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Everyone says that,” said the doctor matter-of-factly. The woman in the chair held her breath. She wanted to say she wasn’t “everyone”, and that she didn’t care for what the others were saying. She wanted to get up and run away, she even wanted to punch the doctor, and keep on punching until her pain was over. After all, it wasn’t the first doctor to have said those words. In the end, though, the patient couldn’t do anything. There was a single tear that fell down her cheek; she wiped it off.

All sounds good,” the doctor said briskly, and told the woman to get up and get dressed. The patient, Carrie, did as she was told. Her hands were still trembling as she was putting her dress on. The dress was long, down to her ankles, and had long sleeves. Carrie put on a sweater and buttoned it all the way up, even though it wasn’t cold. Ever since the night it happened, 52 days earlier, she was always wearing sweaters and buttoned them up.

So, you are going to have a healthy baby, Miss Griffin,” the doctor told her, when she came back and sat down. “You are lucky.”

Carrie looked the doctor in the eyes, in an almost curious way. She wanted to see if the doctor was joking, but she couldn’t tell. The doctor was smiling, but her smile subsided at the sight of Carrie’s face.

A child is always a miracle,” she said, scribbling something in her notes. She didn’t look at Carrie anymore. “You’ll see, you’re going to love it once it’s born,” she added.

I don’t want to love it,” Carrie answered in a weak tone that was more like a whisper. “I want it to disappear.”

Honey, I understand. But I can’t help you with abortion. I mean, this child is innocent, and for me it would be like a murder, and…”

The doctor didn’t finish, because Carrie got up and left so abruptly that she tipped over the chair. She slammed the door and ran, ran, and ran.

Carrie remembered all those times her mother told her the story of when she had been born. It was a stormy night, and her mom was home alone when it started. The taxi that took her to the hospital, arrived almost at the last moment. Carrie was in such a hurry to get out in the world, that she only took a few hours, which for a first birth was unusual and more painful than in most cases. Carrie’s mom didn’t care, though, as soon as she saw her baby. She took her new-born daughter in her arms and felt such love, as it was described in the books. She looked at Carrie, and told her: “You are my miracle, my baby, my biggest love and my sweetheart.” Then she rocked the baby and hummed a soft, quiet melody to her.

Carrie dreamed about this moment in these rare occasions that she could fall asleep. She was thinking about it at the appointments at other doctors, those who were much nicer and more sympathetic. She was thinking about it when she wanted to go to a different state, different country even, but her energy failed her. After the fifth gynecologist she just felt so tired, and so very sad. Besides, where would she take the money from? She was only 23, with no college education, working as a cashier in the nearest Walmart, and living with her mom in a little house at the very end of their district. Nothing was ever going on here. It was as safe as it was dull. Until that one night that changed Carrie’s life. She didn’t even go to the police at first, only after she found out she was pregnant, but it was too late. Sometimes she wondered; had she gone to the police right after it had happened, would it change anything? By the fifth month, though, she’s decided that wondering was pointless.

By the seventh month of her pregnancy the gynecologist told her to stop working. It was beginning to be too dangerous for the child. It was her usual gynecologist, one of the two in her town. Those that she had contacted before, those that would say “Rape? Everyone says that!”; those she had asked for abortion, but all said no; those were in the city. She had been hoping it would be different in the city, but it wasn’t. It was Alabama, after all.

Regardless of what the doctor said, she didn’t stop working. Yet, the baby wouldn’t leave her. No matter what she did – ran, jumped, danced, punched herself in the stomach, worked late in the nights, the baby wouldn’t leave her.

By the eighth month her boss told her to go on a leave. He didn’t want to be responsible for her miscarriage. Yet again she wanted to scream at him, to yell “Yes, please, be responsible for my miscarriage!”, but she had lost the ability to scream that night when she had screamed and shouted, and nobody had heard her. Instead, she went to the bridge and stood there for a few minutes, or maybe hours.

When she came back home, she thought maybe it would be true, maybe the baby would be her miracle, and maybe it would all stop when he’s born. When she sees his face for the first time and looks into his eyes.

When the baby came, they put him into her arms. She was thinking about her mother, and her miracle, and wanted to feel the love that her mother had talked about, but she only felt exhaustion. She looked at the baby and wanted to think “You are my miracle.”

Instead, she thought “You’re a part of the monster.”

Bio:

My name is Olga Malesak, and I'm from Poland. I lived in USA for a total of a year and a half. I have attended creative writing courses both in USA in my home country. I have a master's degree in literature from my homeland. I have not been published yet, but I have written a few short stories and two books. I write both in Polish and English. 

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