A short story by Jamie Glaser, inspired by the Holy Spirit
“No….no. this can’t be” I murmured. I rubbed my eyes. I look again. Two lines. I sat on the toilet seat. My eyes filled with tears. What am I going to do? I can’t have a baby. I have school, a job, I can’t take time off. I touched my belly. “I’m sorry” I said to the little one inside of me. I can’t keep you. I don’t want to do this, but I have no choice. I’m sorry………….”ok,” I thought going into survival mode. Today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday, I get off work at 2:30, I’ll go straight after work, get it over with, come home, rest, be ready for work the next morning. No one will know. I won’t tell Sam. He won’t care anyway, seeing as though he hasn’t called me in a month. He doesn’t want this baby, I don’t want this baby, I’ll just get it done, and pretend like nothing happened. “But it did happen”. whispered that voice inside my head. “Yes, I know, it happened, I thought back, annoyed, but we can PRETEND it didn’t. Just play along, I hissed, not sure who I was hissing at and not caring. I had to go to bed. I had a long day tomorrow.
Right after work I got into my car. I started my blue Chevy truck. Nothing. I started it again. Nothing. Great. My battery was dead. I called Triple A. They towed my car, I got a new battery and 60 dollars later the Chevy was as good as new, but I was still pregnant. I thought nothing of it and vowed to go tomorrow, same time, new battery.
Thursday rolled around and after work I got into my Chevy, gave the ignition a good long stare, and started it. It roared and purred. I was on my way. I felt guilty, but I was going. Halfway to the clinic the traffic stopped dead. “What’s going on?” I got out of the truck to see. An eighteen wheeler had fallen in a ditch. Ok, well, in a half hour or so, this should be cleared up, I’ll go, get home, and if I have to call into work tomorrow, I’ll do that. They’ll understand. I’ll just say I’m sick, I hadn’t taken that many days off. Better than taking a six week maternity leave, anyway. An hour passed. “Come on!”…..another half hour. The clinic was 20 minutes away, it closed at five. “COME ON,” I yelled to whoever was in charged of getting trucks out of ditches! I looked at the radio’s clock. It was 4:45. I sighed and turned around. I wasn’t going to make it today either.
But you know, this is perfect, tomorrow’s Friday. I’ll have it then, then I’ll have all weekend to rest. I’m supposed to go to mom and dads Sunday night, but I should be fine by then, and if I’m not I’ll just tell them I’m sick, they’ll understand.
Friday at 3pm I got back into the truck. I called the traffic info on my cell phone to make sure it was all clear up ahead. Right after I hung up, the phone rang again. It was mom. “Strange” I thought, isn’t she still at work? “hello”? “Allison?”. Yeah, hi mom, what’s up?” “You’re not going to believe this, but my back went out at work. My boss drove me home, but dads out of town and I need someone to come over and take care of me,. It won’t be but a day, it should be fine tomorrow, you know how it is….muscles just need to relax. But as of now I can’t even make it into the kitchen or the bathroom! You think you can come over and take care of your old mom? We can order pizza for dinner. I’ll pay.” I couldn’t say no, and of course I couldn’t tell her why I was saying no. “Sure mom, I mumbled, I’ll be right over. I hung up. Tears filled my eyes. I looked up to the sky in case someone was listening. “Why are you doing this to me???? Don’t you see, I HAVE to do this. I have no choice.” Please…….Monday just let it all work out. I need to. I’m scared……I took the water bottle in the cup holder, put some on my hands and splashed my face so mom wouldn’t see that I was crying. I pulled up in the driveway and checked my face in the rearview mirror one more time. I got out of the car, and went in.
“Allison!” thank you…..I’m sorry if you had plans tonight, I know its Friday and you have better things to do than hang out with your mom…..she smiled-don’t blame me, blame my back! Well, anyways, I’m sure you probably had plans with Sam, how is he anyway? Hey, you could even call him and we could make it a pizza party! I paused, then smiled. “Mom, lets just make it a girls night, ok?”
At nine pm I kissed mom goodnight and told her I’d call to check on her in the morning. She was already able to get around a little better. I got home and opened the door. Claire, my brown tabby greeted me. I reached down to pet her between her ears. She purred and rubbed against me. I picked her up. I looked at her. “How could you love an animal and kill a baby?” I put the cat down. “How can you care for your mother and kill an unborn infant?” “you’re better than this, Allison, you can rise above it, there’s a better way, sweetheart. I’ll help you, don’t do this……finally, I had had enough-SHUT UP!!!! I yelled, not knowing who I was yelling at. I’m NOT better than this, I’m guilty, I’m defiled, I’m stained and I’m a sinner!! I ran to the wall and banged on it until I was out of strength. I fell on the floor and cried and cried until I fell asleep. I awoke at 2am, put on some pajamas, brushed my teeth and got into bed. “I’m gonna do this” I mumbled as I fell back asleep. I have no choice.
