The room was quite when she told the story. Intimate. Calm. “I had an abortion,” she said, “when I was 17.” Her eyes softened with the memory of that long ago day.
“It was just a silly thing, the sex. There is so little to do in a small town in the desert. As a teen, your choices are simple; you can have sex, or you can do drugs, or both. And, anyway, he -his name was Kyle, told me that he loved me.” The woman sighed.
“My parents wouldn’t speak to me for months after they found out. It was traumatic, you have to understand, all of it –the procedure, the rejection, the silence; it was too much for a 17 year old girl to deal with on her own. But how could I raise a child or make her happy, all alone. Kyle had lied. He didn’t love me at all. As soon as he found out about the pregnancy, he left me. My first love left me.” Her eyes began to grow glazed.
“The procedure was simple, but painful. The doctor put me on drugs to keep me calm and numb the hurt. My parents refused to support my decision. The only person to hold my hand was a woman employed at the clinic. A stranger. But, she was sweet and gave me graham crackers and juice afterwards.” The memory finally brought tears forth from her eyes as she continued to tell her tale.
“There was moment, I’ll never forget it. It was the moment I heard the soul of my child say goodbye.” Her words trailed off until she remembered she wasn’t alone in the room and was at the most important part of her story. “There was no sadness to the goodbye. It was like a wave from an old friend you know you’ll see again. It was like a symphony in the wilderness -the sound of my child’s voice. And in that moment, I promised her that I would make a body available to her when I had everything together and could leave that little town in the desert.”
She looked her listener deep in the eyes, tears still rolling down her face.
“Do you regret your decision,” the listener asked the storyteller.
She wiped her tears away and leaned in very close. She whispered. “If I wouldn’t have had that abortion, I would have never met your father and I would have never had you. You are the soul I said goodbye too. I knew you’d come back to me.”