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Theresa M Rose Nov 2018
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-poetry-of-mark-anthonys-phoenix-and-short-stories-theresa-ros­e/1129796514?ean=9781984563019&fbclid=IwAR1KPV8FlNKSzblb8RbgCwkqBSlOLvs4UybdsU2isMUPkH3FZy-SX9rU­H_M

I am happy today; if feels weird?!
Publishing a book is like
the first week after given birth to a baby?!  
There is joy beyond...
But, there is also a sadness you hadn't thought would be there...

Remembering back
It, it is a good sadness
The joy complete; leaves an emptiness?

Enjoy this new time?!

Now, is time for the second born to begin

Now, is time
...  this first born to be.

I hope all my fellow writers have the chance to feel this feeling.
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
Chapter five


November 18th. 1987



As part of my recovery therapy; I’m being urged to get my GED.  So on Wednesdays I’d come here to the Long Island Consultation; it feels funny coming here and being with a whole bunch of kids who are here to get help with their homework. Months of working on re-learning working through this GED-Prep Assessments and Practice-Test Textbook and with months of so much of going to my groups and individual appointments trying to gain back some sense of stability… working on much of what’s been; and trying to provide a decent life for Joe and Annamarie?! I had full hands; I worked when I was up to it and I’d try to find a place beyond this emptiness which is my life, now.
Finally in November of 87’, I go down to take the test. But, when I get there I’m told I wasn’t allowed to take the test!? They told me that the Birth-Certificate I have is invalid; they tell me, “The child of this certificate was never given a name; There’s no way to verify just who this Certificate belongs?!”
Stunned, I go into the city to 125 Worth Street to order a new copy of my birth certificate which I was sure would be fine and would have my name in the front;  the one I have did have a stamp on the back from the board of health in Jamaica with my name handwritten on it?! I had the number from off of my original and the person at the counter hands me my new certificate; I look down onto the paper and there in bold print is my real first name…, Female; my name is Female Rose, my date of birth is correct??? And, my parent’s names are where parent’s names belong??? But me…; how appropriate I never felt much more than… and here’s proof!? I am nothing more other than female.  I was told if I would like I’d need to get a hold of the vault-copy to add a name to it or be Female Rose for the rest of my life?!  It took several trips but January 14th. I had a name on a certificate and made a new appointment for the test and I received my GED in the mail six months later.





May 3rd.1988
    
Entering home; I run straight to my room! … Quickly, put the latch down; I need to hurry… opening the both draws of the captains’ beds. A knife comes through and unhitches the latch and as it does an arm pops through and comes around the door; her hand comes towards me as it pinchesinto my skin the knife falls and she pulls her arm back out and she’s bangs herself upon the door crying?!   I’m safe of her… banging, pushing; if she makes it in… If she gets the door open far enough I will be dead.  
It’s been months since I have had any real sense of safety around her…; she seems always ready to pounce; but, I still have no doubt that little Joe is safe around her; but, this is about to change.
I begin finding letters around the house; these are letters to Joe?! They’re letters of apologies to him; telling him reasons in why she had to **** his mother…  For her, I care to believe, she was unaware she was even doing this…  About why … she perceives me to be… she transfers her thoughts and feeling about her mother onto me?! Her purpose, her reasons… all these desires in having this want to see me gone?   I don’t really understand, nor does it matter …; it matters not, if there’s a danger to the child?!  And, now, there is reason to worry?!
We were waiting for Joe to come home from school.  Annamarie and I were doing the wash and arguing; about something I don’t remember what… but, I must have said something???  Because, suddenly she snaps?!  She begins beating on me?! She’s yelling and biting… She’s calling me Elaine, Mommy and this time she wouldn’t snap out of it?!  She wasn’t going to stop…unless I’m dead on the floor; this time it wasn’t going to end?!  I called Steven; Steven would hang-out with me so he could be close to Annamarie, I call him to get his help; I need help get her to calm-down before Joe comes home and see her this way?!  
Steve arrives but it’s simultaneously with my Joe arriving home and when they both got to my bedroom door… she on top of me on my bed with a knife pressing down hard against my throat, just a split-second more, there would have been a slit and puddle… and it would have been my last breath in this life?!  Joey, yells, Theresa!!!  Dear God in heaven, it snaps her back… Joe’s voice reaches her; the knife falls to the side of my neck it lands beside me on the bed and she runs out and runs into Joe’s room crying. My Joe clutches a hold onto me and I try to tell Joe everything’s alright and…  Steve begins yelling at me “Whatever this is happening here; what ever made her act this way… It has to be something you did?! “

I brought the letters to the courthouse;
After that day I had to go to the court and get an order of protection; I told Annamarie there is no way life can continue this way and we could no-longer live under the same roof anymore?!  Telling her,” You could have the choice of staying here in this house and I’d move out … You could find a new place and I’ll compensate your rent; and, there’s no problems, no worries, you won’t lose time with Joe. But, this life the way it is must change?!  I will pay your rent and you can have Joe here while I’m not home all of this is just about you and I not being able to stay in the same home together.
At first she says she would like to find a place of her own… I was rather proud of her doing this on her own; weeks pass and then she tells me she hadn’t looked and I could leave instead?! I told her, “No; we already told Joe he would keep his room and he wasn’t going to have to move to a new place?! I won’t be the one moving! You had the choice now that’s it you go!  


I sent Joe out to a camp for four weeks through The Fresh Air Fund.  My sister moves her stuff out taking all but Joe’s bedroom set and half of his toys other than these things it was an empty apt. Oh yeah, she does leave a bed for me; it’s an old GI.Special military cot…I never saw it before but there it is in the kitchen broken?!  And she left this old television-set which I thought she had thrown away months ago when I gave her a new one, it must have been in her hoard down in the basement. Not one thing was left in the basement?  I hope she found a good place; I can’t see any place could afford on her own where she’ll be fitting the amount of stuff she had pulled out of here?! She refused my help telling me I threw her out for no reason… She says we had no fight the way I said and the only thing that’s happening is I’m throwing her out like garbage???
She doesn’t remember?        
She wouldn’t allow me to know just where it was she lived; so I didn’t let Joe stay with her at first. I thought she lived somewhere on her own; come to find that she moved in with this man which later on she’ll end up marrying. Once I met him… and only when he would come and promise Joe’s return did I give Joe the ok to spend the weekend with her… it was hard.
And once this arrangement began working Annamarie would say I watch Joe while you work… I told her I’d give her half my pay and you could be here or home with Joe whenever I needed to go to work!  Low and behold whenever I had work she wasn’t anywhere to be found!? I’d call her, get no answer?! She forgot and/or wasn’t home, you asked me to watch him? Or, she’d come to the house three hours late and tell me ok go to work now I’m here???
.
I began asking Anne Copland to watch Joe once in a while; I worked seldom. When, I tried to get anyone for babysitting in short order became a one hundred and twenty-five dollar job for one night’s work from 7pm to 7am. a job that nobody wants to take… no reason given just can’t do this for you anymore???   Only one who never stopped this was Ann Copland right next door… but I couldn’t depend on her alone; it wouldn’t be fair to do… she loves Joe but for the most part she’s up there in age and it is hard for her to keep up with a child for long time work? Besides she wouldn’t take the money, and, I need someone that I could call in a moment’s notice. Ann was there when she could… but there are times when she wasn’t up to doing it?!  
It was really hard but we Joe and I made things work; and, we had made our home cozy once more. We brought in furniture and Painted and he was happy to have his mother around. In the springtime Joe had made a backyard garden; he planted so many things herbs, vegetables’ and he even had a long planter growing tall corn! Never got one niblet but Joe truly enjoys gardening! We got a cat… her name’s Crescent, Joe likes cats he is only so good around dogs though he doesn’t dislike them.
My mother comes to town; she and Eddie were over… that cat burrowed a hole beneath the couch into its springs and hid from my mother… never seen Crescent act this way before or since?!
My mother was not impressed with the color my son choose for the walls in my dining-room; it’s the loudest tone of orange one could imagine being able to be created and placed on a wall! And, with the big round white table and the bright red and white chairs and with the artwork that was on the walls?! Let us just say my mother could not eat a thing in that room without needing to toss her cookies; Eddie smirked, when he entered the room, saying, “This would wake a person up!” My mother seemed very surprised by the fact that my house is so well furnished!? She did just come from Annamarie’s and it hadn’t been all that long since she moved out of here… my mother perhaps thought I’d be sitting in the middle of the floor??? And be without food or a dish or a place to eat??? My sister did take everything; but…
At least Eddie says, “The place looks nice!”
I never seen a woman so disappointed?! I rather think she’d been way happier if she found the house empty of anything good and the two of us living in squalor?!  Do not get this wrong, not for nothing, but I think she was hoping to have me and my son crying out and needing her help. No mother wants to feel completely unneeded!    
Though, I must say, after about two hours my sister and her boyfriend drops-in to bring my mom and Eddie to my Aunt Barbra’s house and Annamarie’s face said it all…; she hadn’t seen the house in a while and she wouldn’t or couldn’t say a word!

