So It Is – a story

this was inspired by a story a friend told me about someone’s pregnancy and the story haunted me and this was the result.

So It Is.

The sky meets the ground, the ground meets the sky and I am trapped in the heart of the blue, twisted and caught in it and pulled down below the surface. I struggle and stretch and find my place in the blue and let it take me, have me, be me and then there is nothing but the stillness of the twilight as it fades into darkness.

I breathe in.

I breathe out.

I breathe in and hold it, hearing the echo of my heart and then it’s lost to the sound of the rushing darkness that fills the blue. I close my eyes and wrap my arms around my own darkness and see the shadows moving, ebbing and flowing like waves. I hear crying in the distance and open my eyes and can see little of the skyline and only know I am still on the ground because of the dew.

I look into the sky and am among the stars, entranced, lost, my thoughts finally coming apart and spinning into the darkness. The air catches the first bite of coolness that will turn bitter in another hour, now though, now it cools the heat of my mind and stretches this bliss. The dark is so deep though, so deep and I am unsure of myself, of how well I can swim and here, here there is no wading out safely, there is only jumping in.

So I jump.

I close my eyes and the darkness is warm, not cold, and the grass, starting to weep, tempers that heat. In the distance is the honking of a car but it’s like a fog horn heard from miles away and seems like a ghost in the sea. When it’s gone there’s only the silence of the sea and its weight is heavy on my chest and grows heavier still now that there is only me and my thoughts and nothing else.

I run my hands over the grass and stain them with its tears.

The world is so big and we so small and I wonder how deep this ocean is, and what things hide beneath its surface, teeth ready to chew, gnash, gnaw, and devour.

I shudder at the thought and hear another horn moaning out, in heat.

I slip my shoes off and stretch and lie out on the grass and feel as if I am in a tub now with the world so close and pushing in as the sound of the city creeps up the hill. The darkness is fading as the city lights belch brightness into the sky and I can feel that this waking dream is almost over, ocean turning to sea, turning to tub, and after that the cold night.

The sounds in the darkness begin to get louder.

I hear crying and it is me, finally, finally, finally letting it out, here, alone but for the weight that waits in me. I run my hands over my belly and feel no bump but know what sleeps there, patient and doomed. The tears roll down my face and link me to the grass, to the earth and the Mother comforts me as the city pushes in. I roll onto my side and let everything out, everything, and it comes like vomiting, shaking me into convulsions.

Unnamed, it will go unnamed, not because it doesn’t deserve a name but because no name would ever be good enough for what it is, what it was, what it could have been.

I won’t name it because it deserves to be untouched by the awful world that push, push, pushes at me to make a decision I can’t make.

But I know my name, and I know his name, and it feels like dying must to know he’ll never know this secret I have kept from him. That he can’t know or it would break him to learn of three that we were and won’t be in a matter of days. I only knew about the weight for a week, a week, before the rest of the tests came back and told me I had to make a choice – it or me.

Me, or it.

It as if it was nothing but pulp and prayers when it means so much to me. Like a promise unkept. Like a whisper unheard. Like…an angel without wings. It is hope without a heart and in the morning I have to say goodbye.

The darkness is slipping, fading and I close my eyes as tight as I can, clinging to it, and in those fading moments I see a face, I hear a name, and then it’s gone and when I open my eyes I find the darkness gone as well and I am alone on a hill, bathed in the false sun of street lamps and headlights, and surrounded by the gods of commerce. I lie there and feel the dirt beneath me, barely covered by the thin grass, I feel a cigarette butt, and I feel bottle caps and the other garbage people always seem to leave behind. I close my eyes and the darkness is gone.

Time’s up.

I sit up and run my hands over my belly and feel a kick and I wonder if twenty three years are enough, if that’s enough time to have lived, to have loved, to have seen, to have felt. I wonder if it’s enough time to do everything I ever wanted.

I rub my belly and the questions resurface, all of them gleaming with hard edges, clean and ready for work.

Me or it.

It or me.

Her or him.

Us…or them.

I take a breath.

I breathe in.

I breathe out.

I breathe in and hold it, and hold it, and hold it.

Another kick.

We’re in this together.

I rub my belly and smile as the tears come again. Decision unmade but ready to face the light.

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