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If They Did It

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Alice had to change her mind then and there, it was becoming quite clear to her that George didn’t want to marry her soon and start a family with her. She was in quite a bit of denial at first: she was amazed that the gorgeous distant relative of her wealthy bosses wanted anything to do with her at first, she wasn’t a knockout like some girls and she was quite timid. She loved that one night where he spent the night at her room after a date, making love to the pounding of the heavy rain outside and to her record player. It was a grand night; she never thought she’d experience so much sensation in her body, in parts she’d never dare to dream of feeling them. She felt so beautiful and bold that night, if her parents had heard, they would be scandalized something awful. It was hard not to feel guilty and like she should be content with her lot rather than strive for more than she can get. George Eastman felt like her good fortune, someone that handsome gazing at her.

But he seemed to be more distant right after he was encouraged by his uncle to mingle with their class, she should have seen it coming, all those rich girls and the parties they’d attend with champagne and tantalizing appetizers, those girls somehow kept their waistlines small and trim. All those fancy clothes that always looked brand-new and hardly ever re-wore, it was aching when she thought about how beautiful some of them were. Especially Angela Vickers with her perfect hourglass figure that concaved in at the waist, her large breasts, tiny arms, taut collarbone, shapely legs and rear (she blushed just to even think of such an area on someone) and the alabaster skin that tanned perfectly every summer accentuated by her rose-like lips, high cheekbones, double-set of dark lashes that matched her curly raven crop, and those beautiful violet blue eyes. It should not have been surprising that George would be less contented with Alice after spending time with such a girl. She noticed it when he came late to her small birthday dinner she arranged herself, he seemed quite quick to suggest her getting a……operation… Abortion.

At that visit to the Doctor, she had to lie and say that her husband (an electrician) and she could not afford to raise a baby. The Doctor refused to fall for it and she burst into tears telling him the real story, which is when the Doctor told her he refuses to perform an operation on her. She later told George they must get married, but she can see he seemed cold to the idea, if not lukewarm. That is when she decided to look for another Doctor who would perform the operation on her; it was quite nerve wracking for her. She had to approach one of the girls at her work and they later discussed it with her landlady, an older woman who was afraid of scandal affecting the boarding home. The landlady put her in contact with a sister-in-law’s boss’s Doctor nephew who had been practicing such procedures in secret, the catch was that Alice would have to take a day off to go all the way to Brooklyn for the operation and will result in her having a $250 dent in her bank account (she also borrowed from said co-worker and a friend from the soda fountain and planned to pay them back), if things go well.

She laid her body flat on the metal table, “What was I doing in a place like this?” she asked herself. She could peer and she spotted the doctor removing some instruments, “Stay still”, the firm doctor requested of her. She felt him insert an instrument in her body; she started cramping as she felt her insides being scraped, holding her breath and never making a sound. She felt like she was floating, was she dying? Who will tell her parents? Who will tell George? What will the people back in her hometown think? Will her parents be ashamed of her? Then after a bit of time, the instrument slowly eased out of her. The doctor gave her antibiotics and told her to clean up in the bathroom before she leaves. As she walked to the bathroom, she spotted that the white tablecloth had her blood on it. “I seem deflowered,” thought Alice. On the way home, she was filled with anxiety as to how long she would live, she heard many girls who had this operation ended up dying and their families would hardly speak of them again. Her friend told her she will tell the bosses that she was feeling sick and needed some time off.

As she was recovering, she went to get the mail from the front mail box and checked out the society column. She was so shocked and upset by what she saw: a picture of George frolicking on a speedboat with Angela Vickers and her friends while he was supposedly going for business with his uncle. It was true; he was leaving her for a wealthier and prettier girl than she. She was so angry, that she rang up his uncle’s house and bawled him out for what he was doing and she immediately broke off their relationship right then and there. She cried for days over what was lost and then pulled her chin up, she worked and kept working at the factory while she took night or courses-by-mail that would train her to become a secretary. When she left on her last day of that job, she made eyes with George Eastman, who was going to get married to Angela the day after and coolly but politely congratulated him. That was the day where she was going to leave that town and hum-drum job and head for better things as a secretary in New York City’s garment district. She worked there for several years and met and married a young man while she went to a work-related party. This man was always pleased as punch with her and looked in awe as she became tougher and more self-assured. They even took trips to a community pool and to Coney Island where he and her new work friends taught her how to swim. She had a few children and made it to executive secretary at that place until she retired in 1983.

As she looked back, she mused over what would have happened if she didn’t make that fateful decision to undergo that operation. Would she have been happy with George Eastman? Would he have fallen in love with her? Would she have been alive? She was so different from that shy, insecure, ignorant young girl she was then, and she was better for it. She lived, she never tried to wed a man who didn’t love her, and she never went to the lake to end up drowning.