MFA alumna Christa Parravani’s memoir excerpted in Vogue Magazine: Married with Two Kids, and Seeking an Abortion in West Virginia
It was the last day of my old life. The third week of October 2017. The year I was forty.
Jo was at school. Iris was at daycare. I didn’t know where my husband, Tony, was.
It’s peculiar what I can’t forget. Our bathroom held the sickeningly sweet smell of geranium-scented cleaner. I wore a too-tight blouse. Unwashed hair pinned in a bun above my neck. I sat against a wall, where the taupe paint was scratched, an uncapped pregnancy test developing in my grip. I held the test upside down. I couldn’t bear to watch. A gap beneath the door set a rectangle of yellow light across the tub. Two minutes to know what would become of me. Time passed, a whole life. I flipped the test over when waiting got harder than knowing. Two red lines on a white strip stared at me. A second test lay in the box. I ripped its foil package open with my teeth. Right between the sink and the commode, I crouched down, swearing in disbelief. I was still breastfeeding twelve-month-old Iris, still recovering from pregnancy and birth, still lonely the way a mother is when she can’t find the person she used to be.