The White Building
Pearl ran out with her hand over her mouth. She felt sick. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw up.
She made it down the stairs but could not hold it in any longer. There in the alley, with one hand on the wall to support her body, she threw up until there was nothing left to throw up.
"What have I done?! What have I done?!" Pearl repeated in her mind as she stumbled out to the street. The horrible image of the little hand would not leave her. Her lower body was in pain as a result of the procedure, but numbly she just started walking. From one street corner to another, she kept on walking, sometimes going straight, sometimes turning, with no particular destination in mind. Finally when she was too tired to walk, she sat down on the steps in front of a big white building.
Then she noticed red droplets along the path she came. She looked down at her dress. A big patch of it was wet - and red. She was bleeding. Everything went black after that. She fainted.
When Pearl came to, she found herself lying on a bed. A woman was sitting on a chair nearby with her head bowed and eyes closed. When Pearl sat up, the woman opened her eyes and smiled at her.
"Do you feel better now?" asked the woman.
Pearl then recalled that she was sitting on some steps before she woke up. "I'm okay," she replied.
"We found you outside. You had fainted."
"Thank you," Pearl said, and started to get out of the bed, but the room began to spin.
"You probably should rest a little longer," said the woman, standing up to help Pearl keep her balance. "Why don't you stay and have dinner with us?"
下期续 to be continued.
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