He was clutching her hand, his grip was all she could feel. He hadn’t said anything. She just wanted him to say something. Please god, let him say something.
But he didn’t.
He didn’t for some time. His mind was still chewing on it, trying to figure out and process how to respond, what to do.
“I’m fine now…it’s okay, please…please just talk to me, Nate.”
“I’m…sorry. Just wasn’t expecting that I guess. I kind of wish you would have talked to me first…”
“Nate, I had no other choice, I couldn’t have carried it to term. I’m in school and I…it just had to be done. I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you about it first, but I just wanted to get it done, not have any other feelings about it. I had to see it as a chore or something...that's the only way I could do it.”
It was killing her that he was more concerned that she hadn’t asked him than if she was doing okay. It had been so scary. She had felt so incredibly alone. And the blood, god, she was still haunted by it. Why couldn’t he just be concerned for her and leave it at that? This wasn’t about him.
“Meghan, you know I’m not the biggest fan of all that…what if I wanted to keep him?”
“Keep him? What the hell are you talking about?”
“What if I wanted us to have him. What if I wanted to have a child instead of flushing him down a drain?”
“Nate…what…I had to, Nate…this isn’t just some whim, this is my life here. Our lives. And its potential life wouldn’t have been very good either…”
This was the very last thing she ever would have wanted to come of this talk…she had been hurting in so many ways because of all of this, and now he was trying to make her feel guilty about it. She had no other choice, there was no other choice than to take that pill…why couldn’t he see that? And him?
“You don’t know that. You have no idea and you should have asked me first.”
“Would you have let me terminate it?”
“Nate…don’t you understand at all why I had to though? I…this would have completely derailed my life…I had to do it…I had to…”
“Keep telling yourself that Meg.”
That was it. She was done. She turned away before the water erupted in her eyes and she tried desperately to keep her breathing even to appear even the slightest bit strong…to try to feel like she had even a small sliver of pride left. It was hard to even feel like a human being at this point. She had struggled with the question of whether or not to pull the plug for three agonizing days. Every waking moment it was all she could think about, everything around her reminded her of the thing growing inside her, and every night she would have a terrible nightmare about it…she couldn’t escape it.
And now when she had finally committed to her course and was feeling shaken by the experience, the one person she thought she could always turn to turned away from her. What could she even do with that?
Be strong Meghan, be strong. You did the right thing. You did…there was no future with that thing, and if he doesn’t care about you more than something he barely even knew about then…he’s not worth your time.
It was hard to think that. He had been there for her through so much, to just try to belittle his importance to her was so foreign, alien, but she would have to for now. If he came to his senses, she could talk to him again, but right now she needed support…she just hoped her only other close friend would support her decision on this one. She needed someone to tell her she did the right thing…it certainly didn’t feel like it right now.
Now he felt like a dick, but he did have a right to an opinion, right? Even if it wasn’t the one Meghan was looking for, he had a right to say it to her.
“Of course you did!” Hannah said, shocked that she would even question the decision. “What else could you have done? I’d have done the same thing…”
She leaned over and gave Meghan a hug on the couch. They had been through so many boxes of tissues on this couch, so many chocolates, so many bags of tea, but it was a comforting place. A safe place. She wasn’t judged here. This was what she needed.
But she still wished he had given this security to her.
“Thanks Hannah…I was just so shaken by the way Nate reacted, I didn’t even know what to do with that…”
“Yeah, what an ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. That was so uncalled for, it’s obvious you didn’t just do this for ♥♥♥♥s and giggles, you had to. And it’s your body, he’s not going to give birth to the thing. He better ♥♥♥♥ing remember that next time.”
She made an upward jab with her fist and gave a little smile. Hannah really was the best medicine for all this. The days of crying alone were fading away in her mind as soft thoughts and laughter crept back in for the first time in what felt like ages.
It wasn’t fair. She had felt somewhat pressured to do it in the first place...for someone so hung up on being anti-abortion, Nate sure wasn’t on an abstinence kick. It’s not like she regretted it…but he had always pushed her a little further than she would have liked. Long gone were the days spent in her comfort zone. But she had been fine with that, how else would she grow and experience new things?
But then this. Why did he have to react like this? She had always been supportive of and forgiving to him…she always worried about him when he was down, why couldn’t he be there for her just this once? The most crucial of times?
Yeah, we’re definitely over.
He had felt pretty terrible about the whole affair the rest of the day.
And that night.
And the next day.
Meghan hadn’t called him.
Or texted him.
what have I done?
