Friday, May 04, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 5

The next in a series of reader-submitted stories about their worst breakups. Where's yours?

I had planned on breaking up with him. He was 25, I was 24. But when I missed my period I realized that the breakup was going to have to become my second priority.

I was pregnant.

I never wanted kids, and we were always careful. But condoms break and miracles happen and who knows? Maybe there was a second star in the East that day? Either way, I needed to make the appointment. He said we couldn't go to our local Planned Parenthood because he knew someone who volunteered at the front desk. Then we couldn't go to the next closest one because his mom's hairdresser was next door. Because I was young and dumb, I flipped through the Yellow Pages (remember those?) and found a place down the street. I went in, peed on a stick, and was told to show up the next Saturday with a money order and a ride home.

He cried all the way to the clinic, and when I went in back he cried some more. I don't remember much, except waking up next to a girl who was screaming and profusely bleeding. Have you ever unhooked yourself from an IV and walked out of a clinic in your booties and a plastic bag holding your clothes? (Don't worry - it's not one for the bucket list.)

At least my boyfriend was there for the one thing I really needed: a ride home.

The light at San Vincente turned red when he started to shake. He was crying - bawling, even. He turned to me: "I can't drive. I'm too emotional."

That's how I ended up driving myself home from my own abortion.

We got to my apartment and I sent him out with my prescription and a fistful of money. He returned 45 minutes later with a bag of Tootsie Rolls and told me that I could pick up the prescriptions later that day. He then complained he was hungry. Exhausted, bleeding, and pissed off I brought him to the diner down the street.

I ordered three entrees, telling him I was incredibly hungry. After the waitress left, I slid a quarter across the Formica tabletop.

"Call your mom and have her come pick you up," I told him, and walked out of his life.

(Coda: a year later he emailed me saying "TODAY IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF A VERY BAD DAY." I told him if Hallmark doesn't have a card for an abortionversary, you probably shouldn't celebrate it.)