My friend Adrian and I were heading home after our canoe club’s Tuesday session. We got on the Central line. I was slightly tipsy and yammering about something ridiculous. Something about writing and editing, I think. Then Adrian pauses mid-conversation to address a young woman sitting across from us. She was going into premature labor. We got her off the train one stop early as she tried repeatedly to call someone to come pick her up. I’m not even sure how well she knew this guy. He was just a housemate.
"No one is supposed to know," she said. She had an abortion scheduled for Monday. She lit up a cigarette.
Jacqueline was her name. She kept refusing our help, and eventually Adrian convinced me to leave her, that we had helped all we could.
I broke down when the doors closed. My housemate has had five miscarriages, and delivered one stillborn baby in a shower.
I ran a hand over my face as the tears came down.
"And that’s why I do what I do."