Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: Beguiled and Disillustioned OR What He Didn't Tell Me
By Marlene Bonney
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Nonetheless, Amanda Williams played her looks to the hilt. Why not? It opened doors for her to further her pursuit of a better life. It gave her wealth and honor and glory. Ultimately, it provided her with means to achievement most of her previous friends could only dream of. So what if she had to step on a few toes in the process? She would make it up to them later, Mandy promised her fading conscience, even as these discarded friends fell by the wayside. Her beauty was a God-given gift and it would be stupid not to use it.
Oh, there were risks, of course, and things didn’t always come out perfect . . .
Amanda’s success had some price tags attached that she was more than willing to pay: emotional baggage from broken relationships; the danger of being exposed as a selfish and self-centered bombshell; the selling of her soul. And then she became careless, just once, and the repercussions and her decisions after that unprotected encounter would haunt her forever.
Secrecy was paramount, so she felt unable to ask advice from her society friends. As usual, she would have to take care of the problem herself. She found an abortion clinic address buried so deep into the phone book, Sherlock Holmes would have had trouble discovering it.
Stanley Adams, the director of “Save a Life—Your Own!” foundation, became her savior. Well-dressed with impeccable manners and taste with a charming presence, Mandy was immediately attracted to him. His words were as smooth as those of a snake oil salesman, but she didn’t hear the usual warning bells. She was in denial mode, a security blanket that numbed her usual analytical reasoning. Stan was concerned for her total well-being; he claimed hundreds of success stories from ladies' “situations” like her own.
“This isn’t anything different than what you’ve been doing,” he insisted, “birth-control pills are just like a mini-abortion every month. . .abortion is a simple and safe procedure. . .it’s not painful. . .there are seldom complications, and then only minor ones. . .there aren’t any psychological, physical, or emotional consequences. You’re just getting rid of a clump of cells that are threatening to take over your body and you have a right to terminate this unwanted pregnancy. You’re such a beautiful woman and your figure is gorgeous—you don’t want to ruin your image, I’m sure.”
The cost for this medical intervention was expensive, but Mandy had a little cash stashed away that would cover it—she didn’t want to leave a paper trail. It seemed like the most practical thing to do. She couldn’t picture herself as mother material, and her boyfriend? Even she knew he was no father figure. Yes, this was the best answer—what kind of a life would a child have in her lifestyle?
“Time is of the essence,” Stan warned, “no one could tell by looking at you that you are twenty weeks along. This will be a piece of cake, trust me.”
Five years later, Amanda Williams still has nightmares of the “simple procedure” that nearly killed her. She could still hear the noise of the suctioning machine, could still see the image of the tiny infant ripped from her womb. The assistant had failed to hide the remains quickly enough and the perfectly formed fingers and toes caught Mandy’s attention in the surreal darkened room that did not have the typical antiseptic-cleansed hospital smell. She had tried to make contact with Stan weeks later, but when she finally took the initiative to drive to the clinic, it was no longer in existence. Lies, lies! They were all lies. He was a charlatan who preyed on vulnerable women. Mandy realized then, that evil attacks good people by making them believe in these lies that dehumanize life.
Much, much too late, Mandy discovered that Stanley Adams wasn’t even a doctor, his framed certificates on his office desk forged. He was exposed as a fraud after a woman lost her life trying to get rid of a late-term pregnancy. The “clump of cells” was rushed to a neo-natal unit of the closest hospital where it miraculously survived. Mandy went to visit the baby once, and was never the same. Consumed with guilt and remorse, she has received forgiveness from God, but cannot forgive herself.
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