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Decisions a

I carefully reverse into a triangular space left by two cars. 


Why didn’t they just park properly? 


Why did I reverse? I never reverse. 


She hasn’t said a word since we left the hospital.  


She was asking lots of questions before to the doctor, but not now.  


It is not my fault. 



We get out of the car and start walking towards the lake.  


I lock the door and move away, but it does not beep.  


Did it beep?  


Does it normally beep?  


Do I want to go ahead with the….how can I kill my baby? 


I am not against it, per se. 



Well maybe I am. 


I turn around and walk back.  


She didn’t shut the door.  


It beeps.  



She has not stopped.  


Why didn’t she wait for me? 


I start jogging to catch up, I slip.  


I feel stupid. 


She didn’t see.  


An old couple walk by.  


They nod their head in a greeting.  


In acknowledgment of my fall.  



She stops and I catch up, but she has not noticed me.  


We start walking slowly down the path towards the lake. 


I wish she hadn’t taken the test.  


I told her not to.  



I asked her not to. 



Then we wouldn’t be in this mess.  


Now what? 



My little girl is unwell and I can’t make her better. 


I can’t do anything.  



I can feel the pulse in my head, pounding.  



I should do more exercise.  


What if I can’t cope? 



I don’t even know how bad her condition will be.  


I saw her little head on the screen, her beating heart.  


Will she have heart problems and spend her life in hospital?


Will we spend our lives in hospital? 


Why doesn’t she talk to me?  



A little spaniel scampers past us, with his ears bouncing up and down.  


He comes up to me. He’s so cute.  



I bend down to pat his head.  


He nods and then turns away, already bored of his new friend.  


I probably would want one if the abnormality was really severe.  


How bad does bad have to be? 


Where do we draw the line…where should I draw the line? 


Will her life be bad enough and what is normal anyway? 


It just becomes more abnormal the more we intervene.  


Like those kids whose ears stick out.  




The dog finally picks up the stick. 


I have an illness and I have rights and she should have rights like anyone else! 


…she should have some rights, right?  


Even if she doesn’t, she has the potential and it’s all about the potential.  


I used to have “potential”, before…  



But what about the pill, is that not the same thing? 

I wasn’t bothered about that potential, why should I care about this life? 


But she is still my daughter.  



We need to get to the lake before six thirty; I don’t like being here in the dark.  


I touch her hand hopefully.  



I know she does not like holding hands, but she wraps her cold fingers around mine.   


The park is supposed to be dangerous at night.  


Will she be in pain?  



It would be easier if she was in pain.  


That old couple are walking past again, or maybe it is another old couple.  


Will that be us in the future, walking in the park, still not speaking to each other?  


It is “the woman’s decision”; her body, her choice.  





Don’t I get a choice?  


Is it better to have less unwell people? 


I sound like a Nazi. 


I am sure the wind is louder than normal.  



And I don’t care about anyone else anyway; I just care about my daughter.  


But will others care about my daughter, how will she cope? 

Surely a society should protect the weak? 



Every child I have seen has always been happy. 


She won’t be weak. She’ll be strong like her mother. 


I feel sick. 



She’s not holding my hand any more.  



Maybe it is something I ate? 


Or maybe I need to eat something? 


A little boy is playing in the mud.  


He looks so happy. 


I think he is… yes he’s eating the mud.  


His parents look so happy.  


Will I be able to forget about this decision? Even if we have one, she will always be on my mind. 


I hope I can forget.   


The lake. 


Why did we bother coming to the lake? 


It won’t help us.  


I stare out into the lake contemplating our future. 


The wind unsettles the surface producing lots of little criss-crossing waves.  


Why won’t she talk to me? 


The sun has nearly gone now, making it a mix of greys.  


I look into the lake, hoping it will deliver us a decision. 


I turn my head and stare into her eyes. 


The wind picks up and hits the side of my face. 


My eyes water.  


I hold her hand again and smile.  


“What are you thinking?”  