I do not know what Annamarie told her mother about why she had moved out?! Of that, it doesn’t matter to me; I only hope life becomes better from here.




March 13th.1989


Well, this is her father, he dies; Annamarie and John, my brother, go to Florida!? My mother calls and offers to pay my way if I want to go with Joe down there… I told her, “He’s not my problem??? I have no wish to go there!”
“Risa; you shouldn’t be like that maybe Joe would want to say goodbye?”  
I thought,’ I’m sure he would have four years ago when it was instead of “See you in the morning, monkey!”??? Now, what? We should spend money to go plant the man???’; “No thank you mom Joe has school; which is too important! Besides that… like I just finished saying, he’s not my problem!”
“You know he’s your father; you may regret not going some day?!”
“I very-much-doubt-it!”  I look to the phone as if it just turned into a turnip???” Mom, keep your money; it’s not happening!”
“But…”
“Mom… We both know better?! I do thank you but no; Not going!”

When John and Annamarie returned to New York she was cruising off the deep-end??? She kept seeing him floating around calling to her to go with him; if we weren’t watching her she probably would have walked off the earth; poor girl’s hallucinating…  
“Daddy’s floating over there; don’t you see him? He has no eyes!  He needs me to help him to get around!”
His eyes were given to the eye-bank?! And, this little churp-bird is…
“Annamarie; He doesn’t need your help; his being he is so you can know he doesn’t need you? He can see even without eyes now!”
“No, He needs me!?”
“Annamarie, how did Daddy get, all the way, up here from Florida?  How could he without his eyes if he needed them to see? ”
It took her awhile before she stops acting so lost; there were a few times when Joe was out with her when the poor kid had to help the two of them find their way home; Joe wouldn’t go out with her alone again for a very long time. Joe would always ask her if his Uncle Al was going to be with them. Poor kid has aspersers’ and he has to watch-out for his Aunt?!
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
chapter four;



April 24th. 1985
4:20am.
I climb out of the cab too tired to get home another way. As I enter the house after doing a double shift at the Pink Poodle; the sound of the hall was this chilling hush. Not quite as-if it’s that silence of when everybody’s asleep… but this feeling which comes back washing over me ‘Did they move without me again? Did they move to another apartment without telling me?’ It wouldn’t be for the first time; I’ve come before to the place which was called home only to find the two of them have had taken my baby and lock, stock, and barrel moved into a new home without warning me first; or, in fact, telling me anything at all… but I thought, no: he wouldn’t do that again, not now, not knowing I’m due for a cancer- surgery on the first Wednesday of June???  I’ve been giving, him , Dad extra money for all the expenses will need so I could take off the eight to twelve weeks from working the doctor said I would need for a good recovery.
I reach the door; the basement door is open but there’s no light on down there??? I had to unlock the door; this is weird it not often this lock’s on?! As the door slowly squeaks open there are lights on; I see furniture!? My Annamarie isn’t running around in the middle of the night with the nightlights on as she normally would be… the lights were on as if it was suppertime? I peek in to see if she was asleep inside with my son; my little boy was there; the prince of the manor on his full-sized bed; I close his door and as I did I turn and look towards the kitchen the only room having just the nightlight on and I could see his, Dad, door is particularly open and the big light is on… he’d never use the big lights???  He’d only have on his lamp next to his bed?! As I got closer I hear Annamarie making this mournful cry; I get to the door and there in the middle of, his room, his now empty room; my sister is on her hands and knees sweeping up Nothing of his remains; not a thing left behind of where he use to be... “Annamarie, where’s Dad?”
A gasping moan, “Daddy’s gone; Daddy’s gone.” Annamarie takes a wet cloth and begins gathering in the smallest of particles??? Repeating over and over “Daddy’s gone?!”
  I walk to our bathroom and open the door; it’s empty, it’s not in here?!  I went back into his room “Anna?!” In a harsh stern tone, “Where is your father? “Daddy’s gone; He’s gone.”
I recall in the hall how the basement door was open and dark;” Crap???”
I went out into the hall; standing top of the stairs. I look into its darkness; my mind reels and it, now, sets to motion of the reasons of why I’m here looking down?! Conjuring up images of could haves…
‘Found in bed?! No; he’d still be here in his room?! She’d never enter there; the room always off limits unless the door is open??? So, no…
He could have been in the bathroom? No, he’d still be sitting there???
Maybe… the two of them fought?! I don’t see anything broken??? Well, won’t know until I go down…
Switching the light on, I look down the steps; storage boxes, plastic wrapped items and all kinds of old furniture jam-packed from floor to ceiling… I get to the bottom where there are pathways throughout narrow paths created-walls built of all her storage?!  She, as a packrat do, packs; I think, one day, someone will be in theses shoes seeking me out; from within a maze like this one and hoping not to find the proverbial cheese… third-way through, it dawns, the thought of down here is a trap??? ‘If they had fought…’ I grab a piece of metal and continue. Looking, fearing now, of what I think and thinking if right I may be a soon to follow. These boxes and stuff are always moving always changing directions I reach the boiler room at the back were plastic containers fresh ones are…  
Sound comes from back along the path?!
“Dad?!  Dad?  … Is that you?”
Silence.
“What’s going on?”, I spoke out sternly!
I hear her… she weeps from somewhere along the path.
“Annamarie!  Where is your father!?”
  A feeling of overwhelming dread! I draw on tone of voice; her mother’s, I bid for a response.
“You tell me, right now where Nelson is?!”  
I move myself nearer towards the stairway “You tell him; I…, want to talk to him!”
     “Ma! He left us?!” She stares at my hand… Theresa,… Daddy’s girlfriend was here… he’s gone???
“Anna lets go upstairs. You can tell me everything upstairs!”  
I have had plenty of down in this pit of the ******; I want out!?
Annamarire starts cleaning and I follow her around; she tells me of how Joanie, his old girlfriend has been back in contact with him; apparently the two of them made their plans to move down to Florida together?! He decided since his plans did not include us our knowing was way-more than unimportant?! Long after the sun’s been up she hands me a kitchen-tall garbage-bag?!  She says tearfully,” Daddy told me to give this to you?!”  
Inside, were all the papers which pertain to the house, bills, records and one big manila envelope??? And behold it’s completely empty; it was the envelope I’ve been filling up for the last eight months; it’s all of money which he was holding for us, in his room that was there to make sure none of us would be having a need for anything after my surgery.?! That envelope would mean we’d have all we need ‘til I was ready to go back to work.  
Not a goodbye, not a sorry but I need this money more than you or even I deserve this money more than you; not a single thing?!
Well, maybe that’s what leaving the empty envelope is about?!
He hadn’t even say goodbye to Little Joey? To him, he says, “See you in the morning, Monkey!”  Not  
Just a here’s a bag full of how much all of you are worth to me?!
And, a simple, “Here give this to your sister!”
It is undoubtedly his idea of a perfect plan???
  Then, as I search further through all the stuff… all the bills show he stopped making any payments on them months ago?! Nothing but a handful of final notices and he’s gone?!
Tears in his daughter eyes and a grandchild both which he showered with affection? He left them without a care?
A “See you in the morning!”
No justification …, No reason of why, ever?!  
   Only one good thing comes about from his leaving; Joe begins coming inside the house. A good thing…? He has known of… but not about my family; how is this going to be? His Norman Rockwell, My Picasso may shatter the glass doorway to our wonderland relationship?  Joe is about to learn more than I would ever wish; much more than I believe in his abilities to handle knowing?!
Joe considers my father absolutely vile for leaving in the way he had without even a Goodbye and his not paying those months of bills though he knew, full well, about my having surgery and all; Joe is unaware of the true depth my condition; no one other than the old man knew and he only did because the medication I’m taken needs to be kept in his room and he help me during those times I was required to stay in an isolation’s protocol.

