But their conversation is turning my limbs light and my stomach in circles. They are men, with gray hair and pot bellies and low grumbling laughs, at the next table. They are reminiscing about the good old days, the "good old days" with women.
Heat is rising in my cheeks and my heart is beating faster and everything in me wants to strangle, to rail, to fight, to scream...to get them to stop, to get them to see.
Here you sit with all these years to know...and you still don't know.
They are talking so loudly...with so much pride, it sounds like bravado, and I feel sick.
Last night I was randomly struck with a thought, right before bed. I called out for Ryan, to come from the other room and I said, I just had the most terrifying thought.
What if she's beautiful? What if this baby girl is beautiful? That scares me so much because men can be so awful.
I just needed to say it.
One of them, in here now, he says, Yeah, all I had to do was pull the car to the side of the road and she knew what was coming. They all laugh, that loud laugh, like they're trying to be the most humored, like it's a contest. Then he says, She knew how it was going to end. More laughing. She'd make excuses--oh I need to work in the moring or oh it's so late--but I'd just say yeah yeah yeah...
more laughing. They just keep going, with the stories and the laughing.
Then as quickly as it started, it's over--the topic has changed to the weather, oh it's so cold--and their voices are growing softer and softer, barely audible, and then there's a silence, the kind that takes over after a last breath. A kind of eerie and then holy silence. It's over.
My shoulders relax but only a little and I'm whirling with my history and her future and I'm trying hard to grasp around for faith, to trust.
One of them gets up to leave, pulling up his suspenders and slipping his arms through his coat. He walks by my table, and he smiles at me.
And I want to strangle, to fight, to scream, to rail against it.
Everything in me wants to protect her always, and even more, everything in me wants to give her a voice.
*edited to add: I realize that bad things can happen to anyone, not just girls (or beautiful girls for that matter). I simply caught myself in fear and expressed it here. Beauty can draw a lot of unwanted attention, that's just simply where my thoughts began, and then I wrote them out.