photo of a baby's hand holding an adult finger

BFFs by Dennis Milam Bensie

Backpack: check.

Key: check.

Nightgown: check.

Take a deep breath – time to go to Amber’s.

The floors are very creaky. Careful not to wake Mom while I sneak out of the house.

Fuck me.

There’s a car parked in front of Mom’s car, and another one parked behind it! That means I gotta parallel park Mom’s car when I get home. I suck at parallel parking.

It’s way late. Weird driving with almost no cars on the streets. I could run all the stop lights and probably not get caught, but if I get pulled over by a cop – I’m toast. I got my license and all, but how would I explain driving around in the middle of the night in my nightgown. If a cop called and woke my mom up, our plan would be completely fucked.

Amber thinks she started labor in Algebra class yesterday. That’s over twenty-four hours ago. She gave me a key during lunch period. I’m glad she decided to give birth in the garage instead of her bedroom. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable sneaking into her house when everyone’s asleep. Holy shit, if I woke up her mom or dad or her brother, I don’t know what I’d say. I’d probably pee all over myself.


This is a disgusting place to have a baby. I would never want to have a baby in a dirty garage like this. Amber should be in a comfortable bed, not on the floor.

Fuckin’ shit.

Oh, my God.

“Come on Amber, push. Pioneer women used to have babies all the time without a real doctor.”

Push, girl, push.

Fuckin’ A.

Amber really did it – she hid her pregnancy and she didn’t have to give up cheerleading.

Thank God the baby’s alive.

Holy fuck. It’s so slimy.

The baby’s too loud.

“It’s a boy, Amber. I think he’s okay. He looks good, he’s breathing and everything. I’m trying to quiet him so he doesn’t wake everyone up.”

Okay, this is where I read that the baby needs to have skin-to-skin contact. This is what they call “bonding.”

It’s okay to get the baby goo on my nightgown.

The feeling of a gooey baby on my chest is really weird. The umbilical cord – don’t cut it or anything. It’s going to be connected for a while. I read that if you leave it connected to the baby long enough, it would just fall off and take care of itself.

Amber isn’t even looking over at me or her baby. It’s probably best since she’s not going to keep him. If she never touches the kid or sets eyes on the kid then it will be easier to give him up – poor girl.

I read online that she should just “deliver” the placenta like the baby. It should come out of her not long after the baby comes out.

“Amber, we just have to wait a bit until the placenta comes out.”

Am I supposed to rock the baby or move around or anything? I don’t remember what it said on the Internet.

Fuckin’ placenta.

The baby seems to weigh about what I guess it should. I thought the baby would be cuter.

“Sorry. Sorry. Sorry, little guy. You only have to stay in the backpack for a little while.”

I kinda hate to put the baby in the bag, but it’s only for a few minutes. I don’t want anyone to see me carrying a baby to and from the car or the house. I gotta get the fuck out of here and get set up at home

It all depends on me having the placenta. If I have the baby attached to the umbilical cord – still attached to the placenta, then this switcheroo will work. No one would think in a million years that I’m smart enough to think about the placenta. I’m still a virgin. Virgins don’t have to worry about placenta. Just don’t get the placenta stuck in the backpack zipper.

Placenta is a funny word.

“Take care of yourself, Amber. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

My mom will no doubt believe that I gave birth to this baby. She can’t talk me into an abortion if the baby’s already born.

Fuck me.

I hate to put the backpack in the hatchback or back seat, so I guess I should hold the baby while I drive. He doesn’t like it very much. He’s very squirmy.

Holy fuck.

My whole life is about to change. I’m going to be a mom. This is what I want.

Amber doesn’t want to be a mom, but I do real bad. She’s got a boyfriend and she’s popular. Everyone loves her and this baby would destroy her reputation. She’s going to go on to college. She’s got her whole life ahead of her and can’t let a baby stop her.

Amber and I are helping each other out. I forgave her for what happened in the eighth grade. I’m glad we’re BFFs again.

This is my only chance to have a baby and be loved. I don’t want to go to college – I don’t know what I would major in anyway. This baby will tell everyone that I’m important. That I matter. A baby’s love is built-in love. I want someone to need me.

It’s fuckin’ time to get set up.

I sat right in the living room and watched that show on cable about the women who had babies and didn’t even know they were pregnant.

I’m going to pretend to be one of them.

How does it sound?: “I didn’t know-know-know I was pregnant. I was raped nine months ago. Mom, I was too ashamed to report it or tell anyone. My baby doesn’t have a father. He doesn’t need a father. I was raped and got pregnant. I was raped. The monster that raped me got me pregnant – but I didn’t know it. He just came out of me. I love my baby and I’m keeping him. No. I don’t need to go to the doctor. I’m fine, but what about my baby. I don’t like people touching my body since I was raped. Don’t touch me. I was raped. I am a rape victim.”

I hope Mom believes me.

Fuck me. I’m scared shitless.

Mom’s still asleep. That’s good.

The baby is getting cuter.

“No more backpack, little baby. Mommy threw it in the dumpster.”

Just like I saw on that show:

Sit on the toilet: check.

Place the cord between my legs: check.

The placenta goes into the toilet: check.

“We’ll get this cord off of you in a little bit. Then you’ll be free.”

As far as anyone knows, I got up in the middle of the night with some horrible cramps…then I had a baby in the toilet.

“Are you ready?”





Dennis Milam Bensie’s first book, Shorn: Toys to Men, was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association. It was also a pick in the International gay magazine The Advocate as “One of the Best Overlooked Books of 2011.” The author’s short stories have been published by Bay Laurel, Everyday Fiction, and This Zine Will Change Your Life and his essays have been seen in The Huffington Post and The Good Men Project. One Gay American is his second book with Coffeetown Press, which was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Lead image“He’s Got a Grip on Mommy” (via Flickr user Adam Declercq)