Am I a monster? That is what the protester said I was. “You have no right to change Gods plan, you monster!” I still hear his voice in my head, calling me a monster over and over again. Did he think it was easy, what I did? Did he thing that I don’t feel awful enough for my choice? He has no clue!
The bathroom lights were turned down low, and I had covered up the window to shut all the light out of the room. The floor was warm and radiated heat up into the porcelain of the empty tub where I sit, wrapped in my duvet feeling completely empty. I pick up my phone and push the home button. The stabbing light blinds me for a second, until my eyes have adjusted and I can see the time. 12.05 pm, everyone at school just got lunch. I feel sick of the thought of food, and swallow hard before I lock my phone and pull the duvet even tighter around me. If I could only fall asleep, and sleep until this awful feeling in my stomach disappeared. I force my tears back, and pull the duvet completely over my head.
I wake up with a jerk. My heart is pounding in my chest and my whole body is trembling. I draw a deep breath and listen closely to hear whether someone has come home. No talking, no squeaking in the stairs or in the floor above me to suggest that there is someone else in the house. I lay back down amongst the blankets and try to slow my breathing and my raging pulse. I check the time on my phone again and see that I’ve been sleeping for an hour. Dad is working late, Thomas is away with the soccer team, so I will have the house to myself until mom comes home from work half past four. I will have to collect myself before then. Have to bury that knot in my stomach so deep that mom won’t notice that something is wrong. I cannot take her disappointment in addition to everything else.
My palms are sweaty and the cold metal footrests sends shivers up my spine. His voice is cool and somewhat unsettling. “Are you ready?” he says with that nasal cruel voice. “No, wait!” My heartbeat picks up and I start hyperventilating. «No, wait, I’ve changed my mind! » He rests a cold, plastic gloved hand on my knee. “No! I don’t want to! » The lady who was standing by the wall behind me is now at my shoulders holding me down. Suddenly my wrists and ankles are strapped down with thick leather straps so tightly that I cannot move. “Let’s begin. This will only hurt a little.” He says and laughs while grabbing a syringe of local anesthetic.
I scream and jolt awake. I am back in the tub, slick with sweat with my heart in my throat. It was just a dream.
A knock sounds from the bathroom door. “Anna? Are you okay?” Mom sounds worried. I franticly grab my phone and check the time. Only three pm, why is mom home already? «Anna?» She sounds truly concerned. «What? Are you talking to me? » I try to hide the terror in my voice. “I asked if you were alright. I thought I was alone until I heard you scream. Can I come in?” My chest tightens and I can hardly breathe. Mom takes the absence of an answer as a sign that something is wrong and carefully opens the door. “Anna, sweetheart. What’s wrong?” At the sight of moms worried face I break down and start crying hysterically. I cry so hard I can barely breathe and mom climbs into the tub and holds me. “I’m a monster!” is all I manage to say in between the sobbing and the hyperventilating. “I’m a monster!”
«Anna, why didn’t you talk to me? I would’ve come with you and supported you in your decision.” When I was exhausted and all out of tears mom and I went into the kitchen. Mom made tea and we sat down by the kitchen table and talked. “I don’t know. I felt stupid and irresponsible for getting myself into that situation in the first place. I didn’t wat you to be disappointed in me.” I could not meet her gaze and looked down into my cup instead. At the tealeaves that had escaped the infuser dance in the red water. “I’m not disappointed Anna, and I would’ve never turned you away if you came to me with a problem you couldn’t solve on your own. I’m your mom, and I will always be there for you, no matter what. Never forget that, sweetheart!”
It helped talking to my mom. She helped me see that I am not a monster, just because it was the only solution for me. I am not a monster for utilizing a service in place for people in my exact situation. I am not a monster, no matter what that man outside the clinic says. I am not a monster period.
/ / /
I originally wrote this short story in norwegian for a midterm in upper secondary shcool, and translated it to english this week. If anyone want to read the norwegian version, just let me know and I might publish that too.