I am the mother of Ingrid Charlotte Webber. She is six years old. Cute little blonde in a red dress with so many fake necklaces you can’t even see her neck. So many fake bracelets you can’t even see her wrists. She is my life. My love. She is all that I am. She is a flirty little child who thinks that true love really exists. She keeps telling me she wants to get married before she turns ten. What a ridiculously cute idea.
I was like that once. Full of hope and love until he showed up. I thought he was my knight in shinning armor. We met in high school. I walked into world history and there he was. It was like when lighting strikes a tree. Electric. What we had was an erotic love. He would speak I would become weak in the knees. He made me feel like the most important girl in the world. He was everything. He was beautiful. He was perfect. He–was married. He had been married for fifteen years. He talked about his wife all the time in class. Damn he would never shut up. But once he kissed me he stopped talking about her. Everyone thought he got a divorce; except me.
But everything changed when I got pregnant. He told me to get rid of her. Told me I had the rest of my life to get pregnant. Told me I had to go to college. Told me I couldn’t tell her. Told me that he wouldn’t help unless I got an abortion.
I said no. No. It was a sign. Sign that she needed to be born. A sign that she would change my life. Sign that she would save my life and she did. But I am a single mother who just turned twenty-two. But some how I don’t feel like my life emulated that Taylor Swift song “22”. Because she thinks it is magical and wonderful to be twenty-two. Well Miss Swift I happen to disagree with you– completely. I am a single mother at the age of twenty-two and what is fun about that? Will everything be alright if I keep dancing? I doubt it. I doubt dancing to Barney the dinosaur with a six-year-old will make everything alright.
But maybe I should go out and party. I mean you are only 22 once right? I keep hearing about this app called Tinder. I should download it to my iPhone maybe I will get lucky. Maybe I will find a husband or at least someone fuck. God knows it has been a long time since I have done the deed.
It has been a few days since I got Tinder. I am on my lunch break just swiping left at the lack of prospects but then he came up. He is twenty-four and his name is Jared. I swift right and then Tinder tells me I have a match. I send him a message asking him to maybe get dinner. Odds are he won’t answer but who knows. About five minutes he messages back saying he would love to. Unbelievable. I have a date with a beautiful young guy named Jared. We are meeting up on Friday. I said we should meet there. I don’t want him to know that I have a six-year-old child. That is usually a cock-block. I am looking in my closet looking for something to wear. I think I am going to settle on my cute -but sexy- black dress. I grab my keys and say good-bye to Ingrid and the babysitter and head for the restaurant.
He ordered white wine for the table. Not only his he charming, but he his smart as hell. He is also funny. It has been a while since I have had this much fun with a person of the opposite sex. I am glad I wore my nice underwear; cause you never know. He still doesn’t know about Ingrid and I don’t think he will. At least not yet.
He grabs the bill before I can even say anything. True gentlemen. But I feel bad because I asked him out. I try to grab the bill but he pulls it away from me. He tells me that I can pay next time. He is so slick and I like it.
He is walking me to the car and he leans in to kiss me but I have word vomit and say “I have a six-year-old child”.
He looks at me and says “I love children” and kisses me.
This kiss is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is like getting into a warm bath after a cold day. It is like watching a sunset with your lover. It is like seeing the ocean for the first time, and smelling the salt in the air and feeling the hot sand in between your toes. It is like eating mint chocolate chip ice cream on a hot summer day and licking the ice cream before it drips on your fingers. It is like seeing a baby smile for the first time. There are no words to describe how magical this kiss is.
We say our goodbyes and I get in the car and turn on the engine. The radio turns on and 22 comes on. And I begin to believe in true love again.