That's Life for You

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The next day, I marched straight to that school and went up to my Literature teacher. She was sitting there at her desk, giving the class another test. I made T wait outside while I spoke to her.

When I walked into the classroom, all heads turned up, including the teacher’s.

“Listen to me very closely.” I whispered into her ear. “Now, I don’t know if you have children or not, but I don’t really care. Every woman should know that when you’re six months pregnant, you get upset very quickly. So that day when I was here and you upset me wasn’t the most comfortable situation for me. But for the sake of the baby, I didn’t drop-kick you like I wanted to. I’m leaving this crappy school, but I’m just going to let you know that you’re lucky I’m leaving. Don’t miss me too much.”

Then I walked away, feeling confident. I smiled as I walked out of the classroom and interlocked my fingers with T’s, getting ready to go to Westside LA.

Getting ready to go home.

When we landed, I realized that we should’ve come late at night. Everybody was outside playing and talking and walking. It was three in the afternoon.

“Baby don’t worry. I want all of them to see us together. I want them to know what’s up.” T said to me when I told him that we should stay away from the crowded areas until the traffic calmed down.

After he said that, he kissed me softly, and we left the airport hand-in-hand. When we got in my neighborhood, girls were screaming and boys were trying to get T’s autograph. But he just kept his hand around my shoulder, protecting me from anything or anyone that could hurt me.

I loved him so much.

When we walked up to my house, I almost wanted to run away and never come back. I shouldn’t be here. This isn’t where I belonged. I belonged in a big house in a big bed, in T’s arms.

But I buzzed the doorbell.

Keron came to the door instead of Mama, thank God. I didn’t think I could face her right away. I needed to get inside and sit down, and then I could face my mother.

“What…why are you here?” Keron asked. He didn’t even glance at T. He just looked straight at me.

“Because I have some questions for Mama. Is she home?” I asked. I was kind of annoyed that he was asking me why I was here like I wasn’t allowed to come here anymore.

Keron didn’t answer me. He just stepped aside so T and I could enter the house.

I thought I would be coming to the regular old house, and I thought it would be the same way that I left it. But instead, there were two men wearing navy blue shirts touching all of our things. And Mom was directing them. The house was almost empty.

She didn’t notice at first, but then I cleared my throat. When she saw me, she did a double-take. My stomach had gotten huge, and I had T with me—which she didn’t appreciate. But most of all, she was looking down at my finger, which had the biggest diamond ring on it. My engagement ring was pretty attention-getting.

“Guys, keep going with what I told you. I’ll be back.” She said to the men in the blue shirts, and walked over to us. She looked T and I up and down, and then walked toward the kitchen. I assumed this was a sign to follow her, so we did.

Mama sat down on a chair behind the table and T and I sat next to each other in chairs in front of the table. Everything was quiet for a while, until Mama spoke.

“I’m not holding a grudge against you, Jaydi. If this boy is who you love, then I love him too. As long as he treats you right. I still love you as much as I always have—maybe more, because I’m proud of you for handling the situation so well—but baby, this isn’t the time for you to be here. I’m sorry, but you might as well leave.” Mama said slowly.

“Why do you want me to leave, Mama? What are those men doing in there?” I asked anxiously. Things were starting to get a little strange.

“They’re packing our things. Your brother and I are moving, Jaydi. We’re leaving California. We might go to Pittsburgh, or D.C., or New Orleans…Either way, we’re leaving. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you baby, but there was a lot going on.” She replied.

I was so surprised.

“What…what do you mean you’re leaving California? Why? How?” I asked impatiently.

“Jaydi, we’re just leaving. After we move I’ll explain. It’s just really important that we get out of here.” Mama’s voice lowered with the last sentence.

Then she glanced at T. “Hello, there. What’s your name?”

“You can call me Michael.” T said smiling at my mother. I smiled when he smiled. He was just such a good guy—I mean, besides the fact that he had the guts to tell me to my face that Chyna was his best friend, and the fact that he punched my father in the face.

“So what’s going on with you? What makes you come down here?” Mama asked me, trying to change the subject. But I didn’t mind—we needed to talk.

“Let me ask you this, Mama…Do you know any rapists?” I asked her slowly. At first she hesitated to answer.

“What the hell kind of question was that?” She asked, avoiding a response.

“I know a rapist, Mama. You know him too. You lied to me, and you told me he was dead. But he’s not. I need to know why you told me my father wasn’t alive.”

There was a long pause, for about two whole minutes. For a moment I thought my mother was going to cry, but then she looked me in the eye.

“I was protecting you, Jaydi. When I got pregnant with you…your father had raping little girls as a hobby. That’s why he was excited when he found out that I was pregnant with a girl. I knew he would touch you, and I didn’t want him to. So we left where we used to live—New York—to come to LA. Then when we came here, he followed us. And I realized that it had elevated—he no longer wanted to touch little girls, he wanted to rape them. So one year, he raped a stripper girl. In order for him not to get caught, we had to fake his death. Last weekend, for the first time since then, he came back looking for us. He asked how everyone was doing, and I told him you were pregnant. Then he got really mad, and threatened to kill me if I didn’t tell him exactly where you were. So I told him, and he went looking for you. But I have to get out of here before he comes back. Jaydi, I’m sorry you’re only finding out now.”

What was I supposed to do? This is the first time I’m even hearing of all this information. Now that I know, I wish my father really was dead and none of this had to happen.

“So…we have to leave here as quickly as possible before he comes back and kills us?” I asked in a whisper. I already knew that answer.

“Yes.” Mama said.

When T and I left LA that night, I sat in our private plane and cried on his chest. Then I sat up and wiped my eyes to look out the window at the clouds in the sky.

“What am I supposed to do now?” I asked him.

“Your mother said she was going to change her and Keron’s name so that the police couldn’t associate them with your father. So you have to change your name.” He said.

“You mean go to some City Hall place and change my freaking name?”

“No, I mean that we have to get married as soon as possible. You’re about to be Jaydi Stevenson, baby.”

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