The Unholy Choice

“No. I won’t do it.”

Yes you will, I thought mechanically. None can resist God’s plan.

I countered, “Please. Church policy, school rules and common sense say otherwise. You’re just dragging this out…making this more difficult…”

I regarded her for a moment. So much like all the other losers. Most students didn’t fuss about the mandatory sterilization; only the stoners put up a fight. How ironic was that? Their apathy deserted them when they needed it most.

This one had been notoriously difficult. Her parents wouldn’t sign the waiver and she had burned through several counselors. That’s why they called me in. I had experience. I knew that the time for talking was over.

“If you don’t accept the meds, you will be expelled from the school and returned to your home. Do you understand?”

When she didn’t answer, I continued as though to a child, which she technically was. “There will be no pain. This pill will make the necessary changes in your body so that you will never have to face the unholy choice.”

The caplet sat cradled in my palm. It was a synthetic yellow, twenty-second century miracle.

“And this one,” I reached into my briefcase and dramatically pulled out the bright blue pill, “will ease the burden of the next few hours.” Her eyes grew excited as she recognized the second one. Spearit, under various other nicknames, was a common enough playground upper.

But she didn’t take the pills. Instead, she rumpled her face a few times — untucking and tucking her leg under her seat. She obviously had something she wanted to say. The girl, the lamb really, clutched her purse and bleated, “Why do we have to do this again?”

“We’ve been through this.” I leaned back and took a deep breath. “God has chosen other peoples of the world to bear our children. Only the most selfish of women would actually raise their own offspring.” I continued to explain population policy and how it intersected with Church doctrine, but I was interrupted by her sobbing. What was it now?

“Don’t you get it, Father?” She wasn’t quite spitting my title, but close. “You’re too late.” She made a vague motion in the area of her belly. Her expression was beatific.

Ah. That changes everything. I stared at her for a very long time, saying nothing. She was wiping tears and looking about the room for guidance.

I just reached into my briefcase for the red pill.

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