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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Loss (flash fiction)

The kid would have been three years this August.

I still remember the day when my Obstetrician/Gynecologist examined me with great patience and explained what I saw on the screen: 'There’s no heartbeat. It is not alive.'

It took a while to sink in. 'Are you sure?' My husband asked.

The doctor appeared slightly offended,' I have never given a wrong diagnosis in 25 years of my career.'

He had a right to feel hurt. He was the Chief Ob/Gyn in a reputed hospital and a philanthropist.

I was eight weeks pregnant and had known of its existence since the sixth week. The pregnancy test showed a 'plus' on the strip and at once fear, incredulity, and anticipation paralyzed me. I showed it to my husband, aware that we were not ready for a kid. We hadn't talked about it. He jumped with joy, hugged me, and started kissing me like I had given the best news of his life. I sighed with relief. He seemed happier than I was.

But soon, I started feeling strange. I didn't 'feel' pregnant, even though the hormone levels in my urine did. I started dreaming of dead relatives and grew increasingly superstitious about it. My late grandma asked to see my baby in my dreams. Was she preparing me to let go?

The doctor gave us some time to mourn and left the room. My husband remained stoic, hugging me while I wept. Then he took me to my salon appointment. I had a long-due haircut and a pedicure. I let those people work on me without really enjoying it. They knew something was wrong when they saw dry tears on my face. I didn’t want to explain. I painted my nails blue.

Later in the evening, he took me out to a concert we had been looking forward to for months. I wanted to skip it, but he insisted that we should go. I slept through the first half of the show when the supporting band performed the opening act.

Soon Muse took over and started singing ‘Unsustainable’. When they sang ‘Hysteria’ I wanted to scream too. It wasn’t sadness anymore; it was rage. The splendid lasers and visual aesthetics evolved with every song, sometimes into a stock market ticker, at others a roulette wheel that selected ‘New Born.'

He reminded me that it was my one of my favorite songs from the movie Haute Tension. I couldn’t remember it. I felt tired and wanted to leave for home. The smell of beer and the sweat of the crowd- everything got mixed into an overpowering odor that choked me. There were still a couple of songs left when I urged to leave before the crowd broke out of Oracle Arena.

We drove back home, and I called my mother, talking only about the concert until she asked ‘What did the doctor say?’ I was hoping to stall the news till she reached home from work – it was just past noon in India. But I told her anyway. I can’t lie to her. She kept quiet. Maybe it was better that she was busy when she got the news.

At night, before going to sleep, I talked to 'it' out of habit. I knew it couldn’t listen then; it couldn’t listen now. But I had to tell it I loved it through the two weeks I knew it. However, I had to let it go.

1 comment:

Ravikumar chintoju said...

Touching story, soulful writing. Awesome...!