by Tamara Anna Pawlak
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy/Unsplash
It’s just Rosemary, the name my mother gave me. I’ve seen her photographs—a pretty young woman with dark brown, wispy hair—just like mine. All that’s left are photographs. There’ll never be anything more. My mother died before I was born. ..
You can call me Rosemary.
I don’t use any nicknames or cute abbreviations—it’s just Rosemary, the name my mother gave me. I’ve seen her photographs—a pretty young woman with dark brown, wispy hair—just like mine. All that’s left are photographs. There’ll never be anything more. My mother died before I was born.
She died the way those famous people do on TV. They found her in a motel room with a belt looped around her neck, her feet dangling two feet off the ground, with her baby slowly dying in her belly. They brought her down and resuscitated her long enough to keep me alive. Her body dispelled me just as she passed away. Of course, none of this was said to me. I grew up with family telling me that my mother was not well, that she was sick, that when I was six-months-old she left me with my grandmother for the afternoon to spend some time alone. That it was just an accident. They thought it would be too difficult for me to understand why she would do such a thing. Why a mother would purposely take her own life, solely to kill her unborn child. I could only guess what she was thinking. At eight months pregnant an abortion was out of the question—that maybe the guilt of taking my life would be appeased if she took hers as well. Only it didn’t work out that way, the way things in life rarely do. Housekeeping walked in and saved my life.
My mother, my life-giver, my attempted murderer. I forgive her whole-heartedly for what she did. I might have done the same if I discovered what she did about me—and now that I know—it makes perfect sense why my grandmother treated me the way she did, and why my aunt was never around—always at a boyfriend’s house, always out partying—always locking the door tight to my bedroom at night—always making sure the handcuffs attached to the bed were secured around my wrists.
But I knew they couldn’t keep me chained up forever, and I was looking for my ticket out. And I found him one day when he moved into the apartment next door to me. He would ask all the right questions, see the fault in their ways—and be the one to set me free.
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