The Night We Created Theresa

Theresa slow explode out the principal's office, blinking in the bright light of day, shiver in her gray sweatshirt, her eyebrows a furious V, her forehead spiral in ever-curling circles of fury, her green eyes injecting venom direct into my soul, as she steam past the secretary with the face in the laptop, make her way across the hall, launch herself out the emergency exit and walk to our car on the curb. She flashed the finger at us retroactive, and we all saw it through the window: the secretary, me, the office staff, a dozen students... vintage Theresa.

My daughter, ladies & gentleman.

I turned to Principal Atteberry, standing in his office doorway, smoldering slow on state pay, looking at me almost as angry as Theresa, and for the first time I was genuinely afraid of the laundry list he was about to read me, the lecture on its way, the sermon he would blister into my skin and beyond. It was best to flash back, to think of how pure it had started, to remind myself and God that there had once been a love.

There had once been a love.

On the night we created Theresa... seventeen years and thirty-one days ago. Donald had come by to pick me up in his red Civic... the roads were wet with melting snow... it must have been late April. We had been out once before, Donald and I, but this date was practice for the Senior Prom, which we both knew was coming at us a like a bullet on meth. I remember the Civic with those impossible seatbelts. Ugh! My Dad had a Civic, so riding in one made me feel like a grownup, so goddamn responsible, which only made me feel like being dirty, like peeling off my clothes and showing Don just what a filthy slut I could be. But that part is just between us, okay?

All week long- we talked on the phone all night- Don had been making this joke about taking me to Wendy's- like that was his idea of the ultimate romantic night out or something- and then there we were on the date, looking for somewhere to eat, driving around to Before These Crowded Streets and it just became hilarious to us. We had to do it, had to go to Wendy's and order off the dollar menu. And it was one of those nights, do you know what I mean? It was one of those night that you never get back, you never get again... everything all right, all of it eternal: you couldn't script it if you were a writer. I was in my button-fly jeans, purple thong & Nine Inch Nails T-shirt... Donald was in his long-sleeve tie-dye nightmare. With khaki shorts. To this fucking day... khaki shorts... nope nope nope.

So we ate our burgers in the parking lot and we both had this feeling, like fuck it, tonight it's gonna happen, so why waste each other's time? And I felt it in him, something I never felt before or since, in any other man at any other time. Not even my Father. I felt the Love. I mean the Love. I fucking got it. I mean... I'm not sure everybody could understand- Don was... the guy was fucking glowing. Strong enough to be bulletproof, make me cry. And when he stopped the car at the Wendy's exit to kiss me a part of me melted inside. A part of me died too. Maybe it was the little girl. I was glad to see her go.

I surrendered. And I won. And Donald got so lost in kissing me that he didn't hear the furious Mexican guy behind us laying on his horn. I didn't either. Neither one of us saw him get out of his car & come up to the driver's side until he pulled Donald out and beat him savage. Worked Don over like ground beef with a meat hammer. Next thing I knew we were riding in the back of the ambulance and the EMT's were treating me like his wife: “Does he have any allergies?”

I was fucking honored. “Not that I know of.”

And so I waited with him in the exam room, through “ER” playing on the ER TV, through the beautiful nurse with the long hair, through the hours into the midnight, calling my Mom on my giant cell phone, walking outside to try and get reception: “Yes I'm with Donald... he's okay... HE'S OKAY!!!”

And then back inside with him waiting for the discharge. The diagnosis was sprained arm and facial lacerations, but nowhere in the doctor's papers did it say I was in love with this man, ready to give up anything & everything for the rest of my days to be by his side. I must have started to cry then because Donald wiped a tear off my face with reflexes intact and I was gone. Gone from head to toe, with every strand of DNA, just wanting to be a part of him... and somehow... somehow he knew.

Donald kissed me in the dark room beneath the fluorescent light, and I got wet in a rush, made squish so loud I was afraid the whole hospital could hear. I climbed on top of him, his hands finding my breasts and using them for their purpose. I was in joy. By the time I got my jeans down he was rock hard...  I slipped him inside me quiet and I was good: all the way home... the two of us fused like sacred matrimony... the completion of a circuit divine. We rocked and bumped slow and awkward, him holding my mouth closed while I took turns doing the same to his... and then, before they cut the bracelet around his wrist, Donald exploding inside me over and over, rolling waves of timeless generosity, the new juices, my body vitalized on his essence. Jay Leno was coming up next.

We got dressed in time for the nurse, who looked at us like she knew but was too cool to say. Nine months later I would give birth to the baby we made... we decided to name her Theresa.

From outside in the parking lot we heard Theresa laying on the horn in my Kia. Principal Atteberry paused before continuing on with his alphabetical list of allegations.

Tonight, I will tell my daughter the story... I will make her understand. I will sing to her of the magic in the air... the love that was and will forever be... on the night we created Theresa.

And then I will beat the shit out of her.

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