The Picketer

Walking by a Planned Parenthood, on my way to a job interview, I saw her outside protesting. I thought she was pretty. But more than that, there was something about her that made me want to know her. I could put on a mask of religious zealot for little while if it meant getting to spend some time with her. But she wasn’t as fanatical as I expected. She was very opposed to abortion, but had personal reasons. She had had an abortion when she was 20. Her boyfriend at the time pressured her into going through with it. She felt lost and did what she thought was right. But she regretted it almost immediately. She told me their relationship fell apart shortly after. Since then, she had done what she could to inspire woman with unwanted pregnancies to consider adoption over abortion. I admired her convictions even though I disagreed with her methods. We had so much in common. We were both broke, but didn’t mind our lack of funds so much when we were in each other’s company. The one inconsistency was our perspectives on abortion. Over the next few months, I grew to love her in a way I’d never loved another woman. Then came the morning of December 12th. I had been staying at her apartment regularly, but had not been able to the night before on account of the fact that she was not feeling well. My phone rang. It was her. Her voice was monotone, lifeless – “I’m pregnant”. We both knew we were not in a place financially or in our relationship to raise a child together. Of course there was the option of adoption, but she felt as though carrying this baby for 9 months only to hand it over would be more than she could bare. I felt torn, but scheduled an appointment for her. That afternoon, tears running down her face, she passed through her own picket line. She stopped returning my calls and now we haven’t talked in almost a month.

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