tea or coffee
Coffee shop. 3 pm. Wooden table. Pot of tea. One empty chair. She took one sip of her tea, her eyes staring on a door. She felt nervous a little bit. Her hands were shaking slightly. 3:01. He’s late.
“Excuse me, are you Roz?” asked a male voice. She turned her head and looked in the eyes of a young man. He could be in his twenties. She smiled and nodded. She felt more nervous. He sat down, and looked at her. People around them were chatting, laughing, and having conversations. Except them. They were just sitting and looking at each other.
“So, Tom...,” she started. “It is nice to meet you,” she tried to act casually, tried not to be nervous, but her hands were shaking even more. She folded them in her lap.
“Yes, nice to meet you too... Roz,” he smiled. In his eyes she could see, that he has lots of questions.
“I am sorry I was late. There was traffic on a way here,” he started and she nodded.
“So you do have a driver's license then,” she said.
“Yes. I got it two months ago.”
“Congratulations,” said Roz and took another sip of her tea.
“Thank you. If you just excuse me for a moment, I would like to order some coffee,” he said and she nodded. Tom stood up and left the table.
Roz took a deep breath. This was harder than she expected. She was shaking. But she has to face it. She has to get this thing done in her life so she can move on.
Tom came back in a few seconds; he sat back down and looked straight in her eyes.
“I am really glad you agreed about this. I mean... I have lots of questions and I just want to know the answers,” he explained. Roz noticed that he was getting nervous as well.
“Go ahead,” she said quietly.
“Why did you...” he started, but then the waitress appeared with a cup of hot coffee. “Thank you,” he said.
“Why did I what?” asked Roz.
“Why did you give me away?” he asked.
Roz looked at him. She wasn’t expecting that he will ask this question straight away. She could feel the sweat dripping down from her neck.
“When I discovered that I am pregnant,” she started, “I felt scared. I wasn’t ready to have a baby. I was only twenty-one and that night when it happened, it was just one big mistake. When I told my doctor that I don’t want to have a baby, he told me that it’s too late for abortion so I decided to give you better life with better people because I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I was still studying and I was living only with my dad. When I told him, that I am pregnant, he went mental. He was shouting at me, calling me a whore and a slut but he didn’t know how it happened and I was too scared to tell him the true story” Roz swallowed hard.
“What is the true story? How it happened?” asked Tom, his eyes were full of tears.
“Listen, I’ve never told anyone and I don’t want to tell you because it’s not a nice story. I just want you to know, that I wanted to give you better life and I hope that it turned out well. I hope you’ve had an amazing childhood with lovely parents and with all the things I wouldn’t be able to give to you.”
“I spent my childhood in a system. No one wanted me until I was 10 and then one day, I was adopted. I...” Tom wiped his eyes and Roz looked at him.
“Tom, I am so sorry. I had no idea...”
“Of course you had no idea! You just gave me away!” he shouted. He sounded hurt. “I bet you didn’t even look at me when I was born! You just turned your head away!” He was crying now and all the people stared at them. Roz didn’t say a word. She tried to take his hand but he didn’t let her.
“Tom, please...,” she tried to explain.
“No,” he said. “Just answer me this question: have you ever thought of me? Have you ever regretted your decision?”
Roz looked at him.
She remembered that day when Tom was born. She was in so much pain, crying and wanted the pain to end. It took twelve hours to give a birth to that little baby.
“It’s a boy,” said the doctor who was holding the crying baby. “Are you sure you don’t want to look at him?”
“Take him away. I don’t want to see him,” she said. She was tired. She felt sorry for him, for the innocent little boy but she couldn’t look at him.
“Do you want to name him?” the doctor asked.
“Tom,” she sighed.
The baby was crying even more. He wanted to be with his mum, to feel the warm feeling of love and be loved. Roz didn’t turn her head. Tears were falling down from her eyes, and in a few minutes, she didn’t hear him anymore. He was gone.
After few days, when Roz was able to leave the hospital, the doctor asked her, if she wanted to change her mind, but Roz shook her head. She was ready to leave this part of her life behind her.
So, after twenty years, when she got an email from young men called Tom, she was terrified. But also one part of her wanted to meet her son; she wanted to know how he looks like, what is he like.
“Can you answer me then?” said Tom and Roz blinked. She was back in a presence. “Have you ever regretted your decision of giving me away?” he asked again.
Roz took a deep breath. “No,” she said clearly and then she left.
About the author
Lucy is originally from Czech Republic. She moved to England two years ago. She has always loved writing and making stories.
She started Creative Writing in Woodbridge which in September 2018.