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07.03.2019

On the bright side, the president of the Butler Elementary PTA was standing there with her six-year-old and heard every word. I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the invitation to join, huh? Shoot. Now where am I going to find the will to live?

With my pregnant stripping career over before it started and my proverbial tail stuck between my legs, I groveled for my old job as a waitress at Fosters Bar and Grill. Luckily, the Foster's still owned it from when I worked there in high school, and they were more than happy to help me out considering my situation.

When people in a small town talked about you to your face, they whispered the words that they believed might offend someone if they were to overhear your conversation. In my opinion, they should be whispering words like “fuck”, “anal sex” or “Did you hear Billy Chuck got caught with his pants around his ankles down at the Piggly Wiggly with his dog Buffy?” Whispering the word “situation” kind of defeated the purpose. I whispered random words all the time just to mess with them.

"Mrs. Foster, the bathroom is out of toilet paper."

"Mr. Foster, I need to leave early to go to the doctor."

I talked to Liz every single day after I moved back home, and she kept up her search of the missing sperm donor when she had time. Her family was from Butler as well so she came home to visit me as often as she could but towards the end of my pregnancy, she just didn't have time to make the three and a half hour drive as often. Her professors convinced her to double up on her course load so she could graduate a year early with her degree in Small Business, majoring in Entrepreneurship with minors in Marketing and Accounting. With her full-time studies, part-time internship with an at-home consulting firm and her blossoming relationship with Jim, I knew she had a lot on her plate and didn't begrudge her any of her successes or happiness. I was a big enough person to admit that I was only a tiny bit jealous. Liz and I always talked about owning businesses together. About how we'd rent out buildings right next to one another with a door that led into both and how we’d live in a loft upstairs and throw awesome parties every weekend. We also dreamed about both of us marrying one of the members of N’Sync and living a life of polygamy with our new band N’Love.

Fingers still crossed on that one.

In all of our talk about the future, Liz never really cared what kind of business she ran, she just wanted it to be hers and be in charge. I always knew I wanted to own a candy and cookie shop.

As far back as I can remember I was always in the kitchen covering something in chocolate or baking cookies. My dad always joked that I could never sneak up on him because he could smell the chocolate on me from a mile away. I was pretty sure it leaked out of my pores at this point. I was so happy that my best friend's dream was coming true. I tried not to dwell too much on the fact that my dream was going on the back burner until God knew when.

I missed seeing Liz every day once I moved back home, and I was sad that my future needed to be put on hold, but nothing was as depressing as going into labor on my twenty-first birthday. While all of my friends celebrated their twenty-first birthdays by drinking every alcoholic beverage on the menu, sitting on the floor of a public restroom while singing along to the music piped through the speakers and then hanging out of the passenger-side window of a car on the way home screaming, "I'M DRUNK FUCKERS!", I was stuck in a hospital trying not to punch every twat nurse in the face that kept telling me it wasn't time for my epidural.

I decided then and there that someday, I was going to be a labor and delivery consultant. I was going to stand next to every single woman in labor and every time a nurse or a doctor or hell, even the woman's husband said something stupid like, "Just breathe through the pain," it would be my job to squeeze the living f**k out of their reproductive organs until they were curled up in the fetal position asking for their mommies and I’d say “Just breathe through the pain, ass**le!” And anyone that gave the new mother a dirty look after an eight pound, one ounce bloody, gooey, screaming pile of tiny human was cut out of her stomach when she asked her father to grab the bottle of vodka out of her overnight bag because, "morphine and vodka sounds like a stellar way to celebrate the birth of my spawn," would get their McJudgy glare smacked right off their face.

And I guess that brings us up to speed.

The next four years were spent working my ass off trying to make enough money to set aside for my future business, while raising my son and trying not to sell him to gypsies on a daily basis.

After a while, the search for Mr. Cherry Popper fell by the wayside as life got in the way. It didn't mean I never thought about him. Every time I looked at my son, I couldn't help but think about him. Everyone told me that Gavin looks exactly like me. And I guess he does to an extent. He has my nose, my lips, my dimples and my attitude. But his eyes were a whole other story. Every single day when I looked into the crystal blue pools of my son’s eyes, I saw his father. I saw the way the corners of his eyes crinkled when he laughed at something I said, I saw the way they sparkled when he animatedly told me a funny story and I saw the sincerity in them each time he brushed the hair out of my eyes that night. I wondered where he was, what he was doing and if "Heathers" was still one of his favorite movies. Every so often I would be struck with a sharp stab of guilt at the fact that this man would never get to meet his son, but it's not like I didn't try. There's only so much I could do. I wasn't about to put out an ad in the paper that says, "Hey, world! So this one time, at a frat party, I was a total slut and let a stranger go where no man has gone before and now I have a son. Won't you please help me find my baby daddy?"

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