â€śI canâ€™t do it alone. I thought you loved me. I thought youâ€™d be happy, but donâ€™t worry, I wonâ€™t be a burden to anyone anymore.â€ť
I hang up the phone. Tears are streaming down my face. What exactly did I mean by that message? Am I really going to kill myself? I look over at the pistol on the kitchen counter. No. Iâ€™m not. I donâ€™t have the guts and I donâ€™t want to be remembered that way. Rubbing my hand across my stomach I scold myself
â€śHow could you get yourself pregnant? And by a married man!?!?!â€ť
I knew when the affair started it was wrong. He just looked so sweet, so loving. As if he really cared about me. I so badly want to be loved. Who was I kidding though? Iâ€™m a high school dropout that styles peopleâ€™s hair. I have nothing to offer. And my body? Iâ€™m the fattest thing Iâ€™ve ever seen. Thatâ€™s how I knew I got knocked up. It was the only time I have ever thrown up without meaning to.
â€śGet it together Jennifer, think of a planâ€ť
I heard Larry has got a new bouncing baby boy. He actually thought I wouldnâ€™t find out. You canâ€™t crap in this town without everybody knowing what color it is. Larryâ€™s become a loving father and husband overnight, they say. As if my baby isnâ€™t good enough. As I turn to leave the kitchen I catch a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror. Iâ€™m starting to get a bump. Now Iâ€™ll look even fatter. A plan. Thatâ€™s what I need.
Larryâ€™s wife Isabel. Sheâ€™s so sweet and naĂŻve. Sheâ€™ll be the perfect pawn in my revenge.
But how to do it. As Iâ€™m thinking I look through my mail. Thereâ€™s a postcard that says â€śHave you seen me?â€ť with a picture of a young girl. Suddenly, it comes to me. I laugh
out loud. This is going to be fun.
Isabel was sitting in her new nursery rocking her newborn son to sleep the next morning. Larry came in the room and kissed his wifeâ€™s head and brushed his sonâ€™s cheek with his thumb.
â€śIsnâ€™t he beautiful Larry?â€ť Isabel whispered.
â€śYouâ€™re beautiful.â€ť Larry said with a gentle smile.
â€śIâ€™ve got to go to work now, but Iâ€™ll be home tonight, I love you Isabel.â€ť
â€śI love you to honey.â€ť Isabel replied softly.
It had been such a strange year for the family. After the premature birth of Isabelâ€™s son Gabriel, Larry had been a new man. He stayed up every night and stared at his son in the incubator and waited on Isabel as if she were a princess. After Gabriel got to come home, Larryâ€™s metamorphoses had not stopped. He continued to be loving and devoted. Even while looking for a new job.
As Isabel was laying Gabriel down in his crib the doorbell rang. After making sure the crib was secure, Isabel hurried to answer it.
â€śYes?â€ť She asked as she was opening the door.
After opening the door and seeing the girl before her, she stifled a scream.
â€śOh my goodness, what happened to you?! Come in, come in!â€ť
The girl shuffled into the house. She had soaked fiery red hair. Thick eyeliner outlined her eyes. She continued sniveling after Isabel had shut the door.
â€śIâ€™m sorry to bother you maâ€™am, but my boyfriend is very abusive and he was chasing me in his car, I had to hide.â€ť The girl poured out as soon as Isabel looked at her.
â€śYou poor thing! Do you want to call your parents?â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t have any parents; they died last year in a car crash.â€ť â€śI live on my own. My boyfriend, well actually me ex-boyfriend, doesnâ€™t know where I live, but sometimes I have to get out you know?â€ť
â€śI understandâ€ť â€śIâ€™m sorry, but I donâ€™t even know your name.â€ť Isabel inquired gently.
â€śJe-um-Jessica, Jessica Sharpâ€ť the girl answered hesitantly.
â€śAnd Iâ€™m Isabel Smith.â€ť Answered Isabel smiling.
At that moment Gabriel woke up hungry and started crying for food.
â€śOh my gosh, do you have a baby? I love babies!â€ť
â€śYes, as a matter of fact, I do. Would you like to hold him?â€ť Isabel asked.
As Isabel led Jessica to the room, she thought about the poor girl and her situation. Not only did Isabel want to, but it was her Christian duty to help this poor girl.
â€śHere he is my big boy, Gabrielâ€ť
Isabel handed Gabriel to Jessica and took a good look at the girl. She was as tall as Isabel, but then werenâ€™t all the kids now? She looked malnourished, as if she hadnâ€™t ate in days. She had big, baggy clothes on. They looked about 3 sizes too big on her. As Isabel takes the baby she tells Jessica,
â€śYou know, I need someone around in the afternoons to help with Gabriel. To watch him, so I can run errands or rest.â€ť
Jessica beamed with delight.
