The hospital shouldn’t have felt as grim and soulless as it did, but it felt that way to me. The warm smiles and comforting faces of the nurses and doctors, didn’t exactly make the ambiance lighter. It irked me instead.
To me, they were connived affectations before they dished out negative reports to patients. As I sat in the waiting section of the hospital, I could tell ‘melancholy’ was written all over my face, but I couldn’t care. It’s the way I felt. I felt fear, a deep annoyance at myself, regret. I wish I had been more careful.
Damn it, I wish I had protected myself better. Although I fight the thought, deep inside me, I know the result is positive. I know I carry a little human being inside of me. Thinking away, the sweet old lady beside me, who I guessed should be about seventy, takes hold of my shoulder, and with the most genuine look, says to me “I do not know you, or what may be going through your mind, but I know you’d be fine”. Who knew cliches could be so comforting. It shouldn’t have been, but it was. Nice old lady made me feel a tad better.
A nurse comes forward “Emily Essien”. “That’s me” I respond, standing up. Again, with that smile I hated, only this time, it worried me. “Your test results”. I take hold of it and walk to a small corner.
I slit open the envelope, and as I lay eyes on the paper, the only thing that is visible to me is the “positive” remark. My legs tremble, I place my hand on my mouth to quiet my almost audible sobs. The truth hurts more when it eventually becomes a reality and is staring at your face. I get a grip of myself and strut confidently to the nurses station. I had played out this scene in my head, I knew how this day will turn out.
“Please I want to see the doctor”. She informs me that there are procedures to be taken. “You don’t understand…”. Meanwhile, nice old lady kept looking at me the way she did previously. Now, I hated it. I needed her to stop. I ignored her glances, went through the procedures and took a seat. It’s going to be a long day. Now, all I can hear are the buzzing thoughts in my head, which for some reason block out every other noise. A while later, I see the petite nurse walking towards my direction.
I need the air condition in the doctors office turned off, it’s bad for the anxiety I feel at that moment, but that’s not why I came here, so I ignore it. The doctor greets me with a smile, I’m too anxious to return it. She notices my aloofness, and goes straight to why I was there. I tell her I received my test result, and I want to take the baby out.
She gives me a look. I know that look. It’s the face my mother gives me when she thinks I’m making a terrible decision, but doesn’t know how to say it. “Have you thought about this?”. “Yes” I reply curtly. “Emily, I suggest…” I hold my hand out. I don’t believe it’s her place. I’m not here for counseling. I stare at her, long and hard.
“Doctor, I want to take it out. I know that this hospital carries out abortions, so save it”. I break down then, I’m tired of being strong, I’m tired of covering up my deepest fears with aggression, I’m tired of being cynical and curt to those who are just being nice and doing their jobs. She takes one look at me and with the most compassionate tone, tells me it can be arranged as the baby is just two weeks old.
As I walk through the hall, alongside the doctor, I swallow hard. It didn’t have to get to this. I can’t help but think of Timi with so much anger. I hated him at that point, somehow I blamed him. I had no right to, but I did. I wanted to blame someone, it hurt too bad to put all the blame on myself. With a little waver of our relationship, he suggested we had an open relationship. “I think that’s what works for us, babe”. I wish he hadn’t suggested it, I wish I hadn’t agreed to it.
Truthfully, I wanted it too. I wanted to keep being with him, but go out of control with other men, and I did. A few weeks stalling on restocking my meds, and this. It somehow never crossed my mind that I could get pregnant. Or maybe I refused to believe that God could be any more unfair to me, than he had been in the past.
I wish I had gotten the implants all my friends were getting, but no way was I letting anything be implanted in my body. I was wild, aggressive, stubborn, but definitely a timid one. I have always known.
I hated hospital beds. I guess everyone does, but I hated it so much, it made my illness worse. In the past, I always self medicated. Now, I’m grateful to be on it, to get this foetus out.
The nurse sedates me, and everything goes blank.
A few hours later, I’m up. And I know the deed has been done. I stare out the window, forcing an emotion, hoping to feel something, but I don’t. When did I become so emotionless, when did my conscience elude me, when did this numbness I feel become such a part of me?.
Tears trickle down my cheeks, and I wish strongly they were tears of regret for taking out what would have been a mini me. But I cry, because I don’t feel the slightest guilt, I don’t feel regret for taking out the innocent foetus, because I want to feel something. I realize my previous anxiety was never about the baby, it was more about my safety, the effects the abortion could have, my staying alive; even though there wasn’t much life offered.
When I look at the reflective window, I don’t recognize who I have become. I took the baby out because I wasn’t capable of love. I didn’t even love myself, and cared about nobody. Or maybe it was that I cared about it too much to risk not loving it.
Still, I want to feel haunted by my decision. I want to cry for the loss of a child that would have been mine. I want to feel a whirlwind of sad emotions. I want to feel human.