​The Waiting Room

If walls could talk I am certain that the walls of this small enclosed space would have many a tale to tell; what once was a fresh, clean coat of enamel now appeared to be the suffocated silent scream of pain and agony, the white no longer exuded its originality but through no choice of its own portrayed the aura of a brownish-beige tinged with red.

“Red, the colour of blood- blood being an essential element in life,” I silently murmur to myself. The blood flowing through my veins though oxygenated runs cold within my body, I breathe, I feel, I am alive but have ceased to live.

Overcrowded as this room is, I am alone, alone with my foreboding thoughts, alone with my emotion, alone… All alone in this cold dark bleak world.

Scanning the room the trepidation on each individual’s face is unmistakeable. The ginger-haired girl is ruffled up, the smell emanating from her hints that her body has not had the pleasure of water running across it, let alone any soap being lathered into its pores. 

She has scars of old and scars of new, her eyes are hollow and she sits motionless yet without a doubt she sits emotionally exhausted.

Chocolate; dark chocolate has always being a favourite of mine though these last twelve weeks had me put off the delicacy. Twelve weeks previously life as I knew it changed…

The door creaks as it is opened and the pale skinned girl that exits walks hastily across the green carpeted area, eyes downcast ensuring that she does not make eye-contact with any of the occupants of the room, she makes her way into the sun-lit area just beyond the double doors separating life from the lifeless.

“Number 15” a well built lady behind the counter called and as she did so the slender meek looking girl rose and slowly entered the room. It was not long before she emerged, her face tear-stained clutching her belly before falling to the ground, her sobs growing louder with all eyes fixated on her. The lady standing at the door slowly shook her head and then yelled next.

Slowly the room began emptying out, with each lady taking an approximate of thirty minutes each behind the shut wooden doors. I being the last in would also be the last out.

The ticking of the clock grew louder with each passing hour, the minute hand seemed to move slower and the room, though emptier felt as though the walls were closing in on me. 

Two more girls; a short rather plumpier  than average girl that looked no older than sixteen and the subdued lady in pink were still ahead of me.

The large double doors swung open and in its entrance stood a petite brown girl, her hair long and luscious fell to her hips in a neat black braid. 

She looked confused and immediately got the attention of the lady behind the counter whose voice was only heard when calling the number of the next in line.

“You’re in the wrong place my dear,” she said courteously.
“My name is Taladia and I… I…” the brown girl trailed off.

“Number 19” the lady screeched from behind her table and with that both Taladia and number 18 disappeared behind shut doors. 19 entered the next room thus leaving ’20’ and myself ’21’ in the eerily silent room.

Now that it was just me and the young girl she looked with pleading eyes. I shifted over next to her and without pause, without hesitation she began her story:

He said that he loved me every morning when he dropped me off at school and more on days when I did not enter the school gates at all. He gave me money for food and bought me gifts. He said that he loved me!

Many a day I’d wait with him in his taxi for all the learners to leave in search of an education and then together he and I spent the day.

We kissed, oh how we kissed… I knew that he loved me from the way he kissed me, it tickled me all over and the hair upon my neck stood with excitement. He said that he loved me!

Eventually the kissing wasn’t enough and as he kissed me his hands moved across my body. He cupped my breast in his hand and whispered into my ears that I was the most beautiful woman in his world. Boys my age tease me, they call me fat and ugly. They say that I am one of them and that they’d never date me. He made me feel special…

We sat in his taxi, mum worked hard to make enough money for our survival, she paid him his taxi fare to take me school but that day I did not go to school. 

We drove around and then parked off somewhere quiet. I don’t know where it was because as we drove I was picturing that I was sitting next to my husband. I was happy, he was my future…

He switched off the taxi and turned to me, he kissed me softly, slowly and in the most gentle way that he could. 

He said that he loved me and took my hand and placed it between his legs, he told me to feel his love for me, to feel just how happy I made him.

In place of a flaccid penis there stood an erect one, I was scared but he kissed me more fiercely now. He whispered words of affection as his hand scanned my body and slowly he undid the zip of my grey pants. 

I pulled away and he called me a tease so I kissed him and allowed him to have his way with me. It was painful, it was sore but the smile emanating from him told me that he enjoyed it. 

The next time was less painful and before I went home that day I too was enjoying the pulsating movements of him within me. I asked him to use a condom but he responded saying that real men don’t use condoms in the same way that kids don’t eat a sweet with a wrapper on. 

I wanted to prove my love for him more often now, and understood his want for sex with me as his love for me. 

On days that he didn’t want me he barely spoke to me. I loved him and he said that he loved me too.

Two weeks ago I told him that I was pregnant and that sent him into a fit of rage, he called me a bitch, told me that it was not his and then he stopped speaking to me.

Today I am here to terminate this pregnancy alone though it was not I alone that made this baby…

Her story ended as number 19 left the room and her number was called.

Alone in the room now I looked at the lady behind the counter and wondered how many stories like this had she heard, how many young girls have a similar story to tell…

I guess she felt my gaze on her and looked up, found my eyes and stared into them. The story her eyes told was unnerving. 

There she sat in all her sophisticated glory with a superior air to herself and condescending glares, her spectacles propped on her nose and a neat bun at the nape of her neck, Yes, here I am sitting in the waiting room of a legal abortion clinic with her knowing my name and number but not my story yet being judged for all my worth.

I think to myself about ‘Taladia’ that had for a fleeting moment considered a legal termination but more than likely had chosen a backstreet abortion safe from the judgement of this big burly bureaucrat…

It was my turn and cautiously I entered the room, it was cold and the smell of death was present. The butch doctor in her white lab coat plastered a smile upon her face, immune to the raging emotions that were contained in this very room.

Blue surgical gloves clothed her hands, her voice timid in comparison to her muscular appearance requested that I put on the gown available, freeing my body for a quick examination.

The bed, dressed in green disposable linen was propped up at an angle, ahead of me the wall was covered in charts displaying various images of the foetus at different gestational periods and my breathing intensified as the image of what was happening inside my body became a reality in my mind.

I had spent the greater part of the last few weeks in denial, denying the reality of my pregnancy but could deny it no longer.

“You’re precisely 10 weeks pregnant,” said the doctor interrupting my thoughts as she concluded her examination.

“What are my options of termination?” I asked, knowing full well that that was my only option.

She responded by telling me that I could have a ‘medical procedure’ done on an available date during which they would ‘suction’ the foetus out or that I could be given the ‘abortion’ pill immediately but if I waited beyond twelve weeks I’d have to undergo a non-invasive surgical procedure having to spend a night in the local hospital. 

She reiterated that abortion was legal up to the twentieth week and that I had time to think about it and make a rational decision.

I opted for the pill and within minutes the hexagonal pill was placed under my tongue.

“In Twenty four hours take the second pill, it will clean out whatever is left behind,” she said before I dressed and left the room.

I did not know how this pill was to work and I was too terrified to ask any questions but I knew that within twenty four hours I would no longer be pregnant.

The taxi drive home was silent beyond that of the thundering noise of the vehicle that was clearly not road-worthy. 

I could hear my heart beating and sat in pensive silence all the way home. I had decided to visit a clinic far from home in case someone who knew me or my family saw me entering the clinic.

Nobody could know about the events that took place on the brink of Spring.

It took roughly three hours before I started experiencing pain and by the fifth I was in excruciating pain. 

My thoughts went to the young girl and wondered whether she would be able to handle the intensity of the pain felt and then unwittingly my thoughts went to ‘Taladia’, hoping fervently that she did not opt for some side-street abortion.

Hour after hour the pain first intensified and then began subsiding whilst fragments of the foetus was discharged. 

The blood flow was heavy, the smell nauseating and the stark reality of the absent ‘father’ painful.

My family, oblivious to what was going on could be heard jovially entertained by the television whilst I lay in an agonising foetal position wishing death would have me.

The days that passed did little to improve the mood of my depressed spirit and it was only with a little guidance and encouragement to seek counselling did I finally make peace with my life’s choices.

—oOo—

Dear friends, family and other interesting creatures,

During the month of August I have contacted a few woman and asked them to share some of their stories

Subject choice is up to the writer and I trust you will enjoy this introduction to the special females on my various platforms. If you want to be part of this series, mail me: wenchy@mweb.co.za

Happy Woman’s Month!

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

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3 thoughts on “​The Waiting Room

  1. Mary Kruger says:

    The author has an exceptional way with words, portraying the hard cruel reality of her experience with absolute clarity. One can feel the colour of her emotions. Well done!

    Like

  2. Heather says:

    What a painful decision and so amazingly written especially the begining part about the colours. It reminded me also of my father in this room imprisoned not only by the walls but by the limitations of his body

    Like

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