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The remnants of a broken heart linger for a long time. To cope with all those ugly feelings I felt I made myself believe I didn't want someone tagging along after me like a puppy in search of yummies. Just fuck me hard and go your ass home or wherever, but remember your way back just in case my itch needs to be scratched again. That's how I came off, but it wasn't really how I felt. Like anyone else, I wanted to be loved by a special special someone, but I was quite clueless when it came to making that happen so instead I threw up my wall and acted like 
an alley cat in heat. That was easier than admitting what I really wanted. I had myself convinced I didn't deserve to have a normal life with someone who loved me. It was definitely a dangerous slippery sloop! Yes, it was easier to be a saucy was familiar territory and I was good at it. The other option scared the hell out of me and I was clueless. REALLY CLUELESS!

With the holidays fast approaching I set up my monthly doctor appointments to fall so I could spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. That meant I'd be eating actual food instead of bologna sandwiches. My mother was a fantastic cook and I was really looking forward to all the goodies I knew she'd make. So off to Pensacola I went with an insatiable appetite and a bag full of dirty laundry. 

I was keeping my fingers crossed that my "Christmas" follow-up appointment would be my last since the pain in my abdomen was finally getting better. My mother chauffeured me to the base and patiently waited for me outside the examination room.  The doctor I saw wasn't who I had been seeing, but that was normal for the military way of life.  Patients got stuck with whatever doctor was available at the time. Rotations sucked and I hated it because no one was ever given the luxury of having their doctor get to know them. Patients were merely a number and a name and nothing more. I had been fortunate to have seen the same doctor for my last few appointments, but that had abruptly ended. Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Now with my feet up in the stirrups and the white sheet strategically draped across my legs, the doctor readied me for a pelvic exam. I knew the drill, but liked it about as well as any woman liked being poked and prodded without any foreplay or a few kind words. This doctor took a little longer examining me than the last one had. When he was finished, he stood up and casually asked me if I knew that I was 4 months pregnant. What? Did I know what? I told him that I had been being treated for an ovarian cyst. The last doctor told me it was quite normal not to have a period, so I never got too concerned about it. As reality set in, I felt the color drain from my face and I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. What in hell was I going to do with a baby? Babies can't survive on bologna sandwiches and mushroom tea. When I left the room I was totally dazed and confused.  My mother took one look at me and said, "You're pregnant, aren't you?" No lecture followed. No sermon. No interrogation. No bright lights and rubber hoses. Whatever followed would be entirely my decision to make...alone.

So what do you get when you have a lot of unprotected sex? BINGO! The previous idiot doctor had been treating me for an ovarian cyst. Did he get his medical degree from the University of Hard Knocks? Guess what, Einstein? My cyst grew arms, legs and a head and was eventually named Christina and nothing quite slows your roll like facing an unplanned pregnancy. 

Those days seem like so long ago, yet when I get together with any old friend from those days it all seems like yesterday. All our lives have changed immensely over the years, but I think the more things change the more they ultimately remain the same. So in remembrance of those good old days and the people who imprinted themselves upon my life, I inhale slowly…deeply until my smile glows from within and the memories warm my chilly heart.

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