“Anything you need, you got it…”
Roy Orbison on the radio, air freshener in the shape of a prayer card. He switches on the turn signal and pulls into the parking lot of the medical clinic. A dozen other cars packed the small lot. He found a space near the handicapped area. He puts the car in park and listens to the end of the song, the engine is idling and sputters. It is an old car. He turns the key and the car goes dead. He unbuckles his belt and gets out of the two-door 90’s import he drives. He puts the seat down and grabs a bag from the backseat. It is a plastic electronic store bag, and he reaches inside and pulls out a cheap looking throwaway cell phone. He puts the phone in his pocket and locks the car door. He walks towards the clinic, but then he freezes in his tracks. He seems to be thinking about something. He turns around and returns to the car. He unlocks the door and reaches in to the cup-holder. He grabs ahold of some rosary beads. The beads are white and blood read. He looks at the rosary in his hand and then he puts it in his breast pocket.
He locks the car once more and then turns back towards the clinic. He reaches the heavy, barred door and pushes the buzzer. He waits a second until he hears another buzz and he is able to pull the door open. He walks inside and is greeted by a heavy-set man wearing a security guard uniform. The man looks at him suspiciously before asking him to empty his pockets into the plastic tray provided. He did and then he walked through the metal detector. It went off once because he had forgotten to take off his watch. He put his watch in the tray along with his other items and walked through once more. No sound this time. The guard hands him his belongings back and points towards the waiting room. He enters and takes a seat near the front desk. He folds his hands onto his lap and looks around the room. There are half a dozen young women and one or two women in their 30’s and 40’s seated around him. One of the young women is texting furiously. Another is filling out a clip board full of medical information. One of the older ladies laughs at something that one of the nurses says as she walks past. He smiles and leans back in his chair.
The metal detector goes off again. He can hear the security guard apologize to someone, and he hears a young female voice answer back “It’s not a problem.” He recognizes the voice. He does not turn to see the young woman enter the waiting room. She looks around the room and notices the man there. She does not know him, but she does recognize his description. As per her instructions she ignores him and goes right up to the front desk. She is greeted pleasantly by a grandmotherly woman wearing a grey sweater and a clinic name tag. It says “Glenda”. Glenda asks her if she needs a packet of information. She says no and reminds Glenda that she already has an appointment. Glenda looks at her computer screen and finds the appointment in question. Glenda looks back at her and says “It will only be a few minutes. Please take a seat and the nurse will be right with you.” She takes a seat. He looks at her. She is visibly pregnant, but not far along. He looks around the room again and notices that one of the younger women is gone. He wonders for a moment where she got to but then he sees her for a moment down the hall passing from one room to the next. She was in a hospital gown.
A couple comes into the waiting room and they take a seat next to him. The boyfriend or husband looks worried or nervous. His girlfriend or wife just pats his hand and whispers in his ear. The boyfriend or husband looks a little less nervous after this. He turns his focus away from this couple and gets up to walk towards the front desk. “Glenda” has been temporarily replaced by a younger African American woman with short cropped hair. Her tag says “Mandy”. She seems nice. He asks Mandy if a certain Dr. Holbrook were free yet. She says he is not off for another 20 minutes. She asks him why he wants to know. He looks her in the eye and forces a smile onto his face. He says that he just wanted to inform him that the car service he ordered was a little early. He shows her a fake id with the name of a private livery service on it. She has no reason to doubt it is real. This man has picked up the doctor for weeks now. Mandy rolled her eyes and laughed. “Nice that you are actually early instead of a half hour late for a change.” She tells him that she will let the doctor know that the car is here when she goes back for her payment charts. He thanks her and takes his seat once more.
A phone rings at the front desk and Mandy answers it. She obviously knows the person on the other line as she is smiling and talking quite animatedly into the receiver. After a brief conversation she thanks whoever is on the other end of the line and hangs up the phone. She scratches something on a notepad and then looks up. She calls out “June? June Fellows? The doctor will see you now honey.” One of the women in her 30’s gets up from her chair and heads into the back through the door next to the front desk. He flinches as the door slams behind her. He looks at the clock on the wall. It is 3 minutes to 4 pm. He gets up from his chair and goes over to the young woman. He drops something as he walks past her. She leans to pick it up for him. He thanks her. No one else notices that she does not actually give the object back to him. He leaves.
She touches her stomach. No one notices when pulls out two wires from under her shirt and connects them. A pregnant woman touching her belly does not arouse suspicion. Glenda returns from the back of the office. She looks busy but focused. She pulls up the appointment list on her computer. “Abigail? Abigail Donaldson? The doctor will see you now sweetie.” She gets up and heads for the door to the examination rooms. She opens it and closes it behind her. Her name is not Abigail Donaldson.
He walks through the parking lot. A woman is walking towards the building and passes by him. She pauses for a moment. “I am sorry, I don’t know if you know this, but I have been getting the run around from what seems like everyone. Is this a real Woman’s Health Clinic or just another one of those “Pregnancy Centers”?”
He turned to look at the woman. He smiled and laughed. “Oh this is the real McCoy. I just went in to get an appointment for my wife. Go on in. It’s not too busy at the moment.”
The woman nodded her head. “Thank you.” She walked towards the entrance of the building and went in. He was happy. Every new body in the building would add to the list of martyrs for the cause. He was proud to have led this woman to glory for Christ and the unborn. He reached his car and opened the driver side door. He put the key in the ignition and turned on the radio. It was a station news break. A baritone DJ was talking about some political uprising in Burma. He turned to look at the clinic. The alarm on his watch went off. It was 5 minutes past 4pm. He began to pray.
Back in the building the doctor enters examination room 3 and sees his young patient. She looks nervous and scared. The doctor comes over to her and asks her if she needs a glass of water. She closes her eyes and begins to pray loudly. “I am a warrior for the unborn. I am a slave of Christ and the Father. I shall not rest until each and every baby is allowed to be born. I beg God for forgiveness.”
The blood drained from the doctors’ face. He rushed to a phone on the wall. He picked it up and dialed the front desk. While it was ringing she took the item that the man had dropped out of her pocket. It was a disposable cellular phone. She pushes the send key.
He finishes his prayer. He opens his eyes just in time to see the explosion. The windows of his car are shattered and he is peppered with broken glass. A piece of a waiting room chair lands 5 feet away from his car. It is smoldering and the cushion is covered in blood. His face is in tattered from the glass and he his deaf from the explosion. He staggers out of the car and falls to his knees. He beholds the flaming apocalypse he had a hand in causing. Tears come to his bloody eyes. He praises his god. Life is indeed sacred.