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Rosie Emily Leon
I woke up to crying.
My face was pressed against the white pillow tightly. The covers. They were pulled up to my neck. To any normal person it looked like I was blocking out the cold. I wasn't. I was blocking out the slick wave of black tar that swept over me every morning. I had learned a long time ago that fighting the tar made it come faster and harder.
As the tar over whelmed my limp body I closed my eyes, waiting for the sticky substance to be absorbed into my pores. Little by little the sickening black spread on my mind like peanut butter on an old sponge. When I was aware of my surrounds and the tar was sealed in my pores and my brain I tried to prop myself up on my elbows. I failed miserably and settled for an awkward and uncomfortable position.
My mother walked into the bed room. She went straight to the thick curtains and forced them open with two hands.
Light spilled in and flooded the air and puddled on the floor around my bed. The room looked like a bright mess of sunlight that shone on the clutter of old tissues and magazines that were thrown about the room.
"Your going to have to see the child sooner or later." She lightly sighed, looking at the mess on the floor. All sunlight and tissues. Then her eyes traveled out the window and into a faraway land. I wished I could go too, just for a little. Just to escape this dreaded world I now lived in. "She needs her mother. Now get dressed and make your self semi-presentable were leaving in an hour." She quickly walked out the door, her old jeans dragging on the carpet.
I unraveled from the sheets. The crying still continued. It was like a million tiny insects eating at my flesh. They picked it away one by one as I sat motionless. They nibbled and pinched at my pink skin but I didn't move. I sat motionless trying to feel anything...real. The bugs prodded at my body. Picking and slicing so they could carry it back to their bug queen. It felt like I was being alive, other bugs were whispering in my head. Their bug voices like honey slathering my ears with words I didn't want to hear. "take care of her." " why don't you lover her." " she's so beautiful." "she looks so much like him." " you should be so happy." "this is what you wanted."
I had heard this all before but each word hit me again and again with pain and loss. This isn't what I wanted. I can't do this. What do I do with her. She can't really be mine. If she was mine then why can I not stand her!
Her shrieking escalated. It bounced off the walls and smacked me in the face. Why won't she stop! Why isn't she shushing her! I can't take it!
I opened my mouth and a shriek ripped from my throat and out into the air. "Make her stop! Make it stop! Shut her up! MAKE HER SHUT UP!" I grabbed a pillow and pressed it against my face, hoping that just maybe I could die right now.
The crying was silenced and I heard my mother cooing to the her in the other room. Her voice soft as she sung a song about nothing to the tiny alien. I pressed my face harder into the pillow. Why couldn't I just die right now? I dragged my hands down my face. My Cheeks and lips were salted with dried up tears from the past three weeks. Has it been three weeks? For all I knew it could have been three years later and I wouldn't have noticed.
I grabbed the tiny yellow bottle and shook out two tiny white pills. They slithered Into my hand like tiny snakes filled to brim with poison. The pills felt heavy in my hand. I leaned my head back and shoved the snakes into my throat. They wriggled around in the back of my throat for a bit before I silenced their motions with a gulp of stale and old water.
I pushed out of bed and steadied myself on my feet before I walked slowly to the bathroom. I peeled my clothes off and slipped into the shower. When I came out I looked decent. My eyes were less puffy and my cheeks had a little bit more color. I looked more normal then I had in days. Although there was a faint hallow look to my dead eyes. I quickly got dressed in a simple black dress that he liked the most.
I fixed my hair and let it fall in loose waves down my back. I didn't bother with makeup. It would have been down my face when we reached the car anyway. I tried to smile back at myself. I got a sort of tight lipped, hallowed eyed, death stare. My fake expression dropped.
I put on a simple pair if heels and traveled down stairs. I reached the family room and sat down. My legs felt wobbly and weak. I kept my eyes down looking at my paper white hands folded neatly in my lap.
The hands didn't look like mine. They looked like the hands of some wrinkled old lady. They weren't the hands of a 26 year old women.
Mother hurried into the room and bustled about grabbing objects that the baby would need later. My eyes still on my lap. I didn't even look up at the strange baby snuggled up in the arms of my mother because her real mother didn't want her. My head didn't move at all.
At last the rusting stopped so I got up and, eyes still down, walked to the car. I got inside as my mother strapped the baby in her pink car seat.
