by Ariah Fine
She sat on the kitchen counter in faded jeans and a plain white undershirt, her hair pulled back in an unassuming ponytail, her knees pulled up to her chest, a few tears trickling down her cheek. He leaned back and took another swig of milk, straight from the carton, trying to let her words settle in. She'd fully expected him to hit her, not because he'd ever been physically aggressive before, but her story was so outlandish, she'd imagined only the worst. "Was it James..." he questioned out loud, partially to himself, but also giving her a chance to come clean, "Matt, maybe?" Her tears came down again, hard now, she hadn't expected him to believe her impossible story, she almost wished the truth was as simple as he thought, but her heart still broke as his questioning gave indication that her hopes for the future were quickly slipping away. It was over, before it had even begun, and all that awaited her now was a life as an outcast, whispered about at the market, ostracized by her community, left alone to raise her child, that bastard child.
Ariah Fine, author of Giving Up, lives with his wife and beautiful daughter in North Minneapolis. He writes daily at his blog.