“I’m worried, I don’t feel anything. He should be kicking or moving, he hasn’t moved! Why hasn’t he moved?! Why hasn’t he moved!? Baby! Baby! Feel my stomach! Tell me I’m crazy! Something doesn’t feel right!?”
I looked at the cable box; it was four am. She hadn’t been sleeping well which meant I wasn’t sleeping well. But tonight was unusual; tonight she barely moved which meant I was sleeping like a baby. She took my hand and put it on her stomach, I wanted to move my hand away but I couldn’t. My body went cold, at that moment all the blood inside of me was drained. I could read her mind and she saw the fear in my eyes. I tried to blink it away but it was too late.
Her tears started to fall and I dropped my head. “It’s going to be alright, it’s cool babe. Let’s just go to the emergency room to be on the safe side.” I got out of bed and faced away from her, I was petrified. I didn’t want to say it and neither did she but there was a feeling in this bedroom that was sickening.
I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, my jacket and some boots. I came out the closet and she was still laying in the bed, still, her hands on her seven month abdomen. I pulled her hand, “Baby, we have to go to the hospital!”
“Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! I’m fine! He’s fine! Just get back in bed, please! Just get back in bed!” She pulled at the sleeve of my jacket! The urgency in her words broke my heart. I climbed back in the bed and wrapped my arms around her. I could feel her trembling so I squeezed her tighter. I closed my eyes and prayed, wished, pleaded that this was all in our head.
This was our first child, my first son… This wasn’t, isn’t how our story is supposed to end. Her hand was on top of my hand, her face in the pillow. My lips on the back of her neck, as much as I wanted to be strong all I could do was close my eyes and let the tears fall.
Four months later…
“Do you love me?” I heard the question but I didn’t understand the question. The Lakers and Knicks were on one channel, Baylor and Washington on another, I just wanted to find peace in these games. Most mornings I was gone to work before she got up and I didn’t leave until six or seven. This house just wasn’t a home anymore.
I ignored the question.
“Do you love me?!” She asked again. She wouldn’t move from in front of the TV. I looked up at her.
“Yes I love you now can you move.” The beer flew out of my hand and into the wall, I just looked thru her. “What is the matter with you?” I raised my hands in the air and got up to leave.
“Scream! Yell! Hit a wall! Hate me! Tell me you fucking hate me! But do something! Say something! Don’t walk around this house like I don’t exist! Don’t avoid me! Ignore me! He was my son too! Mine!!! I carried him in my womb! I laid on that cold! Ass! Table! While I gave birth to a child that was already dead! Talk to me please! Please….
My hand was on the doorknob, I wanted to turn it and just drive. Drive as far away as possible but… I turned around and grabbed her shirt!
“You want me to yell! To scream! To break shit!” I knocked a vase off the table!
“He died! He died and you acted like it was God’s plan! Like everything would be alright! You didn’t even want a fucking funeral!? That was my son! My legacy! And we were supposed to mourn him together but you just went out like he didn’t mean shit!? And now you stand your punk ass up here asking me if I love you!? I hate you bitch! I hate you for taking him away from me and not giving a fuck!”
The words, the emotions just exploded out of me. The same hurt I saw in her eyes that night her womb died was the same hurt I was seeing now.
“You hate me?! You hate me?! Fuck you bitch! You don’t think I think about him every night, every day! Where do you think I am when you’re up writing or working!? I’m in that nursery lying on the floor wondering why the fuck this happened! I would lose my damn mind if I didn’t think God had a purpose for doing what he did! You’re fucking selfish! I’m your wife and instead…. Instead of you being here for me or letting me be here for you… you punish me and hate me!”
Her hands were touching me face, she was grabbing my face. All of my hate, my hurt, my anger…
I was tired of holding that shit in, tired of wondering what our lives would be like right now if he was here in this house. I pulled her to the floor, both us on our knees and I just held her. For the first time since that night I held her in my arms.
“You can hate me all you want but you love me! You’re all I have and I’ll tie you to the bed while you’re sleep and set this fucking house on fire before I let you leave me!” She looked me in my eyes and I knew she was telling the truth.
“I’m not going anywhere… I’m not going anywhere…”
Thank you for reading and supporting Walking Down the Aisle and Conversations Between Adults in 2011… I look forward to even more in 2012!!!
Demez F. White