One True Hope
By: Stephanie Nolasco
My name is Denise Walker and I am your
typical teen. I have great friends, a loving boyfriend, attending Brown University
(a great college). However...I have a three year old daughter named Hope and I
am just 19 years old. Whenever I am with Hope, I get stares, smirks, rude remarks.
People even try to avoid me. They do this not only because I am a teen with a
baby, but because I am a red headed brown-eyed porcelain skin chick and Hope has
tanned skin and coarse brown hair.
When I was 16 years old, I had just recently
had gotten out of a relationship. I was constantly depressed and I used to cut
class to smoke pot. My parents were aware of my drug problem, but they didn't
care. They had enough problems with my sister Stacey committing suicide from a
yearlong battle of clinical depression. I did everything possible to get away
from my family and I discovered the world of sex, drugs, and partying. During
one of my wild nights out, I met this Mexican guy name Carlos. He was a drug dealer
and got me the best weed I had ever smoked in my entire life. After a night of
talking and dancing, we had sex in the lobby of a building. I barely knew him,
but I didn't give a damn.
Carlos was the best boyfriend I ever had. He got
me anything I wanted or needed. He and I would smoke pot and talk about things
I can't remember. A few months later, I dropped out of school and moved in with
Carlos. My parents couldn't have cared less. They had enough of dealing with Stacey
when she was alive and didn't want to have to deal with me. A month later, I found
out I was pregnant. I was more shocked than anything. Carlos didn't seem surprised.
His reaction? "Shit happens."
The next day, Carlos gave me the
money to have an abortion. I was cool with it. I took a cab, and sooner than I
thought, I was at the clinic. When the receptionist called my name, I left the
clinic crying. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. I didn't know why, but I just
couldn't kill my own baby and walk away. I went outside to the nearest phone and
called Carlos. The phone was dead. I kept calling and calling. No response. I
felt like screaming. It was so odd of him not to be home during the day. After
wasting three dollars worth of quarters, I hopped in the nearest cab and I wasted
the final couple of dollars I had left.
I started to knock on the smeared
painted door. No one responded. I kept on knocking. No response. I jammed the
keys out of my pocket and I opened the door. "Carlos... Carlos.... Carlos
stop playin, we gotta talk." I said, getting frustrated at the silence.
no response. I noticed our room was still open. That was strange. Carlos would
never leave the door of the room opened. That's where he hid all his drugs. I
went to check and there was Carlos. His face was pale and he had three needles
stuck in a vein. His body was as cold as ice. He wasn't moving move, no pulse.
After screaming and crying for what felt like forever, I called the police and
ambulance, which came very quickly. I found out that Carlos died three hours before
from a heroin overdose. Here I was at the hospital crying my eyes out, crying
over a man that I had been with for a short time. He was the father of a baby
I was carrying, which he would never meet. Here I was, having a baby. I had no
job, no money, no man, and no education--nothing. How was I going to bring a child
into the world? I had to clean up my act and start acting like an adult. I was
no longer 16 years old. I was a woman.
I went back to school and studied
every night for exams while my belly grew bigger and bigger and I went to my prom
with a bulge the size of a basketball. I went to rehab and I stopped using pot,
although I sometimes craved a blunt. However, I have no regrets about that. I
graduated and was accepted to Brown University (I had great grades before leaving
school for that short period of time), the school of my dreams. On the night of
graduation, I was so excited and proud of myself that I ignored the fact that
I was in extreme pain. Faded white liquid dripped down my gown and I could barely
walked. I then fell to the ground and I forgot everything.
A few hours
later, Hope Rodriguez was born. She looked so much like her father that it scared
me. She had tanned skin with big brown eyes, which opened in fear when she saw
her new world. Her hair was not as soft as other babies. She had coarse brown
hair, just like her father. I named her Hope because she had been my hope. Despite
the fact that I was alone in a drug-filled world at the age of 16, I had wished
that I would overcome everything because of her. If it weren't for Hope, I would
have never even considered cleaning up my act like I did. I would have most likely
gone into a world of depression and drugs and would have been buried next to Stacey.
I gave her Carlos's last name because although he wanted to get rid of her, his
blood runs in her veins. If he were alive, I'm sure that he would have be happy
with my decision to keep her. It's a shame he isn't alive to appreciate the most
precious thing that he wanted to get rid of.
Hope is now three years old.
She is a very active little girl who loves Sesame Street and the Powerpuff Girls.
Her favorite thing to do is drink a bottle of chocolate milk while I cram for
my exams. I get stares from racists and close-minded people because I am young
and have a half Mexican baby. But I don't need anyone's opinion. I cleaned up
my act, I am studying to become a doctor, and I have the best thing in the world,
my daughter. Plus, I am with this wonderful guy named Anthony who accepts the
fact that I have Hope. Anthony and I are deeply in love and after a year and a
half years of dating, he has asked me to marry him and I have accepted. I have
a happy life. Everyday when I wake up, I kiss Hope and thank her for being born.
No matter what life brings in my way, she will always be the one that pulls me
through. She will always be my one true hope.
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