My attitude is rough, and scrapes against the kindness people liberally treat me with. I want to be punished. This fever is not enough. The blood loss is not enough. My skin is hot, yes, but it is not peeling off. I continue to exist, despite my desire to fade away. I am weakened, yes, but the light does not go out.
Cory failed me, when I needed him most. I suspect he was looking for just that opportunity. Words can hurt, but an action has more force, because its impact is immediate. A verbal expression needs to be processed, in a way that his abandonment did not.
This is not a relationship; it is a thankless and laborious affair.
Needing some way to deal with the grief I am experiencing, I went to a Pregnancy Help Center, after I saw an advertisement for post-abortion counseling, at no cost. I sat in front of a woman who shamed me, who berated me, who treated me like I had opened the gates of Hell itself. Then, she told me we would pray together. She said I needed salvation; that the only way to achieve that is by repenting, and attending further sessions.
I didn’t come close to believing her. I told her that out of us both, only she should be ashamed.
Confounded by what I had just experienced, I drove to see Cory. I thought we could laugh at this together. Maybe things didn’t always have to be so terrible, so tense they could only break.
His mother answered the door. She asked me to step inside, but said Cory was still at work.
Though she often found herself there, even with him gone, something seemed off. Soon, she stood up, a sign for me to leave. She took the coffee I brought for him, and assured me he would receive it.
As I drove home, I had a sudden urge to call him. I pulled over, dialed his number, and sat in shock as I listened to an automated recording state that the line had been disconnected.
Late into the night, I received an electronic message from Cory. The furious, accusatory ramblings of an over-emotional, drug-addicted, self-victimizing child. And, he hated the coffee.