Thursday, October 8, 2009

From a Nightmare

He watched from a bank of monitors, as she came slowly back to consciousness in the dark room on the other side of the wall. Thanks to the infrared camera, he could see it clearly when panic swept her as she tried to sit up and was unable to. He watched, blood racing, as she struggled against the restraints he had placed across her chest, abdomen, and thighs. As she opened her mouth to scream, he pushed a button turning off the infrared feature on the camera and in the other room, a light blinked on. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut against the painful brightness, and called out for someone to help her. He couldn’t hear her screaming, but he could watch the horror playing out in her body language. He turned the audio on, and listened with excitement as the girl begged to be let go and returned home. Her screaming pleas only excited him more, and he could feel his muscles tensing with excitement. He picked up his black bag and put on his glasses. It was time to get to work.

She didn’t hear the lock on the door disengage because she was screaming, but she heard the door open and bit back her scream as a he came set down his bag on the stainless steel counter top. It didn’t take her long to find her voice, but it took a few attempts to get a coherent sentence out.

“Who are you?” she tried to sound calm, but there was a shriek underlying the tone. He didn’t answer her, he continued to unpack his bag. She couldn’t see what he was placing on the rolling cart in front of him. “Please, who are you?” she was crying now, he liked this part, next would come the offering of deals. He didn’t answer her, he continued to prepare his tools.

“What do you want? I can give you anything you want, just don’t hurt me. Money? My family has money, do you want me to call them and get you money? ANSWER ME!” Her yell was enough to make his ears bleed, but he made no indication that he had heard her.

“Please,” she whispered between sobs, “please let me go. I just want to go home.”

When he had placed the last instrument on the cart, he zipped closed the black bag and placed it under the counter. He knew she was watching him with terror-filled eyes, so he took his time pulling on the rubber gloves, being sure to snap the glove to his wrist. He knew she would flinch as the glove snapped into place, they always did, it amused him that such a small noise would elicit such a strong physical reaction. He intended to study that further in the future.

Finally ready to begin, he turned the cart and pushed it to the table where the girl was held in place. He watched with intensity as her eyes moved from his face to the cart, she began to scream again as she got a good look at the instruments he had chosen for this occasion.

She couldn’t help herself, she felt her sanity slipping away as she screamed, desperate for someone to hear her. She struggled against the restraining belts that held her down, for a moment her mind flashed to the scene from the movie Mommy Dearest, the one where the young boy was strapped into his bed. A wild laugh ripped from her and she heard the shrill sound of hysteria. She had to get a hold of herself, she would never be able to get out of this if she didn’t calm down, but she couldn’t calm herself. She couldn’t stop the crazed half scream/half laugh that echoed through the room, hurting her own ears.

She noticed that he was now holding a syringe, and that he had gotten closer to her. She pulled away, raging against the restraints, but it was no good. He set down the fluid filled syringe on the table next to her arm, tied off a tourniquet above her elbow, and thumped the crook of her elbow to find a vein. He tore open the packet that contained an alcohol swab, she could smell the astringent odor as he wiped a patch of skin. He picked up the syringe and put the cap between his teeth to pull it off and expose the needle. The prick of the needle made her scream again, but it stopped almost as soon as it began. She felt her body go limp, though she knew she was still struggling to break free of the restraints.

Her captor spoke for the first time, “A little paralytic to keep you still. I want you to know what’s happening for as long as possible, so I can’t sedate you; but I can’t have you thrashing around like a fish out of water. This is a very delicate procedure, Nina. One wrong move and you could die, and I want very much for you to live.”

She could feel the hot tears running down her cheeks, and her eyes blurred from the abundance of tears still to fall. She couldn’t even make herself blink the tears away. He stepped out of her line of vision, and she heard metal clinking against metal. When he reappeared he held something up for her to see. She didn’t know what it was, but she knew it wouldn’t be good.

“I’m going to put this in your mouth to hold it open,” he opened her mouth and she could feel the metal instrument scraping the roof of her mouth. She heard what sounded like the winding of a watch, and felt her jaws being pried further and further apart. The pain surprised her, she had though for a moment that the shot he had given her had made her numb, instead it was her fear that had done so. He stepped back out of sight, and she could hear more scraping of tools as he pushed them around looking for the right one.

