Yvonne stood still, scared and uncomfortable… All five feet four inches of her were frozen and leaning against the passenger door. She was in her friends blue t-shirt with her favorite dark blue Gap jeans. Her chocolate-brown hair bypassed her broad caramel shoulders as she waited outside her friend’s car. Lisa, her friend, walked heavily down the wooden apartment stairs and popped the trunk of the car as she returned her bat to its rightful place and got into the front seat.
“He wasn’t home,” Lisa said.
Yvonne’s stomach dropped at the thought of “he.” He was Chris Rose. He had broken her heart time and time again. ‘Same old sap story,’ she thought, and ‘same ol’ sap girl running back.’ She was happy that Chris didn’t lose his life that night to Lisa’s bat and anger, but more than anything else she was disappointed in herself.
“It’s your body, you have to respect yourself,” Lisa’s mother told Yvonne over the phone as they drove to the nearby Target.
They exited the car and walked into the store searching aisle after aisle of the pharmacy section, Yvonne’s favorite part. But on this day they weren’t there for tampons, Chapstick or contact solution.
Lisa picked up a pink and white box. “Here,” she said, “this one will do.”
Ashamed, Yvonne went to pay for her sin and they exited the store together.
She wished that relief would wash over her as she stood in the communal bathroom on the second floor of Morgan Hall. The negative mark on the pregnancy test made her heart flutter, but the reality of her situation kept her from smiling.
Lisa rushed in the bathroom.
“So?” Lisa asked impatiently.
“I’m not pregnant,” Yvonne replied as she looked up at her friend, “I’m not pregnant, I don’t have A.I.D.S., and everything is great, right?” she asked sarcastically, knowing all too well that this was not the end.
“Let’s go tell Faith and leave. I want to go back to my room. Thanks for being there today.”
Lisa didn’t say a word. She opened the door and they returned to Faith’s dorm room. “I’m going to go back to my dorm,” Yvonne said, “oh and by the way, I’m not pregnant.”
Back in her room Yvonne hopped on her bed and turned on the television. Tears began to stream down her face as she thought of the doctor. Cold and judgmental, the woman was in a rush. She had examined Yvonne, spoke nine words, handed her a few pamphlets and left the room.
The chilling words kept ringing in her head, “You have HPV. Do you know what that is?”
‘DO I KNOW WHAT THAT IS?’ Yvonne thought to herself, screaming inside of her head. ‘OH THOSE COMMERCIALS ON TV? THAT SHOT THAT I TOOK TWO MONTHS AGO TO PREVENT IT?’
She kept quiet, and stared at the pamphlets in her hand. She wanted to cry and silence everything around her, but all she could do is think. ‘Am I going to be able to have kids?’ ‘What am I going to do?’ ‘Oh my gosh I hate Chris so much!’
She was a composed wreck. She stood up as the doctor left the room and put her clothes back on. As she walked to the front lobby she felt like a ghost. Her friend looked up.
Before even being questioned she blurted out, “I have HPV,” while shaking her head and holding back tears. “I have HPV,” she repeated slowly.
“That son of a bitch!” Lisa yelled as she grabbed their things and pushed Yvonne out the front door. “Oh, you have HPV, so that means he gave it to you. Wait ‘til I see that motherfucker!” she yelled.
The next day Yvonne, her roommate Nina and Lisa sat in her room devising a plan to take Chris down. Their plan: fake a pregnancy.
“Tell him you want an abortion,” Lisa said, “and that he needs to give you money for it. He’s got to do it. Trust me; he doesn’t want to be a father.”
Yvonne’s text got a quick reply. He called her immediately and was in disbelief. This same man who acted like she didn’t exist for three weeks had suddenly returned her text and finally acted like he cared.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Can you meet me at 7?” Yvonne asked.
“Sure. Do you want to come to my place?”
“No,” she replied, “meet me outside of my dorm.”
She quickly hung up the phone and looked at her friends.
“What do we do now?” she asked.
An hour later she was dressed in an oversized blue University hoodie, beat up jeans and old sneakers. She pulled the hood over her head and sat on her bed.
“Good enough?” she asked as her friends judged her costume.
“Yup,” Nina replied.
“Make sure you try not to look him in the eye because you’re the worst liar,” Lisa said, “and look sad.”
Forty-five minutes later she was on the elevator headed down to meet him. Her stomach felt sick, but it was too late for her to turn around and go to the bathroom. This was soon to be the first acting role of her life; lucky for her she hated him so much that it was easy to play the part.
For a week she walked around campus like a zombie. She was playing the role of a teenage pregnant girl in her first trimester. It was getting to be cool outside so the hoodie was perfect for the weather, and it made it easy to pick out outfits in the morning.
Yvonne knew his schedule; they passed by each other every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning around 9 a.m. She would be headed to history class and he would be headed to his computer science class. Bumping into him was easy, he was on the lookout. She even noticed his friends staring at her as she would pass by them on campus every now and then. ‘Chris is making it so easy for him to get played,’ she thought.
On Thursday, six days after he was briefed about her “current situation,” he stopped her in the student center.
“Let’s talk outside,” he said. She looked up at him. He had grown out his mustache and goatee. It looked as if it had been ages since he had a haircut, and he was wearing the same shirt she saw him in the day before.
