Folded in the bathtub, Carla wrapped arms tight around knees and worked a gentle sway, seeking courage against the rose-coloured result displayed by the test stick. They took great care, how could…
What of her minister father and new wife, she who worked as a lobbyist for abstinence only sex education. How could she explain a fail in but her second semester?
Ducts dehydrated and her face burned from the etching of tears; she refused to abandon the porcelain refuge. An imagined stopped drain and a full open faucet fed a nanosecond of self-inflicted justice, a pathway discarded. Four hours of tub-bound inertia sparked dream and spun back the clock, a safer avenue of escape.
Awakening into nightmare, Carla embraced false resolve. She called a feminist health centre, asked, explained, and scheduled.
On Thursday, Carla drove past the self-appointed juried judges of local citizenry, marching the feminist health centre perimeter. They judged on her drive by and judged her on passage. In the waiting room, Carla cried again. Father haunted her conscience, he out standing with the protesters, yelling out vile names for what her choice would make Carla.
She ran out, before initial tests.
She didn’t call her father or the woman who would never replace her mother. Undecided, Carla granted herself a week to re-evaluate.
Sleeping late on Sunday, Carla timed the late start of her day with brunch at the Dining Commons, joining a group of friends. In line with tray, a severe cramp wrenched her right side. Carla winced, but moved forward toward the serving area. Breakfast on tray, she walked off for an open table. A debilitating cramp released her tray hold into a noisy crash.
A Fallopian tube rupture from an ectopic pregnancy, the surgeon told disbelieving parents. She doesn’t want you to know.