I Will Remember

I submitted this in a contest and didn’t win. Still wanted to share it however.

Her last words to me were, “I sleeping.” I can still remember her sweet little body nestled trustingly in my arms. Her big, little head nestled in the nook of my left elbow. Her small body draped over my short, crossed legs as I hug her to my chest so I can physically keep her there forever and have this memory etched forever in my heart. Her pudgy, sweet smelling left hand patting my round right cheek as I rocked her to bed one last time. Hot streams of tears rolling down my face and falling steadily down onto her bright pink Baby Shark pajama top. My nose running like a water faucet. At this point, I can’t tell if it’s tears or snots.  

I remember everything about her. I remember the first time we took her out on her motorized ATV when she turned two. Her dad, an Albertan tradesman, bought her a pink camo ATV. He hopes to instil a love of the great outdoors as his father, a preacher, and his grandfather, a Metis bear trapping hunter, once did. He jerry-rigged her ride from a 6V motor to a 12V motor to give it more power and juice so she can go faster. I remember him putting her on the ATV. She looked so confused in her bright pink winter jacket and her matching pink hat to make sure she is protected should she fall. Her dad directed her to press the button that will allow the motorized ATV to go faster. She held it down with her right hand and off she went. At first, she is scared and looked up to her dad for support. He went down on one knee and said to her, “Keep going.” It was all she needed. She never let that button stop. Her daddy now has to chase her to catch up with her. I remember her laughter echoing in the air as it floated into the sky.

I remember her wobble. She’s dressed sassily in her red heart onesie and two pig tails with curls. She forcibly grabs a Dr. Seuss book off her bookshelf and chucked it into her dad’s lap. Her dad, used to these antics, barely had the time to grab the book before she climbed up his leg and perched her sweet bottom on his lap so he can read to her. I still remember the cadence in his voice as he reads to her. The tones, the animations. His voice enticed and entranced her. She never took her eyes off the book. She then ripped the book from his hands and tries to duplicate his reading. She is one at this point. She can barely put two words together. While what we hear is gibberish, the concentration and conviction on her cherub face clearly demonstrated she knew what she was doing and how dare we get in her way. 

I remember slicing up some mushrooms for dinner and she would open up her cupboard to pull out her small blue cutting board. She would saunter towards me and say, “I help, Mama.” I would then put the cutting board on her wooden activity table that her daddy hand carved with love and grabbed her a metal butter knife so she can join me in cutting up vegetables and cheese. While my sweet angel would never actually help with the work, as she always ate what was in front of her. I can still picture her shoving bite size cheese down her throat and then grinning proudly at me. The smile said, “Look at me Mom. I’m so helpful.”

I remember her trying to educate my girlfriend on naming animals. Her daddy taught her that every animal that vaguely resembled a fish was called a fish. At this point, she has just turned 1.5 years old. I remember my girlfriend asking her if she can say, “whale.” Our sweet angel looked at my beautiful red head friend and said, “No. Fish.” No one understood but her dad. He laughed loudly and proudly. Our angel is so strong in her convictions, once you teach her the word for something, she does not budge. That is how much she believes and trusts her daddy.  

I remember how she would always grab her shoes and say as loudly as possible, “Walk. Walk. Walk.” She was relentless. She knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t afraid to ask for it. She loved being outdoors. I remember her first toboggan as if it was yesterday. Her dad bundled her up in her bright pink winter clothes. We held her hand as we walked to the edge of the hill. Her daddy sat down on the white snow covered hilled in her bright blue Frozen toboggan. He would sit her up in between his legs and then down the icy hill they would slide. Her laughter, boisterous; you could hear her screaming for joy all the way down. Coming back up, our sweet Angel attempted to slide all the way down on her belly in her jacket. She was too excited to wait for us. I remember her dad trying to save her but rolling down the hill with her.

I remember all her baths with her dad. They loved bathing together. They could spend hours and hours happily reciting the A, B, Cs, singing Frozen, and doing Baby Shark. I also remember fondly when we first put the water stick-on tattoos on her. She fought us. She hated getting wet. She eventually became fascinated once she realized there were markings on her skin. She would rub, rub, and rub at it to see if it would go away. When Grandpa and Grandma would visit, she would proudly flash her stomach tattoos and show them off. Our house is a happy one filled with love, laughter, and our sweet Angel.

I remember hearing her cries at 3am, both of us tired from endless nights of feeding, changing diapers, and dealing with a colicky baby. I remember nudging her dad awake as it was his time to feed her. He would come home after working a long hard day of work and fight me to hold her. He loves cuddles, kisses, and hugs with her. He would whisper sweet nothings in her ear and tell her she will take over the world. He would tell her she is the most beautiful thing ever. He would describe to her all the things we will build her—from a castle bed to a swing to a treehouse. He would tell her she can do anything and how he will love and support her. If you could see the magic between the two of them—her adoringly looking up at him like he is her knight in shining armour to him, lovingly watching her grow into the woman she will. I still remember her learning to crawl and crawling towards a picture of her daddy. Clearly, he is her favourite. It’s no wonder these two have a special bond.

