Emily: Chapter Eighteen

Untitled

GRACE

The doctors at the emergency ward rushed Emily to the labour and delivery room where they tried to find the baby’s heartbeat.

The silence was deafening.

Everything after that was like a nightmare for Emily. The nurses prepped her for an emergency cesarean section. Emily wished they wouldn’t give her the anaesthesia. She felt like she needed to feel the intense pain to cope. That she had to endure physical agony in preparation for that which was to come. It couldn’t have been very long after the surgery began, yet it felt like several agonizing hours had passed before a perfectly formed baby girl was placed on Emily’s chest.

Through tears, she said, “Hey there, Sunshine. Do you want to open those beautiful eyes for me? Mama loves you so much. I…I…I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do the one job I was supposed to do. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m…”

As she broke down into hysterical sobs, one of the nurses gently eased the sleeping baby away from her and the anaesthesiologist gave her a sedative. The last thing she remembered was watching the nurse take her baby away.

She never saw her child again.

The days that followed were no better than that early morning on which little Grace Mendonca said goodbye to this world before she had a chance to say hello. Emily tried to show courage and strength but it was beyond her to do so. In her hospital room where she spent three miserable nights in order to recover from her physical injuries, her eyes kept darting to the side of her bed where a baby crib should have been. Every time a nurse or a doctor or Ethan entered the room, she involuntarily glanced at their arms hoping that were carrying her little girl and they had decided to put an end to the cruel joke life seemed to be making at her expense. She couldn’t believe that her Grace was gone.

Reality hit her like a brick when the hospital administration staff  handed her the baby’s death certificate as they were being discharged from the hospital. She collapsed into unstoppable tears and had to run out of the hospital to draw in some fresh air to breathe again. It didn’t help that when she got into their car, the blood stains were still visible on the car seat. She noticed that Ethan, or somebody, had tried to scrub them away and had been unsuccessful. The large brown patch brought back the horrors of their drive and Emily almost couldn’t breathe again. She slammed the front door shut and got into the back seat shivering. She began to hyperventilate and Ethan handed her a paper bag in which to breathe. He tried to put his arms around her to help calm her down. She pushed him away. Silently he got back into the driver’s seat and took her home.

Emily had hoped that when she got home, things would get better. They didn’t. When she walked into the bedroom, she was greeted by the baby crib she had ordered. It stood there fully assembled, waiting for a baby that would never lay in it. She felt irrationally angry at Ethan for being so insensitive to her feelings and leaving the crib there in full view. She crawled into bed, drew the covers over her head and cried until there were no more tears left. Then she fell asleep.

When she woke up the crib was gone and her family, as well as Ethan’s mother, had arrived. Emily, who could barely pull herself out of bed, found that she had lost the will to talk or eat and wanted to be alone, in the quiet dark world into which she had gone.

She would need time, and lots of it, to heal. Her world had been shattered and she felt as though she had been left there, alone among the million fragments. She would have to pick everything up and fix all of them together again. It had to all fit together if she was to go on. But, how could it when one of the biggest pieces of all had been lost forever?

******

You can read the earlier chapters here.

UBC: Post 22

Advertisements

Play

swing-339255_640So quiet the streets,
So still those old swings remain.
Breaking that silence
Are mothers long wails of pain –
There’s not a child left to play.

******

Written based on the prompt in The One Minute Writer – Tanka Tuesday. The prompt was “Play“. To learn more about the style of writing. Please check out the original post on TOMW here.

Dear Diary…

Dear Diary,

Would you believe another 25th of December has gone by? Father insisted on going to church today and I wish he hadn’t because during the service, when I looked at him, he was crying and it nearly broke my heart. He tries so hard to be strong but then Christmas day comes along and I can almost feel the pain radiating from him. I think he thinks he should have been able to stop it…that he should have done something differently that day, but how could he have known what was to be? How could Father have stopped what happened? I wish he wouldn’t blame himself. I don’t. I almost reached out to him, to hold his hand today, but, I hesitated for just a second too long and by the time I decided to, the moment had passed and it was too late…

Christmas used to be such a wonderful time for the family Diary…we used to have a big celebratory dinner with delicious food and carols and dancing…I wish only the parties could be remembered instead of just that Christmas night nine years ago being the clearest…why Diary? Why are painful memories like that always so powerful? Why doesn’t the sadness ever end…?

On that night, I remember I was sitting at the foot of the stairs rubbing my tummy because I was hungry. It was way past my dinner time and Mother and her sister, Aunty Tina had only just begun setting the table! Father’s youngest sister my beautiful stylish Aunty Kendra, who insisted I called her just Kendra, was pouting at her reflection in the mirror that hung in our little foyer as she combed her hair first this way then that trying to get it to sit in a style she found most flattering. Aunty Grace, Father’s elder sister was at the piano, absent mindedly playing the first few bars of “Jingle Bells” while her husband Uncle Jude was successfully convincing Father to break out a bottle of his more expensive bubbly. I remember that the last time I heard Father laughing was as he went to the bar to fetch it. Uncle Jude popped the bottle and I recall that the cork went flying through the room and landed at the far end of the hall. I was supposed to submit an art project once school re-opened the next year and I thought the cork would be a useful addition to the piece I was making. I bent down to poke my head under the sofa to see if that was where the cork had rolled off to when Aunty Enid (who was quite old at the time) didn’t see me, tripped over me and fell. The glass she was holding fell to the ground and shattered and she cut her hand on the shards. I remember Mother rushed to her side to tend to her injuries giving me a very stern look. Father just pulled me up and gave me a hard smack on my behind in front of everybody, his eyes flashing. He hissed at me to apologise, which I did, shakily. Then he just walked away from me. I was so angry probably just as angry as he was. I was almost seven years old…how dare he smack me in front of so many people when I was almost old enough to be a lady?!?

I turned around and stormed out of the room, my eyes smarting almost as much as my derrière. I threw on my favourite pink coat, and bolted out of the house. I walked out onto the road going in a direction that I thought would take me furthest away from my house and from my father with whom I was so angry…but the further I walked, the less angry I got. So I turned around to head back home…

Diary…the last thing I remember about that Christmas night was the appearance of this patch on the snow…like bright red ink staining a white sheet of paper…

The next time I see Father, please make sure I give his hand a squeeze Diary…he won’t be able to see me, but maybe he will be able to feel my presence and know that I love him and don’t blame him and that the accident was never his fault…

-xoxo

******

I randomly generated SEVEN words to write a piece of fiction. The words I got were: Christmas, Diary, Cork, Comb, Ink, Dinner, Power. Hope you enjoyed the read. 🙂

******
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

Write Tribe

The Shadow of Your Smile

I remember when you held me in your arms, I felt so safe. Even just the sound of your car pulling up in the driveway gave me peace. I remember we used to spend whole days together, without a care in the world, wrapped up in each others arms…relishing every moment we spent with each other…

But then suddenly, it ended…

To survive, I’ve had to learn to block out the journey to the hospital and the grey days that followed…

God knows I miss you, but, the memories are fading…all that remains now is the shadow of your smile…

100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe