Twenty Four


Fawne danced an extra set, she was filling in for Bambi who had some business to take care of in town. Stew rarely let any of them dance double sets, but he knew that if anybody could keep the crowd interested that it would be Fawne.

She took the stage and the electricity in the large open room seemed to surge toward her as the attention shifted. Even men in mid lap dance looked up at her as the lights hit her and Bambi's music began. Nobody knew this, not even Bones, but this would be her last week stripping. She was quitting without a notice. She had managed to save up enough money to do without a job for awhile. She had big decisions to make, and didn't need John popping up out of the blue and clouding her view.

The last note of Tina Turner's What's Love Got to Do With It sounded and she rolled her eyes as she left the stage, pulling Bambi's frizzy afro wig off and shaking her own hair free. She was starting to feel dirty for putting her body on display, something that only weeks before she didn't think was possible for her to feel.

"Evening  Bones." she said as she pulled a chair closer to him.

"Evening darling." Bones winked at her and handed her his half finished beer.

"No thanks," she almost gagged at the thought of it and hoped he didn't notice.

"You okay?" Bones could sense a difference in her, but he didn't quite know what.

"I'm fine, just hate dancing to other people's music."

"Oh." Bones looked her over. The sequined top left nothing to the imagination. Her breasts looked fuller than ever and he just knew that he had almost no choice but to fall for this girl. She was perfect, sweet, innocent, yet good at warming things up. She was the exact opposite of the wife he used to know so well. She cared about people, listened to his ideas about the world, and made him feel strong and competent.

"Get to work Fawne." Stew came over and leaned over her. "You're covering for Bambi remember?"

Fawne stood up, adjusted her top and bit Bones farewell. Reminding him sweetly that she would need a ride in a little over an hour. She literally couldn't wait.


Bones parked his convertible in what had recently become their spot. The air was crisp but comfortable, and the stars were clear above them. They talked about the world around them. Everything from politics-- which Fawne didn't know or care too much about, to cosmetics-- which Bones didn't know too much about. They enjoyed just talking and getting to
know each other.

Judy constantly teased Bones about his growing infactuation with Fawne, and Fawne came into the bar less and less. She didn't like the thought of John being able to track her down so easily. It was bad enough that he knew where she worked, but the last thing she wanted to do was run into him at the bar and fall like putty into his handsome arms again. She wondered if she'd ever be able to resist him? She hadn't done a very good job of it before.

The conversation about Stew's funny tie collection lulled and Bones had the sudden urge to kiss Fawne. He spent night after night watching her body out on full display. He had her memorized from top to bottom and side to side. He wanted to know other parts of her-- he needed to. He wanted her for his own, even though she was only about four years older than his oldest daugher, she seemed like she was on his level in so many ways. He knew that they would be a perfect fit... He just knew it.

Bones leaned in toward her and even though Fawne wanted more than anything to be kissed by him, she leaned back and asked him what he was doing. "We're just friends, Bones. You know that."

Bones felt like he had been slapped in the face and ran his hands over his forehead in embarrassment. "I'm sorry."

"Remember that lapdance I gave you a few months ago?"

"Yes, how could I forget? It's etched in my brain." Bones didn't know what she was getting at, but then again he didn't know much. Why had he decided to kiss her tonight? They had been parking in this spot to talk for several weeks now, why did he have to go ruin it now?

"Well, you could tell I liked it right? You know I like you back..."

Bones' ears perked up at the sound of this. It was a glimmer of hope at the end of a long steamy smoke filled sweaty tunnel.

"How could I not? You're wonerful and we're great friends. I don't want to ever mess that up. Not ever." The truth was that he was the only friend she really had in the entire world. Sure there were a few of the girls at the club that she liked pretty well, but she hadn't let herself become close with them. They only cared about making money and looking good. She needed more depth that than if she was going to offer herself up to someone as a friend. Especially since she didn't have any family to call her own. Friends were important and she didn't take her friendship with Bones lightly at all.

"Me either, but I can't stop thinking about kissing you. And, well, taking care of you Fawne."

"Thank you Bones, but I don't deserve any of that." Fawne wished things were different, but they weren't. She didn't love Bones in that way, and probably never would. She knew he had a crush on her, but her bleeding and battered heart still in many ways belonged to John and always would. Especially now...

Twenty Three

Some days Sarah couldn't help but feel like a single Mom. Clinton had come around more since Dinah was born, but at the same time he was still the sole bread winner of the family and had to work. He was a good Dad and as the kids grew, their relationship seemed to inch along as well. They had date night once a month. Sarah looked forward to a few hours away from diapers and snot and Clinton looked forward to having his face out in public. He was always recognized, always handing out business cards, and always assured Sarah that the women who swooned over him were one sided.
"I just don't understand," Sarah swallowed a sip of wine and adjusted her loose blouse. All of her clothes were growing too big for her now that she chased around a toddler and lugged around a chubby baby girl. She rarely made time for herself and that included eating. If it wasn't for Clinton being home for dinner more now, she wouldn't even bother to eat that. "You say these beautiful women don't phase you, but how could they not?"
Clinton swallowed hard and searched his mind for something comforting to say. What exactly could he say? What man's ego wouldn't be stroked by attention from beautiful women? How could he not notice the fact that women seemed to melt in his company on a daily basis? "Honestly I do notice," he started, hoping that it wouldn't lead down a path of anger and regret. "But it doesn't matter. I don't need them, I've got you." He flashed his award winning smile in her direction.
The blonde waitress slid the check to him and smiled, flipping her hair as she leaned in to slowly take away his empty plate. What perfect timing. Sarah watched as Clinton smiled back. She almost thought she saw his eye twinkle as she rolled her own eyes. "But you eat it up."
"I don't eat it up." Clinton had no idea that he had just flirted back right in front of his wife. "My face is out there Sarah. I have to live up to the hype and be charismatic. If I had a different line of work none of this would be an issue."
Sarah thought about it and decided that he had a point. A small one, but a logical one that would keep the insecurities that she felt at bay. He was handsome... Even a nun would take a second look at Clinton Malone. How could she not? "Let's get out of here."
"Let's." Clinton stood a helped his wife from her chair, kissing her cheek gently. "I love you, Sarah."
"I love you, too." She said with a broad smile. It was obvious that he still did. Even after all of the years they had been together and even after the deceit that she displayed all those months ago. "I want to call Mom and check on the kiddies before we decide what to do next."
"Next?" Clinton asked in amazement. Usually they rushed back home so that she could resume her motherly duties. It had been weeks since they had made love and Clinton couldn't help but hope that his wife's nude body would make its way against his own in the near future. They had been intimate for many years and she knew exactly what he liked. More than anyone else could, Sarah could fulfill the urges that being noticed by so many women could pump into a man's veins. She was exactly what he needed tonight.
The couple giggled and blushed as they pulled into the motel parking lot. When Sarah heard from her Mother that both of the little ones were already fast asleep she informed her that they would be catching a movie before coming home. That bought them a few hours to enjoy each other and she suggested paying for a hotel instead of parking and making love in the car as they would have done in high school. Clinton, didn't protest. He drove them to a cheap motel and headed inside to secure a room.
"Let's pretend that we don't know each other. We only met at the restaurant an hour ago." Sarah said, surprising her husband. This wasn't like her. She must have really felt threatened by the feminine attention he had attracted. She was staking her claim back in him and it was working. He'd be the first to admit that. "I'm Cindy, what's your name?"
Clinton's jaw dropped as he stepped out of the elevator. He couldn't think of an exciting name and said "I'm George."
Sarah giggled and bit her lip. "Nice to meet you. Now let's make love."
The rest of the evening was out of character for Sarah, but it felt liberating in it's own way. She was Cindy, the fun and flirty girl who spotted George and couldn't wait to undress him. Clinton fell into her games like putty and before they knew it neither of them wanted to head back home to the reality that faced them. For a little while, they were the familiar strangers that they had always longed to be.


Twenty Two

I did it.

I finally called the adoption agency again and got my biological mother’s last known address. She really wasn’t (or isn’t) that far away. My whole life has been spent one town over from her… I keep thinking about the different female faces that have passed through my life-- wondering if I have ever seen her. Maybe I’ve already met my real mother.

I understand why the agency encouraged me to let my adoptive parents in on the search. This is a hard reality to face alone. I don’t have anyone to reassure me that I am doing the right thing. Hell, I’m probably doing the totally wrong thing. Fawne gave me up for a reason, why would she want to meet me now? She probably doesn’t even deserve a second thought, but here I sit longing to go meet her.

As a child everyone compared me to my Dad, imagining that I looked like him. Sometimes people said that Dinah and I could be twins, but it was only because we were so close in age. I really look nothing like anyone in my family, even if you squint your eyes. People just imagine things that they want to see. Before I found out that I was adopted, I imagined myself growing up to look like Clinton. I imagined myself following his foot steps and selling real estate. I imagined myself coining a cheesy slogan like my Dad did. I wanted nothing more than to make him proud… When he told me I wasn’t really their child, all that changed. I realized why he missed so many ball games, always tensed up when I threw my arms around him, and seemed to favor Dinah over me. It all fell into place and jerked me out of place. It still hurts to think about the pain that jolted me to reality.

I am who I am today because of Clinton T. Malone. My better half came from Sarah’s kindness and warmth, but the cynic in me, the unlikable side of me, all were awakened by him. You’ll never catch me selling houses or whoring my face out on bill boards. You’ll never catch me ripping a little boys dreams out of him, and leaving an empty gapping hole. You’ll never catch me slicking my hair back and wearing a blazer. You’ll never catch me handing out business cards. No sir. Not me.

Maybe meeting Fawne will help me find what I should be doing. I know my destiny does not include the word coffee or grande or venti anywhere in it. In fact, I’m thinking about quitting Starbuck’s completely. Just as soon as I’ve met Fawne and have some clarity on who I really am. I feel sure that I’ll wake up and know more about myself the next day.

