Tiffany did a pirouette, flip-flops spinning on the rocks, running her hands down her body. “Do you see it? Where did that baby go?” Across the street men resting after work whistled and shouted in Spanish. A car, tinted windows and loud baseline, slowed as it passed. Tiffany waved.
“I don’t work the streets much anymore. I mostly work from my phone. I just wanted some fresh air though.”
Her phone rang. She put down her cup and answered. “Damn. Missed call.” She scrolled through a collection of baby photos.
“Here he is! Such a big boy. In a few days he will be one month old. He is with my foster mother. She across town. ”
“I was high for this pregnancy. Usually that means the baby will be born premature. Not this one. 6 lbs and 9 ounces!”
I learned Takeesha was pregnant three months ago: It was midnight and she was stranded at a one-hour motel, dumped by a John. I had come to pick her up and bring her back to Hunts Point. She was dressed in red lace, knee-high red leather boots, her face puffy from a prior beating: Black eye, broken lip.
Her pregnancy was mentioned in the police report she showed me, which detailed the beating by her boyfriend. “Yes, it’s Steve child. He gots some real anger issues, but I love him. When he gets out of jail we will try again.”
I was in her apartment yesterday, visiting. “I lost the child. I was thrown down the stairs. Will we stay together? I still love him, but you don’t see him around do you? If he works on his issues, we might be able to get together again.” A moment of silence. Switching to a high-pitched girlish giggle, she showed me her teddy bear. “This is Bobo. I love him, want to hear him talk?”