Cold sweat damped my back as I began to shiver. Although the room felt like an ice box. I knew that it wasn't. I stared blankly at the woman next to me. Her eyes tired; her hands glued together like children's artwork; flimsy and shaky. She didn't appear to be pregnant, but who would in an office such as this?
"First time here, sweetie?" With a solemn look. Was she here before?
I am determined to understand the act of abortion. Stopping that tiny, unwanted heartbeat, so early and for what reasons? I look around the room to observe my surroundings. Grey walls, uncomfortable seating, and that speckled white tile that just never seems to be clean. No magazines on the table, no old school paintings on the wall, and a chill to my heart, no tale set up for little children waiting for the doctor. I made an appointment with this institution three days ago. In, Hurley City, where I'm from, it is legal, underground to outsiders, and new to the city. I just want to ask questions.
"Jenna" A scuffled voice creaked through the overhead monitor. " Please proceed down the hall to the reception desk on your right." That's me. Note to self. I never want to come here again. Keep my legs close. Tight. I walked down the hall, slowly, wanting to turn, run, and get out of here. It was like a creeping death. Well, for anyone else, it would be.
" Hey, I'm Jenna." Smile. None in return.
"Good morning. I'll just need your signature right here." Pointing, offering a pen. " You will proceed into the small cubicle right over there," Pointing , again. " The doctor will be along shortly. Have a nice day."
A cubicle for a consultation with an abortion doctor: No door, no curtain, but a glass wall to protect whom? I sat in the chair, looked over my shoulder. I heard shuffling, a pen drop, and a "Hello there Jenna." Turning back around I was face to face with the person whom I was seeking information. " My name is Dr.Gallo. I will be your consultation physician this morning. What seems to be to the problem?"
It's a woman? "Uh. My best friend needs help. I am here to convince her otherwise the services that you provide." This was a lie, and a little bit too revised. I practiced this line over and over again before coming here. " She has an appointment in a few days."
" Okay. I am not going to ask names or questions. However, you are more than welcome to ask me what you need." She smiled curtly. Looked me in the eye.
" She is my best friend. We are both in grade eleven and we both have boyfriends. No need for detail, she found out a week ago, that she is expecting. Her parents don't know. Just me, and now you. All I want is that you show me around so I can tell her not to come here."
"Follow me, Jenna." Dr.Gallo walked with a limp in her left leg. What from? We walked non-conversationally down the hallway to a huge red door. She pressed the button on the right, swiped her identification card across, it confirmed her identity and become ajar. In I walked with confidence, I would leave with despair. It was a single room. I could see from one end to the other, ten single beds lined up about foot apart each. It was nothing glamorous, but everything dungeon.
"This is it?" I questioned, unsure if we were actually in the right place.
"This is it. This is where the procedures are performed. It is basically a day surgery. With only a few hours recovery." She pointed to one corner on the left with a bigger bed. Recovery. The place should be more welcoming because a couple hours is no recovery.