Young, graceful, beautiful, her chiseled body spun weightlessly on the toe of her yellow satin slipper, then knee buckling, she relinquished to the pain of another cramp.
X-rays revealed a different plan: new life was developing inside her – a message she embraced, but didn’t want to hear; she clutched her belly and thought of Victor.
What she would tell him was a problem she didn’t want to face; she feared his reaction and his temper…and she was right. Victor was not happy at her news and demanded she get back to work immediately; they would talk later.
Under pasty makeup and scant clothing, she regretted the fact that her living had to be made another way than her love of dancing. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she headed back to work; things didn’t go as planned and she had gotten careless, but she had to eat too.
Someday she would dance – and someday she would teach her own little girl to dance – someday. Right now was a different story and she regretted every ugly day Victor ordered her to take care of his business. Quitting was an impossibility no matter how much she wanted out of this decrepit business. Putting her emotions and dreams aside, she knew she must obey – do her job, deliver the goods, no looking back, no matter what.
Once she tried to leave and it didn’t end pretty – she should have known by seeing what the other girls went through.
“No one leaves,” Victor screamed as he punched her pretty face raw. “MY girls will never leave me,” he smirked wryly, “after all, we are family – right, my pretty?”
Like family, she bristled and pasted on a fake smile to cover her wounded heart; she covered her scars and then headed to the streets to turn another trick like before, but now there was another life to consider.
“Kill it,” he’d demanded, “just get rid of it; can’t have a kid ruin that sleek body of yours.”
Jillian was torn – she wanted to dance, but she wanted this baby; she wanted out, but she knew what Victor would do; she wanted to live, but she knew the inevitable choice.
“It’s just a blob of tissue,” they’d told her, “it will only take a few minutes and you will be done.”
Hilton Hospital: stark and sterile, cold and unfriendly; how she longed to be somewhere else.
God, how did I get here…and how will I ever get out of this mess, she wondered as she contemplated the outcome of her terrible choice. Fear gripped her heart as she slipped into unconsciousness…will God forgive me?
Emotionally drained, Jillian awoke from the anesthetic knowing she had ruined her life. Dreams for a future, the desire for her child and for dance – gone – forever. Can I ever forgive myself …how can I go back…would life even be possible again?
Baby – my baby, she sobbed, my little ballerina will never dance for me: the reality hit hard.
Aborted: her baby, her life’s dreams, all her ambitions—Jillian despairingly gulped down the bottle of sedatives, laid back, and closed her eyes.
*This story won first place in Springfield Writers’ Guild 2014 Literary Contest and was also published in the anthologies, Creative Collections, and A Quick Read.