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CHAPTER 10: “BROKEN BROOKLYN”


There are no words in the English dictionary to describe the feeling of childbirth, not the physical association nor the emotional one attached to it. I can say this, I had no clue as to what my body was

capable of until my pelvic bone pushed itself to an exact measurement of ten centimeters. I had never experienced anything in my life so amazing as a small human being’s cheek gently brushing against mine. At that moment my heart paused for a few seconds and when it found its rhythm again it had a different speed and velocity and now it beats with an entirely new purpose.

 

How could I be sexually active and not be fully conscious of the possibility of getting pregnant? The one thing that was not on my mind was having a baby. As I stood there breathing and still alive indisputably the two lines on the pregnancy test confirmed that I was indeed expecting a child. I sometimes wonder how different things could have been had my mother not been wrestling with the demons that

surrounded her since my father’s death. As if that wasn’t enough my oldest sister decided to live with her boyfriend. I had so many questions that I allowed puerile people to answer rather than someone who was seasoned.


A person filled with experiences and knowledge would have been able to answer my questions. It was not a surprise that I was sitting at the edge of my bed staring into the abyss. I was having an endless battle with my thoughts and for a split second, I envisioned my father standing in front of me. His baby girl was pregnant and unmarried and barely able to fend for herself. My dad had always been able to see so many things in me and to this very day, I still do not see it in myself. Harvey Senior would tell anyone who’d listen how special he thought I was.

 

I overheard a conversation that he and my mother were having, and he proclaimed, “…that one right, there is smart beyond her years. Both spiritually and intellectually, there is no reading material that I have and will place in front of her that she is unable to read. If she has a difficult time understanding the material and presents itself as challenging, she sits with it for a while until she has all the understanding she needs. utilizing encyclopedias and a dictionary until she has a better understanding.


All my children attend church service with their mom, but this one always comes back to tell me how much she knows who Jesus is.” He continues, “…it sometimes feels as though she knows I do not have a strong relationship with our creator and wants to help me build one. That one will be forced to make something of herself.” As the feeling of disappointment flowed through every existing molecule in my body, I was smacked with fear. When I realized that I had to bring this news to my mother instantly I began to panic.

 

Vanessa had been busy lately in her so-called “innocent” relationship with her boyfriend Justin. my calls were going unanswered far too often and she was rarely home. It got to the point where I would just wait until she popped up at my house. She was going to pop up, that was expected. With my mom being gone for weeks at a time I knew I had a small window of opportunity to tell her what has been going on with me. I desperately wanted Vanessa with me for moral support. Vanessa just had a way of bringing clarity to unpleasant situations but unfortunately, she had been preoccupied.


So desperate times called for desperate measures I had to grab the first available female roaming around at home and with four brothers living there surely, I could find one. What I needed was moral support but at this stage in the game, I settled for a human barrier to separate my mother and I. I could not gauge what level of “pisstivity” she would reach. Furthermore, sleeping had become my new favorite thing to do and this little person growing inside of me was requiring a great deal out of me. It is astonishing what takes place

within a woman’s body during pregnancy.


From the moment they are created they begin to use up our, blood, oxygen, nutrients, and plenty other things to support their growth. I estimated that I was about eight weeks along and if this was any sign of what the next few months would be like I was in for an extreme roller coaster of a ride. Aside from my newfound hobby of sleeping, I had a huge appetite for cereal and milk. I could enjoy them together or separately, so I kept a box of fruit loops on the side of my bed for late-night hunger attacks.


The constant sleeping and huge appetite were not so bad it was the headaches that were intolerable. If I had to describe the pain, I would say that it was equivalent to being hit on the top of your head with a boot. The pain would spread slowly to the front, back, and then the sides of my head. Unable to consume the number of Advil it would take to ease the pain, I discovered that sleep was the only choice and fortunately for me I could do that all day.

 

I was awakened out of my sleep by the pleasant voice of Al Green

 

 “Lay your head on my pillow, hold your warm and tender body close to mine, hear the whispers of the raindrops blowing soft against my window, and make-believe you love me one more time

for the good times

 

Al green was and will forever be my mother’s favorite guy. Hearing his voice, I knew right away she was in the next room. Restlessness and thoughts took over my mind for the rest of the night. I played scenario after scenario of how our conversation could go in my head. I just could not predict how the news would affect her. She was not the God-fearing, dedicated, hard-working, ethical, and moral woman that existed just a couple of years prior. The new woman that had taken over my mother’s mind was erratic, emotionally unhinged and consumed with alcohol most of the time. The morning came and I laid in bed trying to stir up the courage to tell her that I was pregnant.


