This is my initial exercise in “thinking like somebody else,” namely, like somebody who holds beliefs that are totally, completely different from mine. I wrote this for Major American Writers II – thankfully, no number grade so if she hates it that’s alright – but with a few modifications can post it here. I’m just interested in reactions, if there are any. Mostly I’d like to know if the narrator is believable, if he’s sympathetic (somebody you can understand; not necessarily agree with), and if you like/dislike him. Here goes:

I cant say exactly why I still let her take my time up; I have a thousand better things to do than stare at a computer screen flicking words late into the night. Lab reports stacked in corners demand me and my thesis wont write itself. But tonight I cannot hurt her by making one of my excuses. Talking about abortion shes so closed-minded. I know religion is a big thing to her, and you can tell by the way she talks. But what provincial… well she is, and young too.

Im an atheist. Life the moment of conception: I dont see what shes saying. Im an atheist. Her words keep coming up. “I think that totally unregulated abortion – abortion as liberals would have it – is wrong because it destroys life.” Abortion saved ems life.

Em wants to talk to her, explain why shes wrong. Em knows Catholicism. Religion closes peoples minds. Either-or thinking. She tells me that she loves all people after ranting about her terrible roommate’s narrow-minded view. I let em take my place at the computer; I say “I want you to talk to my friend emily” and she doesn’t say no, so now em types. I dont know what shell think of em, because shes sensitive and em isnt so much. This religion stuff fucks with a mind. How can she be in science and not realize, not accept empirical evidence? We know no god created this world. Ive spent too much time doing micro bio not to know its complex but random. Too much repetition, too many mistakes to be “designed.”

Life begins when the child has vital organs and a brain. Nobody kills full-developed babies. I wont listen to her say em – em – em did something evil. Em may break my heart but she is never evil. Christians dont think enough. Nobody kills a baby once its born, but she keeps saying thats so and I know it isnt. She wants evidence to support her way of life and cannot, will not, begin to imagine that her religion is wrong.

Under my name em types “christianity is stupid its a living breathing oxymoron.” Good lord em will beat her to pieces… maybe she will finally leave me alone if I let em take her down like this. “I can explain how free will works in Christianity,” she says. We, em and me, laugh and eat chocolate ice cream while her words flicker up the window as fast as the girl’s fingers can cover keys. Omnipotence obliterates the concept of freewill.

If we lose free-will em would have not chosen that pregnancy or its termination; it would just have happened as a nothing. A nothing. “Fuck her,” em says, reading. “She says abortion is wrong when it rescued me and now she says her god is good.” I look at em, then at the screen. Em types, “he kills and ruins life that he created knowing your destiny” then, “that means he controls everything that we did.” I agree with em. This girl needs to realize that what she believes locks her into one way of being and thinking. Abortion kills nothing but cells. Clark is a different world than her insular little christian school, and she needs to accept that other peoples views can be right too.

Abortion is not wrong. It saved my em. I lost her but she lives. She chose and I chose and no god makes me do what I do. She says its wonderful some god controls her life yet if some god controlled my life, some good catholic god, em would never be here as just a friend when I still love her. I cant stand that girls stupid blue words anymore and she wants us to call and talk. She wont understand why I let em talk when em was raised catholic, knows this religion through and through—knows it means nothing but turning us into machines. Abortion saved ems life. It wasnt killing a baby because it wasnt developed. No god out there because no god would put me, put my em, through this life.

– KF –

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