Love or Money
"Who's child is it!"
The question hung in the air, demanding an answer as the two former loves looked each other in the eye.
"How dare you ask me that question! It is your child!"
"You think the question is improper when you don't tell me of the child for six months and have taken up a new lover since I left? How should I know who's child it is, how do you know who's child it is."
"It has to be your child, I couldn't bear the thought of having his child."
"That is hardly proof of paternity!"
"I'm not having this conversation it is your child, I know it is your child."
He looked at her unable to argue with her conviction but also knowing that wishing doesn't make something so.
"I am with him because you left me here alone..."
"You had promised to follow me!"
"You left me here alone! Just as you had done in the past."
"After you had broken up with me!"
"You left me!"
There was silence for a moment as he collected himself, this is an argument they had had many times before, neither one of them would ever change their mind.
"We've spoken on this many times before... the issue at hand remains you were with him before I left again. You didn't take back up with him only after you found out you were pregnant. So please, tell me, how am I to know that this child is mine?"
"I just know it's yours. I know it. I just needed someone who was in a position to take care of us and he can do that."
"I could do that!"
"Maybe some day you'd be able to but you're in no position right now. Children are expensive, you couldn't afford us right now."
"He is not good for her, he's abusive!"
"He only hurts me when I do something wrong. I'll be fine I just won't do anything wrong."
He looked at her in stunned silence before she continued after a brief silence.
"I'll be fine, I'm tough."
"What about her, my daughter, do you know what kind of effects growing up in an abusive household can have on a person!"
"I'll protect her."
"Even if she just sees you being hurt that has serious effects years later!"
"I'll make sure she doesn't see anything."
"How, on earth, are you going to control that! He isn't going to ask permission before he starts hitting you!"
"It's not that bad, he just pushes me around some."
"He knocked you out once!"
"That was an accident, I just hit my head on the side of the bed."
"You didn't hit your head, he pushed you over and your head struck the bed."
"He was sorry afterwards, he didn't mean it."
His jaw was slack and he slowly shook his head in disbelief at what she was saying.
"You can't control him, you know that. You can't control him."
"I'll be okay. He can make sure there is a roof over my daughter's head that's the most important thing."
"No. Being in a loving home is the most important thing."
"There isn't a home without a roof and you'd be hard pressed to keep your roof if you had to care for me and her."
"Why would you do this to me?"
"Tell me that you're going to give birth to my child just to tell me you're going to raise my child in an abusive household and tell me that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, I can do about it!"
"I think you have the right to know you have a daughter."
"If it's even mine"
"Of course she's yours! I would never have his child."
"That isn't exactly something you can control if you're with him. If you don't want to have his child I would strongly suggest leaving him."
"No, I couldn't have his child."
"You need to get away from him."
"I need to get back otherwise he'll notice I left. Take care of yourself and don't worry about me. I'll make sure you can see your daughter as she grows up."
"That doesn't sound like a promise you can keep."
"I will don't worry."
"Yeah... don't worry, no problem. A woman I care greatly about and a child that may be my daughter are living with an abusive man, whats to worry about."
"We'll be fine, there's nothing to worry about."
"As long as you get home soon?"
"Exactly, I'll behave and he won't hurt me."
Tears started to well up in his eyes, he shook his head wishing he could force her to see... but then he'd be no better than the man she was choosing to be with.
"Go on home, I don't want to be partly responsible for any harm that may come to you."
"I'll see you again soon, I'll make sure you get to know your daughter."
"Thanks, have a good evening."
With that she turned away and walked back to the parking lot of the park where they had met. He watched her go, wishing he knew what to do. Tears rolled down his face as she started her car. She waved at him as she pulled out of her parking spot and started to drive away. He sat there, his body numb as his head was overcome with emotions. He starred at where her car had been, wishing it was there once more. As he starred the emotions built up he put down his head and wept.