by Pencil Lead
A flash fiction expressing disappointment without saying the word. 207 words
“-and,” the nurse hummed, taking notes of the child’s position, weight, measurements. “This is the head.”
I watched, enthralled by what I saw. Her words and the cool bite of gel on my tummy became trivial in the presence of my child. They squirmed on the screen, the black and white playback taking on a vivid color of the unknown. Bumps and nudges from within truly meant something, a life.
“Do you want to know the gender?”
“Yes!” My husband’s bass resonated with my tenor. Even though my desires for a daughter were now mute in the face of my child, he longed for a son. His yearning was so obvious I became afraid discontenting him with a girl. Would he love our child less if it wasn’t what he wanted?
“She’s a baby girl.”
“Yes, I knew it! My daughter.” My voice wobbled in fabricated excitement. How could I have joy when his screaming silence filled my head.
As I was let off the table, the nurse packed her things and scribbled information on her notepad before leaving the room. I adjusted my clothes, peaking at him from beneath my lashes. He was quiet on the elevator, through the parking garage, and in the car.