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It was 1997. We were young. It was at Varsity. We had this tumultuous relationship that was all consuming. We spent all of our time together, wondered what the other was doing when not together and I was guilty of the craziest paranoia. So, that's the background.

I have only ever told 2 people about this. My best friend knew about it (though the grapevine) for over 2 years before I ever spoke about it to him. And I only managed to speak about it because we were drunk and the subject was needing to be broached. I can honestly say that not a single day has passed since then that I do not think about it. I cannot look at a child without thinking about it. I get a cold, evil feeling when I see families with young kids, or hear my parents talking about grandchildren.

I was a father for a few days.

We had one pregnancy scare in our first year at University. I remember sitting in her room, waiting for her to return with the test result. It was a long, long time before she returned. The test was negative. It happened again and it was negative again. How it was negative, I don't know, because she had come into my room with milk leaking from her breasts. Jesus Fucking Christ. We were playing dangerous games. I suppose we thought that now were invincible and the normal rules of nature were somehow not relevant in our universe.

I remember when the call came from the doctor. I saw the terrified look of absolute dread on her face when she repeated "What? Really? Are you sure?" into the telephone. I could not believe that this day had come, but I suspect that I knew it would happen to us sooner or later. We were both careless and irresponsible.

Lying on my bed, we made the decision to have an abortion. I don't know if it was a smart move or a deed of two scared little kids. In fact, I don't even remember her or I uttering the word "abortion" that day. We did, however, make a promise that after it was over, it would not be something we could not talk about. One of those silent fields, too sacred or dangerous to walk in. If we go through with this, then we be there for each other and be open and honest about it.

To confirm that she was actually pregnant, we went to a OB/GYN center. This place was straight out of a horror movie. It was a temporary makeshift lab, seemingly floating in the dank end of this shopping mall. Perfect setting for our sordid trip to begin. She had an ultrasound scan on her belly. At first the doctor said that she was, in fact, not pregnant. Another blood test revealed that she was in fact pregnant. So the doctor determined that the fetus was too small to show up on the scan, and so probably less than 2 weeks old.

I had friends coming a long way to stay with me. I lied and told them we had to go away to visit sick relatives for the weekend. We went up to the local hospital and checked in. I managed to get a private room and we waited. A long time. I fell asleep on the floor reading Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to her while she alternated between crying, sleeping and day dreaming. The next morning, 2 nurses came in to prep her for what was going to happen. More waiting. Eventually they came in to fetch her and I walked with while they wheeled down the corridor. She was sobbing softly. They opened the doors to the Operating Room and she became hysterical. I have never seen such fear in someone's eyes before. It was the worst thing I have ever seen. They would not let me into the OR with her. I ran back down the corridor sobbing like a baby.

I got into my car and went into the town, keeping low in my seat so that nobody would recognize me. I bought a pie, some sweets, some sandwiches and a big bunch of red roses. I drove back up to the hospital and put the roses in the sink and waited for her to come back. She came back about 30 minutes later, groggy from the drugs and with a sad, defeated expression on her face. I began to read to her again and finished that damn thick book while she alternated between sleep and drowsiness.

Things that have happened after this:

  • She told my best friend about it the night she cheated on me with him.
  • We have broken up (about 4 months later).
  • She is now getting married to someone else.
  • We don't really talk about it. I have called it "you know, the thing" before.
  • I have found out that I know 3 other people who have had abortions.
  • A ex girlfriend visiting from Australia has asked me if the rumour was true. I was so shocked, I could not answer her.
  • I think my parents found out from one of their friends although they have not said anything to me.
  • I have told 2 people (and everyone on Everything), but have not spoken to my parents about it.
  • She seems to be have been strong, her friends have supported her and she seems ok with it.
  • She told her mom. Her mom was really understanding and it helped her a lot.

    I hope it does not affect me the way it has for the rest of my life. Its been a big, lead secret I have been carrying around for a long, long time. I don't know how to feel about it. It might just be one of those things that happen to you during your life. But what about her. And what about the baby? I dont know how i feel about that.

  • "I don't know how I feel about that." - iocane

    I suppose I never truly thought I was alone with these feelings. Surely, somewhere, I knew some other guy had knocked up a girl he thought he loved at the time. Had maybe even thought of marriage with. Had daydreamed of life together with.

    But when the pregnancy test comes back positive - the relationship goes haywire.

    "Do I really love her?"

    "Does she really love me?"

    She called me that evening and told me she got the results of her test. "Positive" she sounded defeated. My stomach rolled into a granny knot. "What should we do?" she sounded totally lost - as if whatever I answered would be the correct answer. "I'll call the clinic" I responded. We never even said the word abortion. It was automatic. I honestly don't think either one of us could have been talked out of it anyway. There were issues with her family. Issues with my family. College to finish. A place to live. Too much to deal with.

    "How the hell could this have happened??!" I screamed at God. I knew the answer.

    The day came. My experience mirrored nearly everything written by iocane above. Empty. Scared. Lost.

    It took us days before we could speak of it, the incident, that is. We grew apart. Within a year we were just going through the motions. We ended the relationship mutually.

    Today I've been married to my beautiful wife for nearly 10 years and I have a wonderful eight year old daughter. My wife knows about everything. I sobbed the story to her about four years ago on a night when I had had a few drinks. I even showed her poem I wrote that had gotten me through it.

    I'll never forget what happened. "I don't know how I feel about that".

    Daddy - for a moment.

    You think you see the morning rain
    but what you see are the tears of Daddy's pain
    I see your face in every child
    the sunrise, trees and flowers wild
    although I was not the one who carried you
    nor the one whose body was the home you knew
    I thought about you every day and night
    and about the will you had to fight
    to be the person you were meant to be
    but, I went and took it away, you see
    A life cut short before its prime
    like grains that pass in the sands of time
    never a chance to run and play
    never to see a dawning day
    never to giggle over love's first kiss
    and all because of Daddy's selfishness
    my precious angel from heaven sent
    always remember Daddy - for a moment.

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