Life's choices can be made with difficulty
Sebastiana unconsciously tapped her foot on the wet pavement as she listened to the grumblings of the Temple Bar’s patrons. Ordinarily she was a patient woman and would be more than willing to wait for the “all clear’ signal, but tonight was different. Her day had been different. The young woman’s long walk home was usually pleasant, giving her time to unwind, but tonight she had walked in rain, thinking about the difficult decision she must make. She shifted her backpack, untangled her long blonde hair from the straps and impatiently tapped the other foot.
Inside the bar, drinks were left standing, waiting for their owners return. Frost melted from Leo's famous “Frosted Mugs” and dripped onto the tables, causing small rivulets of water to find their way to the floor. A single fly made circles around an open ketchup bottle. Around and around it buzzed, undecided whether to alight in the sticky, red substance or retreat to the kitchen and better pickings.
The arrogant bartender Max, stood behind the bar, admiring his reflection in the massive mirror that covered the entire wall. The mirror’s shiny surface captured the images of liquor bottles, standing in rows, lined up at attention, a regiment of glass soldiers ready to serve. Max reached out and gently pushed Jim Beam back in line. Leo hurried about checking every corner of the bar, assuring himself there were no fires.
Sebastiana loved her Uncle Leo, but his latest idea of “what's best for everyone” was causing her more grief than good. Twice in the last week she had to give in to his demands and leave her apartment above the bar; because his new fire alarm wasn't working properly.
She reminded herself…what was it Leo had said? “Once I get the bugs ironed out, you will see…it might save a life someday.”
Oh my dear uncle how will I ever tell you? How will I tell Marcus? Can I tell Marcus? Saving a life, should be as simple as a fire alarm. Can the bugs be ironed out and a life saved?
Sebastiana grew weary as she waited in the damp night air with the others. It had been a long day at the dance studio. She knew she shouldn’t have scolded the little ones when they failed to execute their pirouettes like she had demonstrated. She was tired, her legs ached and she needed solitude.
Let us in Leo...please. There is no fire.
Some of the waiting patrons grew impatient and began rapping on the windows. A few walked away. Ice in the neglected drinks had melted, leaving an aqueous mixture in Leo’s cheap crystal. The beer warmed.
How did I let this happen? Why me? Haven’t I always calculated at what age I would make each turn in my life? My choices have always been mine to make. Hadn’t I choreographed my life, never yielding to burdens or obstacles? What about Marcus? I think I love him, but do I love him enough to say yes to marriage and his demands? Isn’t he lot like Max? Will his narcissistic personality prevent him from loving me the way I’ve always dreamed of being loved?
Sebastiana was jarred back to reality when Leo called from the open door.
“All clear…no fires. Please…everyone come in.”
The tired ballerina stepped in behind the others. She gave a brief nod to Uncle Leo and made her way to the rear of the bar. She slowly climbed the steps to the second floor. As she rummaged through her backpack, searching for her door key, tears began to well up in her eyes.
I was so terribly wrong, I shouldn't have snapped at the children. They were innocent and so willing to please me. Tomorrow I will ask them for forgiveness. Tomorrow will be better.
Sebastiana tossed her backpack on the floor, threw her jacket over a chair and sat on the couch, and began crying uncontrollably. She sat in the dark; remembering the hurtful looks her own anxiety had created. As much as she tried she could not cast aside the images of her little student's innocent, sad faces.
Slowly, without being denied, the unyielding truth found its way into Sebastiana's deliberative thoughts. She recognized the fundamental truth for what it was and what it stood for.Taking in a deep breath she admitted to herself what she really wanted. There was nothing to ‘iron out’. With or without Marcus in her life, she was not going to take her baby's life.
I can and will tell Marcus what is right. I will tell him abortion is not an option.
Tears turned to joy as she spoke out loud, “I want my baby.”
She smiled as she rested her hands in her lap. Tomorrow she will tell Uncle Leo. Tomorrow she would give each of her little girls an extra hug. Tomorrow will be a day to dance.
Tomorrow will be a better day.