She kept her head down, staring at the floor, not saying a word as we walked. I looked all my passing classmates directly in the eyes with the hardest, meanest stare I could muster. I was defending my friend against the insensitivity of cruel people who did not care.
When asked, I lied and said "No, Kate did NOT have a baby over the summer." You had to lie back then. And I thought, “Oh, by the way, if I have to say that one more time somebody's gonna get their ass kicked." The reason Kate did not defend herself was because she had only been out of the hospital for a week and her episiotomy stitches still burned and itched. Most of all she did not speak because the trauma of being forced to give her first child away against her will had silenced her. Her anguish and confusion were palpable.
Kate and her boyfriend wanted to get married. He was just out of high school, and wanted her and the baby. Her parents wouldn't allow it and made the decision to give the baby away. She and her boyfriend were not allowed a voice in the matter.
I lost touch with Kate after high school; however, I heard she eventually married the father of her baby once she graduated and moved out of her parents' house. I hope that's true.