Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)
TITLE: The Choice
By Bill Obenauer
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She surveyed the for a spot to sit down. There were thirteen chairs in the room. Two of them were folding chairs, one was an old wooden dining chair, and the other ten were the typical cushioned chairs that you would find in a doctor's office. None of them matched, as if each had come from a different office, and several of them had duct tape holding them together. The only other person in the waiting room was sitting in a folding chair in the far corner, near the peeling wallpaper.
Gina sat in one of the cushioned chairs just to the right of the entrance. She tried to sit comfortably, but she was wearing shorts and the duct tape on the cushion was itching her leg. She fidgeted in her seat for several minutes, before moving over one seat. Then, she picked up a pamphlet and began reading to pass the time.
She could not finish reading for the more she read, the more distraught she became. Gina put the pamphlet down and bent over to pick up her purse. She placed the pink vinyl purse on her knees and unzipped it. Gently, Gina pulled out a tissue and began to wipe her eyes. Then, as she was reaching into her purse to grab another tissue, she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Do you mind if I sit down?" the woman asked as she pulled the ripped chair away from the wall and positioned it so that it was facing Gina's chair. She did not wait for Gina's response. She gracefully sat down and held Gina's hands in her own. "My dear," she said, "you seem like you could use a friend right now."
Gina glanced up at the woman, who appeared to be in her late fifties or early sixties. Though her clothes probably came from a discount chain store, everything was coordinated and she displayed a very plain beauty. This woman presented herself with a dignity that was not often seen in Gina's side of town. Years ago, Gina had dreamt of a woman like this one day showing up to play the role of her mother, but at this point in her life, she had accepted the fact that she had no mother. "If I wanted a friend, I would have brought one," she replied.
The woman let her deep blue eyes wander in the direction of the pamphlet Gina had dropped on the floor. The first line read, "Living With Abortion." Upon reading this, the woman immediately looked up, so as to not draw attention to where she had been looking. Then she squeezed Gina's hand and asked, "If it makes you so sad, then why go through with it?"
Gina realized that getting rid of this woman was not going to be an easy task so she answered, "I can't be a mother. I don't make enough money to support a child. I don't have my own place. I don't even know what a mother does."
"Oh, sweetie," the woman replied, "becoming a mother is a wonderful, but scary part of life. If you have faith in the Lord, He will help you through it."
Gina rolled her eyes and said, "Like I said, I can't be a mother. You may not understand, but I can't, and it is not fair to bring a baby into a world where it can't have a mother."
The woman promptly questioned, "Where it can't have a mother, or where it can't have YOU as a mother? Is this about what's best for your baby or about how you'd feel if someone else became the mother to your child? Darling, is killing your baby the best thing that you can do for it as its mother?"
"I'm afraid that if I go through with the pregnancy, I won't be able to let go of my child when the time comes," Gina said.
To that, the woman replied, "If you go through with this today, you're letting go anyhow. Right now, you're a mother. Do what's best for your child."
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