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She had chosen to make an informed decision. Her signature on the forms would be an informed consent. But the consent and decision was hers and hers alone. They were not married; he had little part to play in the process. Or she chose to believe. Yet, remarkably, guilt washed through her. She was in a steady relationship, after all. She sat impatiently, waiting for her turn. The doctor was in for a surprise as she was willing to be honest about her situation: unmarried and pregnant. Once the judgmental look faded from the doctor’s eyes, the necessary pills were consumed. Another round of forms were signed of course. As she headed out, the doctor handed her a holier-than-thou brochure to read. She snorted, gave the doctor a fake smile and walked out.

It hadn’t struck her till that moment; he didn’t know about their unborn child. She knew she didn’t want a baby, now and probably, ever. She was aware the responsibilities of bringing up a child were too much for her. She knew he swooned at the thought of starting a family. In this country, in this age, their relationship itself was shunned. But that’s not why she didn’t want this child. The timing was misplaced; added to that, she felt no need or want for a baby. Though, could she honestly spend a life with a man and hold back such loaded information? Worse, if she told him now, would he feel he had been tricked? She was lost so she did what she knew best. She called her friend.

“Hallo,” the voice on the other line said.

“I am pregnant,” she said.

“Oh!” the voice said taken by surprise.

“I aborted the baby,” she continued.

“And you decided to tell me now?” he said.

“I decided to confide in my friend, Neel. We are friends before we are partners, aren’t we?” her voice trailed off.

“No, Tina,” he replied angrily, “This was not just your decision.”

“Yes, it was. Yes. It was,” she said.

His voice showed reluctance to accept but he gave in. “Fine,” he dismissed, “On your way home now?”

She had reacted in the way she had deemed fit. She silenced the guilty voices, including his voice. This was a moment they both chose to forget and simply move on.

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