Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: RAIN (04/18/19)
TITLE: When The Clouds Rolled Away
By Francie Snell
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Still feeling the nausea, Brenda twisted her long ponytail and tucked it into the neck of her rain coat, flapped the hood over her head, then trudged down the walkway after her mother. Her tennis shoes were soaked when she reached the car.
Exasperated, “Is it ever going to stop raining?” she said, as they climbed into the car. In the passenger seat, she scowled with disgust. “Mom, would you please mind not putting on so much perfume? The smell is making me sick”
Scornfully, Joann glanced sideways at her daughter. “Well, who’s fault is it you’re sick in the first place… hmm? It’s what I always wear, so you’re just going to have to put up with it.” She started the car, slammed it in gear, and pulled away from the curve.
They hadn’t spoken but only a few times since Brenda had told her mother the news. Her heart ached with sorrow as she remembered that night with Kyle, the first time for them both. If only she had said no. Just one simple word could have changed everything. Her head throbbed to the rhythm of the windshield wipers as her mother stared silently at the road ahead.
Timidly, she asked, “Mom, do you think it’ll hurt?”
“Hurt?... no. I don’t see why it should. It’s a very simple procedure by what they tell me.”
“Really… that’s what they told you?”
“Yes, that’s what they said.”
The rain, now turned to hail, pounded against the car as the knot in Brenda’s stomach grew tighter. The clinic now just a block away.
“Mom, I’m scared, what if something goes wrong?”
Her mother frowned. “Wrong… what could go wrong?”
“You know, those stories about women being rushed to the hospital?”
Brenda’s heart raced as the clinic appeared just ahead on the right. A few of the cars parked there looked expensive. She swallowed hard then held her breath as they drove past the entrance to the parking lot and continued down the street. Puzzled, she looked at her mother. “Where are you going, Mom?”
Still focused on the road ahead, she said, “Your appointment, where else?”
“Well, weren’t we supposed to turn back there?”
“Back where, the abortion clinic?“
“Yeah, I thought my appointment was there.”
“You thought I made an appointment for you at the abortion clinic? Why on earth would you think that? You’re not having an abortion; you’re having a sonogram; your appointment’s at the New Life Pregnancy Center.” She grimaced. “I can’t believe you thought I was taking you to get an abortion.”
Relief washed over Brenda as she let out a quiet sigh.
A few miles more and 5 minutes later they pulled in and parked at the New Life Pregnancy Center. After turning off the engine, Joann sat a moment. The hail softened into a light sprinkle, and rays of sunlight broke through the gray clouds.
She turned to her daughter and looked her squarely in the eye. “You know, Brenda, you may have made a mistake by getting pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you should make another one by getting an abortion. Two wrongs never make a right.” She gazed out the window as tears welled in her eyes. “I am upset with you, but no more than I am with myself. I don’t like to talk about it, but I had an abortion once when I was your age, and I can’t let you suffer like I have. I love you too much for that.”
Stunned, Brenda asked, “You had an abortion, Mom?”
Joann took a tissue out of her purse and dabbed her eyes. “Yes, I did, when I was young and vulnerable, like you. There’s a lot to the story, and I’ll tell you later. But all you need to know for now is that there’s a baby inside you, a beautiful creation waiting to be born. Was it planned? No, not by us anyways, but by God.
She sniffled. “So, let’s get to our appointment, shall we?" she said cheerfully, wiping her nose, and get that sonogram done and see the little he or she God’s giving us.
Brenda smiled at her mother as the sun broke out in the increasingly clear sky. And as Brenda and Joann walked in the door of the Pregnancy Center, they were right on time for their first appointment.
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