Rajiv and Meera were truly a modern-day couple. They actually believed in the ideals of marriage like respect, equal compromise, sharing of burden. In a true sense they were partners and quiet madly in love with each other. To many it came as a surprise that theirs’ was an arranged marriage.
During the long engagement they had emailed each other; and were delighted to discover that their ideals and desires were complementary. Their plan was simple, both will work for five to seven years and then plan a family. But life was about to throw them a curve ball. In their fourth year they found out Meera was pregnant. There was confusion and apprehension which was so closely followed by elation that it was difficult to really distinguish them apart.
Everything was going well, till she went for her second visit. After the examination doctor ordered a battery of tests. They begged her to tell them what was happening but she requested them to wait for the results. The waiting caused Meera and Rajiv great anxiety. Once the results were in, they found themselves seated in front of the doctor again. In a somber voice she informed them that it would be best if Meera went for an abortion as the continuation of pregnancy posed great risk to her health. While the doctor got into the details of it, Meera had stopped listening to her. Her ears were buzzing and if she hadn’t been sitting, she would have slumped to the floor.
How she got home, she didn’t know. Once home, Rajiv helped her onto the couch. She just sat there staring at nothing and if Rajiv hadn’t started talking about abortion she would have sat there for a long time. He was sitting on the carpet right next to her feet, his hands on her knees. He was telling her that they should get this done as soon as possible. Meera looked at him and tears ran down her cheeks. He could see that he was not getting through to Meera. She was in denial and was ready to take the risk if it meant her child would live.
Finally, Rajiv took hold of her face in his hands and forced her to look at him. He told her how much he loved her and could not lose her. He also informed her that the doctor had said the risk of carrying this pregnancy was too high and that either she or the baby or both may not make it. Wiping her tears tenderly he told her that sometimes there was no happy choice, only one less grievous than the others. He reminded her that they had promised to be equal partners and though he couldn’t carry a pregnancy he wanted to shoulder the burden of an abortion equally with her. Hearing this Meera bent her head and they sat forehead-to-forehead and cried for a choice that was not a choice at all.
The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00 entry.
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Photo by Marcelo Matarazzo