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I could feel them staring at me, their judging eyes looking at my stomach. I adjusted my shirt, attempting to hide the fact that it was getting rounder. I let my auburn hair fall in my face, trying to conceal the fact that I was about to cry.
I unlocked my locker and took out the books for my next class. I also grabbed the enormous sweater that was crammed inside. This would help cover up the truth; I was pregnant, yes. I was seventeen, and I was pregnant. Once my parents had found out, they were stunned. They just couldn’t comprehend the fact that their prefect little girl could have done “it” and gotten pregnant. I walked to my next class; well I didn’t really walk, I kind of ran.
Later on, after school, as I was starting to walk home, my boyfriend ran up to me. My boyfriend, a.k.a the father of the child I was carrying. He took my hand and led me out of the school yard. We walked towards my house, like we always did every night. He carried my extremely heavy books for me.
“So, Anna, what are we going to name this baby of ours?” he asked, like it didn’t faze him what so ever that in about four months he was going to be a father.
“Actually, I have something to tell you, Grant. I wasn’t planning on keeping it,” I whispered, nervously. I pulled his sweatshirt tighter about me.
“I can’t! What am I, a seventeen year old high school student, suppose to do with a baby?”
“I’d help; you wouldn’t be the only one caring for it, Anna.”
I sobbed. This was too hard. I didn’t want the baby! I didn’t want to become a Mom!
“Grant, you’d only be able to help sometimes. I would do most of the work.”
He stopped in front of me, turning me towards him.
“We chose to make it, we are going to take care of it now,” he said as seriously as possible. I hung my head and cried harder. He pulled me to his chest. “Anna, I love you.”
“If you loved me, you’d understand why I can’t keep this baby,” I shouted as I pulled away from him angrily. He tried to stop me, but I ran from him as fast as I could. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I flew into my house. My mom saw me, but didn’t say a word. I rushed up to my room and laid face-down on my bed. I cried the most I had ever cried that day.
My phone rang after my sobs had finally subsided. I looked at the caller I.D. Of course, it was Grant. I didn’t pick it up; instead I let the answering machine get it. He started,
“Anna, I know you’re there. Please, pick up. We need to talk.”
I reluctantly picked up the phone, “What do you want?”
“No- no you’re not, Grant. Don’t bother worrying about me anymore, we’re threw.”
“Anna! Don’t, come on. We need to stay together!”
I hung up. I was on my own now, just like I had been before I met him.
“This baby is going to be my baby. Not his.”
Fifteen years later, I still have the baby. When the time came to give her up, I just couldn’t. We live alone together now. I’ve never married. Not after how I’d had my heart shattered. Hope is her name; and it suits her perfectly. She’s the only thing that keeps me going now. I look at her every day, wondering what I will do next to prevent her from facing the same fate I had.
She’s my beautiful little angel; looking more like me than her father. I run my fingers through her curly brown hair every night before she goes to sleep. In my eyes, she’s everything I’ve ever wanted. The only thing I regret, is how I felt before she was born. I thought of her as a burden, a curse, and as something I didn’t deserve to have. Now, I see my mistake.
She reminds me daily of the mistakes I made when I was her age. I shield her from it as much as I can. I try and protect her from the heart break, the shame, the humiliation, the judgment that comes with being pregnant as a teen.