Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.
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A long time ago, I did stupid things and ended up pregnant. I was twenty two so I should have known better, but I didn’t. I was simply having fun with someone I had no long-term intentions to be with after I found out that he was seeing other women at the same time as he was seeing me.
When I finally told him that I was pregnant, he took me to a doctor “to make sure,” he said. I remember waiting outside with him and he held my hand through the whole time. One thing that struck me was that the doctor’s office was not in any hospital or clinic that I was familiar with. I had friends who were in the medical field. I knew where medical places were.
This was located downtown, in some hidden corner that had no signs. Yet the waiting room was filled with young women just like me. He was the only man sitting with me, but I thought then just how lucky I was to have someone actually sitting there with me while we went to have a doctor “make sure” that I was really pregnant.
When it was my turn to go in, I found myself in a room with an examination table and medical tools along the walls. It looked just like a gynecologist’s office, complete with those stirrups sticking out of the old examination table. He introduced me under a different name and after a few minutes, the doctor told him to wait for me outside while he did the examination.
Alone in the room with this older man looking into my privates, I wondered what he’d say. He would at least confirm what I suspected, I thought, which was a good thing.
After all the poking and swabbing and pushing gently at my tummy, he told me to get dressed and said he would come right back in. When he came back in, he told me to remain seated.
“You come from a good family,” he began. “I know your grandmother so I know your name isn’t Maria.”
He waited for me to say anything but I remained quiet. “You’re too far along for me to do the abortion as he planned. The bones are formed already, but if you’re willing to listen, this is what I suggest. Tell your mother that you’re pregnant. Carry the baby to term and if you and your family wish to keep the baby, then good. If not, then I will take the baby and have it adopted. There are many families in the city who will want this child because I can personally vouch for both your families.”
He wrote something on a piece of paper. “If you decide to go ahead in terminating this pregnancy, there is someone who will do it up to the ninth month. Doing it now will be less painful than if you waited, but it’s your choice to go to her.” He handed me the paper and along with it, a copy of his card. “Here’s her contact information, but please think about what I said. And if you decide to give the baby up, then you can call me.”
I don’t really know which road I took – whether it’s the one less traveled or the one traveled more often.
But I do know that many times, I’ve found myself wishing I’d taken the road that I did not take.