|Decision (standard:drama, 1492 words)|
|Author: Maureen Stirsman||Added: Oct 10 2002||Views/Reads: 4635/2360||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Della sees the Western Union boy beyond the blue star in the window. This is the day her life will be changed forever, the day she will be forced to face the biggest decision she will ever make--between life and death.|
DECISION I sat in this rocking chair; the very one I sit in now. Mother had left her Bible open to James 1:17, 'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' I was reading the words when the shrilling doorbell sent the lighting flash through my body. I walked to the front door holding my breath, my hand on my stomach. Through the sheer curtains, past the blue star in the window, I saw the silhouette of the Western Union boy. The burgundy flowered carpet slammed into my body. Mother's blurry face hovered just out of my vision. The boy stood behind her with the yellow envelope still in his hand. It had only been two months since my husband, Martin's, furlough. I remembered trying not to cry, and not succeeding in the least. I remembered--“We will get the diamond after the war, to go with this wedding band,” he said. “We will build a house in the country,” he said. “We will have lots of babies.” Every night I dreamed of the time he would be home and of the children we would have. The morning after the caboose disappeared from sight I went to work at the airplane factory, playing my own version of Rosie the riveter. I worked the day shift and took care of the house and the five cows, all that was left of a once successful dairy farm that died the day daddy died. Two months after that auction sale, on Thanksgiving Day, mother dropped the hot turkey. Polio! A new wheel chair became the second part of her being. Not only was she crippled, but very fearful. She fell to relying on me for almost everything. With the loss of Martin's income, mother's medical bills, and the needed repairs to the farmhouse, I had no choice but to go to work. Mother was old before her time, and many times depressed, but she was always my biggest fan—my emotional support. I lay on the carpet in my mother's arms. The dream was over and the nightmare beginning. I was in bed for four days. Night was day and day could have been summer or frost. It made no difference. My head reeled and my stomach churned. Mother called the doctor. After he examined me he sat at the kitchen table with Mother and waited. When I came down Mother said, “I will be in the garden, honey,” and rolled her chair through the French doors. There were no surprises. “You are pregnant,” he said. Again the tears ran down my face. He talked comforting meaningless words, “You can do it. This baby can be a joy to you.” “Yes, yes, Doctor,” I said. “Did you tell Mother?” “No, that is for you to tell.” Then after I poured myself a cup of tea I went out to see Mother. I was faced with the greatest decision of my life and I knew I would not tell her. That night I lay under the ‘double wedding ring' quilt that mother and her friends had made for our wedding present. I tossed—nauseated, worrying about the sin I was planning. I was up against the wall. I thought of mother's needs against the life growing within me; the house needing a new roof and the insurance benefits that would only last so long. Then softly, like an echo in my mind, I could almost hear the tiny cries and smell the wee, pink body. It was like a life in review—but of a life not lived. It was a wretched night but with the rising sun I had reached my decision. I knew what I had to do. With a heavy heart I headed toward the barn. God would have to forgive me. ... Then next morning when mother took her bath I called an old high school acquaintance who was in her last year of nurses training. By 11:30 I waited nervously in a booth at the back of the coffee shop. Mother was pleased that I wanted to go out. I read the menu—not seeing the words. When I heard the click of high heels I looked up and there was Marjorie, wild, red hair curled tightly around her freckled face, nails brightly polished. “I'm so sorry to hear about Martin, Della. It must be awful.” Click here to read the rest of this story (91 more lines)
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