In The Company of Many

Fredericksburg Literary Review
Spring 2014

A nondescript, tinted glass door with block letters reading Women’s Center stood between me and an uncertain future. I went to the center between classes, but I wasn’t thinking about Margaret Sanger or women’s liberation. Nor was I pondering the ranks of women I was about to join in the exciting and unsettling tradition of pregnancy testing. Somewhere in my mind I appreciated the fact that I was able to enter this clinic, very privately take a pregnancy test, and talk to a counselor; but my most immediate thought was whether I drank enough water to be able to pee into the sterilized cup.

“Please sign in.” Without looking up, a technician sitting behind a clear partition beckoned me to the desk and handed me a clipboard. The list on the paper was short. I signed my name and phone number and handed the clipboard back to the woman behind the glass.

“Have you visited us before,” she asked, entering data into the computer with highly glossed fingers that rapped across the keyboard like rain.

“No.”

“And what are you here for today?” She continued executing a punctuated dance across the letters. She had not yet made eye contact.

“Um,” I cleared my throat, “I want to take a pregnancy test.” I struggled to say it and lowered my voice, even though there were only two other women in the office. (Continue Reading...)