“Now this is going to hurt a bit, but it is necessary.” The scalpel glinted in the light overhead, and she tried to scream as he leaned in closer. With his left hand he held a pair of tongs, he grabbed her tongue and pulled it out of her mouth so far that it felt as though it were bring ripped from her. The first cut with the scalpel didn’t hurt like she expected it to, the pain came with the second slice. He was cutting out her tongue, he was cutting out her tongue and she couldn’t even turn her head away to stop him. He continued as though he was sawing through a piece of wood.

The pain was so intense that she felt herself start to blackout when he finally removed the muscle from her mouth. His smile was empty and chilled her blood. He held the severed appendage up for her to see, her stomach roiled and she tried to close her eyes. He smiled again and opened her clenched fist. She felt the tongue, her tongue, being pressed into her hand; it was still warm. He was pouring something into her mouth before she realized it, and the burning sensation brought tears back to her eyes.

“A little disinfectant. It won’t hurt for long.” He said as he set the bottle on the cart. “Don’t worry, we’re almost done now. Not much longer.”

She heard the sound of a watch being wound again, and he removed the appliance from her mouth. He pressed her lips together, leaning over to brush his lips across hers. She wanted to scream and tried to, but again there was no response from any part of her body except her brain. He stood up and put the appliance on the table next to her head. He reached back down and when he brought his hand back up, he was holding a long curved needle.

The pain kept the reality of what was coming from sinking in. She felt the prick of the needle on her lower lip, and had only a moment to steel herself against the onslaught of pain. As the needle pushed through the soft tissue of the bottom lip, she could hear him humming. He parted her lips slightly to look at his work before closing them again and pushing the curved needle through her top lip.

She had to wake up, it was time to wake up. This was a nightmare and it was time for it to be over. She kept telling herself to wake the fuck up, but as he pulled the thread through to start the next stitch, she knew she would soon go to sleep, and would never ever wake up again. He took his time, never yanking the needle or thread, he was trying to be delicate. After what felt like forever, he took scissors and cut the thread. He leaned over and kissed her forehead.

"Now," he said smiling, "You're all prepped and ready to go. Let's get started shall we?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chapter 1 Part 1

Chapter One

It had been a long and painful day. She watched the too small casket being lowered into the ground; wishing she were in there with her son. In all her life, she had never missed her mother, dead almost 15 years, as she did at that very moment. She tuned out her grandmother’s theatrical sobs, the old woman had never even met Tyler in his four years on this earth. She and her paternal grandmother, Camille Levingsworth-Collins, had never been close; and their estrangement became more pronounced after Anna’s mother died. When she had gotten pregnant while unmarried, Camille had told her she was an embarrassment to the family, Anna had told her that if she felt that way Anna would be happy to no longer be a part of the family. Anna’s father, horrified by his mother’s attitude, had frequently flown to New Orleans to see Tyler and Anna. Anna didn’t hate her grandmother, she just didn’t care about her at all, and the feeling was mutual. Her grandmother couldn’t love her because she was too busy being in love with herself. Her father, Atticus Collins, had provided all of the parental love Anna had ever needed throughout her entire life.

Even now he stood silently by her side, holding her hand instead of sitting at his elderly mother’s side. Atticus was as stoic as ever, Anna’s rock, like he’d always been. Anna’s brother, Brock Collins, and his wife Lena sat on either side of Camille, holding each of her hands. Brock had never been an affectionate man, which made his choice of wife perfect. Lena was an ice queen, no emotion at all, no matter the situation. Brock has always disliked that Anna was their father’s favorite, and flat out hated that Atticus never hid the fact that he preferred his daughter’s company to his son’s.

As the congregation broke apart, Anna stood silently in front of her little son’s grave. She felt physically unable to walk away from him. Her grandmother stood to hug and kiss everyone around her, and to thank them for coming. As the priest walked over to Anna to express his condolences, Atticus intercepted him, and pulled him to the side. Atticus understood that all things religious for the services were done because Camille had insisted, he understood that Anna no longer believed in a higher power that would let her beautiful son die.

The gathered mourners all left her to grief, none of them approaching to offer condolences as she stared down into the dark hole in the ground where her son’s body lay in its silver box. Her father, touched her shoulder and she tore her eyes away from the ground and looked up at him.

“I’m going to take your grandmother and Brock in one limousine and leave the other for you.” His voice was ragged with emotion, “I want you to stay here as long as you want. The gathering will happen with or without you there, and I know you’d rather not attend. I will make your excuses for you, don’t worry about it.”