After surgery I go right back to work; removal on June 5th. And on June 15th I sporting a scarf hiding my discolored neck with these freshly removed sutures still looking raw; into the club I go and if and when some guy there would ask, “Why the scarf? I laugh saying, “The boss got mad at me! Look at what the hell he did!” After I did that?! He was…  
Joe’s mad about my going off and returning to work too soon; he says I’m setting myself up for a nasty scar infected?!  He doesn’t consider …without a drop of a dime on how I couldn’t allow myself to need him in the way of any kind of finances?! He, I think, believes I don’t trust him to be there for me…I do more than he could ever comprehend; but for me, a sense of freedom in doing on my own stops keeps from feeling trapped?! In my heart I belong to him… to be financially bonded to him in any way would make me bought and sold to him and if…, in doing that my being with him would no longer be “…If you want?”
He was correct!? I have a raging infection in the scar and I now have to have so much medication I’m walking around here beyond loopy! He’s angry at me and he’s not talking to me…
Until I call him on September 10th  
When my sister screws up: While still loopy on too much medication … I ask my sister to go up to the school and get me the paperwork to have Joe enroll into school;… instead of bringing  me home all the forms she fills the papers out on her own?! Yeah, if stupid comes with awards I would without a shadow of a doubt own top honors???


September 10th.1985:

Little Joe is having the worst first school year ever; this coming from one actually kicked out of kindergarten?! That’s a different story; and it was the right thing, for them, to do back then. This is in no way right? What they are doing to my child; a boy who was already able to read and to write and he wrote in both print and script?! I’ll grant you my Joey does have impediments when it come with his interactions with others and he is electively mute; but, this is because since from the time he came back home to me after being kidnapped… we were very overly protective with him?!
This year is his first time being in any kind of school setting!? He has had no idea there were so many others his size in the world And, in three days this school changes his class four times??? You’re saying to me the child, my child, doesn’t have any ability to learn and he should be institutionalized?! And I have every reason to believe they’re going to work hard in taking my child away from me?! What the hell do I do???    
I call Joe; I cry to him on the phone. “I don’t know what to do?”
“What’s wrong?”
“It’s the little guy, its Joey’s school; their saying his not capable of learning, they’re saying I’m a drug addict and they say I don’t want or care about him? Help me???”
“I’ll meet you up at the house; but, I have work so I can’t stay very long!” Joe was there in no time. We take ride, going around the block and we park in the Carvel’s parking lot; I hand over and show him all these papers… and when I say all these papers; I mean a pile the better part of an inch thick?!
It took Joe a good ten moments just to get a handle on what’s what in these… and he starts blowing a conniption!
“This is your sister; your sister says you’re an addict and she’s raising him on her own because you don’t want him?!” he starts calling her every kind of name!?  We sit there and go through all these papers and talk for another forty-five minutes until he has no other choice but to go; he’s running late for work! I am, now, so much calmer and Joe leaves pitching a fit! The next so many weeks of hell with the school-board and, which seem to be endless, search for a right placement for the little guy… Big Joe’s right there the whole time and I know, believe-you-me, I know if Joe wasn’t here at this time… this would’ve destroyed me and l would be somewhere, babbling in a straight-jacket and they would have taken my Joe as well! And, I know my sister would keep her promise she made on May 17th. 1980 when she first moved in... Every last place we look through is a no.
Joe drives us to see two to four schools in a day…trying to find the right placement; and, he did this with my sister sitting there, near enough for him to take a swing at…, she’s right there in the backseat of car??? Joe has, without a shadow of a doubt, the patience of a saint!  I know, I look back and I’m lucky he hadn’t killed us both…me and my sister!  You know there isn’t a judge or jury who wouldn’t come back with a full acquittal for this man.
  Finally, on this day, we’re all going to this place PS23Q Joe gets off the highway, he turns onto Union Turnpike and now he turns left onto Commonwealth Blvd. in Bellerose; I am so nervous! There are two in this car who are perfectly fine with what’s going on but here there are also two others who should have their names’ changed to Brook for all their babbling?!
Annamarie has no wants whatsoever to see this child being anywhere other than at home; all I want is a best outcome?! I want my son to only have the very best; with Big Joe here helping?!  I know, that’s what will happen!
My two Joes’, they walk ahead and go into the building on their own; they’re hand in hand as nice as you please! Watching them with one another… they are so good with each other; they are … But; Joe doesn’t understand… He couldn’t; he has no idea what Annamarie is all about!? He’s unaware of the way she might react… I fear her actions; I fear if this isn’t handled just right she’ll hurt herself or do something way worse??? He doesn’t realize the circumstances for me; I am completely responsible for everything in regards of her. She’s a child, of a fragile state; a child who could, all of a sudden, become highly volatile!? She could never be left to her own devices??? If it’s at all something could be avoided; I wish to avoid Joe ever becoming fully aware of the threat she could pose; if it could ever be possible?!  As long as I can maintain her stability through this and get home. It will be a real feat?!
I get her inside; it’s a hard looking at things…  Joe and I go down the halls looking at everything “Joe will have everything he needs here to help him; this place is the best place we have seen?!” All one would need do is to look and see big Joe’s face and you know there wouldn’t be better; but to Annamarie’s reactions???  She stands there looking into this lovely enclosure… an indoor play-area; and she looks so angry, it seems as-if she believes we’re trying to place the boy into the center of all nine circles hell or something?!   Joe over at the desk talking to the guide sees me just staring at her… he walks to me; and, he angrily says,” Stop looking at her! This place has everything this kid needs; … you know this is what’s best!” He turns to the staff worker, “Go get those the papers ready for her to sign!” Joe knows, he sees it in me, if he was to give me a smidge more time I would have sided with her and I would’ve said no this place wasn’t right, as I had… times before?!      
We return home; “Twenty-three moments by highway; not bad!” This could have never ended so well without him being here; Annamarie enters the house, seething … if looks could… both of them whenever they not eye to eye.
“You make mountains out of molehills!” Joe has said these words to me on more than one occasion; and how, Joe was for little Joe today… Yeah, I will guess he is right?! That is if the mole is larger than the largest Godzilla, with red-hair.
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
chapter three


June 4th. 1980;


The day, it’s the morning of June 4th.  It’s Wednesday; I go up the block to be with Kelli; her friend Lynne is a sleepover guest, this day. I and Lynne have never got along but if I want to be with Kelli than I’ll have to hang with Lynne for the day. We’re watching “The Price is Right” on television and Lynne went inside for a while. After a time she comes in laughing!?
“I was just on the phone with Barbra B. and she’s off and running…  Let’s go down by her house and see what’s there to watch!?”  Kelli and Lynne get into the front-seats of Kelli’s White Buick Electra 225
I was in the backseat; the two of them were laughing up a storm! Kelli drives up Calamus ave. until she nears 74th. Street; this is where Barbra B. lives. Barbra is frilling a most extremely large kitchen-knife; it must be the biggest knife in her house?! Here she comes with her father chasing up behind her?  He’s trying to catch-up and stop this girl from getting to whatever place she is so hard-pressed to get too???
Lynne slaps onto the side of the door, Kelli slows and Lynne rolls down the window then sticks-out half her body; she waves over to Barbra B. and screams, “Hey Barbra, what’s going on?”
Kelli says, “What are you doing?”
“Where’re you going? You need a lift? Come on there’s plenty of room in the back!”  The door-locks pop open… “Come-on we’ll take you where-ever you’re going!”
Barbra heads towards the car; Kelli, grips the wheel, laughing; I know this laugh… Kelli has no idea what’s going on?! Barbra takes hold of the door as her father reaches her; he grabs her arm and pulls her hand away; Barbra’s father yells to Kelli, “Get out of here; Leave!”
Kelli steps on the gas and drives off!
Heart’s racing… ‘Holy crap, that crazy ***** had her hand on the door? She was about to be inside this car, she had a knife; she, she, she be sitting next to me?! What the hell just happened???’
Kelli drives back towards the house; the two of them seating in the front seat… laughing?! Not the same laugh but…, laughing! Lynne’s, an all too familiar sort; it’s a kind I heard in the silent-times unspoken about; a delight to a well done of what just happened.
Kelli’s, her laugh is also all too familiar, hers, is the kind that reassures. It’s the kind I’d feel deep inside me at three in the morning while swinging, inside Little Bush Park, on those swings beneath moonlight knowing, oddly enough, I’m safer there at that moment than I’d be anywhere-else.
Kelli parks up on the corner, on the side of Tootie’s house; she runs across to store for soda, cigarettes and stuff then we went upstairs.
“What the hell was that…?” Kelli says, laughing, while she slaps the bag onto the table; bag brakes open and as liverwurst, cheese, bottle of soda and the cigarettes flies off to all parts of the kitchen!? “What did you do? That was f----- up!?” Kelli starts to fix us lunch as Lynne tells us about what she was doing in the kitchen while we were watching The Price Is Right.                    
  
