A mother makes the hardest decision of her life.
| Cradling her newborn baby close, she stared into his sea-blue eyes. Their gaze held as he searched Jessica’s expression. His eyes held a myriad of secrets. Blinking, he yawned. As he reached upward, he grasped her finger with a tiny hand. She gasped. Heart melting, it overflowed with love like a water bottle spilling over.
A lump formed in her throat as tears threatened. Her eyes welled. She sniffed while a tear slid down. Dashing it away, she buried her face against her son’s downy hair.
The unsigned document lay on the bedside table with a pen sitting on top of it. As she drew back, her eyes caught the papers. Her vision blurred. One signature would change two lives forever. With the strokes of a pen, the ax would fall.
A nurse bustled into the room, whistling boisterously. Smiling, she glanced at the pair. Then, she bent down, adjusting the babe’s blanket. Her smile widened, emerald eyes dancing. With a nod, she turned, shoes slapping on polished tiles.
Releasing a breath, Jessica caressed her baby’s velvety cheek. His mouth worked as he sought sustenance. Face crumpling, she placed a hand over her eyes. Tears pooled, streaking her cheeks. She blinked back the rising tide. Murmuring a quick prayer, she shut her eyes. Her shoulders shook as she sobbed. A tear dripped from her chin. With a shudder, she inhaled, removing her hand. As she wiped the tears away, Jessica opened her eyelids. She sought the papers once more. Sorrow gripped her heart like a vise. Her fingers flexed, reaching for the pen. Curling around it, she held it, poised above the adoption papers.
The baby chortled, flapping his arms, hands fisted. He grinned, cheeks creased. Eyes wide, he glanced over at his mother.
A lump like a peach pit formed in her throat. Swallowing it, she caught his hand with hers, rubbing his minute fingers. With a sigh, she beheld her boy. Vision blurred as she released his hand. For a moment, their eyes met. As she looked into her son’s eyes, her heart broke. The pen dropped from her fingers.
Without warning, the nurse entered again. She raised her eyebrows. Her eyes scanned the unsigned papers. Placing her hands on her hips, she stared at Jessica. With a shake of her head, she whirled around, rushing from the room.
Heart wrenched, she reached for the pen with trembling fingers. As she gripped it, she formed the letters of her name. A silent tear slid down and splashed onto the paper while she set the pen down. Transformation of two lives occurred instantaneously like a bolt of lightning splitting time.
The nurse returned, whisking the boy away. While the baby wailed, her back receded as Jessica held her midsection and wept. Tears fell as she drew up her knees and locked her arms around them. A tear dampened her hospital gown. The babe’s cries diminished while her heart yearned to hold him one last time.
Word Count: 496 words