by Roland King
Snapshot at a critical moment (written for Rising Stars vignette assignment)
|Tears streamed from her eyes as she sat on the toilet. No one could feel the sudden rush of emotion that snaked its way like electricity from vein to vein throughout her body at breakneck speed. She was alone in the room. The shared experiences of millions before her could never have prepared her for this. This moment where life literally hung in the balance.
She could not feel more alive yet somehow feel more disembodied. Hers was an existence of the present. Life would now forever be defined as life before this moment and after. Awash with energy, she could only shudder in place as the gravity of what was about to happen gave way to something akin to panic. The hard porcelain beneath her felt cold, even though for some time now it had been warmed by her presence. Her mind had wandered to how heavy her limbs felt as each moment passed. Like stone.
The strong thrumming of the washer filled with a fresh load of sheets sounded like a lopsided heartbeat on the other side of the wall. Muffled, but distinct and insistent, it seemed so inconsequential considering what was playing out on her side of the wall. Life, so delicate, so fleeting, the mere possibility of life so improbable and so short in the grand scheme of things. And yet the mechanical sounds and thumps beat on only feet away.
There was one last pregnant pause before she let out a breath at the little pink pause sign held in her hands that said: “you’re pregnant.”