My favorite holiday...

And probably, from here on out, one of the most haunting days of my life.

The waiting room was so cold, and I was so tired... I talked to the counselor. I got my blood drawn. I made it all the way into the examining room, put on the paper gown, and... fell apart

Great hiccuping sobs shook through my body, growing so loud I thought the walls would shake. How can I do this? How can I be so fucking cruel and go through with this? I got up, threw off the flimsy paper, stuffed it in the trash can and put on my clothes again. Overwhelmed with guilt and fear and confusion, I sat down on the floor, wrapped my arms and knees protectively over my abdomen and rocked back and forth, sobbing hysterically. This is how the doctor found me.

Silently, he handed me another paper gown and a box of tissues. He got a nurse in to console me, and after a while, I calmed down enough for them to leave the room so I could get undressed again. Then, legs in stirrups, and tears still streaming down my face, I made the final choice. Once and for all, this is it, and there's no turning back... I hate myself for that.

Fog and sleep and trains rushing through my head in a cloudy firestorm of steam and steel... "I've felt my head," I said, upon waking. "I've felt my head exploding..." There were cookies and orange juice, but the pain down deep inside me was too much to bear; curled in a ball, I clenched my teeth, bit my lip, and felt... more empty than I ever have in my life. And the blood... my god, the blood.

Time passed, my sanity was regained, the pain subsided, and they let me go home... that evening, I woke from a long dreamless sleep to hear the shouts of children outside, and the sounds of my dad repeatedly opening the door, scaring them senseless with his silly costumes and theatrics. Right then, I wanted nothing more than to be his daughter again. I wanted my innocence back; I wanted to be enveloped in the same mystery and excitement that this holiday had always held for me in the past. I made my way slowly downstairs, hugged him fiercely, and told him how happy I was that he was my father... Surprised at my sudden display of affection, and curious about the tears streaming down my face, he hugged me back, and handed me a piece of candy. The moment was broken.

A ghost, a skeleton, and a princess appeared at the door, chanting their demands in sing-song childlike voices... They were beautiful and innocent and perfect; a shining example of all I had just given up.

Favorite holiday? Always.