After Blue Eyes stood me up that late August night, and then we subsequently decided we would exclusively date each other, we fell into a nice routine. There was lots of meeting up after classes, and spending the evenings together. I gave up my yogurt shop job as soon as the semester started. My work for the professional photographer was scheduled around my classes, but work was always during the weekdays, never on evenings or weekends. Blue Eyes didn’t need to work as his parents paid for everything, and he did, technically, still live at the fraternity house, and ate most of his meals there. He also spent a great deal of time there at the beginning of the school year, recruiting pledges and participating in pledge activities. We had plenty of time apart and when we did get together, we did things like bowling at the student center, going to movies, studying at the library. There were definitely signs of Blue Eyes propensity for flirting (hindsight is 20/20). On one of our earlier dates, a Friday night, we decided to study at the library then grab a bite and go to a movie. We got to the library, secured study carrels facing each other, and agreed to study for two hours, then head out. I sat down, diligently opened my books and set about studying. At one point, shortly after arrival, I noticed Blue Eyes leave his desk. I figured he was going off to the restroom or to get a reference book. As the two hours came to a close, I packed up my books and peered around the carrel to see if he was ready to head out. I am very task oriented. He wasn’t there. His book bag was sitting there on the desk. He had not opened a book. I set out searching the library for him, assuming he was using some reference material that couldn’t leave the librarian’s desk. I eventually found him, mercilessly flirting with two cute girls down a long row of books. He was laughing and at one point casually reached out and touched one of the girls on the arm. WTF? I walked up and looked at him. He finished what he was saying, no guilty conscious on that guy, and introduced me as a friend. Okay, great, whatever. Let’s go. We headed out and I asked him if he had ever intended to study at the library. He said, yeah, sure, but then he got sidetracked. He would study later. I said to him, isn’t it less stressful if you study first, and play later. He just looked at me and kind of shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t mention any more about the girls, and neither did I. I did wonder what the fuck they were doing in the library… because they sure weren’t studying.
During those first few weeks together, we spent a lot of time exploring each other’s bodies. Eventually, I was ready to solidify the relationship, make it official, get down and dirty, but Blue Eyes held back. He didn’t seem to want to have sexual intercourse. For a while, I respected his wishes and we did a lot of groping and kissing, and cuddling, and ironically, he was the one that really wanted the nurturing, the holding, and the long, slow kisses. I was the one that was crazy for the coitus. I wanted to consummate the relationship. Neither of us were virgins after all. He seemed content ejaculating everywhere but inside me. I was confused. We even talked about birth control. I was unable to take the pill as it made me sick all day. I didn’t carry condoms around with me, I guess I thought of it as the guy’s responsibility. Most guys carried them. This was pre-Aids epidemic. Of course everyone knew about protecting themselves against STD’s, but there wasn’t the widespread panic that ensued a few years later. We were young and careless.
As the weeks wore on, I had had enough. I told Blue Eyes I was ready to make love. The rest of our relationship had progressed. He had even slept over, much to my roommate’s consternation. On the afternoon of September 23, 1984, we were alone in the apartment. Blue Eyes and I were on my twin bed in the room I shared with my roommate and the kissing turned to fondling. My shirt was always the first article of clothing to hit the floor, then the bra. I pulled his shirt off over his head. He devoured my breasts (always his favorite body part) and off came the pants and eventually the underwear. As we lay there naked, hearts racing, legs intertwined, lips locked, I mumbled out the question that had been at the back of my mind, “do you have the condom?” He groaned that he had not brought one, but that he would pull out. Ugh, I was too far gone, I acquiesced. He thrust himself deep inside me for the first time and all the sexual tension that had been bottled up released from me in one long, fluid orgasm. He came shortly after, inside me. I was still feeling the after shocks of the pleasure, but I knew he had not pulled out, not that that would have guaranteed anything anyway. I have since learned that when I am ovulating, a good quality condom is the only guarantee.
