Inspired by true events; by Tea Jay
He paces around the abortion clinic, raising eyebrows, twisting his long fingers in and out of his clammy palms. What is taking so long? Half his mind wanders to the guilt that has been feasting on his conscious since the first day he laid his hands on her. Has she exposed the secrets she swore would never leave the apartment? She’s tried to tell people before, but there’s something not quite right with her, she’s a little screwy in the head, and by a little screwy he really means her words ooze with insanity and uncertainty. But with him and his mouth, his beautiful mouth with three front teeth, he is poised and articulate, educated by the classic writers littered throughout his private library. He is cool, calm, collected whereas each of her personalities is fueled by raw, inhuman emotion. He can spin a story, he can weave his tale, and to be fair he believes each time he’s struck her has been warranted. Maybe it has been, maybe it hasn’t. If only the cobwebs in their room had eyes, if only their roommates would talk.
He looks down at his hands; the hands that work hard every day to earn a living, the tip of his finger missing from the deli slicer, the fingers that make her cum, the fist that gave the girl her first black eye, her first split lip. His mind spirals; he is not the monster she has painted him out to be. Adult he may be, but internally he is still the scared boy of his childhood just fighting to stay alive. He has survived all these years without being pushed and shoved into being…he hates the word…abusive. Her insanity is the trigger and his reactions are just the result of the chemical imbalance in her brain. She is not easy to live with, not easy to love.
But there was a time she was.
Was it really so long ago that he was calling out of work to stay in bed with her for just a few more hours, to inhale the intoxicating smells of her youthful spirit, to stare into her pale eyes just a little longer? It feels like centuries since they were walking hand in hand, back when the city, the state, the world belonged to them. He promised her if she aborted their child it could go back to that.
Then again, he swore his life would end if she continued to grow that life festering inside of her. And as much as he knew she wanted things to return to love, he knew putting his life on the line would be the thing to snap her into reality. Crazy women don’t make compassionate mothers. He could not allow her to be near a child. He could not allow her to bind them together this way.
He walks up to the receptionist again, not having to give her name this time as he’s been up to the window every few minutes for the past two hours. He didn’t know much about abortion, but there was no way it takes this long. The receptionist smiles, and compliments him for his concern. She calls him compassionate, something that is not seen fairly often by the boyfriends who accompany their so called loved ones in their hour of need. Compassionate. Yes, he’s compassionate. The receptionist can see he’s pure of heart despite his shortcomings. In fact, most people know him as a gentle giant. This eases his mind, if only for a moment. She assures him she is just resting, collecting her strength after her surgery, and she would be with him momentarily. At this, he releases some of the tension he’s been building up from within, exhaling anxiety, inhaling hope. She hasn’t exposed the secrets they swore to keep.
She is painfully loyal; when he has left her she has waited (not so patiently), when he was unfaithful she cut off her hair and skipped a few meals instead of abandoning him. He knows that the promise of a reconcilled relationship is all she needs to hold on to this tragedy.
And for a moment, he is completely at ease envisioning their future together, growing old with her as he promised. There could be hope for tomorrow.
When they leave the abortion clinic with their child behind she tells him, heartbroken, that it was a girl. He is relieved; he couldn’t imagine another one of her plaguing the universe or another man with the sparks of insanity flying out of her brain and manifesting into the world. And as he holds her, kisses her gently, and promises her a summer full of concerts and star gazing, he knows deep down that this is not love. Not anymore.