Until this year, I never really pictured myself as some kid’s dad. How the hell was I supposed to take care of someone when I couldn’t even take care of myself?
Rachel called me at regular intervals, telling me that I’d cursed her with some baby and some disease. I’d sit there, listening her to cry and tell me how her life was over and how much of an irresponsible dick I was. “DON’T DENY ANY OF THIS, DEAN. YOU’RE TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY PREGNANCY WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.”
Then she asked me for money, and then more money, and then more money. In the end I stopped answering her calls.
Everything went well for about a week until I made the mistake of reading one of her messages. It said this: I’M KILLING MYSELF AND I’M KILLING THE BABY.
I sped to her place and rushed inside to find a group of thirty-something-year-olds watching Avatar on Blu-ray. They all looked up at me with suspicious looks on their faces.
“She’s in her room,” one of them said to me.
“Good luck, mate,” someone else said.
I nodded at the thirty-somethings before opening the door. Rachel was in there, sitting on her table with an angry expression on her face, texting someone. There were a few opened bottles of wine next to her bed. She was wearing jeans and she was completely topless. I’d forgotten how big her breasts were.
She put her phone down and looked up at me. “Hi, Dean.”
“Where the hell’s your top? Are you high?”
“Where’s my money? You promised you’d send me money.”
“I didn’t promise you shit,” I said. “And I thought you were killing yourself. All you’re doing is texting and being topless.”
She picked something up and threw it at me. “You did this to me! You gave me this baby! You have to fucking take responsibility.”
“I did this to you?” I couldn’t believe her. “From what I recall, we both had sex with each other!”
She cried. “YOU’RE A DICK! I HAVE HERPES AND YOU DON’T FUCKING CARE!”
“AND I DON’T HAVE HERPES AND I BARELY KNOW YOU!”
“I WISH I’D NEVER MET YOU!”
“AND I WISH I’D NEVER MET YOU!”
“You piece of shit, you better not get cheap on me and not pay for this!” She kept crying. I was about to give in and comfort her until I realised something: the only things that looked big on her upper body were her breasts. Her stomach was almost flat.
“You’re not pregnant!”
For a moment, her wailing stopped. “So what if I’m not?”
“SO WHAT? YOU TOLD ME YOU WERE!”
She cried harder and threw even more things at me. I swore and threw a few things back at her. Things were breaking all over the place.
A lady walked in. “What’s going on in here?”
I pointed at Rachel. “She’s not pregnant!”
The lady laughed and walked back out.
“You owe me a thousand bucks, Rachel.”
“No I don’t. Don’t you see I’m the victim here?”
“Fuck you,” I said, and left it at that. I looked at Rachel for what I hoped would be my last time and walked out of her room, then out of her house. Nobody followed me.
On the drive home I thought: this actually isn’t the worst situation I’d ever been in.