In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “History of Language.”
Disclaimer – I am not good in the art of writing fiction. The only two fiction that I ever wrote in my life will vouch for that. The first one was a poetry comprising of a letter written on behalf of Mrs. Bennett to her beloved daughters, as part of my high school literature class, which was proclaimed as a disaster. The second one is present in this blog under the fiction category titled ‘The Blurred Lines’ and I don’t think I did a very good job with that either.
She felt alone tonight.
It had been a long day. A long, busy day spent in helping people. But nights are the time when the loneliness hit her the hardest.
She missed him. She missed the warmth of his body lying next to her. The sight of the pillow resembling his head always comforted her. His distinctive scent has started to fade from the clothes that he had left behind.
A deep lonely sigh filled the empty room.
Her back hurts. She can barely see her feet now, and that’s a fact that astounds her more considering they are swollen and itchy. Sometimes she wonders what is more evident, her belly or her feet. She decided to sit down on the chair which he specially got for her. It has always helped her in making the pain fade away. Maybe this time also it will work wonders.
It is going to be a cold night. Looking at the fireplace she is glad that he chose one of those modern, electrical fire ones. At least she doesn’t have to worry about chopping down woods at this moment. A small smile came on her face remembering how James had argued when they were decorating the house. “Manhattan doesn’t exactly provide you wood chopping facilities or moments, Janey.” She remembers laughing at that time and remembers saying “That might be the case, sweetheart, but it would provide a damn good occasion for you to remove your shirt while doing all that grunt work and a good reason for me to just sit and admire the view.” She remembered how his eyes had smoldered at that statement and the sweet lovemaking that proceeded after that.
So many memories..!!! She remembered how her mom had told her that marriage is like an art. There will be good days when everything looks colorful and bright and shiny. But there will be days when it will look dark and gloomy too. She will always count her blessings for the good ones; the ones that echoes with happiness, the ones they can tell stories about. But she will never forget the ones that were bad. They made her and James stronger.
She remembers the first time the stick turned blue and how much she panicked after that. She was not ready for a child at that time. She just finished her college and there was so much she wanted to do out there in her life. 23 was not the right age for her to become a parent. She had dreams to fulfill. She also remembers how James reacted when she informed him about her decision to abort. That night almost felt like the end of their story. The house that was echoing with laughter and happiness suddenly pulsated with yelling and accusations. None of their friends will ever believe that Janey and James actually had a fight. She remembered how the cops turned up at the doorstep because the neighbors complained about the noise. But the next morning, James was right there beside her, holding her hand and whispering comforting words while she went through with one of the biggest decisions of her life.
Did she ever regret it? Yes, she did. That moment happened when she turned 28. It’s a memory that she had worked hard to forget.
She woke up with a jolt, feeling a kick. The babies were up and running. Gently rubbing the belly, she just smiled fondly and wondered if they will be feisty like their father or moody and demanding like her. James had already decided to have a footballer in the house, doesn’t matter if it’s a girl or a boy.
She went to the kitchen and as she caressed the counter top, she remembered the first time she met James made love on this very kitchen counter. Looking at the fridge content, she made a mental note of grocery shopping. James used to tease her for detailed mental checklist, and she used to tease him for his experiments in the kitchen. James loved cooking, and there was not a single day when a burnt dish didn’t appear on her plate. Every time she had complained, he used to laugh it off saying “Babe. If I can handle the stress of a kitchen, I can handle anything in life.”
He always did have an extravagant way with words and gestures. She remembers the night of their 6th anniversary and the number of gifts and surprises that James had planned for her. But she knew this time she had the best gift for him in the privacy of their house. Everyone kept commenting on how she had glowed that night and that she time she had brushed it off saying it’s the attention of her crazy, beloved husband. But she cherished the secret of her pregnancy inside her, and the anticipation that accompanied it. The clock couldn’t move any faster. When finally the last of their friends departed, she dragged James to their bedroom and made him open the gift containing the customized t-shirt saying “Hello Daddy”, and his expression was worth the wait.
So many plans he had made that time. The entire baby shop boutique was delivered to their house the next day morning. It was frustrating and amusing to see him working with effort, bordering on fanaticism, in the kitchen, dishing up new healthy dishes that all the pregnancy books have told him. He sat and scrutinized and picked all the baby names. She rejected them of course. She remembered the horror she had on her face when the she read the first name on that list: “Zoritsch.”
So many plans they had. But one night of intense pain and blood flowing down her thighs put a stop to all of it. She remembers the heartbreak that was written all over his face while he just held her crying body and wiped her tears.
She will never forget the days that followed after that horrendous night. She felt like a ghost that barely existed; a zombie who couldn’t bear the touch of her husband. All she wanted was to sit and cry and disappear. James calls it the doomsday period. And it really did feel so. She remembers the day when she met the angelic child Jamie and came across the Good home orphanage. Slowly the cracks started filling up. That was day when she realized how much James meant to her and what she will be if he ever abandoned her. She will always thank the Lord for bringing James in her life with his abundance of love, patience and his ability to support her irrespective of her decisions. It was their mutual decision to bring Jamie to their home.
She tip-toed to the second bedroom down the hall and sighed in relief when she saw Jamie’s head nestled comfortably in the castle of pillows that James had built for him, snoring softly. The Christmas morning, three years ago, that confirmed the adoption process was the best moment of their life.
And then the stupid man had to go and enlist himself in the army. For two years he was away from her, and she became involved in the volunteer activities of the church and helping Jamie with his maths and arts.
At least the dinner is ready now. But she is really frustrated with this constant urge to pee. It is frustrating how many times a grown woman has to go and relieve herself in a day. And she has never been a very patient woman.
She remembers the day when James informed her that he is coming home. She remembers the mess that she made on the bed, trying on clothes. How Jamie sat quietly on the bed and helped her in deciding which one to wear. His level of excitement was more than hers.
Oh the sweet joy of meeting your love after such a long time!!! To be back in his arms, safe and sound. To feel the soft brush of his lips against her skin, the touch of his fingers gliding down her limbs. That was the night she believed to have conceived again for the third time. She remembered feeling the nervous excitement as the stick turned blue again and her instant decision of not telling James until the safe period. But two days later, he received the order for deployment to Iraq. It broke her heart again to send him off with just a goodbye. But she was not ready.
Once the morning sickness settled in and she was safely into the second trimester, she asked her beat friend Melissa to come down to the apartment and take a snapshot so that she can send it to him. The day he received the letter, she could sense him jumping in joy over the phone.
It’s exactly 9 months today. But all she wants is her James to be there with her, and rub her back the way he promised to do in the letters, and feed her ice chips when the time comes. And she has a feeling that the time has come finally.
She looks at the clock and is just about to the dial the numbers which she has memorized completely by heart now.
Dingggg…. Donggggg… Ding Dong!!!
A big smile appears on her face hearing the doorbell. And as she got up from the chair, at that very moment, her water broke. She started laughing.
“Daddy is here babies, just hold on!!”
And as she was opening the door, she thanked the good Lord for keeping him safe and sending him back home after completing his last tour successfully.
She thanked the Lord for the three chances that he gave them to make it right.
She thanked the Lord for little Jamie who came as a miracle that they didn’t even realize they needed.
And now they are going to add two more members to their happy family of three.