when i found out you were going to be a father, everything inside me went flat and grey and i spent the next five minutes remembering how to breathe. it shouldn't have surprised me, but i guess something in me just hoped that no one would ever choose to procreate with you. lord knows i wouldn't even trust you with a cat.
when i found out you were going to be a father, some dark heavy seed plunked into my chest and sank straight to the bottom. i saw the announcement and immediately i could taste in the back of my throat the way you called me baby, acidic and cloying and sticky. it burned hot and sharp through my lungs like every word of every promise i remember you forgetting. the news hit me with a power you yourself have not had in years.
you are going to be a father, and since the moment i found out, i have been whispering desperate prayers to the universe that you never have a little girl. i think about your greedy hands brushing curls from some soft little angel face, and i feel sick. i think about you picking up her pretty little-girl things, little socks and bows and shoes and toys, and it takes everything in me just to sit here and breathe. will you sing her the songs i used to sing you in my own pretty little-girl voice? will you hear me in her cheeky turns of phrase or when she cries into her pillow late at night when she thinks you're asleep? what if she's precocious, like me? what if her prepubescent body starts to carve itself into the shape of a woman's? will it be easier to remember that a child is still a child when you watched her grow yourself? if she picks out tight shirts and short skirts and paints her eyes dark and her lips red, and she walks and talks and moves like a woman, will you remember that she is not? maybe if she is your daughter, it will be different, but then again i think being your anything can never be anything but trouble for a little girl. i should know.
i hope more than anything that you never have a daughter, because i know if you do, i will never stop wondering. i know that the questions will keep me awake at night for the rest of my life. i will will never stop worrying that it is at least a little bit my fault.
when i found out you were going to be a father, i remembered everything.