To Be or Not To Be
“You can go ahead and get dressed, Daisy. We’re finished with the examination.”
Dr. Pickering handed a hastily scribbled prescription to his nurse attendant, “Call this in to the pharmacy and tell them Ms. Catrell will be picking it up within the hour.”
Daisy Catrell zipped up the front part of her easy-wear workout top. “Will the pills hasten the miscarriage, Dr. Pickering?”
“No, Daisy, the pills are to lessen the daily anxiety you’re feeling. Look, I told you I’m not an abortion doctor. I know you’ve declared you don’t want the baby because you’re too young with too much living to do. You’re twenty-three years old and you should have had those thoughts before you engaged in sexual activity with your live-in room-mate…”
“But, Doctor, Jimmy doesn’t want the baby either!” She started to say more but saw the anger building in Dr. Pickering.
“’Doesn’t want the baby’!” the doctor slammed his file folder on the computer counter. “Daisy, you’re thirteen weeks into the first trimester of your pregnancy. Your baby has formed, has a face, a body, the fingers are growing nails. In the fourteenth week, you go into the second trimester where the baby will release urine into the amniotic fluid. Your baby will be able to form facial expressions, maybe even suck its thumb. You have a healthy life inside your body, being protected by you, nourished by you, fulfilling one of the most meticulous, miraculous and sacred rituals known to our world.”
Dr. Pickering paused, studied Daisy’s face, saw the tears forming and spilling from her eyes and down her cheeks.
“I’m so scared, Dr. Pickering. You’ve told me before how you feel, but I thought you were going to help me today.”
“I’m trying very hard to help you, Daisy.”
“My parents, they don’t know. It will be so hard for them to take.”
“Nonsense, Daisy, I’ve met both your father and mother. They’re sensible, caring, people. They will be there for you, even if Jimmy is not… I’ll be here to help you. This is a life we’re talking about, Daisy, not a toy doll. This person inside of you could grow up to be president, a great artist, a scientist, an inventor.”
“Oh, I’m so mixed up, doctor. You make good sense, but…”
“Look, Daisy, take the pills I’ve prescribed for you. Let’s see if they lessen your doubts. If you wish, bring Jimmy in and we will have a long talk about all of this. Will you do that for me? Will you, please, not do anything foolish at anyone’s suggestion? That would devastate me.
“I’ve been your family doctor for years. Please trust me on this. Come to full term on your pregnancy. If, at that time, your final wish is to give up your baby for adoption, I will help you. But, don’t kill it before it has a chance to see the world. Will you agree to that, Daisy? I promise you, the pills will help, and you will feel better, even excited, about this beautiful person you’re carrying inside of you. In just a few weeks we will know its gender. You can see the baby’s sex on mid-pregnancy ultrasound.”
“Okay, Dr. Pickering, I will agree. The idea is so new to me, and I’m flustered. And, what you’ve said here today has helped me a lot. Thanks for that.”
Daisy embraced the doctor and left the examination room.
On her way home, Daisy stopped at the pharmacy and picked up the prescription Dr. Pickering had ordered. The label on the pill vial noted: ‘Take one a day’. She bought a bottle of water and took a pill on the spot.
Daisy then decided at the last minute to drive by her parents’ house and share her pregnancy with them. It was time they were told, and she knew, as did Dr. Pickering, they would be loving and supportive.
On her way to her parents’ house, she thought about what Dr. Pickering said: His words made a difference the way he put everything. It’s neat that I may have a future president in my stomach, somebody who will possibly gain fame and fortune. Ah, it doesn’t matter so much about the fame and fortune – just be healthy, little person. You will surely get all the love you need. Old Doc Pickering knows how to reach a person with words. He changed my perspective. I think I always wanted this baby. Now, my tiny person of an unknown gender, I love you and will keep rubbing my tummy and telling you that every day until I hold you in my arms…
She saw the school bus too late as she went through the intersection. The bus was not moving very fast but it T-boned her and pushed her car into another moving vehicle.
Daisy Catrell and her unborn baby died at the scene instantly and without time to surrender to bodily and emotional pain.
Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood- March 4, 2016
My bio and thirteen books of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Romance, Memoir…can be viewed on my Website: http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3
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