The Last State by Evelyn Davis (2017)
September 12, 1964
My poor Cynthia. I left her all alone. The choice, our decision is what’s best for her alone. To live, without a mother, a father, and grow into life through another lens.
“It’s better this way darling,” John says. “Your mom doesn’t know you were ever pregnant. We can schedule our wedding back on in the next couple months, and baby, we can be together again. No warrants.” He grins.
I sign deeper into my thoughts as if I didn’t hear him. She is my baby, our baby. I can not replace her teal set eyes and curly brown hair like John. Cynthia’s image is photocopy within my memory. My lost. John always knew this plan is our freedom, but I don’t feel free.
A piece of me is still by that doorstep, whispering quietly. Echoing words of regret, yet, bewilderment in the life we did create. John laughs die down and silence completely over takes the car. I look at him and soon, he regrets everything too.
“Turn around” I simply say.
“What?” John replies.
“Turn around,” I repeat facing the road again.
“No, babe, no” he says chuckling. I clench my fists.
“Turn around John,” I say again with force.
“Babe, the baby is fine. Let’s just get to the next town and relax there.”
“She is my baby John” I snap, yelling at him. My lip quivers in agony and I begin to choke on my words. “Our baby. How can we leave her behind?”
“She is taken care of, Rose” he says.
“Ha!” I laugh and grip the seat.
“How do you know that, John. How do you know?” I ask pleading for an answer. He has to know. He set up this plan to get rid of…Cynthia. My baby.
“You know we wouldn’t keep her, Rose” he replies.
Why couldn’t we keep her? Is it because of our ages? The difficulties of finding a job or completing college course? This is not a good enough excuse.
“That is not an excuse John. We could have kept her, and run away together, from both our families.”
“You know I can’t leave mom, Rose.” He pleads with me.
I bite my lip. Mama.