With smiles, giggles and arms locked together they strolled into the consulting room. They seemed truly happy together. There was a palpable bond of affection between them. My face lit up and my lips curved into a light as they approached my desk. Cupid! I thought as my heart fluttered mildly. They reminded me instantly of my wife and me.
I gestured towards the seats across my desk and exchanged pleasantries as they made themselves comfortable still holding hands and smiling. Then I dove head-on into the meat of the matter.
“So, what brought you to the hospital today? Hmm…” I paused to glance at the newly registered family case file on my table. “Mr. and Mrs. Martins,” I said softly reading the name on the file.
The young lady in her mid-twenties cast a quick glance at her husband. And the young man, probably in his late twenties, cleared his throat and propped himself up in the chair.
“My wife missed her period last month and we did a pregnancy test.”
I beamed. “And it was positive?”
They both nodded in unison. “And we need your help.” The young man lowered his brows.
Bewildered, I wiped the smile off my face. “What’s the problem?”
“Well my wife and I are traveling next month.” He began to explain then paused to get my reaction.
I kept mute wearing a blank expressionless stare.
He went on. “So, we don’t want the baby now.”
A pained expression crossed my face. “Why?” I asked with a gloomy voice. “As far as I know it’s not a crime to travel with a bun in the oven.”
The duo gave a gentle smile. “Well doc, my wife is going for her Master’s degree and being pregnant is going to be additional stress.”
“Oh,” I exclaimed unsurprisingly. “But people take in and still school.” I maintained my stand adamantly.
They both exchanged glances. “That means you won’t help us?” Their smiles had faded.
I shook my head in resolute sadness. “I wish I could convince you to change your mind!”
The young man’s face crunched into a scowl. “I’m sorry doc. We’ve got no choice.” His voice was firm and stern.
“Not the way I see it.”
The young man shot me an impertinent look. “You won’t understand doc.”
“May be, maybe not; but one thing you seem not to understand is that you do have a choice. We all do. In fact you have choices. And as a matter of fact, you’ve made a choice.” I paused for emphasis then went on.
“You’ve chosen to terminate, that is abort, your very own child. And I guess it’s your first.” I nodded without waiting for a response and continued. “The unfortunate thing is you made the decision without considering the one whose life you’ve decided to end!”
They both gave me a hard long stare. If only looks could kill. I thought as I sat and returned their stare. Four eyes on two is not a fair match. But somehow I could sense the unborn child’s eyes right beside mine looking back at them. Boldly, I held their gaze.
Suddenly a sense of unease filled the room. The wife slowly withdrew her hand from the husband’s tender clutch and lowered her head. The husband turned to her with a million questions in his dark brown inquisitive eyes and a fully flared nose.
Quietly, I took in a deep breath and waited my gaze still on the couple. I mumbled a silent prayer.
An awkward silence ensued for a moment before she broke the silence. “Honey, Let’s keep the baby!”
It was the sweetest angelic voice I have heard in a long time. My face suddenly broke into a light smile. I heaved in thankful relief. “I think you should.” I whispered.
The man shot me a resentful glance before turning to his wife. “But baby we’ve weighed all the options. This is the best thing to do.”
“I know honey. But it’s our first child.” She placed a hand on her belly. “I’d always been skeptical in aborting. We should keep the baby.” She reached for her husband’s hand and placed it on her belly. “Feel it honey; our first fruit of the womb.” She said softly.
With reluctance Mr. Martin obliged his wife. His hand lingered on her belly as another moment of silence ensued. Then he took a deep breath and stared into his wife’s eyes.
“Okay baby. If that’s what you want.” He finally succumbed with a half-smile. “What about your studies?” he asked almost immediately.
Smilingly, she leaned in and planted a soft kiss on his lips. “All will be well. I will manage. A sacrifice I have to make for our son!”
“Our son? Who said it’s a boy?” The husband inquired in an excited voice.
“I said so.” She replied as they wrapped each other in a warm lengthen embrace.
A tear drop hung at the corner of my left eye; my emotional eye. I quickly brushed it off with the palm of my hand. Then I cleared my throat as a serene tranquility enveloped me and took over the room. His presence! I thought.
“Oh we’re sorry doc.” The husband flashed me a bright smile. “Thanks for talking some good sense into me.” He extended a hand towards me.
“Thanks for not only hearing but listening. But really I did nothing more than just pose a reminder of the bigger picture.” I replied warmly, as we shook hands.
“Thank you doc!” The wife added.
“Oh come on you two stop thanking me I did nothing.” I nodded at her.
Then slowly the man stood to his feet and helped his wife up. “Thank you doctor!” they echoed almost in unison.
I just watched teary-eyed as they stepped out of my consulting room giggling. The woman had an arm around him her head huddled against his broad chest. The soon-to-be-mother leaned on her husband and soon-to-be-father. While the man had one hand on his wife’s belly with his shoulders held sky high. The other arm was wound tenderly around her slim soon-to-be-a-mum waist! It was a sight.
“Thank you!” A soft little voice whispered into my ears as the door hissed and shut behind the couple.
I swirled around in my seat but saw no one. I could have sworn it was a child’s voice. A male child! My face simply broke into a wider smile. “I did nothing but my job!” I whispered.
“Abortion has never been about “choice” It’s about escaping the consequences of your choices by taking away the “choices” of the most innocent among us!”
P.S. Though inspired by true events, this story is a creative work of the writer’s imagination. Any semblance to any person or people is coincidental and unintentional. And the name(s) are fictitious.