Long after we divorced, long after you died of alcoholism, I still remember that day when I stepped out of the clinic, blinked hard against tears, sank into your VW Bug, pulled the door shut, and whispered, “I’m pregnant.”
You immediately and with no hesitation said, “Well, I’m glad, because now we can get married.” And you held my hands in yours and looked at me with an earnestness I had not seen in you before.
We weren’t in love. Marriage was the last thing either of us wanted. You had recently been offered a contract to sing with a folk group like the New Christy Minstrels. You were going to leave college and tour the country. We sat in front of the clinic for some minutes, silent. Then we went to Shakey’s for pizza and drove more than a hundred miles to tell your parents. Your mother, who had always wanted a daughter, planned our wedding that night. The year before, my own mother had told me that if I ever got pregnant before marriage, I shouldn’t bother calling home. So I didn’t until after all the arrangements had been made.