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I’m sitting at Kat’s, my favorite bar waiting for Ash, trying desperately to replay this morning’s conversation with Dr. Salaam. I can’t really remember anything because I think I blacked out. Thankfully she jotted down some notes for me to read when I have a clearer mind. I have not reached that point of clarity yet. I don’t remember anything that happened today after I heard the words, “Biologically you have a daughter. She’s four years old.” I know I went into work, but as God is my witness, I don’t recall anything that happened while I was there. Had Ash not sent me a text message reminding me about our date, I’d probably be at home on my couch with a bottle of wine trying to figure out what the fuck is happening in my life. I’m a Mom, or something like that. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know what I feel. I can’t process this. I need to talk this over with someone. That someone is probably Dr. Salaam, but since my brain stopped working while I was in her office, I suppose Ash will have to do.
“Can I get you another drink on the house, ma’am? You look like you need it.”
You know what, bartender? I do need another drink. Today has been strange. I just found out I’m a mother.
I could tell by the look on his face, he thought I was a Goddamn lunatic. How could a woman not know she’s a mother?
“We’re going to let this be your last drink, ma’am.”
I’m not drunk, sir!
“I’m sure you aren’t. Just let me know when you’re ready to head home and I’ll call you a Lyft.”
You must be new here. What’s your name?
“My name is, Rico.”
Well Rico, I thought bartenders were supposed to lend a sympathetic ear.
“I do have a sympathetic ear, but it’s reserved for people who aren’t already drunk.”
I’m not drunk! Here, read these notes. They’re from my doctor at the Windham Fertility Center.
I’m watching his eyes scan the notes, and I see a smirk. This asshole is laughing at me.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry. I don’t even know what to say. If you want to get drunk, be my guest. All of your drinks are on the house.”
Thank you! I’m actually waiting on a friend. Can she drink for free too?
Speaking of Ash, I wonder what the hell is taking her so long. I’m having a literal crisis and she’s nowhere to be found. I mean, I might be parenting a child soon. I’m pretty sure I have some rights to this little girl. This whole situation is making my head hurt. I don’t think these shots I’m drinking will help, but I don’t know what else to do at the moment. I’m not sure anyone would know what to do. Ashley has finally arrived. I swear you can see that bun sitting on top of her head from a mile away.
“Heeeeeeeeeeeeey, Eve! Sorry I’m late, traffic was hell! I see you started without me. What are you drinking?”
Tequila. I’m not even bothering to have it in a margarita. I’m just taking straight shots.
“Yikes! You must have had a rough day. What in the hell happened at work that has you taking shots of Tequila?”
I wish this was a work problem, Ash. I can handle work problems. I’m an accountant, and there’s always an answer when you’re dealing with numbers. There’s always a resolution, I just have to find it. I don’t know what the answer is in this situation.
Remember how I told you yesterday I got a letter from Windham about a security breach, so I was going to stop by there on the way to work?
“Yeah, I remember. What kind of breach was it?”
To make a long story short, I’m a mother.
“Wait, what? What are you talking about Evening? How many shots have you had?”
Why in the hell does everyone assume I’m drunk whenever I tell them I just found out I’m a mother?
Here, Ash. Read these notes Dr. Salaam gave me. I still haven’t read them yet. I kind of blacked out while she was trying to explain what happened. Not literally blacked out, but I don’t remember anything she said after she told me that I have a daughter. Will you read them aloud please?
Things you need to know:
- One of our doctors was performing procedures for desperate families at a much discounted rate.
- The eggs you’ve been paying us to store were fertilized, and implanted into a surrogate.
- Biologically you have a four year old little girl named Davinder (Davi)
I’ll bet you any amount of money her father’s name is David.
“Her father’s name doesn’t really matter right now. Would you like me to finish reading the list?”
Yes, go ahead.
- A couple used your eggs, and the husband’s sperm, so he is her biological father.
- They divorced, and the father has sole custody of Davinder
- Windham Fertility Center will be reimbursing all of your annual fees for the past six years, plus an unspecified amount for our negligence.
- You do have rights to this child should you choose to exercise them.
- We were hoping to handle this internally, but investigators are involved, and they will likely contact you.
- Feel free to call me with any questions.
“Wow, Evening. I honestly don’t know what to say.”
I know you don’t, Ash. You keep calling me Evening, when you know I hate to be called by my full name.
“Well I think it’s a lovely name, but that’s beside the point.”
Shall we order you a shot? I let the bartender read the notes, so all of our drinks are on the house.
“Actually, Eve I don’t think I want a drink. I just need a moment to process this. You should probably stop drinking so you can process this with a clear head.”
Sorry, hun. That ship sailed a long time ago. I’m probably going to shut this place down tonight. The bartender offered to get me a Lyft, so if you choose to leave me to drown in my sorrows alone, it’s fine.
“Can you please stop being dramatic, girl? You know damn well I wouldn’t leave you drunk in a bar!”
I don’t know anything anymore, Ash. I mean, yesterday I was just a thriving, single, fabulous, Atlanta socialite working for a great accounting firm. Now, suddenly I’m on the verge of being a single parent to a four year old. Nothing makes sense anymore!
“Um, I think you might be exaggerating your social standing in Atlanta just a little, but I understand the point you’re trying to make. Would you actually consider taking legal action to gain custody of this child, or at the very least visitation rights?”
I don’t know. I mean, she IS my daughter. I have no emotional attachment to her right now, but just knowing I have a child in this world changes everything. No matter what happens, my life will never be the same. Even if I let her stay with the shady asshole she knows as her father, I’ll never stop wondering about her. My life has been completely disrupted.
“Her father might actually be a good person that was just desperate to become a parent, Eve.”
That doesn’t make it okay for him and his ex-wife to steal someone’s eggs, Ash. If this was just about their desire to become parents, they could have legally adopted a child. There’s no way you can make me believe their hearts were somehow in the right place. What he and his wife did was completely selfish, and I don’t know if I want my child to grow up with people who think that type of behavior is okay. They are trash!
“Well, when you put it like that, I have no choice but to agree with you. But, the father has rights too, no matter how illegal their actions were. Try not to make any hasty decisions, especially while you’re drinking. Whatever you decide, I’ll support you.”
I know you will, and I appreciate that. I’m definitely going to take my time and try to do what’s right for Davinder. I have to make this decision with her best interests in mind. But, what if this is my only chance at parenting a child that’s biologically mine?
“Your feelings deserve consideration too. You can do what’s best for her, and what’s best for you too. There has to be some middle ground in there somewhere. Anyway, this is a lot to process. I really think you need to go home so you can figure things out without all this noise.”
You’re right, Ash. I definitely need to get out of here. I don’t want to have a meltdown in public.
“Are you going to be able to drive yourself home?”
Yes, I’m good. Believe it or not I’ve only had 3 shots.
“I think I’ll drive you anyway, just to be on the safe side. Grab your purse.”