Part V: Iesha talks about the future with Deidrick
I never envisioned my life to be mapped out this way. Of course, I am certain not many teenagers do that — map their lives out ahead of time. I had been living for my parents, attempting to appease them. Then . . . Deidrick came along, and I began to live for myself — to experience joy — pure joy. He makes me so incredibly happy. I know what you’re thinking, “You’re young. You have your whole life ahead of you. Deidrick may not be the last guy you date.” But I don’t want to be with anyone else. I know who I want and he is that person.
I look down at my stomach and I feel the life growing inside me — our child — I don’t want anyone else. We will move into our own place soon. He saw to that. He’s been on a mission to get the things we need most and every time I try to offer help financially for these things, he puts a hand up and says, “Babe, I got this. When I don’t have it, I’ll let you know.” I’ve stepped back and I love watching him in action — watching him work for our good. A car soon, followed by our own place. I am absolutely baffled by the sheer existence of this in my head.
In a couple of months, we’ll be on our own — truly on our own. I would be lying if I said I was not frightened. I have fear. There are some doubts. But I get to do this with my best friend — my child’s father — hopefully, one day, my husband. When I think of my life on these terms, the fear subsides. Who will our little one look like? How will she sound? Will she want to learn how to speak both French and Diola along with English? Will she be a pescatarian or vegetarian? Most importantly, will she be healthy — happy — satisfied with her parents?
I have these thoughts — these worries — these things that pop up in my mind as minor stressors, but then I think about who I get to share this next phase of my life with, and I don’t feel as burdened by my mind. Deidrick has a great head on his shoulders. He’s strong-willed, a hard worker, intelligent, has our interests at heart, and loves his parents. I could not have asked for a better person to venture out on this journey with — he’s a God-send.
My parents think the world of him. My father, Oumar, in his thick Senegalese accent, says this about Deidrick: “This boy, I like. He’s smart, wants to work. I don’t worry about you nearly as much as I did when you first told us of your pregnancy. Stick with him, Iesha. I feel good things about him in my heart.” And if my father feels what he feels about Deidrick, I can’t be on the wrong path. My mother, Fatou, dotes on him. She and Deidrick will sit in the family room and have hours-long conversations while I entertain my dad and younger siblings. I have two little sisters; Khalia and Maya.
I will miss getting to see those two little silly ones every single day. I adore them. They have so much potential and Khalia is nothing short of a genius. She’s already being scouted by universities because of her test scores and the advanced learning courses she takes at her school. She’s only twelve! Maya is fourteen, and while she’s also intelligent, she doesn’t go above and beyond. She does what she needs to in order to toe the line in academia and get by. I don’t think she has any interest in school at all, but she knows that an education will provide her with the things she needs in life, and living under my parents’ roof, an education she will get.
I have been getting rid of a few things — things I no longer need — to prepare for our move. My mom and Maya have been helping. I do a bit of “spring cleaning” every other weekend as I tire easily these days. So far, I’ve boxed up most of my books, camera equipment, clothes, and shoes. We’re not hiring movers, no . . . between my father, Deidrick’s brother, uncles, dad, and cousins, we will not need to hire anyone. Deidrick’s mother is planning a baby shower for me in a month. I love her. She is truly like a second mother to me.
She has already been out and about buying clothes, diapers, bottles, etc. for our little one. My mom has been on a mission as well. We already have a crib, car seat, and stroller. This little one has a village awaiting her arrival and a daddy who would give her his last and more. She is loved by the ancestors and is prayed over and cared for daily.
As I get myself together for the transition of leaving home and venturing out on my own, I carry less weight. Knowing that I will not be alone is one of the key factors which I believe will help me grow without debilitating fear. Next weekend, the car. Deidrick and his uncle Rick got everything sorted out and the car will be ours. Two weekends after that, our own place.
I look to my future and I see Deidrick’s smiling face and the image of our baby girl being held in his loving arms. And well, it doesn’t get any better than that.