest of the evening. Goodnight.
Suzi caught my grin as I walked through the doors, “What happened? Don’t lie.” She was a ball of giggles.
“Nothing much. We talked for a couple of hours.” I had Janice’s voice play back a brief conversation in my head,
She was ecstatic, giving me a hug. “What did you talk about?” Suzi must have seen the smile fade. “What’s wrong? Are you thinking she may not be interested?”
I just shrugged and went about my day. Fortunately I had a tight caseload of clients and no time to contemplate my dilemma. Mr. Phillips, my supervisor, called us in for a staff meeting which took more time than needed therefore Suzi couldn’t grill me either.
Before leaving I left her a quick note. “I’ll call you in 15 minutes.” I knew she deserved an explanation for my sudden change, I owed it to her.
Without a skipped beat, “Do I ask Janice out?”
“Hell yeah. She would be lucky to date you.” I heard a sigh in her voice, she had reservations but wasn’t going to tell me I was making a mistake.
“But what if I get rejected? What if she isn’t into me?” A sudden tornado of questions swirled my brain, luckily I was already sitting.
“Don’t be foolish. If you don’t ask her you won’t find out. What if she’s waiting for you to ask?”
There is no way she’s waiting but she may be interested, I shook my head. “OK, fine. I’ll let you know what happens.” Despite the apparent pep talk I was not convinced. I was not ready for the rejection.
“Call me, no matter what time.” She responded.
I got myself settled on the coach with a glass of vino and my clicker when the phone startled me. I expected it to be my mother calling to harp on the fact I hadn’t visited her in months. Fact was I hadn’t planned to visit until Christmas. “-Ello?” I didn’t sound enthused to answer.
“Jen? It’s Janice. How are you?” Her smile came through in her voice.
She sounded so refreshed and relaxed, making me feel relaxed as well. Or was that the wine? “Hi, I’m glad you called.” Was that to cheesy? I asked myself.
I had to distract her with something, “How was your day? I hope it was good.” I was trying to sound more upbeat.
“I had a good day, thanks for asking. Actually I couldn’t get you off my mind.” Janice retorted.
I couldn’t help but smile at that statement. Sam never said anything like that to me before.
“Can I ask you something?” I had better ask before I lost my nerve. I breathed deep.
Just as I was exhaling, “The answer is yes, especially if you are asking me out.”
I was stunned. I laughed, “ What? Really?”
“You don’t believe me?” She responded.
“Of course I do. I was not expecting you to say yes before I even asked the question.”
“I was going to ask you first but I decided against it. When you said you were asking a question I hoped it was that particular one. I am glad I wasn’t wrong. Was that too presumptuous?
I was at a loss of words. I paused to gather my thoughts. Asking someone out on a date was never a strong suite. Actually I had only asked out one person, Sam. Talking to Janice made me feel so relieved.
“Are you there?”
“Yeah, I was just stunned. What are you interested in?” I asked.
“You.” She quickly replied with a giggle.
I didn’t expect her remark.. “I meant, what do you like to do for fun?” I stifled a laugh.
“Anything as long as I am with you.”
“You certainly have a way with words. Can you hold on a minute, I have to catch up with my skipping heart.
“You’re funny. Seriously, though, I love movies, walks, beaches, hanging out with good friends.”
I had an idea. “What do you like to eat? I mean that seriously.
She laughs, “You took the fun out of that answer I tend to eat more fruits and veggies than anything else. I’m not a vegetarian but I watch what I eat.”
“I will pick you up at six on Friday and dress casually but bring a sweater.” I replied.
“What do you have in mind?” She was curious.
“ All you need to do is email me your address. I will take care of the rest, trust me.”
“I trust you. I’m so excited. What I need though….”She paused. “I need a phone call between now and then. If I don’t get to talk to you for a few day I will be sad. I enjoy our talks.”
“I promise, you will get some phone calls before Friday. Nothing will keep me away.” I was felt like a dork after that statement.
Sam was in my economics class, trying to cheat off my exams. When I offered my help halfway through the semester she conceded to the fact she was on the verge of failing. I suggested we head to the library, she wasn’t even aware the school had a library. The two of us had minimal similarities in common so our conversation was limited to school work. When I found the one useful tool to connect the concepts she was elated, she kissed me. I laughed without knowing how to act. I wasn’t aware she was gay, not that it made a difference. Affection was unfamiliar to me, my family were not affectionate people. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had received a hug let alone a kiss from my parents. Before I realized it I felt my toes tingle a bit. Sam apologized and explained that she was raised by two adoring people and grew up kissing her family all the time.
