They walked in
hands, holding on to life. It was a dreary Thursday afternoon and Jeff
thought the rain meant God was crying for them. He wished one more time
that he could be at the park playing ball with his friends. But he
He was here. In this place of death.
They both knew they
couldn't keep the
baby. They were only 16. It was an accident. The pill hadn't worked, or
she forgot to take it. He didn't really know, but it didn't matter
What was done was done. They had talked about it before, what would
if she got pregnant. They had decided that aborting was their only
Jeff knew it was his only
he wasn't happy about it. It was his concession to Monica. "If you get
pregnant, I'll support you," he had said four months earlier. But he
Sure he was there with her, but it was Jeff who needed the support. She
was going about it as if it were a business, just another thing in her
life. To him, it was like he was helplessly watching as the life he
create was being taken from him.
They sat in the waiting
room for an
hour. It seemed as if it were days. The clock above the receptionist's
desk moved at a snail's pace. It was the longest day of his life. The
sterile feel of the clinic was something he would never forget. Finally
at 3:30, the nurse came out and called for Monica.
"Miss Reilly," she said
It sounded like the
beckoning of death.
A call of finality. Once Monica stepped in those doors there was no
back. The baby, their child, would be gone forever. She rose up and
toward the nurse. She didn't look at him.
He sat there waiting. A
junior in high
school in an abortion clinic. He had become what they talked about on
talk shows. He was the teenager who had knocked up his innocent
He felt guilty. Not for himself or for Monica, but for the life that
were taking before it even started.
He had nobody to talk to.
He was ashamed.
He couldn't tell his parents. What could they say? His parents knew
were sleeping together, but Jeff had assured them they were being as
as possible. They wouldn't understand, and they wouldn't support him.
thought about telling his best friend. What could he say? He had no
what Jeff was going through. Nobody did, not even Monica.
She was set on her life.
the Harvard education, the big wedding, the house, the car, and then
kids. She had her life mapped out, and there was no room for a
She couldn't deal with things not going as she had planned, so the
was an easy choice for her. She was upset, but she knew what she had to
do. Jeff wasn't so sure.
Jeff thought he had known
what he wanted.
To play basketball after school. To do well, and go to a good college.
To get a good job and make money. He wanted a family at some point. He
didn't know when, but he wanted one. He loved Monica and could see them
together forever. If they had a baby now, why couldn't they still
their goals, but maybe a little altered? Jeff was willing, she was not.
It was her body. Jeff had no say.
He felt alone. Alone in
life and alone
in the waiting room. The clock said 5:27. Monica walked through the
doors and back into the gleaming room of tiles. She stopped in front of
"Are you okay?" Jeff
"It hurts," she said.
She sat down. He stared
It was over. Their child was over. What now?
"Are you okay?" she asked
And he cried. She had
never seen him
cry before. Nobody had ever seen him cry. He couldn't even remember the
last time he cried. It's not the manly thing to do. But now he wept. He
couldn't stop, and she sat there.
At 7:30, they were told
they had to
leave. They got up and walked into the drizzling cold. He walked her
kissed her and told her he'd talk to her later. He walked into Posey
and found a bench. And he bawled. He cried for himself and he cried for
Monica. But mostly he cried for the child they had made and the child