Lynne calls up Barbra’s ***-lover and tells her she’s Barbra’s (formerly) ex-girlfriend and that she’s calling to let her know Barbra and she are back together so she’ll no longer be needed or wanted in their lives!  
Afterwards, Lynne calls Barbra’s saying to Barbra, she’s Barbra’s ex-girlfriend’s newest lover and she’s calling to inform her,Barbra, that Barbra’s ex and this girl’s new lover are bopping the sheets with each-other and the two of them are being played as fools; as one could imagine and as we saw for ourselves, Barbra went into a high-speed tailspin. Barbra snaps?!  And now she is out there trying to go end these two women in a pool of their own blood!?  
Unbelievably, Lynne still thinks what she made happen is a big fat hoot???
Kelli, “What the hell were you thinking???”
Lynne looks at Kelli, and with this snide tone and smirk on her face she says,” What… I was bored! Did you see Barb’s father’s face?” laughter erupting from her as she turns to get her stuff out of Kelli’s bedroom; “Hey it was fun!”
Kelli,” Oh brother; you’re…? Hey, get ready and I’ll drive you… home.”
Kelli looks at me and we both put hands up with baffled looks?!          
It’s just around 3 pm. as Kelli rolls up to Lynne’s to drop her off. She asks Kelli to drop her down at the bar she hangs-at so she could find-out what’s been going on there.
Kelli did and on the way back she stops by Julia’s, her mom’s, work; Julia gives us a list and we go over to key-food to shop.
While we’re shopping Kelli keeps, “I can’t get over what we saw???”
I kept thinking how did Lynne know so much of Barbra’s love-life??? She knew names, places and everything she’d need to get that girl Barbra to to such a point and state?’ I think Kelli and I were both shaking from this for the rest of the day.
  Kelli drops me off, goes parks and goes into house.
I remember this date so well because later that night at around 2:30 in the morning I was at my father’s door knocking?!

” Dad? Dad? Dad; you need to get… You have to get-up!?”
My water broke??? My due date’s not ‘til September 18th. I first thought, ‘Oh no not again?! This can’t happening; … not again?! But, there was no pain, no blood, and no sense of dread like the other times?
I went into my room and grab onto my bag and what-ever-else I thought to take; I figured, by this time my dad would be ready to bring me up to the Boulevard and we’ll cab it to St. John’s. He wasn’t in the middle-room; he wasn’t in the kitchen I knocked on the bathroom door and… He’s not in there? Maybe he went up to call a cab to pick me up at the door?? I’d think he would… He’d have said something…,  like when you have what you need I’ll be downstairs I’m going up to get a cab??? The hall-door’s closed?!’
“Holy crap?!”
No, no, no, I go back to my Dad’s bedroom door and knock. “Dad…? “
“What?” My eyes nearly pop out of my head!
I try to open the door but as usual the lock is on? “Dad?! My water broke???” As one could imagine my voice is no-longer an indoor voice?!  “Never mind broke it’s like the dam broke here and there’s water everywhere out here! Come on you have to get up… you need to take me to St. John’s?!”  
Pin-drop silence…?
“Dad?”
This low soft moaning whimper comes from behind that locked door, “Can it wait until the morning?”
  ??? Bang! Needless to say dad needs a new door-lock.
“Nelson…; Get up!”
“Ok.” Slowly he gets to his feet. “I don’t know why…, now? Why can’t you wait ‘til morning?”
“No, now.” In my head,’ Maintain: Four six-packs… I’m lucky I’m going alone?!’
“I need coffee? What the hell is all this water on the floor?”  
   “Dad? Dad; … that would be me?! It’s why you’re up?  We need to go… St. John’s?! Let’s go!”
Ever notice how when you need… there’s never one to be found??? Phone-booth! Lindy’s cab come and picks us up; not one yellow-cab? We get there and they check me out.
The doctor, “You have had what’s called a premature rupture of membranes; you’re being admitted so you can continue to be monitored. Your baby’s vitals but…; we want you to understand the baby’s condition is at high-risk it’s holding its own.”
“Doctor…?” My eyes begin to whelm-up…
“Miss Rose…” The doctor places his hand on my arm, “You need to remain claim; I have the nurse come give you something and I’ll come check on you when they put you in a room; for now remember the vitals are good.”
“Thank you.”
“Ok; your father’s outside, I have him brought in to you.”  
I told him I’d have to stay and he should go home.
“You have money for a cab?”
“My bag is under there, Dad.”
You know, it’s strange; he has no problem asking me to give him money so he could get home!? He doesn’t know where I get money… But, he couldn’t care less?! And, I doubt very much even if he knew it would bother him; hem, he’s lived off her all these years…, knowing that I’ve been signing Elaine’s name and cashing her checks from the checkbook I took and packed in my bag the day I left that place in Brooklyn would faze him?! Well maybe if he was aware I only cashing $50. to $100. At a time out of an account which has $33,000. In it would?! I stopped writing checks after I bought everything I needed for a baby until a baby is one month old; after $1700. I didn’t take anymore. Till the day my mother died neither she or I ever said a word about that checkbook. And, I know she knew… every time a check was cashed.  When I cashed them at Manufacture Handovers Bank would confirm with a call before any check cashing; they did it since my brother, Kevin, cashed out a $12,000 check and left town! A signature that was in no way like my mother’s! The bank made a deal to replace half?! I’m sure she could have had ever last penny back but the bank would have had police-case opened and a warrant out for Kevin and she never did turned her back on that boy?! That check wasn’t even, close-to, the worst thing that boy had done. The day he died I smiled, enough said.  Well, I think she thought I would have felt bad and come home and I’d do what she wanted me to do that day.

