Pamela
by Victor Hoch
nicely in front of herself and was very homely in her manner.

Her shackles clanked on the table as she moved around in her chair trying to make herself comfortable. Her chair
seemed just as personable as the table. Her dark skin hid her age from anyone that looked upon her, but from her
police record, I knew she was forty-eight.

“So you’re here to get my story from me?” she asked.

“Yeah, I am a part of a group of people looking to help people like you out.”

“How? No one could have foreseen any of this, not the laws, not anything.” She said. “Not even the ritualistic burnings
that the government televised and approved. How can a bunch of people who let this happen want to fix this now?
Why not years ago? Before it was this bad?” Her last questions rang with a hint of due frustration. Her hands moved
about as if to add to the emotion she felt.

“They say hindsight is 20/20.”

“Ha. It all started with that president, what’s his face. No one stopped him.” She makes quotations signs in the air with
her fingers. “ ‘Let’s try and control population by limiting how many children a set of parents can have.’ Really? Who
the fuck thought that was a good idea?” She continued without time for me to answer. “Apparently everyone who
voted for him. But no one ever paid attention to what his views were, only that he would legalize dope and make health
care free for everyone. Stupid shits,” she said that with a disdain for humanity that I have never heard before.

“That was ten years ago, wasn’t it?” I asked.

“Yeah. If I’d only known the hell I’d land in for that.” She chuckled. “There was a new law that each family could only
have two children. It was a paperclip law, just kinda added the way the smoking illegalization was. It was a part of a
bigger bill that everyone wanted to see go through. It’s one of those bills people hate later, but never noticed. Well it
wasn’t long after that that everyone found out. I had two kids at the time and was six months pregnant with the third.
Me and Jimmy loved kids.” She paused. Looking down she smiled. The smile overtook her face; it was that one of a
lover remembering her partner, a partner she missed. “Our newborn son would be a fugitive. You know how hard that
is to live with?” Tears welled in her eyes. “Not even knowing what the world would hold for you. We never went to the
hospital. They would take him. We talked about it several times. We decided we’d raise him at home. So, he was born
in our own bed.” She smiled through the tears. “His cry meant we would never be the same, I knew that, but never
thought this. Would I have had him if I knew I would lose my one love? I don’t know. I have thought it over for ten
years and I’m still not sure.”

She paused for a long time. I didn’t speak or say anything because I could feel the heavy emotions she herself felt.
That same sadness enveloped the room. Even the security guard had to leave the room. I did my best to remain
composed. I was here to write her story, maybe even connect with her. I didn’t like crying either and needed to be
able to write and be clear headed so the rest of the world can feel the same thing that she felt right then.

“So what happened?”

“You mean with our son?”

I nodded. She smiled, and then looked me in the eyes with a blank conviction.

“We hid him in the basement. Our little row home in the city was big enough and the basement was ours, so we figured
it would be better than if we had him in the attic. His room and everything was down there. We bought everything for
him second hand, from people we knew. Nothing he got was new, we couldn’t risk having questions asked. We even
got him a fridge so his food and things could be kept away from ours. The illusion that we were a four person family
had to be kept. No one knew we had him. I even had to quit the hostess job I had so no one even saw me pregnant. You
know how hard that is? To leave everything because you are going to bring a miracle into the world that the public
doesn’t want there?”

She waited, as if I should have answered. Her stare was one I had to look away from. I didn’t know. I never had
children, let alone one that wasn’t accepted, but I felt like I knew.

“So what did you do about schooling?”

“John’s brother and sister were going to public school and when he was old enough he would have to be home
schooled. If he went to the same school as his brother and sister people would know. They would know that we were
breaking the law and then they would come. They would take him, like they took all the others.” She had an intensity
about her now. “It was like walking on eggshells. Everything we did had to be planned out, no room for error.”

“Then how’d they find out? Obviously something happened.”

She chuckled, lowered her head and spoke softly enough that she seemed like she was talking to herself.

