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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)

TITLE: A Life Changing Decision
By Jeannie Dennis
06/14/11


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Laurie sat in the waiting room completing paperwork for the medical procedure about to take place. As she glanced around nervously, wanting to get this over with, her name was called. She had to fight the impulse to checkout and leave the Planned Parenthood building as quickly as possible. Instead, she found herself walking through the exam room door.

It was as though there was a force compelling her to go ahead with the decision made many weeks earlier. The day Mother was told about the possibility of her 17 year old daughter being pregnant was playing through Laurie’s head. Most surprising was the reaction. Anger, disappointment, these would be expected. Mother said to get an abortion. No hesitation. The decision not to say anything to Father was agreed between the two women. Better to just get this done quickly and quietly. Laurie soon found out why Mother responded the way she did. Mother had found herself in the same place; a young woman with her whole life ahead of her with plans that didn’t include babies, not yet. Only this was way before society said abortion was acceptable, a woman’s right to choose. Her story was one of a late night, a dark alley and a drunken physician performing a crude procedure that could kill the patient. Laurie was stunned to learn this about her Mother.

Dressed in the hospital gown along with several others waiting their turn Laurie felt she was in some sort of assembly line. The place seemed to have it down to a science so that each “procedure” took as little time as possible. Women were at different stages, some just coming out from the changing room, others already had the IV inserted and nurses were going around checking everyone's blood pressure.

Laurie’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted as she heard a scream and then sobbing. She had been successfully blocking out the cries coming from down the hall until now. There were at least three rooms that she watched women go to when called. Still thinking about changing her mind, feeling like it had been an eternity since entering from the waiting room, it happened, her name was called.

Dutifully, she followed the instructions given and climbed up on the table scooting down, placing her feet in the stirrups. The fear and guilt was weighing down on her like an elephant sitting on her chest. How had she got to this point? What about her decision made just 8 months ago to make Jesus her Savior and be baptized? Oh how angry and disappointed God must be with her today! Well, she wasn’t going to make a sound, not like the previous women, no way. She deserved every bit of pain and she would take it silently. She couldn’t hold back the tears, however.

While resting in recovery waiting to be released Laurie had no idea of the enormity of the decision made; that she would always be waiting to be released from what she did today. And although it was as if she just erased a mistake, the truth was that it would remain in her soul like indelible ink.


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This article has been read 141 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden06/16/11
Abortion never solves the problem. However, it is sad to think how many girls get them because of false information or pressure from loved ones.

I especially liked the last line of your story.
Jennifer Dawn Suchey 06/16/11
Your story drew me in from the beginning. Well told. I was hoping, and kind of assuming, the story would end with her checking out and not going through with it. However, the fact that she didn't, and the reality that it would forever linger with her, was poignant. Someone considering abortion who read that might think twice with the way you ended it, unlike if your character had left.
Steve Clark06/17/11
I liked the pace and the imagery. I also thought the pain and the fear seemed very real. Nice job. Good story.
Nancy Bucca 06/17/11
Wow! What a haunting story! I had really hoped Laurie wouldn't go through with it, but the fact that she did and will later regret it may indeed speak more powerfully than it would had she decided not to abort the child.
Jan Ackerson 06/20/11
Your last sentence is haunting.

I found the second paragraph to read a little bit stiff--it might help to use 'her mother' or even 'her mom' in place of the formal-sounding 'Mother'. You're more likely to see the capitalized 'Mother' in stories with a less contemporary setting.

Otherwise, really good job for this level. The part where you had her determined not to make a sound was a great bit of "show, not tell". More of that, and you're definitely on your way.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/23/11
You did a nice job on this difficult topic. I liked your courage in having her go through-with the abortion instead of the safer route of changing her mind at the last second, It really made your message stand Out.

Congratulations for placing 12th in level one!