“A year of heaven. Then I did something stupid,” said Stalker.
In the early 1970’s birth control pills had much higher doses of hormones in them. More strokes, more problems. Deborah was a physician. She knew the risks. She stopped using them. One night, I persuaded her not to worry. “It will be fine. Just once.” I insisted. She relented.
Deborah was not a 1960’s peace, love in, free-sex encounter for me. Yes I had had those. I did what the other communist, draft-dodging long-haired, dope-smoking hippies did. No, Deborah was a woman, a partner. My first.
We didn’t have any girls in the parish school. Starting in ninth grade, in high school, yes, then I went to school with many girls, beautiful girls. Catholic girls, Jewish girls, girls of all shapes and persuasions. “Stay away from the Jewish girls,” my mother Mary warned. “And the Protestants, and the . . .” Only Catholic girls allowed! “Those others don’t have any morals.” she said.
In those high school days, this disc jockey now with the golden voice, never at a loss for words, he had no idea what to say to a girl. I stammered, I blushed. I was scared. I would start “. . .er, uh, so, ummm” and close with “ah, ummm, okay.” With nothing in between. I would practice all night what I would say to a girl the next day. It would all come out a red-faced garble.
I went blank. I thought of the years ahead that had stretched in delicious mystery, where anything was possible. Evaporated in an instant.
“Er, uh, so, uh, should, uh, er we get married?”
“That’s the way you ask me?!” She turned her back to me and slinked away.
I should have said, “we can do this.” Don’t worry about a residency. You will be so far along in the program, they will give you a leave of absence. Don’t worry about money. I will work two jobs, two full-time jobs. I will make it work. I was 20. She was 28. I would make it work for us, I should have said.
I said nothing.
I am the one who drove her. A long, silent drive. She came out after the procedure looking white, looking small. She stood on her own.
I saw her. My knees buckled. I fainted.
I should have said, “I will take care of this.”
My son. My first murder. My son.
. . . to be continued