Last time I stated that this week I would post a story that I originally wrote twenty years ago and was re-written by my wife ten years ago. Once I pulled it out to type it up for posting, I only have a printed copy of the story and not the word file, I realized it was a little too long to post all at once. So I am going to serialize the story over the next four days.
“Seven years,” he thought to himself. “Seven years, and this is it?” He could not grasp the concept of what he was feeling.
His mind wandered suddenly to that fateful night when he stood by his wife’s side and held her hand at the hospital bedside. “You can do it sweetheart, it will be all right.” He said softly, as he soothed and caressed her sweat-beaded cheek. The panic in his voice was well hidden by his actions. He looked down to the stirrups that held her legs wide for the world to see, sensing the vulnerability that she felt, and the helplessness to take away her pain. Another contraction and her grip once again tightened around his hand. Her face turned a bright crimson as she once again pushed, bearing down, just as the coaches taught her in the Lamaze classes that they took. “Bear down,” he said quietly as he comforted her with his touch.
He shook his head and breathed a sigh of distress as he recalled those words; those words that had forever changed his life. “We’re loosing her! Nurse!” the doctor screamed out. Before he could comprehend, he felt the shock of the hands pulling him backwards, leading him quickly out of the room. Not a word was uttered to him from the faceless, nameless hands. They only took him abruptly away from that which he treasured, that which he loved, the woman who held his unborn child in her womb. As he saw the door close before his eyes, he felt his heart break.
The seconds passed by like hours, minutes like years, and finally, after a few centuries had passed, the doctor appeared silently from behind the tremendous double doors. He looked up slowly, his eyes showing the silent chaos tormenting his mind and soul within them. “I’m so sorry,” the doctor whispered, “your wife will be fine, but…” A long silence echoed through the colossal halls outside the delivery room as the doctor just shook his head. He knew he’d never forget that moment, his own flesh and blood, his own creation, and his life. “Your daughter didn’t survive.”
Those words echoed in his mind as he rested his head in his hands, covering his face with his enormous fingers. A softened sigh parted his lips as he shook his head, and a tear trickled down his cheek. He closed his eyes tight, and imagined swinging his beautiful blonde haired – blue eyed daughter from the swing he had hung in the back yard just a few short weeks ago. “I can swing the baby here during the summer, and we can have a picnic over there,” as he pointed out towards various areas of the yard, “We can put a jungle gym over there. And when she gets older, we can get a dog and she’ll be able to play with it with no worries.” He said to his wife as she nodded, smiling contentedly and looking at the proud father-to-be.
The room suddenly looked bright, almost blinding hi, when the sound of the door opening brought him back to his reality. “She’s ready to leave Mr. Harris.” A man in a white nurses uniform said softly as they carted his wife in a wheelchair by him, towards the exit of the hospital. Mechanically, he stood, and slowly followed the two out towards the Emergency Entrance Door. They swung open as the group approached with a whoosh. The fresh springtime air overcame his senses and the thoughts of him swinging his precious daughter back and forth on the swing only made him more miserable inside.
They spoke not a word on the long ride home. She sat beside him, quietly caressing her stomach where the child she carrier within her, lived for so long. He now felt only sorrow, and was unable to comfort her as she gazed out the window towards nothing in particular. She took her hand and placed it against the cool glass window then uttered a soft sigh. He needed escape, he needed to get away from her, she lost his only child, and they had been waiting for so long to conceive.
Before he realized, the brakes of the car were making that familiar squealing sound as he pulled up in front of the house. “I was going to have the brakes looked at last week, wasn’t I?” He sighed as he remembered yet another thing that needed to be done. He sat there for a moment before placing the car in Park, then opened the door, and got out. His wife met him at the walkway to the house, and he followed despondently as she made her way to the front door. She squeezed his hand softly, offering him the little comfort she could, as she turned the key to the front door.
In the entrance-way, there was a large package from his parents. He recalled the conversation he had with his mother just a few weeks before. “Make sure you don’t buy a car seat. Your father and I just went out and bought the most beautiful one for the baby!” He shook his head and made way towards the kitchen.
The house was dimly lit. The curtains were still drawn from the night before, and there was an eerie quietness surrounding them. He looked up the staircase, and saw the light to the baby’s room on. Instantly he could feel his sanity slipping away.
She interrupted, “The Doctor asked if we’d be trying again.”
“Try again?” He thought to himself. “I can’t do this, I can’t do this again.” He shook his head and spoke silently to himself. “I couldn’t live through this again!”
“Tim needs me in the office.” He uttered softly. “I need to go to work.” She nodded her head, and smiled sweetly, not allowing him to see the pain that she bore within her. “I need to rest.” She said softly. Then again there was silence.
The next few moments were non-existent, and he found himself once again in his car. He pounded his fists against the steering wheel a few times, then slammed his hand down and pulled the lever into Drive. The tires left patches of rubber in front of the house as he sped off, and left his frustrations in the tar.
The skies fell dim, and the city lights glowed with a whorish tinge. Just then, he came to the realizations that he had been driving for hours.