|One Percent of You|
|May 5th 2019|
|Make no mistakes about it. I know what I look like to others. Young, government-aided, pregnant mom. They see Lucy on my hip, and they see a mistake. I mean, why else would someone have a child so young, right? They couldn’t be more wrong. I’m too busy most days between parenting, work, and finishing up my last year of nursing school to let their judging gaze tear me down until he moves in the vacant house next to the apartments I live in.
His cold, blunt observation of us doesn’t differ from any other stranger. He doesn’t know me, but he’s already painting a picture of who he thinks I am in his mind. He judges my very round belly, Lucy’s inability to leave him alone, the bags under my eyes, and the fact that I could not care less what I look like anymore.
He’s a rude guy. Stays that way for months too. Then something happens, I’m not even sure what. Judgmental Guy decides Lucy and me — as well as baby Eli — are worth his friendship.
Turns out, Judgmental Guy isn’t too mean — okay, he kind of still is. But he graduates to Elijah. I build an unlikely friendship with him which deems it necessary for him to start smiling around me and my kids.
I’m wrong again. Elijah isn’t rude. He’s terrifying. His strange acts of kindness are unraveling me. Elijah is only my friend.
Oh, fudge. I think I’m wrong. Again.