We rolled to the side, him still inside me, exhausted. He had a big, content smile across his face. I kissed him on the lips and said, “you came inside me.” He looked at me with confusion, then awareness. I didn’t want to concern him, so I said, “ah, what are the odds…” The next day was like any other, except Blue Eyes went and purchased a large box of high quality Trojan condoms. As the week progressed, I knew I was pregnant. I do not understand how women can go for months not knowing they are pregnant. Their bodies must be completely different from mine. First it was the unreal breast tenderness, I mean seriously painful. I thought well, perhaps it is just PMS. I normally get a little breast tenderness with PMS. But then there was the heartburn, almost from the very beginning, I got heartburn every night before bed, every night. Then I was having to get up in class to go to the bathroom. Then, I missed my period. I had never missed a period. Like clockwork, I had not missed a period since I was 12 years old. I purchased a pregnancy test at the grocery store and I took it, in our little apartment bathroom, by myself. It was positive. I sat there on the closed toilet seat for what seemed like an eternity. What was I going to do? I was 21 years old, was in a relationship that was all of a few weeks old, with a boy that from what I could tell, relied on his parents for nearly everything. Since I had my suspicions about being pregnant, I had been thinking about the ramifications for a couple weeks. The test just validated what I already knew. Although I am a staunch supporter of women’s rights, I always knew there were a couple things I would not be able to to do 1) have an abortion, and 2) give up a baby for adoption. Things were about to get real.
When I told Blue Eyes that I was pregnant, I said there is some good news, and some bad news. The good news is: you don’t need to wear condoms for a while. The bad news: I am pregnant. He was stunned. We had talked about the possibility, but for Blue Eyes, why would he want to face such devastating news until he absolutely had to. Now that he absolutely had to, the answer to all our problems, was an abortion. I told him I could not get an abortion. We argued. He said he knew I was pro-choice. I said, I am pro a woman’s right to choose. That does not mean that I would choose that for myself. They are completely different concepts. He was like a deer caught in headlights. He wanted to run, but he was mesmerized by the danger. Finally, he did run. He ran back to his fraternity house and said he needed to think about it. For the next couple days, I was on my own. He didn’t call, he didn’t come by. I am a very self sufficient person, and I figured this was coming. He was immature and I am sure he was thinking about what would happen if his parents found out. They would pull all his educational funding. His cush little life would be over, just like that. After a couple days, he called and begged me to have an abortion. He had talked with a couple of his fraternity brothers…. I told him I would not have an abortion. Radio silence.
In the meantime, I explored my medical options. I was no longer on my parent’s plan, having turned 21 and being independent of them. That would be the only way I would ever be able to get a student loan if I wanted one, so when I started the school year, I was happy to be independent of them. Now, maybe not so much. Since I was a full time student, there was some minimal University medical insurance covering me. It was most likely not going to cover this. I would need to do some more research. I went to planned parenthood (gotta love Margaret Sanger) and learned about my “options.” I figured I would be doing this on my own. Even my roommate was being a bitch about it. She was Catholic, so at least I had her on my side when I told her I would not abort. But, even though she was SLEEPING WITH HER MARRIED BOSS, she chastised me for getting pregnant in the first place. I think the real problem was that I had disappointed her. Instead of being the carefree, party animal roommate she wanted, I ended up getting a boyfriend, getting pregnant, blowing her expectations, and ruining her plans. Whatever.
I scheduled to meet up with Blue Eyes at his fraternity. He would not meet me anywhere else. Big baby. Not sure what he thought those guys were going to be able to do for him against a pregnant 21-year old girl, but I guess it was moral support. We sat on the sofa of the main living room, there were a couple guys watching a movie. He wouldn’t even take me to his room for a private conversation, supposedly the roommate that already hated me was studying in there. I told Blue Eyes once and for all that I would not be having an abortion. I explained to him that I would have the baby, and that I would raise it. That I was afraid, but that life is about facing fears. What else was I going to do. The baby was inside me. I could not just walk away. That he would always be the father. He told me his parents would disown him. He cried. I knew it was a shitty position for him to be in. My parents would never disown me. Blue Eyes and I barely knew each other. I had not even met his parents, or anyone in his family. I told him that I cared for him and that we could make this work. I had always worked, hard. I could work and help put him through school. But that ultimately, it was his choice. I would not ask anything more of him. We said our good-byes.
