I have decided to start posting my "works-in-progress" on this blog in hopes to stay motivated and hopefully see some of this stuff through.

I am always fine-tuning my writings, so feel free to leave comments, point out grammatical errors, or any other sort of feedback that you think might help.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Choice

Kate sat in the parking lot of her doctor’s office, feeling slightly nervous at the decision she was about to make. It had only been a year since her husband Haydn had died. She missed him terribly and did not like making this sort of decision without him.

They had initially decided to freeze Haydn’s sperm approximately three years ago, prior to his deployment to Afghanistan. The young couple desperately wanted to have a child and Kate had been struggling with infertility. Kate had been in the middle of infertility treatments when Haydn’s company had been activated. The decision at the time was to continue with the cycles as originally planned, in hopes that she would become pregnant even while he was away.

While the couple was relieved that Haydn’s tour only lasted a brief ten months, they were saddened that their efforts to conceive had not yet been realized. Upon Haydn’s return home, he resumed his duties as a state trooper with the Minnesota Highway Patrol. Kate was happy to have Haydn back home from the war, and Haydn was happy to be doing a job he loved. All they needed now was a baby to complete their family. As Kate sat in her car thumbing through the forms in front of her, she couldn’t help but think of the events that had lead to Haydn’s unexpected death.

It was a dark, wintry night and Haydn was working a graveyard shift on the main interstate spanning the Twin Cities. A call came in from dispatch. A gunman had fired shots in the West Expansion at the Mall of America and proceeded to lead officers on a high speed chase through the city before getting on the freeway. Haydn had responded to the call and joined the other units in pursuit of the black Escalade.

The roads were slick and visibility impaired due to the high winds and freezing rain. Haydn’s patrol jeep hit a patch of black ice and he lost control of the vehicle, rolling several times down the embankment before landing in the ditch. His body was thrown and he was killed on impact.

Kate had played the events of the evening over and over again in her mind several times since. Was she really a believer like she professed? Could she really accept that this was fate or somehow part of “the Plan”? If he had not responded to that call, would his life have been claimed in some other way? Of course, she knew it didn’t matter. She knew that Haydn loved his job and there was no way he would have let the call go.

The past year had been anything but easy for Kate. Yes, she knew what it was like to be lonely. She knew what it was like to wonder day in and day out if she would see her husband again. She dealt with that while Haydn was away at war and everyday since he’d been back that he put on his badge and went to work. But every time he did return, she grew more and more hopeful of his return night after night. But now, that hope was no longer her reality.

The rain drops against the windshield brought Kate back to reality for a moment. Once again she turned to the paperwork on her lap. After Haydn’s death, Kate had stopped her current round of infertility treatments. Her doctor told her to take some time off and come back and see him if she wanted to start up again. The alternative was to sign the necessary authorization forms to have the specimen destroyed. Kate had thought about both options many nights during the past year.

On the one hand, she really wanted to be a mother, and above all else she wanted to be a mother to Haydn’s baby. Part of her wanted to proceed with the treatments, in hopes to have any part of Haydn in her life she possibly could. However, she knew that choice would bear a lot of uncertainties and would be hard. Would she be able to raise a baby on her own? Should she ever desire to be married again would her new husband be accepting of this baby? And above all, Kate wondered, what would Haydn want her to do?

“Things have a way of working themselves out.” Kate could almost hear his voice as she repeated those words in her mind. Haydn used to say that to her all the time. Kate drew her hand to her face and wiped the tear from her cheek. Suddenly, as if he was there, sitting along right beside her holding her hand she again heard those words. “Things have a way of working themselves out.”

Kate breathed a heavy sigh as she signed the form to discard any chances to ever bear Haydn’s child. Suddenly, she felt a warmth rise within her chest and knew that she made the right decision. She knew her husband loved her and wanted her to move on. Kate knew this meant she was ending a chapter of her life. She rested her head against the steering wheel for a moment as the tears began to flow almost uncontrollably. Kate shed tears over the memory of her loving husband. She shed tears over her dream for the baby she always wanted. And finally, she shed tears of solace, for the burden of the choice had finally been lifted from her.

This question, finally answered, gave her the peace of mind and closure she needed and Kate soon found, as Haydn promised, things indeed had a way of working themselves out.

COPYRIGHT 2011. Emma C Miller. Any reproduction of this story may not be made without express written consent of the author.


  1. i think this one is good. i could really feel kate's worry about making the wrong decision. it got me wondering what i would do in that situation. again you left me intrigued by the ending, about how things soon worked out. i have no complaints about this story. started good, ended good.

  2. I didn't think it started too slow or too quickly, just right!

    I think for a short story that the main character definitely IS developed enough.

    Most interesting: The words that came to her mind and feeling him near her and also...What is she going to do?

    Least interesting: got nothin'. lol

    Ended great, not too abrupt and still left us hangin' and wanting MORE (about how things soon work out!)

    Good job, Emma. I love reading your stuff! :)


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