This story is by Melissa Bisbano Guckin and was part of our 2018 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
My child was born a product of rape. I was twenty. I knew my rapist.
Two of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my young life were; to give up my baby and not to kill my rapist. Who knew I’d be faced once again with those same choices three years later?
I met Abby in my Zen meditation class about two years ago. She was everything I wasn’t. Grounded, accomplished and pedantic. Whereas I was capricious, undisciplined and informal in my ways yet, we hit it off.
Abby shared with me her heartbreak of her troubled marriage and her desire to have a baby. She was convinced her husband was becoming despondent due to her ‘inability’ to give him a child. I declared she was crazy, that way of thinking went out in Medieval Times. She wouldn’t listen. Told me he liked things ‘the way he liked them’, whatever that was supposed to mean. She would slip in only little things about him, like how she had to take a photo of herself before she left the house so he could approve her clothing choice or how she would have to call him if she forgot her password, since he made them all up for her so he could access her accounts at any time. When I voiced how I thought that was abusive, said she didn’t want to ‘bash’ her husband. She said he was a proud man …an authoritarian. I never met him, but he sounded like an asshole to me.
The only ’personal’ information I shared was that I was raped. I never let her know I gave away the one thing she so desperately wanted.
“We’re adopting!!!” Abby shrieked in delight as she entered the meditation room. Annoyed looks and hushes shot in our direction as she hugged me tightly while dancing in a circle chanting “Adopting, adopting, adopting….”
“That’s great Abs, really,” I responded numbly, peeling her off me sincerely believing this could be the worst thing for her. His control over her every move would increase tenfold with a child in the mix.
“When did this all come about?” I asked, in the safety of the hallway having ushered her away from the scornful eyes who disapproved of the disturbance of their meditation.
“We got the call last night! Been in the works for months, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to jinx it and get my hopes up only to have it all fall through.”
I flashback to when I became a mother. To quote Dickens,”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
My daughter was beautiful yet ,I struggled with the thought of keeping her. I couldn’t risk the chance of her growing up to find she was conceived out of hatred and violence. I gave her away with inner turmoil and a loathing so strong for a man who stripped away my ability to trust.
I knew him, I trusted him and now, after he raped me….I wanted to kill him.
“….are you even LISTENING to me?” I heard Abby break into my flashback with her incessant chirping. Lord only knows what I’ve missed.
“ I SAID,” she continued “…..he wanted a baby boy……but I GOT MY WAY! The call came for a three year old little girl and I jumped at it. We get her next week! You have to come for dinner and meet her!”
Meet them for dinner? My mind was racing. Not only was I going to be faced with my own past, but I need to meet this husband of hers that sounded like a complete and utter narcissist. The absolute type of control freak that makes me livid.
The week was like molasses in January and tormented me with memories of the life I could have had. I wondered who my daughter was today. Was she happy? Would she have been happier with me as I would be with her. Would it be possible for her to live forever, NEVER knowing her father was a monster and that she is worthy?
I would give my last breath for that.
I got the call on Tuesday, “ She’s here!” exclaimed Abby, “ My God, she’s beautiful. Green eyes, brown hair….. I can’t wait for you to meet her! Can you come Thursday 5:00 for dinner?”
5:00? I thought, sure, because 80 year olds and people with kids eat at 5:00.
“ You betcha,” I responded, trying to match her level of enthusiasm, “5:00 it is. What’s the address?”
“ 66 Sixth Street,” answered Abby.
Mark of the Devil I instantly thought. Ugh, I silently reprimanded myself for being so snarky.
Driving to Abby’s house I gave myself a pep talk. This wasn’t about me. This was about my friend and that douche she calls a husband and the fact that she is the happiest I have ever seen her since we’ve met. I can be Honorary Aunt. Give her and the baby support where he most likely will fail them. Shit, there I go again. Enough. Meet him first. You only have her side of the story…he might surprise you.
I arrived at 4:50. Abby greeted me with the most loving smile and a child that took my breath away.
It was like seeing a ghost. Was I really looking into my past? That couldn’t be MY child, could it?
I was shaking. I fought back vomit in my throat when I asked, “…and what’s your name?”
“Namya,” replied the tyke with the shyest of smiles.
“Isn’t that the most magnificent name you’ve ever heard?!” squealed Abby,” It’s Indian and it means ‘Worthy of Honor’, I’m keeping it! Dontcha’ love it?”
“I always did,” I replied softly.
This was a blow I never saw coming….I was indeed standing face to face with my own flesh and blood.
“My husband should be back in a few minutes, I got the wrong wine,” I heard Abby say from what seemed to be a million miles away. I snorted with derision to the fact that this jackass has this exquisite little creature within his reach and he is worried about wine. I don’t want to meet this idiot and yet again can’t wait to see what it is about him that has such a hold on my friend and NOW, will be raising my daughter! Just as that thought left my mind, his majesty sauntered in.
“They won’t God-damn take it back and now we are stuck with this crap you bought.” he was bellowing, not knowing I had already arrived.
“Hunter,” laughed Abby nervously,” our guest is here.”
“My apologies,” he noted. “Hunter George,” he stated as we turned toward one another, hands extended in cordial greeting.
I recoiled my reach as if burned by a flame. Pure evil rediated from this man, of this I was certain. This man, was my rapist.
I simply said,”Yes,” and walked out the door.
I heard her calling for me, Screaming out my name. She had to be wondering why I had left like I did. How does one tell their friend that their husband raped them almost four years ago? And that beautiful little miracle that has just come into her life, had actually entered mine first, all because of the savage behavior of a man who will now be called daddy by a sweet innocent who should never have to know the atrocity of him.
“Abs, I’m sorry, I’ll call you tomorrow…I just can’t stay I….I need to think.” I stammered, heading to my car a bit maniacal, just where the fuck did I park that thing ?
When I reached my car I turned to take one final look at Namya.
He had followed them out and had taken my daughters hand. The very idea of his hands on her made my flesh feel like crawling maggots. My mania took a frenzied turn and I felt the gun I hid under my front seat in my hand. My time had come, his time was up. That vile, putrid, disgust of a man was not going to know the pleasure of raising his daughter, MY daughter ….because the truth was sure to come out.
“Take her inside!” I screamed to Abby, not wanting to implant a horrific image into such a sinless mind.
“Don’t!” yelled Abby.
“He’s NOT who he says he is Abs! He’s EVIL, a RAPIST.” I shouted, “MY RAPIST!” and with that, the shot rang out. It was done.
I stood there staring at Abby in disbelief.
“I carry it for protection — People talk,” Abby stated dryly. “She looks Just like you, I knew she was yours and you’re right, he was evil in the purest form. I had a decision to make. Leave him or kill him. I made the best of the bad choices,” continues Abby smiling at Namya, “For everyone.”