“He moved in with her. She stayed home, cooked and washed for him while he went to work. Then she got pregnant. He asked her to have an abortion because his work assignment was almost over and he had to move back to where he lived before. Mama said she would keep me and my father gave her two names: one for a boy and one for a girl.
"I got the girl’s name. Mama said he sent her letters and money for a few months after I was born. Then everything stopped. Mama kept sending letters but there was no reply. When I was eighteen, she gave me the letters he wrote, a faded light blue boxers and an undershirt that had changed from white to brown. There was no picture of him. When I asked her what he looked like, she said my image of my face is the image of his face.
"After having my own family, I was curious to know my father. My husband and I found his address in Maryland—he was married—and we got his number from a cousin. I didn’t have the courage to call my father, as I felt nervous. My friend agreed to talk for me. When he answered the phone, she told him about my mother and about me. She told him I was listening.
“Lady, I don’t know you,” he said.
“But you are her father. She’s your daughter,” my friend said.
“Lady, I don’t know you. Don’t call this number again.”
I hang up the phone.
“Call him again,” my friend said.
“No,” I said, “I’m embarrassed.”
I’ll never know my father. That’s OK. I’m happy my children have a father they know and a father that loves them. They are my family.
This is Maggie's (psuedonym) story. If you have a non-fiction story you'd like to share, please read the Share Your Story page.