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That gray area is an opportunity to cultivate empathy, understanding, and compromise. The gray area is where we meet humanity, foster love, and find solutions of the highest good. This is why storytelling is so powerful: it is the catalyst for bridging divide. It was early spring in Charlotte, the time of year when everything blossoms with new buds of life. Around my neighborhood, trees returned from their winter desolation and gently unfurled new greenery, testifying of hope and new beginnings, obnoxiously insensitive to my mood.

I lay, quiet and still, blanketed by the pink-flowered coverlet of my king size bed and a soft Percocet haze. A dull ache persisted across my low back and abdomen, punctuated periodically by severe cramping, during which I clenched my jaw and curled more tightly into the fetal position. I considered taking a warm bath, but even subtle movements sent surges of nausea coursing through me, and the idea of bath tinged pink with blood weighed on me like gravity, holding me to the bed as I cried softly into my pillow. From the living room, the muffled sound of daytime news wafted through the wall.

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A vise gripped and twisted in my low belly, and I moaned involuntarily in response to the pain. A soft, wet, gelatinous sensation bloomed at my vagina before escaping my body, reminding me of the permanence of my decision. The informational pamphlet said it was normal to see large blood clots up to the size of a lemon or clumps of tissue pass in the process. It was normal. We could call her Meg. A long, flat expanse of beach sloped down to equally flat water, calm as a lake save for a few ankle biting waves lapping softly against the shore. He sat in a beach chair next to the blanket where I lay, soaking up the midday rays of South Carolina sunshine.

Did you know she finished a degree in zoology at Berkeley after having six kids?

Sugar Baby: An Abortion Story

She was thirty three. Six kids. Can you imagine? Glancing at his overweight, sunburned, hairy body, I briefly imagined linking our fates for a lifetime. I thought of his oldest son, disowned at nineteen because he was gay, and his wife, who, after birthing his children, had done nothing but cook, clean, and fulfill her PTA duties, her life defined by the seasonal decorations on their country farmhouse. I thought about bearing his child and inwardly recoiled at the thought. I woke up freezing, despite the heater being set to eighty five degrees in the rundown courtyard-view room at the Dayton airport hotel.

Shivering, I drew the covers tight around my body, and rolled over in the bed.

TigerEyePublications: BOXFUL OF NIGHTMARES

The sudden movement sent a shock wave of nausea rippling through my body, and I lurched out of bed, feeling the bile rise in my throat as I raced for the bathroom. From the back corner of my brain, a knowing arose. As I violently spewed deeply digested Top Ramen into the not-quite-clean toilet bowl, the rational part of my mind segued to practical calculations.

How many weeks since I last saw him? Slumped against the porcelain throne, hazy with sleep and chilled to the bone, it dawned on me: I was in my third week of flight attendant school, pregnant by a married man, and I was terrified. Outside the window of the truck, inky blackness obscured the hills and valleys of the Smoky Mountains. Mindy Lou, my little spotted black and white terrier, was curled up in my lap, a small blanket of warmth and familiarity in the foreign landscape and company. He was chivalrous, almost excessively so, and funny.

During our three day visit to Tunica, Mississippi, he wined and dined me like a true Southern gentleman, even going so far as to book me my own room — despite the fact that our previously discussed terms clearly specified having sex, at some point. I kept trying to get him in bed, but he repeatedly demurred, putting me off with chaste kisses and excuses of tiredness.

I wondered if it was a virility issue. He was, after all, forty-four, which seemed like a reasonable age to be struggling with impotence. He was good for the money, though.

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On our last day at the riverboat casinos, I watched him magically transform a paltry five hundred dollars into over fifteen thousand at the blackjack table — which he handed to me as a token of his affection. Oncoming headlights blinded me briefly, illuminating his features sharply in the darkness, then dimmed as the driver turned off their brights. I turned to look at him, surprised by the random question. I paused briefly, curious at the depth with which I was considering his question. But it was more than that, too. A long moment passed, then softly, I spoke. He was quiet, too, for a beat longer than necessary for a canned reply.

God knows everything about you — in fact, he made you just exactly the way you are, on purpose. I meant it to be sassy, but it came out vulnerable instead. I said nothing.

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If he wanted to save me, he could do his best. Nevertheless, his words made some sense.

Maybe my emptiness could be filled. I lit up a cigarette, rolled down the window, and closed my eyes, inhaling deeply the night, the open road, and the possibility of redemption. God told him I should have an abortion. I was pretty sure God had never spoken to me, so I listened to him instead. It was convenient that God agreed with me — there was no way we could have a child together.

So I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood, resolute to solve the problem. Double jeopardy and all that. At the consultation I was numb as medical assistants and worn out nurses carried on efficiently around me, asking me questions about my mental and uterine health, poking and prodding my most sensitive areas with a detached resignation. With one fell swoop, the ultrasound wand vacated my vaginal premises.

Flipping on the lights, Rhonda handed me a small brochure with a picture of an absurdly joyful young woman and cover text that read: Conscious Family Planning. One, we administer to you here at the clinic. The game swung wildly back and forth before Cam led another wonderful last-minute drive. When he finally broke into the NFL, it was for his hometown Saints, leading them to a win over the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys. It was that win that attracted the attention of John Fox before the season as the second-year head coach searched for someone to take the reins from an aging Rodney Peete.

Between a veto that temporarily killed a stadium deal and the antics of then-owner George Shinn, there have been few relocation sagas more lengthy and dramatic than the one that saw the Hornets shipped to New Orleans back in But did you know New Orleans also nearly took our baseball team? Thankfully, the Knights were saved on account of Major League Baseball stepping in to award minor league rights to the relocating Denver Zephyrs who were soon to be replaced by the Rockies.

I understand New Orleans had their perfectly-named basketball team taken away, but stealing our basketball and baseball teams is not the solution. It just kind of sucks that it has to be with the Saints. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Things To Do Sports. Places to try stand-up paddle boarding. Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte May 31 — June 6.

Berlusconi's sex saga

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