What’s wrong with mother? Can’t she see me? I am her first born. She should love me. We go to church religiously, and according to God, Jesus is his first-born, whom he is particularly fond. In fact, Jesus is God’s favorite—His only begotten Son—His own creation.
I liked Kindergarten. It was only me until mother said the stork was coming. It was Kimberly.
Kimberly, my mother’s second baby. Kimberly her precious one. Why did mother have to birth Kimberly? She’s a retard. She don’t make A’s or even B’s. She can’t figure out 1 2 3
I am so lonely trying to achieve all mother wants me to be. I can’t help it if Kimberly’s retarded. Look how mother holds her or brown noses her. Kimberly doesn’t even know she has a nose.
I maintained A’s throughout school and graduated–made the honors list. I told mother I wanted a car. She has never rewarded me—not in 17 years. I am a good girl—a virgin—that witch needs to recognize me.
I am in college mad as swam of bees looking for meat. That ain’t a bad idea. I’ll get a man. I’ll be bad. He said he loved me—something I have never heard, but when I told him he was a father to be, he squirmed and turned.
I won’t have an abortion. I had the kid. Mother never knew. I never came home from school. It’s a girl the doctor informed. I never looked at her face or gave her a name.
I have never seen her—neither will my mother.
I did make sure she went to a good home with two parents and no retards. I go on with life. My secret is between me and the face I have never seen. I have a master’s degree and work at Saint Joseph’s Hospital as a counselor, but not in pediatrics. There’s just something about that place that irks the heck out of me.
Although, there is something about the manager that makes me want to transfer to Pediatrics. She is really sweet and even kind of favors me. She’s great with her staff—personalizes every one of them. They just love her and call her Kim. How many bosses will let you do that these days? Ain’t titles the thing? More human than the person, “Oh, I’m Doctor so and so,” as though their mother never gave them a name. That’s like saying, I was an adult before I was an egg.
Pediatrics, I don’t like the ambiance—babies. It just does something to me.
I’m tripping. I’m in my office. The phone rings. Mother has killed Kimberly in a car accident. It wasn’t her fault. A drunk driver crashed into her car on the passenger’s side.
Kimberly died. Now I’ll shine.
I was at the funeral but I felt hollow. I don’t know why I came. I guess mother needed me for the first time in her life.
The investigation is over. Mother won’t do time. She’s showing signs of guilt—didn’t even kiss me goodbye.
I return to work daydreaming about how things should have been between mother and me. The phone rings. I sigh.
“Is this Randy Mitchell,” a male inquires.
“Yes, how may I help you?” I respond.
“This is Steves. I raised your daughter, Kimberly. She wants to meet you but is afraid to call. She’s been a wonderful child, even earned a Ph.D. She’s heads Pediatrics at Saint Joseph’s Hospital.”
All my organs fall into my stomach. Kimberly. They named her Kimberly. How dare they. What’s that a special name?
“Hello, hello, Randy are you there?”
“Yeah, Yeah, it’ fine I just need time,” I mutter. Mother just buried my sister who died in a car accident. Please God, tell me she’s not back. I, I, I, need the assurance………
“Oh, I don’t mean nothing jus thinking aloud this is awkward for me. My calendar is booked.”
“She’s your daughter, Randy. My wife didn’t want me to call but Kimberly did. I never could say no to her. I think you’ll be pleased with what you see, but if your calendar is booked, she’ll never know you rejected her.”
“How can I reject what I never accepted? She is a baby with no name and no face.”
“Oh, that’s where you are wrong. She is a beautiful, intelligent woman who has a mother and a father. She is loved—my Kimberly. The best thing you ever did was to give her to us. I must say good-bye. I tried. I will not bring negativity into her life.”
I placed the phone on the receiver. That’s what answering machines are for. I should have never answered that call. I feel as if I am a zombie. She’s 36. I do know that. I don’t know what to say. I’m scrambled. A friend walks in. Oh script. Caught twice. I am Erratic.
“Randy, you look sick. Are you ok?”
Panic Attack! Panic Attack! I can’t stay a minute longer. I got to get the heck out of here. I’m packing my briefcase. I must escape. Need time to think.
“What’s wrong with you, Randy?” friend insists, “I know you just lost your sister. I will go with you. Something is wrong.”
“I don’t expect a breath of this.”
“I cross my heart and hope to ….
“That doesn’t help me one bit. Why am I itching? I need loyalty not childhood games and then yapperde, yap yap, yap.”
“Randy, you know me better than that.”
“I gave up a baby many years ago. I didn’t hold her, see her face, or even give her
a name. I never thought about it again. Why did you jerk your head back. Are you judging me?”
“No, no indeed. I understand you now better than I ever did. Randy, I have to be honest. You have always been good people. Yet, your body and mind have never been in sync. Sure you do your work. Your body is at work but your mind is elsewhere. Pediatrics. Your attitude about holding those darling little babies. You shun completely. Randy why did you give your child away without even holding her or giving her a name?”
I can’t take my mind off Kim in Pediatrics. Stinking Steves called me. He knows I work with Kim. He just hasn’t told her she is my baby. She already knows me. I am so ashamed……..
“Randy!” friend inquires again, “Why did you give your child away without even holding her or giving her a name?”
I hesitate and solemnly say, “Because I didn’t get a car.”
Vivian Dixon Sober
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