I have a story that is 90 percent done. It is about an elementary school teacher who has an unwanted pregnancy and has an abortion. I want to portray that women having abortions are not child hating monsters, but rather good people doing what is right.

Here are some things I am going to add:

I am going to add events to Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I think I want to have Michelle seeing children playing and mulling what it means to be able to be a parent.

I am going to add more to the abortion clinic visit. I to go all the way from arriving there to when she leaves. I kind of did a cheap co-out for the actual procedure itself, I was having trouble thinking of things for the counselor to say. I want to go back and have the whole procedure there because I feel that it is important to show it in full detail, to show that abortion isn't murder, but just a medical procedure.

I probably have some typos since I wrote all of this as it was coming to me. If you have some feedback let me know. I'm still working on the other story I posted too, just working on something else right now.

Thirty to One


I sat on the toilet, unsure of what to think or do. I had five minutes before recess was over. Five minutes before I had to bring my line of second graders back into the classroom. We still had to review subtraction with borrowing, spelling, and Martin Luther King Jr. before the end of the day. They also had a forty minute lunch.

So much to do so little time.

Most of them can’t even read a clock yet.

The little “plus” sign on the pregnancy test in front of me was like the crosshair of James Earl Ray, targeting me squarely in the face.

Why me? Why did it have to be me?

The bell rang. I had to grab my class. I pulled my pants up and opened the stall door. I threw the murder weapon in the trash on my way out, hoping that the janitor wouldn’t be too nosy.

When I came outside, my students were more or less in a proper line. Two of the boys, Mike J. and Tommy were still trying to play with the basketball. As long as they didn’t hit another student in the face again with it I didn’t care. If the principal was watching I would say something, but even he would say that sometimes we need to pick our battles.

“Tiny Titans!” I yelled out, it’s our classroom mascot.

“Ready to succeed!” a minority of the students calleded out as they tried to perfect their line.

“Tiny Titans!” I shouted again.

“Ready to succeed!” This time, all in unison. The line was perfect, more or less. Tim was out to the side. I didn’t bother trying to get him in line anymore. He would always complain that if people were in front of him he couldn’t see. We began our walk across the dirt patch to our portable in the far corner of the school.

My classroom was decorated with a Cal State Fullerton theme. Posters, pennants, you name it. As many things as possible were either dark blue or orange. The students were arranged into six clusters of five. Three table units per cluster. Of course, this meant that one student per table got an “extra big desk” compared to everyone else, since the tables were designed for two students. It would have made more sense for me to have five groups of six, but having an odd number of groups was worse than an odd number of kids per group. So I was able to get the three extra units by arguing that it would better enable me to take in students from another class if need be.

“Or if we need to bump class sizes up to 36” said the principal when he saw my desk arrangement.

I set up a plan to rotate seating so that every child would get a “big desk” for exactly 36 school days. Of course, some students would lose out if we went out on a field trip or if we spent most of the day in an assembly.

As close as I could get it. Life can’t always be fair.

I looked down at my stomach. I couldn’t tell if it was bigger or if I was just imagining it.

Life can’t be fair for you.

I spoke to my pregnancy. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t planning on keeping it. Brian and I were having a rough patch. For a while I thought he was going to propose, but he never came through. I knew that if I told him he’d get down on one knee in a heartbeat but his heart wouldn’t be in it. Wouldn’t be fair to bring a child into a shame marriage that would end when they were in kindergarten.

I’ve seen the product of that enough. I never want to see it again. I certainly don’t want to be the cause of it.

The rest of the day was uneventful for me. I was in the office for a few minutes before going home and overheard a story about two special needs fifth graders getting into a severe fight. Apparently one of them was knocked out cold.

Happy I don’t have to deal with that.

Tuesdays were always the day of the week that I had the most grading because it was when homework packets were due. During my first year I had found that having it due on Fridays got complaints from working parents who didn’t have the energy to check homework after getting home from work, having it due Monday meant half the class forgot it. So Tuesday was the perfect day. Kids were assigned the new packet on Wednesday, had a two day weekend to complete it, and could be given a reminder on Monday to bring it in. Plus not having spelling and math tests on Fridays meant that the day before the weekend could have more outdoor activities to let the kids get their energy out. I liked playing “Six Diamond Baseball.” The kids got to run around, they got to practice math, and I didn’t have to grade papers. My favorite.

