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JANUARY 2006

> SPERM DONOR | natalie rose

"Is it mine?" Jimmy asked as my heart came up to my throat and cut my air off. I felt like I was going to puke, again. I wanted to cry. I wanted to climb out the window. I even wanted to die. I wanted to do anything I possibly could but still be in the bathroom, pale-faced with my pants down around my ankles. "I'm not pregnant. There's no way. This damn thing is wrong," was all I could whisper as I sat on the toilet with an EPT stick in my hand. "Get the directions. Maybe I'm not reading this right," I said as tears began to trickle from the corners of both my eyes.

Jimmy picked the pamphlet up and read aloud, "Two lines pregnant," then I lost all control of my emotions.

I was only 20 years old. Jimmy and I hadn't even been together a year. It wouldn't have been that long but I'd just gotten him to move me back to Kentucky a week before. We ran away to Florida in November of 2001. We were living in the back of an Explorer and the weather was really cold outside.

It was the day after Thanksgiving. We had 90 dollars, a half ounce of pot and the beat up Explorer that Jimmy's dad had given us. That was it. We set off to start over, to go someplace where nobody knew us, someplace where no one would know Jimmy was on probation for stealing four-wheelers.

Well, it took me until the end of May 2002 to realize how successful we had been at starting over. We lived in a tent on some property that was for sale. Jimmy brought me back to our tent one day after I'd been at work, and the tent was gone. Now we were really screwed, and I finally broke down and told Jimmy I was going back with or without him. I hadn't felt totally at ease around him in a while because he just kept acting strange.

One night I had taken two or three Lortab 10's and he suggested I drink a few beers with them too. We were just riding around in the Explorer listening to the radio and smoking a few joints. About 20 minutes or so after I ate the pills, I started feeling the buzz.

I started itching first. It started with my face and then moved throughout my whole body. It felt almost like there were bugs crawling around on my skin. Then I started feeling sped up, but my body couldn't move. It was like my brain was working 100mph and my body was in a coma. I remember staring at the radio and feeling really confused. I was only seeing things in tunnel vision. Then I started going numb. When I touched my fingers it was like an electrical charge was sent through my whole hand.

We rode around for what seemed like days. I just kept sitting in the passenger seat as if I were in a trance. After about an hour or so, I could feel myself going to sleep. But I wasn't all the way asleep. I could still hear everything that was going on, but in my mind it was as if it wasn't really happening. I couldn't hold my eyes open anymore. They were so heavy I started dozing off. At some point Jimmy drove us back and I laid down and went to bed. I'm with my boyfriend. I'll be alright, right?

Next thing I knew, Jimmy was on top of me.

"Jimmy, what the hell are you doing?" I said nervously as I was trying to pull my hands off the ground. "Oh my God! Get off me!" He then slapped me. "Stop! What are you doing?" I tried to kick him to get him off of me. He pinned my legs to the ground and started going faster. "Just stop Jimmy. Why are you doing this to me?" My anger then turned to hurt and confusion.

Why is he doing this to me? He's supposed to be my knight in shining armor. I thought he respected me more than this? I can't believe I actually fell in love with this maniac. I began to cry. "Why me Jimmy? What did I do to deserve this? Why me? Why?" I received another slap across the face.

"Shut up, bitch! You know you like it."

He weighed at least 250 compared to my 110, thanks to the cocaine habit I'd also acquired, so there was no getting him off of me. I tried to fight for a few minutes but it seemed to only excite him more. I eventually just gave up and lay there helplessly hoping he'd finish soon.

My body began to shake I was sobbing so hard. Then I felt it. I'd never felt that before. It made me feel dirty, filthy dirty. It made me hate him. He had just broken the capitol rule of our sex life: not to come in me. He preferred the pull-out method because he said condoms were uncomfortable, especially after he made me quit taking my birth control pills. He said they gave me mood swings. Looking back on it, I would say the amount and kinds of drugs I was doing was what caused the mood swings.

I cried the rest of the night. We were in a tent in the middle of nowhere. No bathtub, no sink, we didn't even have toilet paper simply because we couldn't afford it. So I could only lay there in my own mess. His mess. Why would he do this to me?

