Tammy Lynn's Burden

She walked on the dirt road slowly, the dust clouds she created caked dirt all over her black sneakers and the bottom of her polyester black pants. Tammy Lynn hated the shoes and hated the pants even more. Her uniform from  ”Clucky’s “ the fried chicken grease pit where she worked at . She wished she didn't live way out in the outskirts of town. In the middle of a half dead corn field with the nearest neighbor two miles away.She continued on at the slow pace, taking her time. Even as the 100 degree weather baked her brain, she would not hurry to reach the dirty little trailer sooner than she had to, Tammy Lynn refused to call it home. It was a prison, a cage, a place she dreaded returning to. Inside the trailer was the burden that would be chained to her for the rest of her life.

And it was probably awake right now too.

A little over a year ago, she remembered telling its father Jacob she was pregnant. He had a job at the slaughter house, had a decent truck, graduated last year and seemed to be good catch.Dumb enough to believe he might be the daddy and do the honorable thing, but the boy wasn't that dumb. Truth is, Tammy Lynn didn't know who its father was. She had been to way too many parties, getting drunk and high. Winding up half-passed out and taking on anyone who gave her the least bit of attention. She couldn't remember most of those times too well, much less every guy she was with. Always being used by men and actually liking it too. But she thought Jacob was different, maybe he even cared about her a little. Made her think she might actually like to be a wife and mom.

Turned out not only was she wrong about him caring about her, but he was cheap too. Wouldn't even help her pay for an abortion. Tammy Lynn knew she was in trouble. Big trouble. Pregnant with no daddy, and with no money.  That meant no fun, no boys, and no life.

Her Grams caught her one afternoon trying to shove a hanger up herself and stopped her before she could do any real damage. After a 3 hour lecture and plenty of praying, Grams said she better go get a job and start learning how to do something besides spread her legs and get drunk.  Took her to church and made her pray for forgiveness. Tammy Lynn prayed alright, prayed harder than she ever had in her whole 17 years, but not for forgiveness, she prayed the thing that slithered and shifted around inside her would just die.

She arrived at the trailer. The screen door banged in the hot wind. Tammy Lynn took a cigarette out, went and sat in the lawn chair underneath the makeshift awning they had put up.  She opened the cooler next to the chair and looked inside. To her surprise, there was still half a six pack left! “Bingo!" Tammy Lynn smiled and whispered softly. She didn't want her Grams to know she had got into her beer, but mostly she whispered because she didn't want it to hear she was home.  She opened the can as quietly as she could, which to her sounded like a firecracker going off.  She took a long swig before her Grams could stop her... Scolding her about drinking and breastfeeding, but truth was, she wasn't going to breast feed it anymore.  Tammy Lee hugged her chest. It had been biting her too much... It had teeth already! Only 4 months and it had a few teeth! Sharp ones too, her poor nipples had scabs all over them... Too bad if they couldn't afford formula, “Let it die" she thought.

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