Here is a short piece I wrote for a class I’m taking. Please feel free to leave constructive criticism. Thanks!
Fourteen Months and Then Some
I’m foggy at first, unsure of my surroundings, but a flash of lightning illuminates the cinderblock and I remember where I am. It’s been fourteen months, three weeks, and two days since I last saw them, kissing their soft damp heads goodbye in the August heat. I inhaled their baby powder scent deeply and promised I would be back soon, a promise I knew I couldn’t keep. Still, they looked at me with those big wet eyes, just like always. I turned away so they couldn’t see me cry. I never let them see me cry.
When they were born three years ago, I promised myself things would change. They were four weeks early and so tiny. I spent hours in the ICU with them, stroking them gently, willing them to live. We were alone, even when the room buzzed with activity. Jax and Maddie. Maddie and Jax. The perfect babies I was never meant to have.
All through high school I cramped and puked every month. My mother was a drunk and told me I was a drama queen. I wish. Years later, a pretentious doctor at the free clinic announced that I would never have children. Perfect. I never wanted them anyway. I was sure I would be a horrible mother, based on my own horrible mother. Besides, kids were a nuisance, and expensive too. I had plans, and they didn’t include kids.
Things change, though, whether you want them to or not. I just knew I was pregnant as soon as it happened. God must have been in a funny mood that night, because he gave me two babies to carry. I was pissed. That was not supposed to happen, but it did. Son-of-a-bitch. Those babies made me stop and think, though, at least a little.
I wanted to go back to school, but school costs money, and money is one thing I have precious little of, especially after having two babies in the ICU for so long. There was no money for extras, and hardly any for even food or diapers. Still, I got by. I did some things I maybe shouldn’t of, but I had to. Nobody else was taking care of us.
I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, but I still didn’t expect it. I got caught. I was stupid. I was on the way to pick up my kids when I made a detour, like I’d done so many times before. It was going to be quick. I needed the cash. Too bad for me I let my guard down. Too bad for me I lost my kids that night.
Fourteen months, three weeks, and two days. A lifetime of not seeing my babies. I turn to the wall and there they are, frozen in a blurry photo. Maddie and Jax, smiling without me. I smile back in spite of my self, then wipe away my tears.