Trigger Warning: Abortion.

Sitting in the waiting room dressed in my long gown and socks I feel I look like my Grandma. They told me to remove my underwear and I feel uncomfortable sitting on the hard seats, they’re trying to make comfortable with blankets.

The few women in the waiting room display an array of emotions on their faces: calmness, fright, relaxed,
I have to wonder what they see on mine,
Am I doing the right thing?
Is this going to hurt?
I just heard I’m almost 8 weeks,
One by one they are leaving me,
It is now me and the calm girl with the bounce in her step…she asked if I was given the IUD pamphlet…

She jokes and I laugh,
We talk about being hungry,
We laugh,
We laugh in this place,
We are all here making a big decision,
And we can laugh,
She gets called and I am now sitting alone on this hard seat,
Why would this place want me to stay hungry while making a big decision?
I am the last one here,
Seeing the locked exit from the corner of my eye.

Deep breaths…
Listening to the opening of the Ginger Ale can on the other side,
A distraction,
After all of this I will be able to eat,
Distract yourself with thoughts of food,
I hear my name being called,
It is my turn,
My heart beats faster,
I’m getting rid of ‘him’
Oh my God am I doing the right thing?

The nurse tells me her name: Ricky,
I want to tell her that that is the name of my brother but I think that would be awkward,
She seems nice,
Her glasses…her glasses are nice; distraction,
Walking to the room I pass a room on my right and see the same woman I was in the waiting room with,
I see their faces and some still look calm others look like they’re in pain,
Oh my God my heart beats faster,

I enter the white room and I sit on the bed,
“Are you sure about your decision?”
I say yes but am I?
She says she likes my glasses and wants to know if I get compliments all the time too?
Yes I do and this is when I tell her I like hers,
We are like glasses sisters;
I laugh nervously,
I lie down.

I look up and I see a picture on the ceiling,
What is it a picture of?
I don’t remember and everything is white,
Very white,
Ricky is talking to me as she is inserting an IV,
Memories of me in the hospital start to pass,
I can hear Indrani from work telling me I should not have gotten pregnant,
That word: “Pregnant.”

“Squeeze the blue ball” she says,
“Squeeze it,”
It’s in and she rests my hand on my stomach,
The IV hurts and it’s uncomfortable,
I look up to the picture and this will be my distraction,
I will not tell her this hurts.

She leaves the room briefly to get the doctor,
I hear I’m the last one; I hear I was 8 weeks,
I hear rustling… everything is starting to spin and I feel tired,
I feel like I’m pass being hungry now,
I put my hand to my head and close my eyes,
I open them to see Ricky,
She says the meds are working,
This is actually really happening!
Everything is about to change in less than ten minutes.

The doctor enters with a black nurse,
They’re talking,
The doctor doesn’t look like a doctor to me,
I see brunette hair…
She’s asking me about birth control options,
No condoms are bad,
I look back up at the picture,
What the fuck is this picture of anyway?

I can’t believe this situation I’m in,
“IUD… you can have it inserted for a week and some women keep it up to five year and take it out when they want,”
No I do not want that,
Ricky asks questions and now she’s talking to me,
I look briefly at the doctor,
Oh my God this really is happening,
I can feel it,
She’s telling me she’s going to dinner with her husband after,
My words jumble but I manage to tell her “that’s nice,”
At least they get to eat,
What am I going to eat after this?
I really, really am doing this,
Ricky is told to rub my belly,
She’s still talking,
I don’t know what’s going on,
Focus on her glasses… her glasses are nice,
“You’re done, everything is complete.”

Everything is spinning,
I feel nothing,
I gave it back and now I feel nothing,

I am now one of the women sitting on the chair,
Eyes dancing,
Ricky pours me some Ginger Ale and says it will help,
“Heating pad?” I say no thanks,
The calm girl sitting across from me says the heating pad will feel nice,
I take the Ginger Ale but it’s going to choke me,
I can’t swallow,
Everything is going fast,
Ricky is gone,
It’s slowing down,
The pad is making me hot.

I don’t like being around these girls,
They look like they are in pain,
I feel nothing,
The calm girl leaves and waves bye,
I start to eat the crackers,
Focus on empty chair across from me,
Head spinning,
Crackers drying up in my mouth,
Ginger Ale is done,
Another nurse gives me a package to read,
Purple paper “Post Abortion,”
I was pregnant ten minutes ago,
It is now gone,
I am now,

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