Tag Archives: choice

His Choice

Last year I entered a short story in the NARAL Pro-Choice America Choice Out Loud contest. While I didn’t win, I thought I would share this short piece with you today:

His Choice

By A.J. Walkley

Nobody ever asks me.

“Did you want it? Did you want what she wanted?”

Nobody ever asks. No. They fawn over her, though. Plenty.

“Are you okay? Are you feeling better? Do you need anything?”

They ask and they ask while inside they’re either thinking, I could never do what she did.

Or, There was no other decision to make.

Meanwhile, she seems not to notice I’m there. Standing in the background. By her side – yet not too close. Too close is a reminder. I remind her.

She reminds me, too, but I’m still there.

Why wouldn’t I have a say in the matter? Why is that? Why shouldn’t I? The two of us were involved in making it happen.

The two of us should have made that choice.

Would I have chosen differently? Maybe.

Probably not.

No.

But she didn’t ask.

She didn’t have to ask – but I wish she had.

Even just to see if I wanted to come with her. To hold her hand. To reassure her. To drive her home. To sit with her while her body healed.

To make sure she knew, her choice was my choice – and that choice couldn’t be wrong.

Instead, she is surrounded by women who say they know, they understand, they get it.

Some say they’ve been where she is now.

They say this while they look sideways at me, their meaning implied –

He could never understand.

But, I do.

I would have been a teenage parent, too.

When I found out, after the fact, two thoughts went through my head.

  1. Why didn’t she tell me?
  2. Her body, her choice.

And then, fleetingly, just for a second, I thought: We dodged a bullet.

Instead, here I stand, willing her to look my way, past her friends, her mother, her aunt. When she does, I say all I can with my eyes.

I love you. I’m here for you. Whatever you need from me, you’ve got it.

There is no anger in me, just guilt. And a sadness I cannot put into words.

I should have shared this burden. She didn’t have to go through this alone.

She glances quickly away, her lip trembling, before she tells everyone to leave the room.

Except me.

We are alone for the first time since before…

I stay still until she reaches her hand out and I feel pulled towards her, accepting this lifeline. I sit down and she rests her head on my shoulder. Our hands entwine and I pull her even closer.

I love you. I’m here for you. Whatever you need from me, you’ve got it.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers, her voice raw.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” I assure her.

She cries and I follow suit.

And I stay.

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Filed under Abortion, Choice, Social Justice, Writing

Welcome to my new blog!

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I’m excited to keep everyone updated on what I’m up to as an author and LGBT+ activist moving forward.

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This Saturday I’m happy to report that I will be at the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona with fellow authors from my publishing company, Rocket Science Productions. I will be at a table selling and signing copies of my book, Queer Greer, for all who are interested from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday, March 9th.

As I get ready to celebrate my 28th birthday next Wednesday, March 13th, I am so thrilled for the festivities to begin early. This Sunday, my favorite modern author, Jodi Picoult, is coming to town for a book reading and signing of her new title, The Storyteller. The timing could not have been more perfect! Here’s to hoping I can snap a photo with her!

Last week I had two blog posts go up on The Huffington Post – the first around the topic of LGBT+ inclusivity in surveys and questionnaires; the second, a part of my Bi the Bi series on why a bisexual individual would want to identify by the term “bisexual”.

There is much more to come! Come back for weekly updates and be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and The Huffington Post.

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Filed under General Updates

Barnes and Noble Rising Star: Choice

My 2009 novel, Choice, is now being listed in the Barnes & Noble Rising Star Collection!

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Filed under Choice, Writing

Featured on Quotations Diary

I was quite pleased to have both of my books – Queer Greer and Choice – featured today on QuotationsDiary.com!

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Thanks @QuotationsDiary for the feature!

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Filed under Guest Blogs, Writing

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Hey faithful readers! I am 10 days away from tackling the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge for the third time. My first year, 2008, I wrote my second self-published novel, Choice. The result was wonderful – it won the Barnes and Noble Rising Star Award and made its way into B&N bookstores across the east coast.

The second year, 2009, I started writing a book based on the life of Texas inmate Elizabeth Burke, incarcerated for the murder of her seven-week-old son. While I met the 50,000-word goal at the end of November’s 30 days, I never actually finished the novel. I will one of these days!

I took 2010 off due to work responsibilities, but now, in 2011, I’m ready to take up my pen for the third time and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’ve started to plan my novel in the very basic sense – I have a potential title and heroine.

The title: Ending at the Start

The heroine: Malawian teenager Vuto (which means “trouble” in the Chichewan language.)

The plot will be loosely based on an experience I had when I was a health volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa, in 2007. I witnessed a girl giving birth, alone (as is tradition) – it was her second or third child and she was only 17 years old.

That’s all I’m giving you at this point…stay tuned as November 1st rounds the corner and I begin a 30-day writing frenzy!

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Filed under Africa, Choice, Elizabeth Burke, NaNoWriMo, Vuto, Writing