Remorse, fear, ignorance, second thoughts, abortion, fear…pain, drowning, heavy breathing, crying, fear…white door, doctors, motherhood, holding hands, judgement, fear…
“- Clara? Clara?!
– I said we are ready for you now.”
Her mother quickly stood up and still holding Clara’s hand headed towards the door.
“-I am sorry ma’am, the doctor said gently placing a hand between her and the room, you are not allowed to enter. She must do this alone. You can wait here, it won’t take very long.”
As their hands separated, both mother and daughter collapsed inside. Clara turned to her mother and in a final act of bravery she told her:
“- I will be fine. Don’t worry I won’t change my mind like you did.”
The door closed behind her before she could see her mother falling on a chair, burying her face in her palms.
A sweet little nurse took her hand and lead her to the desk where the doctor now sat with a file in his hands. Her file.
” – Ok, Clara, we must have a little chat first. I see here that you are only eighteen years old and this was your first sexual experience. First of all I want to know if you have any second thoughts.
– Yes…I mean no, none whatsoever. This must be done. Is it really necessary to talk first?
– It is because during the process of either giving birth or having an abortion, women tend to change their minds because of the pain. In both cases there is no alternative. Once the procedure begins it can’t be stopped. That’s why we have to talk first while you are still in your right mind sort of speak. You can ask me any questions you’d like and remember it’s okay to change your mind after our talk. Do you understand?
– Yes, I do.
– Now, do you have any questions before we start?
-How bad does it hurt? On a scale from 1 to 10?
– I will be honest with you and tell you that I do not know. I can compare it to other physical pains, but that’s the best I can do. What I am sure of is that you are not going to die and you won’t feel anything afterwords anymore. And when I say that I am only referring to physical pain.
The doctor sighed waiting for her next question. He knew how it works. They always wanted to know about the pain first.
– Isn’t there some sort of anesthetic that you can give me?
– No. We will give you something local but it will only numb a part of your vagina. You would have to get an epidural in order to not feel anything and that is not possible.
– How do you feel about abortion?
– What? he reacted, shocked by her forwardness.
– How do you feel about abortion? Clara asked calmly again.
– I am not the best person to ask, giving the situation.
– I will rephrase: how many abortions do you do per week?
The doctor raised his eyebrows, but decided to please her. His eyes were getting bigger and bigger realizing the number that popped into his head.
– That many huh? Clara said sparing him of the answer. Well, one more won’t hurt and besides I am a teenager. I can afford to be stupid. You are making a choice. Let’s proceed.
The doctor shook away the wave of guilt that she threw at him and stood up, heading for the cold, metal tool box. As if he forgot something, he turned and met her gaze asking:
” – Are you sure you want to do this?
– Yes, sir. Any traumatic experience is most welcome in my life. I am used to that. Happiness not so much; trauma and a life time of suffering: my natural state of mind.”
Her words paralyzed him for a second. The nurse helped her undress and gave her a paper like robe to put on. She helped Clara up the table and gently spread her legs to fit the two extensive metal ones.
“- When the doctor begins you will have to repeat to me your name and age during the procedure. It is a safety measure and it keeps your mind off the pain. Do you understand?
– I do.
– I will be here with you the whole time, the nurse reassured her.”
The nurse was a forty year old woman, who, Clara thought, had seen it all. She wasn’t the rigid kind of nurse; one could read the wisdom and compassion in her eyes. That was it! The nurse felt sorry for her and suddenly Clara couldn’t smile her way anymore.
The first scream from behind the room cut into Clara’s mother chest so deep she felt fainting. That was her little girl inside. That was her baby who years ago she failed to kill. She was her biggest mistake and greatest achievement in the same time. The tiny little blond girl with dark eyes, who always looked up to her and felt protected by her was now a grown woman, out of her reach. She was the mirror of her every failure and now, Clara was to become what she never could be: a childless mother.