What Could Have Been.

3 min
Image of 2018
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“The time was long spent, colored mostly by pain, fear, and overwhelming panic. The clips that I saw through partly opened eyes, like the white linens colored with stark crimson in a haphazard spontaneous designs, was enough persuasion to close them again.
At the light of new and the darkness of what was, stands moments that transcend this world. New life is suppose to bring joy in abundance. It is painted in blue, pinks, yellows, but in reality new life is brown and messy. The paints collide into one ghastly mix and more times than not it streaks mud through the clean houses of many. Such was with my case.
After the relentless pain subsided, after my body morphed into something unrecognizable several times, and after the first breathes were exhaled in cold shuttered cries, the worst was not over yet. Over and over in my mind were pictures of women, and quotes from all the women I knew complimenting each other on journeys through childbirth. How it is a miracle, how it takes strong people to deliver and how you’ll change once you hold that child for the first time. Those maybe true for many but they weren’t true for me.
She was small, pink and warm with vocal chords that better suited a baritone opera singer than that of a baby. Positioning her was remarkably hard and the attendant besides me aided me in my struggle. After agonizing bouts of shrieks she quieted and we were both relieved. She was perfect. She was healthy, and technically she was mine. In biology perhaps, most certainly in heart but in my gut, in the sad look of the aide’s eyes and in the overtone deafening narration of world at large she didn’t belong to me. The new blanket surrounded her body in clean stability. My dirty yellowed nails that encased themselves around this little thing tightened knowing their role. As I pulled the bundle to my chest the shaking in my body couldn’t be stopped. The aide with no word, pulled her from me gently but with great assertion. When our eyes met I was ashamed at the desperation reflected in my own. Hers conveyed equally complex expressions. I couldn’t tell you exactly what she was thinking only that she was in fact in as much emotional upheaval as I was.
After she left the room I didn’t see the pink bundle again. On the day I left I returned to the dank streets where I had emerged. I collapsed on the usual bench in my usual park and cried into the weathered wood. I contemplated seeing her on different occasions. The small bundle was a tether to a world of love and light. It was a role. It was a purpose. It was a salvation. But at what cost? Then it donned on me the very last time I tried to approach the building that I delivered her in. There would be a cost but the the real question was at whose expense? I had already been lost for years. The pink bundle was a rescue device I thought I had been looking for. All the while as I treaded water for years, refusing to learn how to swim. How long would I allow the fear of failure to rob me of myself and continue to rob my life? I’d already dragged myself down into a dark abyss. Was I really willing to drag another person down with me just because she was once inside me? I was already a victim to fear, to so many things and there would be no way I could allow that to happen to an innocent person. My mess was mine and mine alone. I just hope one day that both she and I will understand that losing her was the best thing that happened to us.”
A thunderous clap emerged as Lilly loosened her grips on the podium. She made no eye contact with the audience only nodding slightly at her notes. Her knees were buckling and her legs were too shaky to move quite yet. Glenda the kind announcer placed her hand on Lilly’s back. She sighed with relief knowing that talking at the birth control clinic was the right thing to do. Glenda guided Lilly back to her seat graciously and Lilly spent the remaining portion of the seminar just trying to calm herself down enough to walk home. Little did Lily know that in the back of the room a lean young woman adorned in a fine pink suit eyed her. For a fleeting moment once the seminar commenced Lily met the woman’s eyes. Though this person was a stranger, Lily knew it was the pink bundle. The woman held no reaction as she gazed at her. They parted ways both finally with some peace.

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