Even though I’m tired from today, I can’t sleep. I let my thoughts wander about how I got to this point in my life and wonder what I am going to do from here. I usually don’t like to think about this, but sometimes you can’t stop your mind from going down these tracks, or, in my case, sometimes getting stuck on the same track over and over.
It all started when I got pregnant in high school. I was born and raised in the small, conservative town of Bloom, Idaho and people there weren’t kind to single, unwed mothers.
Thankfully, I managed to graduate high school before I started showing. That still didn’t stop my parents from kicking me out as soon as they found out, though, which was the situation Aunt Barbara had been alluding to earlier.
I was pregnant and on my own. I had no idea what I was going to do. I thought I was going to have to wander around by myself or end up in a much worse situation.
I was so happy and relieved when my Aunt Barbara, my mother’s sister, was nice enough to offer me a place to live. Surely this will be the turning point for me, I thought.
I was even able to take a chance on my dreams and start baking seriously, which was something I had loved to do my whole life. I even made plans to open my own business.
A few months later, I thought things were really working out for me when Uncle Bob, my mother’s brother, who seemed as nice as my Aunt Barbara at first, gave me a loan for my bakery business. I really thought my dreams were starting to come true.
But apparently things were too good to be totally true. I hadn’t known my mom’s side of the family well because we had left Pittsburgh for Bloom – where my father is from – when I was a baby, and my mom didn’t really keep in touch with them. It turns out that Aunt Barbara’s niceness was for real, and my Uncle Bob’s was not.
I think that was all an act and that he only wanted to make money off of me, because look at how he acted today. He’s been acting like this a lot lately because the business hasn’t been profiting. It’s making some profit, which is all going to him, but I don’t know how he thought it would make a lot by now – it’s something I have to build up.
It’s obvious he thought it would somehow be a huge money-maker right away and now he doesn’t want to help me anymore. I suppose I can understand that, but I don’t know what else to do. It seems like no matter what I try, nothing works out for me.
I have no money to go to college and I’ve never been great at academics anyway. I’ve started applying to work at other local bakeries or restaurants. So far, I haven’t heard back from any, but hopefully I will soon. I tell myself to stay positive, but it’s difficult.
A quiet knock at the door startles me from my thoughts. Maxim is asleep, so I quietly tiptoe over and open the door. It’s Aunt Barbara.
She whispers to me, “I’m done with the bath and thought that maybe you should take one too because you’ve been working hard all day. I also want to apologize for seeming frustrated earlier.”
“Oh, it’s no problem. I really do understand completely. A bath sounds wonderful, thanks,” I reply.
We both smile at each other. Barbara takes Maxim and goes to put him in his crib. I watch how carefully she cradles him, then look around the room for my shower stuff and pajamas.
At least I’ll always have my Aunt Barbara, I think, feeling very grateful. And Maxim, of course. Nothing else in my life might be going right, but as long as the two most important people are in it, I know things will turn out okay.
I sink into the warm bubbly water of the bath. I so needed this after today. Life certainly is stressful at times.
I lay my head back and close my eyes. I’m doing my best to relax but all I can hear is my mother’s voice telling me, “you will ruin your life if you have this baby.”
Growing up, I had to listen to her incessantly complain about how babies take up all your time and energy. Me being pregnant only made her complain about it even worse.
I think about how I was so angry at her for continuously suggesting that I should give Maxim up for adoption, once she found out I was pregnant. I’m still angry at her for suggesting that.
I smile as I remember the way Maxim reached for me when I got home. Like I was his whole world. Even though life sure is hard sometimes, I’m so glad that I kept him. I think about how I first got pregnant and another conversation comes to mind.