A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

by Melissa Neely (Jan 2010)

I sit in the waiting room, the usual daytime soap opera on the TV. I look around the room at the others waiting. A couple sits holding hands. Her husband rubs her belly, and she smiles at him. A very young girl sits slumped and sulking with her hair in her face. The mommy in me wants to push her hair back and make her sit up right; I just sigh. Sitting in a corner is a well built black man with a very average looking white woman. They are both quite ordinary and average looking, but dancing around them as only a 2-year old can do is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen - creamy skin, soft big curls bouncing around her face, and big eyes that are a startling green. She is absolutely mesmerizing. I’m tempted to tell her parents what a quality product they have made and that they should make 20 more just like her, but I refrain. People tend to think you are creepy rather than accept the compliment it was intended to be. I try not to stare at all the big bellies; they are all in that cute stage of pregnancy. It is ultrasound day. The major question of the day is, “boy or girl?” “Penis or vagina?” The room tingles with anticipation. I want to cry, but there are no more tears left. They were used up years ago.

The nurse calls me back and gives me a drape to wear. I sit in the room half-dressed for what feels like eternity. Nothing slows down a clock like naked-on-an-exam-table. The ultrasound tech comes in, gives me a weak smile and turns off the lights. The ultrasound is short. We aren’t looking for heartbeats and blood flow, penis or vagina, fingers and toes. We are looking for nothing, nada, empty, “complete spontaneous abortion” they call it. The tech clicks off the machine and turns on the lights. She pats my knee and pronounces, “all is well.” Except all isn’t well - it never really can be. How many birth days have come and gone? And now one more. I get dressed and head back to the lobby where a new group of swollen bellies sits mocking and taunting. My hand moves of its own volition to rest on my flat belly. My belly of nothingness.


Site Map

HOME           ShortStories           Essays           Poems         Websites      

Meetings         Comments         ContactUs         Members

This is the website of the Red Dirt Writers Society.
Revised January 2010.