Do you ever recall
Those foggy memories from years past
In which you only remember the comfortable warmth of the moment;
Where there's always a light breeze, real or imagined,
And a love for life, deeper than anything you feel in the present,
And a love for yourself, stronger than any truth?
I woke with a start. I caught a blurry glimpse of the cheerful clock striking noon hanging on the purple wall of my bedroom. I only faced a millisecond of panic before realizing it was a Sunday and I had made no plans. I reached for my laptop which lay on the floor beside my bed and hauled it up to my side. Checking my account on Publish My Fiction for comments and feedback on my poetry was the first thing I thought of most mornings.
"I love the imagery you used for this piece," one commenter had written on the work I had posted last night, "I almost sense a hint of sarcasm in her anger. Great work!"
I stopped myself from sending an annoyed reply. It was a poem about the guilt felt by a woman after having an abortion.
"With disgust at my own actions flooding into me from head to toe like old water
drains filled with acids after a large guilty meal, I trudged out of the place, hating my
body for making acquaintance with his; hating my mind, because I didn't regret it
enough to keep this moment from repeating itself."
I hadn't gotten the response I was looking for at all. I wanted a reflection on the point I was making; even questions or disputes over the severe subject matter would have pleased me but clearly, no one with a particularly strong opinion on the matter had come by it in the past 12 hours.
It was then that I noticed that I had received a private message. It was probably the first time I had because I didn't recall ever seeing the small letter animation on the top lefthand side of the window in the past few months. I clicked it curiously.
"I would have supported her choice - had I been the father. But laying down the lines and buying condoms would definitely be my next step, haha," wrote an anonymous writer, "Is this from derived from a personal experience? If so, you must be quite an idiot, with all the fantastic writing you do, who knows the places you could reach in a few years - having a child at a young age would put a damper in that. Wear a damn condom - they're not that expensive."
I glared at the screen in a silent shocked rage. The poem had been about a friend's bad choices in sex, not mine. This message illustrated exactly how I felt, as an outsider to what my friend, the subject of the poem, may have thought in those moments. I couldn't believe that the messenger had thought it was I - Sarah Green - of all people who would have had unprotected sex and then carelessly abort the child without a life's worth of regret for not having the common sense to use protection.
To add salt to my wounded pride, the anonymity of the messenger meant that I was unable to reply. I slapped my laptop shut and stomped off to the washroom to glare at myself in the mirror in an angry imaginary conversation with the anonymous ass who got away without a scratch after sending probably the most insulting message I had ever received in my life.