Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“Are you still taking the ugly pills?” YOUTH WORK.

“Are you still taking the ugly pills?” 
I asked in my usual jokey manner, 
but I then followed it up with words that were rather more serious and demanded more than a smile: 

“You look sad tonight, Tina.” 
In the private conversation that followed, 

and through tears, 
she told me that she had an abortion just the day before, at five months pregnant, in hospital. 
She had actually delivered the baby while she was alone in a private room. 
The nurses had made comments like 
“it would have been a lovely baby – a boy – if it had been allowed to live.”

Tina’s parents are separated and she now lives uncomfortably with relatives. 
She says she prays, but that 

“He doesn’t do anything”. 
She takes drugs and drinks regularly in a number of pubs. 
She is beautiful. 
She is well dressed. 
She is fourteen.