He came into the world meekly. He kept his eyes closed for a long time, listening to the voices around him. Then in the midst of the activity, he heard a voice he had heard many times before in the nine months he had developed in her womb. “Let me see him,” that voice said. He opened his eyes for the first time. He was passed to a young woman. He looked up into her brown eyes and saw a horrified expression on her face.
“Oh Gawd,” she screamed thrusting the baby back at them, “He look jus’ like him. Take him away, take him, take him!”
He would have fallen to the floor if Staff Nurse Richardson had not moved quickly to catch him. As he was moved away, he could see his mother thrashing hysterically while the nurses tried to calm her down.
Tasha knew that it wasn’t the baby’s fault. He could not be blamed for his father’s actions.
His father was Uncle Chris; trusted Uncle Chris, her mother’s boyfriend. Tasha had thought that Uncle Chris was for real; finally her mother had found a man who would take care of them all. He had seemed to genuinely like her. Then, when she turned 15, he started making his way into her bed at night. She tried to tell her mother but her mother didn’t want to destroy the fantasy and so, she chose not to believe Tasha.
Tasha started using other tactics, staying out of the house as much as possible, locking her door when she was at home and being very rude to him, hoping he would begin to hate her. The last time he came to her, she had bitten his ear, but to no avail. He held her down and pumped his seed into her.
When she found herself pregnant, she told her story to her mother again. He convinced her mother that she was a worthless tramp who had been sleeping around. Her mother had chosen her boy friend over her daughter and put her out of the house.
Nurse Richardson, shook her head sadly. “Poor creature,” she thought. A baby, innocent of, yet burdened by all of the drama that had led to his arrival in the world. She cradled him in her arms, making soft noises and whispering “hush, dou dou, hush,” as she took him away. As always she avoided the baby’s eyes.
“Another lost child,” she thought to herself. “I’m getting too old for this. This new generation of children having children they can’t care for; or rather, these men having sex with children and thinking it somehow makes them large. When will they see that a real man is like my Sam, at home every night looking after his family’s needs, financially and emotionally.”
She clicked her tongue and the baby made a strange gurgling sound. Alarmed and concerned, she broke her cardinal rule and looked down. The baby stared solemnly into her eyes. She stared back at him and was startled to see a reflection in his eyes, not of herself, but of the baby himself. The reflection shifted shape from the baby to a confused adolescent then to a man with a hard expression in his eyes and a gun in his hands.
She gasped. Tears came to her eyes and when she wiped them away and looked again, she saw her own reflection in the baby’s eyes. The baby moved his arm and it brushed against her breast near her heart. It was more than she could handle. She hugged him close and whispered. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you, I’ll take care of you.”
Then she said out loud, “We’re not losing this one.”