[Disclaimer: This post has material that may be sensitive for some individuals. Parental discretion advised for younger ages.]
She wakes up in a fog, lurching out of the iridescent colors of her dreams into the pre-dawn haze of reality.
Not. Again. Jesus.
The clock on her windowsill reads 4:18 am. With a sigh, she rolls to her side and reaches for the glass pipe on the floor beside her bed. Bowl already packed, lighter poised right beside. Just like usual. Funny how it always seems to happen around 4:20.
I didn’t ask for this.
She flicks the lighter and inhales, already dreading the next half-hour or so. As if overwhelming nausea wasn’t bad enough, the herb didn’t help much until the initial inevitable dry-heaving was over. Though she exhales the smoke slowly and carefully, nausea catches in her throat and she starts coughing violently, her insides rattling like skeleton bones in the wind.
Here we go.
By this point, she knows exactly when to start hustling to the bathroom to make it to the toilet. Tiptoeing out her bedroom door, she gazes wearily at the ever-messy kitchen area. The festering pile of dirty dishes certainly didn’t need the addition of her bile. Not that much of the dishevelment (such a big word for this time of morning) was hers – she was pretty good at cleaning up after herself. Even more so these days, now that she barely leaves the apartment.
Again. Not my choice.
After painfully ridding her body of some extra stomach fluid, she hobbled back to her room. The clocked blinked 4:45, reminding her of how absurdly early it was. With another sigh – what a negative use of breath – she slides back under the twisted sheets. Though her gut feels slightly less mutinous, she knows better than to just attempt to sleep again.
Thank goodness for Mary Jane.
With each toke, her mental and physical pain subside slightly. She doesn’t care what doctors would say – it was her body, and besides, she didn’t ask them. Not like it really mattered.
The only name it would ever have. So far, she’s done her best to avoid (or flat out refuse) seeing it – the unknown growing inside her body – as actual life. She felt callous, murderous even, but she’d made her choice from the beginning. As a young, single college student with little support from home, the choice wasn’t insanely hard.
“I don’t want any grandchildren right now…”
Her mother’s voice rang through her head every time she looked at her not-yet-swollen stomach.
You couldn’t blame her for keeping it a secret.
Why did the word abortion bring such a harsh reaction within her own mind? She couldn’t dream of telling her friends the true reason for her “illness” – if she reacted so strongly to the word, what could be expected from those unattached to her situation? Disgust, judgment, ridicule, possibly even exclusion? Maybe that’s the consequence for keeping people at arms’ length; when you get to a point where you’re falling apart, their fingertips remain just too far away to reach. The father (of what? of a failed idea? a soon-to-be-extinct form?) was friendly enough, but the situation was more frightening to him than anything. She didn’t resent him for staying distant. If she were in his position, she would have bolted as soon as possible. But, as it were, she couldn’t.
The way she saw it, abortion was the path of least suffering – both for her and for the unborn. Why carry an unwanted life form for nine months, fighting hate and resentment while her body goes through unspeakable hormonal changes? She’s not delusional – it would be almost impossible to give the child loving energy while it grew inside her body. No part of her wanted it. If she had it, if she actually birthed the human life inside her, then what? Eighteen years of regret and loneliness? If it didn’t run away before then. What child would thrive in that environment? People say that abortion is selfish, that it’s the “easy way out”. Out of what? Of fighting pure misery while attempting to care for a helpless, innocent being?
No. She wouldn’t let that happen. No child deserved to be born into an environment like that. No child should have a mother that resented its existence. She wouldn’t let herself become another token welfare mother, nor the unborn a stereotypical fatherless child. It wasn’t right. But she couldn’t very well tell people that. They might pretend to understand, they might nod in agreement, but she didn’t trust that anyone would actually see her point of view. It was never that easy.
The clock caught her attention again. 5:32. Sunrise was on its way; she could just see the first glimmers of light beyond the trees outside her window. Wearily, she reaches for her herb jar. She feels heavy today, her mind is rushing too much. After packing the pipe again, she turns to face the window. Next time she wakes up, the sun will be shining – hopefully the warm rays will also brighten her train of thought. She could use a break from this night-tide consciousness.