Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sarah's prompt: Everything Looked Different
Nine days. When they had sent her home they had told her to get some rest but she knew there had been growing concern since she had barely left her bed for 9 days. She had heard him on the phone talking in muffled tones and later voices down the hall, one sounding like her mother and later still, her girlfriend Nancy. She had only left the bed to go to the bathroom. She refused to turn on the light or look in the mirror.
Claire, her sister, was down the hall, she could hear her straightening and cleaning. Michael had finally gone back to work, thank God. All his concern and gently trying to get her to talk had almost driven her mad. She didn’t want to talk or breathe or feel, ever again. She could here the sweeper running and then it stopped. She heard Claire’s footsteps coming up the hall. They stopped at the door. Then it opened.
“You have to get up. I know, I know it sucks but you cannot stay in that bed forever. Just get up and take a shower.” And she did. She pushed the covers back and not looking walked to the bathroom and shut the door. She did not turn on the light, but simply turned the hot water on and took her clothes off. She stepped into the great billowing plumes of steam and stood there. Finally she washed her hair and her body and then stood there some more. She stood there until the hot water was no longer hot. She got out and wrapped herself in a towel and walked out of the bathroom. Claire had changed the sheets, made the bed, opened the blinds and lit some scented candle.
She looked out the window, grey. All the colors of fall had disappeared into the misery. It had been raining for a week and every single leaf was gone from the trees. A brown muddled mess on the ground everywhere you looked. The trees were bare now, branches black and raised as if in agony towards the low hanging clouds. It was misting now. She stood there for a long time not looking, not seeing, not feeling anything.
She pulled on a pair of black sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt. She was a little dizzy from the effort. She ran a brush through her hair, put on her socks and shoes and walked down the hall, not looking at the closed door on her right. She walked out the front door and down the block. It was bitter cold and her breath came out in puffs. The mist turned to sleet, and for the first time, in nine days she felt something. The sleet came hard, it felt like it was cutting her skin, and for the first time in nine days she began to cry.
She wept as she walked the mile to the playground and then back again. She had been taking this walk almost everyday from when she had first found out. She was soaked now, her eyes swollen from the weeping her nose and cheeks red from the cold. She walked back into the house. Claire watched her walk down the hall and open the door in the hall. It felt like the sleet had penetrated the skin and had cut her heart. She was bleeding inside she could feel it.
There would be no baby girl, she was gone and now everything, everything looked different.