That day may be sooner than you think… Tomorrow I’m going to the address that is burning a hole in my pocket again. These darn sticky notes. First a name, no an address. What next? An “I love you, Myers” sticky note in my lunch pail? Ha!

Tomorrow could easily be the day that I meet my real mother. You know, the one who didn’t want me. That one who stole my missing day. Tomorrow could be the day that you and I sit down over a glass of lemonade and swap stories of conception. Clear your calendar and make room for that… Just in case.

Fingers crossed.


Twenty One


After being abandoned by John for the second time, Fawne threw herself into her work. She danced and stripped her way into forgetting about him. She shook what God gave her and in turn demanded the attention of hundreds of other men who did want her-- unlike John.

John didn’t want Fawne, at least not the way that she wanted to be wanted. John wanted what Fawne had to offer. He wanted long rowdy nights with her. He wanted the security of sleeping with a young, beautiful, sexual woman who didn’t think twice about aborting an unplanned baby. He wanted a woman who would always take him back, no matter what he did to her. He wanted a woman who could rattle a throaty growl in his ear and send shivers down his spine. He wanted the “idea” of Fawne, but when it was all said and done, he wanted to go home to his wife, return to his job as an attorney, and leave Fawne waiting in the shadows until the next time an urge hit him He needed a disposable woman to take the weight of the world out on. He needed someone who would love him whether he loved her or not-- these were all things that Fawne had to offer.

Fawne stood on the stage beside the pole, the colorful lights shimmering on her glittery skin. She slid out of her white Marilyn Monroe dress. The large fans at the edge of the stage blew and whipped through the sheer white number, revealing a tiny sliver of panties that covered the one thing that she had never shown at Stew’s. Stew’s was a gentleman’s club which meant that a tiny triangle patch of fabric was the one shred of privacy she had left. She ran her hands across her bare chest, teasing the eager on-lookers. They all watched as she moved, her red lips and short blonde wig transforming her into a skinnier Marilyn. Pat Benatar’s Shadows of the Night lured the audience into the moment with Fawne. She felt the music and it showed as her legs wrapped around the silver pole and her body defied gravity seductively. The lyrics “Surrender all your dreams to me tonight, they’ll come true in the end…” tempted the fantasies of the drooling men as Fawne twirled around the pole. Her clear pumps with like diamond endings to long silky legs. She knew that she had them in her grips, and was reminded again why she was so good at what she did, whether John loved her or not. This stage, these eyes, the lust that was warming up the room-- these were things that John could never take away from her no matter how hard he tried.

Bones was in the crowd of men, burning with jealousy. He and his wife were separated now, and his longing for Fawne was intensifying with each mind blowing erection that Fawne gave him. He wanted her-- he would take care of her. He would do anything she wanted him, but instead he just sat and watched her along with the other men who couldn’t have her either. He knew that Fawne’s heart was with still John, the stupid rich asshole who had abandoned her countless times already. He swore to himself that if he ever saw John again that he would punch him and dare him to ever set foot in the bar again. He would probably get fired for it, but Fawne was worth it. Even Judy, the waitress at the bar, picked on Bones about liking Fawne, asking him as they left work each night if he was going to Stew’s, and always knowing the answer. Of course he was going to Stew’s.

“Hi there.” Fawne said with a smile as she slid her chair closer to Bones’. She always made time between sets to talk to her friend.
Bones took a long sip of his beer and nodded to her, without a word. He had never been brave enough to buy a lap dance, but decided that if he could get drunk enough he would tonight. The wait had been eating away at him.

“You okay?” Fawne asked, seeing something troubled in his eyes.

“Sure, I’m okay.”

“Have you seen the kids this week?” Fawne asked, she always wondered how in the world he could make time for six children. She hadn’t even been able to handle one child.


Bones’ short replies stung Fanwe, she didn’t know what was wrong, but intended to find out. She only had five minutes before she would have to start giving the crowd some one-on-one attention. “Please talk to me, Bones.”

“About what? Nothing’s wrong. Just a long day.” Bones lied. What was wrong was the fact that a two hundred and twenty pound man was afraid to ask for what he wanted. It had been months and months since Fawne started working here, and now that he was a single man again, he shouldn’t be ashamed to tell Fawne about his harmless little crush.

“I’m not buying it.” Fawne said, shaking her head from side to side. She needed to run to the back and change and told Bones so.

“I’ll be here when you get back.”

“I know.” Fawne said, patting his strong arm and heading to ditch the Marilyn Monroe get-up for a tiny red g-string and a pair of red pasties. She would have to worry about Bones later, it was time to work now.

“Table 22.” Ginger said, directing Fawne to her first lap dance of the evening.

Without even thinking about it, Fawne put on a smile and pranced over to Bones. He was the only man at table 22. “Bones?”

Bones set his beer down and nodded dryly.

Fawne felt a flush of nervousness that was foreign to her and sat in her friend’s lap. Every move she made was thought out and calculated. She didn’t know what to make of it. Usually she would flirt and woo the man beneath her, but this was Bones! Not two months ago Bones had been married and off limits. Now he was the recipient of her x-rated services.

“You nervous?” Bones asked, sensing that that something was off. He didn’t regret buying her time, but wondered if it would make things weird between them.

“A little.” Fawne bit her lip and breathed in Bones’ scent. He was rugged. He smelled of beer and Cool Water. “I don’t know why.” she admitted.

“Relax.” Bones whispered, taking in Fawne’s weight against him. He had waited for this, but suddenly he realized that it was scaring Fawne. He had been like a Father to her there for awhile after her Grandparents kicked her out and now here he was asking her to seduce him.
Fawne did as she was told, blocking out the new feelings that were confusing her. She looked into his eyes and saw a softer more alive side to Bones. He was more than just a hard tough man, he was a human with feelings and desires. She saw desire in his steel gray eyes, and shivered. She had to block him out and simply do her job. She ran her hand across the stubble on his cheek and leaned back. Pushing her hips down toward his growing craving for her.

Bones watched as Fawne raised her arms and rolled her head. Her round breasts begging to be kissed and touched. He held the arms of the chair tight, reminding himself that she was not his. She didn’t want him anymore than she wanted any of the other men she climbed onto, she was just doing her job. He was paying for this.

Fawne saw Bones eyeing her chest and slowly peeled the red pasties off, running the sticky circles across his lips. As badly as she wanted to block him out, she couldn’t. She had never seen him so hot and bothered, and it turned her on. It had been a long time since anything about her job excited her, and she decided to take advantage of it. “I know what you want to do to me,” she whispered, her voice rattling alluringly.

Bones smirked at her and casually reached over for a sip of his beer. There were so many other things that he wanted to touch and taste, but for now beer would do. She had no idea what he wanted to do to her, no earthly idea.

Fawne stood up and bent over, shaking her rear end at Bones. She wanted to rattle him, but he remained cool, nonchalantly sipping his bottle of beer and watching her. She would just have to try harder. “Not only do I know what you want to do to me,” she hissed, licking her lips, “But I know what I’d do to you…”

Bones knew she was teasing him, but asked “What? Do tell.”

“Why tell when you can show?” Fawne whispered, her warm breath tickling his ear. Fawne slid back into his lap and rubbed her bare breasts over his face. Her nipple catching his stubble and her arms gently rippling with goose bumps. What was she doing? Why was she so hell-bent on arousing Bones? He was just a friend, nothing more. She would never date Bones. She ran her tongue across his neck, something she had never done to a customer before. She bounced up and down on him, suddenly wishing that the triangle of fabric wasn’t in her way.

Bones saw how excited Fawne was getting and couldn’t believe his eyes. He felt other men watching them, but blocked it out. For at least a few more minutes, Fawne was his and only his. His skin was damp with her kisses and licks, his need for her was growing. He wanted her more than he had ever wanted a woman in his entire life. He wanted to show Fawne what a real man could do.

Fawne gazed into Bones’ eyes, wondering who or what had taken over her. She took his big hands and rubbed them across her body. They were surprisingly soft. “The only way Stew'll let a man get away with touching a woman here is if she leads his hands… Tell me where you want your hands to go.”
“There.” Bones said, swallowing hard and nodding toward her exposed breasts.

Fawne led one of his hands up her belly and onto her breast. She could feel Stew watching her from the corner and nodded in his direction, letting him know that everything was okay. She took a deep breath as his hands sent sensations through her body. “Where else?” she whispered again, wanting his hands to explore her more. Wanting to guide them to the one spot that Stew’s spotlights had never hit.
“I think our time is up…” Bones informed, knowing that he couldn’t take any more of this. He was already too close to the edge, and knew that was playing with fire. Their public rendezvous was attracting a lot of attention from the other patrons, and even Stew was stewing in the corner.

Fawne felt a flush of heat rise in her cheeks. “Oh,” she whispered, pulling the pasties from the chair beside him and reapplying them without meeting his eyes. She was embarrassed. She had never gotten so carried away. She wasn’t sure what had come over her, but knew that she would never look at Bones the same way again.

“Thank you.” Bones whispered, holding her hand tight as he slid money into it. “You want a ride home again tonight?”

Fawne nodded shyly, handing him the money back. “I’ll see you at three.”

Bones sat and watched Fawne make her way around the dimly lit room. She did her normal routine, a much different kind of lap dance than the one he got. He hoped that their moment together hadn’t changed things between them. The last thing he wanted was to be shut out by her.

Fawne ignored Bones, feeling his eyes on her. She was shaken up by the feelings that she felt, so shaken up in fact, that she didn’t notice John in the corner until one of the other girls pointed him out.

“Ain’t that your fella?” Tina, the shortest stripper in the entire world asked.

“Who Bones?” Fawne asked, feeling self-conscious about their encounter.

“No, not Bones. God, we all know Bones ain’t your fella. That one at the bar. The one making eyes at you and drooling.”