â€śOh, can I do it? Please Isabel?â€ť
Isabel laughed at Jessicaâ€™s obvious happiness at the idea.
â€śYou can start tomorrow. Be here at 1 oâ€™clock.â€ť Isabel told her.
As I sit on my bed tonight I just canâ€™t believe my luck! Itâ€™s all falling into place. All thanks to one goody-goody. Iâ€™ve got to make her trust me first. Trust is the key. Trust and love. The cornerstones of a good relationship. Too bad no one ever told Larry that.
Isabel was resting her eyes before Jessica got there the next day.
â€śThis is a great idea.â€ť She thought to herself.
When she told Larry about hiring Jessica yesterday, he was a bit surprised. Once she told him about how she could get away to go to lunch with him now, he warmed up to the idea. She was just getting Gabriel up from his nap when Jessica got there. Isabel answered the door to Jessicaâ€™s brilliant smile.
â€śIâ€™m ready to get to work!â€ť she exclaimed.
All day she was a dear. She took excellent care of Gabriel, never taking her eyes off him. In her sparse extra time, she waited on Isabel hand and foot. Isabel thought she truly was a godsend. When she mentioned that her husband would be home soon however, Jessica reacted very strangely.
â€śIâ€™ve got to go!â€ť she suddenly yelled when Isabel told her.
She then seemed embarrassed at her outburst and regained control of herself.
â€śI mean, um, my show â€śAmerican Idolâ€ť comes on tonight, I canâ€™t miss it.â€ť
â€śWell, ok.â€ť Isabel stammered. â€śAt least let me write you a check for what I owe you todayâ€ť
â€śPay me next time!â€ť Jessica yelled as she sailed out the door.
Iâ€™ve got to be more careful! If Iâ€™m not, Iâ€™m going to be caught for sure.
Number two on my to-do list isâ€¦. Put plan into action. I laugh out loud
â€śI canâ€™t believe Iâ€™m going out!â€ť Isabel exclaimed happily. Two weeks had passed since Jessica started sitting for her and it had been wonderful.
â€śNow Iâ€™m just going to lunch.â€ť â€śAre you sure youâ€™ll be ok?â€ť Isabel asked.
â€śWeâ€™ll be fine.â€ť Jessica assured her. â€śWonâ€™t we Gabriel?â€ť she asked as she bounced him on her knee.
â€śOk, then I suppose Iâ€™m off, bye!â€ť Isabel called as she hurried out the door to her car.
As soon as she had left, Jessica started running Gabriel a bath. She giggled to herself as she ran the water. The phone kept ringing in the kitchen, but she ignored it. Theyâ€™ll call back, she thought. When the tub was full, she shut off the water and picked up Gabriel.
â€śHeâ€™ll have to love me and my baby now!â€ť Jessica said.
She lowered Gabriel into the water up to his neck. The infant knew something was amiss and started crying.
â€śSsshhhh, Gabriel, itâ€™ll all be over soon.â€ť
Jessica gleefully lowered him all the way into the tub. She was so absorbed in the task; she didnâ€™t hear Isabel return with Larry.
â€śSorry if I startled you Jessica, Iâ€™m just forgot my earrings!â€ť â€śLarry rode back
with me.â€ť â€śI tried calling, butâ€¦â€¦..â€ť
Isabel trailed off as she came upon the bathroom scene. When she saw Gabriel under the water she screamed.
â€śWhat are you doing?!â€ť she screamed as she scooped Gabriel out of the tub.
She immediately dug her cell phone out of her purse and called 911. Larry ran to the doorway just then. He recognized Jennifer instantly.
â€śYou!â€ť he said with evident mix of fear and surprise. â€śCall the police!â€ť he ordered Isabel.
â€śYou wonâ€™t get away with this!â€ť he angrily vowed to Jennifer.
Jennifer ran by him out the door. Larry tried to spin around to grab her and stumbled over his own feet in the process. Jennifer could hear sirens in the distance. She was almost out of the house, when she tripped over Larryâ€™s briefcase that he had dropped in the floor on his way in. Her stomach started twisting in severe pain.
â€śThe babyâ€¦.â€ť She thought as all went black.
â€śI canâ€™t believe it ended like this. This is not what I wanted. I didnâ€™t want to go to trial or jail. I didnâ€™t want to lose the one thing that would have made the judge more lenient with my sentencing either. I just wanted Larry. I just wanted someone to love me.
â€śAre your handcuffs to tight maâ€™am?â€ť The guard leading me to my cell asks. â€śI can get them to loosen them a little if theyâ€™re cutting your skin.â€ť
â€śOh my gosh, he loves me! This may turn out great after all.â€ť I think as I walk to my cell with a little bounce in my step.