Coat Hanger

person sitting on the floor hiding under a blanket

Three days later and I’m still not healed. Tasha says it’s just my period coming back, but that coat hanger really hurt, and when she pulled it out, I didn’t see no baby.

“That’s ‘cuz you too early,” Tasha had said. “You only five weeks. You can’t make no baby in five weeks.”

“How I know it’s gone then?”

“‘Cuz you bleedin’.”

On the fourth day, we walk to the CVS after school to buy some more maxi pads. The lady at the register smiles at me and tells me if I really want to feel like a woman, I should buy some tampons, but I still hurt between my legs, and a tampon could do more harm than good.

“Did you tell Deshawn it’s gone?” Tasha asks.

“Yea but I don’t think he wants me no more.”

Deshawn is older than me. He’s actually in high school. Tasha called him a pervert when she first met him. “What’s a junior want with an eighth grader, anyway?” she’d said, but he just sang “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” and if R. Kelly can do it then so can he. He stopped calling when I told him I was pregnant.

On the fifth day I stay home from school. The pain has gotten worse, and my abdomen has gone numb. Tasha brings me my homework assignments after school. “I don’t think you did it right,” I tell her.

“I did it just how I see ’em do it in them eighties pimp movies my mama be watchin’.”

“Don’t all the girls end up in the hospital in those movies?”

“You gon tell your ma?”

“I can’t. She’ll kill me and call the cops on Deshawn.”

“You already dying. Plus Deshawn need to get locked up. He’s a creep. I heard he messin’ with LaTonya now. She’s younger than you!”

I feel a sharp pinch in my inside. I hold my stomach and moan.

“Yo mama a nurse. She can help.”

“No she can’t. If she cared, she would already know. We did it right in this room. Her bed on the other side of this wall. You gon tell me she never heard the headboard? He was on top of me for at least 20 minutes slamming the headboard against the wall intentionally. And when he came, he yelled so loud Mrs. Nash’s porch light turned on. I just knew we was in trouble. My mama never moved. The next morning she made up my bed and acted like she ain’t even see the stains.”

“Maybe she didn’t.”

I pull my covers to my chin and roll over, turning my back to Tasha. “If it don’t heal, then I’m just gon be dead.”

“I’ll get you some of my mama’s pills and buy some more maxi pads,” Tasha says. I don’t hear her leave.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons 

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