Fawne looked over and saw John. His tie was loose around his neck and his hair was messy. She felt the color drain from her face. She couldn’t fall into his trap again. Not now, now ever. “I’m not feeling so good, Tina. Would you ask Stew if I can head out for the night?”

“Alright,” Tina said, giving Fawne a look and heading off to find their boss.

Fawne kept as far away from John as she could. Tina found her and said that it would be fine to leave, so Fawne headed over to tell Bones. “I’m ready…”

“You’re ready now?” Bones asked, surprised. He had just ordered another beer.

“Yes, I’ll get my things.” Fawne said, quickly hurrying to the back and sliding her white Marilyn Monroe dress back on. She usually never wore costumes home, but she wasn’t thinking straight. How dare John just show up like this! Last time she saw him he was sleeping in the bed beside her… It had been a few months, but the wound was just as fresh as it had been the next morning when she woke up abandoned.

“You’re wearing that?” Bones asked, looking down at the red pasties that were showing through the sheer dress. He pulled his flannel shirt off and wrapped it around her shoulders. “Let’s go.” Just as they headed past the bouncer, Bones spotted John and understood. He put his arm around Fawne’s waist-- suddenly wanting to protect her.

“God what a night.” Fawne said, as they pulled away from the neon lights of her literal daily grind.

“I should have punched him.” Bones said, unable to forget about John and all of the pain that he had caused Fawne.

“He’s not worth the knuckle pain, Bones.” Fawne teased, sliding a little closer to him. The wind rippled through her teased hair and picked up the end of her white dress. Despite the exchange between Bones and Fawne at the club, he was still a good friend. Fawne was thankful for Bones’ friendship.

“About earlier….”

“Shhh!” Fawne slid her finger in front of his lips and shook her head. “Don’t.”

“No, I’ve got something I want to say.” Bones wasn’t going to be shushed by an eighteen year old. “I shouldn’t have done that. I should have asked you first.”

“I didn’t mind, Bones.” Fawne whispered, she really didn’t mind. Bones had reintroduced her to feelings that she forgot existed. It was almost encouraging to realize that a man other than John could turn her on.

“You sure?”

“I’m sure.” Fawne said, opening the door and sliding her bag over her shoulder. “We’re still friends, I promise.”

Bones felt a flush of relief and a flush of disappointment. He wasn’t sure what he expected, but offered to ride the elevator up with Fawne to get his shirt back.

Realizing that her see-through get up wasn’t appropriate attire for a ritzy hotel, she handed him her bag and let him walk her up. She had never really thought about Bones being handsome, but he was. Despite his tattooed arms and shaggy hair, Bones really was striking. Nothing like John, but striking just the same.

“I feel like I should kiss a gentleman like you goodnight.” Fawne said, smiling coyly. “Especially after the heavy petting…”

Bones blushed and pulled his shirt off of her shoulders, buttoning it over his white undershirt. “Don’t feel like you owe me, Fawne.”

“I was only joking anyway…” Fawne kissed Bones on the cheek and disappeared inside. He really was a good guy, and in a strange way she couldn’t wait to see him the next night. Wouldn’t Judy get a kick out of that?



It was time.. Sarah calmly carted Myers off to her mother’s house just in time to meet Clinton at the hospital. She had to drive herself because he was tied up at the office, he had a few more things to do before he could even consider leaving. If a contraction got too bad, Sarah simply pulled off to the side of the road and waited it out. She had learned lately that she couldn’t depend on Clinton to take care of her-- he was too busy selling houses and building an image for himself. Sarah was disappointed in him, but hoped that giving birth to a baby he had actually fathered would bring him back around to her.

“You can push now, Mrs. Malone!” said a small nurse who was covered in white from head to toe. The only thing that wasn’t white was her friendly brown face and short black hair, even her legs were covered in white tights.

“No! I’m waiting on my husband.” Sarah said, hoping that their baby could wait just a little bit longer. She knew he would be there! They had made special arrangements for him to actually be in the delivery room, and there was no way that Clinton Malone would put work before the birth of his child.

“We can’t wait forever, honey.” the nurse said, hoping that Sarah would realize what she had known for years-- most men are not even worth the wait.

“I have to wait, he’ll be here.” Sarah said, steadying her voice as another contraction tore at her insides. She was definitely earning this baby, actual labor was almost as painful as the months and months of waiting that she spent longing for Myers.

“He’s here!” an unfamiliar voice called from the hall, setting the entire room into a frenzy of motion. She had waited as long as she could, but now it was time to push.

“I made it!” Clinton said, rushing into the room and to his wife’s bedside. He didn’t seem to notice that all of the nurses were annoyed with him, or that Sarah had taken about as much waiting as she could take.
Within mere minutes of Clinton’s arrival, Sarah pushed out a healthy and beautiful baby girl. The sweet slimy little thing warmed her heart and lit up Clinton’s eyes. Finally she saw a spark in him again-- this time he really was a father. Part of Sarah resented Clinton’s misty eyes, but she pushed it aside and focused on her fresh baby.

Clinton stared down at his wife and baby, not believing that the moment was real. He was a real Daddy. This baby was his! Sarah did a wonderful job bringing this tiny girl into the world, and he felt a new sense of admiration for his wife. She found a way to make her dreams of motherhood a reality. She not only had one baby, but she now had two. Something that never seemed possible for them.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Sarah asked, staring up at her husband and then back down at her sweet baby.

Clinton reached in his pocket and said, “Beyond beautiful! I brought your list, which name fits her?” Clinton grinned, hoping that his wife would notice that he had gone out of the way to remember her list of baby names. He rarely did anything without the possibility of gaining recognition from it.

“None of them.” Sarah said matter-of-factly. “I like Dinah.”

“Dinah…” Clinton said the name a few times, trying to get used to it. He had liked the idea of the baby having his initials, but Dinah did seem to fit the little classic beauty in his wife’s arms. “I like it.”

“Me too. Dinah Elizabeth Malone.” Sarah’s voice almost sang the name instead of saying it. She didn’t need to ask for Clinton’s help in naming this child, because he hadn’t been around, was basically ignoring their son, and worked more hours than he had to. Sarah wasn’t stupid. She knew that Clinton was trying to escape life, and she wasn’t going to waste time worrying about it. He would come back around eventually, and it almost seemed like he was coming back around now-- at the sight of his baby girl. Part of Sarah was glad that he loved this baby, but the other part of her resented him for neglecting Myers. Myers had never done anything to anybody-- including Clinton. One day Clinton would look back and regret not bonding with Myers, but for now she had no choice but to sit back and wait it out.

Dinah’s sweet little round head and soft little cheeks melted Clinton’s heart. He suddenly wanted Myers to meet his baby sister. Even though Myers wasn’t really his son, he was really Dinah’s big brother. Clinton grew up with a brother who was actually his cousin. He knew good and well that siblings did not need to be actual siblings in order to bond and love one another. He knew that Myers would someday help him protect Dinah from the world. Clinton was thankful for the little guy, and headed over to Sarah’s mother’s house to pick him up. Maybe Myers and Clinton could bond after all, especially now that Dinah was in the picture.



I don’t know if you have noticed this or not, but life kind of sucks. Or am I the only one who thinks so? I mean I set out on this journey to find my birth mother, and here I sit paralyzed by fear. I’m a big guy-- 6’2”, 175 pounds, rippling abs and all-- but here I sit, frozen for days on end. I’m afraid to make a wrong move. Afraid that she STILL won’t want me. Afraid that I’ll discover things that I don’t want to know.

One thing about living with Sarah and Clinton, I spent my life getting what I wanted. Mom was so glad to have children that she smothered us with love and gave us whatever the hell we wanted. Dad stayed so busy selling houses that he felt the need to repay us with things. It was a win-win situation for me, but now I’m afraid that the one time that I need to get what I want, that I won’t. I’m afraid that this won’t end well. I’m terrified of my biological mother. She really is my only hope for finding out about my missing day-- there is no biological father’s name on file. I’ve spent so much time thinking about her that I almost forgot all about him. Did they love each other? Was it a one night stand? Did he die and leave her no other choice but to erase the pain and evidence of him? What was their story?

God, I sit around harping on my missing day, but I also have a missing father.

I was supposed to call the agency about my search two days ago, but I didn’t. I’m still running the name Fawne Marie Lewis through my mind. I can’t believe that I am so close to pin-pointing a location on her. I really never expected to get this far.

Today I realized how pivotal the moment I found out I was adopted was for me. I grew up that day. I had a big sobering dose of reality forced down my throat, and I have wasted a lot of energy resenting it. I don’t resent Dad for telling me, it just slipped out of him. But I resend spending nearly half of my life not knowing such a big part of who I am. I sit and whine about a missing day, but really I have more missing than that. A missing piece of my identity. I spent twelve years building who I thought I was-- Sarah’s son, Clinton’s son, Dinah’s brother. But it all turned out to be a lie. A huge ass lie if you ask me. The kind that can ruin a person.
There I go being all deep. One of my worst qualities is over thinking. I’ll spare you the sob story of my emotions and cut right to the chase. I have no choice but to bite the bullet and call the agency about my mother. This situation requires immediate action… I’ll call tomorrow. No really, I will.

Don’t believe me? Wait and see.




“You not working tonight?” Judy watched as Fawne took a long drag off of a cigarette and blew out the smoke slowly and deliberately. Fawne had changed since she started working for Stew Singletary, and Judy wasn’t sure if it was for the better or not.

“Not tonight. I needed a break.” Fawne thought back to the scene that unfolded before her only a few nights before. John appeared out of nowhere and was now at the forefront of her mind. She was even sitting in her spot again. She hadn’t felt the need to sit there in several months. Unfortunately for Fawne, he was all she could think about once again.

“Well I’m glad you’re here. I’ve missed you, honey. Thought you went all fancy on us now that you got money to burn.” Judy wasn’t joking. Fawne made a display the week before by burning a twenty dollar bill. It was symbolic of how far she had come, but it really pissed Judy off-- she could have used that twenty dollars to get home.

