The day is oddly calm, full of sunshine, almost as if it has nothing to do with the darkness that I feel. I get Megha ready for school, she kisses me just before running outside to wait for her school bus.
"Shall we leave then, if you are ready?" My husband's voice reminds me that it is just another day for him too. The only person who seems to be raging a silent storm inside seems to be me.
I get ready, choosing the most comfortable of my clothes. As we get in the car and he starts to drive, his hands fumble around and find mine. His eyes though are still fixated on the road. Yes, I have always been proud of the fact that the man I married was one who followed all the rules. No, he definitely wouldn't put others at a risk even if his life depended on it.
"Anoushka, you do know that we are doing the right thing here... It's not that I don't want another child. But you know how desperately I crave a son. And we really can't afford more than two children, thought we were on the same page there.." His voice drones on as he holds my cold fingers. The warmth from his refuses to seep into mine.
I, I, I... Everything has to be about him. What about what I want? This is my child too that we are talking about. But no, I have always been the ideal wife; staying at home and taking care of him and our daughter was my sole duty. I for one, was never allowed a voice. Or even if I did speak out, I remained unheard.
At the hospital, everything proceeds so smoothly that it's ironic. The one time where I wouldn't mind waiting longer, things seems to move with extra precision. I'm told to strip down and don the shapeless disposable hospital gown. They ask me the routine questions.
How far along am I? That I may feel a slight discomfort in my lower belly as they proceed. That I will be mildly sedated and that the procedure was almost painless.
What about my heart? I want to ask. Do you have anything to sedate my thoughts? To wipe it all away? It would be absurd to voice these out aloud, of course. So I don't. And it's not their fault in any case. They are just doing their duty, I remind myself.
But what about yours? A nagging voice inside my head asks.
They note down seemingly irrelevant things like my weight and blood pressure. The important questions remain unasked and unanswered. I look into their eyes, I see no judgement. This maybe just another day for them. Just another mother and the baby that she's not ready to have. I cringe inwardly at the thought, my baby. I feel like nothing but a butcher as the nurses continued to prick and prod at me.
I think of my husband waiting outside. He was busy with his phone as I was called inside. He gave me a grim smile and patted my shoulder awkwardly just before I walked in here. Taking in the antiseptic smell and my sterile surroundings, I knew I had to make a choice now or live forever with the knowledge that I did nothing. That is the moment I think that I realized, I couldn't go on with this abortion. I'm already a mother to my two girls. One was in school this moment and the other is growing inside of me. I think a part of me had already left the man I was married to the moment he suggested I do this.
I sit up and climb out of the hospital bed. My choice is made.
Linking this post to the A to Z Challenge.