Forever GirlBy: M. M. Crow
I’m rushing out the door from my job so I can get to the school before the latch key program ends. I’m getting in my ninety-nine Chrysler Cirrus that’s seen better days. It’s a piece of shit but it’s mine. The heater doesn’t work so well or at all. We still have to wear coats even though it’s early spring. I keep blankets in the back to keep the twins warm when they’re in here. I put the key in the ignition and say a silent prayer as I turn the ignition over. The car starts up and I give a fist pump because the old girl started. I pull out of the Office Park where I work and head north on Richmond Rd. I stop at the light and blow into my hands to try and warm them up. I wish I could afford a new car or at least new to me car. I look at the car next to me and it’s a 2015 GMC Arcadia. I look at the car longingly. I know I would never be able to afford a car like that. The light turns green and I start down the road again. I wonder what he would think of me if he could see me now. He’s probably married and has a couple of kids. I probably don’t even cross his mind. That thought makes my heart ache. I shake off my thoughts and return to the task at hand.
I get to Breckinridge Elementary with just minutes to spare. I walk to the front door and hit the buzzer so I can get the twins. As I walk down the hall I hear Jasmine crying and I take off running.
“It’ll be okay sissy. It doesn’t matter what that jerk face says and if you want I’ll go find him and punch him in the nose for you.” Jameson says to her.
I get down on my knees in front of her and she climbs on to me.
“What’s wrong baby?” I ask her
“Mitch said that me and Jamie are bastards and that we always will be because we don’t have a daddy. He said that his mom and dad said you’re a whore. That’s why you got pregnant when you was still in school. The guy left because he didn’t want you or us.” She says with a whimper.
“I was excited that I was going to be a mommy to you both. It doesn’t matter what other people say about us. Your daddy’s on a special trip and if he were here he would tell you the same thing. How about when we get home I’ll get your pictures of your daddy and Aunt Delia Nicole out and I’ll help you two write them letters.” I say to them as I try and reign in my temper.
They shake their little heads okay and tell me that they would like that. It breaks my heart that my babies don’t know their dad or Auntie Nic and vice versa. I don’t know where they are where to begin to look for either of them. Neither him or Nic have social media pages. I’ve looked for them through the years. I know they grew up in a small town in Michigan. I looked up their parent’s address. The letters were returned and the numbers were disconnected. I saw that their parents died in an article on-line. I knew then that’s why the letters were returned.
I get the children situated in the car. I say another silent prayer as I turn the ignition. The car roars to life and I fist pump again. I look in the rear view mirror and see the twins have done the same as me. I laugh and shake my head. I tell them that we’re silly as I put the car in gear and head for home. When we arrive at home I open the garage with the automatic door opener and pull in. I get the kids out of the car and they race into the door of the house. We’ve lived here since I found out I was pregnant with them. The place is a little expensive but it’s in a good neighborhood and it’s quiet. I get in the house and make my way upstairs. The kids have gone down to their room. Pretty soon were going to need three bedrooms. The kids will need their own spaces. Either that or I’ll have to give up my room and sleep in the living room. That’s not something I want to do. I’ll have to keep an eye out for something bigger. I look at my home and I have a sense of pride knowing everything here I bought. I stopped asking my mom Ali to buy my personal items at the age of fifteen. I had to grow up fast at a young age. and I’ve been paying for everything I own since. It makes me proud to know I’m independent. I don’t have to rely on men to support me like Ali always has. The furniture’s from a rent here buy here place but I paid it off quickly. The twins have bunk beds that are separated and they each have their own side of the master bedroom. Jamie’s side has Star Wars all over his wall as well as the bed set and he seems to think he’s a Jedi. Jazz’s side is Disney Princesses and she also has the princesses on her walls. She has a little canopy hanging from the ceiling to cover her bed with the sheer curtains she wanted. She has the comforter set to go along with it. With them having the bigger room they have the walk in closet that holds their clothes and toys. It works out better for them and for me. My room is a bit smaller but I do have a queen size bed with a dresser and chest of drawers along with a night stand. The TV is on the dresser in front of my bed. I’m proud of the life I’ve made for them and myself. I sometime wonder what Ali would think about my life. Then I remember the evil venom she used to treat me with. I would never subject my children to the hostility I was raised in. I vowed to myself the day I found out I was pregnant that I wouldn’t be the kind of parent Ali was. I would show my children I loved them. I would put them first in every decision I made. I pride myself on knowing that I’m keeping that promise to them and myself.