She lifted her tiny child in her arms. He was so frail, so sick. She was about to let a tear drop when she suddenly noticed the sadness in her baby’s eyes. Her heart died. The pain tore into the depths of her soul. She quivered and almost lost her balance. She put the child down and looked at her reflection in the mirror by the baby’s cot. She was lost, empty, the carcass of a being that once was. She heard the laughter, the jeering, the mockery. She clenched her chest, but the ache that ate at her just would not go away.
The voices grew louder, the room grew smaller. She was chocking, dying… she called out his name so many times to help her….nothing. With all the energy left in her, she screamed…one final shot and she lay down there, patiently awaiting death, for such pain could culminate in only that. As she lay down there shattered, broken and bruised, wondering which breath would be her last, she heard the sound of her baby’s laughter. At that moment, she knew she simply had to fight the sinking feeling and the forces pulling her into the ground. She feasted on her baby’s voice, allowing it to swell in her heart, filling her up with such strength she never even knew existed. With a renewed determination and sense of purpose, she struggled to her feet, pushing herself off the ground. She looked at herself for the second time…she was still a ghost of herself…
She picked her baby up and cried silent tears. Like a senile woman, she danced around with the child in her arms, mouthing words of a promise to protect and love him. She danced around the room to no music, but the groans of her tormented spirit. She danced until her feet were sore and could no longer support her weight. She sat in the chair, rocking the baby back and forth. She fell asleep with the child in her arms and was only awoken by her husband’s entry into the room. His face seemed full of worry. She put the sleeping child down and moved closer to see his face clearly. She attempted to reach out her hand to touch his face, but he quickly blocked her. She tried to hold him, touch him, but he would not let her. He simply yelled at her to get his food.
The good wife…she was perfect at playing that part. She washed her face, removing all traces of mascara ruined by tears. At least she wouldn’t have to explain anything; he didn’t care enough to ask. As the cold water splashed across her face, she saw her entire life flash before her eyes, reminding her once again of the emptiness which now characterised her.
He was screaming out his lungs in their bedroom. She should really go to him and make yet another furtive attempt to pacify him. She turned off the tap and looked up again. She hated her reflection more than even her abusive husband. Suddenly, she was enraged by what she saw. She smashed the mirror to pieces; the broken fragments stained with drops of her blood. She looked at the ground in shock. Had she just done that?
Her husband walked into the bathroom and stared at her in disbelief. He began screaming again…telling her all the things that were wrong with her, how stupid she was and how she was just one chaotic mess that would amount to absolutely nothing. She fell to the ground and clenched a piece of the broken mirror so hard in her hand that it tore through her skin. The pain fuelled her anger, spurring her on to just lose it and let go. She charged at the raving lunatic and plunged deep into his guts. She took out the object from his bleeding wound and stabbed him all over until she was convinced that she had not only killed his body, but had also murdered his soul.
She turned on the shower and went in. She sank to the floor and let the water flow all over her body, wishing it would flow into her soul and kill the hurt that still haunted her. She sat there still and quietly until she heard footsteps. Hadn’t he died yet? She was too scared to open her eyes, hoping that it was just her imaginations at work. As the sounds grew closer, she let out a very sharp, piercing cry. The footsteps stopped and she opened her eyes. As if something went off in her head, she raced out of the shower and into her baby’s room. She picked him up and sat in the rocking chair.
“He’s dead Jamie”
“He’s not dead!” she yelled back.
She knew all too well that he was back to haunt her. She began to shiver anxiously. She cried as she kept on muttering the words, “he’s not dead”.
He stood there laughing at how pathetic she looked trying to resuscitate the dead child.
“He’s dead Jamie, you just have to let it go”, he jested.
She picked up her dead child and danced around the room with even more passion than she had danced with when the child had been alive. She danced with more tenacity, her grief bringing out her inner strength. With each stride, each turn, each twist, she felt her essence growing stronger and stronger. Her movements grew with force and speed, becoming more and more vigorous. As she danced, she felt something growing in her. It was building up so rapidly that she was afraid that she would not be able to contain herself anymore. The more it grew, the more power she felt. It grew until a point it literally burst, sending its reviving essence into every inch of her being. As the new momentum had reached its climax, she collapsed onto the ground instantaneously.
She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.
And then she felt her baby stir beside her…
“Wrong again Mark, he’s not dead”.