The Child Who Never Was

My name is Adam. I have come to tell you about my life, or rather what my life would have been like, had I been born, which I was not.

I started after an act of passion during the short relationship of my mother and my father. They had no plans in their minds to create a life. They had been willing to throw all caution to the four winds and to experience that which drew them together. Sexual attraction drew them together, little else.

Nature is a hard task master. My mother was a fertile young woman and my father a virile and selfish young man. I was the result of this communion. When my mother realised that I existed, at first she denied it. How could it be? She and the young man hardly knew each other and had slept together on only one occasion. My mother, being naïve and optimistic, ignored the fact that she had not had a period for several weeks. My father knew nothing at all of my existence. He was a young student, studying to become a lawyer and his parents had great hopes for him. My mother was a barmaid with a pretty smile and little experience in life. Her parents were hard working people. Her mother was a cleaner and her father worked as a menial clerk on a poor wage. They loved their daughter and had brought her up to be a good girl, but had not equipped her with the knowledge or the wisdom to deal with flattering young men like my father.

I was alerted to my presence in my mother’s womb. I was no more than a small puff of energy quietly awaiting the birth of a body which I was not destined to inhabit.

My mother started to feel sick and had to take time off work. Her boss was a canny woman of the world. She soon guessed at the problem and its cause. She took my mother aside. After initial denial my mother admitted that this woman’s suspicions were not unfounded and that she didn’t know what to do.

“I’ll tell you what to do; you must get rid of it as soon as possible. Your mum and dad can’t afford to support a baby and neither can you. Its father is long gone and he wouldn’t want to know anyway, would he?”

The reality of the situation began to dawn on my mother, a girl of seventeen who had always been too willing to please others, especially if they flattered her and made her feel good.

She thought long and hard. Could she bring up a child on her own? She didn’t think it would be fair to expect her parents to do it. They could hardly pay the bills at the moment let alone having her and a child to support. The young man had lost interest in her as soon as he had had his way with her. She would get no support from him. She pictured herself in a high rise council flat, herself and a baby, unable to afford much more than to clothe it and feed it; lonely and bored with no partner to love her or the child. She pictured a fatherless little boy, depending on her for everything and not being able to give him what he needed. She pictured an angry and resentful teenager growing up with no role model of a father to guide him. She pictured herself tied to the child with little or no opportunity to go out and meet a proper caring husband and father for her children.

My mother realised that everything was against her bringing me into the world unless she gave me away for adoption. That thought made her weep remorsefully. That she could not do. She knew she had a lot of love to give and that if she had the chance again she would give it at the proper time to children that she chose to have with a husband that she loved. She did wonder about my soul or spirit. She did not feel certain about such things, but she reasoned that I could come back again and be born to her in another baby, and she would love me properly then.

She decided to have an abortion. Her parents did not know about this and were unable to comfort her at the time. She felt very alone, vulnerable and sad.

I did my best to console her. I stayed with her and tried to comfort her. It was not my destiny to be born as a living child to her, but rather to accompany her and the children that she did have. I was able to help her to know that she had in difficult circumstances made an acceptable decision, and that living a life of guilt and remorse would do her no good and serve no purpose at all. I helped her to see the beauty of her own life and to respect herself and never to be taken in by selfish men following their own lustful desires.

My mother has had a happy life. She has two little girls, but she is aware of the shadow of the little boy she never had, and sometimes she talks to me and I do what I can to let her know that she is forgiven.