I’ve got a secret – Holyeins Canales

A little over two years ago, my cousin’s step sister confided in me that she got pregnant; she was 16.

Her name is Ana and I’ve known her since she was 12. It was noticeable in middle school but especially in high school she was very bright and athletic; loved to be center of attention. During her sophomore year, she contacted me after soccer practice and asked if I could take her home, and so I did. In the car-ride there was the routine “how are you, how’s the high school life?” chit-chat. I teased about boyfriends and admirers to which she became flustered and embarrassed, and in the silence after laughter, abruptly confessed “I’m pregnant”. My heart sank.

As we pulled up to her driveway, she continued to say it was her first time and he was senior so she thought it would be fine; what cruel irony. As her eyes swelled, I asked if her parents knew to which she obscurely replied with a head-shake. She was two months pregnant and wanted no one to know; she was postponing the inevitable. As I sat there I couldn’t do much more than to reassure her everything would be okay. She was neither the first nor would she be the last in this journey.

Back at home that night, my mom told me she had received a call from her parents asking why she was crying so heavily and if she knew anything, to which of course, she didn’t. I followed up with “we got into a deep conversation while catching up, that’s all”. That didn’t convince her, as apparently she had not stopped crying and didn’t have much of an appetite that night either. Luckily she didn’t press any further.

Before bed, I received a text from her saying she told her parents; they did not take it well. She was stuck in a toxic house since before pregnancy. They were messy, overweight alcoholics who thankfully were non-physically violent but erupted with the playbook of insults I would assume. The next day they called and asked me if I knew the senior she was dating because they wanted to have a word. Ana kept my name out of it and used that as an excuse to reach him but, to no avail on my part.

For the months to come, their parents did meet. His parents were heavily involved in church and thus insisted on keeping the kid and offered shelter Ana’s parents didn’t. There was no baby shower to be invited to and still many don’t know of what became of her; she disappeared to many. After birth, she moved in with the boy’s parents, both sharing in hardship. That didn’t stop her from completing high school however; she graduates in June. Eventually I was able to see her and meet the lad on the kid’s first birthday.

My mom doesn’t know but I figure she will eventually, just not from me. I look back and ask why the secrecy. Yes, there would be judgement, but support would overshadow the snarky looks. Were her parents so embarrassed by her, they prefer to turn a blind eye? I speak from a narrow window when I say, embrace it. Everyone has one major mistake in their life and this was hers. Look to the positives, they’re grandparents, they can enjoy their grandchild from a young age, she’s matured because of it, more responsible and can speak of her experience to other teen moms and new moms about how to take care of baby.  Own and make do with the circumstance.



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