And then, the next day, the thing that I did not expect to happen, happened. Blue Eyes called and asked to come to the apartment. He arrived with flowers and a kiss. He said not a single soul he knew was suggesting he do this, but that he was in. That he wanted to be with me. I told him nothing had to change right away, we had more than eight months to figure things out. By then it would be summer and he would have completed his junior year of college. We cuddled up together. He told me how much he had missed me.
On October 23, 1984, Blue Eyes’ 21st birthday, we had planned to go out to dinner. I was so exhausted. I was exactly one month pregnant and I felt like shit. I was attending five classes and I worked 30 hours a week. Other than Blue Eyes, a couple of his fraternity brothers, and the roommate, no one knew I was pregnant. Late in the afternoon, Blue Eyes and the roommate were studying in the kitchen area of our apartment while I was taking a nap in the bedroom. I was having awful dreams and even though I wanted to get up, move around, I could barely keep my eyes open, and then the cramping started. Horrible, painful, cramping. I finally got myself to a sitting position only to see that I was sitting in a puddle of bright, red blood. I tried to get up to go into the bathroom, but it was incredibly difficult with the cramping and weakness. I called for Blue Eyes and both he and the roommate came to help. They were shocked by my ghostly white appearance and all the blood on the bed. All I could get out was that I felt really, really awful, and I thought I was having a miscarriage. I went into the bathroom and passed more blood, lots of clots. I told Blue Eyes I thought we should go to the ER.
So, Blue Eyes and I spent his 21st birthday in the local hospital emergency room, and I had no insurance to cover it. As we sat there under the harsh lights waiting to be called back, Blue Eyes held my hand. Then, all of a sudden, bursting through the ER door was about 20 of Blue Eyes’ fraternity brothers. For a split second I thought, he called them. He called them? To come here, now? I turned to look at Blue Eyes and he looked as shocked as I. A couple guys were kind of half carrying one of the brothers who apparently injured his ankle or foot in a rec basketball game. The guys who were not helping with the injured, noticed me and Blue Eyes. They ALL came over to see what was up. Blue Eyes had his arms wrapped around me and he said, “Kat isn’t feeling well.” One of the guys said, “yeah, she looks like crap.” And then they all kind of chimed in with a “hope you feel better,” and they were off to follow their friends.
From that point on, Blue Eyes and I were inseparable. I had a difficult time bouncing back from the miscarriage. I lost weight. I dropped some of my classes. Blue Eyes paid for the miscarriage hospital bill with his savings.
A couple weeks after the miscarriage, Blue Eyes was acting kind of sheepish. It was a beautiful fall night and I was curled up on the sofa in the living room of my apartment studying. He came in with flowers and he said he had a surprise. He walked me over to the sliding doors of the apartment and out onto the balcony. There standing down on the grass were about a dozen of his fraternity brothers. They sang me a song and Blue Eyes presented me with a gift. It was a lavalier. A necklace with a pendant of his fraternity letters. This is an American greek fraternity tradition, which symbolizes involvement in an ongoing romantic relationship which may become a long-term relationship resulting in becoming “pinned”, engaged, and eventually married. At least this is according to Wikipedia.
I thought it was adorable how excited Blue Eyes was to present me with this gift and how carefully he had planned everything out. At the time, I did not know it held such significance, and perhaps, Blue Eyes did not either. It was such a sweet gesture, and I still have the necklace, of course, but by this point, only a couple months into our relationship, I felt overwhelmed. I wanted to dial it back. I wanted to relax and mourn my loss. I was not mourning the loss of a child, because I did not feel that way about the pregnancy at that point, so early in, but I think I was mourning a bit of my innocence. I was always the mature, self sufficient, self aware, independent one.
Blue Eyes showed me a different side.