Bones was spending more and more time watching Fawne strip and less and less time at home with his wife and children. Judy hoped he would see that Fawne would never settle down before it was too late. He was about two eyelash bats away from leaving poor Dianne with all eight of the little monsters that ate them out of house and home.

“Want a shot, Fawne?” Bones took care of her anytime she was there.

“No, Bones. But thank you.” Fawne tilted her head sideways and looked at him through the cloud of smoke that danced in front of her face. If she didn’t know better she would think that Bones had a little crush on her. But surely not. Bones wasn’t the type to get a crush on anybody.

“You Fawne from Stew’s?” A man slid onto the barstool in front of her. He was handsome and friendly looking, but still had an air of toughness about him.

“I am… A lot less glitter and a lot more clothes.” Fawne smiled genuinely at him, not wondering how he knew her.

“I’ve got a message for you, from John.” The man slid a piece of paper into her hand, which was already shaking at the mention of John’s name, paid his tab and left the bar.

Fawne took a deep breath and shot Judy a look. “You read it!”

Judy unfolded the little note and shook her head. “He wants to meet you at Days.”

“Days?” Fawne was above paying $39.95 a night for a hotel now. She laughed and then frowned. Why did he want to meet her? Why didn’t he come himself? Should she go?

“Well?” Judy was waiting for her decision. She knew Fawne was still gaga over this man, but also knew that Fawne had grown up a lot in the months following her baby’s birth.

“I’ll go. I still have questions I want answers for.” Fawne stood up and left without another word. Bones watched her go with longing in his eyes. He knew that John would probably be getting the very thing he was afraid to ask for. After seeing Fawne move on stage he couldn’t shake the overwhelming urge to kiss her. Yeah he was married, but not many men could resist Fawne, not even a tough tattoo covered one like him.


“Hi, Fawne.” John was waiting on the elevator like he used to do. The ride up was silent and strained.

“Room 321.” Fawne noticed, she spent the night in room 321 alone and scared after he ran out on her. She headed inside before him and sat down on the window sill. “What is it you want with me?”

“Well, I was in D.C. for business still and just couldn’t leave without seeing you…” John undressed Fawne with his eyes. First her long sweater, then her acid washed jeans, and next her shiny new leather keds. She was different girl from the one he left. She had a certain assurance about her that he couldn’t resist. “I wanted to see if there was any hope for us. You now to pick back up where we left off?”
Fawne laughed dramatically, wanting him to feel stupid. “Are you kidding, John?”

“No.” he shook his head.

“You left me in this room! I was pregnant and scared. You expect me to strip down and pick right back up where we left off? Really now?” Fawne felt like screaming and like crying, but did neither.

“Well then why did you even bother coming?” John finally realized that he wasn’t going to get his way.

“Because I needed answers. I thought you loved me.”

“I did. I do.” John headed toward her, seeing an opening for him to woo her with his empty promises. “I just got scared, that’s all.”

“I tell you what, you paid for the hotel, you sleep in it.” Fawne reached into her bra and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill. “This should hold you over until you get home to your wife.”

“Fawne…” John closed his eyes as the door clicked shut behind her. She really had wised up after all. John slid the one hundred dollar bill into his shirt pocket and fell back onto the bed. At least he tried.

Fawne stood frozen in the hall outside of the hotel room. She wanted to walk away and not look back, but couldn’t. John was the first man that she had ever loved. She tried to resist him, tried to be mad at him, but just couldn’t. She tapped lightly on the door and fell into John’s arms as soon as the door opened. Instead of heading home to her lavish hotel, she slept beside the man of her dreams. After the kind of night she gave him, John would have no excuse not to love her. There was no way he could resist the older and wiser version of Fawne Lewis.

“I’m sorry about the baby…” John whispered, stroking her bare arm as they cuddled. “You made the right choice in aborting it though.”

Fawne looked up at him and nodded. Even if she did love him, he didn’t have the right to know about her decision regarding the baby she gave up. Let him believe she aborted it. It wasn’t like he cared. Fawne fell asleep more confident than ever of the fact that John would never go home to his wife now. He was hers’ and together they would build the life that she hadn’t even dared to dream of before.

“Housekeeping!” there was a knock at the door.

Fawne glanced over at the clock and realized that they had slept through checkout. “John!” she called toward the bathroom as she scurried around and gathered her clothes. “John, hurry up!”

John didn’t reply. He was already at home doing his weekend yard work.

Fawne was once again reminded that nobdy wanted her. Not her Dad, not her Mom, not her Poppy and Granny, and especially not John. If she hurried she could make the lunch time shift at Stew’s. She could use some positive attention.



Clinton watched his wife’s body take its new motherly form and wondered what was so great about parenthood anyway? It just got in the way of your career, got in the way of your marriage, and got in the way of life in general. What was the point? He liked Myers, it was impossible not to like the little guy, but he couldn’t cross the line from like to love. He wondered if he would love the next baby, his real baby. Maybe seeing a child that he and his wife actually created would help him realize what was so amazing about it all.

Sarah’s feet were swollen and huge. She couldn’t see them unless she held them out in front of her, but she knew from what glimpses she saw that they were triple the size of her actual feet. Shoes didn’t fit anymore, and neither did any of the size small maternity clothes that she bought herself at the beginning of her pregnancy. Only a few more weeks and it would all be over. She would have another baby boy or her first baby girl in her arms. Myers would be a big brother, and their family would be complete.

“Clinton we need to talk.” Myers was down for his nap and Clinton had taken the day off to accompany Sarah to her doctor’s appointment. He watched Myers in the lobby while Sarah went in to discover that she was already dilated.

“I don’t like that sound of this…” Clinton thought back to the last time she sat him down with this same serious tone in her voice.

“Oh, don’t be silly. No more baby news.” Sarah smiled at her husband, hoping that he would be receptive to what she had to say.

“Okay, as long as you aren’t having twins or adopting triplets, I should be okay.”

“I just hope you’ll be around a little more when this baby comes. It is going to be very hard on me at first… An eight month old and a newborn is an impossible combination… Now I know I did this to myself, but I can’t handle it alone.” Sarah rubbed her hand across her belly, her protruding belly button serving as a speed bump.

“I’m sure I can work something out with my co-workers. Maybe they can schedule their closings and showings during the afternoons to give me a more steady nine to five kind of deal again.” Clinton could easily work those hours now, but handed them off to his co-workers. Not only would it make him look better, but it kept him away from home. Sarah may be living her dream, but he wasn’t living his. After a year of trying to have a baby, he had lost his high school sweetheart. Being parents was supposed to bring them closer together, but instead it was slowly pulling them apart. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks, honey. I’m so glad that you’re willing to help.” Sarah envisioned long evenings with Clinton playing with Myers while she rocked their tiny newborn to sleep. It was going to be perfect. Two babies! She was the luckiest woman alive!

Clinton, who was ready to embrace his new role, headed in to check on Myers. He was sleeping away, sucking his little thumb. Something was holding him back from this baby, he didn’t know what, but he did know that it was beyond his control. He wanted to like Myers, but for some reason Myers symbolized that drastic changes that his life had undergone. For some reason he associated the sweet baby boy in front of him with losing his wife. He really had lost Sarah. She wasn’t the same girl he fell in love with. She had morphed into someone he didn’t recognize. Sure her body would most likely bounce right back to its old shape, but she was forever changed by motherhood.

Sarah smiled as Clinton emerged from little Myers’ room. She couldn’t wait to meet her other baby, and hoped that Clinton would honor his promises. She needed him around. Myers needed a daddy and this baby needed one too. Myers had already been abandoned once, and she wasn’t going to let him be abandoned again. Clinton signed the adoption papers too, and Myers was just as much his’ as he was hers’. Sarah studied Clinton’s tired eyes and saw a different man from the one she had married. Clinton was different now. He had been changed by fatherhood. She just hoped that eventually he would settle into it and accept the love that was waiting on him. Maybe one day he would see.


I’ve decided to forget about the name on the sticky note. After much deliberation I have come to the conclusion that my biological mother gave me up for a good reason. It would only make things worse to seek her out after all of these years. I am going to leave well enough alone. Sarah is my Mom. Sarah is all I need. I have been on enough wild goose chases in my lifetime to know when I am going to come up empty handed.

When I was a teenager, I resented my little sister. She was really "their child." She spent nine months baking in Mom’s belly and was Dad’s pride and joy. Can you guess what my little sister does for a living today? You guessed right! She followed in the family business of real estate. I work at Starbuck’s and she is Dad’s right hand “man.” I love her now. I got over the jealous phase-- it wasn’t her fault who her parents were. It wasn’t like Mom treated us differently from each other anyway, she loved us equally. It was Dad. He reminded me that she would inherit the business. I pretended not to care, I had bigger and better plans for my future anyway. (Starbuck's wasn't exactly the plan back then.)

I’m interested to know what you would do if you were in my shoes? Would you throw the sticky note out and forget the name written on it? Would you just accept the fact that you’ll always be missing a day and just push on with the life that you’ve always lived? Would you search for your biological mother and seek the answers that would complete you? What would you do? I wish I knew which direction to go with this.

Who am I kidding, anyway? I can’t forget that name. I can’t throw away the sticky note. It is my first piece of history with my biological mother. Sarah may be the one who raised me, but Fawne is the one who gave me life. Fawne. I never expected my real mom to be named Fawne. I mean don’t get me wrong… It is petty. Very pretty. But what in the world would someone named Fawne do in life? It is well suited for a whimsical middle name, but a first name? That is a pretty daring choice. You have to be one cool chick to pull off the name Fawne in a world full of Nancy’s and Mary’s and Sarah’s.

