Faithful readers, thank you so much for your patience as I worked (with the invaluable help of my tech mentor, Angela Schans) to set up a Facebook page dedicated solely to posting my novel, Belabored. The following quote, delivered poignantly by one of my favorite actors, Jimmy Stewart, sums up the purpose of the book:
"And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them."*
*Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Directed by Frank Capra. By Lewis R. Foster. Screenplay by
Sidney Buchman. Columbia Pictures, 1939. VHS.
I chose this as my theme quote because many believe the goal of reversing the runaway train of abortion in this country is a lost cause. Perhaps it is, but I want to go on record as doing my part to shed light on the inhumanity of this particularly cruel form of murder, and on how the institutionalization of this horrific practice has affected the generations of children who have been raised in the post-Roe v. Wade culture.
So, without further ado, Belabored!
“Real people with complicated lives are the ones who wrestle with abortion decisions. The challenges and victories and their ripple-effects come alive through this compelling novel.”
– Karen Hess, Executive Director, AlphaCare Pregnancy Center, Philadelphia, PA
“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” – Mother Teresa
I sit frozen on a hard chair while I wait for my visitor. My eyes are practically swollen shut from the barrels of tears I’ve cried over the past few – what? Hours? Days? Months? I don’t even know what day it is, let alone how long this has been going on.
My chest and belly ache from racking sobs. Though my stomach’s empty, I fight against perpetual nausea. It even hurts when I go to the bathroom. I wonder if this is the start of a UTI.
He comes in. His dark, wavy hair is tamed back in its usual pompadour-ish way. My grief fog lifts for a minute, and I think for the thousandth time how someone needs to take him aside and bring him up to date on current trends.
He’s gained weight since I last saw him. His head looks precarious topping off that pear-shaped build, like somehow it might just topple off those skinny shoulders and land on the floor next to those gargantuan, smelly feet of his.
His clothes, as always, reflect a tight budget and even narrower fashion sense. At times I’ve been embarrassed by his lack of style. Yet, today he carries with him a strong presence that somehow I never noticed before.
He sits down across from me and leans forward.
I don’t look at him, but instead keep my eyes on the paint-chipped floor. Slowly, he raises my face and offers me his handkerchief.
Who carries a handkerchief these days? I find myself thinking ironically, followed by, What am I, crazy? Who worries about nonsense like that at a time like this?
“How ya doin’?” he asks.
“What do you want?” I choke out.
I pick at a piece of loose skin around what used to be one of my fingernails. It’s gnawed and swollen and starts to bleed. I hear Mom’s voice in my head.
Oh, Tanya, honey, you’ve bitten it down to the quick again! Oh, sweetheart, you have such pretty hands, if only you wouldn’t bite your poor little nails!
Without thinking, I wrap his clean, white hankie around my bleeding finger. I wonder if he’ll recoil or say something cute like “Just keep it.” But if he noticed, he doesn’t let on.
“I came to talk to you,” he replies softly.
“There’s nothing to talk about. My life’s ruined.”
His voice doesn’t waver as he responds, “Oh, no. Your life’s just beginning. And I still want to be a part of it.”
“Yeah, right!” I smirk. “Well, that’s not funny. It’s – it’s – it’s cruel!”
“Tanya, don't you get it? I know what you've done, and I still want you in my life."
He pauses, then adds, "Whaddaya say?"
He pauses, then adds, "Whaddaya say?"