I've been secretly dating Rosa Mori for seven months now. I'm not ashamed of our secrecy, but I am scared for her. She told me before what her aunt had thought about me. I am bad blood to her; an evil person. She never liked me even before Rosa got here. Ms. Sato isn't the only one who thinksthat way though. In Tuckman the people are keen on keeping to their original ethnicity. Blood to blood. If someone were Mexican he would have to marry a Mexican. Any other race and there would be riots. We didn't mind befriending other races as long as we don't sleep with them. If you are an African woman and a Caucasian baby comes out of you you would most likely be ignored or judged as harshly as possible by the entire town. Some of the victims would actually move away from the harshness that had been inflicted upon them.
I knew all of this andyet I still made love to Rosa. She trusted me enough to let me have her as her second.
“No,” she said, “I want you to be my first.”
She never talked about her first and I was okay with that.
But when she told me she was pregnant three months later there was an issue. Sato knew it was mine just from the look on Rosa's face. She spit at me and told me that I would never see that baby.
“You can't stop me from seeing my own child!” I yelled at her.
“You had best mind me in my house, Walters.” she said coldly.
She wasn't listening to me and Rosa was in the bathroom throwing up. There was nothing I could do now. Not while her aunt was watching her.
I didn't get to see Rosa again for another three months. And that was through her window. Since she was seven months in her aunt didn't allow her to go to school or even out of the house for that matter. I was scared for her, when I finally saw her she had looked more like she lost weight rather than gained it.
I ask her how she is doing,
She smiles at me.
“I'm doing fine, just tired.” she says wearily. Bags are hanging from her little eyes and her hair is matted and tangled.
God what has that woman done to her?
I ask her if the baby is okay.
“Your daughter is perfectly healthy.” she laughs. It is her first time telling me the sex of the baby and I feel my heart leap.
“A girl?” I ask, not quite believing her.
She continues to laugh and nods her head.
I tell her to keep her voice down and she covers her mouth with her hands but she couldn't stop herself from laughing and neither could I.
She let me climb through the window and lay with her in bed for awhile. I miss the feel of her skin more than I thought I had. I couldn't stop touching her and kissing her. She is so small next to me; like a child herself. I feel a pang of sadness admitting to myself that we were both only kids. Sato would never let me near them when the baby is born. She would see it as the blind leading the blind.
I distract myself from those painful thoughts.
“What are you naming her?” I ask.
She put her index finger to her chin in exaggerated thinking and giggles.
“I like Lily,” she says, “and don't tell me you don't like that name because I've always liked it. It reminds me of the lilies in Japan. Mother had a beautiful garden full of lilacs, roses, tulips, daisies, and lilies. She named me Rosa after the most beautiful rose in her garden.”
I smile at her and say that Lily is perfect.
She kisses me and holds on to me despite the large bump that is her stomach. I couldn't help but think about Lily and Rosa. Rosa looks so fragile I'm afraid the baby would turn out unhealthy.
No, I can't think like that way.
I need this baby to be born no matter what the town says.
“I love you, Rosa.” I say.
She smiles up at me with her eyes closed.
“I know, aisuru.” she says tiredly. That isn't my first time saying those words to her I just want to reassure her.
“Have you told your parents?”
“That I love you?”
“You know what I'm talking about.”
She opens her eyes and looks at me sadly.
“They won't talk to me,” she says, “Sigu has already talked to them. She told them I bare bad blood in my body.”
My blood ran cold.
I am really starting to hate that woman.
“Your blood is not bad, aisuru.” she whispers, holding my hand so tightly it hurts. But I don't pull away.
I can only bring myself to smile at her.
But she is looking at the ceiling with sorrow in her eyes.
“Are you okay?”
She nods and turns away from me, scooting herself back so she touches me more. I wrap my arms around her and drift off into a wary sleep. I can never sleep peacefully in this house; always worrying about Sato barging in and kicking me out...literally. I hardly ever sleep soundly, though. The last time I did it was after me and Rosa had slept together several months ago. We felt safe with each other that night. There was no one to bother us and the night was filled with the sound of cicadas and the smell of lemons. I was happier than I had ever been in my lifetime when I was with her.
I dread the moment I have to leave. It is nowearly in the morning. Sato is still sleeping.
I climb out of the window as quietly as I can. It is still dark but the sky is a bluish pink and the stars still shone bright and high.
Rosa grabs my hand when I'm fully out of the window.
“If I don't see you before the baby arrives,” she says, “I want you to be at the hospital with me no matter what, okay?”
“Yes, of course.”
She kisses my hand before letting it go. My hand burns when her lips leave my skin. I want her touch so much it hurts. I want to hold her forever without a care in the world.
I leave her there with that devil woman and start for my home.
I look back several times but I never saw her looking back at me.
I would never forget her face but I wish I had seen her one last time.