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Silent Night

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A baby wails in the distance while the mother watches it with distaste.

"Babies," she thinks with disgust, sneering at the squirming bundle. "Can't they ever just shut up? Doesn't it occur to you, you useless brat, that I don't like the sound of your voice?"

Everything this child did could be looked at as a personal attack of Emilia's very being. From hunger pains to dirty diapers to the occasional nuzzle of affection, this child was sent to curse her. Getting somewhere, anywhere, in the world, in Emilia's mind, did not involve being burdened with a child.

"Honey, could you please check on Atticus?"

"I'd rather chew off my right leg," Emilia muttered as she crossed the room, glaring at the man planted on her couch in contempt. Jacob was always like this; so cheery, so happy, so 'blessed' to have Emilia as a partner and Atticus as his son.

Kindness, integrity, honesty – these words didn't used to be foreign to Emilia. Love used to run rampant in her heart, when she saw the world through the lenses of the innocent. Many who've known Emilia have wondered what caused her downfall, her descent into this bleak depression that ruled her life. Never had they seen someone who used to be so happy, so delightfully cheerful, turn sour so quickly, especially around the time of pregnancy.

Oncoming storm clouds filled the window of Atticus’s room, casting dark shadows on the sunny yellow walls. Pictures of animals and Emilia smiled at her from their light frames, the darkness of the storm painting a sinister glow in their eyes. Questions fill Emilia’s heart as she holds Atticus, trying to soothe him; did she love him or hate him? Rather, did she hate him or herself; after all, Atticus was just the result of her foolhardy actions, her risk of dating a man like Jacob.

She snarls at the memory of how she first saw him; young, handsome, kind, trustworthy, someone Emilia could rely on. Then his true colors showed that terrible, bitter night; when he violated everything Emilia could hold dear to heart, physically and mentally. Unashamed, he used her pregnancy against her better judgment, insisting that her son, their son, would need a father, when Emilia knew having a monster for a father would hurt Atticus rather than help him.

“Violet is coming over soon, Atticus, and you’ll finally be safe with her. Would you like that, little man? Xanthic walls that aren't haunted by my screams and a real crib instead of a cot? You’d like that, huh?” Zealous eyes in frozen snapshots watch Emilia as she stares out the window, a bag at her feet and hope finally filling her dead eyes.



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