“Run. Run. Society says. Run Run Run. you’re less than human. the weak must die. the strong must survive. arms outstretched nailed to the cross starved to death. look at the cross. the judgement’s in your eyes.” – Lyrics from Society
“Instead of telling other people, I write them down on paper” – Danny
“I followed society’s rules… But I was miserable because that wasn’t my path.” Lauren
Fiction. Based on a True Pawprint.
by Annalyn Miller
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
The apartment is dark. The only light illuminating the chilly room emanates from the television. I tuck the blanket under my crossed legs. Staring at the screen my breath catches in my throat as the polls indicate who won the Presidential election. Maybe the words “President Trump” flash onto the screen. I am not sure since tears blur my vision.
Alligator tears freely stream down my face as I hold my abdomen as tightly as I can. I imagine a fluttering deep inside me, but I know my little human bean is too small. At this point I am barely past eight weeks pregnant. My arms wrap all around my waist. I squeeze reassurance into my rib bones, but the tears keep coming. Suddenly memories and shortcomings drowned my mind. I should have, could have been so much better. How would I finish my degree while pregnant? I should have finished my degree years ago, if I’d been more focused, more determined. What do I do? I live at home with my mother, and I have the audacity to bring another human onto this Earth? I’ll never measure up to be a good enough mother to this little person. I am all alone, and this bean deserves a real family.
Shivering hard I lay down on the couch. Television blaring. New casters shouting. My section of the world feels so quiet and barren compared to what’s shown on TV. I close my eyes. The light from the screen flickers on the back of my eyelids. My lips feel cracked and chapped as I open them to say something. What should I say? What can I say to you?
“Little Bean… I am so sorry.”
It’s been a few days since the election. Much of my fear has subsided. Mostly I was so afraid for the life we would have, this little person and me. With so much hatred circulating and driving our society. How could I, a single woman, attempt to protect an innocent little person. I don’t have a job that can support us. I can’t ask for help…or maybe I just don’t know how.
This person in charge of our society, the person chosen by our society, is a known assaulter. What does that say about the rest of the country? Will anyone believe me if I tell them how you came to be with me? Will the police do anything to find the man that gave you to me? Do I even want to risk telling the truth to anyone? I will always know the hurt and violation, but I never want you to know.
Will there be any resources for us now? It’s so clear that our society doesn’t believe in helping people who may genuinely need it. Given all of my mistakes, I am not sure anyone will care about our truth. Not anymore.
Tears burn at the corners of my eyes. I run to the bathroom. I throw up. My mom is cooking spaghetti.
“Little Bean, you don’t like tomatoes, huh?”
Laying in bed, sun peeks through the cracks in the blinds. A fat cat lays on you, purring loudly. Another cat lays on the pillow next to me, her paw outstretch and resting on the back of my head. my room smells warm. This is the first morning the nausea sleeps longer than I do. I roll over, onto my back, place my palms flat across my belly, and breathe deeply. You are there. I am here. Yet, we are together. I know I may not have done things the “right” way, but I am going to try to do things the best I can.
My mom is in the shower. I hear the water running. The fat cat stretches, putting pressure on my belly. I roll over and she jumps off onto the floor. Slowly I prop myself up and swing my already swollen legs over the side of the bed. My mom calls out to me. The cat opened the bathroom door, and my mom thinks it’s me. I shout back, telling her I am awake, but still in bed. Something in my low back strains, begs me to lay back down. But, I push myself up. I shuffle to the kitchen for water. Ever since I found out about you, I have been thirstier.
Two weeks ago our country showed its true colors. And to think, only a few days before that, I found out about you. I’ll never forget the shock I felt when the nurse told me I was pregnant. Or the shock when I racked through the events that led me to that nurse. But, Bean, I wouldn’t change any of it. I wouldn’t change my vote, my past, or anything. It all led me here, to you. I turn on the sink and drink water from the tap. A cat loops their tail around my ankle, but I don’t look down to see who. I lean my hip against the sink and look outside. It’s getting colder every day. Yet, in the sunlight, a robin sits in the tree outside the patio. Red breast still and vibrant in the light. The fluttering deep in my belly returns. I know it’s too soon.
“Good morning Little Bean. Are you ready for a new day?”