Fine. If they weren’t going to fix this, Adila would just have to handle it herself.
She called Planned Parenthood. She made the appointment. She went to the clinic wearing sunglasses and her headscarf wrapped tighter than usual to hide as much of her features as possible. She kept her head bowed low as she willed everyone to look away.
She spoke with a counselor before she was given the drug that would make this all go away. Adila couldn’t tell them everything about her circumstances, but they appeared to be used to that and they didn’t press her.
They did the tests, gave her the drug, and made her comfortable, telling her she would feel sick, but then it would all be over.
She was sick all right. No sooner had she swallowed the medicine than she threw it right back up.
They told her that was perfectly normal, although the speed and force with which it had been ejected may have set a record. They said so gently, with a kind smile, and told her she could try again whenever she was ready, but that there was no rush.
Adila disagreed and took the next dose as soon as they gave it to her. With the same result.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
“Maybe we should wait until you’re feeling better.”
“I feel fine.”
“It’s perfectly normal to-”
“You don’t understand. I. Feel. Fine. I’m not just saying that to will myself into feeling fine. I mean I really do feel perfectly fine. Look. I’m not sweating. I’m not pale or flushed. I don’t feel too hot or too cold. No goosebumps.” Adila pulled up her sleeve to examine the hairs on her forearm, all of which were laying flat against her skin. “I always get goosebumps when I throw up.”
“Pregnancy can do all sorts of funny things to your system. You have plenty of time. We don’t have to do this today.”
Adila pressed the heels of her hands against her forehead. “I’m doomed.”
“You’re not doomed. You’ll get through this.”
Adila breathed deeply through her nose before putting her hands down at her side and straightening her spine. “No, I won’t. I’ll find another way out of this mess.”
“We have other-”
“Thank you, but I don’t think you can help me. I’m very sorry to have wasted your time.”
Adila gathered her things and left without looking back.
To be continued…
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