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Girl Interrupted Prologue
by Julie Michaelson
01/27/10
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Keep me
as the
apple
of Your
eye;
Hide me
under the
shadow
of Your
wings.
[Psalms 17:8]
*******************
[SMILING.]
[TICKLING
LITTLE MOUTH.]

(Sweet gurgle!)
"Da`...da!"
(Put tiny thumb,
in little mouth.)
(Delighted squirm.)

[GENTLING TOUCHING
ONE LITTLE SOFT TOE.]
[WATCHFUL SILENCE.]
[GRIM SILENCE.]
___________________
(Very solemn, professional
voice.)
"The baby is going
to have the handicap,
we had talked about...
Debra."

(Long sigh.)
(Moan.)
"Oh..........
I was HOPING.......!"

(Doctor points to the
image on the screen.)
"We all were, Debra."
(Sigh.)
"I'm very sorry......
do you SEE it.
........right HERE?"

(Debra sits up,
just a couple inches,
from the examing
table. Her belly is
exposed; the ultrasound
instrument is laying on her.)
"Oh.......
oh;
oh, no......"
(Sob.)

(Professional pause.)
"You know,
Debra.....
it still isn't too late
to interrupt the
pregnancy."

(Sorrowful face.)
"INTERRUPT?"
(Thoughtful frown.)
(Frightened whisper.)
"You mean.....
ABORT?"

(Nod.)
(Moving scanner,
once more,
over Debra's belly.)

(Debra lies back, down.)
(Covers her eyes,
with one arm.)
(Groan.)
(Murmur.)
"Maybe....it's just for
the BEST."
(A hot tear trickles
down Debra's left cheek.)
"The father doesn't
want to MARRY me;
when he hears about
THIS.....I doubt he'll
want anything to DO..
with the child...."

(Professional nod.)
(Solemn voice.)
"I'm very sorry, Debra....
but, we don't have
much time, to think
about it."
(Nods to the attending
nurse.)
"We can schedule the
appointment for Monday.
Tammy will bring in the
papers, for you sign;
okay?"

(Tearful nod.)
(Small, lonely voice.)
(Whisper.)
"Yeah......
I guess, so."

(Turn back to the
screen.)
(Professional shake of
the head.)
"I'm sorry, Debra.
But...there's absolutely
no doubt, about it..
now....and,
Dr. Nyugen's reports
do verify my own
original one."

(Long sigh.)
(Nod.)
(Silence.)
(Look up, again,
at the image on the
screen.)
(Sorrowful gaze.)
"It almost looks like,
she's sucking her THUMB!
Could that BE?"

(Professional nod.)
"You're very young,
Debra. There's no
reason, why you wouldn't
be able to have more,
healthy...
pregnancies."

(Mournful sigh.)
"I'm just so.... ALONE;
My family is just
pretending, it isn't..
HAPPENING."

(Another professional
nod.)
"Well.....I'm going to
turn off the screen,
now, Debra.
Just lie back,
and relax."

[TICKLE THE
TINY THUMB,
CLASPED TIGHTLY
IN THE LITTLE MOUTH.]

(Startled gasp.)
"WAIT!
WAIT a MINUTE!"

(The nurse returns
to the examining room.
She is holding a clipboard;
clipped to it, is a thin
stack of papers. She
stands: waiting.)

(Doctor is alarmed.)
"What is it?
Are you in PAIN?"

"NO!
NO!
I........I just thought,
I saw her SMILE,
for a MOMENT!"
(Eyes filled with wonder.)
"It was almost...like,
a little....a little, LAUGH!"

(Doctor frowns.)
(He and the nurse
glance at one,
another.)
(Professional, patient pause.)
"It's just a REFLEX, Debra;
that's all. Now......
let's turn off the machine;
Tammy will explain to you...."

(Sob.)
"NO!
WAIT!"

(Patient, professional voice.)
"Debra.....we've already
TALKED about this;
the baby is going
to be born, with a handicap.
It would mean a very hard
road for you, AND the child
.....particularly,
in your own living situation."

"YES!
YES!
I KNOW!
BUT........!"

(Impatient sigh.)
"Well....I can only
give you my professional
opinion."
(Flicks off the machine.)
(Nurse begins to dismantle
the screening equipment,
from Debra's belly.)

(Sobbing.)
"But.....didn't you SEE?
Didn't both of you.....
SEE?"

(Nurse says nothing.)

(Doctor nods to the
clipboard, lying on the
table beside the exam
table.)
"My advice to you,
Debra, would be to
SIGN them: this AFTERNOON."
(Professional smile.)
"Soon, all of this
will be BEHIND you.
And, you can get on
with your life."
(Encouraging, professional
smile.)
(Nods.)
(Turns, and leaves the room.)

(Debra sits up;
her belly is still exposed.)
(Sorrowful grimmace.)

(The nurse picks up the
clipboard.)
(Professional smile.)
"We can admit you, first
thing, Monday morning.
Dr. Nyugen will be
assisting. We will schedule
the anesthesiologist to
speak with you......"

"Don't I have any
time...to THINK,
about THIS?"

(Professional pause.)
"Today is WEDNESDAY.
Dr. Nyugen has a spot
open: MONDAY!"
(Glances down,
at Debra's
tearful face.)
"Look....."
(Sigh.)
"The best, I can do....
is hold these papers,
until 5 o'clock...TODAY.
Everything has to be
SCHEDULED......!"

(Debra looks, hopefully,
at her watch.)
"OKAY!
OKAY!
Just a COUPLE HOURS!
That's ALL I ASK!
It'll........"
(Sigh.)
"....give me time....
at LEAST......
to THINK."

(Nurse frowns.)
(Reluctantly, she
sets the little picture
of the scanned-image,
down on the side table,
beside Debra's purse.)
"Five o'clock;
I leave at SIX."
(Pause, as if wanting
to say something more.)
"You can get dressed,
now."
(Picks up the clipboard.)
(Turns, and walks to the
door.)
"Five o'clock."
(Opens the door,
swiftly.)
(It clicks, shut.)

(Debra leans over, to
pick up her clothes
from the side table.
The small picture slips
off, and falls to the
floor. Debra stares
at it, for a moment.)

Should she pick it UP?
Or.....just LEAVE it THERE?
************************
In my
distress
I called upon
the Lord...
He heard
my voice
from His
temple,
And,
my cry
came before
Him....
Then, the
earth shook
and
trembled...
He bowed
the heavens...
and
came down.
[Psalms 18:6-9]
**********************

To my friend,
Henrietta,
who volunteers
at a pregnancy
care clinic.













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