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Runner-up in the 5th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
He said he wasn’t coming. So when he showed up, all skulk and crooked smile, I didn’t know whether to throw my gas tank at him or leap from the stirrups and fall into his arms.
I did neither because another contraction was coming and I was suddenly more concerned about ripping from asshole to eyebrow.
Him there, hair slicked and gold chain around his neck like some gangster. Like he’d ever been off the shore. Like he ever would.
Mother was civil to him. Amazing, considering her long list of ways she’d like to castrate him. She counted me through my pushes. Levelled her hawk eye at me and the doctor, kept him just inside her peripheral vision. Like the way you pretend not to see someone you know in the grocery store when you’re buying tampons.
I’ll allow that at seven months pregnant, with my tits and what was once my belly button in some walleyed three-legged race, I may not have been at my best. You try gestating a cat in a brin bag and see how sexy you feel. But cheating on a pregnant woman is low. Leaving your pregnant girlfriend for some skinny birth-control popping little slut is—
Well, so very Blake.
When the baby came, the doctor asked him if he wanted to cut the cord. “Dad?” she said, offering him the scissors. They’d paged her out of bed and she obviously hadn’t been apprised of the soap opera. He grinned. He took them from her gloved hand, covered with god only knows what, and leaned over my knee to see where she held it out for him. “Between those two clamps there.”
In the pause, the song on the radio came clear: “Hurt So Good.” I shit you not.
You don’t have to be so excitin’
“Quick now,” I heard the doctor say. The baby still hadn’t cried, and the nurses were closing in.
Hey baby it’s you
I watched his face as the blood drained. I watched him turn pasty, watched his eyes lose their focus, watched him swallow as his tongue went dry in this mouth.
Come on girl now it’s you
And with a skull-cracking thud, he was gone. The doctor grabbed another pair of scissors and a nurse snatched the baby away under a big light and started rubbing the bejesus out of him until he screeched and my heart started beating again, and everything was right with the world because the baby was mine and Blake was in his rightful place, passed out again.