Her hands were surprisingly steady for the news they held. She wondered how two little pink lines could change so much.
She was months away from her high school graduation when she discovered she was pregnant.
As she stared at the pregnancy test, she wondered why she wasn’t crying.
Her boyfriend tried to convince her to “have it.” He told her he loved her, and everything would be OK. He could see the desperation in her eyes. “The decision is yours,” he said.
The young woman was afraid of becoming a statistic, one more Latina with a child and no education. She also wondered what kind of life this child could have with her as a mother. She did not know how to take care of herself, how in the world would she care for someone else. She was afraid of losing what little innocence she had left, afraid of everything that lay ahead.
It took about a week for her to figure out where the clinic was. It hadn’t been that long since she had lost her virginity. A gynecologist had never even looked at her before.
She arrived at the Planned Parenthood and asked for a pregnancy test.
“Fill this out and have a seat,” the nurse at the front desk replied. As she scanned the waiting room, she couldn’t shake off the disgust she felt. “I don’t belong here,” she thought.
A half hour later, as she peed in the little plastic cup she secretly wished for a miracle. “Maybe the pregnancy test was wrong,” she said to herself. It didn’t take too long for her hopes to crash.
“You are very pregnant,” the nurse said. “Now what do you want to do about this?”
It was one week later, and time to perform her “procedure.” The clinic was sterile, the walls were painted the drabbest shades of brown and gray. She was given a locker to put all her personal belongings in. Sitting in that paper gown she felt very cold and very alone.
Soon after, a gentle older nurse, took her into a room. It was time to have the IV placed into her vein. The nurse led her into a room at the end of a long hallway. The young woman could see the doctors prepping the space.
“We’re going to inject you now,” the nurse said. “You’re going to feel a tingle and then you’ll get sleepy.” The young girl began to shake with fear.
“Are you okay?” the nurse asked. The kind woman’s voice felt like a much needed caress on her bruised soul. It released all of the young girl’s bottled up tears. All the fear and disappointment, pain and utter fear poured out of her. “You’re going to be alright,” the woman said. “Will I?” the girl wondered, as she drifted off to sleep.
When she came to, the girl felt empty. She wondered if it was the drugs, still affecting her, but she felt an inexplicable urge to cry. She did not doubt she had made the right choice, yet she mourned the loss.
It’s five years later now, and as she stares into her little girl’s big brown eyes, she thinks about how different her life could have been.
Those two pink lines had appeared again, only that time everything had been different. She cried tears from so deep within, she couldn’t contain them. She cried for the child she never had as well as for the one she knew she knew she would bring into the world. She cried because this time she would become a mother.
She cried because this time her choice would be different.