Wow guys, I haven't written since I was like, 8 and the first thing to come out is ABORTION. Woooooooooooow. I have no idea where this is going.
The news had been on all afternoon as per usual, different stories ticking across the bottom, but the same few images kept appearing: A plain building, then an explosion, then people with signs, then the newscaster would return to the screen and the cycle would begin again.
“Don’t worry about it, hon.”
“But I want to know!”
“Some people were trying to stop mean people from hurting babies.”
“Why would anyone want to hurt babies?”
“They’re just bad people, Meghan. They didn’t go to church every Sunday.”
“Is THAT what happens if I don’t go?”
“Yes, now why don’t you go out and see if Rebecca is around, honey.”
She returned to chopping vegetables as the girl quietly left out the back door.
It was then she decided not to complain before church ever again.
Walking home was always nerve-wracking. Every step closer weighed on her mind. Weighed her down. Every. Step. Step. Step.
She turned the key in the door, hesitating mid way through to take one final deep breath, to exhale all the nerves and jitters and inhale a calm composure, and continued. The handle turned. The door opened. She stepped inside.
“Hey…sorry if I’m a little late. Was watching a movie at Hannah’s.”
“You’re alright, just don’t make a habit of it. Dinner’s in the oven.”
God was it excruciatingly painful to go through the motions as if nothing were wrong. She just wanted to scream out, have everyone know the pain of what she was going through, but she couldn’t.
Especially not here, not to her mother or father.
She quickly ate her meal and scurried up the steps to her room. She kept to her room a lot more lately, she hoped her parents didn’t notice, but she couldn’t help but be worried about it. She didn’t like it either, being cooped up in one small room, but it was so much easier than having to laboriously keep up a façade. She was still hurting.
And now Nate.
Her phone rang. She froze. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear what he had to say, wasn’t sure if she was ready to hear what he had to say, wasn’t sure if she was ready to say what she had to say.
Why do I have to be so conflicted about everything?
The phone rang on and finally halted, she let the silence hang over her a moment and closed her eyes.
He had tried. It was the best he could do for now. He didn’t want to push her.
He had already pushed her away.
It was so hard for him to push aside his feelings on the matter though…not to feel as though he had somehow been robbed. He was almost finished with school, just a semester to go, he had always wanted to be a father, and he didn’t want to wait forever. And she killed him. She killed their son. Or daughter. They were dead now. Flushed unceremoniously down some common toilet. Thrown away.
But she hadn’t deserved that. She had been honest. She had been vulnerable. And he turned on her like a wolf. How could he have done something like that to someone he had once proclaimed he loved?
What had happened to him?
He shook his head and tried to forget about it. For now he would just have to wait.
The blood, god there had been so much. Worse than anything she’d been through. It was everywhere. Crimson soaked through the tissues and pads. And it had smelled. It made her sick, light headed to think about what was happening.
To think of how alone she was.
Alone in that bathroom. Covered in blood.
God, is this what her life had come to?
But it was over now, she kept telling herself. It was over, the deed was done, she could move on.
But she couldn’t. Not even now.
She woke up the next morning in a cold sweat. She couldn’t go a night without one of those dreams.
They were always about the baby, how guilty she was, how wrong she was, how evil she was. The blood was always there. Always on her or her clothes. She couldn’t escape it anymore than she could this feeling of guilt.
Even though she had made the decision and it was over now, she sometimes felt as she did when she was agonizing over it.
As if she wished she was dead.
At least then she wouldn’t have to deal with these feelings, these emotions.
She had really and truly loved him for a time. She had always had questions and doubts, but she always thought he would stand by her. She was wrong. She had thought that maybe, as awful as this situation was, this was situation where he could prove himself and erase all her doubts and fears about them.
But he didn’t.
Had what she done really been so wrong? So wrong that this man she had trusted with her thoughts, her feelings, her body, could just so thoroughly reject her?
It hurt more than finding out she was pregnant.
More than the decision to have the abortion.
More than flushing the blood down the drain.
More than every step home.
More than being alone.
More than anything.
But she had to move on somehow. If he couldn’t help her through this, he couldn’t help her through life. She had to move on. Had to.
And then the phone rang.
He waited patiently, not expecting an answer.
And then the dial tone stopped.
“Are you…I’m sorry.”
He blurted it out.
She hung up.
He was speechless. What did that mean? Did she not want to hear him say that? What had he done? He set his phone down and waited a while to see if she’d call back.
He went to call her again and stopped. The ball was in her court now, he had pushed his feelings aside and apologized. That was awful big of him, now it was her turn.
