National Weekend Trip to Manchester

Reading Choice

I’m sitting at O’Brien’s, sipping gin and tonic and waiting for my friend. I had a pretty shitty day at work and all I want is to talk it through and get some cuddles. He doesn’t want me to stay over. I feel sad and disappointed. I feel insecure. To fight the feeling I’m making a bad reading choice. Something about a morning pill and its inaccessibility in my country of origin. But it turns out to be a starting point of discussion.

When Your Period is Late

We go for a little drive to the Dublin Mountains. The evening is like one of those early autumn evenings. It is still a bit bright and we are talking about contraception. It feels good to be able to talk, so I’m telling him, how my period was late after we slept together for the first time. How scared I was, as having a child with someone, who is practically a stranger, was not on the top of the list of things to accomplish. It is hard enough to raise one child alone.

Going Overseas

Instead of a romantic date, we are having this important conversation. About how women are being left alone, with not much choice left. Managing on their own or taking a trip overseas. To one of those clinics in the UK. Or to Slovakia. You can in few hours get rid of the problem. Abortion is a reality. A sad, sneaky way to avoid responsibility. A way to keep dreams alive. As this is not a good time. Not a good father to be. There is not enough money in the bank account. Not enough support… The list is endless and leads to a womb that needs to be emptied as soon as possible.

What If…

So the female part of the nation is booking a cheap flight. Manchester is not a great holiday destination in the end. But it has abortion clinics. Lots of his friends had made that trip. I dare not to ask how those women felt about it. It’s enough that I feel sad for them. In fact, I feel heartbroken. Imagining teenage boys and girls with freckled faces. And those women in a blue gown lying in a hospital bed. Emptied, but still able to think “what, if”…

What Will You Do

When my daughter was born the timing was not perfect. I was working as a waitress until the end of the pregnancy. Her father was still at college, travelling frequently to Poland as his mother was diagnosed with cancer. But we had each other and there was not even for a moment, a thought of terminating the pregnancy. Was I scared? Sure I was. But I was also happy. More than a couple of months back when I was binge buying pregnancy tests in a local pharmacy. Apart from the fear, I knew that no matter what, I would have that child. With the father or without. He said it shouldn’t be like that. But I was quiet, not telling him what I’m going through. Waiting in silence. Isn’t it what women do? Isn’t it what woman should stop doing?

Today I think about Katie. About all the Katies of Ireland. All girls that made The National Weekend Trip to Manchester. Today I’m crying for their children. For their remorse and for lack of it. Today I am taking a trip as far from Manchester as possible.


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