From the day my daughter was born I could tell that she was something special. We named her Zooey and she was the smartest baby I have ever seen. Every single month I loved my special little girl more and more, but for some odd reason my wife distanced herself away from Zooey every single month. By the 6th month my wife barely even gave Zooey a glance. I could tell it made Zooey sad, but I didn't really want to bring it up. I just wanted my daughter to know that I loved her very much.
Zooey said her first word when she was 3 months old.
She never really said "Mommy" or even "Mom", but my wife never seemed to mind. If anything she finally looked to be in a much better mood.
By the time she was 6 months Zooey started to walk. She would still fall sometimes, but I was completely blown away by how strong willed her young mind was. Instead of crying whenever she fell she would just pick herself back up and continue trying.
On Zooey's first birthday my wife was busy with work so I shared a very special day with my daughter. I got her a chocolate cake for her to smash and devour. She didn't touch it, but she looked perfectly happy with staring at the cake with a look of wonder on her face. We spent the rest of the day playing with her presents until it was her bedtime. My wife didn't come home until 10 pm. I asked her where she was, but she just put her hand up to my face and walked past me and into our bedroom.
I sighed and watched tv until I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up to the sounds of my wife and Zooey talking. My wife was trying to get her to say "Mommy", but Zooey kept clapping her hands while saying "Daddy!" with a wide smile on her face. That was the last time my wife tried talking to Zooey.
On the day of Zooey's 2nd birthday my wife told me she was going to stay later at work. I tried begging and reasoning with her to stay, but she just told me it wasn't worth it. I heard sniffles from behind me when my wife left the house. I turned around to see a tear stricken Zooey staring out the door. She asked me if mommy didn't love her, but I just hugged her and told her that we both loved her very much. After I pulled away from the hug Zooey asked me, "Why doesn't she talk to me?" I told her that mommy was just stressed, and to not let it bug her. I got her another cake, but she told me that she didn't like to eat cake. She thought it was too pretty to destroy.
With a nod I left the cake on the dining room table and took out three brightly colored bags from under the table. We have this tradition where I take out the presents for her and rip the paper as carefully as possible. She liked using the wrapping paper as little decorations for her room. The first two presents were just little bow sets and a couple of new books. The third present was one of those baby dolls you can feed and change. She was really excited about the doll. She played with it in the living room by herself until it was time for bed.
My wife came back home at 11pm completely drunk. She looked like she was crying, but I was far too tired to even acknowledge that she was there. She did it all of the time to Zooey and now me. Our marriage was falling apart and I really didn't know how to fix it. I thought she was just going to go into the bedroom, but she walked into the middle of the living room and picked up Zooey's new doll. After a couple of seconds she started to hug the doll and rock it back and forth. The bottle and the 3 toy diapers were lying next to it and my wife picked those up as well. She put the bottle up to the baby and started whispering to it.
I was completely at awe at the sight of my wife showing the baby doll more attention than she ever gave Zooey. She sat down on the couch with the doll and took the bottle out of its mouth and continued to whisper to it. The whispering overwhelmed me with curiosity so I snuck up behind her and tried to listen to what she was saying. It was hard at first, but after a couple of seconds I noticed she was saying the same thing over and over again. "Please call me mommy."
After a couple of minutes my wife fell asleep with the toy baby on top of her stomach. I walked into the bedroom and grabbed a blanket for her. After I got her settled in I went back into the bedroom and fell asleep. This morning I woke up to the sound of my wife laughing for the first time in several years. I rushed downstairs to see what the source of her laughter was. When I walked into the kitchen I saw my wife twirling around in circles with the toy baby. Zooey was sitting down with tears falling down her cheeks. I picked up Zooey and asked my wife what she was doing. Each time she spun around she said one word at a time.
I told her that Zooey was crying, but my wife just shrugged and kept spinning around with the baby.
This annoyed me quite a bit, but I just took Zooey back into the living room and played with a couple of her older dolls with her. After about an hour later my sweating wife came out of the kitchen and said that she was going to the mall with her daughter. Zooey got up quickly and rushed into her room to change. By the time Zooey came out changed into her outside clothes my wife and the doll were already gone.
Zooey's bed time rolled around and I put her to bed. While I put her covers over her she asked me, "Does momma really love me?" I nodded my head at her and smiled. I just told her that momma wanted to surprise her with some new clothes. Zooey fell asleep a couple of minutes later with a tiny smile on her face.
Tonight my wife came home around 9 pm. I walked up to her and asked what was wrong with her. She tried to ignore me, but I kept blocking her way until she stopped and glared at me. She shoved the baby doll in my face and shouted, "She's at least fucking real! Do you know how hard it is to play fucking pretend with you? Zooey is dead. She's been dead. When are you going to stop playing this stupid game?"
I shouted back at her to stop lying, but my wife just fell into my arms and started sobbing. Zooey came downstairs and stared at us hugging. She gave me a smile and walked back upstairs. I started to sob with my wife as memories started to flood in. Our beautiful daughter died 10 days after we brought her home from the hospital. There was nothing wrong with her. She just fell into a deep sleep she never woke up from. The doctors told us that it was SIDS, but I just never wanted to believe it.
After my wife finally settled down I sat her on the couch and walked upstairs. I walked into Zooey's room and saw all of the little wrapping paper from her presents taped on the walls. The toys I got for her were there and the new bed I bought for her just 2 months ago was there, but Zooey was nowhere to be found.
With a heavy sigh I closed the door to her bedroom and walked into my room. I looked through all of the photos on my laptop that I thought I took with Zooey, but it was just me taking photos of myself.
I was about to close my laptop down, but I decided to reach out to you guys. I am now in the grieving process. My wife was acting crazy, but I was the crazy one all along. My baby is gone, and I just wish I could experience justone last day with her.