Journey’s Way: A Choice Against The Grain
“So together, we headed towards the door surrounded by screaming blue-eyed white women and one skinny white dude dressed like a beach bum Jesus…”
Journey was a girl who always walked to the beat of her own drum. She always drew the most attention of any room with her brown skin, sandy dyed her, slender built, and 6ft stance on flats (as she would always say). We met as interns our senior year at Howard and instantly connected as best friends. She would often play the role of overprotective sister/Phil Jackson in my dating life, tap me whenever I would nod off in class, and use her impressive flirt game with club bouncers to help us bypass all the famous DC club lines. We shared common ground being the first of our families to attend college and understood the pressures of living in dual worlds of higher learning and the realities of back home. I admired her Good Will Hunting intellect as she could tilt her head slightly at any math equation and solve it in minutes while also having the ability to take three tequila shots without blinking. Our independent spirits and desire to go against the norm strengthen our bond and loyalty to each other, so when she asked me on a random to meet her at the downtown Silver Spring train station one Saturday morning at 8am, I did it with no questions asked, not knowing the experience to come was one to be remembered.
I was on time at the train station at 8am, but I wasn’t entirely there. My brain was still sleep in which I was hoping to wake up with the hot coffee only to have it spill from my hand as Journey’s long legs flopped in the passenger seat as she slammed the door. “Ninja, how many times I have told you to lock your doors,” she said, adjusting her car seat as always so her legs could stretch out. My brain now woke utterly from the hot caffeine that was presently making its way down my leg. Journey giggled and said, “Boy, you just one big mess. When you’re done, just go up this block, pass the Rite Aid, and make a right.” The directions couldn’t have taken two minutes before she told me to stop and park outside a building that’s had a small crowd of people outside holding signs. I turned to Journey, who was smiling because to her, “I always had the funniest confused face ever,” and she said, “Yea, so I’m about to get an abortion.” I was then able to read one of the white women signs that said, “Babies are from Jesus, Doctors are Hell!!!” We both slumped in our seats and took a breath. “You good?!! I totally understand if you want to sit in the car while I do this,” she said, which I at this point I’ve known Journey pretty good to know that this was an unofficial way of apologizing. “Naw, f**k it, I said, “Let’s go.” So together, we headed towards the door surrounded by screaming blue-eyed white women and one skinny white dude dressed like a beach bum Jesus.
The waiting room was quiet enough to hear a mouse take a piss on cotton. The walls were blueish-grey, and there was no elevator music playing. Three women were in the room alone; one was on the phone with a concerned face, another was reading a woman’s magazine, while the other had her head down with a hood covering her face. There was also a couple with a visibly upset woman who looked annoyed that her guy would not get off his phone. Journey came back from the checkout counter, fell in her seat next to me, and grabbed a magazine to flip through rapidly.
Me: “Soooooooooo, what happened?”
Journey sat up and said, “This dude I’ve been seeing messed around and slipped the condom off. I asked this ninja did he do it, and he straight lied to me, AGAIN!!!”
Journey: “Yes, again, this is my second time here because of this clown. The first time he claimed was an accident, but this time I noticed he lowkey made the same pattern while we were having sex from the last time, which is why I ask if it was still on. I didn’t want to take no chances, so about a month later, when I was a day late, I went and got tested by the doctor, and low and behold, I’m freaking pregnant again.”
Me: “Does he know about…”
Journey: “The abortion?!! F**No!!! I never even told him I was pregnant, but he knows we done, though!!!”
A side door open, and a woman in blue scrubs came out and called Journey’s name. “Alright, here it goes,” Journey said as she walked to the door. As I looked around, I notice everyone in the waiting room was looking at me, probably because Journey never learned the art of whispering.
I held Journey’s purse in my left hand and kept her hoodie sitting on my right shoulder as we went through again the small angry crowd. The angry ten did not hesitate to shout out angry chants such as “Murderer!!!”, “Baby Killer!!!” and “You better ask God for forgiveness!!!” Once we sat in the car, I ask Journey was she ok and said she was “Cool, just slightly sore.” Somebody from the group tossed a baby doll head at my car, and I said sarcastically “Yeah, guess they’re a little upset this morning” and Journey while declining the car seat back to lay down and said “They’ll be alright, it’s my life, not theirs. Let get out here so I can catch this next train.” I replied, “Naw, you straight homie, go ahead and lay down, I’m gonna drive you home.” She responded with the same side cheek smile that I see years later online, her youngest son has adopted.