The sun’s coming up… They just put me here in this room, room 410; I hear the Doctor down the hall. I hope he has good things to tell me!? I pull the drape to see him when he comes in the door; a circle of people are out there with charts. They’re coming in…,”Miss Rose, these are the team who will be watching over you.” Doctor was saying their names but I wasn’t hearing him; all I want was for him to tell me the baby’s going to be alright. “Miss Rose I spoke to your GYN and he informed me you were already aware of this being a high-risk pregnancy?
“Yes.”
“The chart says you been pregnant before?”
“Yes; never over five months.”
‘Well, you do have that in your favor; although, there’s still no… Miss Rose? What wrong?”
“There’s… No…”
“Listen!” he places his hand on my arm. ”Understand what I’m saying; we’re monitoring the vitals and you and your baby are, for right now, fine. The longer that baby stay in there the better be the chances of survival. Do you understand this?”
“Yeah”
“Good; in order for this to be we will need to keep you in the most sterile environment possible. Do you understand what this means? I can see you’re not; Miss Rose you’re going to have to stay in the hospital until the baby is born. And you’ll need to be on complete bed-rest so we can continue to monitor the baby. This means no wondering the halls this is a private room and you have a bathroom all to yourself no getting out of bed just to walk around, no unnecessary movement you need to stay pregnant for as long as you can. Now, you understand what I’m telling you?”
Crap! I look at this doctor like he just grew three more heads??? “You want me stay here, and to sport this bed? Until, September 18th?”
“No… Miss Rose September 18th Is full-term an ideal time for the baby; we already know that won’t happen that date’s gone and is impossible now. But the idea is to now get you as close as we can to that date. Let’s just take this a day at a time. I come and check in on you later. Remember, no getting up except if you need to use the bathroom. Ok?”
The bathroom only; got it!”  
The doctor leaves my room… Its Thursday morning 7:12 am. June 5th. 1980
Mind this point, it’s still 1980?! You can smoke inside a hospital; and, if you’re in a private room without Oxygen Tanks in use.
The date and time of baby’s birth is...; Friday, morning, on June 6th. 3:54 am.
They took him right away from the delivery room I only saw him from the mirror up in the corner of the room; you know the kind where things are closer than they look type’s… they put me back into my room. It’s 7 am. I know, I have had a baby boy but I haven’t met him? Three hours not one word; not one word to me by anyone here?! Did something happen? Again.
It is 7:10am. Door, to my room, opens… The doctor steps in… “Miss Rose?” he walks to the side of my bed. “Has anyone been in to talk to you?”
“…no.”
“We need to talk to you about what is next for your son…”
“My, son…” I thought sure… he was going to say???
Yes, they are ordering transport for him, now; our hospital isn’t equipped to care for his needs we need to rush him to another hospital that can give him the best chances to survive this early most… we’ll do best we can. They’ll bring him in a moment I know you hadn’t had a chance to hold him.”
As he said this four people enter the room and my baby, my baby.
The nurse walks around to the left of my bed and hands me this itty biddy blanket holding this little face.  I look at him and thought ‘His skin he’s so purple; his face… he looks just as she did. But he’s here. ” Hello Joseph! I’m your mommy. I’m grateful you’re here. “
Big hands; the nurse who handed my baby to me to hold is now on my right-side to take him away from me.
They rush my tiny boy out to the neonatal ambulance He’ll be at Long Island Jewish Hospital when I leave here on Monday.
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
Chapter two

December 24, 1979;
This day or, should it be said, night… is the night a spark alters this heart’s understanding of a heartbeat with such desires which were never thought possible. After most have gone to bed; it’s 4 in the morning, Kelli, Julie .Joe and my-self were sitting up downstairs talking in Rose’s living-room, enjoying her lovely Christmas decorations.  Kelli goes up around four-thirty and Julie sat-up on the armchair by the archway; Julie was talking about things going on at her work. Funny enough, the only thing going through my mind is ‘Oh my, I sure hope you go up stairs before others begin to waking; I want to have time to talk with him by himself.
Finally, “Goodnight Uncle Joe!” and up the stairs Julie goes; It’s now, five fifteen, he and I are alone on the couch together and finally I could talk with him ‘til others wake or ‘til he tells me he needs to go sleep.  I would have been happy just having he be as a friend but knowing he was no longer with Connie… could heaven feel this near? We sit talking… I edge towards him; I feel a touch, his hand gently he reaches and then pulls… no guides …, for I more than anything want this to happen, to the warmth of his lips; my heart pounds as the taste of his salty-sweet lips rushes into my mind beside all the sensations his lips touching his arms give…tingling warmth, surrounding me, enveloping me?! I’ve never known this feeling before; such depths of wanting; of needing, of a desire to be here in these arms.
“Joe; Joe, Joey I love you…” Did I just say…???
“Don’t!” he says, “Don’t, this is a just for-now thing; but there’s no commitments, no responsibilities?!”  
I know why he says this… Connie?!  He doesn’t know, these words of his only make me want him so much more?! He has no idea how fearful all this is for me; these words, his words make me feel safer in his arms; it is safe here in these feelings I’m having?!
“If you want…; it’s your choice?! No commitments.”
“Fine.”
How could Joe know just how much he’s already a part of me?  I would never…  I could not say no.
How could Joe know how I’ve already thought of him; he couldn’t know how special he is in these eyes; how he has been long since a time before the 77’ blackout, back in summers-passed?!  On a day I was looking out the window, watching, Connie and him in the backyard working on his car. I held such envy towards Connie, looking out, watching the two of them, and ever since whenever I would see them together. If only; but who would truly want what I am…beyond my Chameleon’s mask? Dreams are nice to have but you can’t ride pipes all your life?! You can only live in what there is in this life.
Days earlier than watching them from that window… I had walked in-on Billy, the one I was with; he was in bed not alone they were in the midst of the most explicit acts?!  There weren’t any blankets on them and it wasn’t right away that they knew I was there stunned in the doorway!? This being something which one could never un-see?! And yet, I seem to be remaining?! A part of me already knew this about him but it’s just, I, never thought it would ever be in my face or who it’d be…I’d see?! Which as it turns out is what was most overwhelming of it all.  Billy was raised by foster-system and he’s been living with this man, Joe McAtamney, since he was nearly eight years old; you’d think… but no; No boundaries??? I thought Billy would be aged-out of this man’s wants…But no; and, to think several months earlier my dad signed papers for Billy to be my husband?! I ran from the three of them down in City-hall; I should have kept running?!  But oddly to say this little tat-a-tat doesn’t even close to being the worst of happening in my life; I was Billy’s first female … to think, barely, thirteen years old and next to him I’ve already have had years of expertise in the activity, merely on a physical basis; I did have no comprehensions on how to conduct or relate beyond that… not a real clue on how to be in a normal male/female relationship out of the ****** interactions?! And hell, as much as that was concerned lord knows I’d rather be clipping coupons???  I would have still been with Billy if it wasn’t for the loss of my daughter back in May of 79’!  Joe, Billy’s foster-father, rented Billy a Rockaway's bungalow I thought it was to keep him from being under foot but that’s wasn’t it?!    Billy’s foster-father and my mother figure in bribing Billy he would/could convince me to abort or if nothing else to give-up my baby if it comes to it. Most of April we had set up house out there in Rockaway; I thought he and I could find work, a place to live of our own and make a home for this baby. But no, every penny I could hide he’d find and spend; he’d have other boys over who are friends with his foster-father, like these are the people anyone would want around any child???
The last week I was out there, Pat Current was out there with us; I couldn’t stand this boy he was every bit the same as having my brother Kevin around?! You wouldn’t want to fall asleep in a place where he might be able to find you. A sociopathic horror, a ****** deviant and a thief; someone who wouldn’t have a problem in delighting in and/or causing other’s pain as a form of his own entertainment; Why Billy has Pat here knowing what he’s about?! I know Pat’s a time to time lover of Billy’s Foster-father but he isn’t here with him???
It was the morning of the 14th. I woke-up not feeling well; Billy and Pat said they figure to go down to the beach so I could rest and they told me they’ll  be back around one for me make them something to eat. They return only to find all those from the other bungalows along with the lady who rents them out were all inside the bungalow with me; they were staying with me so I wouldn’t be alone until the ambulance comes.  When the lady heard my screams she ran down into the yard and entered the door; I was holding myself up trying to make it myself to the front-door to find some help. There were ****** puddles all over and handprints over everything; there’s such pain and pressure I wasn’t able to move a step more. She helped me back to the bed. When I got to St. John's Episcopal I was all alone; nobody could come with me in the ambulance. By the time Billy arrived I was there about five or six hours has passed and she, my baby girl was gone.  The Doctor wouldn’t allow me to touch her, to pick her up or hold her in my arms. The doctor just left her next to me lying there cold and blue …exposed ; they had her laying there in an old metal bedpan; my child.  
Doctor, “When you’re ready you can get up and leave; make an appointment with your regular doctor for a hemo-globin shot.”
The nurse told Billy he needed to come in the room and get me out, he needed to take me home. He would not; he said he’d wait until I came out on my own.  The nurse walked over to me and she look at my face she could see I wasn’t about to walk away from my baby; she reached to remove her… I blocked her path I couldn’t allow her, to, to take my baby away from me?!  The nurse went over by the table across the room; she picked-up a small baby-blanket and return over to where we were and she made a shush sound and said it’ll be alright; she understood. She gently wraps my baby into the blanket and had me sit-down then the nurse placed her into my arms… the nurse remained by my side while I held my poor little girl in my arms. Touching her face, “Please forgive me for not protecting you better; I am so sorry…” I kissed her and, “I love you; I’ll miss you, always.”
The nurse held out her hands and said, “Don’t you worry I’ll take care of your little Baby Rose;”
“Thank you.” I left my baby there in the arms of the nurse and I left the hospital with Billy. We walk to the train station and we begin to head back to the last place in the world I want to go. He and Pat were talking about where they’ll be going to go tonight??? Billy turns and says,” If you feel like it you can come; it’ll be fun!”
‘??? He didn’t just say…’
“You can go to where-ever…” I looked at the two of them, “I’m going elsewhere?!” I back-step-it off the train at Broad channel the doors closed and I waved. I went to sleep that night in my bed at home on 66 Street. I couldn’t stand to have to look at his face. Afterwards, I was told Billy was rather happy that my little baby girl was gone. I awoke in the morning, first day back and things around here were no different. I went to Dr. Tierney’s office about the shot I needed and he told me I should never try to have a baby ever again; “You need to go on the pill and don’t ever allow yourself to get pregnant again!”
“No problem Doc… I no-longer have a boyfriend and I don’t have much luck with them?!”
“Easy said but only takes once?! Go on the pill; be sure!”  He writes a script and I go home.
I had a boyfriend before Billy; his name was John (Stretch) Thompson, its funny John was 6’4” and at the time I was only about 5 feet tall. He lived around the corner from the St. Sebastian’s church down in Woodside. This was back in 73’ he and I met at and worked together in the Burger’N’Shack on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 58th. He was night shift and did all the prep-work for the next day and they, the worker’s of the nightshift, paid me with eats and tips to clean off tables and to do quick-mops during the night; and, after John would finish his shift we would go over to his brother’s house. Both of John’s parents died back in 66’ and he lives with his brother and his brother’s wife. John went into the military… he told me when he returns we’d be married; eight months after John left his brother found me and he told me John was killed on his third day over there. I hadn’t seen John’s brother or his wife after that; I stayed around Key-food and carried bags to cars for tips or I’d walk with woman to their nearby homes with their bags. Big Frank, Little Frank and Denis allowed me to take out a store-cart from the lot so I could make money; Big Frankie, Oscar from the deli department and Mr.C, the owner of Big-Six’s Key-food, like me. And, the owner was also a very good friend of my Great-Uncle Patrick’s. It was sad John’s death but…  Move on; No-one the wiser.  This is the year the Dunn’s moved in on the block. Me, myself is odd, on my own block once more… act like every other kid! Even, when you see others who know different… you are a child?!  ...but not; silence is silence even in the loudest room it’s there. All you need do is to open your eyes to hear it.  To think, if it was that Norman Rockwell and Picasso were to blend their styles together…  Oh, how it would be of those on these blocks of Woodside?!
    Back then, for me, *** was an activity devoid of any kind of desirous wants.  For the most part those near my own age would get my delighted saying to them,” Cut it off and Brass it then put it by your baby-shoes!” or, if I thought better of the individual I’d tell them, “What you care to tell friends, who cares it’s your business, but there’s nothing happening here, don’t waste my time, or yours and go away!”
But here my being in Joe’s arms there is such a difference; I had never wanted, anything, anything with this intensely. We made plans to get together at the house once everybody has left for the day; oh, Wednesday.  Wednesday morning could never be soon enough. The last person is gone, everyone is gone… I open, closed the gate was up the stoop and inside the house before anyone could have ever seen me enter the gate. Joe and I chitchat a little while looking at one another… Joe repeated “… this is a just for now, no commitments, your choice… if you want…?  suddenly even-though we were nowhere near that couch the touch of his arms… the taste of his lips, the scent of his skin…  time melts; it feels as if he we hadn’t been away from each other a single second?! But here we are, now, with the hall-door locked, the decorations no longer being on; there is no worry of someone stopping us…and, we go into his room. Joe has no idea how, in this moment, being here in his room frightens me; it’s not him not a bit… it is these sensations of wanting… Joe would not understand, I don’t, how could he; Joe thinks me being more knowing of things like this?! No wrong, though he doesn’t realize these feelings he, now, is bringing out of me are all so new?!  Every breath, every heartbeat, and every gentle movement of his body against mine… his touch made me feel! “Joe, Joe I love you.”
“Don’t!”
You said; If, I want?  It’s my choice; …as-if there could ever be any-other.
  