“Jimmy was down stairs playing with John. John loved to dance. He used to do a tiny little twist kind of dance, ones all
young babies do. Jimmy had the music up too loud. I was in the backyard digging up the flowers to go and plant new
ones for spring. I heard a knock on the door.” She knocked her knuckles on the table as if she was knocking on a door,
hard and deliberate. “There were three of them, police from the local station. They demanded to come in and see what
the noise was about. I didn’t even get to speak before they burst into the house and brushed past me to the basement
door. I tried to get between them but the second one held me back. Things slowed down, like in those movies where
they find the most important clue. They walked down the stairs to find John and Jimmy.”

Pamela’s face changed to a pleading look. One of utter sadness.

“Jimmy was only protecting his miracle. That’s what he used to call John, his little miracle. He lunged at the first
officer to get down the stairs. The officer then reached for his gun. Jimmy shoulder checked him as he let out this
scream. It was the word ‘no’, the word that would be his last. He landed on top of the officer and stood up to stop the
second one and as he was getting up he grabbed the gun from the first. He pointed it at the second officer. His hand
shook. I saw it. The tears streamed down his face like two parallel rivers. The second drew his gun and then they were
at a standoff. The first officer yelled for him to put the gun down, but he stood, I wished he didn‘t, still crying. He
knew what they would do to him and me. He didn’t want that to happen.

“They squeezed the triggers at the same time. The second officer was then clutching his left leg. Jimmy had gotten him
right above his knee. Jimmy’s arm fell and the gun dropped to the floor. That sound still echoes through me.

Sometimes at night I hear it in the distance, but I know it’s all in my head.”

She sat silent for some time. She seemed to be replaying the events of that afternoon in her head. She knotted her
hands together on the table in between us. I felt I owed her this silence.

She pulled herself together and continued on.

“Jimmy dreaded the day that the police would show up. He said it was only a matter of time. It’s hard to hide a miracle
forever. We both knew that, but if we didn’t try what kind of parents would we have been? No one should have to
make the decisions we had to make. Especially over someone you never had the chance to meet yet. We couldn’t let
that happen. They took Jimmy away in a bag, John was taken from me. His brother and sister were taken also and I
was being cuffed shortly afterwards. I don’t know what happened to my children, they won’t tell me.” Her lips curled
and the tears remained in her eyes, they were about to come rushing out.

“So you have no idea what happened to them?”

She just shook her head in response.

“Would you like to know?”

She looked at me with pleading eyes. She wanted to know, she didn’t have to say it at all. Her eyes spoke for her.

“Your daughter and son are in an orphanage. They have been since you were arrested.”

She seemed somewhat relieved but she still had tears in her eyes. Her look was one of dread.

“And John?”

“I have a problem telling you this.” I didn’t want to tell her, but I felt since she needed to know I would. “He was taken
to the same orphanage. After the case was investigated and the date of his birth was found out...” I had problems
getting the rest of the sentence out. “He was taken by the state. The records took forever for me to dig up but they
‘euthanized’ him.”

She broke down. Then she stopped. She looked straight at me and it scared me.

“They did what? They fucking killed my John? He was a human being and they killed him?” She slammed her hands
on the table, palms down. “How does that happen?”

“Every news station covered it. No one knew the extent that they would follow that law. When they kil….euthanized
him there was an outrage. There were riots on Capitol Hill. There was a movement to remove it. Everyone involved
with that movement has mysteriously vanished recently. All the case files disappeared. Something is screwy around
here and I need your story to maybe make some sense of this.”

“You need my story to make sense of this? That’s why you want it? Who the fuck do you think you are? I have been in
here for ten years because I gave the world a fucking miracle and you want to exploit that?” She grew angry.

“N-n-n-no,” I stuttered. “Your story will bring light to things that no seems to be able to remember.”

“Fuck you!” She sat back and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m done here.”

The guard came as if motioned by her and released the shackles that were around her ankles from the floor. He
grabbed her by the elbow and led her out of the room. He returned to escort me out. I gathered my papers and felt the
only respectful thing to do for her was to leave.  

Several days later Pamela’s story was seen all over the news.

The reporter was never heard from again.