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Twenty Weeks

by Elena M. Aponte

     The Boer got her pregnant. Samara's father threatened to kill him. He hadn't survived the uproot of District Six for his daughter to become a criminal. The clouds were dark over Table Mountain, headed toward the coast, when he left.

           She cried in the garden while the rain turned the grass to mud. She clenched a mug of tea in her hands. Roger once made her an iced tea, stuck a lemon on the rim. Left a poem under the glass. Kissed her by the refuse bins. His smile was wide and a little crooked. His eyes were green. She'd never seen green eyes before.

           She could hear voices, watched two pairs of arms appear over the security wall. Her neighbor's children. They would peek into the garden to look at her, their eyes panning to her belly. They too had heard about Roger, the Boer. The one who had gotten her pregnant. The girl’s pigtails were lopsided and her brother’s hair was frizzy.

           “You’re bigger,” said the girl.

           Samara rubbed her belly. The baby had kicked for the first time that morning.

           “Does it get hiccups?” asked the boy.

           “Not yet.”

           The boy and the girl looked at each other. The girl wobbled, readjusted herself.

           "Will it be black or white?” she asked.

           Samara didn’t answer. She looked back up at Table Mountain and the cloth of fog that lay atop it. The children followed her gaze, as if they could see what she could.

           "It will be mine," she told them.

Author's Note

This piece came out of a much longer work exploring the life of an interracial couple in Apartheid-era South Africa. I am taken with the history and beauty of the country, and I wanted to explore what it means to love someone, not just in an oppressed society, but what that means for true courage, and how these concepts are altered through generations.

Elena M. Aponte loves the brutal honesty of both musicians and children, and keeps this in mind as she writes. She hails from Toledo, Ohio, and is currently earning an MA in Literature from Bowling Green State University. She also has a healthy obsession with graphic novels, Salinger, and cult films. Her writing has previously appeared in Cheap Pop.

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