Women were so complicated sometimes.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu I have been writing this in like, little 2 second bursts between other work so sorry if it's really fragmented but wutevaaaaaaaaaa
peace out bbys
Word count so far: 2,083
Will be posting more today to make up for my slacking yesterday. :C
“You think your mom would be on your side at least though, right?”
“Are you kidding me Hannah? No. We’re Catholic.”
“But she’s still your mom…”
“I’m not telling them, now can we please stop talking about this?”
“Fine…I just think she should know. Maybe she could be of some help to you, y’know?”
Meghan returned her full attention to her sandwich. This was her favorite sandwich at her favorite café, they had come here to try and take their minds off their troubles, why couldn’t Hannah just leave it be? The avocado spilled out as she squeezed the sandwich tighter in her hand.
“How are things with you and Tony?”
“Fine. Uneventful. I mean, he’s still in England for school so…not much to say.”
“Do you ever worry about him…”
“Cheating? Yeah. He’s an honest guy, but…I think he has it in him to do it. I don’t know. I think every guy does.”
“How can you stand it?”
“I trust him.”
Trust, she had trusted in Nate. More than she thought she ever would. Should she really throw that away? Before all this they had a solid foundation and if nothing else a strong friendship…should she call him back?
“Hey Meghan, are you going to finish your fries?”
“Nah, I’m pretty full…all yours.”
Yeah, I should call him back.
The rhythms of mass were so easy to fall into each week.
Stand up. Sing. Kneel. Sit. Stand. Communion. Kneel. Pray. Sit. Sing.
But above all, listen.
It was a rhythm she had loathed as a child, so rigid and dull, but now it was like a comfort to her. When everything else seemed so utterly chaotic, finding some place that never changed was comforting. Her eyes traced the black lines in the stained glass just as they did when she was a child. The priest was the same. The pews were the same. The mass was the same. Everything became simple again, as it had been when she was a child.
But now it was harder to sit through mass. She had long abandoned a God, but she she had not abandoned his teachings or his virtues. Coming to mass filled her with guilt now.
She sat uncomfortably close to her mother for the hour and tried to fall into the patterns as before, but found it to be a struggle now. Proclamations of “Jesus loves, Jesus forgives” made her feel dirty and out of place, like a murderer among saints. Surely Jesus couldn’t forgive this.
But what did it matter?
Mass concluded and as her family exited, they passed by the confessional booths.
“Hey Nate…I’m sorry about that.”
“I just…I didn’t know how to respond, I wasn’t expecting you to apologize.”
“That’s…okay? How are you Meg?”
“I’m…better than I was. Not doing so great though.”
“Listen, it’s going to be okay.”
That was exactly what she had needed. The tenseness in her shoulders melted away, the weight on her brow, the fog in her mind…it all faded.
“I love you.”
“I know you’re angry with me…but I want you to know that. I do. I didn’t do this to hurt you, I can ex--”
“C’mon Meg calm down…I love you too, okay?”
And he meant it. He hadn’t been sure before he said it, but now he knew that despite this, he still loved her.
“Yeah…I’m alright, Nate…I’m alright…”
“Let me know if you need anything?”
“Come here. Please.”
He hesitated, it was getting late and he needed to finish this paper.
“I’m on my way.”
It could wait. There was someone more important that needed him.
He rang the door bell, the soft thuds of someone’s feet echoed behind the door and it opened to reveal Meghan’s mother.
“Hello, Mrs. Cole.”
“Hello, Nathan. Here to see Meghan?”
“I’ll get he--“
But she was already pushing between the frame of her mother and the door frame.
“I’ll be back by 11, Mom.”
“Don’t be late, Meghan.”
And the door shut. She let out a huge breath as they walked to his car. As she sat down she started shaking a bit.
“It’s okay, Meghan…”
Her shaking slowed, but she still wasn’t looking at him. He started the car and turned off the radio. He drove to no where in particular. He just drove.
“Meghan…do you want to talk?”
“Then what do you want?”
“I just want you to be here.”
He glanced at her as he was driving time and time again, but she wouldn’t look back at him. Finally, after the silence had drawn on too long, he reached out his hand searching for hers. He found it, it was so cold.
“Meghan are you okay?”
He pulled over into the parking lot of some drug store and parked the car. He turned to face her, she was curled up as much as one could be in the seat of a car. He placed both hands on her one trembling, icy hand. She looked up at him.
She was crying.
“Meghan what’s wrong? Please…”
She smiled a bit as a few tears fell down her face, then she looked away again. He lifted his hand to grab her face, but stopped.
