Dear Cookie Dough,
I was 18 years old living in Atlanta, Ga. We were crazy about each other. He was 22 years old, and we lived together in his mother's basement. He thought I was very pretty and often told me this. He also was very proud of me around his friends whom we hung around often. We dressed alike several days of the week. We went to church together. We rode the train downtown together - just for the heck of it and to experience downtown life. We went out of town together to visit friends. Often, he even sat in the cafeteria at my college, for hours, to wait for me to finish my classes. We were crazy about each other. People often commented on how great of a couple we were.
I began to feel a little weird physically. I went to the doctor and found out I was three months pregnant. At first, I was scared and wondered what I would do. Soon after, my fear became joy, and I was happy to have his child. After all, we were crazy about each other. Weren't we? We would always be together. Won't we? Of course we would.
We began to get excited about the baby and began making plans, including picking out names for the baby. I came up with a name that included an original first name and a middle name that was made up, partly, of my boyfriend's middle name. I loved that name and looked forward to giving it to our baby - if it was a boy. (To protect the people involved, let's just say the name I came up with was "Jonathan Bernard.")
Anyway, to make a long story short, about a month later, I had a spontaneous miscarriage for an unknown reason. I was very hurt, but I was okay.
To the best of my recollection, it was about a month or so later when my boyfriend was outside his mother's house washing my car, and I was in the den of the house. The house phone rung, and the woman on the other end asked to speak with Bernard (not his real name). Of course, I immediately wondered who this person was and asked "May I ask who's calling?" She answered, "Monica." (Not her real name.) She then asked me who I was. I told her my name and informed her that I was Bernard's girlfriend. With a raised voice and breathing a little heavier, she said to me, "No you are not. I'm his girlfriend, and I am 5 months pregnant!"
I felt like I would literally fall. It felt surreal. I became very dizzy. The phone dropped out of my hand onto the floor.
I couldn't move from that spot, and I could barely breathe. Very shortly, my boyfriend showed up in the room, saw my condition, and immediately panicked. He asked me, "What's wrong?" He saw the phone on the floor and picked it up. She was still on the other end. He said, "Who is this?" He then got irate and said to the person on the phone, "B%#@$ - don't call my house no more, and stop lying B%#@$!"
He hung up the phone. I couldn't stop starring at him. He said, "That girl is crazy! She is lying!" I didn't have the strength to say or ask anything.
Shortly, his mother came home, and Bernard and his mother came into the den where I was. Bernard said to his mother, "Monica called and told her that she is pregnant by me." His mother laughed, looked at me and said, "Please, that girl's stomach is just as flat as yours. . ."
After lying on the sofa for a while, I got up and said to Bernard the only thing I could muster up the strength to say - "Take me to the liquor store." He honored my request, and I came back home with a fifth of Seagrams Gin. I drank the whole bottle that night - mostly by myself (which was very much so unlike what I would normally do).
I somehow resolved to believe my boyfriend - that the girl was just a liar. After some time, we resumed our normal lives - even though I still felt a strange feeling in the bottom of my stomach.
One day, about four months later, I was at work at an insurance company. Bernard called me at work, just as he did everyday, several times a day.
When I answered the phone this particular day and heard his voice, I KNEW something was wrong. I asked him, "What's wrong???" He didn't say anything. After a moment of silence, in a very calm voice, I asked him "She had the baby didn't she?"
With a very low, slow, and soft voice, he said, "Yeah."
Still very calm, but with a rapidly beating heart, I asked him, "What did ya'll name the baby?" To add insult to injury he said, "Jonathan Bernard."
Encouraging you to keep your "cookies in the jar,"Vanilla Wafers
We'd like to thank Vanilla Wafers for sharing her story with us. Like Ms. Wafers, you may be thinking that as soon as you get out of your parents' house, you're gonna shack up with your boyfriend.
Leaving home for college is the prime time for you to cultivate your friendships by living in a dorm or renting an apartment with your girlfriends. Don't believe the hype, there is no benefit to you living with your boyfriend. You all will most likely get on each other's nerves and break up even faster now that you have the added pressures of bills and always having someone in your space.
Additionally, it will be all but IMPOSSIBLE for you to resist the temptation to have sex. And then you have to worry about pregnancy, STDs, and the fact that God doesn't like this living arrangement. I know you think your boyfriend would never cheat on you, but as Ms. Wafers found out, this guy could be playing several girls at once. What if he or one of the girls has HIV/AIDS? There is no way for you to know for sure what this dude is doing when you're not around. So why risk it?