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Rated: E · Short Story · Women's · #1906964
A mother's grief begins.
The Collapse

Unnerving, like a tape stuck on repeat.

“He may not be compatible with life.”
“He may not be compatible with life.”
“He may not be compatible with life.”

She wanted so badly to push the statement out of her mind. Katy imagined ripping the cassette from her mind and tearing the magnetic tape from its tightly wound spools, but she was feeling too defeated. She collapsed onto the leather love-seat in her living room, exhausted from hours of appointments. This was no ordinary collapse though; this was different. This was a confused and overwhelmed collapse.

She had been forced to meet Grief today, but her son was still alive. The details of their brief introduction were already etched into her memory. She replayed the vivid scene from the first appointment that morning.

It was just past ten and Katy sat up on the table in the Ultrasound Room, barely holding herself together. The technician listed the defects from the scan, one after the other, each more heartbreaking than the last. Of all the words that Katy could not escape, "He may not be compatible with life," those were the harshest.

She wanted to scream, cry, and run away from the incessant beeping and whirring of machines that proved her worst nightmare to be a possibility. Instead, she calmly stood with tears welling in her bloodshot eyes. Gravity was suddenly pushing her toward the core of the Earth. With each step, she became heavier and heavier, the result of a sinking feeling in her chest. Gasping for each breath, she finally reached the bathroom door.

Tissues, privacy, peace, a chance to collect herself and the pieces of the world falling down around her, those were her objectives. She grasped the handle, swung the door open, and there he was, already holding the fragments of her shattered heart. With the ceiling caving in and the floor falling out, there was nowhere else to turn. She fell into his black dress coat and began to sob.

A few minutes later, she pulled away from his now damp coat and stared at him, taking in his features. Who was this man she had embraced? He was at least a foot taller than her, with eyes like sapphire, a chiseled jaw, onyx hair, and a kind but distant expression. He stood silently comforting her with her shattered heart in one hand and a tissue dabbing her cheeks in the other. He revealed, “My name is Grief. I am here if you need me.”

Under misshapen, tear-soaked curls, she looked up into his gentle eyes and could not say the words she was thinking. That she did not need Grief. She needed her son. Instead, not knowing what lie ahead of her, she only smiled at his kindness and whispered, “Thank you.”

To read the next story:
 The Cramps (2)  (E)
A story of love and labor in the face of imminent loss.
#1906966 by MrsDesjardins2012

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