Yesterday I read a post by Casey Clifford. She challenged me to comb through one of my books for the word “look”, find an instance where I thought the paragraphs surrounding that word’s placement would entice readers, and post those paragraphs for my readers.
I also have to tag five other authors whose blogs I follow and challenge them to do the same.
Weston opened the front door of our house on Lauren Drive just a few blocks away from the hospital and I stepped through the threshold. Every chair, each pillow in the front room looked as if it had been reupholstered in drab, lifeless material. Walls, knickknacks, rugs took on an alien quality. I was seeing them for the first time with a new pair of eyes, filtered through a veil of tragedy and disappointment.
I sat on the couch, squinting out the window. Tiny sparrows flitted between the branches of the oak trees in our front yard. The warmer than average May weather had wilted the white petunias and pink geraniums cascading over the sides of the hanging baskets on the front porch. I’d have to water them soon.
Maybe if I closed my eyes when I awakened all of this would not have happened. Resting my hands on my stomach, I felt the place where she’d lived for nine months. Now only a small bulge remained which would be gone in a month or two. There was no baby inside of me. There was no baby outside of me. There was no baby, period.
A heavy blanket of guilt hung across my shoulders like a woolen shroud. I’d destroyed our happiness. On the other side of the room my mother’s gilt-edged mirror reflected an image—a woman with an empty womb, a black void for a uterus. My body had betrayed me. Unable to give birth to a healthy baby, I couldn’t give my husband the child we’d been waiting for nine long months.
Weston sat next to me and I reached out and grasped his wrist. “Remember the night she was conceived?”
He bent his head, shaking it from side to side. “Don’t do this, Brandy.”
“We were living in San Francisco. We made love on the deck. You could see the full moon—like a huge medallion, hanging by an invisible chain over Alcatraz.”
“Never saw it look that way before,” he whispered then walked over to the window and stood, his back facing me.
“I thought it was a sign…a good sign…like an omen, you know?”