On Monday morning I called into work. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from going today. I pet the cat, left, and got in the car. I lifted the key to turn on the ignition. It felt heavier than usual. I could not get my hand to turn the ignition. What was wrong with me? Was I having a stroke? I picked up my right hand and put it on my head. I clapped my hands. I waved my right hand. I tried again. My hand felt like led. This is ridiculous. Finally, I forced my right hand to turn the key with my left hand. Both hands hurt, but I drove. Traffic was light, the sun was shining and I made it to the clinic in record time. Nine am, right when it was about to open. I put on my turn signal and was about to turn when I stopped. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I turn this wheel? Cars behind me honked. Ok, well, I can’t sit here all day and stop traffic, I’ll just turn around, maybe my conscience will let me make a left turn. But I never turned around. I just kept driving. It was like someone else was controlling the car. But I decided to call the shots. Ok, I won’t go to the clinic just yet. I drove down the stretch of highway to the farm where my mom grew up, it was always a place of refuge for me…..right after my grandma died I spent the week there, it made me feel closer to her somehow. On the way to the farm I saw a sign which read, Hope Clinic for woman.” Thinking it was an abortion center, I pulled into the driveway. I looked up again. “At least you let me come here, whoever you are!” I’ll just have an abortion here. I’m ready, it’s now or never. Little did I know, I was walking closer to “never”.
As I approached the door, I saw a sign. “THIS IS NOT AN ABORTION CLINIC. THIS IS A PLACE OF REFUGE FOR WOMAN WHO ARE PREGNANT AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN. WE ARE HERE TO HELP. WE LOVE YOU AND THAT UNBORN CHILD INSIDE OF YOU.” Well, this is no good, I thought, this isn’t what I need…..i turned, but something caught my eye. It was a picture of a baby, a beautiful little girl. At that moment, that same annoying voice that had been speaking to me since I found out about my pregnancy spoke again. “It’s a girl, Allison” and I love her already. “No. it can’t be. No. How do you know I’m having a girl? Who are you? Please, leave me alone, I have to do this on my own….i turned to walk away. Wait. A voice called. I turned around. Smiling at me was a fifty something woman with blonde hair and a round face. “Can I help you?” I don’t think so, I think I’m in the wrong place. She smiled. “I’ve been told we’re kind of hard to find…..i think maybe you’re in the right place.” Actually, I replied, I’m sort of looking to get an abortion, I thought ya’ll were an abortion clinic, obviously you’re not, sorry to take up your time. “the woman noticed me looking at the picture. “shes a cutie isn’t she? I have three girls myself. And one grandson. He’s two, he’s a handful but I wouldn’t trade him. “My name’s Anna”. I’m Allison, it’s nice to meet you but I should be going…….Allison, why don’t you come inside and have a look around. If you don’t like what you see, you can leave but I urge you, just explore your options. I looked at my watch. It was a quarter to ten. I had all day. I stepped inside. “May I ask you when your baby is due?” Anna asked me. “I’m not sure I replied. It was strange talking about this like it was MY baby. I knew it was my baby but up until this moment all it had been was a burden. “I’m pretty sure in about eight months…..” I laughed…..there was only one day I could have conceived! Somehow, despite the fact that I just met the woman, I felt comfortable talking to Anna. She reminded me a little bit of my grandmother, only younger. “wow, this place is like, really Christian….” I commented, noticing all the bible verses, and pro life quotes on the wall, along with pictures of more adorable babies, complete with a teddy bear border on the wall, with blue and pink teddies. There was another picture of babies, all from different nations and races, and the caption read “precious in His sight”. Anna noticed me eyeing the sign. Aren’t they cute? All of these little ones are babies whose mothers were considering an abortion and after they were born the mothers sent in their pictures and told their story. Such a miracle. Do you believe in Jesus, Allison? No, I smiled ruefully, but I take it you do? “Oh, I know Jesus, Allison…..” He’s my savior. “that’s cool…” we were never religious, I don’t know, I’m kind of not sure what I believe. Hadn’t been to church since last Christmas for mass, it was kind of boring….i mean the church was pretty but that music put me to sleep, and it kind of made me feel bad being there, I mean I never go any other time of year, kind of makes me feel cheap to just go at Christmas. Then this Easter I went to Sam’s parents for dinner. He was my boyfriend, but they don’t go to church, his dad doesn’t believe, but anyway, we broke up……….Anna smiled. She was really the first person whom I had been honest with ever since I found out I was pregnant. “Jesus loves your baby, Allison” He loves you too. I said nothing.
