The Photo

May 6, 2011
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He was tired. exhausted, in fact, as he sat down for that photo.While they took the photo, Alfred thought back over the events of the last year. At first, it seemed like the beginning of something beautiful; Alfred was successful, his oldest son Oliver had just turned 18, little Roland was doing great in school, and Alfred and Lora were getting ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Life was perfect. He thought life could not get any better. A week later, It was finally their 25th anniversary, so the happy couple went to a beautiful restaurant for dinner. On the way to dinner, he remembers, in passing, being amazed at how beautiful his wife looks; so peaceful, so content, almost glowing. but his mind did not linger on her beauty for long, for fear he would blurt out the secret. No, better wait until dinner to share this amazing news with her. He did not realize that she had her own surprise for him. Once they were seated, she began looking into his eyes, and he lovingly looked back, nearly getting lost in those dark, beautiful pools of joy. But the time was not yet right so he looked away and, in an effort to change the subject, suggested they decide what they would eat. she looked back at him, and to this day, he had no trouble remembering how she looked at him; he remembered that magnificent smile that she gave only him, recalled the wondrous twinkle of her eyes, the beauty of her features, and a tear formed in the corner of his eyes, but his memories would not stop. He now recalled the later point in the dinner, when he was near exploding, that he finally said “Darling, i have a little surprise for you.” There was that smile again. It was as if she knew he’d been holding something back all night, and she had been patiently waiting for him to speak. He could not help but wonder at her easy comprehension of the secret he’d dedicated every fiber of his being to hiding. But now it was time, and so he told her “I got the job.” And oh how she glowed at that moment, how her face split into a huge smile as she hugged him lovingly and whispered “Oh honey thats so great. I’m so proud of you. I love you so much, and...” she hesitated, then smiled sheepishly, “I have something to tell you too.” And now that the secret is out, he began to notice things his overloaded brain had not detected earlier; He realized that spark in her eyes had not dimmed throughout all of dinner, that she looked even more beautiful than usual, though he could not pinpoint why. He realized there was a faint bulge to her belly, and so, when she spoke, he, for one moment, wondered how he had not realized it earlier, before surrendering himself to overwhelming joy and lovingly kissing and hugging his beautiful, wondrous, amazing wife. His wife and his unborn daughter.
Life just became perfect. From this point, lots of preparations had to be made; the two boys were thrilled, but now it was time to prepare a room for the baby girl to arrive into. It was time to treat Lora like the beautiful life giver she is, which meant she enters maternity leave and even his new job is not enough to support them all, so he took on another job. The whole family worked together day and night to prepare a beautiful place for the new member of their family. they worked so hard that they did not realize they had missed a couple of key checkups with the doctor. They were so preoccupied, they didnt understand how soon the child would be arriving, so when the labor pains started, the urgency shocked the family into action. Roland made sure to stay out of the way and prepare the car as dad moved mom to the back seat and Oliver started up the car. The hospital was ready to receive them, and within minutes, Lora was in the room, being prepared for surgery, for the baby was in some unknown danger. Minutes later, Alfred’s world was tipped upside down as the doctor returned from the room, glistening with sweat, and stated that Lora was dead. There had been unforeseen complications, and both mother and daughter had died as a result. He did not cry. He could not, for alfred was now a single father of two boys, and he had to be strong for his boys, even as Roland bawled and hugged Oliver, while the older boy’s teared burned pathways down his cheek. Their perfect life was over, and now Alfred must support his family.
between his two jobs, he went to get a picture for his passport for his next business trip. He had not yet cried, but he was truly exhausted in all the ways imaginable. and so here he was, with the photo in his hand, as he walked out, dropped off the photo to show the boys, then returned to the car and cried. She was gone, and He could do nothing about it now.

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