Chapter 8: Redeemed on Tucker Street: A Beacon
CHAPTER EIGHT: A Beacon
I chewed on the corner of the pen in my hands and squinted at the print on the pink sheet of paper in front of me. My neat handwriting, filling the blanks on the page, showed signs of my trembling hand.
I sighed and got up.
Ding. Hesitatingly, I tapped the bell on the counter. The secretary’s smiling face appeared.
“All finished there?” At my nod, she went on. “Nicole will be with you shortly.” She smiled again.
“Ah, okay,” I stuttered, faintly.
I’m not sure how long I was in that waiting room. But soon enough, another woman appeared. This one was maybe in her late twenties, with an engaging, yet deeply compassionate smile.
I nodded, and followed her.
- - - - - - - -
An hour later, back in the seat of my tiny car, I breathed a tremulous sigh. That hadn’t been so bad. In fact…in fact I felt a weak beam of encouragement. I hadn’t felt that feeling at all this week.
I looked over the paperwork that Nicole had given me. She had given me an opportunity to have a free ultrasound at the clinic, resources for everything from insurance to housing. She had shown me how big my baby was now, and its development over the next nine months.
She had listened to my story with a sympathetic ear. She had talked to me about the consequences of premarital sex. She had talked to me about changing my lifestyle.
The strange thing was, I was ready for her to judge me. I was ready for her to tell me that I was a sinner, and that I was deserving of hell. I was expecting her to be condescending, and to look at me as the wretch that she thought me to be.
But she wasn’t. While I knew for sure that she believed that what I had done was wrong, she spoke of forgiveness. She spoke of turning from my choices and God making my life new.
She told me a story of a woman who had made the same choice as I. She was training to be a nurse practitioner, and, through her own choices, became pregnant as a single woman. Nicole had said her choice could not be reversed, and this woman chose life. She worked hard to provide for herself and her child, and still became a nurse practitioner. Today, she has a beautiful daughter.
But I wasn’t sure. If Kenny would support it…then maybe. But the more I thought about it—the more I realized that he would opt for an abortion.
Kenny was studying to be a doctor. Kenny knew medicine, surgery, and biology. He understood abortion as a medical procedure. To him, Nicole was wrong—having an abortion was not taking a life.
I was afraid to tell him—afraid to even try.
When Nicole prayed for me, I shut my eyes tightly and tried to pray with her. My prayer seemed to bounce right off the ceiling and land tauntingly on the floor.
Before I left, Nicole had told me to call her or anyone else at the clinic with anything, even just to talk. I had been short. I assured her I would figure it out, and Kenny’s mom would probably be able to help us take care of the baby.
Once I was alone though, I laughed bitterly. Not only did Kenny’s mom not exist in my life, but Kenny himself was likely on his way out.
Back at home, I decided what I would do. Kenny would be home late tonight. I would leave a note, saying that I was pregnant. Short. Simple. No frills. I would go to stay at Lizzy’s house for the night, and come back after work tomorrow.
At least he’d have a day to think about it before I saw him.
I know this will be a shock, so I thought this was the best way to tell you. I’m pregnant. I’m already six weeks along.
I’ll be back tomorrow so we can talk about it. Staying with Lizzy tonight.
I re-read it, slowly. That was it. If he was upset, I’d know soon enough.
Lizzy didn’t have to know about it yet. I looked at myself in the mirror and drew in my breath, sharply. I looked like I had just crawled out from under a bed.
I washed my face, and pasted on a big smile before I texted Lizzy. She was excited, as usual. She wanted to go out and get dinner, and walk around the mall.
Maybe I’d just forget about all of this stuff, and enjoy a few hours with Lizzy.