This week is the week she was due.

by Shaun

June 7, 2017

Nine months ago I was alone on my first vacation outside of the country when I received a text from a woman I’d been spending time with…

Can I tell you something?
I am worried I am pregnant !
Oh. My.

We’d had sex twice, and despite the physical, cosmic, and near-psychic connections between us, our communication around the subject of birth control was decidedly disconnected. She wasn’t taking any, and on one of those nights, I wasn’t wearing any either. The latter we both knew consensually, but the former I did not. That’s not meant to read as any judgment or slight on her. She mistook my asking, “Is this ok?” before entering her to be merely a consensual concern, and I, in turn, made the assumption that she had inferred the myriad other ways I was definitely implying with my eyes. We fucked. We fucked up.

After getting my bearings with a few more texts (she was late, which has happened before, but this time feels different), I called her. I told her that if she was pregnant I would support her decision, whatever it was. Immediately she responded with certainty, “Oh, I’ll get an abortion.” We talked briefly, confirming we were both on the same page, checking in with how we felt. Our connections grew stronger, and when we got off the phone, she texted I ❤️ U. It was the first time. We’d each wanted to say it on the phone, the moment so potent. I ❤️ you. A few more warm texts (hope you bleed the night away bb), then she had to get to work.

I awoke the next morning to a single text, sent four hours earlier.

I took a test ! It was positive. I am pregnant ???? ❤️

What else could I say…

???? ❤️

She said she was with good friends who had been through it themselves. She related the already overwhelming way the pregnancy had been affecting her mind and body. Upon knowing, she was ready to be done with it. I told her I would go with her, to take care of it together. It would take two weeks to get appointments in order with Planned Parenthood, which was precisely the time I remained away.

Those weeks were strange. Navigating new cities alone, in my head. We texted a lot, found levity, joked often about the situation. We each found ourselves surprised by occasional, fleeting thoughts like, “I could be a parent.” and, “We could do this!”—ideas more fascinating than motivational. As the days wore on, she was overtaken with the physical drain of it all, and soon shut down, signed off. Feeling for her, alone in that faraway place, I rode out the last days of my trip in a detached fog, ready to be home, to put all of it behind us.

The morning of the abortion, back in Seattle, I drove a car2go from my apartment on Capitol Hill to her house in Wedgwood. We went to Top Pot for coffee, where she queasily picked at a doughnut. We drove quietly back across town to Planned Parenthood. I perused a pamphlet on vasectomy while she filled out forms. We were taken to a small office to discuss the procedure, where she was given a cocktail of vitamins and an option for pain relief. She took it.

Shortly after, we went to another room, where she lied back with her legs up in stirrups. During preparations, I was told I could stay, but that I had to remain seated at the bedside with my back to the procedure. There, she took my hand. The doctor arrived and after that, everything happened very quickly. I set my eyes on my lover’s face, watched the color drain from it as she squeezed my hand tightly. The physical discomfort had been more than she expected—something we found out later was not uncommon, but also not everyone’s experience. I watched and felt her tension subside, noted her look of intense exhaustion and sensed my own of empathic shock.

I left the room while she finished up with the nurses. In the waiting room, I sat in a mild shock, a fixed stare at the carpet, an ear for the indistinct rings and shuffles of any given office. In that state, soon after, she appeared. The color had already returned to her face, the look of physical torments both pregnant and aborted already gone, and a smile washed over her as she exclaimed, “I feel so much better already!”

The experience brought us together in a way we didn’t expect. In the time since, the relationship blossomed, wilted, and sprang again anew—different, friendly, still always loving.

This week, the week she was due, we remain dear friends. She’s getting a puppy, and I’m making websites.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!