The smoke produced by the tea seemed to be the only moving thing in the room. My eyes were transfixed on her. Was it disappointment I felt? Was it shame? Was it anger? The room was still as pretty as it had been nineteen years back when I first walked into it holding her in my arms. I could still remember how delighted I was when I saw how perfect my husband had painted it. The teddy bears on the wallpaper still seemed as if they were playing tag while the flowers still had a glow. Where the baby’s cot had once been placed was now a king-sized bed. The Barbie doll stickers that had once been on the board of her bed had now been replaced by gothic stickers. The wardrobe was no longer organized, it now seemed too full to the point of vomiting some clothes. Why do babies grow up? My concentration goes back to the person lying on the bed. My daughter, Maria.
“Mom?’ she calls
“Yes,” I respond
With the mention of these words a certain sadness dawns on me. A part of me wants to tell her that she has already been forgiven while another part keeps asking, “Will you ever forgive yourself?”
It all started two weeks ago when Maria came home from school. Her reason was that she hadn’t been feeling well thus there was a need for her to miss out on school till she got better. As a loving mom I had agreed to this. Furthermore, which mother hates the company of her baby? The first night had been okay but the second night had been hell on earth. Maria couldn’t eat, sleep or walk. All she kept doing was crying while lamenting how bad her tummy hurt. So I resolved that the hospital is the only place she could get the help she needed. Truth be told, the hospital did help her but it left me disturbed. See, Maria’s abdominal pains weren’t being caused by an illness or food poisoning, it was because of an ABORTION. An abortion that had somehow gone wrong.
In all my years of being a mom, I never thought I’d end up here. That is, saying that my kid has aborted. I had always done my best to avoid having the sex talk with her. Not because I didn’t know that there were guys hitting on her. It was because the idea of talking to her about sex made me feel as if she was all grown up and she’d never again be my innocent baby girl. The thought of her ever being involved intimately with a guy always made me shiver. Furthermore, it was close to impossible for her to do such a thing. She was still the innocent young baby I had given birth to. (This is what I had consoled myself with. Alas, I had been wrong to do so)
Ever since I found out that my daughter had aborted, our talks had become minimal. To be honest, the only thing we really talked about was how she was fairing, if she had taken her meds and if she was comfortable. They were more like yes/no conversations. I knew that she felt as if she had let me down and yes, she had let me down, but, could I stay mad at her forever? If I had been in her shoes, could I have told my mom about it? Did she think that aborting was less disappointing compared to bringing a baby home? All these were questions that kept nagging me- nagging me to the point of making me have sleepless nights. As much as I was bothered by Maria’s actions, what mainly bothered me was the fact that she didn’t tell me. I mean, I was always the cool mom who she could talk to about anything (Well, except sex). Also, I couldn’t wrap my finger around why I kept thinking of what would have happened if the abortion had gone completely wrong and something terrible would have happened to her. For instance, if she’d have ended up bleeding severely, if her uterus would have perforated, if she’d have gotten cervical damage or if she’d have died. What if she had actually died? These thoughts made me restless. Restless to the point that I had finally concluded that answers were the only thing that would give me closure and the peace of mind that I really needed.
(I decided to break the silence.)
“How are you feeling?” I asked
“Much better. I’ll manage to go back to school very soon,” she said
“Why did you do it?” I asked
“I-I-I couldn’t imagine the shame I’d cause you if I came home pregnant. I also didn’t really have feelings for the so called father,” she responded
“Who is the father? Did he tell you to get rid of the baby?”
“His name is David, a student in our school. No and yes. He told me that he’d support the decision I’d make. So when I said I wanted to get rid of it he supported me.”
“How did you even go about the abortion?”
“My friend took me to a doctor who carries out abortions. I am not sure what that doctor actually did,”
“Maria, why didn’t you talk to me about this? What if you had died?”
“Mom, I thought you’d be disappointed. Also, I knew you would have told me to keep the baby yet I’m not ready to be a mother,”
“Then why didn’t you abstain or practice safe sex?”
“My friends told me raw sex is better and I wanted to try it out. I didn’t know this would happen,”
“First, you need to change these people you call your friends. Second, after marriage you can enjoy all the sweetness in the world but for now, hose down.”
“I’ve learnt my lesson and I’m really sorry.”
It’s okay. I’ve already forgiven you. Furthermore, this place sucks without your yapping.”
A smile spread across Maria’s face as a sparkle enlivened her face. A feeling that had been missing for a while was now present- the feeling of peace. Maybe the abortion wasn’t a good thing and maybe we’ll never manage to forget it happened, but one thing was for sure, it had somehow brought us closer and had made the sex talk less weird. I guess I just had to learn my mommy lesson the hard way. Could I have prevented all these from happening? Yes, but I didn’t. Was the blame on me? Yes. Even so, it didn’t really matter, for I still had the greatest blessing, my precious baby, Maria.