Lending a Shoulder

Sarah - Jericho, New York
Entered on March 6, 2008

I could hear in her voice that something was wrong, and in the weirdest way, I already knew what she had to tell me. We have that sisterly bond, the kind that best friends develop after spending everyday together and talking on the phone when we are apart. When she pulled up to my house, I saw the first of the tears roll down her cheeks. I slowly got into the passenger seat and as I sat down she said, “I need you more than anything right now.”

“I know you do,” I replied.

“I’m…” she started.

“Pregnant,” I answered.

I lent her my shoulder and she accepted it. She handed me her heart in her hands and I embraced it lovingly.

“You can’t keep it,” I told her. “This will ruin your life.”

“I know, but the thought of a developing human inside me just seems cruel to get rid of,” she answered. “I can’t tell my parents. John is supporting an abortion, and right now I just need you to help me through this.”

“I won’t leave your side. I won’t tell anyone. I’m glad you came to me because I know I’ll take care of you. You don’t have to feel alone anymore,” I said in a soothing voice.

“I trust you with my life and the life inside of me,” she told me.

I burst into tears. The fact that this situation was happening to the one person to whom I would give my life scared me, yet it motivated me at the same time. I was looking out for her best interests and I knew that a child was the wrong path to choose. This bright eighteen-year-old girl who didn’t even finish applying to colleges couldn’t support a baby. She had her whole life ahead of her. This was not the right time.

“You, me, and John will go to Planned Parenthood as soon as we can get an appointment. You won’t have to take a single step alone,” I told her.

For weeks she carried a developing human inside her. I held her hair back for her when she threw up. I went out late at night to bring her the food she craved. I called her almost every second to check up on her. She was not alone.

The day finally came to go to Planned Parenthood. We arrived to angry protesters who circled around the car and chanted. They threw miniature babies at us. My friend cried. I assured her that everything would be alright. We got out of the car and I held her hand as we slowly approached the brick building. She checked in and we sat in the waiting room. There were crying babies all around us. As she gazed across the waiting room, I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t ready for a child. She wouldn’t be able to take on the challenge of providing for another life. They called her name. I wish I could have been in there with her. In a matter of minutes she came out. There was relief in her eyes.

It was the right choice. It was the only choice to continue her life. I feel that every woman has the right to decide what should happen in her future and to her body. This is why I believe in abortion.