Since then whenever we were alone together the feelings were the same for us; we’d drive around in the car talking then find somewhere to park enjoying each other’s company for awhile… just talking and having a wonderful time. And, then… a touch, one of us would reach out towards the other the sensations overtake and cause time to shift into its stillness and no-longer do our moments separate; the first… this… all of time bound within this sensation we share. But time, time never allows long…. It cannot when such appetites’ seem endless. He’d need to get home. I’d need to do things as well. We’d both need time to do what must… I would usually put up a fuss; many times Joe laugh,  he’d need to tell me he’ll kick me out the car if I didn’t get out on my own… I never wanted to be without… this sensation, these moments we share; I never want to know again what life would be without him.
Things between us remain; even after I told him…
I told him about having a baby?! Asking him to be the child’s God-father would assure  that nobody would think differently about his being close to child; I couldn’t take the chance of his not wanting me to have this baby?! And, he hadn’t asked; I was in bliss. If he had asked me I would have had to tell him. Is there any wonder why I feel the love I feel… we would still be together; but he wouldn’t allow me to be as insatiable as he made me feel; Joe was always so careful with me when we’d be together even in our most sensual of moments he was always mindful to keep the baby safe. I had never known; never experience such loving tenderness in this life as at this time being, held, here in his arms. Everything I am everything… belongs to him.
Until the day of June 28th.
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
This is chapter one; your opinions  are a blessing?!



As Obliteration Comes...

What is there to think of a man who goes, so far, out of his way in the destruction of the woman who loves him; Years beyond the assault she could not, would not speak about… a woman, … within her devastation tries to dissociate and desperately tries to make it… not be?!  Of this day…, she tells no-one; … only those there knew, they were there in the aftermath and saw. There at the place she’s works and holds a different name;  a place where she could not report  to police…, not without turning her world inside out, a destruction which becomes impossible to avoid?! Considering such a thing leaves behind evidence of its unspoken crime. Unknowing all … He hates her for acts of duplicity; as if she’d want any other than he, who owns her heart?!
The day
I know Denise’s men; for the most-part, their ******* Freaks! I’d never normally go near any of them?! But, this man had pleasant eyes; I knew Denise was going to be in before I leave… so I sat with him.
He tells me he and Denise know each-other through my other Agent, Lisa; I worked with more than one agent, AI-Talent and Top Entertainers Talent Agency all for my NY, Conn. and NJ gigs. I had Lisa for all gigs at after-hours and for those long-distance clubs.    
(Lisa’s the agent which was going to give me up to the Rode Island police, when we were all on the way home from a four week gig we did in Boston’s Pussycat’s Lounge. An unforgettable time to say the least ;)

Kal walks over around 3:30 and whispers “Denise is a no-show tonight could you stay until her replacement gets here?”

What, as-if I would say no?
It was one extra set and I would be out of here at 5pm!
” No problem! But, I need to be out of here by five?!”

“Janice, cool! Callie lives on the other end of the Market; she said she’ll cab it down!” Kal looks relieved.

  But as it goes with Denise’s friend; he was, to say the least, miffed!
“Denise told me to be here! Why…? If she wasn’t going…”  
I tell him, “If Denise told you to be here? She’ll stop by later or she’ll send someone in to get you! Right?”
He orders me another drink; he stews about where Denise could be…; Meanwhile, Denise’s replacement is nowhere to be found?!
It’s now 6pm?!
“There’s no-way, no way in hell, I’ll make it out to Rockaway’s by 8pm!” thinking to myself …, ‘I can’t be late?! I’ve never been late!’
“This is not my day!?”
Denise’s friend turns to me and says,” I’ll drop you down at the train; Hell, I’m going down to midtown; the hell with waiting for Denise! So, if you can use a ride down to the city?”
As he says this Callie flies through the door.

As you know; I’m an *******!  I was totally elated thinking of the possibility about being out there with Joe by 9- 9:30! ‘He’s saying he can get me down to the A train and from there… One straight run! Oh, Baby!’
What a ******* *******; I’d never… I wasn’t thinking.