When he agreed to bring me back to Kentucky, I was overjoyed. Thank God! I'll finally get away from this crazy bastard and won't have to deal with this shit anymore.

It's amazing how much control a man can have over a woman. Anytime I tried to leave, I was beaten up. The particular piece of land on which we chose to place the tent was pretty secluded. There were trees on three sides. On the fourth side there was a thorn bush covering nearly 15 feet. The bush was large enough to hide the Explorer from the road. The woods were mostly along a fencerow leading to a 300-acre cow pasture. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. There was no one around for miles so I was terrified to try to leave when we were there. After being gone from my parents for six months, when I called home, the calls seemed like "I'm alive" calls. That's what my mother called them anyway. I guess to her that's what they were, me calling to relieve her stress momentarily so she wouldn't think I was already dead.

I felt a lot better once we got back to Louisville. My parents were 20 minutes away in Crestwood and I couldn't call to say I was back, but I still felt better. He'll leave me alone sooner or later. We were staying at his mom's house. Her name was Lisa and she was a total nutcase, but that's another story. We were only staying there long enough to find our own place.

That's where I was when I found out: in her bathroom. So we got an apartment on Reefer Avenue, off Bardstown Road. Living in the Highlands. This is nice. Until the cops started patrolling the block and I started getting scared they were going to take Jimmy back to jail, and me with him. That's what started to make me nervous. I was still in denial about being pregnant. I kept making excuses as to why I was vomiting two to three times a day.

This can't be happening to me. What have I gotten myself into? Was catching a buzz worth getting pregnant? I'm going to have a baby. Oh my God. What do I know about raising kids? We can't stay on the run forever. The cops will eventually find us, and I might go to jail just for being with him.

Then it dawned on me.

I can't raise a child while the father's in jail. What kind of emotional distress can that cause? Along with these thoughts, weird things were happening. Jimmy and I saw somebody he knew and they threatened to call the police. Next thing I knew, I am nearly three months pregnant and jumping an eight foot chain link fence. That's healthy for the baby.

A few days after that incident, Jimmy's friend "Krusty" came over. I called him "Krusty because he often smelled of body odor. His mullet hair always looked greasy and had large white flakes in it. The guys wanted to drink some beer and ride around. There shouldn't have been any argument over who was driving. But Krusty had a Firebird that he thought was a bullet-proof Nascar. "Just sit back there and shut up," he told me. "I've been drunk and drove around so many times, and never killed anybody," he said as he turned up the 40oz bottle of Budweiser to take a long swig. Never say never because tonight might be the night you send somebody through these T-tops, I thought.

It wasn't ten minutes and I looked at the speedometer, and we were doing 120mph on the Floyds Knobs curves. It's essentially a mountain. While driving you have a rock wall on one side and a guard rail over at least a 100 foot drop. All on a winding, curvy road on which most people won't drive over 35mph. I was absolutely terrified. I remember my stomach getting so tense, the knots felt like they were tearing my intestines to shreds. As soon as I braced myself for one curve, the car would slide the other direction. Squealing tires the whole way.

By the time the sun came up, I'd decided I'd had enough. If he wanted to go out and do stupid shit to kill himself that's fine, but leave me and this innocent baby alone. Jimmy was supposed to get up and go to work on a house down the street. That's when I was going to get my stuff and call my mom and have her come get me. I owned maybe three outfits, one pair of shoes, and a three-month-old rottweiler puppy. A one-year-old pit bull mix, and her four three-week-old puppies were also part of my stuff. Wouldn't Mom be glad to have me back home? Jimmy must have sensed something because he didn't go to work on the neighbor's house. All hell would break loose if he got farther away than a block and a half. It didn't matter to me though. I was leaving that day.

Jimmy and Krusty were in the backyard working on Krusty's 1970's "shagadelick" van. The rear end was towards the house, so with Jimmy under the hood, I had a little leeway. "Hey Jimmy," I said in a soft voice as I didn't have the strength to speak up to him. "Do you think you could run me up to the store real quick? I'd like to call Mom and let her know I'm back in Kentucky."

