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Monday, September 14, 2009

I'll Get the Ball Rolling

To start this project off, I'm including an excerpt from my book "Love Changes." If you're interested, the book is available at Amazon, in paperback or Kindle.

Now it's your turn; please send me your work.

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Chapter 5

After beauty came reality. Elaine came home to an empty house. Maggie had asked for the evening off and Martin was finishing up his office hours.

Once again, Elaine was alone. She hated silence, since she always felt it caused loneliness. So with only herself to please, she turned on some symphony music. Loudly, of course. There was no other way – powerful music was comfortable for her.

Elaine glanced at her dressing table and noticed a small, white envelope with her name on it. She quickly read on.

Dear Elaine,
Don’t forget our dinner date. The club at eight. Happy Anniversary.
Love,
Martin

Elaine started to get dressed. She glanced at herself in the mirror, then stood sideways, touching her flat stomach. Without thinking, she grabbed a pillow from her bed and stuffed it into her robe. Now she looked pregnant.

She closed her eyes and lifted her head back, almost trancelike. She looked into the mirror again, but this time she saw herself years before. She was just about ready to deliver. She reminded herself how fast those nine months really went by.

Elaine quickly pulled the pillow out from under her robe, wondering what the hell had gotten into her. Her decision to have the abortion would not be changed by her questionable feelings. Once again, she had proven to herself that making a decision and showing proper judgment were impossibilities. She often said one thing and did another.

She opened Martin’s dresser and yanked out the bottom drawer. She threw everything on the floor and pulled out several pictures of Martin and Stevie.

She held the pictures close to her heart with remarkable attachment. With smooth movements, Elaine’s fingers touched Stevie’s face. As she closed her eyes, she imagined herself holding her son. Only God and her knew how deeply she cared.

Regardless of the years that passed, Elaine unwillingly had vivid memories of the night before Stevie would be leaving her. Rarely a day passed when she hadn’t wished she could turn back the clock.

It was after ten. Stevie would be leaving the hospital in the morning. Not with his parents, but with a stranger Martin called Sophie.

Everyone on the maternity floor had gone to sleep, all except Elaine. She buzzed for the nurse.

When the night nurse entered the room, she turned on the nightlight over Elaine’s bed. “What can I do for you, Mrs. Lewis? I’ll be leaving soon and you need all the rest you can get. New mothers always need more sleep than they get.”

In embarrassment, the nurse stopped herself from continuing the conversation. She had forgotten Elaine would not be taking her baby home.

There was a brief pause before Elaine asked, “Do you think it would be possible if I could see my baby?”

At first the nurse didn’t respond. She had been confused by the question.

Elaine repeated herself. “Do you think I could see my baby?”

Finally, the nurse responded. “Are you sure about this?”

“Very sure. I just want to say goodbye.”

It hadn’t been more than five minutes when the nurse returned, holding the baby to her chest. She handed the baby over to Elaine, watching her reaction very closely.

At first, Elaine didn’t look at her son. She just held him toward her breast in a nurturing way, gently rocking him as he began to cry.

Elaine looked up at the nurse. “Do you think I could have a few minutes alone with my son?” she asked.

The nurse hesitated, but then she agreed. “I’ll be right outside if you need me. I’m not very sure this is such a good idea.”

As soon as the nurse left, Elaine opened the blanket and, for the very first time, she looked at her son. She leaned over and kissed his forehead. “You smell so sweet,” she said as she kissed his tiny hand.

Elaine held Stevie for quite some time before she spoke again. “I’m so very sorry for what I’ve done to you. This is all my fault. I love you and don’t ever let anyone tell you I didn’t. Have a good life, my baby. I love you.”

Tears fell from Elaine’s eyes as she handed Stevie to the nurse. “Could you please keep this visit between us?” she asked, confident that she would.

“If you wish.” The nurse didn’t look back as she left Elaine’s room. It was not her place to judge or discuss Elaine’s decision.

Elaine sat in the same chair until morning. When it was time for Stevie to leave, she watched from a distance, but she was there for the final goodbye.
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