“That’s so nice of you; thank you!” Stupidly, “You have no idea; Let me go in the back and get my stuff!”
I never before..; “You can’t know how much this helps me out! Thank you! “      

   I tell Kal he’s was giving me the ride.  Kal smiles, “Thanks man! She’s a good girl… take care of her! “
  
He takes my bags to carry them outside for me; It was so bright outside. After a seven hour long day of being inside drinking with that pounding music and those pulsating lights; the outdoors seem so foreign?! I look to see where his car was parked?
He laughs saying, “I put it in the lot across the street! Willey’s lot was full when I got here.”

Still thanking him for driving me downtown while crossing over Hunts Point Avenue; we reach his car he opens his back door to place my bags on the seat… fumbling the bags one of them falls to the ground. I remember hearing his laughter as I bent over to get my bag; all the bags were flying towards me!? Before, I could… I …   the back of my head hit the edge of the door… my bags were on top of me … and all the weight? I try but couldn’t make a sound! I was in the back of his car. All my bags moving, cutting into me and him pressing down; …clawing, pawing all over! My bags cutting into my skin; His arm pressing against my chest!  I heard, “Don’t… **** … Die!”   I couldn’t feel… Breathe? And; Snap! …Blackness.    
Then, I remember… falling!? I was…. a body empty nothing-more as it’s pushed out the door and hits gravel! Bags slam hard onto…, all of what remains left of it.  
There’s sound of an engine? There’s shower of gravel? Car-horns are heard blaring in the distance; still breathing.  
I’m not sure how…??? I pick stuff off the ground. My mind’s numb, thinking all I could… I need home to clean this… I’ll make it gone??? I’ll make it… not have happened!’
I took a cab from *****’s; All the way from the South Bronx! I still don’t remember that time to my home; I only remember getting out of the second cab, The Rockaway’s Play-land; I remember watching for the A-train to go by… thinking; ‘I’ll tell Joe I took the train out. He’ll never know… he can’t?! He told me not to go; he told me to be out here with him to meet his friend. This is my fault.’ The head’s not… Hide, it didn’t happen just forget the last twenty-four hours?! I turn the corner and walk down the block towards the bungalow; he was there.
‘He’ll leave you; it’s your fault you went to work; he told you not to go… No, nothing happened?! He loves me? I love him!!! Nothing happened!’
When he saw me? He didn’t even ask anything about my not having all my bags? I always carry my three extra large duffels and a pocketbook?
I walk in the yard with only money in my pants and not even one bag?
If I were here straight from work and had left the club when I suppose to off I’d been here no later than 8pm?
I show up ten moments to four in the morning, without bags and he doesn’t say a thing about it; not even a single word about this long-sleeve shirt covering my cuts and bruises?
He smiles; he tells me his friend’s still sleeping but when he wakes-up we’ll all go to breakfast. His friend comes out and we sat and talked for a few moments. Joe hadn’t notice but his friend asks me if I was alright: I said, “Yeah hadn’t eaten all day; Joe says we’re going out for food. His friend took his car and Joe and I met him there. The whole time sitting there in the Crossbay Diner with his friend I kept thinking;
‘If Joe and I were with each other it would be as if nothing happened? It will be it never happen?! That’s what I need to do!? I’ll be fine. Everything… fine.’
  After breakfast his friend got into his car and left;
Joe says he needs to head home to get some rest later-on he’s taking his mom, Rose, out to her other son’s house.
And, he says he’ll come for me once he drops her off… and we’ll go to the place underneath the Throgs-neck bridge  
How hard it was…
Joe parks and takes out his jug of ***** and grapefruit then begins talking? He’s talking???
As if there wasn’t …?  Like nothing happened… nothing??? He was simply sitting there saying something about Vincent and Helga???
“They’re going to drive mom home!”
He’s smiles? Saying, “They’ll take mom home from their house so we can stay here as long as we want!”
Every time he tries reaching for that jug or reaches out to put his hands on me…; I’d jump!?   I felt my skin crawling; there was a bubbling sensation all over in every last place that was touched; I felt my skin as if it going to burst out with blisters of poison! I needed to get home!? I need to wash this..!? I need not to have his hands touch… This thing I was???
‘He touches me, so help me God, I’ll open this car and run and throw myself into that water! I was shaking, I was sitting on the arm-rest of the door and I began yelling!? “Take Me Home! “
“You son of a …!  Can‘t you see; Can‘t you see!”
“I need home! I don‘t feel well!? “
“You, *******!  Get me home!”
No Clue. Still, He’s clueless to any difference??? He yells back at me, “What’s your problem?  You on the rag or something?”
He drove me home.  I open the door before he could try to park and I run inside; I locked myself into the bathroom. By time I was out the sun was up!

The phone begins ringing.  It’s Kelli Ann, “Sometime last night my grandma, Rose, died. “
I dropped the phone. My sister got on… with Kelli.
I just stood there numb; thinking how…
‘Dear God! Joe and I were at the bridge!  
If I told him what happened he would have been with her.”
He would have left me; But, He would have been with Rose?

Rose was the most amazing person to me; I adore her, I denied her… and I stopped him from being with her.
‘I didn’t want to lose him; I couldn’t see losing me again?!
And, I made it so he wasn’t there… for her.’
All the times he’s walked away from me, so many times; He’d say nothing and show up at the house with some girl.
And introduce her to the family; that was his way telling me just how important I was… That was his way of telling me he didn’t want me. And, I would stand there… act as if it wasn’t a big deal… ‘It must be nice… no feelings?’
But then after a while he would come back; It be like none of them knew a thing?! Yeah, not even what I did for a living?! When asked, what I did for a living, I’d tell them; I work as a Entertainment Manager for bars throughout the Tri-State area; Yeah right; I was entertaining and I did Manage… (I manage to get to and from my gigs and I was entertainment!) So, it’s not complete truth or lie. And, HELL, Joe can’t think too poorly of what I do; after-all it was his idea?!

It’s only three days before his birthday and here’s Joe having to make the arrangements for Rose’s ( his mother’s) wake; He turns to me and says,” My mom had these spills often before..; But, she’d always come back to me! I’d hold her hand and I’d call to her!  I wish I had been out by Vincent’s. She maybe…. Maybe she’d still be here with us.”
I felt… numb.
That night we were all at the wake;
I hover in doorways watching every person go in than back out again. I kept looking at Joe; I didn’t know why, but my mind, I wish it was him in that **** box. Isn’t that sick!  As much as I love Rose I’d wish her son could trade places??? How that would have been unbearable for Rose and yet…
The biggest reason Joe and I kept our being together a secret was her; She was by no means the only… not by a long-shot!  But, she was a most important reason. I could have never dealt with even a thought of her hating me for loving her son; I fear… loss; now, she’s gone. I love her; I want her back! I want her to know; I want to tell her! She never knew… he’s her grandchild? She’ll never know now.  Here knowing…, seeing everyone around feeling this loss for Rose; because of me… she might have still been here…? Only if…?
Thoughts, ‘My life is imploding; it’s all moving in slow motion. I don’t know how far… I don’t know if… I’ll survive this… this time? ’ I cling to straws; I can’t lose Joe; I can’t make my sister leave home? She’ll never make it on her own; I can’t tell Joe what happened? Then he’ll know all of this, everything, is my fault?!  I stopped him from being with Rose when she needed him most.
What if he’s to ask about little Joe…? With the way he feels about my sister? I never gave him an opportunity to ask out-right if he’s his before; it wasn’t me who told him. When I let him know I was having a baby I told him,” You could be the godfather?! He agreed to that… He didn’t ask, he didn’t want to know; and I couldn’t ever take the chance… Not then, not now; He’ll take my child away; He’ll take him and leave me?! I’ll have nothing I’ll be…?!
Say nothing; …perform as you go; Stay in survival mode!