Come to think of it, hearing her name made me even more interested in her story. I need to know her story in order to know my own story. I feel ridiculous for caring. What kind of macho guy goes searching for his Mommy at twenty six years old? Most guys are chasing hot girls or finally settling down by my age. I’m hoping that once I find Fawne Lewis, that I’ll be able to get back on track with my life. Who knows? Maybe I’ll call up an old girl friend and have a shot gun wedding like other guys my age. Maybe I’ll throw a wild bachelor party at a trashy strip club. Maybe I’ll call Megan Wells tomorrow, she was always fun to be around. See, with Fawne’s story and my missing day out of the way, I’ll be able to be normal again. Sarah would love to see me in love… Yes, I’ll do this for Sarah. My Mom. She deserves grandkids and my sister is too career minded to give her any in the near future. I’ll meet Fawne and then go on the hunt for a wife. It’s settled.

Tomorrow I’ll call the agency again and follow their advice for finding my biological mother, Fawne. I’ll follow the steps and I’ll find the pot of gold that awaits me. A big pile of missing hours, minutes, and seconds that add up exactly to the twenty four hours that I spent as an orphan. I’ll find my missing day, learn where I was conceived, and put it all behind me. Thanks for helping me figure this out… Really couldn’t have done it without you, pal.




Just as Bambi had suspected, Fawne was a natural. She knew exactly how to move her hips, exactly how long to hold her clients’ eyes before looking down at her body, and exactly which outfits to wear. Fawne realized by watching the other girls that glitter was going to be her best friend. Even after her swollen milk filled breasts went back down to their original size, she learned that glitter would make them look fuller and stand out more under the lights.

“You rich yet?” Starr asked in the dressing room on break. Starr was six feet tall and Fawne wondered if she used to be a man but was afraid to ask. She had strong features and broad shoulders, but used it to her benefit. Starr was one of the most attention grabbing "girls" in the club.

“Beyond rich.” Fawne smiled shyly, adjusting her top. Fawne easily brought home four hundred dollars a night, and had been living in a fancy hotel for nearly two months. She ordered room service every night, could jump on her huge bed and dance along with MTV without getting fussed at. She was living her dream!

“Hell yes! We’re living the life. No doubt about it!” Starr put her signature star shaped pasties on her implants and headed back out toward the thumping music.

Fawne sat back, relaxing for a few minutes before her own song came on. Each night she picked a different song to make her nightly debut to. Tonight it was Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night. She listened as the crowd cheered for Starr and knew that within minutes they would be cheering for her. The synthesized keyboard began to play-- that was her cue. She put on a pair of sunglasses and pulled her legwarmers up as she headed out onto the stage to wow the eager patrons. In her opinion, she had the best taste in music out of any of the other girls. Usually the songs that she danced to became club favorites soon afterwards. The other girls just danced to whatever was popular at the moment instead of picking songs that would evoke mental images and pull their audience even closer to the edge.

The lights were dim as she teased the crowd by pulling at her tiny top without exposing any skin. Fawne bent over and shook her barely covered rear, her view of the crowd now upside down between her legs. She was more than a stripper, she was a dancer. She felt the rhythm in her body and licked her lips as she finally pulled her sparkly blue top off. “I wear my sunglasses at night…” The music was loud and Fawne managed to block out the crowd and just dance. She knew what they liked, but still pretended that they weren’t there. Her sunglasses made her feel like she was in another world. She ran her hands down her body and rolled her head sensually, her freshly colored hair catching the light. Her g-string was full of singles and sweat was rolling down her back as the song came to an end. She knew that a night full of lap dances awaited her, she could tell by their lustful hoops and hollers that she had a busy night ahead. She didn’t mind. It was just a job-- one she was damn good at.

Stew approached Fawne with a smile as she tied her top back around her exposed chest. “You’re amazing.”

“Thanks, Stew.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek, he was like a Father to her now. He took good care of his girls.

“Ditch the sunglasses and head to table six, four dances in a row over there.”

Fawne did as she was told, sliding the glasses into Stew’s shirt pocket flirtatiously. The house music was annoyingly simple and expected, Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" was playing. “Fawne?” she heard a familiar voice behind her and spun around. Usually her movements in the club were slow, drawn-out, and thought-out, but not this one. She knew that voice. It was John.

“John?” Suddenly the confidence from dancing her heart out drained from her body and she felt like a pregnant seventeen year old girl again, instead of a popular seventeen year old stripper who everyone thought was eighteen.

“How are you?” John looked her up and down. He forgot what a knock out body she had when she wasn’t pregnant.

“I’m good.” Fawne was at a loss for words.

“Want a drink?” John suddenly wanted to get his hands on her again.

“I’m working, John. If you want time with me you have to buy it.” Fawne felt like crying but instead headed over to table six and gave the men empty compliments before climbing into their laps one by one. She made sure that she gave a good show for John’s benefit. He was watching her with a drink in his hand. John was the one man in the room who had already had what every man in the room wanted. He had Fawne Lewis before she was "Innocent Fawne" the stripper. He realized as he watched her slide her breasts across the bald man’s face that he wanted her again.

Stew sent Fawne over to John’s table next. He was sitting alone, lounging back in the chair that like everything else in the club was upholstered with a confetti print that reminded Fawne of a doctor’s office. She couldn’t make herself flirt with him, after all he had abandoned her without giving her a second thought. She wanted to slap him and ask him how his wife was, but instead she sat in his lap and breathed seductively into his ear. Fawne put all harsh feelings aside and just let loose. She wanted him to see what he was missing. It would be much more torturous than throwing a fit and crying would. She pulled at his tie with her teeth and pushed down against him with her hips. She wanted him to remember what it felt like to be with her. John was eating her up like candy. He was aware of every single move that she made and wanted her now more than he ever did before. She was like a different girl. Her makeup was flawless, her firm breasts were covered in glitter, and rear end was rounder than he remembered. This girl was amazing!

Fawne peeled off the same dazzling blue top again for the fifth time since starting her shift. John’s hands wandered up to her inviting breasts but she shook her head and reminded him that he couldn’t touch. She wasn’t his anymore. He was nothing more to her than an extra twenty dollar bill at the end of the night. “I want you so bad.” John whispered, smelling the sweet vanilla scent of her perfume.

“Now you want me…” Fawne snapped, her voice still rattling in her lower register, where all of the sexy tones usually materialized. Time was up but she stayed above him, moaning and wiggling. “Why didn’t you want me then?” she asked, licking his neck. Something she didn’t do to regular patrons. John wasn’t a regular patron.

“I told you.” he tried to focus his mind on the question at hand, but it was occupied elsewhere. It was lingering back with the moans and movements that Fawne made. He wanted her so bad that it hurt. “I couldn’t risk getting caught.”

“You walked out. You gave me a hundred dollars. That didn’t last a week, John.” Fawne had a new concept of money now. At the time the c-note seemed like a fortune, but now she was aware of how insignificant it really was. A hundred dollars to a successful lawyer or event to a stripper in high demand was like fifty cent to a normal person.“You left me and forgot our baby.”

Suddenly John remembered the baby he had somehow managed to force out of his mind. Did she have a baby sitting at home waiting on her to finish riding him like a slow drawn out roller coaster? “How is our baby?”

“I took care of it.” Fawne stood up abruptly, forgetting that other people were watching them. “There is no baby.”

John breathed a sigh of relief. He figured she would abort it and was glad to hear that she did. He tried to compose himself after the awkward conversation and heated encounter, but it was nearly impossible. For lack of anything better to say, John said, “It was good seeing you, Fawne.”

“You too, John. Come back.” Fawne rushed to the back room, hoping that no one would notice her tears.

“That guy bothering you?” Stew followed her.

“No, just an old friend…” Fawne sat in front of the mirror, still topless, and wiped away the black streams of mascara that were running from her eyes. A part of her still loved John, regardless of what he had done to her. Part of her wanted him and the rest of his babies. “Tell me when he’s gone.”



Sarah felt a bit guilty for hiding her pregnancy, but soon Clinton was over it. He understood that she was simply doing what she had to do to secure her dream of having two kids and a dog. He couldn’t blame her, he almost admired her really. It was a cut throat attitude that got him to the top of his real estate career, and he didn’t think Sarah had it in her. The baby was cute, but he kept his distance. He would wait on his real baby.

Sarah’s belly was growing, making caring for an infant even more challenging. By the time she was six months pregnant, Myers was an eighteen pound five month old who was already trying to crawl! Just as she had suspected, motherhood was a completely fulfilling experience. She woke up thinking about Myers and went to sleep thinking about him. Her only real concern was Clinton. She had to make him hold the baby everyday, and Clinton was not really bonding with the handsome blue eyed boy that would be his son forever.

Myers’ first Christmas was wonderful! Sarah dressed him in a Santa suit and Santa brought him more toys than any baby would ever need. Even Clinton bought Myers a Christmas gift, which made Sarah feel hopeful for the future. But it was March now and Clinton seemed more distant from their baby than ever. His hours at work were getting longer and longer, and Sarah knew that he had the ability to come home on time if he wanted. She just didn’t push it.

“I’m not feeling so well today,” Sarah lied. She had a plan. “Could you come home early and take Myers out for a walk or something? I’m sure he needs to get out of the house.”

Clinton agreed to leave work early, and came straight home. He looked at his wife and the chubby baby in her arms. He didn’t want to take him, but agreed. Sarah loaded his shoulder up with a diaper bag that looked more like a purse, and loaded his arms up with Myers, who was heavier than Clinton expected.

“I’m going to take a little nap, okay? Maybe come back in an hour?” Sarah encouraged her husband to stay out for an hour knowing good and well that he intended to come back in ten minutes.

“An hour?” Clinton had worked all day and didn’t feel like playing Mr. Mom, but realized that his pregnant wife was tired and needed a break. “Okay, an hour.”

Sarah smiled as her two guys headed out into the afternoon sun. There was no way that Clinton could be with Myers for an hour without falling head over heels in love with him. The days of Clinton barely acknowledging him were nearly over! They had to be.

