Three Minutes

Three Minutes

She heard voices. That she heard voices was one thing, but that she thought she was hearing her angel was another.

“Three minutes.”

It spoke again. She listened. What was the significance of three minutes?

She turned to her left and right, and the wind brushed her face as she did so. Three minutes doesn’t ring a bell.

Atlantia busied her mind on other things and continued the walk to her apartment. She walked past a group of carolers in their red suits and cheery hats. Oh that time of year. She has to remember to get a tree for Christmas. It was just a few weeks away. Atlantia didn’t feel like Christmas though. There was a heaviness in her heart she could not shake. Tomorrow was not going to be an ordinary day.

“Hello Atlantia! Nice afternoon!” it was her landlady, Mrs. Jansey, walking past her as she turned the corner to her apartment building.

“Oh Hi Tina. Yes, nice.” She replied back.

“Three minutes.”

“Huh? You said something?” she asked.

“I said hello. I’m going now. Have a nice evening Atlantia!” and Mrs. Jansey walked away.

Just then Atlantia, was knocked off her feet. The force of the impact surprised her, especially when she looked up and saw that only a child had hit her. She was about 7, her hair was auburn and she had large brown eyes and a turned up nose. The child was shaking and was obviously afraid, leaning against the wall, staring back at her. Atlantia stood up, picked up her things and fixed her hair.

“Hey you’re just a wee babe. How come you can hit me so forcefully?” she smiled. The child continued to stare. Atlantia noticed that she was a street child. Her skin was ashen from dirt, and her clothes were made up of rags, on a dress that didn’t fit anymore. She was barefoot.

“Where’s your mommy? Is anyone with you? Where do you live?” Atlantia wanted to know.

The child just looked at her, and then raised her tiny hand and held it over Atlantia’s heart. It suddenly occurred to Atlantia that the child could not speak. She held out her hand to the child and led her to a small candy store across the street. “Do you want anything?” Atlantia asked. The child picked an orange heart shaped lollipop. The child smiled at her as they walked out again into the street. Atlantia was pleased.

“Three minutes”

She heard it again. Before Atlantia could say anything, the child squeezed her hand softly and held out three fingers in front of her face. Three fingers. Three. “You heard that? Atlantia asked. The child didn’t say anything. She just smiled and then hugged her. Atlantia hugged her back. As quickly as she came, like a child of the wind, the child ran towards the curb and was gone.

Atlantia had a difficult sleep. The morning came and like all mornings, she had coffee, set her answering machine, readied herself and got on a taxi. She gave the address to the driver and then heaved a sigh. No voices today. No not yet. No, hope not.

“Good morning. May I help you?”

“My… my name is Atlantia Evers. Ummm Dr Kramer?” she hesitated. She was still in a daze after she dozed off in the taxi. The driver had to wake her up. “Kramer Clinic, Miss” he said.

“Miss? Would you wait for a while. Dr. Kramer will be with you shortly.”

Atlantia sat down on the white sofa, in front of a small table with magazines scattered on top of it. She realized that she was shaking. Could she really do this?

Silence. She thumbed through the magazines in front of her. Something fell and hit her leg. She bent over to pick it up…

“Miss? Miss Evers?”

Atlantia was still staring at a half eaten orange heart-shaped lollipop when the nurse called.

“Miss Evers, Dr. Kramer is ready. Why don’t you sign this form and I’ll go get you a glass of water and then we can go inside. I’ll be back in three minutes.”

Three minutes.

Suddenly it all made sense. The child, the voices. The lollipop. The child. Three minutes. One decision. One lifetime. One life. Her child’s life… her precious child’s life. Tears ran down her eyes as she realized she could not go through the abortion.

Three minutes.

It took her less than a minute to get out of there. And in two more, she had formed a strong resolve that she would give life to the child that she was carrying inside her.

She walked past busy carolers and for the first time in days, she noticed smiles on people’s faces as they went in and out of shops buying Christmas gifts.

Faintly, she listened. She could hear children laughing, bells chiming. Christmas music from a diner. From cars passing by. No more voices.

But when they stopped speaking, she finally believed.
There were angels, and they walked among us.

written by Vicky, 2005

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