The girl in the bed beside me lay there with muted tears sliding down her face. She was staring into the distance searching hard for the future she wasn’t going to have. There was blood on her gown and a story behind her eyes. She’d never tell it to anyone though.
I reclined back into my own hospital bed, subtly checking my own garment. No blood there. A part of me wanted to reach my arm out, hold her hand and tell her she made the right choice. After all, I’d been here before and I knew that it was.
The chatter of the nurses hissed around us, the clock ticking down the inevitable already in motion. My mind began to wonder to the past I couldn’t change. You say it’s pro-choice and you’re right. You’re right until you’re faced with the mortality of the situation.
I glanced back to the girl on my left and a moment of sonder hit me, had she been here before? Had she worn that gown before? Did she know the sweetness of the nurse or the questions she would be asked on repeat? Or was she unaccustomed to the sterile smells of this holding bay? Was she fearful of waking up in sin? Was she distressed with the blood, her blood, leaking through?
I wanted to tell her that she was okay to mourn, that her heart was still capable of love; I wanted to tell her that her soul was still kind. I didn’t though. Nothing concerned with life is ever that easy.
We both lay motionless, shrouded in restraint thinking about the joint decision we had made alone; A decision that would stay with us, always.
I wanted to ask her why she was sad, ask her why she was scared, why she was making memories she would later cry for. It seemed rudimentary though – I knew why. She was doing all of those things for the same reasons I was.
We merely existed side by side in our isolated silence, waiting our redemption. It’s at that point I realised the choice was already made for both of us.
There was no pro-choice and there never had been.