I wrote this a while ago, but hesitated to post it, since it is very different from the sort of thing I usually write. Incidentally, I’ve noticed that when I use first-person point of view, people sometimes think that it’s a true story. So, let me clarify that this is not about me and it is fiction.

mother and child

I have no father.

It’s not just that my mother is divorced or that he died; I’ve never had a father. She told me that when I asked. Some kids have one, but not you. Oh well.

When I told my Grade 5 teacher this, he joked that I was immaculate. I had to ask my mother what that meant. She didn’t know either, but we found it in a dictionary. It meant perfect. She laughed and said fat chance. Still, I liked the idea of being immaculate. Maybe there was something about having a father that made you less than perfect.

I had had a vague idea of sex since early elementary school, but in Grade 7 the health teacher laid out all the gory details for us, complete with blush-inducing diagrams. I confronted my mother with this newfound knowledge, laying out my case like an adolescent pedagogue. If she didn’t know the meaning of immaculate, she might not know about the sperm and the egg and fallopian tubes and all that. “So, you see, I must have had a father,” I said, in conclusion.

“I can’t explain it to you,” she said, taking a long, uncommonly slow sip from the coffee mug she held in her hands.

“Don’t you remember it?” I asked, still pushing headlong for an explanation. I didn’t know much about sex at that point, but from what I’d heard, it seemed like the sort of thing you’d remember.

“Don’t do this right now,” she said from behind her mug, where she continued her never-ending drink of coffee.

“I just want to know if I have a father or not,” I said, standing up to look at her over her mug. I saw a tear leak out of her right eye and run down her cheek. That sobered me instantly. My mother never cried. Ever. At least I’d never seen it before. I sat back down.

The mood had gotten uncomfortable and I was about to slink away to the TV when she put down her mug and wiped her eye. “I was raped when I was in university,” she said. I had never heard that word spoken by anyone I knew and it was scary to have it suddenly leap into my life, even into the sanctuary of my kitchen. “I didn’t know who it was and they never caught him.”

I didn’t know what to say. My youthful brashness had been sucked out of my body.

“My friends wanted me to get an abortion. They assumed I would. I almost did.”

“Why didn’t you?” I asked quietly. I almost touched myself to make sure I was still real, still alive.

“I was too scared. I was petrified both of getting an abortion and having a baby. I kept putting off the one until the other happened on its own. I was going to give you up for adoption, but when I saw you, I couldn’t.”

“I see.” It was all I could manage. I escaped soon after that to try to numb my thoughts with some electronic entertainment. It didn’t help. It was like dancing along happily, only to find you’ve been dancing on a paper-thin wafer of glass, over a yawning chasm of What Might Have Been. I could be dead now. I would never have known if I was. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

It took me four days to work up the courage to ask the question that kept pounding against the inside of my skull. We were washing dishes after supper and suddenly I had to get it out.

“Mom, do you regret having me?”

She looked over at me and fairly attacked me—wet, soapy hands and all—in a crushing hug. “Never,” she said. “Never, never, never. I regret a lot in my life, but not you. You are like a strong tree that grew up out of a pool of poison, untainted by the evil of that night.”

I never forgot those words and they carried me through the inevitable pain and confusion that came with the knowledge of my origins. I may not be immaculate, but untainted is just as good.

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

16 responses to “Untainted

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tao Talk

Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.

H J Musk

Taking on the world one story at a time ...

CG Express

Writing, Musing, Sharing

Bridgette Tales

Everybody has a story. Here's a little of mine.

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Rolling Boxcars

Where Gaming Comes at you like a Freight Train

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart


Self Improvment through Islamic Wisdom | All faiths welcome

The Pinay Ajumma

Stories, Inspiration, and Beyond

The Green-Walled Treehouse

Explore . Imagine . Create

One Minute Office Magic

Learning new Microsoft Office tricks in "just a minute"


Just grin and bear it awhile

Linda's Bible Study

Come study God's Word with me!

Haden Clark

Philosophy. Theology. Everything else.

Citizen Tom

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The Green-Walled Chapel

Writings on Faith, Religion and Philosophy

To Be A Magician

A fiction blog of funny and dark stories

My music canvas

you + me + music

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Upper Iowa University

Center for International Education

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human


Book Reviewer and Blogger


kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green Stories

The Best Short Stories on the Internet

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author


Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

The art of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress


she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!


a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

%d bloggers like this: