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'I was a plus one at an abortion'

23 November 2016, 12:07

I was working at the bar (I used to be a bartender at a crappy night club on trendy Long Street) and there was this weird smell that lingered. It was a mixture of lavender and old socks.

The stench belonged to one of the guys I was serving, I’m guessing it was a cologne that he purchased after reading a GQ. I called one of the girls to see if the odor was just as overwhelming to her – it wasn’t.

One of the signs of pregnancy is supernatural nostril power. Another tell-tale sign is perky breasts. I thought maybe the gypsies had finally answered my twenty-something-year-old prayers for bigger boobs, but of course they didn’t.

I got home after my shift and immediately sent a text to a friend.

She said she would pop into Clicks and get a pregnancy test and at lunchtime, we would meet at my apartment and I would pee on a stick and take it from there.

I peed and the test confirmed what I already knew – I was preggo. My body was preparing itself to housing something that was created three to seven weeks ago and I knew what I had to do.

I had to get rid of it.

Also read: Abortion doctor charged with manslaughter in woman's death

I didn’t take the time to think about it. I didn’t need time. I got on the phone and one of the Marie Stopes call center operators was taking down my details. I knew I didn’t want to house anything in my body that wasn’t food or gin.

She gave me instructions to pay a R500 deposit, pretty easy stuff.

Then she told me I would have to pay an additional R2000 when I got to the clinic. Two-freaking-grand! Are you kidding me! That’s a lot of money for someone that’s a junior at a small ad agency.

But then I thought of how mad I had been when I was out shopping for a colleague's baby shower.

Babies are crazy expensive! And they grow out of everything so quickly, you’d swear they were budding fashion bloggers searching for the latest trends. Suddenly two thousand didn’t seem so bad after that flashback.

I agreed and repeated my reference number to my friend who was still there waiting by my side.

I know of women that have gotten abortions. I know of women who have decided to keep their bundles of joy and parade them on my Facebook feed.

I also know of one woman who didn’t have the option to abort and had the baby while studying, and how hard that was for her.

I call that woman “Mom”. Yes, she was able to raise me and all that sweet Mother’s Day card stuff, but sometimes I can feel the “what if” lingering at random moments.

The day of the appointment was like any other. I didn’t want to make it feel like a thing because it wasn’t a thing. I do however remember feeling like a plus-one to my own appointment.

It was as if present me was accompanying future me.

I felt like I had stepped outside of myself and was watching as the events of that day took place. It didn’t feel like me. It wasn’t me. This wasn’t a dentist appointment or ‘flu shot.

This was an appointment I didn’t think I would ever have to make.

I mean I used protection and took the necessary precautions any hypersexually active human would. But here I was sitting in the waiting room with couples, mothers and daughters and one woman who decided to face it alone.

It’s been months since that nurse gave me the pill.

I’ve had 3 periods since then. I’ve been extra careful ever since I was told not to have sex for two weeks once I’ve taken the pill and a crap load of painkillers. I’ve had extra room for food and gin. And lastly I’ve had no regrets.

But I must admit I will miss the boobs.

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