We became study buddies and met weekly at the library after school. Upon more intimate conversations we realized we had the same affinity for movies. I invited her to see a horror movie. Even though she hated them she agreed to go if I would protect her. Once the suspense started she grabbed my hand and held tight at first. Soon after she began to stroke my hand. My arm felt all tingly inside, I hadn’t felt that before.
At the end of the movie Sam turned to me and planted a kiss on my lips which I hadn’t expected but I didn’t turn away from it either. When it was over I was disappointed that it ended so quickly, I returned her kiss. It was warm and sultry, making my lips tingle.
That was when it started. We spent most of our days together, hanging out. We hadn’t take our relationship to the next level until that summer. Having mixed feelings about the relationship I didn’t know what to say to her but she was cool with it. She said she had the same feeling when she had her first girl-girl relationship.
My mother found us kissing behind the house once and sent Sam home. When she tried talking to me I wasn’t willing to listen. It was a confusing time. At first I was angry at her for sending Sam away. I thought I was having feelings for Sam but mom told me it was a phase. It was not normal. I began to question what my real motive was. Did I really have feelings for her or was it because she was the only person to show affection towards me?
I spent some time on my own, thinking about my relationships, or the lack of them. At that point in my life I didn’t have any comparisons. I had a brief fling with the neighbor boy, Joe but he was more interested in the idea of a girlfriend. I only kissed him twice, I felt like the dog gave me a kiss. Thinking about that kiss and the first one I had with Sam I there was no other like it. I had made a decision and I wasn’t going to let my mother change my mind.
The first night we were together was more special than I imagined. She invited me over for dinner, set it up so beautiful and romantic. We had a fantastic turkey dinner with all the fixings, my favorite. She was an excellent cook. After dinner, on the couch, we cuddled and caressed one another until the time came we retired behind closed doors.
The better part of the next year we were inseparable,we moved in together. Since she wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to be a dentist we had some similar classes. Most nights were spent doing homework then making out on the couch. Everything was working so perfectly.
That was until one night everything changed. I had a big paper due, I needed to go to the library. Sam knew it would be dark upon coming home, she wanted to walk me home. I knew she was trying to be sweet but I was coming off a long week of exams, I told her to stay home.
Halfway home I was grabbed from behind and pulled into the bushes. My assailant threw my bag down then knocked me to the ground. I tried to scream but he had taped my mouth before I could. I struggled and kicked but to no avail. It was over in just a few minutes. He left me there, tied up, naked and gagged. I was alone, beaten and raped.
Someone found me about an hour later, the police and an ambulance were there moments later. I don’t remember much about what happened, I was not conscious most of the time. What I do remember was that the hospital experience scared the crap out of me. I had wished Sam was there, next to me. I tried to tell them, I wanted my girlfriend with me, but they said they only allowed family. Why didn’t they understand that she was my family? The nurse told me my parents were on the way but that didn’t give me any sense of comfort.
When I finally got home I didn't want to deal with anything or anyone. All I did was hide out in my bed. It wasn't until I was threatened to be hospitalized by my parents before I came out of my room to begin to live my life again. What kind of life would that be anyhow?
Just when I thought the worse had already happened I found out that I was pregnant with that bastard’s child. I was going to have an abortion until Sam convinced me to have the baby, so we can raise it together.
I was feeling better, something good came out of such a bad episode. We made plans for months. I had heard my friends were planning the baby shower; got so excited. We found out we were expecting a boy we named him James Colby.
As I sat taking my economics exam I felt a sudden sharp pain in my belly. Before I could do anything I was on the ground in a pool of blood. My teacher called for an ambulance but when I had arrived at the hospital I had already lost our child.
My mother convinced me I needed to move home, with them. I was being punished for the wicked ways. At the time I was in no condition to resist.
It was months later, when I recovered, did I discover Sam had attempted to contact me. My mother had kept her away from me. When I confronted her she only said she was protecting me. I asked her from whom she said it was from myself. She believed I was making a mistake staying with Sam.
When I called Sam to explain she was angry. I explained to her my mother’s manipulative ways she was not convinced it was the full reason. Sam believed I needed to take time to contemplate my feelings. We never talked again after that.