One Split Second

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The little girl curled up against the warmth of her mom’s protruding belly. Softly she whispered, “Hello baby, can you hear me?” Then, surprisingly, the girl felt a faint nudge against her palm. Immediately, the little girl looked at her mom and said, “I think baby can hear me!” Her mom answered with a faint smile, kindly acknowledging her daughter’s imaginative little mind. Weeks went by, and the little girl returned periodically to check up on her baby sister. She truly believed that she had a strong connection with the baby, and every single day she anticipated the joyous arrival of her first sibling.

Every day, the little girl would sit next to the crib in her parents’ room and try to picture it filled with a tiny little being bundled up in a blanket. She imagined the sweet scent of her sister’s soft skin, and the sound of the innocent giggles she was sure her sister would offer. And every day, the girl’s affection for her coming baby sister grew and grew to no end. Two months, three months, four months passed by, each bringing more and more excitement into the atmosphere. Little by little, the empty room upstairs was furnished with a rocking chair, a dresser and a new crib that fit just perfectly near the window. Mom began to bring home baby outfits, and when the girl’s father arrived from work, he would bring chocolate treats to curve his wife’s silly cravings. Neighbors would stop by every now and then to drop off frozen dinners, teddy bears, and diapers.

Then one night, the girl woke up to the sound of her mom’s earsplitting sobs. She tiptoed across the dim-lit hall to find her father caressing her mother on the bed, which was streaked with a puddle of ruby red blood. “Why is mommy bleeding?” she asked. As her father’s bloodshot eyes met his daughter’s, they began to water. He could not seem to choke out the words that could possibly explain what was happening, so instead, the girl took a few steps closer. She looked towards her mother’s belly, and saw that the bump that held her dear little sister was no longer there. “Where’s baby?" she asked. But again, no answer...





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