I had no doubt that she would have been a girl, and that I would have named her Lola Harlequin in the way that most young girls think that if they had a baby they would name it something like a fantasy or a dream and then they do and then the poor child is forever marked as a mistake in the back of a pick-up truck or in a breathless bedroom, silent so the front door can interrupt. And I, in literary conceit, with no drop of Spanish in my blood, would have called her Lolita. With a name like that something terrible could happen to the poor thing, but I wouldn’t have thought of it like that. And her daddy would have left and I wouldn’t have cared because I’d have had my Lo. Lolalitalilola.
I would have dropped out and everyone would have talked but no more than they did anyway. I would have endured the disappointment of my family, endured knowing that I was the promising child no longer. I would have locked myself in with the sweet thing and touched her little fingers and little toes and gone nowhere in life but I would have had something with me that had my blood in it. But, with no tears, I got in the car with my parents and drove to the north end of the state and left what was already made of little Lo there, without ever knowing her face.
There are some afternoons that are greyer than most, when I ask all the questions that will never make it past my lips, when I tell myself all of the things I’ve never told anyone. Her father is miles away and his face and name are like acid at the back of my tongue. I am here, and I am now, and there is rain coming down in little specks that dot the pages of the book I am trying to read, and I smile at the sky because it is like London.