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One Tough Decision

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One Tough Decision

My heart races with the anticipation of what is to come. Sweat beads start to form on my brow when I round the corner of the building. It is becoming harder to catch my breath and the temperature in the car is sweltering despite it being winter. My mind is overwhelmed with several voices pulling me in multiple directions. I could not focus on anything or anyone. Trying to calm myself, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I told myself "here I go," as I pull into the driveway.

An angry mob ambushes the car as soon as I pull in. The people surrounding the car are holding large signs and yelling chants as they throw rubbish at the building before me. Signs scream death in red writing as if they were stabbed or ripped open like a wound. The noise has become deafening making it impossible to think straight. I do my best to ignore the people and focus on not hitting them as I continue down the driveway. The picketers began to fade away as I pulled into the parking lot. I turned the engine off and sat there composing myself before heading into the building.

In the entryway a police officer sat with his legs propped on the table across from him. The cop asked for my birthday, name and my reasons for being here today. I answered all his questions in a nervous but friendly fashion and he unlocked the door to allow me to enter the building. Once inside, a portly woman sat behind a bullet proof glass partition. Again, I was asked the same questions the officer asked as well as some additional information. She handed me a clipboard with a more detailed questionnaire to fill out while I sat in the waiting room.

The waiting room was dimly lit with two lamps and candles that filled the room with the scent of lilacs. Eighties soft rock was playing on the radio. Everything about the room was calming; it was the first time all morning I felt that way. The room had three other young women who seemed to be about the same age as myself, waiting for what I could only assume was the same reason. We all sat there filling out our questionnaire without saying a word to one another. I contemplated starting a conversation but was not sure how to start it. In the end, I decided to keep to myself.

I had just handed my paper work to the receptionist when a counselor came out and mispronounced my name. As I corrected her, I followed her to an office with two couches across from one another. The large bay window was centered between the couches and in the far back corner of the room was a desk overflowing with paperwork. Thankfully the shades were closed because the view would have been of the picketers. Not something I wanted to see when telling a stranger my feelings.

The counselor spoke in a soft, sweet manor. I took a seat on the couch across from her and we began the questioning process. This process was a requirement before having the procedure to ensure everyone, including myself, what I was about to do was the right choice. She also explained what to expect and if I had any questions. Overall the interview took about an hour and I felt a lot better about my decision. It was time for the next step. She left me in the office to change into a hospital gown and returned ten minutes later. I followed her up the stairs where there was once again another waiting room. At this point I knew there was only one more place to go, the "operating room."

In this waiting room I ran into the same girls I saw downstairs. All of us were in hospital gowns waiting for the same thing. It almost felt like a factory. One girl would go in and fifteen minutes later another was heading in. We just sat there with our own thoughts waiting our turn. I could not help but wonder



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