"Ha, you stupid bitch, you think I'm stupid don't ya?" He screamed as he came rushing closer to me. "You want to call your mommy to come get you, don't you, don't you? That was your whole plan on getting away from me, wasn't it? You dumb whore!"

His voice was rising with every word.

"That's not even my baby in your stomach is it? Is it, slut?" he said as he slapped me with a look of rage. I still tear up when I think about this altercation. It hurt me so bad just for him to say that, even though I knew he was just saying that to push my buttons. I don't remember exactly what happened next, but by the time the argument was over, I had a bloody nose and a swollen lip. Jimmy grabbed me by the back of my hair and flipped me in mid-air. I managed to get away from him long enough to make it to the road in front of the house. Jimmy wasn't far behind me.

"Baby, I just want to go home. We're broke, I'm hungry and the baby is going to need stuff soon."

"We'll take care of that when it gets here," he said. Take care of that? It's a baby for Christ's sake, Jimmy.

"Jimmy, I'm pregnant. I am nearly four months. In five more months the baby will be here and I haven't seen a doctor yet. Hell, when was the last time I drank a glass of milk?"

It had been a while since I had worked so we were eating fast food all the time. How nutritious? This baby needs better attention than that. What if there is something wrong with the baby? We were snorting glass a week before we found out I was pregnant.

"I just don't feel for you the way I used to. You are not the same guy I met in February. I'm out of here and that's that."

Apparently Jimmy didn't want to hear that because this sent him overboard. He had enough sense not to hit me again while standing in the middle of the road, but he still yelled loud enough that people were coming out of their houses.

"Hey man, your girlfriend's done with you. Just let her go before I call the cops," I heard someone yell down the street. He finally just gave in and agreed to take me to Lisa's so I could have my mom come get me.

"That way you don't have to wait by yourself, and I don't have to stay in case she brings the cops," he told me. He took me to his mom's and dropped me off. I called my mother and she came to get me.

Thank you Jesus! It's over! He's gone! I can get back to normal now, or so I thought.

The phone calls began that afternoon. Every twenty minutes or so Jimmy would call. I didn't talk to him, and I didn't even want to. In order to avoid the calls, my parents and I unhooked the phones.

I think it was around midnight when Krusty's Firebird pulled into my parents driveway. I ran out as fast as I could to get Jimmy the hell away. I knew I had an angry father with a loaded 12-guage coming out the door behind me. I told Jimmy, who was too drunk to figure it out. He was blubbering something like, "I got theeeese fo yaa," handing me a dozen rose stems. There were petals all over the car where they'd just thrown the flowers in the backseat and left them to roll around in the floorboard.

Jimmy attempted to climb out of the car and Krusty caught a glimpse of my dad with the shotgun. Jimmy was nearly thrown out of the car as Krusty did a donut in the frontyard trying to get out of the driveway before my dad got a clear shot. The rest of the evening was uneventful after the police came and made a report.

Saturday morning, we hooked the phones back up. The calls began again, only this time they were ringing every five minutes. It didn't take long before my parents were highly agitated. My dad had my mom call Lisa to see if she could get Jimmy to stop, before we had him locked back up. I had no idea my mom had talked to Lisa when I got home from hanging out with friends.

"Natalie," my mom said in her most disappointed voice. "I just got off the phone with Lisa. Is there anything I need to know?"

"No, not really Mom." Oh my God, I'm not ready for this conversation.

"Are you pregnant?" she blatantly asked. It was just like a slap in the face. I couldn't believe his mom told my mother. I couldn't even begin to talk to Mom about it yet.

"Maybe," I said not looking at my mom. She knew immediately what Lisa had told her was true.

"Well, then, maybe you need to find a doctor and make an appointment." I was in total shock. But I'd have to snap out of it soon because Mom had already called the police and they were on their way to make sure the phone stopped ringing. The cops tried to find Jimmy in an apartment complex, while he was outside on the phone with me. Due to his probation violation, they were going to take him as soon as they saw him.

They couldn't find him, so it came down to the Orange County Police Department asking me to drive to neighboring Shelby County, go get Jimmy, and they'd do a felony arrest as we got off I-71. I couldn't do that to Jimmy. I'm pregnant with his baby. That will make me a snitch. I could get shot for that.

