The following chapter describes the loss of a child through forced adoption. It is quite a heavy one and was very difficult to write, but it is a necessary link in the chain (plot). I apologise for any upset caused at dealing with such a difficult subject. I hope I have done it as sensitively as possible? Thanks for reading.
17 years earlier
Daniel Green opened the front door and the silence hit him like a sledgehammer. He dropped off the bags at the bottom of the stairs and went back outside to the waiting Taxi. Taking a deep breath, he opened the back door and looked down at his wife's pale, drawn face. There was absolutely nothing he could say that would take away her pain and that thought killed him. He offered her his hand and a weak smile.
"Come on love," he said quietly, taking her hand.
She carefully turned her body and placed one foot on the pavement. He pulled her up gently, but not gently enough as he saw her wince in pain. Having spent the last of his money on ineffective painkillers, he wished he could take away her pain and endure if himself. But she wouldn't take the painkillers anyway, no matter how many times he begged. She told him that the pain was hers. It was all she had left to remind her of the healthy baby they had just lost.
They walked back to the house slowly. At the threshold, she hadn't wanted to enter saying she couldn't face the cold, quiet empty house, not when it should have been warm and noisy with the sounds of a crying, hungry infant. He too felt as empty and as destitute as she did, but he reminded himself he had to be strong, for her.
Dan took Lynne into their small living room and then built a fire in the grate and then made her some tea. Neither of them spoke as there was little left to say.
He sat opposite and watched as she stared off into the distance. The clock on the mantelpiece ticked away the time, every second, every minute, every hour further and further away from their son. He watched as she absentmindedly rubbed at her deflated stomach.
"I keep feeling kicks like he's still in here," she said in a small voice.
The midwife had warned them that many women felt phantom kicks after giving birth and that it was part of the natural process. Natural! There was nothing natural about the entire experience.
She continued to rub at her belly, just like she had done for the last nine months and Dan could hold his emotions in no-longer.
"I'm so sorry," he cried, rushing over to her. He kneeled at her feet and place his face in her lap.
"What have you to be sorry about?" she asked.
"I should have done something."
"Dan, there was nothing you could do. There is nothing we or anyone could do. Our baby boy was just simply too good for us and I...," she swallowed heavily, "I... am strangely proud of that. His SPR is so high that he won't ever have to struggle like we have. He won't ever go hungry or fear an unexpected knock at the door. He is better off without us."
Dan looked up at his wife. He had never loved her more than he did that second.
"Let's get you upstairs to bed for a rest. You need to heal my love and for that you need sleep."
He took her hand and she followed him gingerly up the stairs. He helped her undress, helped her change her dressing and then pulled back the covers. She sat down and he unlaced her brown boots.
"Will you take a painkiller now?"
Tired and defeated, Lynne finally gave in and accepted the drugs. Exhausted beyond measure, she fell asleep almost immediately.
YOU ARE READING
The NumberedScience Fiction
Imagine the second you're born, a consultant removes you from your mother's grasp and runs a battery of genetic and physiological tests on you. Thirty minutes later they give you a score out of one hundred which denotes your level of perfection. If...