Written By: Tammy Ferebee
“I’d like to get there today, Senetta.”
I continue to drive slowly. If time were on my side, the minutes wouldn’t be ticking by so slowly.
“Senetta!” she calls out loudly.
I continue to drive silently. Tears fill my eyes and I let them fall.
“You aren’t making this easy for me. Do you think I like that I have to do this? Do you think this is enjoyable for me?”
“You don’t have to do this, Seanna. You’re choosing to!”
“I do have to.”
“No you don’t!”
“So you’re suggesting I have this baby? Would it be fair to bring a child I really don’t want into this world?”
“You should have thought about that before.”
“Look Senetta, I’m not in the mood for another birth control speech.”
“Well maybe if you had listened to me last time, we wouldn’t be taking this drive again.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, Netty.”
“When you were thirteen, it was a mistake. And maybe even understandable and forgivable back then. At sixteen, you should’ve known better, but because you were still in high school and so damn immature, it was still somewhat understandable. But you’re 23 Seanna. You’re a grown ass woman. You have a brain. You know what a condom is. Since you were thirteen you’ve been making these irresponsible ass decisions and nonchalantly lying on a table to have a doctor take care of them. Since you were 13, we’ve taken this drive four times.”
“I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Of course you don’t. The truth hurts.”
The car becomes silent. Seanna nervously plays in her hair.
“Why are you taking me if you’re so against my decision?”
“Because I was hoping to talk some sense into you. I was hoping I could convince you to save your damn child.”
“It’s not a child. It’s a cell.”
“Yeah okay. Whatever makes you sleep better at night.”
“It’s not a baby yet, Senetta.”
“You’re more than six weeks pregnant, Seanna. Do you know what that means? That means there’s a heart beating inside of you. There’s a life in there. A life you’re about to take.”
She turns and looks out the window.
“This hurts me, Seanna. You’re blessed. You’re able to procreate. You’re able to have children and you keep killing these blessings. I wish I could have kids. I’ve been trying since I was 24 to get pregnant. And in three years, nothing. I’m dying to have kids and your careless ass is casually aborting fetuses every other year.”
She doesn’t respond, doesn’t look in my direction, doesn’t even sigh.
“I wish you’d take some time to rethink this.”
“I don’t have time. This cell is going to continue to grow every day.”
“Baby,” I correct. “Your baby is going to continue to grow.”
“Leave me alone, Senetta.”
“You have so much support within the family. This isn’t a must. This is a selfish want. You want this abortion.”
“Yes! I do! I don’t want to be a mother right now.”
“Then get on some birth control. Stop using abortion as your birth control method.”
Again she turns to look out the window.
“I don’t understand people like you.”
She mumbles at me. I can’t understand what she’s saying.
“Keep playing God, Seanna. The day you want a child, you won’t be able to have one.”
“That’s what you want isn’t it.”
“I want you to think about what you’re doing. I want you to grow up. You’re not squashing an insect that’s inconveniencing your life. This is your unborn child. That’s my niece or nephew. That’s new life inside of you.”
She sighs deeply. Her eyes tear up.
She doesn’t respond.
I parallel park in front of a meter. I look over at a clinic I never thought I’d see again.
“It’s not too late to turn around. You can come back to my place. I’ll take care of you. I’ll bear with the complaining throughout your morning sickness. I’ll cook for you. You won’t go through this alone. I promise.”
She turns to me.
“Seanna, four times is already way too many. Did you stop for even a minute to think about having this child? We’ve made it through a lot together. Why couldn’t we raise this child together?”
She leans over to hug me. I hold my sister close. I softly beg her to let me u-turn and take her back to my place. I softly beg for her to rethink this situation; to seriously reweigh her options.
As we slowly separate from our hug, she wipes her tears away.
“Can we go now?” My voice low, calm. My eyes on hers.
“I’m sorry, Netty. I know this is something you may never be able to forgive, but I’m just not ready for this.”
As she steps out of the car, tears race down both sides of my face. I place my hand on my stomach. I feel like someone just kicked the air out of me. As I watch my sister walk inside the clinic, I slowly pull off. I’m trying my best not to judge her; not to hate her for decisions that aren’t mine to make. But I can’t help but feel angry and insensitive.
I drive slowly with my ear piece placed over my right ear. As I confirm a ride home for Seanna, I turn onto the highway. I say a soft prayer for her unborn and pray that the next fish grandmamma dreams of is in reference to me.