Friday, August 15, 2008

That's what it is - fear

She went through the emotions with quick succession. At first, both of them stared at the black and white screen nervously, not knowing what to expect or what not to. The jelly on her belly felt cold; but colder still was her husband's hand unconsciously gripping hers till the veins popped out on the back of her palm. And then, as a small mass at one end of the screen was pointed out to them, they wept silently at the thought of a new life growing inside of her. It was joy no doubt, quite different from any other joy they had ever experienced before. Then came the guilt - the guilt of all this being unintentional, unprepared for. It would be too much to manage with all that was going on anyway. Finally, fear. Plain, black fear.

They hadn't planned this child and surely didn't want to have one. And when she had missed her monthly cycle for two consecutive months, it had brought the scariest scenarios right before their eyes. It wasn't about the finance or what the child would grow up into. They just weren't ready to be parents and had done all that was necessary.

She had recently landed a decent job which didn't look too kindly on employees taking leave, let alone a three month absence. He was still trying to juggle life, work and family while balancing on his own feet.

And then this. It felt as if someone had secretly left tennis balls lying around while he was at it.

There was little they could do but get on with life and be as normal as possible. Or that's what they thought they were doing. The dilemma hung over their heads like a dead rat; they could do nothing to take their attention off it. It was a different thing altogether that they were afraid to stop thinking about it. Neither of them was comfortable with the idea of taking away a life even before it was actually born or bringing it into the world and knowing deep down inside that it was all a big mistake. It was a lose-lose situation.

And so the date drew near until it was only a fortnight away. Things had gone from bad to worse with absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel. It was in such desparation that she begged him to get rid of the child. Temporary pain, she felt, would be nothing when compared to a lifetime of regret. They agreed to get it done using physical trauma. That way, nobody would know and outside help would not be needed.

He made her lie on the bed and placed a pillow on her lower abdomen. This was the last chance to reconsider, but her mind had already been made up. He raised the rod and brought it down hard. It broke her heart.

The fear was still there - black and permanent. But as a small blot of red formed on the sheet, there was a sense of relief mixed with apprehension. They took all that was kept packed and left the house. The contractions set in on the way to the hospital; they were ready for it.

She was wheeled into the Emergency Room without any delay as she had already entered labour. The last he saw was of her clentching her stomach and her face contorted in pain. The beautiful, angelic face he kissed after saying 'I do'. The minutes dragged on like days as he waited outside, not allowed to be by her side due to complications. At last, the doctor called him aside and spoke to him for a few moments. All that he could hear over the loud thumping of his heart in his ears was something about it being a girl, that the doctors tried their best but couldn't prevent the death. He stumbled towards the Emergency Room and shoved the door open, not sure what to feel at that moment.

Tears fell as he looked at his daughter while the nurses wiped off the blood and tissue. She too had a beautiful face, just like her mother who lay dead beside her.

12 Comments:

Blogger Harshad said...

among the best blogs i have ever read!!

7:52 PM  
Blogger poisonivy said...

that really moved me. you write beautifully heston.

10:00 PM  
Blogger poisonivy said...

one of th most excellent stories i've read!

10:01 PM  
Blogger heston said...

@harshad
thanks. i frankly didn't know that people do read my blog. used to think the counter on the site was doing sympathy counts by one of my friends.

@ poisonivy
thank you very much. had the story in mind since months, but just couldn't get it out in words. I'm glad you liked it.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous uttara said...

hey...your blog is really good...loved this post

5:10 PM  
Blogger Random traveler said...

Good one!

Regret and repugnance!

6:03 PM  
Blogger heston said...

@uttara
its nice to know this story actually has some takers. thanks.

@random traveler
thanks, random guy :)

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Yugnadhar said...

killer!!!

6:28 PM  
Blogger anand said...

hats off man ...killer article

4:54 PM  
Blogger sauron'seye said...

dude too good!!

11:55 PM  
Blogger Sachin said...

*retches*
this blog is gut-wrenching (literally?)
it's totally gruesome
dude u get right down to the visuals
it's like watchin a horror movie, u can't look away although u want to
totally riveting

6:13 AM  
Blogger losin_my_soul said...

really great story!

12:10 AM  

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