Where Dads Go: A story for my unborn child (fiction)


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My submission "Where Dads Go: A story for my unborn child" is up for the Goodreads Book Club Slideshow Story Contest! Here's my story of a mom telling/showing her unborn child about being abandoned by fathers in her family line and also how relationships have played out in her family over generations.

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Where Dads Go: A story for my unborn child (fiction)

  1. 1. Where Babies Come From Where Dads Go: A story for my unborn child By (Your Mom)
  2. 2. 2011 Percentage of U.S. Children Raised in Single/Two Parent Households Unfortunately, you are now part of this statistic.
  3. 3. Our Family Tree (aka The Dad Line) 1934-present 1859
  4. 4. Father Folklore Great great great granddad: Zacharias (Tennessee, 1859) What we like to believe What more than likely happened
  5. 5. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella Our First Encounter (2008) At a house party in Bushwick, Bk the day after we graduated from college.
  6. 6. Great Granddad Jeremiah (1934)
  7. 7. Parents: Granddad Jack, Grandma Tonya (1962) Name: Jack Anthony McCallister (White) Mother : Cate Sivert (Dutch & American) Father : Alan McCallister (White) Born : May 1935 Dayton, OH Died : January 2000 Virginia State Penitentiary Spouse : Tonya Pinkett McCallister (Negro) (b. 1936, m. 1955 [OH]) Children : Ava (b. 1957) and Raymond (b. 1959) Employment : Contractor in Virginia Day his life began (quoted from his wife): “When Tonya served me her special made peach cobbler in my favorite diner back home I knew I wanted to see her face when I ate every day for the rest of my life.” Day his life ended (quoted from signed confession): “Man called my wife a ‘nigger’ as we were leaving Sears Roebuck. He spat at her feet, almost hit the toe of the new penneys I bought her. She was shivering and lost the color in her cheeks. My kids were there. She had one on each arm. “ I told him to watch his mouth and he back talked. I pushed him down. He got up and swung at me. I ducked. When I snapped my arm back I caught him in the jaw. He stumbled and next thing I know I hear his head crack on a pile of bricks. “ I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
  8. 8. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella Our Fourth “Date” (2008) “ I don’t think this is going to work out. I mean…I’m not your type. And--” “ I just asked if you wanted to go to Carnegie Hall. I have an extra ticket.” “ I mean. You’re a nice guy. I never go out with nice guys.” “ So you don’t want to go with me? Wait. Why don’t you go out with nice guys?” “ Want to put that Psych degree to use, huh? I bet you’ll say it’s because I have abandonment issues because of the men in my family.” “ I studied social work.” Silence. “ Listen, do you want to go with me or not? I’d hate to let a ticket go to waste.” “ We should be friends. I’m a better friend than girlfriend.” “ Okay. I’m asking my friend to the philharmonic. Does my friend want to go?”
  9. 9. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella “ Sure. Why not try something new.” He pays the bill. “That’s the spirit.” “ I’m glad you liked it.” “ What were you going to say?” I glare at him, but can’t help smirking. “ Okay, but don’t go falling in love with me or anything.” “ You know I thought it was gonna be boring, but it was lively, beautiful even.” “ No one’s ever…” He hesitates. “As a friend?” “ Nevermind. Wanna come to my place for a drink?” After the concert.
  10. 10. <ul><ul><li>Cliff Huxtable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mike Brady </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>President Barack Obama </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King George VI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King Jr. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>J.R.R. Tolkien </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jim Henson </li></ul></ul>A: They never ran out on their children and accepted being a parent. A: They accepted the responsibility of fatherhood.
