Wednesday, July 4th
Dawn: Hey, I’m thinking about you today. I hope you’re doing okay. Love you, boo-boo
Michelle sat on the guest bed in her friend’s house, hiding from the party. Our baby was going to be patriotic as shit. Michelle wasn’t feeling even the tiniest bit patriotic today. Fuck this trashcan fire of a county anyway. She’d thought she was okay. She had promised Ben she was okay. I should have known that I was lying to myself. All it took was one stupid round pregnant belly, some girl at the party she didn’t even know, and Michelle had lost her grip on okay.
Michelle hated crying. Detested crying. But right now, all she wanted to do was cry. And she couldn’t. She wasn’t sad; she was pissed. Those two margaritas didn’t help my fucking mood one bit, did they? The booze had only served to loosen what control she had over her temper. That’s why she’d shut herself away in the bedroom. So that she wouldn’t take out her anger on that obnoxiously cute pregnant chick. She wasn’t mad at her. She was mad at the world, furious at the random callousness of the universe. Why her baby? Why did she have to lose her baby? Why did that lady out there get to grow big and round and full of life, and Michelle didn’t? It wasn’t fair. It hurt.
“Babe?” Ben was at the door. Michelle didn’t move. “Are you okay?”
“No, Ben,” Michelle snapped. “No, I’m not fucking okay. This is not how today was supposed to be. I’m not how I’m supposed to be. We should be meeting our child today, not drinking shitty margaritas at a stupid fucking party!” She grabbed a pillow and screamed into it. She could feel the heat of pain and anger pulsing in he veins. “I need to go home, or I’m going to punch somebody.”
“Okay, babe, I understand. You go ahead out to the car. I’ll be right there.” Ben was so quick to react, to do what she needed of him, even though she knew he was hurting too. He doesn’t deserve this pain either. Add that to my ‘fuck you’ tab, universe.
Michelle slowly stood. She clenched and unclenched her fists as she walked out of the house, careful not to slam any doors. She was containing her rage as best she could, but the tension in her body felt like it could stop her heart. Maybe going for a run will take some of this feeling away; maybe when I get home, I can exercise the fight out of my system.
On the way to her car, she saw it. A junky old Buick a few spots down sporting not one but three anti-abortion bumper stickers. Son of a bitch. Michelle knew who she wanted to punch now. Ben arrived just as she was pulling her hockey stick from the back seat.
“Babe, what are you doing?” Ben said with alarm.
“I’m going to smash the shit out of that fucking car over there,” Michelle said cooly.
“Babe…” he hurried toward her. “You really shouldn’t.”
“Oh, but I should,” she growled. “This dickhole apparently thinks they have the fucking right to tell me what I can do with my body, so I think I’ll show them what they can do with their shit-ass car.”
“Babe, stop,” Ben held on to her harm. “I know you’re upset, but why-?”
“Because I had a fucking abortion, Ben!” Michelle wrenched free. She stared at him, seething. “Because I am hurting because I lost my baby, and assholes like this want to make things worse! They don’t care how much more it would hurt not to have had that abortion! They don’t care that the fucking abortion gave me those six months of my life to grieve in a body that was safe and healthy! These motherfuckers would rather I suffer—they’d probably rather I fucking die than have the simple fucking medical procedure that gave me those months back! Because it was a fucking abortion!”
Michelle had to take a moment to breathe, to keep herself from crying. She wanted to hang onto the anger and the rage for just a little longer.
“If they really think the fucking law should require women to carry doomed or unwanted pregnancies, then they are either sadistic or stupid. They don’t give one solitary fuck about life. They’re just self-righteous motherfuckers who somehow care more about a theoretical baby than a full fucking human woman with a real fucking life of her own! They deserve a hot poker right up the ass. But I’m fresh out of hot pokers, and I don’t see their ugly ass anywhere around anyway, so I think I’ll break their goddamn taillights instead.”
Before Ben could stop her, she wound up and made good on her threat. She smashed every fucking light on the back of that car. As her screams became sobs, Ben pulled her away. He gently ushered her into the car and drove off.
“It just hurts so much, Ben,” she cried as he drove. “I hate how much this still fucking hurts.”
“I know, babe, I’m right there with you.” He reached over and held her hand. Michelle’s phone buzzed; she wiped away her tears and read the text.
Fitz: Happy Fourth, y’all. Michelle, I hope you’re doing alright. You’re in my prayers today!
Fuck your prayers, Fitz. Heat rose within her again. What could prayers do? There wasn’t anything anybody could do at this point. Nothing could bring back what she had lost. Michelle thought about that car and all of its horrible stickers. I can’t change the callousness of the universe, but maybe I can help save others from the callousness of humanity.
Michelle: Fuck thoughts and prayers. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Right now.
Dawn: Will do, baby girl. Hope you don’t mind if I also keep you in my thoughts tho
Tessa: Ditto. Take care, Michelle
Fitz: I’m sorry, I’m confused. You want us to donate to support abortions BECAUSE you lost your baby? I’m sorry if that sounds callous. I’m honestly confused.
Michelle took a deep breath. Am I asking too much of her? They didn’t usually mix politics and hockey. But this was bigger than politics. This was personal to Michelle, and she was in the mood to fight for it.
Michelle: Yes because I lost a baby and an abortion saved me. Idk if it saved my life but it saved my sanity and allowed me to heal so yes I want you to support abortions in the name of my loss
It took a long time for Fitz to respond.
Fitz: OK I will. I never thought about it like that. I’m so sorry. *hugs*
Michelle: Thank you
Michelle took a deep breath and realized that she was feeling much calmer. She still felt that hollow throbbing pain of grief and knew she hadn’t finished processing the significance of today, but now she felt enough like herself to deal with it in her own way. Ben pulled the car into the parking garage and turned off the engine. Michelle smiled at him. It’s time to get drunk and fuck my husband.