"Ma'am, Jimmy is a wanted sex offender," the officer told me.

"Sex offender, what? Not Jimmy. He got in trouble for stealing four-wheelers."

"I'm sorry ma'am, but four-wheelers is only part of the trouble he got into. He was also charged with rape in the third degree. He got a 14-year-old girl drunk and raped her while she was passed out."

My stomach turns as I think about it. That's what he did to me. What kind of monster did I fall in love with?

I staged a call to Mom as soon as he got in the car. I actually called Officer Thomas at my Mom's house. The drive from Thornton's on Monarch Lane to Mom's house in Centerville has never taken so long. I knew it wasn't unusual for Jimmy to have a .380 pistol with him, so I was terrified. I was so nervous I couldn't even make small talk with him. I didn't really have much to say either.

There was an officer parked on the ramp of exit 14 on I-71 as my car passed. As soon as he could see my Sentra, he pulled onto the Interstate and rode a few cars behind us until we reached the 393 Centerville exit. As I came to a stop at the stop sign, I could see the back of a cruiser. When I pulled up further to see if it was clear for me to go, I nearly had a heart attack. There were four other cop cars there. I began to turn right and Jimmy just looked at me befuddled.

"You set me up Nat?" he asked knowingly.

"It's for the best" was as much as I could get out before it looked like a bad episode of C.O.P.S. I counted at least ten guns pointed at Jimmy's head as he got out of the car.

"Put your hands where I can see them!" the officers were yelling. "Get down! Get down on the ground now!" Everything else is a blur because the guns scared me so bad. They searched the passenger side of the car looking for any weapons. Luckily Jimmy wasn't carrying one. All they found was a pack of Marlboro Lights. The officers gave it to me because he wasn't allowed to have cigarettes in jail. After all the commotion was over, one officer came to my window and asked if I was okay. I told him I was and he let me go back to my Mom's.

It's now five days after Thanksgiving 2005 and I'm looking at my life, thinking, Wow! Look at where I've been and where I am now. On February 25th, I will celebrate my daughter's third birthday. Madison Fayth Rose was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I have done the absolute best I could at raising my daughter. I've stopped using all the drugs and my world revolves around Maddie now. I hate that she won't know her biological father, but I don't care what people think when I tell them that Madison had a sperm donor for a father. That is all he was, and considering he won't be released until May 2015, I don't see him doing much more either. That's all he has contributed. He hasn't even sent one birthday card. He hasn't even tried to call. But it doesn't matter.

I can say I am thankful for all of the lessons learned. I will never again let myself get in those situations. I learned a lot about relationships while I was with Jimmy. I saw a lot of crazy people, and crazy people doing crazy things. I have learned to choose my friends a lot more carefully.

I will never let anybody else control my life again. I can't believe how much he ruled me. I was his servant. I was his rag doll he could be nice to, or be mean to. I loved him and that was the worst part about it. I now despise him and could care less if he died in prison. Jimmy is a very demented individual that can brainwash people and make them act outside of their normal character.

When I met Jimmy, I was fresh out of high school. I had been an honor roll student. I had never even thought there were people in the world who were just out in society with such malicious intentions. That's okay though. I am now more cautious about people and am very independent. If I had anything to say to Jimmy now, it would be, "Thanks for making me a stronger and a more whole person. I am now a fighter and will do whatever it takes to achieve my goals. I will never again let something stop me. Especially, not another man."

The only time I have seen Jimmy since I set him up was at court. He made me do a DNA test to prove she was his. I already knew and when the results came back he decided he wanted to be a part of her life. He represented himself as a non sex offender. The judge essentially laughed in his face. Due to his criminal background, the judge denied him visitation rights. I have even found out there are four more girls that he got intoxicated and had sex with while they were unconscious. We were all of consenting age for the drugs and alcohol, so the judge told us we didn't have a case. All of us tried anyway, though, and now, I have the greatest gift of all, and that gift very well could have saved my life.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Natalie Rose is a first-year college student who is learning to write for the first time. She is aspiring to be the next Donald Trump, too. She hopes you get more out of reading this than she got out of living it. Feel free to E-MAIL her.