Sydney sat in the waiting room of her gynecologist, Dr. Samuel Pickering. Dr. Pickering had been her gynecologist for the past four years, after being vetted by the State police on behalf of the Governor's Office. Governor Rick Perry did not wish anyone to have access to his beautiful daughter without knowing everything about them. It was enough that Sydney did not wish to use her mother's gynecologist, which was initially upsetting to Anita Perry. Indeed, it created a tense discussion at the dinner table, Sydney's father wanting to know what was wrong with Dr. Groton, a friend of the Governor, not to mention Anita's doctor.
Sydney's inclination to be wary of public eyes was exacerbated by the fact that she was now the Governor's pregnant daughter, though no one would know since she did not inform anyone nor was she showing. Nevertheless, Sydney wore sunglasses with her hair pulled back as she sat in Dr. Pickering's waiting room. She was wearing Lee blue jeans with a dark green Lacoste polo shirt. It was a cloudless day, and it gave Sydney comfort that it was reasonable to be wearing sunglasses. But the sun depressed Sydney, oddly she thought, as if the heat was beating down on her, like a bright light aimed at an interrogation suspect.
Nurse Patty Garrett appeared in the waiting area wearing the customary white uniform, several pens clipped inside a breast pocket. Her eyes connected with Sydney's. Patty Garrett gestured with a head nod. Sydney rose and followed the nurse into one of the examination rooms in the back. Patty Garrett closed the door behind her. Sydney kept the sunglasses on. She turned, crossed her arms, and waited for Ms. Garrett to say something.
So how are we today Ms. Perry?
Are we here to see the doctor about
Sydney abhorred the doctor protocol of nurse reconnaissance. Is there some reason the doctor could not ask these questions? After all, he would; it was a waste of time.
Yes, but I would rather talk to the doctor about it.
At that moment, Dr. Samuel Pickering opened the door, shutting behind him. He was a man who looked every bit his age of 59, a full head of grey hair, a belly that jutted out form a thin frame.
Sydney, how are you? It has been a year, yes?
The Nurse handed Sydney's medical folder to the Doctor. Sydney took note that the Nurse had not departed.
Doc, I have something private to discuss.
Sydney remained standing, with arms crossed, her shades on, an insistent pose, thought the Doctor.
Yes, well, OK.
The Doctor looked at the Nurse who could barely cover her irritation at being sent out of the room. She left.
What is it?
Sydney paused briefly, remaining steadfast in her posture.
I am not here to be congratulated.
I want an abortion.
So can we do this today?
There is paperwork I need to do.
Yeah, OK, well do the paperwork and
let's get this over with.
An abortion is a serious operation.
I can't just do it like a dentist fills
Why the fuck not?
Doctor Samuel Pickering had known Sydney to have a foul mouth, much like her father, who can barely contain his use of every expletive in the book.
There is a procedure I must follow.
Forget the fucking procedure. Say I have
an emergency. You have to give me a D and C.
OK. Do that. Make it happen.
The Doctor paused.
If you will excuse me.
The Doctor left the room. Sydney was decidedly irritated at the Doctor's hesitation. The door opened, and back in walked the Doctor and Nurse Patty Garrett. Sydney looked perplexed. The "fucking doctor" she thought. He can't keep his mouth shut, can he.
I have advised Nurse Garrett of your
situation. And she will start the
paperwork. It requires you to answer
a few questions, and then...
(cutting the Doctor off)
So much for privacy.
According to the law, this is
not a private matter, not
Look, doc, I can just hop on a plane
to New York and get an abortion there.
You want me to do that? You want me
to risk getting on a plane in the state that
I am in, and god knows what kind of
care I will get there. You going to let
The Doctor looked at the Nurse.
You have every right to fly to New York
and acquire a termination.
A termination? Jesus fuck. I am not talking
to her. (referring to Nurse garrett)
According to the law, you have already
put us on notice that you are pregnant.
I didn't put you on...notice...what the hell
you talking about. I wasn't even talking to
you. I wasn't talking to her. Why is she
There are laws, Sydney, really. Do you
expect me to break the law?
Maybe if you permit us to give you a
sonogram, you might consider
changing your mind.
The law requires that we administer
a sonogram to all woman requesting an
abortion. It's the law.
Sydney was starting to feel cornered like a trapped animal. The doctor was clearly uncomfortable about the situation; Sydney noticed beads of sweat forming on the Doctor's forehead. But the Nurse, the fucking Nurse seemed to relish taking the reins of proper procedure.
The sonogram is meant to convey
the gravity of your decision.
And what am I supposed to do with the
fucking sonogram, frame it? Am I supposed
to study it, live with it for a few days while I
contemplate the blob of cells?
We actually take a video of the child so you
can see the heart beat.
"Child?" Fuck you. It's a speck. A fucking speck.
You might consider lowering your voice.
Why? Because this is private? Because this is
a private matter that need not be screamed all
over your comfortable little doctor's office?
The sonogram is also something we do before
a termination. Just to make certain we know
what we are dealing with when we conduct
Doctor Samuel Pickering looked over at the Nurse who purposely avoided his gaze. The Nurse knew she was lying. The Doctor knew she was lying. It was a ruse by the Nurse to get Sydney to subject herself to the sonogram. The Doctor squirmed. Sydney noticed. She also noticed the phony smile on the Nurse's face. A smirk. She felt nauseated, by this obvious display of subterfuge, or at least she hoped it was due to this and not the pregnancy.
A long moment passed. Sydney uncrossed her arms, changed her posture. She felt a weakening in her resolve. What would be the big deal. Have the sonogram, do the paperwork, get the abortion. End of story. She felt the word "OK" rising in her throat. Her eyes ached. She placed her hand on the patient table behind her and felt the temporary paper sheet. She looked up at the Doctor. But when she glanced over at Nurse Patty Garrett, a flash went off. Sydney blinked. The Nurse had jsut taken a photo with a digital camera.
A photo is part of the legal requirement.
I didn't mean to startle you.
Sydney's blood chemistry changed. She stood erect, walked up to the Nurse, grabbed the camera out of her hand with a pique of violence. And pushed the Nurse back with a shove. The Nurse was shocked.
Both of you can go to hell.
Sydney stormed out of the examination room, leaving the Doctor and the Nurse in bit of a daze.
It won't be us going to hell, that's for sure.
Let's protect our asses.
Make detailed notes in the folder.
And keep your editorial
comments to a minimum.
The Doctor left the examination room.