Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. His was getting upset at others, and it started the night his wife died.
His wife was a jolly, sweet, easygoing woman. She was the best thing that ever happened to him. He met her while he was in college and when he pursued his career and she pursued hers, when their lives got busy and they could have drifted off so easily, they held on and to be honest, she made holding on easy.
Every marriage doesn’t go on a platter of gold. Some people say the first year of marriage is always the hardest, and even though they didn’t agree to it at first, they had to, and it was even longer than just the first year. It was the problem of not being able to bear a child. Or even conceive one.
The little town in which they lived had only one doctor and according to the doctor, every method he knows that could help has already been used on them.
Ten years later, his wife conceived a child. That moment was one he would never forget. He was going to be a father, and even though of being a father, having to raise a child to be the best version of himself or herself, having to watch the child grow, scared him, he relied on the fact that hopefully he wouldn’t have to do it himself. That he would have the best woman he would ever ask for with him made him feel safe.
That night, that foggy snowy night, his wife, due in two weeks at the time, offered to go join the choristers when she learnt they needed an alto singer. He tried convincing her not to go as the church was far away from where they lived, and his car already got snowed in but being a kind of strong-headed woman, she left.
He could have gone with her, but he also had a night shift work and wouldn’t be back until 10pm that night.
He was almost home, coming back from work when he saw an old man with two other men carrying a pregnant woman towards his house. According to the old man, he had found her laid on the floor, struggling to get up when he offered to help. Apparently, she fell on her way home and her water broke already. Thankfully he found the two men who helped to carry her and since it was a small town, they knew where to bring her while the old man went to call the midwives.
That night, he had been terrified, more than he has ever been. The thought of him losing her stayed afloat in his mind. One of the midwives was telling him not to worry and that his wife and child were going to be okay when he overheard another telling the midwife not to promise anything but to say they were going to do their best.
Doing their best was what he clung to. It was everything he held on to for the next half an hour.
He had her push and it was obvious she was in pain. The doctor had arrived and had gone in to assist too. He overheard them saying she was losing a lot of blood. More than normal.
Then he heard a cry. The cry of a baby. His baby.
But it strangely quiet in the room. The baby’s cry was all he had. The midwives and doctor went all quiet. Most importantly, he couldn’t hear the voice of his wife. Or her breathing.
The doctor came out. Blood over his hands and arm. His look said it all. All hasn’t gone well. His wife…
“I’m sorry, Elliot. We did all we could.” He heard the doctor say.
That moment, all the memories he had with his wife came rushing to him, even the memory of her leaving the house that night.
“The baby. Is it… alright?”
“Yes.” One of the midwives answered.
“We’re sorry, Elliot. I am.” The midwife who had assured him earlier said.
“It’s okay.” He said, while taking a long hard look at his wife who laid cold on the bed.
“Would you like to hold your child? She’s still a little scaly because she’s not fully developed yet but she’ll shed it off soon.” The midwife said.
“No. Take that child away from me. I don’t want to see it. Ever. And all of you, Get out.” He said.
At that moment, he realized his wife would be very disappointed at him and not that he didn’t care, he just didn’t know how to react. He had always thought he would raise this child along with his dear wife, he had in his mind that he was incapable of raising the child alone and now, grief slowing making its way into his heart, grasping it and tearing it apart slowly and making it cold in the process without him fully realizing it made it worse.
He walked out of that room, not looking back as a drop of tear went flowing down his cheek.
He was so scared to fail as a parent that he failed the first night he became a father.
It was the night of December 1956. A night he’ll always remember.
Hey there! Thanks for reading and joining me here again. I seem to be writing a lot of short stories now and that’s because I just get inspired and just write them out. Sometimes.
Winter semester started already and hopefully I get to blog on health soon.
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Thanks and until next time!