“I’m going to go Dad, I just want…” her voice broke, she took a deep breath to stave off the tears, “I just want to say goodbye alone, but tell Camille I’m not going to embarrass her, I will be there shortly.”

Atticus’ eyes hardened, “Her embarrassment be damned, Anna. A ‘death soiree’ is not what you need be worried about.”

She couldn’t help but smile, “Thanks Dad, but she’ll make your life hell if I don’t go for a little while at least.”

“Then today will be no different from any other,” he said pointedly, “but…do what you feel you must. Just know I will understand if you don’t want to go.” He kissed her cheek and then steered his mother away from the crowd she held court over and to the limousine. Brock and Lena followed obediently behind her parents, never glancing back to where Anna stood.

It was only a few minutes before the rest of the crowd dispersed and she was finally left alone with her baby boy. She waited for the last car to pull away before kneeling at the grave, once alone and on her knees she let the tears fall. With the drop of the tear, she felt her heart rip open and bleed freely from the pain of losing her Tyler. She thought of his bright blue eyes sparkling with excitement, and his soft brown hair tousled from playing on the swing in their backyard. She could suddenly hear his robust laughter blowing through the cemetery on the breeze, and her arms ached to hold him again.

“How can I ever live without you, Bug?” she whispered, “How can life go on when I don’t have you to live for?”

It took her almost 10 minutes to still the sobs that wracked her body, after her tears were dried she just sat there looking at the flowers around the grave. White roses, Casablanca Lillis, red sunflowers, it was an overwhelming sight.

“It’s time to go now, Scout.” A familiar voice said from directly behind her. Her eyes closed as the sound of his voice washed over her, memories of happy times flooding through her.

She didn’t move, “How did you know?”

Michael knelt down next to her, “Atticus called. I got on a plane as soon as I hung up with him.”

She bowed her head, “I didn’t know Dad knew how to reach you. I’m sorry I should have called myself.”

His hand cupped her chin and pulled her head up to look at him, “Yes, you should have, but I understand why you didn’t. Come on; let’s get you out of here.”

She allowed herself to be pulled up to her feet and into a hug so tight that it almost hurt. She felt herself shaking, and tried hard to keep it together in front of another person. The tears wouldn’t be denied, and she was crying again into his shoulder. He whispered into her ear that he was ‘here now’ and ‘it would be alright’ which only made the tears fall harder. She finally pulled away from him, wiping her eyes and looking away from him. She couldn’t meet his eyes, not yet.

She walked to the waiting car with Michael walking silently beside her. The chauffer opened the door and took her hand to help her in. She slid to the far side to allow Michael room to get in after he gave the driver instructions. When the door shut she closed her eyes so as to not have to watch them pull away from her son’s grave. As the car smoothly pulled away from the curb, she felt Michael take her hand and squeeze it.

“Breathe, Scout.” He said softly, “Breathe.”

She hadn’t realized she had been holding her breath, but she exhaled the stale air from her lungs and inhaled fresh cool air. The simple practice of breathing hurt, there was nothing that she did that didn’t hurt. She was a raw mass of emotion and pain. They rode in silence for the duration of the twenty-minute drive to the hall her grandmother had reserved for the gathering that always takes place after funerals.

Michael took her hand to help her exit the car, and held her in place when she tried to ascend the steps to go inside. “I know you think you have to do this,” he said and continued when she tried to interject, “but you don’t have anyone to please. It doesn’t help you to go inside and let her wear you down, Anna. We both know that’s what she will try to do, so be sure you want to deal with this before you go in. We can leave right now, no one would blame you. If you want to be alone, I’ll have the driver drop you at home then go to my hotel.”

For the first time in the five days since she lost her son, Anna smiled, “Thank you, but I need to do this. I’ve got this, she’s been trying to wear me down for twenty-eight years, she started it the day my mother died when I was six, I’m not about to let her win one today.”

Michael relaxed visibly, “Well if I can’t talk you out of it, I’ll be right there with you the whole time.”

That statement actually got a laugh from her, “Camille will be so pleased.”

He smiled, “I never did understand why your grandmother dislikes me so much. I was a good kid.”

“You were the first ever boyfriend,” Anna whispered as though it was top-secret information she was spilling, “and not exactly what she had in mind for her only granddaughter. You weren’t at all appropriate for me in her eyes.” His expression was one she had seen most of her life, and as always it made her want to hug him. He looked positively shocked and wounded to the soul.