I jumped out of bed and knocked on my brother’s bedroom door in hopes that a female was present so I could use her as a human shield, I mean to be there for moral support. Luck had it that Justin’s baby’s mother Tyeisha was there with him. Six months earlier she had a beautiful baby girl, so she was the best choice. I was hoping that her presence would speak for itself. Tyeisha and Justin recently had a baby, hence I thought what was okay for him should have been okay for me. I grabbed Tyeisha and pulled her into my room to go over the rules.

 

“Before I begin to talk to her, you will position yourself to stand on my right side. If she motions that she will leap in my direction you will jump in the middle. After I tell her that I am pregnant you will immediately start talking about the joy you and Justin are experiencing with your new bundle of joy. Remind her of how she was overjoyed when you gave birth to her granddaughter and how she could not wait to hold her. If she picks up an object, believe me, she will throw it so you better duck, that will be my first reaction. Finally, when she starts cussing nonstop that will be a smart time to leave to find my brother.”

 

She replied, “So, you are using me as a shield for when she decides to go off on your ass”

 

“Pretty much.”, I responded

 

Now that the rules have been set in stone I had decided to sit and wait for my opportunity. One of the most comfortable spots in that apartment was the Livingroom window close to the kitchen. There was a single chair always propped by that window. I would sit there sometimes while taking in the scenery. At around 1 o’clock that afternoon I saw my mother turning the corner of our building. It quickly felt as if someone had pushed my esophagus in and then punched me in the stomach. With an incredibly dry mouth and extreme sweat under my arm pit, I ran to Tyeisha to tell her it was game time.


She and I stood in my brother’s room knowing that my mother would have to walk pass his room to get to her bedroom. anticipating the sound of the front door slamming we positioned ourselves as planned. I listened carefully to sounds or any movement to determine how close she was to allow us to grab her attention before she entered her bedroom. Otherwise there was no telling how long it would be before I would get the opportunity again. The moment I saw her I called her name like I was a five-year-old girl. There was absolutely no confidence in my voice or tone.

 

 “Ma”


She replied, “What girl”


I continued, “Can you come here for a minute please” She enters with no excitement and with a large brown paper bag in her right hand. Lucky for me she is 

right-handed. If she wanted to hit me, she would have to use her left and that would not be so bad. Either way, it gave Tyeisha plenty of time to step into her role.


“Make it quick I am getting ready to go across town” she blurted


“I am not feeling well. I have had horrible headaches that I cannot get rid of, I have been extremely tired and can’t keep much on my stomach”, I said


“Ok I will give one of the boys your insurance card so they can take you to the doctor” she replied


“Ma I already know what is going on with me. I am pregnant!”


I am certain that there are several ways and examples of which we can describe the alteration in someone’s physical appearance when it looks as though their life had just been snatched from them. My mother’s eyes closed for about ten seconds, and her beautiful brown skin transformed instantly to a dull lifeless brown complexion. She gripped the bedroom door handle as if she intended to rip the entire door off its hinges. When she reopened her eyes, I could see she was holding back tears she looked me directly in my eyes said NOTHING, and stormed out of the room.

 

In addition to feeling nauseous and knots forming in my stomach, my mouth became incredibly dry. The room started to spin quickly urging me to take a seat otherwise I believe I would have fallen to the floor. At that moment I hoped for the very thing that I was afraid of from the onset of this entire ordeal, which was for my mother to become physically violent yeah, I know that was an insane thought however it would have been an acknowledgment of how she felt about my pregnancy.  


I was pregnant with another grandbaby and a physical or verbal response would have been nice.  It would  have allowed me to understand the emotion she was experiencing. The silence continued for weeks which was not difficult for my mother to do because she was rarely home. On the other hand, I thought about it every day. I felt the disappointment the day she stormed out of the room and that put a strain on my heart since then. Sometimes I wonder If we had known that I would lose the baby I was carrying in the same way she lost her husband; how different that early morning conversation would have been?

About the Author:


Lucky Colter is a public speaker and featured writer on PR Now Magazine. She has already received over 1000 views collectively on her amazing Chapter Series "Broken Brooklyn"


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