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To Disinter. By KJ Hannah Greenberg.


She met Bobbie at a church volleyball game. He had liked her. She considered him pleasant, but her sister, Little Rosemary, had declared him a “handsome youth.”

Bobbie offered her reffer that summer, while she was on break from working as a camp counselor. She declined; her rebellions had fizzled to embers, plus she was preoccupied with being able to return to supervising the children who made paper collages and who played softball. Besides, she had heard marijuana was addicting.

He visited her day camp to play with the girls’ toys and to help with the toddlers. He made a mess of the dolls and spilled more paint than did the three year-olds.

By the time that she was “in a delicate situation,” Bobbie was selling children’s furniture. He brought her the double stroller his boss had tossed because of a deformed wheel. He offered her hash brownies.

Fidelity was as awkward to him as were new blue jeans. He promised to visit weekly, but showed up at her backdoor twice a month. No longer was he interested in joining her in learning physiology or optics.

She developed a small tumor in her foot. That growth was inoperable until after she delivered their baby.

Meanwhile, during one visit, Bobbie smiled as he pressed against Rosemary, her sister. Rosemary smacked Bobbie’s face hard. Bobbie protested that Rosemary was old enough to figure things out for herself; Bobbie had already rocked simultaneously with two girls who were friends, and was contemplating the joys of intimacy shared with two sisters.

Toward the end of her second trimester, she sought acupuncture to relieve the pain from her smaller growth. Weekly, a foreign doctor stuck her with twenty "sharps." She failed to enjoy that multitude of piercings and wondered how she’d endure labor.

She had seen Bobbie connected, at the face, to Rosemary. Whenever Bobbie visited thereafter, she squirmed, willing the minutes to melt and the boy to morph.

Bobbie no longer sold baby furniture, but hustled canned goods in the city’s wholesale district. A small portion of his pay plus a significant per cent of Rosemary’s salary covered maternity bills. She tried to addend those funds by selling almost-vintage toys on eBay. She only owned three such playthings.

Rosemary transformed the studio she shared with her sister into a cozy nest. She worked at that apartment during all of her free time, except when she was out with Bobbie.

Later, after the baby was born and Rosemary had moved on, her older sister filed for child support. Breast milk was free, but diapers cost money.

Bobbie remained unwilling to pay, claiming that their intimacy had not been derived from rape and that her virginity had not been priceless. What’s more, his brother, who allegedly lived in Eastern Europe, needed Bobbie’s surplus funds.

When she threatened to surrender their child to Family Services, Bobbie suddenly “discovered” another bank account. He sent money for her rent and for their baby’s basics. She used two of those payments to hire a private lawyer.

That professional disinterred other “forgotten” accounts of Bobbie’s. Subsequently, a trust fund for Rosemary’s child’s tuition, for preschool through college, was created. As well, and the woman was able to buy clothes, shoes, and ground chicken. She emailed Rosemary a note of forgiveness, but retained her advocate.



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