Clinton pushed the stroller down toward the park and sat down on a bench beside his little son. Myers was too little to get out and play, but he was happy just watching the other kids play. He cooed at the woman on the bench beside Clinton who was reading Insomnia by Stephen King, she looked up from her book and smiled. She glanced at Myers’ father and smiled even bigger, “Clinton T. Malone?”

“The one and only!” Clinton flashed a dashing grin. “This is my son, Myers.”

“He’s adorable!” she smiled and closed her book. “That there, that’s my Tiffany.”

“Cute girl. How old?” Clinton was in real estate agent mode now.

“She’s four.” The woman, who was in her late twenties, fluffed up her already fluffy hair. She was star struck.

“Who knew that Clinton T. Malone had such an adorable baby?”

“I’m flattered. You’re not looking for a new home are you?” Clinton never let a possible deal slip through his fingers.

“Well, I live across the way there. The brick ranch. I want more kids, and know that we need more room.”

“Cute house. I could sell it before you buy, that way you’ll have tons of money to work with. Let’s list it and see if we get any offers…” Clinton pulled out a business card and slid it in her hand, letting his hand linger for moment in hers’.

“Let’s do.” She smiled, staring into his handsome blue eyes.

“Give me a call tomorrow. What was your name? I’d love to talk with you more.” Clinton had forgotten all about his baby, who was wimpering.

“I’m Suzie.” Suzie smiled and blushed before looking down at Myers. “I think he has a stinky diaper on. I’d be glad to change him if you’ll watch Tiffany for me. It is the least I can do!”

Clinton watched as she swished away with his baby and scanned the crowd of children playing. It was finally warming up and everyone was taking advantage of it by playing at the park. He hadn’t bothered looking when she pointed out her daughter, but he would still pretend to watch the child if it meant avoiding dirty diapers in public restrooms.

A few minutes later the woman came up and handed him Myers. “Thanks, Suzie.” Clinton smiled. “Tiffany just played and played, she didn’t even notice you were gone.”

“Tiffany had to go potty, I took her to the bathroom with us…” Suzie looked offended.

“Oh,” Clinton couldn’t think of a cover up, so he just paid special attention to strapping Myers into his stroller again. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow?”

Suzie thought about it for a second but decided that he probably thought the other little blonde girl in overalls was Tiffany by mistake. “Yes, I’ll call you tomorrow. Bye now.”

“Bye bye.” Clinton waved Myers’ hand and Suzie’s heart melted. There was nothing like a drop dead gorgeous man taking care of a baby! “Enjoy your book. Let me know how it ends, I don’t have time to read.”

Suzie giggled and headed off toward the tiny brick ranch across the way. It would be impossible to sell for most agents, but Clinton was smooth enough to sell anything. He had just the family in mind. “We make a pretty good team, Myers. We may be visiting the park more often!”

Myers blew bubbles and reached for his Daddy’s face. Clinton dodged the spit drenched little hands and scanned the park for more housewives to give business cards to.

“Have fun?” Sarah was in the kitchen starting dinner. She didn’t take a nap, there was too much housework to catch up on. Her belly looked like it had grown in the last hour, maybe it was the apron cinched under her bust. Clinton put Myers in his highchair and headed down the hall for a shower, ignoring her question. “Hey my cutie pie baby boy! Mommy loves you! Mommy does!”

Myers’ face lit up as he grinned at his silly Mommy. Sarah’s life was complete, whether or not Clinton was on board with the direction it was heading or not. She had never felt more fulfilled!


My meeting with Hattie North today went well. My theory about Hattie’s voice to looks ratio was disproved by her lazy eye that was framed by a unibrow. Apparently women who sound harsh look harsh. I kept an eye out for Brooke with the beautiful voice, but so far the jury is still out on that theory. We know that women with harsh phone voices have harsh faces, but I am still convinced that women with beautiful phone voices are obese and grotesque. To be honest, I have no idea how I came to this conclusion to begin with, but I’m sticking with it.

I am sure you are more interested in what I found out about my birth mother than you are of my silly theories, so here goes. I have the name. It is written on a sticky note and folded up in my pocket. I haven’t even looked at it yet. I am not sure that I want to know! Hattie told me that my birth mother was very young, single, and felt that adoption was her best option. She was giving me a better chance at having a good life by putting me up for adoption. I still feel a little abandoned, even if the agents’ explanation makes perfect sense. I guess you can’t spend your whole life feeling abandoned and expect the feeling to just dissolve instantly.

Part of me wants to know her name, but the other part of me doesn’t. Knowing her name gives me the power to find her. Finding her is a huge step. Am I ready? I have no clue.

I’m going to look at the name now. For you. I know you’re dying to know, so I’ll look. If you weren’t here I’d leave it folded in my pocket and probably wash these jeans. That might be easier. Erase all evidence of my biological mother.

I’m a little disappointed to find out that I didn’t have a birth father on file. I have a perfectly good mother already, it is the father department that could use some improvement. If the name in my pocket had my biological father’s name on it I would have read it hours ago. I would have never put it in my pocket to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, Clinton T. Malone is a good guy and all, I just don’t think he tried his best with me. I mean what kind of prick tells a twelve year old that they were adopted? Kids who know they are adopted grow up knowing it, you don’t just spring it on them like that.

Anyway, back to the sticky note. I guess now is as good of a time as any….

Fawne Marie Lewis.

I’ve said it aloud about twenty times now. Nothing magical has happened yet. I know her name, yes, but I have no idea who she is. I have no idea where she is. I have no idea why she gave me away to perfect strangers. It says she lived in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Not so far away. I wonder if she is still around? I wonder what she did with her life? Is she a rocket scientist? Is she a third grade teacher? Is she a veterinarian? I don’t know much more now than I did when I started. What is in a name anyway? What if she changed her name? What if she is a famous writer and has a pen name? What if she is an actress and has a stage name? What if this name is useless?

I’m still just as lost as I was before, only this name has the power to unlock some doors that have been locked for a long time. I think I’ll go home and see Mom tomorrow. I could use some time with the one who actually wanted me before I start my quest for the one who didn’t. The sticky note? I’m putting it right back in my pocket. These jeans didn’t get dirty today, I’ll wear them again tomorrow-- with different underwear of course.



Being homeless was not Fawne’s idea of fun. She stayed in the bar until it was time to close, hoping that Judy, Bones, or a drunk customer would invite her to sleep on their couch. She needed a job, but didn’t know where to start. She was missing her senior year of high school, she had planned to start after the baby was born, but her Poppy’s temper tantrum spoiled that plan.

Sometimes during the day Fawne would sneak into the dollar cinema and watch Purple Rain. She loved music and loved Prince. Watching Purple Rain a few times a week was almost as good as sitting on her grandparents’ couch/bed and watching MTV. Fawne wanted to change her name to Apollonia, but knew that nobody would be able to pronounce it. Besides, the name Fawne as the only thing her Mama ever gave her. She may as well keep it.

After an afternoon in the bar, Fawne asked Judy if she could crash on her couch again, but could tell that Judy wasn‘t too excited about it this time.

“I’m sorry honey, I’ve got someone coming over tonight…” Judy hoped that Fawne would catch her drift.

“Oh, okay.” Fawne nodded, understanding completely. “I’ll ask Bones.”

Bones had plans after work, but since there were no customers left in the bar to offer Fawne a couch, he agreed to let her tag along. He was mad at his wife and had every intention of taking advantage of his anger by doing something that she would disapprove of. Fawne’s hair was windblown from the ride and to her surprise they pulled up to a strip club. “You coming in?” Bones looked over at her.

“I guess so. I don’t have any money…”

“I’ll take care of all that.” Bones smiled. It was nearly three o’clock in the morning and most of the people inside, including the dancers would be drunk by now. Bones knew from experience, that it wouldn’t take much money to show Fawne a good time.

They headed inside, greeted by a giant bouncer. The bouncer nodded at Bones and gave Fawne the once over before letting them in. The lights were low, smoke clouded the room, and Fawne couldn’t believe her eyes. Women were half naked, walking around and dancing around. They looked happy about it! She wouldn’t be smiling and giggling if she had to go to work with nothing more than a string running up her behind. “Goodness.” Fawne covered her eyes at the sight of a couple having sex. “They should do that at home!”

Bones laughed whole heartedly at her, “That is called a lap dance.”

“Oh,” Fawne glanced over her shoulder and made a face. It just didn’t seem natural. Fawne was turning out to be more amusing than Bones had ever imagined. “Do they know each other?”

“No, unless he’s a regular.” Bones looked over at the brunette stripper who was writhing around and wondered if Fawne would oppose to him having one himself.

“What’ll it be?” A skinny blonde in a bikini wandered up take their drink order.

“ Two Buds.” Bones had been mixing drinks all night, and wanted nothing to do with liquor.

“Two?” Fawne whispered, giggling. “For me?”

“Yeah, why not. It’s a special occasion.”

“It is?” Fawne asked, taking him literally.

“Sure, why not?” Bones laughed at her naivety.

“One for you,” the waitress handed Fawne an opened beer bottle, “And one for you.” Bones took his and looked the waitress up and down. Fawne had never seen him act that way before.

“Come back in a minute, I’ll need more where that came from.”

“Anything for you.” she flirted, glancing over her shoulder to be sure that he was looking as she walked away.

“Do you think she’s pretty?” Fawne asked, sipping the beer proudly.

“Very.” Bones nodded.

“Hey there.” A toppless beauty came and sat beside Fawne. “How old are you?”

Fawne looked at the girl, trying not to glance down at her tiny breasts. “I’m,”

“She’s eighteen.” Bones interjected. Fawne looked over at him strangely, but didn’t correct him on her age. She would gladly accept an extra year.

“Eighteen, hmm, you got a job?” She tossed her hair and if Fawne didn’t know any better she would have thought she was being flirted with.