“Do you want some tea?”. I looked at my watch, it was 10:15. “I really should get going, in case another car gets caught in a ditch, or I have another mini stroke and have to use my left hand to force my right hand to turn the key, or my mom’s back goes out again, or I get a flat or……..Anna raised an eyebrow. You must have had an interesting week. “Yeah, I don’t know what’s worse, finding out I was pregnant, or all the hindrances stopping me from getting an abortion. If there IS a God in Heaven, then He is REALLY annoying……”Maybe He just cares, Allison”…..maybe He brought you here. Like I said, we’re kind of off the beaten path…..”Anna”. Yes? I don’t know….”what is it?” When I got to the door, and saw the picture of that baby girl, there was this voice inside my head. It said this to me “it’s a girl, Allison, and I love her already.” It was probably just me, you know, I don’t want a baby now, but I always kind of wanted a girl-Anna put her hand on mine. Allison, I think you DO want this baby…..more than you know. “I can’t” I have to end this before I get attached………..please, thank you for the tea but really I have to leave. You know, I have school, a job, my parents will flip and if I told my ex boyfriend, he’d probably tell me to get one too…..the night of November 1st was the biggest mistake of BOTH our lives. Anna looked at me. Did you say November, 1st? Yeah, that was the night I conceived. I had to, because it was the first time we made love in awhile, he was in Spain for a month and when he came back it was like he was a different person….so we thought making love would save our relationship-not get me pregnant. “Do you want to hear something weird? On the night of November 1st, my church had this huge prayer meeting to stop abortion! It was the biggest one we had had in years. My husband was sick that night and I offered to stay home and take care of him, but he said, no, Anna just go, they need you there, I know your heart for this, they need the “Hope Clinic” lady with them. I felt bad but I went, and my daughter stayed home with him……it was fine. But anyway, I specifically prayed for a young lady and said “Lord, if there is any young lady out there, who is considering an abortion, STOP her. Do anything to hinder her in her pursuit. Make her see you love her baby, save her, Lord and her unborn child.” Anna, that’s a nice story and all but it seems like you pray a lot, I highly doubt you were praying for me. She looked at me. I didn’t say I was praying for you, I said I was praying for a pregnant young lady, you are not the only pregnant young lady in the world, sweetheart. But I do find it somewhat odd that you conceived AS we were having the prayer meeting. And I know you find it somewhat odd too. How do you know what I’m thinking? “You haven’t blinked in 2 minutes,” she answered, laughing!
I looked at her. So you truly believe that your prayers caused my cars battery to die, the semi to fall in a ditch and my moms back to go out, not to mention my hands failure to cooperate, and my stopping traffic on highway 42 because I couldn’t bring myself to turn the wheel. YOU’RE prayer caused me to find a building that would even stump the GPS navigator. YOU”RE prayer caused that little “voice” to show me the baby on the wall, and tell me I’m having a girl. You must think you’re pretty special, lady! No, but my GOD is. HE can do that. My eyes filled with tears. I quickly wiped them away. Then why did He let this happen??? it was His will. Maybe this baby is what it takes to save you. Save me? I aint lost! “You sure didn’t seem like you knew where you were going when you came here. I was GOING to get an abortion……but your “god” hindered me.” That’s what I prayed He would do! And He did. And you’re here, and you need him, and Allison, face it, you love that baby. “ How do you know???” “Because, you haven’t touched your tea. There’s another reason why you stayed…….” I let the tears fall free. “I’m scared, Anna……I don’t want to do this, but I’m scared! “There’s hope…..you’re in it…..let me pray with you…………..”
Eight months went by quickly and here I am staring at this little face, with her squinty eyes closed. When she opens them, however briefly, they are a deep blue and they take my breath away. I still have hardly any money and mom and dad are still getting over the shock (Sam moved to Spain, permanently). I’m still scared but now I have hope, and much grace……as my daughter, Grace shifts in my arms I am still reminded of that day when I arrived at the Hope Clinic and saw that picture of that baby girl…….and prayed with Anna…..and was saved by Grace. I decided to drop out of school and work part time and spend the other part of my time, volunteering at the Hope Clinic, once Grace is a little older. And when she finally opens her eyes long enough for a picture, her picture will be on that wall, and her story will be another legacy of the Hope Clinic, the caring people who work there, and the Awesome God who made it all happen.