Samantha Young

Now is the time

I’m lying here wondering what happened last night. Why can’t I remember? It all seems so vivid. So real. Was it? Surely I couldn’t have dreamt it. Not something so horrid? I don’t have that kind of imagination.

As I get out of bed I recall going to the hospital. It wasn’t last night. But when was it? This isn’t fair. My mother used to tell me. Life is not fair Isobel. Never forget it. I guess I had. Until now.

The floor is cold beneath my feet, the sunlight trying to creep between my faded green curtains. I walk towards the kitchen trying to remember. What was said or what the reasons were. Nothing comes back to me.

Where is he? Does he blame me? Is it my fault? I don’t know what to think anymore. I remember now. We were having dinner, celebrating with his parents. We were at this beautiful Chinese restaurant; the one wall was a mural of trees and beautifully coloured birds. Almost so real that if you are quiet and just concentrate on the birds you can almost see them singing. I had never seen love birds that colour before, such a startling blue. Such a brilliant yellow, the eyes staring at you as the birds sing with the flow and sway of the restaurant.

As I make my cup of coffee I see in my diary that it’s August the third. How could I have been away for so long? What has happened in these last two weeks?

My coffee cup drops to the floor, the brown liquid pooling at my feet, an omen of the pain the memory would bring. The restaurant wasn’t busy that night. It never really is. We had just told his parents that they were going to be grandparents for the first time. They were ecstatic. We were sharing the sweet and sour duck with yellow rice. I had just had my third mouthful when the pain hit.

I gasp. He looks at me, asking if I’m ok. He doesn’t understand. He turns to his parents, “She always puts food in her mouth when it’s too hot.” His mom says, “Derek, she’s gone so pale. Izzy, are you alright?” I shake my head. I can barely keep my body upright. “Derek, we have to go to the hospital. Now.” He his stricken. His jaw set, his beautiful blue eyes staring at me, worry the only emotion showing.

“Can you stand?” I try to, but another wave of pain hits. Derek catches me. We’re causing a scene, people are staring. Derek picks me up. We’re both trembling.

He carries me out. His dad already in the car, waiting. The latest Jag, such a deep navy blue it almost blends in with the night. We drive to the hospital. The ride takes forever. Every traffic light red. The pain worsening. Each wave hitting harder. My body aching. My heart breaking.

We arrive at the hospital. Derek picks me up as though I weigh nothing in his arms. We run into the emergency unit. A nurse comes over to us; Derek’s dad arrives with a wheel chair. Derek gently lowers me into it. It smells of leather. Like my dad.

As the memories of my father beg me to pay attention, the pain hits again. I curl up onto myself. The nurses wheel me away from my family. Away from my Derek. “Derek?” “I’m right here,” he says. He’s the one pushing me along the stark white corridor.

We arrive at the examination room and Derek lifts me from the chair and onto the bed. Blank white walls stare at me from every angle. This room seems to have been forgotten. This room has never been warmed by a humans touch. No love showed. I try to tell Derek how wrong and ugly this room is.

Another wave hits me. I pass out. The examination is over. I am carrying a dead baby. They had to get it out. I couldn’t believe it. Our baby has gone. It took but a few moments for them to deliver the news. News about something that has taken months to grow.

The heartache subsides and my haze lifts and I remember he left early for work this morning. I’m growing out of time. Its time to get out of the dark mist and to start healing. Time to let my husband comfort me and for me to comfort him. I phone him to tell him I’m cooking dinner “I’m just calling to find out what you would like for dinner?” “Macaroni cheese,” he says. The first meal I ever cooked for him. I hear the smile in his voice, the relief as he tells me he’s happy to hear my voice. It’s time to start again. The pain has become a part of me, but it no longer consumes me.