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Sweet as Candy: A Novel in Verse

By @Madison

Options

The next day, I go to do some ‘research’

In the computer section of the local library.

With my two hours of free Internet use approved by the librarian

I check thoroughly for any nosy interlopers who might look over my shoulder

Before carrying out any particularly incriminating searches.

Yeah, a public library is a risky place to think through such private matters

But doing so in a room full of strangers is preferable to being found out by the person who I rely on the most.

Incognito mode wouldn’t save me from Izzy busting into my bedroom in search of cold medicine

Only to accidentally learn of my own condition.

Besides, our town isn’t that small.

I can’t think of anyone who would be rushing to tell their local home design guru

That her girl was looking up resources for pregnant teenagers

When they went to pay their late fines.

Pleased to see that I had not arrived at the library’s busy hour

I begin my search.

Resources are exactly what I need

Anecdotes to the situation I had gotten myself into.

I try to be selective of the links I click

Careful to avoid the flowery pages that explain as nicely as possible

That there is no choice to be made

When I will surely begin to love my little miracle

Once I have passed the legal abortion date, that is.

Personal memoirs of girls who had been down this road are also to be steered clear of.

No matter the path they had chosen to take and the way they felt about it now

None of them are me

So I can’t bring myself to trust them.

On the other hand, the pages that stress the importance of choices

Overwhelm me with the amount of solutions they offer

And the lack of guidance each one gives.

Aborting would be a quick, easy fix

Certainly not painless

But less guilt inducing

If I went ahead and got it over with

Before I had to think about the cells multiplying inside of me

Growing, morphing into something totally and completely human.

Adoption was the less controversial option

Though there was still the issue of having so many strings attached

And the fact that I’d have to see the whole thing through

Grow a new life within me

Only not to know where its future may lie

Once it is taken away

Into the unknown.

Besides, though Izzy never officially adopted me

I had seen the system

The coldness and hostility that meets you halfway.

No matter how inconvenient its timing may be

I would never wish that upon another person.

Wouldn’t want anyone, carrying my genes or otherwise

To ever feel so doomed, so lost, so unloved

Just because, in one form or another

They were brought into the world

Only to be left in the dust.

The thought strikes an unexpected emotional chord in me

Leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

I shake it off, scroll on to the next option.

Ah, that’s the hardest of them all.

The fairy tale prospect of not only allowing what was just a spark of potential in my womb

To turn into a baby

But keeping it

Raising the small blank slate of a person as my own

As someone I must shape

Feed

Clothe

And, most of all, love.

It’s a nice visual

But, with my history

I have to admit that it’s a pretty **** unrealistic one.

How could I possibly aspire to become a model parent

When I am not only a child myself

But one who sometimes thinks that she only imagined

The few memories she has of her own mother’s embrace?

How could I fit the image of a warm, open heart and soft, gentle hands

When all I can feel

Is an icy drip in the pit of my chest

And fire against my face

Where my mother’s calloused palm once was?

I don’t have the imagination for that

So I open my eyes

And prepare to shut the computer down.

But first

I pull a napkin from my purse

Write down the number to the local Planned Parenthood

Hoping I can work up the courage

To call it.

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