My 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.

Still 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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