• Chapter One: Elli

    I never knew that for my sixteenth birthday I wasn't going to be celebrating like the other girls but actually having a girl instead. The sheet that kept me from seeing the doctors and nurses rip inside my stomach showed their silhouettes. I looked up at my mother who's hand was caressing my face. I could see my pale face on her glasses, with my black hair plastered on my forehead by my sweat. She smiled at me, holding my hand to assure that everything was going to be okay. I was numb but knowing that there were people looking inside of my body seriously scares me. I feel like fainting but then again, I have to be awake for all of this.

    I was planning on doing the labor the old fashion way, but this little girl inside me thought otherwise. It's amazing how months ago, I was in my bathroom, crying because it seemed like all hope was gone. Now, I see what journey I had gone through. My friends and our youth pastor are waiting in the waiting room which is supposed to be for family, but to my real family, my mom and I are a bunch of aliens. Having a child young is a shame to them and their hearts hold no place for forgiveness. It's alright though because as long God forgave me, I didn't really care.

    The oxygen mask was increasing my nervousness but yet I was also excited. The beeping of the machines, dreariness of the room, and the rain pouring outside could not help with this experience but I tried to find some place in my heart for some sort of happiness to rescue me from this gloomy setting. I look at my my mom's hand again. I knew that if I was my old self, I would not have wanted my mom's hand's there but my ex-boyfriend Matthew's. I don't know where Matthew is right now-probably enjoying his fancy life with a new girl-but I didn't have to worry. Whether or not he wanted to raise our girl was up to him. I didn't have to worry about her having a father because I knew God would fill the gap.

    "Elli, they're almost done," my mom said eagerly. "She's coming."

    I smiled through the oxygen mask and looked up at the room's lights.

    "I'm pregnant,"I blurted out finally.

    There was a long pause and then he started laughing.

    "I think you need to work on your jokes, babe," he said, chuckling.

    "I'm serious."

    Matthew looked me in the eyes, keeping me from looking away. He scrunched his eyebrows and his lips were in a straight line. We were in his room, planning on what to do for his mother's banquet. We sat opposite each other on his bed.

    He looked away. "Who's is it?"

    I hit him in the arm. "It's yours, Matt!"

    "I can't have a child Elli!"

    We stared at each other, with worry in our eyes and then I looked down at my lap.

    "How....how long has it been?"

    "Three weeks"

    He got off the bed and started pacing around his room.

    "Mom's banquet is next week, so maybe you could go to-"

    "I'm not getting an abortion."

    "Why the hell not?!"

    "It's my body-"

    "But it's our reputation!" he argued "You know what our parents will do to us. You know what would people say."

    I scowled at him. "Since when do you care about people's opinions?"

    "I don't," he said, quietly. "Look, I just don't want a child.''

    "You could get a nurs-''


    "Or a nann-"

    "I said, no."

    I got off the bed and walked up to him.

    "Now, tell me why you don't want this."

    "We're fifteen!" he argued. "We're too young to raise a kid.''

    "But we're old enough to make one."

    We stayed silent for a moment. I couldn't argue anymore so I went to grab my jacket and I grabbed my shoes.

    "Where are you going?" he asked.


    "Okay." He replied nonchalantly.

    I got to the door and looked at him again. He avoided eye contact and went to sit down on his bed. I was so angry so I slammed the door when I left. I passed by his mom's room and she opened the door.

    "Elli, wait a moment," she said.

    I stopped and tried to swallow my tears. I turned around to face her.

    "Are you coming to my banquet, next week?"

    ''Sorry, but I don't think I can make it Eliza" She lets me call her by her first name.

    "Why-Elli are those tears?"

    I shook my head no and ran out of the house. My pace started to increase along with my heart beat. Why was this happening to me? How could I be so stupid?

    "Elli, stop!" Matthew yelled from behind me.

    We were on the sidewalk now and the sun reflected off his dark brown hair. His green eyes showed frustration but his body was trying to present a call for peace. He walked up to me and I dare didn't look up so I stared at his chest. Leaves started to fall down from the trees above us.

    "Elli, look at me." he gentley ordered.

    "No." I said in an almost inaudible whisper.

    "Elli," he took my hands in his. "We're not ready."

    "I know."

    He kissed my forehead. "Glad you understand."

    "Will you go with me?"

    "Sorry babe, but there are some places where I can't be seen."

    I looked up at him angrily but he ignored it.


    "Okay, what are you going to name her?" the nurse asked.

    I was still aching but I managed to push myself up, extending my arms so she could give her to me. The nurse placed the baby in my arms and I looked down at her.

    "I want to call her Emma."

    The nurse smiled and wrote down her name on the little card. The name Emmanuel means ''God is with us" so Emma seems like a good fit.

    "Your guests want to see you." the nurse said, then left.

    In came my friends and our youth pastor, Benjamin. They all smiled at me and circled around the bed.

    "What did you decide to call her?" he asked.


    "Short for Emmanuel?"

    I smiled to verify it. He smiled at me and I could feel my face getting red. He was only seventeen but I had Emma to focus on. My friends had brought birthday presents and a cake, even though I knew I wouldn't be up for eating in this hospital.

    Coming home was a huge relief but Emma wouldn't give me rest. As much as I tried to believe she was a gift from God, her crying kept challenging that opinion, but I need to have patience.

    As she finally went to sleep, I looked at her one more time as I placed her in her crib. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness but with fear of what to come and with sadness over the reality that life wasn't going to get so easy after this.

    "Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for having me survive through the birth of my daughter and fpr her health. She is a healthy baby; five pounds with no infections whatsoever. Oh Lord, I know I have sinned against you but please do not leave me alone to suffer. Help me so that I could raise my daughter into a better future. I know that you God have promised strength to the weak and I'm weak right now. Help me oh God. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen"

    As I went to my bed in my small room, I could hear the wind blowing. I looked up at the ceiling and then wrapped myself in my covers. I guess life begins now.