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Chapter 19: Scene 70: Where'll you go now?


ThinkLink: Have you known anyone your age that was going to have a baby?

       I kick bricks all the way down the steps in the Square, looking for Vonda. I find her next to the statue, the one with the guy holding a brass umbrella over his head.

       She grins at me. "How'd it go?"

       "Shitty." I change the subject. "Where'll you go now?"

       "There's places. I seen a caseworker up at the clinic on Eleventh. She's helping me get in somewhere."

       I look at her closer. "You sick?"

       "OK now. First time I went in was 'cause I had, like, the flu. I didn't think nothing of that. Been sick half the winter, sleeping in the cold, walking around all day in the rain." Then she gets this shiny look, like she's seeing something wonderful, something I can't see. "They said all it is--is I'm having a baby. A real live baby."

       "A baby?" I stare at her and she grins, ear to ear.

       "Yeah. A real kick, huh? I ain't got no family, so I'm making one for myself."

       "You all right? I mean, living on the street and all."

       "Fine so far. The doc, though, she tells me to stay clean. No dope , no drinks, not even smokes. Nothing. She even gave me vitamins to take. This little one don't come with a habit in her first day in the world." Vonda stretches her T-shirt tight over her belly. "Can't see yet. I got six, maybe seven months to go."

       I shake my head. "How're you going to make it?"

       "Stay off the streets, for sure." She stops short. "Not that we'll be too good to come down and see all you guys down here. I'll dress her up just like a little doll, bow in her hair and a fancy dress. Show her off just like Jessie did. Was you here when Jessie brought her baby to the Square?"

       "Nope. Don't know her."

       "She gave the baby to Kate to hold while she went down on Third to pull a trick . Didn't come back for hours. The kid wet herself and screamed her head off for something to eat. I won't never do that to my kid. You'll see." She gets up and pulls me to my feet. "So come around with me. While I tell the guys."

       We walk down into the Square and pass a kid leaning back against brick steps. I look back over my shoulder. It's Pat!

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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