* "Brian" is the author's selected pseudonym *
It was January 12th and we had to be at the clinic by 9am. They take you into a few rooms before the procedure. You’re asked a bunch of questions, advised of all your options and then they take your physical. I remember giving Brian a kiss goodbye before heading down it’s stark and uninviting, white walled corridor. Brian and I could make it through these fickle twenties and have a wonderful life, just us and our baby, I thought as I sat waiting in a cramped and cold room all by myself, naked, staring down at my tiny belly saying goodbye to the baby I would never know, and the life that could have been. Yet and still, even now in my weakest moment the truth that my gut kept trying to whisper to me… “He’s not the one. He’s not the one. He’s not the one.”
Don’t get me wrong, we were very much in love, I just knew deep down it wasn’t ever going to work out. We were too different. I, the emotional wreck and he, the stoic Stalin: a term of endearment our roommate had given to him several years later but it’s fitting, you see- we complimented each other in the best ways and clashed in the worst.
He, an emigrated Russian Jewish boy, with bright baby blue eyeballs, adorned with eyelashes so long he looked like a doll. If Chris Pine and James Marsden had a baby, it would be Brian. Brian was loud, boisterous and funny. You either liked him or hated him, there is no in between and when we met, I liked him. I really, really liked him.
I invited a group of people to play spin the bottle one night. I told Brian, that tonight was the night! I was going to kiss him. I had too. He gave me all the feels. And at some random Irish bar deep in South Brooklyn, we played spin the bottle and I laid it on him. It was a wrap after that. He introduced me to his parents not even three-weeks-later and after dating for about six-months, while he was hitting it doggy-style, he told me he loved me. His love was intoxicating, consuming. I needed him. His energy was as good as gold.
Soon came the jealousy, and mistrust. We fought as hard as we loved. But love we did. It took five-years for us to figure out it wasn’t working anymore. I am Catholic, he is Jewish. Neither of us have any interest in converting, and this was the biggest issue in our relationship. Religion.
It’s never an easy decision to make, but I had Brian and we could get through anything, right? I remember crying before they injected me with anesthesia and I woke up after, still crying. The moment I could, I retrieved my belongings and off we drove into the cold, winter air. Paired with my icy heart and the guilt that preceded my operation came in two-fold; as I dealt with my struggles as a catholic girl committing a mortal sin by having this procedure done.
At a wedding, we attended the bride asked, “When are you two love birds getting married?” he and I caught eyes as he responded, “Not any time soon, but I love her so much.” My heart broke. I didn’t have sex with him that night and the next morning I didn’t want to be around him. I ended it just two days later.
I never went to therapy after my abortion. Not for real anyway. I had gone for a session and cried the entire time. It was the most beautiful release. I cried for my baby, I cried for my body. I cried for my guilt. I prayed that God wouldn’t punish me, and that when I was ready to be a mom, I would be.