Trigger Warning: Abortion.

Sitting in the waiting room dressed in my long gown and socks on 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 me 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,