Zealous to her love of dance, she pushed ardently through one more pirouette, delicately balancing on one toe. Young, graceful, beautiful, her chiseled body spun weightlessly on the toe of her yellow satin slipper; knee buckling, she relinquished to the pain of another cramp.
X-rays had revealed a different plan: new life was emerging 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 temper, and she was right. Victor was not happy with her news and demanded her back to work immediately; they would talk later.
Under pasty makeup and scant clothing, she regretted her living had to be made in other ways than her love of dancing. Tears trickled down her cheeks as she headed to work… it wasn’t the job she wanted but she had to eat too. Someday she would dance – and someday she would teach her own little girl to dance.
Right now was a different story, and she regretted every ugly day Victor ordered her to take care of his business. Quitting was impossible no matter how much she wanted out of this decrepit business.
Putting her emotions and dreams aside, she knew she must deliver the goods with no looking back, no matter what.
I tried to leave once, and it didn’t end pretty – I should have known better by seeing what happened to the other girls.
“No one leaves,” Victor screamed as he punched her pretty face raw. “MY girls will never leave me,” he smirked, “after all, we’re family – right, my pretty?” Like family, she bristled and pasted on a fake smile to cover her wounded heart, covered her scars, and then headed to the streets to turn another trick just like before—but now there was another life to consider.
“Kill it,” he’d demanded, “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 a blob of tissue,” they’d said, “it will only take a few minutes.” Hilton Hospital: stark and sterile, cold and unfriendly; she longed to be somewhere else. God, how did I get here…and how will I ever get out of this mess Jillian contemplated the terrible outcome. Fear gripped her heart as she slipped into unconsciousness…will God forgive me?
Emotionally drained, Jillian awoke from the anesthetic, knowing her life was not the only one she had ruined. Dreams for a future, the desire for her child, and her love for dance – gone forever.
I can never forgive myself, Baby, she sobbed.
Aborted of life’s dreams and ambitions, Jillian despairingly gulped the bottle of sedatives and closed her eyes.
This flash fiction won 1st place in the Springfield Writers’ Guild 2014 Literary Contest and was published in the anthologies, Creative Collections, and A Quick Read.