“No.” Fawne admitted. She really needed one and planned on applying at Winn Dixie the next day.

“Can you dance?”

“I love to dance!” Fawne had never had a lesson in her life, but she had always been a dancer. Music lived inside her, and the only natural thing to do was to move.

“Well then it’s settled!”

Bones gave Fawne a look that said he couldn’t imagine her stripping for money.

“What is settled?” Fawne was confused.

“You can work here. I’ll put in a good word for you with my boss. We make tons and tons of money… I saw you come in and knew instantly that you were our kind of girl!” The girl shimmied for added effect.

“Oh, work here?” Fawne was surprised. She had never imagined herself stripping, but could already tell by the money being waved in the air that these girls wracked up. She looked down at her milk filled breasts and then over at the strippers pointy little ones and decided that she did have what it took. “When do I start?”

“Come by tomorrow…” The girl smiled, she was friendly and kind. “About three?”

“Okay.” Fawne nodded, forgetting that Bones was even there. “Wear my panties?”

The stripper laughed, “Wear your normal clothes, we’ll fix you up. My boss’s name is Stew. Tell him Bambi sent you, okay?”

“Bambi?” Fawne asked, lighting up. “My name is Fawne!”

“OOooo, I like it!” the stripper tussled Bones’ jet black hair as she walked away. “See you soon, Fawne.”

“Bye, Bambi!” Fawne waved, excited to have made a new friend.

“You sure about this?” Bones asked, no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t imagine Fawne being comfortable enough to strip.

“I am. If nothing else I’ll do it for a few weeks to save up some money. I’d love to sleep in a hotel instead of on somebody’s couch.” Fawne watched the girls in the room and imagined herself in their shoes. She could do it, and could probably do it better than them. Two things in life had come naturally to Fawne-- dancing and sex. This was a job where she could use them both!

“Two more.” Bones said to the flirty waitress. “And a side of you.”

Fawne narrowed her eyes, suddenly wanting him to pay attention to her. The attention from the stripper had give her more confidence than ever. She unbuttoned the top few buttons of her shirt and bit her lip, but Bones didn’t seem to notice. He was too busy taking in the room around him. “So why you mad at your wife?” Fawne brought him back to reality.

“I’m not. She’s mad at me.” Bones looked at her for the first time, surprised by the amount of exposed skin that hadn’t been there before.

“Oh.” Fawne licked her lips, suddenly wanting attention. “Buy me a lap dance?”

Bones raised his eyebrows and nodded. Maybe Fawne would make it in this business after all.

After meeting Stew the next day, it was decided that Fawne would start immediately. He could tell that she had money making potential. He advised her not to take a stage name because Fawne suited her so well, and told her to come prepared with a song list for her numbers on the stage. Fawne’s mind was swarming with great songs, and she couldn’t wait to get started! She was going to sleep in a hotel! No more couch surfing for Fawne. Finally, she was going to support herself. 




Clinton stood in the kitchen waiting on his coffee to brew. Sarah was still fast asleep, and for the first time in their relationship had been sleeping in lately. The phone hanging on the kitchen wall rang earlier than it had in years. “Hello?” Clinton answered. He listened for awhile, and then asked them to please call back in five minutes. His wife was still asleep, and this was a call that she had been waiting months and months for. The person on the other end agreed to call back, and Clinton rushed into the bedroom and woke his sleeping wife.

“Sarah, Sarah!” he shook her gently. “I’m running late for work, could you help me? I need you to make my lunch.” Clinton hadn’t taken his own lunch to the office in years, but she was too drowsy to realize. Sarah walked like a zombie into the kitchen and opened the fridge to see what she could come up with.

The phone rang as Sarah slathered mayonnaise on a piece of white bread. “Who would be calling this early?”

“I don’t know, you get it.” Clinton sipped his coffee anxiously.

“I’m a little busy.” Sarah snapped.

“Just get it.”

Sarah answered the phone after finishing the ham and mayo sandwich and putting it in a bag. “Hello?”

“Is this Sarah Malone?” the voice at the other end asked politely.

“It is.” Sarah suddenly realized that this was the call she had been dreaming of.

“This is United Methodist Family Services of Virginia. My name is Dianne, we have a baby for you.” Sarah couldn’t believe her ears, she looked over at Clinton who was grinning from ear to ear. It was really happening! She finally had an excuse to stay up all night with a real life baby!

Sarah numbly listened to the details of where to go and what to bring. Within an hour, they were on their way to Inova Alexandria Hospital to meet their baby boy! It’s a boy! Sarah knew that this was what she had waited her entire life for! In just a little while, she would be a Mommy!

“I’m so happy!” Sarah balled her fists up and shook them in front of her, trying her best to contain her excitement. “Are you happy, Clinton?”

Clinton took his eyes off the road and looked at his smiling wife. He really was happy. He was going to be a family man now. That looked good for any businessman. “I’m happy, Sarah. Very happy.”

“A boy! Can you believe we’ll have a little boy? This little baby was meant for us! I just feel it!” Sarah clapped her hands together with glee. “A little boy…”

“Myers, right?” Clinton thought back to the list.

“Yes, Myers.” Sarah was glowing. “I forgot to call Mom!”

“We’ll call her from the hospital.” Clinton assured his wife that they had plenty of time for her Mom to meet their new baby. “We’ll get her to pick up some blue stuff for the nursery. She’ll like that.”

“Yes! Wonderful idea!” Sarah leaned across the console and gave her husband a big kiss. “Daddy!”

Clinton laughed nervously. He may have been reluctant at first, but there was no use being reluctant now… He really was a Daddy now. There was no escaping this.

The moment Sarah saw her little boy will forever be etched in her mind. He was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen! He was big enough that she didn’t feel like she was going to break him, and cute enough that she fell in love with him immediately. He had the sweetest round head and made the cutest little sounds that she had ever heard. A real life baby doll!

“Isn’t he amazing?” Sarah look up at Clinton, who hadn’t said much yet.

Clinton thought about it for a minute. He looked down at his wife as she held their future, a tiny little fragile baby. A baby! The scene before him touched a special place in his heart and his eyes filled with tears as he nodded. It really was an amazing feeling. He was a Daddy.

“A handsome healthy baby boy!” Sarah announced as she called everyone she knew. Clinton dialed so that she could keep holding Myers. She didn’t put him down, not even for Clinton to hold his first born son. She smelled him, an indescribable smell of perfection. He was meant to be in her arms, she just knew it!

Parenthood suited Sarah. She was a natural, and Clinton pretty much stayed out of her way. He watched her with the baby, and occasionally held him, but Sarah had it all under control. Within days Clinton was back at work selling houses, and Sarah was settled into a routine. Myers was a wonderful baby! He rarely cried, and when he did it was because he needed something. Finally, their family was complete… Well almost complete.

“How was your day?” Clinton asked, taking Myers from her arms and giving her a kiss.

“It was great.” Sarah smiled, wondering how he would react to the news that she had no choice but to share with him. “Sit down, I’ve got something to tell you.”

Clinton did as he was told, worried again by the look on his wife’s face. She was nervous and that made Clinton nervous. “What is it?”

“Well…” Sarah looked at him holding that baby. Myers was their’s now. They signed tons of papers, and he even had their last name. Sarah took a deep breath and told him, hoping that the coast was finally clear. “I’m pregnant.”

Clinton’s jaw dropped and his eyes grew wide. Pregnant? His wife, the infertile woman? Sarah was pregnant? He looked down in his arms and wondered why he was holding another man’s child if his own child was baking in the oven… “You’re what?”

“I didn’t want to tell you until I knew we could keep Myers…” Sarah felt guilty for hiding it, but knew that she was doing the right thing. She found out she was pregnant the night they went to Delia’s in Old Town. She knew that hiding it was her only chance at having more than one child. She knew there was a baby out there for her to adopt, one that was meant to be a part of their family. She took special care to hide any signs of pregnancy, but with her stomach finally growing round, she had no choice but to tell him. “I hope you aren’t mad…”

“I’m just shocked.” Clinton handed the baby back to her and paced back and forth. “You knew I wouldn’t adopt if I knew you were pregnant.”

“Right.” Sarah confessed, realizing how underhanded it looked.

“So you tricked me into adopting him?” Clinton felt heat rising in his face. He couldn’t celebrate the fact that his wife was pregnant, even after years of trying. It wasn’t a victory, it was a trick! He couldn’t believe it.

“Please don’t be mad.”

“I am mad and I have every right to be. I’ll be back later, maybe.” Clinton headed straight back through the door he had just entered. He was furious! Their perfect little family was a sham. Why would they adopt if they could have their own damn baby? Clinton was madder at Sarah than he had ever been before.

Sarah sat holding both of her babies-- one in her arms, and one in her womb. No matter what Clinton thought or felt right now, she knew she had done the right thing. They would be okay. He would come home and forgive her. She could take his mean words and anger because she had Myers. The most perfect baby boy that had ever been born. Myers needed a Mama, and if she had told Clinton about her pregnancy any sooner, he could have ended up in an orphanage without one. She could take Clinton’s wrath. Myers was worth it!

Myers opened his eyes and studied his Mama’s face. He seemed so alert for a newborn. She gazed down at him and smiled. She couldn’t ask for anything more than what life had handed her. Even with a husband out driving around mad, she was the happiest woman in the world. Sarah Malone was finally complete. “I love you, Myers.”

Myers yawned, special baby code for “I love you, too.”


“Whoomp there it is” began to play, alerting me to a phone call. It was UMFS. Hattie North, a harsh voice and probably a beautiful face and body, was calling to inform me of the information that my inquiry had unearthed. She had a name, but wanted to meet me in person to discuss the details. A name? Just one name? Apparently my biological mother was single.

Part of me are excited about the prospect of finding her, but other parts of me wish that I could just leave well enough alone. My Mom will be heartbroken if she ever finds out that I sought out this information without telling her. God, I could be royally effing up this time.