Decisions b

What should I do? 



The sun dazzles me as we turn. 


What should we do? 


He should have just driven into the space. 



What should I do? 



The sunblind is not helping, it is too small, it has always been too small.  


He finally finishes manoeuvring and I get out.  


Why won’t he speak to me? 



I push the door shut behind me.  


It wasn’t meant to be like this! 


The test was meant to reassure me, to reassure us.  


The sun has taken on the orange hue of an autumn evening. 


It is no longer in my eyes and they relax.  


I start walking towards the lake.  


I think that is where he said we should go. 


What if I “choose” to not make a decision? 


But that is choosing. 


Where is he, isn’t he coming as well? 


There…oh…he’s going to fall.  


I turn my head and pretend not to notice the fall.


It is your choice the midwife kept saying. 


My choice. 


Why are they putting me in this position? 


Is a child just a commodity that we can refuse if we aren’t happy? 


What does he want me to do? 



He won’t want an abortion. 



What would my parents say?  


Probably the same, but they just believe what they are told to.  


They’re not the ones who have to go through it.  


My eyelid is trembling from lack of sleep. 


I hate when it does that, I can’t concentrate.    


It was not meant to be like this. 



We were meant to be a normal happy family.  


The autumn leaves squelch under my feet and I slip a little with every step.  


I should have worn my walking boots.  


He should have told me we were coming here.  


It cannot survive without me, more like a tumour really, a cancer. 


How can I think that? I’m not allowed to think like that. 


I like the morning times before I am fully awake, that moment when I am happy still thinking about my dream, before.

What if I don’t love her? Or can’t love her.  


A dog runs in front of me and I jump a little. 


Animals always scare me; I don’t know what they will do. 


Why does he always have to play with them? 


I wish I was a dog.  


Then I would not have any problems.  



Is a dog a person? 



It is conscious and can think. 


It knows how to fetch that stick. Well kind of.  


Can I kill this dog? 



A newborn baby can’t do anything. It just feeds and sleeps with its inbuilt reactions.  


If it came out now then it would be like one of those premature babies in an incubator.  


A premature baby is a person. 


We can’t kill a person? 



What if I can’t cope? 


That’s the main question, isn’t it? 



I don’t want to go through surgery.  



The doctor said I’d probably require an operation.


I have never liked going on walks, there’s no point.  


But maybe that is better than going through childbirth.  


It doesn’t think, it doesn’t feel. 



I instinctively cling on to his hand; he never holds my hand. 


Does it feel pain? 




The silence is hurting my ears. 



It’s about “her quality of life” the midwife said.  


What does that mean?  


Is it better to not be alive at all? 



The wind ruffles my hair and it gets stuck in my glasses.  


The trees have adopted the cold austerity of the winter offering no protection against the weather.  


I think I should get new glasses.  


What will happen to us?  


I’ve got a headache behind my right eye. 


A migraine is starting.  


Are we strong enough to cope without a baby? 


Will he leave me if we have an abortion?  



Or if I have an abortion?


There are no flashing lights, it should be OK. 


If we are having a baby just for our relationship does that make it OK? 


There are lots of little mounds of mud on the floor where the worms have been.  


I think I prefer worms to dogs, they’re more useful. 


What would she want? Would she value her own life… do I value mine? 


The path winds around a playground.  


That boy’s all covered in mud. 


Where is this lake?  


He’s so dirty. 


Don’t his parents care? 


I would look after him better. 


I feel nauseous. 




Maybe it is a migraine. 


Will I be able to move on from this? 


Finally the lake. 


Maybe it has the answer. 


I stare out into the lake wondering what to do.  


There is a criss-crossing pattern from the wind.  


Why won’t he talk to me? 


The sun has almost vanished, turning the park from orange to grey.

I look into the lake, hoping the decision will come to me. 


I turn my head and stare into his eyes. 


The wind picks up and hits the side of my face. 


My eyes water.  


I hold his hand again and smile.  


“What are you thinking?” 

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