I decided that I didn’t feel like grading the 150 pages at my desk. I would go home, have a glass of wine, and sit on my bed and grade them while watching Mad Men.

When I got back to my apartment I felt my phone buzz. It was a text from Brian

Pizza tonite?

The teacher in me mentally corrected “tonight” in red ink before replying.

Sorry, grading night. Maybe Friday night?

I plugged my phone into it’s charger and put it down on the kitchen counter.

I got out a wine glass and filled it almost to the rim with red wine. I sat down on the couch with my grading folder and started the DVD player.

I grabbed my clipboard and pulled out the first homework packet.


I had forgotten that the second spelling word of the week was “mother.”


“Ms. Lewis!” said Ricky. I turned to look at him. Before I could say anything, he started his tattling tyraid. “Kayla is sticking her crayons up her nose.”

My head hurt. A combination of morning sickness and the fatigue of being fed tattles. I can’t wait until this is over. There was no way I was going to forget to call the clinic at recess. I had a constant reminder. Better than any string around my finger.

I was dreading the spelling test to be given after recess. I would have to say that one word that started with an “m” three times. Then when they were grading each other’s test I would have to say it another two times and spell it at least twice. I wished there was a way to sneak red wine into the classroom.

“Her Choice Women’s Clinic. This is Tina, how may I help you?”

“Um, hi, I think need to schedule an abortion.”

“Okay. How long since your last period?”

“About two months.”

“Alright. Have you had a positive pregnancy test?”


“Okay, well, what we can do is schedule you to have your pre-appointment and procedure done at the same time. What’s a morning that would work for you?”

“Oh, um, when is your next available appointment?”

“Monday morning at 8 am.”

“Okay, that will work.”

“What is your name?”

“Michelle Lewis.”

“Alright, thank you Michelle. Do you have an email address we could send some information about the procedure to?”

“Sure. Em, eye, esse, esse, elle. at yahoo dot com.”

“Okay, do you have any further questions?”

“No, not right now.”

“Okay, well free to give us a call. We will see you at 8 am on Monday morning.”

I put my phone back in my pocket and got out of my car. My heart was racing liked crazy.

I walked into the teacher’s lounge to get some coffee. Coffee probably wasn’t the logical choice, but I needed some flavor. I decided to split the difference and opt for decaf.

I must have still looked a little shaken up as I sat at the big round table by myself.

Ms. Bowman came into the teacher’s lounge, coffee mug in hand. “You alright Michelle?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You sure?” she pressed, she could see through my bull**** a mile away.

“Yeah, it’s just that…” I considered telling the truth “my students have been on a tattling rampage lately. It’s really getting to me.”

“Here is something that I did that worked.” said Mrs. Bowman. “I took and old shoe box, cut a hole in top, decorated it, called it the “tattle monster,” and told kids to write down whatever they want to tell me and put it in the tattle monster. When it gets full, I either read them for a good laugh, or I just throw them out.”

“That works.” I said. The bell rang. I was excused from recess and hustled to class. I didn’t even say thank you.

The first word is “random.” I said as my students scribbled on their papers. “Random.” Most of the students had their pencils down. “Random.”

I took a deep breath. I really wished I could skip the next word. I wished I could go back and pick a different word to give. I wished I could go back and remind myself to take my pill. I wished I could go back and tell Brian I forgot it and we would have to use a condom that time. He would have understood, wouldn’t he?

“The second word is “’mother.’” Students scribbled. “Mother.” Some of the pencils were down, I was over it. “Mother.”

When the students left my classroom, I sat down at my desk. I checked my phone. Two texts. One from Brian asking if I wanted Mongolian barbecue instead on Friday. I said I didn’t care. One from Mrs. Bowman

Do you need a shoebox? I have a few extra right now. I find them useful for all sorts of teacher projects.

For some reason I checked my personal email instead of my school email. I saw an email from Her Choice Women’s Clinic

“Information about your procedure.”

I opened it. I don’t know why I dared to read it.


“Because of the increased risk of complications, we no longer offer general anesthesia. We have found that local anesthesia provides adequate pain relief, while decreasing risks to your health.”

I was going to be awake throughout the whole thing. I hadn’t even have thought about being knocked out during the abortion. All of a sudden my dread increased tenfold.


I walked into the office to talk to Nora. She was the one in charge of getting substitutes. I only had five minutes before the bell rang. I wanted to get to school right when the office opened but the morning sickness had been killing me that morning.

“Hey Nora, can I get a sub for Monday? Sorry it’s so last minute.”

