A mother is in shock because the death of of her children and thinks she is guilty for it.
|“Don’t leave me alone, Susan, Don’t even think about jumping of the balcony, darling,” pleads my husband, Jamie, with tearful eyes. “It wasn’t your fault that Shane and Shaina died,” he tries to console me, “I promise that soon we will have a baby and –“but before he could complete what he wanted to say, I look towards him for one final time and then, jump off the thirteenth floor.
I scream and wake up from the horrible dream, sweating all over, with those words still ringing in my ears – “…soon we will have a baby…” I am shivering like a tree leaf in a strong wind. I take deep breaths but it doesn’t help. It isn’t the first time I have had this dream, but each time, it shakes me to my guts. I feel my hands and they feel ice cold. I try to get up from my bed, but I am too scared, as if Shane and Shaina are still around me. I start sobbing like a child, thinking of those three months when I was blessed to be their mother. Hoping to regain my composure, I force myself to stop thinking about it all, somehow, but it hardly helps, and soon, anger starts to fill my barren womb.
Every now and then, I find myself slipping into my past. In fact, I have been fighting with these ghosts of the past, since that horrible thing happened, some five months ago.
Oh, how much we used to adore Shane and Shaina, our three month old twins. Shane was a very healthy kid, I tell you. He had those chubbiest of cheeks and that extraordinary twinkle in his eyes, which not many kids have. Shaina, on the other hand, had that princess look about her. She had a surreal calmness about her, much in contrast to Shane’s energy levels. They came and blessed our lives but it was me you know, who ruined it all. One day, when they were sleeping in that bloody cradle over there in the corner of the room, in my foolishness, I …I- oh my god, I don’t have it in me to relive that tale. How could I be so careless with the most precious jewels.
Oh I hate myself. Going mad, I slap myself and then, seething, I kick the cradle, which I have kept as his souvenir. I am going mad now, and Shane’s ghosts are returning too. I can listen to his cries now. The cries are deafening and in pure hatred of myself, I start banging my head to the floor. Soon, because of all this commotion, my maid arrives and yells Jamie’s name. Jamie comes and catches hold of me.
He tries to soothe me but I am on a different level today. He calls in our family doctor, who soon arrives.He looks at me, worryingly. This is the fiftieth time he has had to come in the last two weeks. Something in his demeanor, I don’t know what, tickles me and I start to laugh. I think he is afraid of me. Gathering courage, he comes near me to give me the anesthesia shot but I kick him. Finally, it is Jamie, who finally manages to give me the dose. Before I go unconscious, I see the doctor murmuring something to Jamie and Jamie, nodding, seriously.
I open my eyes. I can make out that I have been unconscious for hours as I can see that it is already dark outside. I try to re-gather what all went in the day but decide not to, as I already have punished me enough. I raise my hand to feel the bump on my head but find that my hand is strongly tied to the bed. What kind of joke is this? In fact, my legs are tied to the bed too. At first, I think of it is a small prank by Jamie but soon, when those knots don’t loosen up, I go hysteric. I try to bite off those knots, yank them of the bed but nothing succeeds. I shriek and shake my bed like a maniac. Soon, Jamie comes into the room and looks at me, sympathetically. Then, another person follows him into the room – a middle aged lady in a curious white robe. I go silent and watch them enter the room.
The lady pulls a chair close to my bed, while Jamie keeps standing.
“What are you doing, Jamie and who is this hag?” - but he doesn’t answer me.
“Tell me, dear. I am here to listen to it all,” the lady says, caressing my forehead.
“How dare you touch me, you bitch? I will rip off that hand of the socket, I tell you,” I yell at her.
“All will be okay soon, darling,” and while saying it, she starts to move her hand towards me, again.
I snarl at her but ignoring it all, she places her hand on my heart. An electricity shock passes through my body and my mind goes blank.
“Tell me what you see?”
I feel as if I am in total control of hers and I start answering her, like a obedient student. I say -
“I see two kids, standing on a beach, wrapping arms around each other.”
