Death At The Diner

Death At The Diner

A short story about a young woman in the days leading up to her mother's tragic end.

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Mother died today, all because of some deranged lunatic. One minute she was opening up the family coffee shop, and the next she was on the ground dying. I was at her side when she left this world for the next. The man who killed my mother was not a stranger to me. For the past two weeks, he would come in every morning and order the same thing; a large coffee and a doughnut. I remember the first time he came into the shop, he stood out like a sore thumb. The morning rush is made up of people on their way to work, and that means suits and ties. This man, on the other hand, waltzed in one morning in ratty clothing that had to be as old as me. I assumed he was looking for handouts and was about to tell him to scram when he got in line behind the other customers. I kept an eye on him as he made his way to the front of the line. As he paid for his order, I noticed that he had given me a fifty dollar tip. That was more than an entire day's tips at once! Before I could thank him the mystery man was gone.

Over the next few days, the man continued to visit the shop in the morning and give me an outrageous tip each time. Mother noticed the extra cash within a day and inquired who was tipping so generously. When I told her about the ratty looking man who came during my morning shift, she asked how such a poor looking man could have so much to give to others. I simply shrugged my shoulders and decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

After a week of this, I finally asked the man what his name was. He told me it was Henry and then asked for my own. I told him it was Maria and I could have sworn that his eyes lit up, almost as if he recognized me. Today was different from the others though, instead of tipping an insane amount he simply handed over a handful of ones. I took the wad of bills from him and noticed that a scrap of paper had gotten mixed up with the cash. I tried giving it back to him, but he declined, stating that it was for me. He then turned around and left the shop, coffee, and doughnut in hand.

When I went on my break an hour later, I unfolded the crumpled piece of paper. It was just an old receipt from a gas station, but there was something on the back. I flipped the paper over and saw some hastily written letters asking for me to meet Henry at the park around the corner. I decided to go and see what he wanted with me. So I told my mother that I was going on a quick walk and would be back soon. She wasn't too happy about me leaving her alone at the shop, but she let me go anyway.

As I entered the park, I immediately spotted Henry sitting on one of the park benches. I sat down next to him and glanced at the huge book in his lap. I asked what he was reading, and he replied with "Nothing." He then stated that he had a couple questions for me and I told him that I had some for him as well.

He let me ask the first question, and I told him that I was curious as to how he was able to tip so generously. He explained that he was actually the CEO of a company who was currently undercover as a poor citizen. He claimed he wanted to see how the other half lived. I nodded my head, and he asked the next question; did I like working at the family-owned shop? I said, "yes" and asked as to how he knew that my mother and I ran the business. He replied that he had heard me call for mother once or twice when the register was acting up. I then asked what had brought him to town and he told me that he used to live here a long time ago, but he had come back to fix something he left behind. He then asked if I felt safe around my mother, I raised an eyebrow and replied "yes?" What was he some sort of social worker? He then started to ask even more weird questions that pertained to mother and the shop in general. Halfway through yet another question I glanced down at my watch and feigned surprise. I quickly apologized to Henry and told him that my break was almost over. He said he understood and I quickly ran back to the safety of the shop.

Mother looked up with worry as I ran in through the front door. She asked if something was wrong. I thought about saying nothing, but I decided to let her know. She listened quietly as I told her all about Henry and his weird questions about her. When I had finished, she stated that she did not want me to go anywhere with this man, and if he tried anything funny, she would call the cops on him. I agreed with my mother and vowed not to go anywhere with him ever again. Sadly Henry continued to come to the shop every day handing me a new piece of paper each day. I assumed he wanted to meet with me again, so I simply stuffed the notes into the back of the cash register. If they were out of my sight, they would stay out of my mind. At least that's what I kept telling myself.

It had been a week since meeting Henry at the park when it happened. Mother and I had just gotten to the shop. We were in the process of opening it when there was a knock on the glass door. Someone obviously couldn't read, our sign still said closed. That didn't stop the person from knocking, so my mother went to the front door to explain that we weren't open just yet. I watched from behind the counter as she had a hushed conversation with whoever was at the door. The conversation grew louder by the second and the next thing I know I heard a gunshot. I saw my mother was falling to the ground. That's when I finally saw who had been at the door, it was Henry. I let out a bloodcurdling scream and raced towards the store phone. Henry took off down the road as I called 911. The woman on the other line told me to stay on the phone, but I hung up so that I could be by mother's side. I looked down at her bloodstained chest and her now pale body. She was losing blood fast, and if the squad didn't get here in time, she was going to die. They didn't get here in time. Before she passed, she took my hand in her own and just like that she was gone.

When the police arrived, they had many questions for me, and I told them everything I knew. One officer asked if he had tried communicating at all after my encounter at the park. It was then I remembered the notes, and I ran to retrieve them. I laid them out in front of the police officers, and we looked them over. Five were requests for me to meet him in the park once more while the other two were quite disturbing. One explained that he believed my mother was a monster and was trying to harm me. While the other had five words hastily scribbled on it; I am sorry my daughter. The man who had murdered my mother turned out to be my long lost father.

This new information helped the cops tremendously, and they said that they would let me know as soon as they found any leads on where he might have gone. I don't have the patience for a long drawn out search and an even longer trial. I was going to find my father myself, and I was going to make him pay.

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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