“Okay, I’ll see what I can do.” She said as she opened up a program on her computer. “Let’s see, Michelle, Lewis, grade two. Reason?”

“Doctors appointment.”

“Will it be all day? Or will you be able to come part of the day?”

“All day. Sorry.”

She seemed a bit annoyed. I didn’t want her to ask what it was for. I would either have to lie or tell the truth, and neither sounded appealing to me. “Alright, well it’ll be taken care of.” The bell rang. “Have fun with your class today Michelle, the kids are going to miss you on Monday. I walked out of the office, feeling colder than I ever had in my life.

I nearly ran over a first grader as I walked to pick my students up from their line. His teacher yelled at him “Johnny! Get in line!” I tried to regain consciousness. As I walked my class to our room, I began to wonder if they noticed that I was a little off.


Dr. Cain stuck his hand inside me. I could feel him probing and touching. He took it back out and stood up. “Seven weeks” he said “very simple at this stage. Very low risk of complications.”

I looked from him up to the ceiling and took a deep breath.

“Do you want to go through with the procedure?” he asked.

I nodded and said “yes.”

“Alright, I’ll be right back.”

He pulled the gown down back over me, took off his gloves and moved his stool. He walked out of the room, placing the gloves in the trash on the way out.

I lied there. I was starting to feel a bit cold. I looked up at the ceiling lights as I fidgeted in the stirrups. I played with my headphones. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to listen to music or not.

He walked back in. “Alright Michelle, let’s get started.” Diana was with him. “Diana will explain the procedure to you and help me out.” He said to me as he washed his hands.

Diana stood next to me and grabbed my hand. “First, Michelle, we are going to sterilize the outside of your vagina with iodine.”

I felt Dr. Cain spreading the iodine on me. It felt funny.

“Now we are going to insert the speculum and it’s going to feel real cold.”

She was right. My gynecologist would normally run it under warm water but I guess they didn’t here. I could feel as it was opened up inside me.

“Can you help me put my head phones in?” I asked.

“Are you okay not hearing what will happen?”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Okay, I just wanted to make sure.” said Diana.

She put my head phones in and I put on Katy Perry. It was good to have a distraction. I could feel the injection being put into my cervix to numb it. I saw Dr. Cain grabbing the dilators. I could just barely feel them stretching out my cervix. When I saw him grab the vacuum, I got nervous. I thought that it was going to hurt the worst. But it only felt like the vacuum at the dentist. The cramping hurt, but it wasn’t much worse than a period. “Firework” came on just as he was finishing up.

After it was over, they wheeled me into the recovery room.

I was next to another young woman, who couldn’t have been much younger than me. She was college student who, like me, forgot her pill. Her name was Kayla and she was studying marketing at Cal State Fullerton.

“That’s where I went!” I said.

“Really? What do you do now?” she asked.

“Elementary education” I said

“You teach?” asked Kayla.

“Yeah.” I said “Second grade.”

“Wow. Do you like kids?”

“Yeah, I just wasn’t ready to have one right now.”

“Isn’t that why both of us were here?” asked Kayla. She half laughed.

“I guess so.” I sobbed a little bit.

“Well, think of it this way. You had to do the best thing for your students. How many do you have in your class?”


“Ok, well, it was thirty to one. Those thirty kids take more priority than one potential kid.”

“Yeah,” I said, feeling some relief. “I guess you are right.”

Lauren was in the waiting room for me when I was ready. The ride home was silent. Even though I felt better, I still wanted to die. “So, they said no sex for a month.”


“I’ll just have to avoid being alone with Brian.” I said.

“Just tell him your not in the mood.”

“But normally I’m always in the mood, so he might know what’s up.”

“Just tell him that you went to the doctor, and that they ran some tests, and you will need to lay off the sex until they do some follow up in four weeks. Simple as that.”

“What if he thinks it’s an STD?”

“Just tell him it’s a lady issue. Say it’s polyps in your uterus. I mean there was a growth in there, so it’s not like a total lie.”

“Yeah. That’ll work.”

When I got home I checked my email. The first one said “Sub Report.” I opened it up with dread. Normally these were bad news.

Dear Ms. Lewis,

You have 30 little angels here. They are a really good class and so well behaved. I like Julia and Maggie’s way of making sure that the whiteboard markers are “charged.” You should be proud of them.

-Ms. Russell

I put my phone down.

Thirty to one.