I pulled up at the pavement, threw open my door, and vomited onto the street. When I was done I closed the door and tried to regain some form of composure. Henry looked at me with pity and sadness, took my hand, and gave it a comforting squeeze. “Hey, its Glasgow, people will probably just think you’re hungover!” he joked, trying to lighten the mood. I smiled briefly at him, but I wanted to get home, so I started up the car again and continued driving.
When we got back, I crawled into bed and waited for something to happen, for the pain to start, for it to be over. The nurse had given me a pack of strong painkillers just in case, and Henry urged me to take some, but I told him no. Even when the cramps started, longer and more painful than any period I’d ever had, I refused. I guess I decided that I deserved every ounce of pain that I felt. It was my punishment.
All day I went from bed to bathroom, over and over again. The cramps ranged from unbearable to almost unnoticeable, I went from crying to calm constantly and Henry took the brunt of it. I would snap orders at him, from getting me food, to bringing the TV through from the living room so I didn’t have to leave my bed. I started obsessing about a bar of chocolate that I wanted, but I didn’t have any in the flat. Henry being the amazing creature that he was, went off into the night to find me one. It was pissing rain and freezing cold – this is Glasgow in January – but he went without hesitation even when I told him I was just kidding.
He returned as I was making another trip to the bathroom, after having been to three different shops in order to find the chocolate I was looking for. When he handed it to me, I just wept. I was overwhelmed by his complete devotion and selflessness. I wept because I didn’t deserve him, because of everything I had done to him, and because it was so wrong that he was in this situation. When he finally calmed me down, with soothing words and two of those strong painkillers, with the worst of the cramps and the bathroom trips over, we snuggled up in bed and I quickly drifted off to sleep, weary, emotionally and physically exhausted from the past 24 hours.
At around 4am Henry and I woke to the sound of my phone ringing. I picked it up and looked at the screen. Jack was calling me. I put the phone back down. This was, as I said, the night of the staff party, and as I had relieved Jack of his duties with me, he was spending the night getting drunk with our co-workers, which included Tessa. I ignored the call and tried to go back to sleep, but minutes later, my phone went off again. I couldn’t pick up with Henry right there, and I was furious that given all I had been through that day, Jack had the nerve to call me, drunk, at four in the morning. I turned the phone off, and went back to sleep.
When I woke the next day, I felt hungover, as though I too had been at the staff party till 4am. I had two missed calls and three text messages from Jack. The first one simply said “I miss you.” The next was a more slurred and miss-spelled version of the first, and the third was a long winded, hard to understand message again focussing on how much he missed me. I wanted to scream and cry in frustration. I looked over at Henry, who was just beginning to stir, and once again wondered why I had ever let myself fall for Jack. Why I had given up this kind, selfless and wonderful man for a guy who was immature and selfish.
I sent him a text, asking him how on earth he could say these things to me after I had spent the night having an abortion while he was out partying with Tessa. Unsurprisingly, his reply was that he was sorry, and that he had meant he missed me as a friend. Did he know anything about women? How did I fall for one so dense?!
When Henry woke up he had a smile on his face. “You’re not pregnant anymore!” he exclaimed, as though he was once again trying to make light of the situation. I just looked back at him glumly. I thought that I would feel a sense of relief, that I would feel more at ease now that it was done. I didn’t. In fact, the worst was yet to come.