I remember the pink car seat. It was the same one that I picked out with him. I was so excited to be pregnant with a little baby girl. I had the car seat specially made for her. At the time it felt like everything was perfect. Now I didn't dare look back at the alien with tiny fingers and toes that mirrored my own sitting in the custom made car seat.
When we pulled the car up to the cemetery I couldn't move. The baby lulled on with her little baby talk, as I forced myself not to jump out of the car and run.
I walked out of the car and left the tiny toed alien in the car. When I stepped out I saw the black hearse open it's doors. Four men pulled out a rounded and beautifully carved coffin. Death hung in the stale air. Birds chirped in the trees, while the sun lay thick and hit my black dress.
The four men carried the beautiful coffin down the grassy slope and towards the dark hole in the ground. The coffin floating on the sunny air, just they way he would have wanted it.
As everyone gathered around the dark coffin, my mother shushing the baby, I longing looked at the dark hole wondering if there was room for one more.
I hugged a line of people as the funeral director passed out white roses. Tears streamed down my face as everyone said lovely things about him. Even though my heart was bursting full of things to say my lips never parted. My lips only caught the salty tears that slid from my eyes and down my trembling cheeks.
The men dressed nicely in uniform did their little military style service for him. But I barely watched I only noticed the black coffin lying on the platform just above the dark hole.
One by one they threw flowers onto the black coffin. It was weird, I knew he was in there but I knew he sort of wasn't.
As the line grew shorter and people began walking back to their cars, I lingered behind, clutching my white rose to my chest. A thousand memories passing through my mind. I wished for his lips to brush mine again. I longed for the safe feeling of his rough hand in mine. At that moment I knew what he would have wanted for me to do. I delicately tossed the white rose onto his casket and whispered into the wind. "I will always love you Jake Leon." I walked away from the hole as he was lowered into the dark dirt hole in the ground.
I was washed by a bitter sweet moment of the last time I saw him. We were at the airport and he was dressed in his army uniform. I pleaded with him to come home safe. "I will he said. And don't push that baby out until I get back." he laughed and kissed me tenderly on the lips. His hands lingered on my puffed out belly and he kissed it nicely. I grabbed at his hand as he left but he lovingly pulled from me and disappeared into the airplane gate entrance.
I remember standing their all alone, curling my arms around my belly and cooed at the little fetus growing in my belly. I swayed back and forth and wished Jake would turn back for me.
The next day I got the call. The call every wife of an army soldier never wants to hear.
The cold voices confirmed the gut feeling I had had ever since I left the airport. Their voices were like brittle ice as they told me Jake Leon had been killed. They tried to console me by saying he was a loyal soldier and an amazing fighter. I didn't listen. Their cold voices only shredded my heart more and more. I slid my back down the kitchen wall. The light colors on the wall looked out of place now. Shouldn't they be sad, and turning black. Shouldn't my world be full of blackness. But the nice sunny day lingered outside and the neighbor hood kids still played tag in the street. Nothing had physically changed but my emotional state had shattered. I was in pieces on the floor and I had no way to pick them up. They shone like mirrors against the floor and reflected back at me, showing me the pregnant cow I felt like. I dropped the kitchen phone on the floor. The cold voices murmuring sweet things about my husband that didn't mean anything.
The next day I had the little alien. She looked so much like Jake I refused to hold her or look at her. The nurses kept looking at the baby and cooing, telling me how beautiful she was. I didn't even care. For three weeks I hadn't even looked at her. That alien I had given birth to meant nothing to me.
I gently returned to reality. Tears pooled on my lips. I silently walked to the car my mother waited for me leaning against the car. She held the baby in her arms. She was crying again and anything my mother did didn't work. I walked slowly up to her and gazed at the wailing baby.
This time the bugs didn't return. The tar started seeping out of my pores.
I took the baby girl from my mother and held her in my arms. I gazed at her chubby face. She was so little. She was a little version of Jake and because of this I loved her even more.
Her pink bow in her short thin blonde hair bobbed back and forth and her pink dress made her look even more beautiful. I started singing her a sweet song my mother use to sing to me. She instantly fell asleep in my arms. Her tiny head rested on my shoulder. Instantly I fell in love with her. She was mine. I had created her with Jake. She was the little token of our great love. This baby girl was the most beautiful human I had ever seen.
That day, the day they put Jake to rest, I fell in love with another human being. Her name was Rose Emily Leon, daughter of a brave soldier named Jake Leon, and my tiny baby daughter.
I love you,
my little Rosie.