She kissed his cheek, “Why she dislikes you now is anyone’s guess. We were kids, and have been only friends for more years then I want to name.” He still looked hurt; and she laughed, “Buck up, soldier! I’m her only granddaughter, and she’s disliked me since birth. Trust me, she’s easier to handle when she doesn’t like you.”

She took his hand, and made to go up the stairs, she met resistance and turned to look at him, “What’s wrong?”

“Can I tell you something?” he asked smiling.

“Of course, you know you can tell me anything.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d be happy to see me,” he looked embarrassed, “I was a complete wreck the whole way into town.”

She stepped down from the step and hugged him again, “I am always happy to see you. You’re my Michael, my best friend for almost my whole life. I’m so relieved that you’re here, I don’t think I can do this alone.”

He hugged her tightly in return, “Camille isn’t that bad.”

She pulled away from him to look into his eyes, her eyes suddenly sad and serious again, “I didn’t mean her, I mean I don’t think I can survive losing Tyler if I have to do it alone.”

He felt his throat tighten with emotion as he watcher her sudden relief from suffering come to an end, “You’re not alone, you’re never alone. You’ve got me and Atticus. You’ll always have us. I’m here to stay as long as you need me. Just say the word when you’re tired of me.” He smiled when he said the last words, and he was rewarded with a watery smile in return.

She sighed heavily, “Okay, let’s get this over with.” Michael led her up the steps, and as he opened the door to the reception hall said, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” his words were drowned out by her laughter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Scene That I May Use

Anna had been through a long, rough day. She was determined to stay in tonight, watch the ball drop on TV and drink a bottle of good wine alone in her pajamas. She had been dreaming of her night of solitude since her alarm went off that morning. Showering when she got home, she pulled on her favorite pair of pajamas, grabbed a thick blanket and bottle of wine and settled onto the couch. Only two glasses of wine into the bottle her doorbell rang.

She was surprised to find Michael when she opened the door. His eyes glittered with moonlight, "I was disappointed that you weren’t at Olivia's party. I am here to drag you into the New Year."

She smiled and stood aside to let him in, "No dragging will be necessary, I'm celebrating quietly tonight."

She watched him walk from the foyer to the living room, throwing his long wool coat over the back of her sofa. He was handsome in a way that made it hurt to look at him too long. His hair longer than traditionally worn by men his age, but it suited him perfectly. She found herself always watching his eyes, which were always smiling, even when he was serious. Women threw themselves at him regularly, he would flirt back politely, but rarely did it go anywhere. He was a genuinely good man.

"Would you like a glass of wine?" she asked walking into the living room behind him.

"No, I’d like you to get dressed."

"Where are we going?" she asked sipping her own wine. He winked at her, "It's a surprise, but dress warmly. In fact, let me help you."

She choked on the sip of wine she had just taken, "Excuse me?"

"Let me pick your clothes,” he rolled his eyes at her, “you just put on what I tell you to put on, then we'll go." He kissed her cheek and went to her bedroom.

"Michael?" she said questioningly, "exactly how much celebrating have you done already?"

"None yet. Why do you ask?" He said from her closet. "You just seem a little...I don't know if giddy would be the right word to describe a man like you, but that's how it seems."

He walked out of her closet holding a pair of jeans, a royal blue cable knit sweater, and her black wool pea coat. "I would have to agree that giddy may not be a word that heartens my masculinity, but I guess the thought of getting you to myself for once has me a bit excited."

"Why is that?" she felt herself flush and was immediately annoyed with herself.

"I have something to show you. Something I've been wanting to share with you for years, but it never seemed a good time. Now, on the eve of a new year, is as good a time as any." His eyes sparkled with such delight that she got caught up in the excitement.

She dressed quickly, having taken a shower when she got home it didn't take her long to get ready. She walked back out to the living room to find it empty.

"Michael?" she called out. "Right here," his warm breath touched her neck and she startled to have him so close to her and not know it. "You startled me," she said whipping around to face him, "I'm ready."

He took a deep breath, "I hope that's true."

They walked out of the house, Michael pulling the front door closed and checking to make sure it locked behind them. Then his arm was around her waist guiding her to his car. She smiled when she saw the red sports car, "Pulling out all the stops tonight?" His deep chuckle rumbled through her, "I know you love this car, so I decided to indulge you.”