“I’ve been trying to come up with the cash,” he told her while outside, “All I have is about $80 right now, I’ll get the rest to you by Monday.”
He handed her a wad of cash and hugged her.
Without saying anything she nodded her head and began the walk towards her dorm. Smiling, she felt kind of bad for the sucker. He looked awful. When she got to her room she took the cash out of her pocket and counted the bills.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ she thought, ‘Thank God he’s not my baby daddy.’
Lisa called and they met for lunch and had a good laugh at Chris’ expense.
“When do you think I should tell him about the… you know?” Yvonne asked.
“Once you get the money,” her friend replied.
Yvonne heard her phone go off and pulled it out of her pocket.
“Oh Gosh. He just text me that he knows some place in Richmond that can do it. What do I say?”
“Tell him no, you’re taking care of this. You’re going to Planned Parenthood out here. You don’t need his help, just the money.”
“Well, he wants to come.”
“Come where? You’re not getting an abortion. Forget that. Give me the phone.”
Lisa took care of the situation as she was accustomed to doing and they finished their lunch – soggy cheese pizza with a side of French fries… healthy and nutritious.
When she returned to her room she sat on her bed. Days and weeks would pass, but even with the games she was playing to “get even,” she did not feel any better. She kept replaying her past months with Chris.
They had been seeing each other for seven months. During her freshmen year of college he swept her off of her feet in the cafeteria after Easter break, their relationship blossomed and during the summer, when they were apart, they spoke on the phone two to three times a day.
They would laugh and joke with each other about the day they finally met. She had an incident with a centipede in her dorm, ran out of her room in her panties and bra, and was consoled by her neighbor Niya. After a failed ‘search and kill mission’ for the bug, she quickly got dressed and went to the cafeteria with Niya.
The cafeteria was near empty, and sitting at the table in front of her was the guy who she always caught looking at her.
She had previously seen Chris at basketball games, in the student center and around campus, and every time she would see him she swore he would stare her down.
On this day she built up the courage to go and say something to him, and from that occurrence they found each other on Facebook, exchanged phone numbers soon after, and a relationship ensued.
She thought he was prince charming, her Knight from Richmond, Virginia – where her grandfather once lived.
She was right… he was charming. But so was the devil.
When the new school year came around and they were back to seeing each other daily she finally let him win. She had been holding out because she wanted this to be a “real relationship.” Two months passed since their first time and all of a sudden he was M.I.A.
She caught him with another girl, arms wrapped around her and walking towards his apartment. She wasn’t looking to catch him, it was innocent. She was passing by with her friend Sam, after a get-together and…
“Oh look, there’s your boy Chris!” Sam said.
It was dark, so the arm around the girl’s waist was not apparent. As he got closer, Yvonne’s smile faded and Chris slowly pulled his arm back towards his body and moved away from the girl.
Yvonne smiled, “Hi,” was all she could muster up. His face looked shocked, like a child who got caught with his finger in a cookie jar before dinner, and he laughed. ‘What a response!’ she thought as she grabbed her friend’s arm and walked by Chris and his lady friend.
“What the fuck?!” Sam said.
“Yo Vonney!” She yelled as she stopped.
“Yo, do you want me to black on him?”
Yvonne kept pulling her friend towards their dorm.
“Yo,” Sam repeated, “Seriously, do you want me to black on him? Did you see that?”
Yvonne looked down at the floor, and her friend shook her hand from her grasp and wrapped her arms around her. They stopped for a second.
In all honesty it could’ve just been a girl who was his friend. But after the week or so of him not returning calls or texts, she knew it wasn’t just that. The look on his face said it all.
That night she cried until her face turned red. She sat at her desk and wept alone until her friends knocked on her door. Sam and their friend Shanay walked in and she stood up to greet them. They grabbed their friend and hugged her, holding her up as her body convulsed and she continued to weep.
Tissue in hand, Yvonne let go of her friends, wiped her face and sat on her bed. Little did she know that this was a blessing, and that Chris seeing other girls was the least of her problems.
Yvonne snapped herself back to reality. ‘Stop thinking of him’ she told herself – It wasn’t that easy.
Monday finally came around and so did Chris. They met outside of her dorm after his last class. He pulled out his wallet and handed her $40.
She looked at his face wanting to cry. ‘When did this happen?’ ‘Why did you do this?’ She wanted to ask him a million questions but she did not want to cry, she did not want him to know how vulnerable she was and how close to the edge he had pushed her.
Without saying anything she put the money in her pocket and turned away from him, leaving him standing alone outside of Dupont Hall.
The money was going towards the doctor’s prescription, Lisa and Yvonne went to the pharmacy the night before. Without insurance the medicine cost $524. There was no way that she was going to call her parents, so this was the way she solved it on her own. She had money saved up, and Lisa helped. But Chris, the cause behind all of her pain, was no help at all.
$120 was also not enough for an abortion. Luckily for her that’s not what she needed.
The money was supposed to help her cope and was supposed to also get back at Chris, but it had done the opposite. It showed her that he was pathetic, he was a loser. And if he had in fact become a daddy, he would’ve been the type that you complain to your friends and the courts about. He was not a man.
What made it worse was that she had fallen for him; she had fallen for a loser. ‘My dad raised me better than this,’ she thought as she cried alone in her room. ‘I’m giving up on men.’