“Are you…upset because of me? I really am sorry Meg…”
“Honestly? You…didn’t help the whole situation…but no…I’m most sad about this horrible thing I had to do…it wasn’t easy for me, Nate. It wasn’t. It was so hard…I didn’t want you to have to deal with it too…I just wanted you to be happy…I wanted us to work out…”
But there was nothing he could say.
She remembered calling the cab very vividly. It had taken her at least an hour to dial the number, but once she had done it, she forced herself to read off the address to the operator.
“To the Planned Parenthood on Lee?”
“Cab should be 10 to 15 minutes, fare should be around $15.”
Then silence. It was done. Now she had to wait.
Every second ticked by slower than the last.
Finally, the yellow taxi arrived in front of the store. She had planned this all out at least 50 times before. Rehearsed every line, anything to delay actually doing it.
“You’re headed to the Planned Parenthood on Lee?”
Why did they have to say it so much? Everyone knew what you went there for. And this was a woman cab-driver. She couldn’t decide if that was good or bad.
The cab smelled of old cigarettes and old clients. The music was barely audible, some pop tune she hadn’t heard.
“So what’re you up to there?”
“Uh…check up. You know, pelvic exam.”
“Oh, huh. Why do you use them and not a different gyno?”
“Oh, just cheaper in my situation.”
“Huh, well good for you for getting checked up on, you’re awfully young it seems like.”
“Yeah, well, just want to be safe.”
“Good for you, hope you’re treating your body right and not sleeping around like some tramp neither.”
“Haha, I’m just kidding baby.”
But every time she looked in the rearview, it didn’t feel like she was kidding or light hearted. The cab driver’s eyes dug into her like knives. She could practically see her singing in her church’s choir.
The ride went on.
“We’re here, that’ll be $16.78, without the tip.”
She handed the woman a $20 bill and shuffled out of the cab as quickly as she could.
The woman said it with a smile, but her eyes. Her eyes.
Meghan walked in hesitating every step closer.
This was it.
She signed her name on the sign-in sheet.
I may be getting worse at writing, but I'm getting faster. That's good right?
They sat there in silence for a long time, at least an hour. He just sat with her. She just breathed.
He drove her home and before she got out of his car, he squeezed her hand and brought it to his lips.
“I love you, remember that, Meghan.”
She had always loved pressing flowers. She remembered the first flowers he had bought her, the corsage he had gotten her for prom, the first roses he bought her…they were more than just flowers, every petal was a reminder that someone cared about her. So she saved them.
She had books filled with them and when she had gotten them, why she had gotten them, who had given them to her. She wanted to remember all the happy times. The flowers couldn’t stay bright and vivid forever, but they held to their basic shape like a fragile memory.
She opened up the book with her most recent flower acquisitions: a bouquet for her birthday from Nate.
She turned each page, remembered how she felt when she got them. The smell, his embrace, the kiss, it all came back.
Such a lovely memory.
It was nice to have those.
She couldn’t decide if things were getting easier or not. Every day since the blood had stopped, she started to feel better about everything, but then something would happen. She would see something, someone would say something, she’d think of something, and she’d be brought back to that terrible feeling, as if the wound had been torn wide open again.
But Nate was helping. Thank god Nate had calmed down. Hannah could only help her so much, she needed this support.
She was going to make it through this. There was a light at the end of the tunnel at least.
And this time it didn’t seem like the light was the fires of Hades itself.
She could endure this.
“You can do this Meghan.”
His voice echoed in her head. It was comforting.
She could do this.
“So, Tony is visiting this weekend?”
“Yeah, it feels like it’s been forever. It’ll only be 3 days, but…I’ll take anything at this point.”
“You’re so lucky to have an apartment, no one watching you like a hawk.”
“Yeah, it’s a lot more work, but I do love being away from all that. Much less stressful. It’s worth every penny.”
“If it weren’t so much money, I’d move out in a heart beat.”
“Aww, you could do it, Meghan. You’d just have to get a second job. It’s not too bad.”
“I’m mostly afraid my grades would slip…my parents are only paying if I get A’s…and I really need them to pay for college, I can’t do that on my measly salary.”
She had been working in a small, family-run thrift store since high school. She couldn’t wait to graduate; it was just a few years away. She had wanted to teach since she was a kid, since Ms. Fowler. She just needed this slip of paper first. She was so close.
“Have any fun plans once he gets here?”
“Not really, will probably go out to dinner one night though, that’ll be nice. I’m not really a huge planner. I like spontaneity.”
“Haha, well, hope it all goes well for you.”
“Thanks, you’ll be the first to know how it goes.”