B1 Intermediate US 5511 Folder Collection
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[Dripping tap, buzzing sound]
When I got pregnant, I was young, broke and dating this guy that we'll call Dick.
[Sound of him patting her thigh, white noise]
I met Dick while working on a TV show. I was a background artist,
and I remember walking on to the studio lot and feeling awestruck.
I'd watch actors take their mark, and directors call "action."
I had left the soul-sucking classrooms of Community College behind, and walked onto a living, breathing, filming set.
A: Hi, hi. I'm here for background. I'm so sorry I'm late.
D: All good. I'm Dick.
A: Oh, hi. Anna.
[Harp glissando, romantic music]
A: Nice to meet you.
D: Uh, if you could just hang out here, uh, we're gonna get to you in a second.
A: Ok…cool D: Alright
[Sexy music as she checks out his butt]
D: All good, I'm on my way
-Good night! -Bye, thank you.
D: Oh, by- hey!
-Great job today. -Thank you!
Do you think you might want to work the show again?
I loved working background.
I was buying my groceries at the 99-cent store to supplement Costco mac and cheese packs my parents had bought me.
I wanted all the work and free hot meals I could get.
Dick asked for my number so he could book me directly, and every week, he called me in for work.
I loved it. And then one day, when I was signing out…
[Sparks sound]
I hadn't known this was on the table; if he was flirting that meant I could now relentlessly pursue him.
It didn't take long before I was bombarding Dick with messages.
[Message sending sound]
And imagining what his butt looked like underneath those baggy cargo pants.
-And then I found out... - "My brother died."
-I'm sorry. -And since I had lost a sister as well, my delusional self
immediately created an entire romance novel starring us.
Two survivors, we were meant to be together. We would
Help each other heal.
In my head, we had an insanely deep connection.
that no one else could comprehend.
We shared a mutual grief
and understanding of mortality and…
[Romantic strings]
…death.
I was an insane person. From that point on I bugged Dick a lot.
[Voices offscreen]
Finally, he caved.
Over dinner, I learned he liked to meditate, loved the outdoors
-and he said, - "I don't believe in monogamy."
I asked him to elaborate...
It's an outdated concept that no man could possibly uphold.
I, like most hopelessly infatuated idiots, just figured; he hadn't met the right person yet.
Dick and I dated for a year and a half, and every three months, he would cheat on me.
[Knocking on door]
Every three months, he would admit his infidelity, and say he was sorry.
He blamed his behaviour on his brother's suicide, saying it had left him broken and damaged.
I told myself I understood the whole self sabotage thing, and instead of walking away…
…I found out his phone's passcode. I would wait until he fell asleep and whore over his messages.
He would get mad that I violated his privacy, and the cycle would repeat.
Despite these very clear red flags, we stayed together,
during which time
I got pregnant.
I wasn't great at taking the pill.
I was working four jobs, attending comedy, and acting classes and filming videos every week.
I would go to sleep late and wake up early, often forgetting to take the pill. But whatever, right?
I wasn't going to get pregnant. I'd already lost my sister; surely the universe would give me a break.
Then one morning, my nipples felt weird.
[Shower turns on]
I knew instantly.
[Upbeat music]
Smiley face? Smiley face. Smiley fucking face.
-What is this?
This is not a great time for me to have kids, right, and you should be older,
you don't wanna have a baby! You should be much older.
Hey, look. You should probably have a baby with another guy.
Seriously. He told me I should probably have a baby with another guy.
You have to get an abortion.
Are we not even gonna have a conversation about this?
What conversation?
I'm not gonna go have an abortion without at least, like, talking thr-
[Abrupt silence, then sad music which continues under this section]
I had spent years secretly judging my friends for getting abortions.
How could they destroy a life like that?
I thought of them as selfish human beings who killed something that never stood a chance.
The view was great from that high ass horse.
But of course, when it happens to you, you go through the same reality check.
Am I ready to be a mom? No.
Is Dick ready to be a dad? No.
Do I have the financial means to support a child?
No, I can barely afford to feed my three cats.
I eventually came to the same conclusion as Dick.
They told me I was only seven days pregnant.
The doctor was very impressed when I told him my clairvoyant nipples story.
I am very impressed with your clairvoyant nipples story.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
And I was given an abortion pill.
What the doctor didn't tell me about the pill, is that it makes you nauseous.
[Sound of Anna throwing up]
It's okay, um, I'm pregnant.
[Piano music, gasps]
I'll admit that I liked being thought of as pregnant.
It made me want to walk around with a pregnant belly and see how I would be treated.
All the doors that would be opened for me.
Perhaps, people would even offer to buy me something to eat.
I imagined being nine months pregnant and raising a child.
But, there was one thing I wanted in order to go down that path.
Someone who truly loved me.
I knew then that I wanted to be a mom, but this wasn't the time.
If I bring a child into the world,
I want to be able to give him or her all of my love and attention.
I want to be in a relationship where the child is wanted.
[Water running]
I bled and cried and cramped for three hours.
I wondered if I was doing the right thing, if this was murder.
If I was a bad person.
I vowed I would never go through that shit again.
The next time I got pregnant, it would be when I was ready.
[Anna sighs, bell sound]
[Message sound]
Baby, have you thought about how you want to pay me back for your half of the abortion?
I wish I could say that Dick and I broke up after this, but we didn't.
I still thought Dick was my spiritual soulmate;
that he was the only person who could possibly understand what I had been through, and vice versa.
I liked the way he smelled, and the color of his eyes, and that he took me to Buddhist meditation sessions.
He's the reason I went on a week-long silent meditation retreat.
I spent seven grueling days sitting with myself, walking with myself, and living with myself.
On the last day of the retreat, we all had to go around and say one word that summed up our experience.
Love.
Whole.
Discovery.
Super-cali-fragilistic-expialidocious.
[Laughter]
And it clicked.
This is me,
I'm a person who makes other people laugh.
I felt peaceful, and I loved myself without shame, or neuroses, or arrogance.
And when I was having the most revealing, vulnerable, self-loving moment of my life,
Dick was sticking his dick in someone else.
So when he showed up at my door crying and begging for forgiveness,
I finally thought, fuck this guy.
Out in the desert, I'd finally found some self-respect.
And I haven't been pregnant since.
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Take Your Birth Control

5511 Folder Collection
Howard Lin published on April 1, 2018    April Lu translated    jenny reviewed
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