Two months ago, I found myself in a public bathroom of my local grocery store. I usually try to avoid grocery store bathrooms but I was feeling desperate. Sometimes my body just doesn’t want to wait until I get home. As I was washing my hands, I saw a white stick sitting on the counter. The results were facing me so I read them. Two Lines. Pregnant.
I glanced around the bathroom to see if any one was there. It was empty. I looked at the pale walls and the smudged mirror. I saw the little sign with the cleaning schedule and the overflowing trash can. And then it hit me. Two Lines. Pregnant. The image of the lines burrowed into my mind and I started to cry. “Who are you? What is your story? Why are you taking the test here at the grocery store instead of the home of a family member or a dear friend?” The two lines dug deeper into my soul and I cried harder. “Are you safe? Do you have someone who really loves you?” In that moment, I wanted to believe that you were a thirty-something woman and you were just too excited to wait to get home to start the test. Glancing around the room though, I knew that probably wasn’t the case. You had taken the test in the grocery store bathroom. Maybe you had a friend with you. Maybe you were alone. Either way, you had waited the three minutes for the results and then left the stick on the counter. “Where did you go? Are you safe? Do you have someone who really loves you?”
The image of the two lines has haunted me. I’ve seen it in my mind multiple times over the last two months. I’ve prayed for you. I’ve given money to charity. I’ve prayed again. I hope that you are okay. The image of the lines has burrowed into my heart. Two Lines. Pregnant.
Today is Civil Rights Day. It’s a day to remember Martin Luther King Jr, and others, who fought for equal rights for all Americans. We remember the stories. We remember the people. I watch the I have a dream speech and I think about how far our country has come. I think about where we still need to go. Then I remember you. The girl or woman who took the pregnancy test in the grocery store bathroom. A person who has become real to me. My sister.
Your story matters. You matter. Please believe that.