Categories > Books > Outsiders1 Reviews
It was some kind of sick joke on God’s behalf, he was sure of that. Tim Shepard a father? ONESHOT.
“Where’s his ya- know … Penis?”
“She’s a girl,” the doctor replied.
Tim stared at the red, screaming lump of flesh and frowned. A girl? It was some kind of sick joke on God’s behalf, he was sure of that. It was for all those Sunday’s he skipped church, every time he had premarital sex, one night stands, cursed, got arrested … Oh yeah, he could bet God was laughing it up.
“We’re going to get her cleaned up,” the nurse said, to Sylvia. “Why don’t you rest, we’ll bring her over when she’s ready.”
Sylvia nodded, her eyes closing and opening. She looked like shit. She always was a knockout and then after she got knocked up - thanks to one night and a lot of bourbon - he seemed to find her less and less attractive. She had gotten fat, and then the stretch marks started showing up. He hadn’t seen her naked again, after he found out she was pregnant, but she just about freaked when the stretch marks showed up. Came right down to his house, lifted her shirt up and bitched for two hours straight. After all that screaming, blood and hell knows what else. He was sure he’d never want to fuck Sylvia again.
“I need a drink,” Tim said.
“Typical,” Sylvia snarled sleepily. She’d been pumped with enough drugs to fuel a freight. “You gonna abandon her, just ‘cuz she’s a girl?”
“I never wanted a kid.”
“Neither did I,” Sylvia mumbled. “But it’s too late to go back now, Tim. Face up to your responsibilities, you shit.”
Tim clenched his fists and resisted the urge to walk over and punch her. He sounded just like his mother. Breathing in he unclenched his fists and walked out of the room. Reaching into the pocket, he pulled out a pack Kools and lit one up.
“Uh uh uh,” a nurse wagged her finger. “No smoking in the hospital, especially not in the maternity ward.”
Tim scowled and stalked off, turning around the corner and into an empty room, he took a drag. He looked around the room he had stepped in and realized it was a chapel. Rows of pews led to a small wooden alter, with a cross propped on top of it. Sitting down on the nearest pew, he took another drag.
“I bet you’re enjoying this,” Tim muttered, staring at the crucifix.
He fucking wasn’t ready to be a daddy. He didn’t even know how to be a goddamn father. His own old man ran out on the family just after Angela was born - back then, he had never understood why. Years later, he figured his old man was just an asshole. Two years later his mother got remarried, and his stepfather was no prize either. All he did was get drunk, beat them and curse the day they were ever born … Fucking, great role models.
Draining the cigarette, he took out another one and lit it up.
“Excuse me?” A voice said. Tim frowned not looking up to greet the voice, he hadn’t realized someone had walked in, and was irritated that he’d jumped (not enough for the person to notice, he hoped).
“Yeah, I know,” he said. “Ain’t allowed to fucking smoke.”
“Actually, I was hoping you’d spare me one. I’m all out.”
Tim looked up to see a middle aged man looking down on him. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the carton and handed it over. The man took and cigarette and sat down next to him. Tim didn’t know he had given any signs of wanting company, and hoped the man would just leave him alone. No such luck.
“So, what’re you doing in here?” The man asked. “Praying for a loved one?”
“Yeah, right,” Tim said. “Just smoking.”
“You come to hospital chapels just to smoke?”
Tim narrowed his eyes and glared at the man, who didn’t seem the least bit concerned, in fact he looked amused.
“My kid was born about twenty minutes ago,” he said.
“Well, congratulations!” The man slapped him on the back. Tim frowned, he’d never heard anyone in his neighbourhood congratulate anyone over a baby, before. It seemed like the kids in his neighbourhood were usually born outta broken condoms, one night stands and broken marriages.
“It’s a girl.”
“I have a daughter, Molly,” he man replied, fishing his wallet out of his pocket and taking out a picture of toddler with the ridiculous name. “Ain’t she a doll?”
Tim didn’t think so, but decided against saying that, instead he just nodded as the man prattled on and on about her. He wondered if he’d ever be like that, taking to strangers and showing off pictures of his daughter - calling her a doll, cutie and fuck knows what else, and telling tales about how she got her head stuck in a fence even though the person listening wouldn’t give shit. He just couldn’t see it. The harder he thought about it, the more he realized he just wasn’t meant to be a daddy.
“Weren’t you pissed, that you didn’t get a son instead?” Tim asked.
“Well at first, a little,” the man replied. “But that all changed when I looked at Molly for the first time. Didn’t you feel the same way?”
“Would you feel that way if she was a boy?”
Tim thought about it hard and then said “No.”
“That’s a shame.”
“You think I’ll change my mind?”
“I don’t know,” the man sighed. “Do you think you will?”
Tim sighed. He just wasn’t ready, and he didn’t think he’d ever be. He hadn’t even had an old man of his own, let alone be one to a kid. Maybe it was in the gene pool. Deadbeat fathers.
Getting up, he walked out of the chapel and down the hallway. He didn’t want to see Sylvia again and figured it’d just be best if he left her to it. He slowed down when a large room, with a large window came into view showing a whole row of babies. He looked at all the babies in pink blankets, wandering if his daughter was one of them. They all looked the same, red little lumps of flesh. Some father, he’d be. He couldn’t even tell which one was his.
“Are you here to see your baby?” A nurse asked, with a smile that scared him slightly.
“Ugh, I don‘t -”
“Is it a boy or a girl?”
“Oh! How wonderful!” The nurse beamed, and he wondered if she’d doped herself up instead of the patients. “What’s her name?”
“Haven’t named her yet …”
“Oh, what’s your surname?”
“Shepard, but I don’t wa-”
“Okay! I’ll just go get her for you,” she smiled, hurrying into the room. Tim cursed, and wished he’d just pushed past her and walked out. He watched her go into the room and pick up a small pink bundle. Coming back out of the room, she shoved the baby into his arms.
“Cradle the head,” the nurse instructed. “There you go!”
Tim stared at the little face peeking from the pink blankets. She had a patch of black hair on her head, and from what he could tell, she also had blue eyes. She cooed, from beneath the blanket. With his free hand, he pushed the blanket away from her mouth. As he pulled his hand away, she lifted up her hand, and curled it around his finger.
Tim blinked, a strange feeling overwhelming him. He didn’t know newborns could do that. All Angela and Curly had done was cry and shit.
He felt a smile creep on his face, as he cradled her. Maybe being a father wouldn’t be so bad.