I set up an appointment to meet with Hattie tomorrow. I’ll have to skip work again, but as far as they are concerned I still have the flu, so it’s no big deal. I guess I can test my theory about female phone voices while I'm at it. If Hattie is drop dead gorgeous, I’ll know that I am right. And if I glance into a cubicle and see a chubby midget with a mustache, I’ll assume her name is Brooke and that her voice is divine. I digress, the most important thing I will learn tomorrow will be my real mother’s name. No, I take that back. Sarah is my real mother. Tomorrow I learn the “mother-who-didn’t-want-me’s” name.

What is the next step? What do I do with her name? I don’t know if I want to meet her. Maybe I can find her and watch her from afar. I guess most people who start this process have a whole plan laid out, but I really don’t. Tomorrow, when I learn her name, I may just write it down and stick it in my pocket. I might call 4-1-1 and give her a call. I might even go online and see if she has a police record. Hell, I have no idea what I’ll do, but I do know that I am one step closer to the undecided, unplanned, unorthodox peace that I seek.

I remember sitting on the sidewalk in front of our house when I was a teenager. I stared for hours at this funny little brick house on the corner. I imagined my biological parents living there... It was tacky and ridiculous. No matter how insignificant the holiday, the house was decked out in celebration of it. The bushes were always covered with plastic decorations, the rocking chairs adorned with festive banners, flags flying high with Christmas trees, hearts, four leaf clovers, Easter eggs, Martin Luther King Jr’s face, whatever the season called for on them. I figured that anyone who put so much effort into their yard and front porch would really put a lot of effort into their kid. I don’t know why I needed new parents, mine were just fine, but I felt abandoned. God, I felt so alone. I still do. My Mom, Sarah, calls me every single day. She loves me so much, but for some reason I can’t forget about the ones who didn’t want me. The ones who didn’t want me screwed me up enough to make me think no one does.

So, you know that little story you have? The one about your parents joining the mile high club and getting pregnant with you in the process? After tomorrow I’ll be one step closer to knowing mine. Maybe once I know where and why the egg was fertilized, I’ll be able to accept the freaking amazing life that I can’t seem to enjoy because of my missing day. God, I hope finding that day can help me forget this nonsense. If I could I’d kick my own ass, I would. I guess in a way I am by blocking out the ones that DID want me and chasing the ones who DIDN’T. I am one screwed up guy. Don't you agree?



Fawne never got around to calling the adoption agency. The absent minded seventeen year old in her almost forgot that she was pregnant in the first place until the baby kicked and brought her back to reality. She hadn’t seen John in several months, but still found herself sitting in their corner of his favorite bar in D.C. Maybe he died, she almost hoped he had. That would explain why he didn’t want his own baby. That would explain why he didn't want her.

Fawne’s grandparents urged her to stop heading into the city so often, but she kept drifting back to the same barstool, picking at the same tattered leather hole, waiting on the man who would never come. Their trailer park, Fernwood Park, was only a thirty minute drive from The White House, and sometimes Fawne would go stand in front of it. She found herself hoping for a glimpse of the president himself. It was an election year and Ronald Regan was running again. Maybe one day he would see her out there and would invite her inside for tea, or whatever presidents liked to drink. Maybe she would mention John... He was a fancy lawyer in D.C. and she was sure that Regan had heard of him.

“Last call!” the bartender yelled, Fawne had never stayed so late. She realized that her grandparents were probably worried sick! Rushing out onto the empty sidewalk, Fawne felt an awful tinge of pain in her stomach. She knew that she was nearly nine months pregnant, but hadn’t given labor much thought. None of this was real to her yet.

“You okay little lady?”

“I don’t know.” Fawne looked up at Judy, the waitress who was leaning over her.

“You’re going to have that baby?”

“I guess so.” Fawne clutched her stomach and made a face as another contraction took control of her body. “God.”

“Let me help you up.” Judy held out her hands and pulled the teenager off of the wet concrete. “Your water break or is that a mud puddle?”

Fawne reached down and felt her leggings, they were thoroughly soaked. Before she knew what was going on, Fawne was in the backseat of Bones, the bartenders’ Mustang. The top was down and when Judy told him to put it up, he said it was stuck down and had been for years. That was why he took the bus when it rained. The wind rippled through her permed hair as the pain ripped through insides. Fawne didn’t expect labor to hurt so bad.

“Fuck!” Fawne yelled, clinching her teeth.

“Don’t cuss! There are enough words in the English language that mean the exact same thing!” Judy warned, she didn’t care how much pain Fawne was in. She was the one who had gotten herself into this mess anyway. “It took me hearing my five year old say shit to stop, you start good habits now!”

“Ffffff-- fooey!” Fawne did as she was told and intercepted the obscenity before offending Judy again. She had never experienced such pain in her life. She knew for a fact that she was going to die.

“Breathe.” Judy blew in her face forcing her to gasp in air. “You can do this.”

“I can’t!” Fawne screamed at the top of her lungs.

“You have no choice.” The loose skin on Judy’s jaw rippled in the wind, reminding Fawne of a bulldog riding with its head out the window. “Bones! Where the hell are we heading?”

“Inova!” Bones informed. “Best hospital around if you ask me. Not too much further now.”

“That’s in Alexandria!” They were on the Capitol Beltway already. “George Washington Hospital was three blocks from the bar!”

“Inova is the best. That is where all eight of my babies were born!” Bones had his mind made up.

“Eight babies?” Judy asked, interrupted by another scream. “Shhh calm down. It won’t be long now.”

“I don’t care where we go, just get this thing out of me!” Fawne screamed. “God dam--- God dams rivers!”

“Cuss if you need to, you can start working on stopping tomorrow.” Bones reached back and patted the little teenager on the leg. His big tattoed arm yielded a surprisingly gentle and calming touch. “Judy leave her alone about the damn cussing.”

“Go ahead and cuss.” Judy nodded, agreeing to leave her alone. She could start good habits tomorrow.

“Shit!” Fawne screamed in pain. “This hurts.”

“Yeah it hurts, but you’re going to have a sweet baby out it.” Judy thought back to labor pains and was glad she wasn’t in Fawne’s shoes.

“I don’t want a baby!” Fawne cried, drawing out the word “baby“ for a good thirty seconds. Fawne realized for the first time during the twenty minute drive that these pains would lead to a baby that she had no idea how to raise. She was only seventeen! She wasn’t ready to have a baby! What was she going to do?

“Almost there!” Bones saw the bright lights of the hospital up ahead and breathed a sigh of relief. This was his ninth drive to Inova Alexandria Hospital, and he hoped it was his last.

“We made it!” Judy announced, her mouth dry from the wind. “You can do this!”


Fawne walked back into her grandparents’ living room the next afternoon, sat down on the couch, and turned on the TV. “Where have you been young lady?” Poppy asked, he was sitting at the kitchen table eating.

“Nowhere, I tried to call but it was busy.” Fawne patted her foot and bopped her head to Madonna’s new song “Lucky Star."  She picked right back up with her life as if she hadn’t just pushed out a nine pound human. She didn’t even walk funny.

“I finished your jeans.” her grandma came out and handed her a pair of jeans with an elastic pouch on the front. “I know it’s a little late, but you got another month or so left right?” She looked down at Fawne’s belly and did a double take. “Fawne?”

“What? I had the baby last night.” Fawne looked up at the woman who had raised her for the last ten years.

“You what?”

“I had him, Granny,” she didn’t see what the big deal was. “He was cute enough.”

“Where is he now?” Poppy was standing above her too now.

“With his new parents I guess.” Fawne signed all of her rights away. Her grandma sat beside her and cried. Fawne wondered what they had expected her to do? They were too old to raise another baby.

“Get out!” Poppy pointed toward the door, his lip quivering. “Get out of my house.”

“Don’t, don’t do this!” her grandma begged.

“Get out! I’m not saying it again.”

“I don’t understand.” Fawne stood up and looked back at her grandma, pleading with her eyes, but there was nothing either of them could do. As Fawne gathered her things, she heard them arguing a little, but for the most part her grandma stayed out of Poppy’s way. She wondered if that was why her own Mama had left? Maybe he kicked her out too.

“Bye, Granny.” Fawne waved, hoisting her overflowing book bag over her shoulder. She had no idea where she would go. Poppy ignored her, his face as hard as a rock. She wasn’t exactly sure what he was so mad about, but figured it must be because she let the baby go. Had they expected her to keep it? God, she was only seventeen.

Fawne’s baby didn’t look like she expected. He was bright red, had a big round head, little scrawny legs, and didn’t even open his eyes. She didn’t give putting him up for adoption a second thought. There would be a family somewhere that thought he was cute, and now she was rid of John’s influence on her life forever. Maybe now she could forget about him.

“Back so soon?” Judy asked, sitting down at the table across from Fawne. She couldn't believe Fawne was back at the bar so soon after becoming a new mother! “How’s that precious baby? Where is he?”

“I don’t have a baby. Let’s not talk about it.” Fawne was depressed about being kicked out and wished she was old enough to drink.

“Fawne, what are you saying?” Judy looked at the scrawny teenager who only had a tiny hint of a belly left. When they left the hospital the night before she was still pushing.

“I gave him up, Judy. God, why does everybody care so much?” Fawne opened her book bag and found a crumpled pack of cigarettes that she had swiped from her grandma. She could smoke now that she wasn’t pregnant. “Tell Bones to leave me alone about it too.”

“Alright, sweetie. But you should rest up. Why don’t you head home?” Judy didn’t want to stay on her case about something that was irreversible.

“I don’t have a home.” Fawne took a long drag from her Virginia Slim.

“You don’t?” Judy was getting more and more worried by the second. “What about your grand folks?”

“Dead to me.” Fawne wasn’t going to look back. She had no choice but to look forward now. Time to forget the baby, forget John, and forget Granny and Poppy. The only person that she was going to focus on now was Fawne.