Sick – Day 26

Dare to Tell – Day 26     

Tina’s story

Sick

I was 22 years old and far from home.

He was much older, dark and handsome.  It seems a bit of a cliché but at the time I thought he was kind of exotic.  It seemed like such a compliment that he wanted to be with me.

I thought I was worldly.  I thought I was brave.  And I was having a lot of fun.  Work hours were long and intense, but I was making good money and all the resort staff played hard after hours.  The bar that we hung out in was pretty wild.  There was a lot of drinking, a lot of drugs.

The first night we were together I felt like I’d won some kind of trophy.  I think he liked my innocence, or maybe just my adoration.  It seems so stupid now.

Then we got into some kind of routine.  We’d meet up after work, have a few drinks and go back to his room, watch a movie, listen to music and he often did some drugs.  It was a kind of education I suppose.

I’d go back to my room some time later, trying desperately not to feel too cheap; convincing myself that he really cared about me.

It started one day as I was carrying a huge tray of dirty plates.  I felt really sick and I thought it was just the smell of the calamari remains on the tray.  I never liked that stuff.  I remember the sickness was strong, I nearly threw up.

A week later I was beginning to get worried.  I felt sick and dizzy most of the time and often on the verge of tears.  The truth is it never occurred to me what could possibly be wrong.

It was around that time that he disappeared.  I mean he was still around, in the same job and everything but he just didn’t come looking for me.  I remember one of the days that I felt most sick I caught a glimpse of him walking with one of the new girls.  I realized with that shocking numbness that he had moved on.

The doctor made me look at the screen.  He said, “you know that it’s a heartbeat, about 14 weeks old, are you sure you want to do this.”

I chose a local anesthetic, I didn’t have enough money for anything else.  As soon as it was administered, I couldn’t speak.  I wanted to tell him to stop for a minute, to let the pain ease but the words wouldn’t come out.  I felt the sweat drip from my forehead down my face and the huge pitchfork scraping away again and again.

And when it finally ended, I was panting as if I’d been running.  The doctor gave me a warm smile and told me to rest and I fell into a deep sleep.

I never told him.  I knew I couldn’t handle whatever his response would be.

I didn’t tell anyone.

It’s been 18 years.  Sometimes I feel like I’m still waiting to be punished for what I did.  I think about what my 18 year old daughter would have looked like.  And then I know that I’ve been punished enough.

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