“Yes, two kids - Shane and Shaina.”
“Tell me what are they doing, Susan?”
“They are doing nothing. They are just standing there, still, gazing at the ocean. I don’t want to meet them, please take me out of here.”
“No, Susan. You have to talk to them today. Go near them.”
“I can’t go near them. They don’t like me, I know.”
“Go Susan. You have no other option. Go and see what they say.”
"I move towards them, warily. They both seem to be chatting but shush when I reach near. I don’t want to go any near but as if pushed by someone, I keep moving towards them. They seem to be laughing now. I move even closer and tap on their shoulder and they turn and say - " and I stop.
“Tell me what do they say, Susan?”
“I can’t do it, you bitch. Jamie, tell her to stop with it.“
“But why can’t you do it?” asks the woman.
“Because – because I…“ And then with a mighty jerk, I manage to free my hand from the knots. I get hold of that lady’s throat and choke her. Jamie tries his best to get me away from her but can’t succeed. I let out a laugh. I somehow, free my other hand too and with it, I scratch off some skin of that lady’s face. She pushes me back and somehow, evades my grasp.
Jamie tries to tie my hands to the bed. With all my power, I throw the night-lamp kept near me, which hits his head. Then, I jump towards the lady to finish her off. I am soon on top of her, when I hear Jamie shrieking nonsense.
He says - “Susan, we have a kid of our own. Why are you going mad, then?”
Smothering the lady with one hand, I shriek back –“You are going crazy, Jamie. We have no kid. Yes, we had Shane and Shaina once, but I was responsible for their death.“
“No, Susan! We never had twins. We have a girl named Natalia.”
I feel my grasp loosening on the lady’s neck. I turn towards Jamie and say - “Natalia? Shane and Shaina were our kids, Jamie. We loved them, and see this cradle, in which they used to sleep, so peacefully until that fateful day. ”
“No, Natalia sleeps in that cradle, Susan - our child, Natalia. And today, when you kicked that cradle, she was in it. Also, the last week you tried to smother the poor child with a pillow. Why Susan, what is happening?”
“Ugh, I know what is happening. You are going crazy, Jamie. Shane and Shaina are our kids and I –“
“Yes, tell us, what did you do to Shane and Shaina, Susan?” says the lady, turning my attention towards her.
“You want to know, don’t you?” and I start to move towards he, shivering with anger. I throw my hand towards her to pop out those eyes, when Jamie comes from behind and catches me. The lady, hurriedly, places her hand on my heart and I am in her control again.
“Tell me what do you see now?”
“I see them, Shane and Shaina, on the beach, laughing away.”
“And what else?"
“Now, they seem to have seen me. They are abusing me and have demonic smile on their face.”
“Tell me what are they saying?”
“I can’t hear them.”
“Susan, tell them to talk to me, through you.” I look towards Shane and Shaina, and plead them to talk to the lady. They agree.
“Are they ready?” the old lady asks and I nod. ”Tell me Shane, what did Susan do?”
I feel my voice starting to morph into Shane’s. “ ‘This bitch killed us.’ ” - I say.
“Did she?” says the lady and looks towards me and her gaze pierces my soul.“When?”
“ ‘ She killed us when we were still in her womb?’ ”
“Why do you think she did it?”
“ ‘It was because of one wild drunken night with her boyfriend, Tom. She was in college and too young to bear us and hence she dropped us, in the third month.’”
“Oh my god!” says the lady, while Jamie shakes his head in horror and disgust. The lady manages to ask - “Shane, what else do you want to say?”
“’ We want to say that we will do the same to her daughter, what she did to us.'" He waits for some moments and then his voice explodes through me,"And to make it worse, we will make her do it.‘”
I heard that last thing Shane said. The lady gets out the Christian cross from her bag and places it on my forehead. I scream, feeling as if a spear has drilled through me.
“Please, please Jamie, save me from them,” I shriek some more, and shaking, I fall down on the floor.