The day of the burial:  We went to church and everybody goes up to the front. I didn’t know where to sit? None of the family told me where…?  Then, Kay Young, a neighbor and friend of my mother’s pulls me over and says to sit in the last row near her; so that’s what I did. Afterwards, when we were all outside someone told me to get into a car; a car which turns-out to be Lynne’s car!? Lynne and Kelli together were the ones who made it that Joe found out about the baby.
Thoughts, ‘… imploding; It’s all moving slowly… don’t know how far… or if I’ll survive, All this … this time? ’

After my son was born Lynne was the one who told Joey that others are saying little Joe was his… Joe wouldn’t ask me if he was the father and I was more than glad not to tell him! Yes, I know it’s extremely selfish; but I couldn’t risk losing another one. But, if I did I would have turned Joe’s life upside down for nothing.    
(My Joe was a preemie; barely six months along when he was born. My tiny baby boy needed to stay in a hospital from June 6 until Aug. 31st.. )  
It was June;  
We, a whole crew of us, were out at Rockaway‘s;
Kelli Ann and Lynne were making drinks and I had maybe five big drinks in those 20 oz. cups. To say I was blotto is beyond an understatement!

The two of them get going; they were told and they know that my baby was Joe’s; And, I have to tell him!

“I don’t know what you girls are talking… You’re wrong! Leave it alone!”  
“Everyone knows how you feel about him!?”
“What? Leave this alone! You don’t know what you’re talking…”  
“You’re going to have to tell him….?”
“Leave this alone; this is none of you business and you haven’t any idea of what you’re talking about!”  
“If you don’t tell him I will!”
“I’m telling the two of you to leave the man alone!”
“Well, he needs; he has a right to know!”  
I got up and say, “Apparently, I do need to talk to him about something? Don’t I?!

I turn to go find Joey! I need to talk to him about what Lynne and Kelli are saying to me…??? There, in mid-turn, I slap in face into his chest; Joe’s standing there hearing every word of what was being said.
He yells at me; saying, ”What… This is ******-up!”
I start crying; I run towards the beach! Thinking, How am I going to tell him? How can I say I couldn’t tell you, I could trust you! How do you say to the man you love that you left him to believe he wasn’t… because having this baby means more than he does; And, if he knew he was the father when he was told about the baby he would have just been another person, in this life, trying to stop this baby from being born. I lost too many; He’s mine! No-one’s taking him from me. Not even his father.  How do you say this…  
I went up to the bench on the boardwalk; I would always sit in that same spot; I was crying.  
Joe comes up behind me;
He says,” What are you going to do now? **** yourself!?”

I didn’t try looking at him; I just spoke holding my tears, ” No…, You’re not worth that!”
A long time passes as the two of us stare out at the surf.
He said,” So…?”

Painfully, I remind him his words he told me, at Christmas time, when we first…;
“Joe, do you remember, what you said to me? The very first time I told you how much I love you? Do you remember?  Joe, you told me, “Don’t!”  
Then you told me, “You’re just for now?! No attachments! Remember?”    

Joey turns and goes back to the bungalow; He gathered up his stuff, takes Lynne and leaves. He wouldn’t speak to me again until mid-October after, I got little Joe back after my mother and my grandfather kidnapped him.
When I got my baby back his stomach… There was something wrong? Every time I try to give him his milk it wasn’t staying down in his tiny body?!
I was so frightened; I saw Rose outside the house and I ran-up to her for help; she goes downstairs with the baby and gets out baby cereal she mixed it with the baby-milk?
“Rose? The doctors told me I’m not to give the baby anything but the baby-milk?”
  
Rose said, “Don’t worry; I’ve seen this before… Don’t you get scared?”

She force-fed Joey some of mix and in moments the baby threw-up every drop of what Rose gave him; she cleans him up and shoves the bottle of plain baby-milk into his mouth; He was drinking it on his own!
She tells me the baby’s stomach was shut-down. She says, “Sometimes baby’s go through this failure to thrive when there’s too much turmoil around them. But, this little guy here is alright now.” She hands him to me and says, “Now, He has his Mama.”
Joe came down stairs from his room he must have heard the yelp I made as the baby threw-up the cereal-mixture.
Rose saved the baby’s life that day, her grandbaby.
And, now, I’m sitting in this *****’s Lynne’s car; I’m going to say goodbye to dearest woman I ever knew… ‘I wish it was me going into that hole.
Later, we all went to eat out at a place on the Blvd and then the family came back home. We stayed up late and Joe’s brother from Florida with his wife and their two kids went upstairs. They bunked-down in Rose’s living room and Joe and I were down the basement in the kitchen. We finish cleaning the dishes and he tells me to come with him to his room;
“They will sleep ‘til three; Both, Butchy and Sandy have been drinking since seven this morning.”
I went with him; I felt so numb. I belong to him; I love him. I just need to let this happen then everything will be the way it’s…I am his.

I kept saying, “My Love, I belong to you! I need you! I love you! Joe, you are everything to me!  You are my life! My head kept whispering” You didn’t stop it; you allowed another to take what belongs to Joe.
You are nothing.
I kept repeating to Joe, “I belong to you Always, I’m yours.” I kept saying the words over and over to him; I didn’t want to stop telling him, I am his…
When he fell asleep and I was sure he was asleep; I got up and slipped out of his room. Sandy caught me leaving his room; I saw her and I stood there like a deer in headlights!
Sandy just asked, “Is he still up in there?”
I said, “No.” and, I went fast out the door and ran home.
I need to check on my sister and my son; I didn’t want Joe’s brother or any of the rest of the family getting any notions. Running into Sandy as I left Joe’s room scared the hell out of me! But, she was … Sandy didn’t remember seeing me. She says she doesn’t remember anything after she ate dinner down-stairs.
That was the last time him and me…              
Joe was pretty busy while the out-of-towners’ were stopping by and with all the paperwork needed to be done…  I just hung-out with Kelli; I figure, when he’s not too busy he’ll talk to me.
It was a few weeks after that night; Joe comes up stairs where Kelli and I were; he asked Kelli to leave us alone.

He handed me all the papers he was holding for me and told me,” Don’t you ever talk to me again! You are a nothing; do you hear me? A nobody! You’re a worthless ***** and I don’t want to ever have to look at you again!”
Then, he went down and locked the door, hard.  
Kelli Ann comes back in and asks why he’s acting like that towards me; I told her, I don’t know?  And, I didn‘t?! I didn’t until nearly two months later when I went to the doctors; then, I knew.
I have gone back to work; But, I will never go back up to *****’s!
I met-up with Denise a few days after I went back to work; we were both at the Golden Dollar; she was just leaving as I’m walking in…  She slaps $350.into my hand saying, “Thanks for taking care of my friend! Gotta’run!” She’s out the door before I could tell her what happen to me wasn’t, by any means, by chose.
Time passes; it’s now, nearing my birthday; I’m hearing about how Joe’s spending his time with Lynne; So, I decide I to write a letter to Kelli. I could stop kelli from mistreating Joe, for what wasn’t ever Joe’s choice in the first place, and I can stop Joe from being convinced into taken my child away from me by that *****, Lynne.
Joe wants to be with that… that’s his business; she thinks the two them will take my child? Not that *****!  That ***** won’t ever get to put her hands on my child! After what she did on June 4th and 28th and so many other times… With his wanting to be with her it makes it a whole lot easier for me to feel a deep disgust towards him. Joe thought me to be such a no-body; he thinks me so cheap… He left me months ago unaware… in pain and he thinking I would want…
  Fine, two birds’ one stone?!   I don’t want her mistreating him for our not being together… It’s not his fault I went to work; but if he’s going to try at any point to come and take little Joe away?! I can’t let that to ever happen!
I wrote Kelli a letter saying his in no way my child’s father and for her to stop mistreating him like he had done something wrong his mother has died and you are being nasty to him. I can’t be friends with you anymore I have too much in my life I need to take care of my son and my sister and I told her I hope the best for her in her life. I wrote… using six pages of words but this is the full gist of it.
I thought if some day things are different and he and I find our way back to one another again; Kelli would have a chance to confront me in front of him about the letter and I’d be able to ask Joe for a signed a waiver of parental rights and then I could ask him to have a DNA test done. But for now, my son will remain where he belongs…with me.

How it is that all this started; why must this be...
Theresa M Rose Oct 2018
I write; I write both day and night with pen and paper a premise ignites. I like to hear without a bang if my thoughts show a good flame!
If my friend there's a chirp in my word?! Please remember, I'm a literary bird!
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