A Little Bean
Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College
A Little Bean
Kayla Sabella Weaver
This is a love story that begins with one boy and ends with another. It isn't a fairy tale romance quite like Twilight, but a love story nonetheless. I was seventeen, having the best summer of my life. I hadn't started college yet, and I wasn't about to let those last few months of freedom slip by. I spent May and June getting into trouble, goofing off, and falling in love. I had an amazing boyfriend, the type of boy who would walk miles in the middle of the night just to make sure I was all right. I believed he was perfect in every way. In late June, when I realized that my period was late, I first told myself that I was worried over nothing. As the weeks went by, an uneasiness began to burrow into the back of my mind. I continued to tell myself that this could never happen to me, that I had to stop worrying.
In early July, when the fear began to be too much, I finally relented and turned to a close friend for advice. She suggested I come over to her house, and we would go together to buy a pregnancy test and hopefully put my worries to rest. That night, I can remember sitting on the edge of her bed, feeling numb all over. One minute, two minutes, three minutes: The time slowly crept by. Every moment that passed, I felt my heart race faster. I remember my friend's voice cutting through my empty thoughts: "Do you want to check the results now?" I slowly nodded, and we headed towards the bathroom. On the counter lay two of the three tests I had taken. I stared at those pieces of plastic for a long time. There were two very definite pink lines on each. Two lines meant only one thing: I was pregnant. My friend looked from my face to the tests, tried making some joke I can't even recall now. I could feel a hard lump rise in my throat and stick there. I picked up my phone and typed out two simple words to my anxiously waiting boyfriend: "It's positive." A moment later, my phone buzzed with his reply. "Shit. We have to get rid of it." Warm tears spilled down my face, and the nightmare began.
After that night, vicious arguments and hateful remarks flew back and forth between my boyfriend and me. He only wanted one thing, and that was an abortion. He didn't consider my own desires or input. "Prepare for a fight, because I'm not giving up on this," he'd spit at me angrily. Day after day for weeks he'd bully me and we'd fight. My perfect world began to crumble around me. Feeling beat down and alone, I finally gave in to what he wanted and promised the abortion. A week before the appointment, his aunt, a medical technician, offered to do an ultrasound so we could see if the embryo was really there. I knew she was only trying to convince me to change my mind about the decision, but I went anyway, thinking I would only be lectured and talked down to once again.
I remember lying on my back on the crinkly paper of the medical bed at San Joaquin General Hospital. I was staring at a black and white screen in front of me as my boyfriend's aunt squirted the warm gel onto my bare stomach, placed the probe, and moved it around. After a moment, I was greeted by what looked like a little tiny bean in a pocket of black on the screen. My eyes never left it as she highlighted it with the cursor. "It looks like you're almost six weeks along," his aunt said. "Do you want to hear the heartbeat?" Startled, I could only nod my head as she clicked some buttons and moved the probe around my stomach again. Suddenly, a tiny heartbeat echoed throughout the room. I clenched my hands around my shirt tight enough to hurt. This little bean was alive, and I was listening to his tiny heart beating inside me. This was the moment the love for my son began.
I can still recall how I felt that day as I left the hospital with my boyfriend-angry, confused, and lost. Deep down, I knew I never wanted to go through with an abortion, but I didn't have the courage to tell my boyfriend. I was terrified of what he would do, so instead, I kept quiet. Feeling desperate and alone, I almost chose to give up my pregnancy. Then, on the day before my scheduled appointment, my mother finally found out I was pregnant.
My relationship with my mother is complicated. I never really knew my biological father. My mother divorced and remarried several times. I always despised how she put together and tore apart our family over the years, and I had vowed never to do the same to my children. I watched her struggle to find a home for us, a home that was close enough to keep us in the same schools and near our friends. She would take on extra jobs and hours at work just to be able to give us a comfortable life. I admired her. She continued with college and finished her bachelor's degree despite becoming pregnant and a single mother. My mother was always stern, making sure that the one aspect in our lives that would remain the most important was our education. She made sure we stayed in school, and expected nothing less than A's or B's on our report cards. I often had to sacrifice time with friends and after-school activities to get better grades.
In my teenage years, I often rebelled against her rules, and my grades often dropped. I began to lie, skip class, and fight with her. I had no goals for the future, no plans for college or a career. I only wanted to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. I didn't care that my mom only wanted the best for me; I often just thought she was being unfair. I still blamed her for tearing our family apart, and letting me grow up in a broken household, and I had taken refuge in my plans to escape to a fairy tale life with my perfect boyfriend.
Now, suddenly my fairy tale life had come crashing down around me. Reality hit hard, and Prince Charming had become a nightmare. I was terrified of how my mother would react because I knew how stern she was. I expected her to kick me out, to disown me, to ship me off to live with a father I hardly knew.
I was completely taken aback by her reaction. She called me into her room, and we had a long talk. I told her of the arrangements for the abortion, trying to convince her that I was going through with it. "But is that what you want, Kayla?" she asked with that irreplaceable motherly concern on her face. And in that moment, it was as if everything I had held in-all the pain of keeping it secret, and the struggle of fighting my boyfriend alone-came pouring out in reckless sobs that racked my whole body. "No, I want to keep it," I cried into her shoulder. She reacted to the news not with anger, but with sorrow. She was disappointed I hadn't turned to her first. I have never looked at my mother the same. I began looking up to her, seeing a strong woman instead of one bent on tearing apart my life. She knew the struggles I had to face as a single mom and a young student in college; she went through the same situation. She made it clear that even though she would be by my side through my pregnancy and beyond, I needed to continue my education and prepare to support myself and my son. It wasn't until after this talk that I began to face reality and grow up. I broke it off with my boyfriend, and although he was furious, I let him walk out of my life for good.
From the moment I saw my son's image and heard his heartbeat, I fell in love. He has changed my entire life, and he isn't even here yet. I wouldn't be here taking night classes if not for him. I now have set goals to enter the nursing program in the future. I plan to follow my mom's example, making sure I am prepared to be a mother myself by putting my education before anything else, because I know it is the only way I can really give my son a good life. Every kick and punch I feel (and there are quite a few of them nowadays) reminds me to stay on track in school and try harder to achieve my goals because everything I do, I am doing to give him a life he deserves. He's my little bean, and I can't wait to meet him.