  11. 11. Parents: (My Dad) Malcolm, (My Mom) Ava (1977) My parents’ first conversation. St. Nicholas & 127 th Street Miss. Miss! Fine looking lady standing on the corner! Need a ride? I’m waiting on the bus. I’m sure it’s due soon. The M101 don’t come past twelve. Better off with me. Licensed to drive people all over. It’s fine. Really. I’ll just be patient. I got nothing but time these days. A fine looking, well put together lady like yourself on a dark street…in Harlem. Your man should be out here offering a ride. I don’t need a man to drive me anywhere. You saying you don’t have one or you too good to have one? Neither. I just said I don’t… Ouch! Damn shoes. Don’t let that lady pride get in your way of a ride. C’mon. I’m as good as gold. I promise you. Thank you. I’m Ava. Ava McCallister. I live just up the way. [Waves him away with her purse. Stares off in the street.] [Pulls up in a gray caddy. Rolls down window and shouts.] [Leans out the window and looks where Mom’s looking.] [Shifts in her heels and lifts her foot to examine it.] [She extends her hand and he kisses it.] [Gets out the car and opens the passenger side for her.] [Sighs as she shrugs her shoulders.]
  12. 12. My parents’ last conversation. [Door slams shut.] [Mom picks up the pan of scolding water.] You need to get rid of it. I ain’t in the mindset for this. You said you’d be there for me. You’d take care of us and all. What happened? You trying to trap me, woman? Is that it? You think I want this! How do I know what you want! It ain’t fair I have to carry all this and you can go out and shuck and jive. Like I ain’t nothing. You got a problem with me now, huh? Think you better than me? Well you ain’t! You spread your legs as easy as any other woman. You get out my place talking like that! You don’t disrespect me like that! You set your mind on it, huh? Well then. I’m gone! Go on then! What woman would want your raggedy ass? Mom’s kitchen – Convent Avenue/140 th St. [Points at Mom’s swollen belly.] [Back turned to him. Watching water boil and mixing creamed corn in a pot near oven.] [Approaches Mom hand ready in the air.] [Turns around to stare at him.] [Backs away, grabs jacket off kitchen chair.] [Clutches belly after a passing spasm.] [Smacks palm with a newspaper for emphasis.] Parents: (My Dad) Malcolm, (My Mom) Ava (1978)
  13. 13. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella After six months of dating (2009) Warren versus Smirnoff I place the bottles at the corner of his desk. He looks up from his computer and nods. As he goes to throw them out he says, “I love you too.”
  14. 14. Parents: Uncle Raymond, Cousin Karen (1991) “ My dad used to have me sit on his lap when I was a kid. That changed when I got older.” “ Creaking. First the door, then the bed when he sat down. He’d rub my back like when I was a girl, then his hand went further down.” “ I started feeling sick. Even bacon, my favorite, made me gag. He came that night, said he knew what’d make me feel better.” “ He came a while later and saw my belly sticking out under the sheets. He didn’t say anything just backed out the room slowly.” “ My mom wanted me to get it ‘taken care of,’ which was odd since she’s a (makes quotation marks with fingers) Christian. Made me wonder if she knew.” “ My dad patted me on the head one morning and asked if I wanted to sit on his lap. No one laughed at the joke but him.” “ I couldn’t imagine what a baby would turn out like with a father like mine. So I left. Let the rest of them be in denial. I know what’s real.” “ When I asked to stay with Aunt Ava she took a knife out the drawer and said ‘If I see that nigger I’ll cut him.’” “ Church seemed like the safest place to be after awhile. The piteous stares I got were for one reason, but not the real one.” “ I was torn in half and left with my privates burning. Everything hurt, but they laid my baby on my chest and I looked in his eyes and thankfully didn’t see his. My baby came because he had to be born and I needed to be reborn.” Conversations w/ Karen when she stayed with us.
  15. 15. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella Our 1 st anniversary (2009)
  16. 16. Parents: (Your) Uncle John, (Your) Aunt Evelyn (2001) Evelyn Richards John’s fail-safe methods for finding a good woman Results: Evelyn passes with flying colors.
  17. 17. Parents: (Your) Uncle John, (Your) Aunt Evelyn (2003)
  18. 18. Lies/Fibs/Slight Untruths People Tell Kids About Their (nonexistent) Dads* *I will never tell you these lies.
  19. 19. Parents: (Your Dad) Warren, (Me) Ella (2011) Mourning Our last moments together His Diagnosis: Advanced lung cancer His Treatment: Heavy bouts of chemo His Reactions: Fatigue, frailty, fever, severe nausea, dizziness His Prognosis: He won’t live past three months
  20. 20. I hope that… Love, Mom