Natasha Gaydos CW 104 John Griswold 3 Nov.

2011 CHANGE THIS TITLE Ife Olivia Crook was taking a rather long time to drop, no wonder; Ebby wasn t ready for a baby. Ebby s fears and uncertainties regarding motherhood were strong enough to keep her stuck in the most uncomfortable and unwanted state of limbo she could imagine: the pain of pregnancy. In a week she would be full-term, but for some reason her daughter, Ife , hadn t dropped. What this meant for Ebby was that Ife hadn t entered Ebby s birth canal. Her doctor had explained that babies usually drop in the 8th month of pregnancy, and when a baby did drop, it was a sign that it would be ready for labor soon. Nobody seemed to be on track with this birth, not even Ife . It made sense for Ebby to be scared and uncertain about motherhood, because Ife was far from planned. For the past 9 months Ebby walked around with more than a growing belly; every day she chastised herself for getting involved with Tim, and everyday her regret about keeping the baby grew stronger and stronger. She couldn t see Tim sticking around, and why would he? Tim was fun and charming, but completely unlike her. He didn t sing, or dance, or love to give hugs. Ebby, on the other hand, loved to sing, and dance, and give hugs. She fostered a fondness for walking on her toes when she was a child. The toe-walking turned into bouncing. She was ready to break out into dance at nearly any moment. Nowadays, it was increasingly hard to maintain her spirited bounce, baby weight made a lot of things harder. She liked hugs for a distinct reason that colored her world. Growing up, Ebby didn t get a lot of hugs.

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It was truly that hard. She remembered the pain of watching her mother s constant aggravation seep through her household. Ebby this is getting ridiculous. you are so pregnant right now. Often. and this made her feel like a failure in many respects. but instead because she was working. Ebby never made a conscious promise to herself that she would avoid single-motherhood. you know. All work and no-play made Ebby s mother a dull gir . You re almost full-term and the baby hasn t dropped.When she officially found out about the baby. It had been too hard to feel like she was an unwanted burden to her mother. but I have a calendar right here that I ve been updating with the help of mom. She had even taken detours when she walked home from school as a child. Mom and I both think you need to go to the Hospital. I ve been keeping tabs on you. Because Ife hadn t dropped. it was a struggle for her mother to make ends meet. and her sister. she never had a job that paid well enough to cover the bills. because it had felt like a given. Temi was studying fashion and had school paid for in-full through various scholarships. a lingering sense of anger hung in the air. Ebby knew her mother loved her dearly. That was Ebby s perception at least. mostly just trying to keep track of where you re at.woman. Temi and her mother insisted she visit the hospital. Many times her mother wasn t there. everyone around Ebby was panicking. When her mother was home. called her daily from Temi s apartment near the Columbia Campus. not because she was preoccupied and didn t care about Ebby and her sister. Through a complicated system of distribution and payment that filtered through the Illinois government. the child support intended for Ebby and her sister was widled down to a mere $50 dollars by the time it reached them. but she never shook the pain of being raised by a single-mother. 2 . She had a steady job managing the Chicagobranch Adidas stores and seemed to have her life together. following a random comination of right and left turns that were never to complicated to get her lost and perfect for extending her time away from home. Her mom. A very dull and very irritable woman. Temi. Ebby cried alone in the doctor s office and remembered being raised by a single mother. Don t get mad.

I don t know why you and mom always think I m so irresponsible. come on. What the hell is going on Ebby? Ebby Brought her now-free right hand down to the empty seat next to her.Ebby stared blankly at the multi-colored Chicago Mass Transit map across from her. like I m falling apart or something. I think it s my lunch. I ve got this under-control. I have to go because we re almost at the hospital. Everything s fine. Ebby was pretzling her arms every-which way so that she could free up her right hand to lean on. you don t think I know this? I m the pregnant one for God s sake. What! Ebby. Tim needs to be more careful. I ll call you in an hour or so after the appointment. Leaning against her right arm. She couldn t help but let out a small Oi! in the process. Listen Temi. I love- 3 . In an attempt to better support herself in her seat. I m with Tim right now. I know Temi. What would be a mindless motion for some was a complicated task for Ebby. Ugh. Her arm twisted into an awkward shape that allowed it to avoid her massive belly. it s like you don t think I m ready. pressing it against the worn and bristly fabric of the bus. I don t think it s settling all that well. Eventually Ebby successfully switched the phone to her left cheek. I m ready. Chicken salad was a bad idea. What? Are you okay Ebby? You re not going into labor are you? Temi I m fine. he s driving me to the Doctor s office. Her stomach flipped up-side down and Ebby furrowed her eyebrows under the florescent lighting on the bus. You are so fragile right now. on the way though. Love you Temi. Will you tell mom not to worry so much? And tell her I love her too. she encountered her belly. her left hand quickly lept up to grab the phone. she sighed. She struggled to switch the phone from her right cheek to her left. Phew.

