“Alright then, if you would like to wait here for just a moment, I’ll go let the nurse know, and then we can talk through your options and the implications of your decision.” The woman stepped out of the office for a minute, seeming so cool about it. I suppose she dealt with this sort of thing every day, but it all seemed so casual.
We talked through options for over an hour, before I left, feeling confused and partially overwhelmed, but sure in my decision. I was keeping my baby, or at least not aborting it. There was still the option of adoption.
By the time I got home, it wasn’t all that long after I would have, if I’d had the abortion. I had the house to myself and I didn’t want that. I changed into some jeans and headed out, if only to be out of the house. I wandered up to the main shopping centre of our run-down town centre and trawled the shops, inevitably arriving in a baby shop called “Bundle of Joy”. I walked in, trying to be inconspicuous and had a look through the racks of baby clothes. They were adorable, all the mini sailor suits and overly floral sun dresses, and those teeny booties that were so cheery with their little character faces on them.
“Can I help you at all?” The sales assistant who asked had appeared beside me while I was busy looking at the different sizes and types of nappies. Her name tag broadcasted her name as “Maddy”.
“No, thank you, I was just browsing through and pricing things up. I just found out I’m pregnant.” It was nice that I could tell someone other than my doctor and pillow. “It’s overwhelming; there’s just so much to think about and find out.”
“It’s alright. What does the father think?”
“He wants me to have an abortion. I was at the clinic this morning for it, but I just couldn’t do it.”
“Have you told your family?”
“Not yet, mum will be disappointed or angry and dad will probably try killing Chris.”
“I take it Chris is the father? I doubt very much she’d be angry or disappointed, and if she is, then it’ll be out of worry for you, though of course I don’t know your mother.”
Now that I looked at the woman, I could see that she wasn’t as old as I’d assumed; probably only five or six years older that me. “Yeah, he is, and yeah, I guess it would be out of worry, but even then, I’m not sure I want to tell her.”
“When are you due?”
“I’m due on 1st August! How about we go through it together? I have to get back to work in a minute, but what are you doing at two? I finish work then if you want to go for a coffee and talk?”
Two o’clock would give me a couple of hours before I had to be home, so that ought to be fine. “Yeah, sure. I’ll pop back then to meet you. Congratulations, by the way.”
“You too, see you later.” She turned away and headed towards another customer, this one heavily pregnant, looking confusedly at the various milk powders lining the shelves. “And don’t worry about your mum; you have plenty of time to tell her,” she called back to me just before she got out of the aisle.
I’d just met this woman, yet she seemed so nice and to be able to talk about everything with someone would make it all so much easier, at least for now. One little chat couldn’t hurt. I wandered around the store for another short while before going out for a bit of a walk and getting a breath of fresh air. The time seemed to go really slowly as I waited for two o’clock to come round.
I started heading back towards the shop at around quarter to, planning to get there just in time for the end of Maddy’s shift. As I was walking out of one of the few clothes shops in the town however, I ran into Malcolm, one of my dad’s friends.
“Where are you rushing off to then? Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”
“I’m still not well, so I have the day off. I just needed to get out of the house for a little while and get some air. I’ve been stuck in for so long,” I quickly explained, trying not to sound guilty.
“Well, I hope you feel better soon then. You might want to head home soon. You know your mum will only worry if she finds out you’ve been out and about. Do you know if your dad is about this weekend? I need some help with sorting out the music room.” He’d evidently bought what I’d told him as I nodded and he walked on along into one of the cafes with just a pat on my shoulder and a smile. I began walking as if to head home, detouring after a couple of minutes to head in the right direction for “Bundle of Joy”. I arrived just as Maddy came from the staff area out the back with her bag over her shoulder and her coat on her arm.
“Hey, you might want to put that on,” I said, pointing to her coat. “It’s rather chilly out again.” She smiled as she pulled it on, grabbed her gloves from her bag and put them on as well.
“Do you know the café over on High Street? The Coffee House? Want to head over there?”
“Not really, I’m supposed to be at home and I just saw my dad’s friend go in there. How about that little place round the corner; I think it’s called Buon’ Amici?”
“That’s fair enough. Yeah, I’ve heard that’s a pretty good place. Good coffee at least and that’s all I really care about.” She laughed, just a little tinkling, but it was lovely.