But today is different. Today is the day I break her trust and my heart. But I couldn’t help but try to capture the moment that will forever be etched into my memory playing like a YouTube video on loop. I play these memories over and over knowing that it’ll be all that I will ever have. I just finished singing the saddest and most heartfelt version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” I was so choked up with tears, I couldn’t finish singing some of the words as my chest hurt so much, holding back more tears, and failing miserably. I push her hair back from her eyes and kiss her sweet newborn head. I imagine her sweet child voice would pick up words I couldn’t finish and her two-year-old voice telling me, “Mommy, it’ll be okay.” Like she was giving me encouragement and the strength to go on. My sweet, sweet girl. I know it won’t. I know I will regret this decision for the rest of my life and know that I am forever changing her future.

I play each memory out like it actually happened when I know it is far from the truth. It’s what we both want to believe so badly. I want to tell her that her daddy is this wonderful man who loves her but really, he was some jerk who decided to take advantage of me on a date. I lost my innocence that day.

 I remember being so excited to meet this man. We met on Tinder. I felt an instant connection. He brought flowers and came into my home as I did some last-minute makeup prep before we went out. His brown eyes looked so warm as we conversed over lobsters and bisque. The conversation between us flowed naturally. I remember walking in the flower ridden park and gazing up at a sky so filled with stars. As he drove me home, I didn’t notice the sly looks he started to give me. I thought this was a great date and never wanted it to end. Little did I know I would soon regret those words.

He walked me to my bright yellow front door. I invited him in for a coffee. As I brewed the coffee in the kitchen, I heard him start swearing on the phone. I asked him if everything is okay. That was when the beast was unleashed. He grabbed me viciously on my upper arm leaving marks that bruised angrily. He then started to drag me by my hair towards his screaming face as he yelled obscenities at me. Bubbles of spit spewing from his mouth as he called me, “a teasing no-good slut.” He punched my face repeatedly, over and over again. I can still feel his foot in my ribcage as I try to catch a breath. I can still taste blood in my mouth. I will scar from these attacks—both physically and emotionally.

I blacked out. When I came to, I was naked in my bed, covered in more bruises, with blood flowing down my legs. I could see teeth marks all over myself. While a blessing, I don’t remember what happened. I knew my body ached in places that I didn’t normally. I also didn’t know if he was still there. So, I quickly got up, and grabbed my black metal lamp as a weapon and went on a hunt. Thankfully my house was empty. I locked the door; slumped behind it and bawled my eyes out. I have never felt so powerless in my whole life. I didn’t feel safe in my own home anymore. I was violated here, in my safe place.

I called the cops but knew there was little they could do. His Tinder profile was deleted. I couldn’t remember any details. For the next 4 months, I kept to myself. I cried myself to sleep every night. I woke up in terror as well. My neighbours must have thought I was nuts screaming at 2am every morning as I woke up from a cold sweat remembering every punch, every kick. I moved. I couldn’t sleep on that bed. I left everything and took with me only my clothes and essentials. I was a weak shell of myself. I was afraid of everything. I dressed like someone’s Grandma. I did not want any attention. I wish I could say I had a family member to count on to help me, but I didn’t. I grew up alone with my mother but being the heavy smoker and drinker she was, she passed when I turned 16. I’ve been taking care of myself ever since.

Imagine my surprise when I started to puke early mornings. I thought I wasn’t over the incident. The police couldn’t find him. It was like he disappeared into thin air. I thought I was just having side effects. The detective told me to go see a doctor. I thought it couldn’t get any worse, then I found out I’m pregnant, with the Monster’s baby.

Imagine me hating you because of your father but wanting to love you so much because you are a part of me. Imagine me hating even loving you for a second because you are a constant memory of what happened. Of when I was at my weakest and my most powerless state. Imagine me trying to describe to you how you were brought into this world and why you don’t have a daddy. I can’t even begin to describe all the emotions I went through. How could I raise a child when I was afraid of my own shadow? Do I kill you? Do I keep you? It’s not your fault you were brought up into this world this way.

All the things I remember from above, is what I hope you get with your new parents. I hope you have a father that loves you and encourages your bravery. I hope he fosters curiosity in you. I hope they love you like parents should. I hope you are nothing like the Monster.

I know I should love you. I know I should care for you. I know I will resent you one day and take out all my anger on you. It isn’t fair. So, while these memories I created aren’t real, they did not happen with us, I will still cherish each one like it did. I hope you are cherished and loved.

What I will remember is this last kiss I place on your head as I hand you gift wrapped in a pink blanket off to these older parents who will cherish and love you. I can’t help but think you are already loved with how she is holding you and both of them fawning over you. Yes, he is even fighting to hold you. They look up at me and say thanks. Little do they know, what I had to suffer to bring you into this world. Forget me little one. I do not deserve you.   

Published by Pamela Vang

A first generation Canadian. Blogger. Lover of life. Sharer of experiences.

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