Nobody else on the bus knew Ebby. I hate the fact that you re so calm about this Tim! Why are you so calm? Why do you think this will last? Ebby remembered their fight walking home from the barrio they often visited for churros. Even harder was the fact that she was in love with him. you can be happy now. but things are going to change when our baby gets here. or try to be. really. and it wasn t clear to Ebby what this was. we ve known each other for 5 months. Something kept her from him.It felt awful. Tim had stopped mid-stride to look into Ebby s eyes that evening and it burned to see him so sincere. The bus lurched to a halt and several people walked on the bus. and remain. Ife s father. did anybody else care? Her shrug turned into a deep slouch against the bus seat. What do you mean? I m taking this the best I can Ebby. worries and fights increased. So she had avoided Temi and her mother. nobody else on the bus knew how the conversation had gone. whom she had also been avoiding for nearly a month now. She would rather not be fragile. or worried about. Ebby s craving for churro s faded. We don t have anything in common. Could we ever even agree to a name? How clearly Tim s frustration and 4 . I mean. it s what happended. then cut her off. Tim. sabotage us. We got pregnant. to lie to Temi. He gripped the pole tighter when the bus started again. Ebby noticed how despite his short haircut. It reminded her of Tim. all were faceless and unimportant except the man who took a place at the pole across the isle. and she was sure he adored her. but it felt worse to keep talking. The beginning felt absurdly hopeful now. and I feel like I m trying so hard to make things work and recently you ve been trying so hard to sabotage that. a hint of his curls could be seen near the base of his neck. Ebby shrugged. Tim had showed it to Ebby and she craved it at the beginning of her pregnancy. it doesn t seem like enough. as if this would be an ample excuse for her behavior to someone looking on. you and I. bracing himself for the ride. It was scary to think he would be there for her. It was a rather hard feat considering the fact that Tim was set on being with Ebby and raising their child together. As the bills.

You good? 5 . the fascinating little things that never fully grew. I m sorry but. Planting her feet against the plastic ribbed floor of the bus. and her seat. The man with the almost-curls offered his hands forward. Reality set in. I know we are going to be stressed. angry and frustrated. and this. Please. God dammit Ebby would you please just look at me right now? I-I m sorry. are you okay? Here let me help you up.anger shone in his eyes. I accept that. Even more prominent was his heartache. they were warm. Holy shit. it s just I don t think you llStop. His hands reached for her stomach and held her belly is his warm palms. so instead she focused on his almost-curls. In spite of everything. While the contents of her purse scattered onto the seat and a cylinder of lipgloss rolled across the floor into the other aisle of the bus. She used his grip and steady stance for support as she hoisted herself back onto her seat. I accept that. and that was too much for Ebby. Whether it was her grunt that prompted the man to come over. and you. We fight. I still want to be here. Ebby. or her stray bottle of lipgloss. I understand that raising a child is hard. In spite of all of that. she reached for the bar in front of her. Ebby had avoided disaster on the bus for what was not the first time. excuse my French ma am. Ugh. Ebby felt insecure. the way you ve been pushing me away recently. just listen. with you. She didn t like to feel fragile. Ebby didn t know or care. Peering up. she didn t like to be helped. Her hands reached for something to grasp as Ebby was thrust forward by the shifting bus. wow! I mean. can I help you? She didn t speak and instead threw caution to the wind and grabbed his hands. The bus jolted her from her daydream.

6 . Of course.Hah. to have a stranger care so much. reinforcing what he said. yeah. no problem. Take care of yourself okay? The man looked sternly into Ebby s eyes. I m good. Yeah. It wasn t the standard polite encounter with a stranger. She didn t like how it felt. It was almost like he didn t trust her to take care.

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