"Thank you." She smiled up at him, and when he looked down at her, she felt something stir in her for the first time.

“Don’t thank me yet. You have no idea what’s waiting for you.”

"Wait," she put a hand on his chest stepping in front of him to stop his progress, "What is this? I've seen you in all of your moods but this, this is something new.""You won't wait?" he asked smiling."For the big reveal, yes I'll wait, but you need to give me something to work with. I've been completely off kilter since you walked in the door." He seemed to be thoughtful for a moment, "Okay, fair enough. I am springing this on you unexpectedly, the least I can do is telling you why before I tell you what.""Thank you," she said and started to say something more, but his kiss silenced her. She felt his lips on hers as he moved closer to her. Pinned between the car and Michael, she couldn't figure out what was happening until she heard Michael whisper her name, "Anna, please understand." His mouth closed harder over hers, she felt herself responding before she had made the decision to do so. His tongue traced her lips to part them and she obliged opening her mouth to him. He moaned and pressed himself against her. She felt her entire being catch fire as her tongue danced lazily with his.

Her arms, which had been limp at her sides, suddenly wound around his waist and she pulled him tighter to her. She moaned into his mouth and his body tightened around her. He pulled his mouth away from hers, looking down into her eyes. His whole being shook with the need that was coursing through him. "Michael?" she said with ragged breath."Yes?" he whispered into her ear, resting his head on her shoulder."What was that?" she asked."Our first kiss." he murmured kissing her neck. "First kiss? So there will be another one?" she said finding it difficult to stay focused with his mouth on her."Oh yes," he said leaning in to kiss her again. She put a hand on his lips and stopped him.

“We either need to take this back inside, or get going, my neighbors are watching.” She giggled.

“Let them watch just one more time,” he growled dragging her hand away and kissing her roughly. It was an intense kiss, she couldn’t remember ever being kissed like this. When he finally broke away from her, he was breathing as heavily as she was. “Maybe you’re right, elf,” he said his hands still running the length of her arms, “we should take this back inside.”

“What about the secret?” she asked with her eyes closed, loving the feeling of him so close to her.

“That will have to wait, this cannot.” He pulled her behind him and walked back to the front door. She fumbled with the keys, which was difficult as his hands and lips were on her neck, in her hair, and the feeling of him pressed against her was making it impossible to focus.

Impatient he took them, and opened the door. Pushing her inside ahead of him, he slammed it shut and turned the deadbolt. She was pulling out of her coat when he turned back and reached out for her.

The trip to bedroom happened in a blur, there was a hurricane of movement, clothes tossed as they went. Her phone rang and she grabbed it off the stand and tossed it across the room to silence it. His deep chuckle made her knees weak, and standing there in only her skimpy under things she suddenly felt exposed and self conscious. She reached down to the bed to grab at the comforter, looking for a way to hide her body. He yanked it from her.

“No hiding tonight,” he said huskily, “I want to see all of you.”

He dipped down to kiss her again, her response was more than he could have hoped for. She pulled him to her, kissing him hard, and pulling him onto the bed.

Her inhibitions gone, she pulled at the remaining clothing he was still wearing; she wanted to remove all of the barriers between them. He obliged, letting her remove the last of his clothes, but flipped her onto her back when she was done. He slowly made his way down the length of her torso, kissing and biting every inch of her. When he reached the soft lace, he dipped his tongue beneath the waistline, then pulled at the material with more force than he intended, the delicate fabric ripped, “Sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she managed to say between ragged breaths; “They’re not my favorite ones.”

“Suddenly,” he said hotly against her thigh, “they are my favorite.” He lifted her hips to remove the rest of the material from her then slid himself back up to kiss her. He was mad with need for her, and she could feel it. Her hand slid between them and closed around him. She used her new leverage to turn him onto his back. She kissed and bit at his hot skin, her hands working magic on him keeping him unable to breathe.

“I had planned to take this slowly,” he gasped for air as her hand squeezed gently, “you’re making it hard to keep it an option.”

“Slow can happen later,” biting at his lip softly, “right now, I need you too much to wait.”

She kissed her way down his throat, across his chest, and down his abdomen. Her hand never stopping the slight pressure, he inhaled sharply when he felt her tongue flick at the tip of him. His eyes closed involuntarily when her mouth closed around him, she moaned at the taste of him. Slowly and deliberately alternated between feather light kisses, flicks of her tongue, and hungry, possessive sucking. He whispered her name and found his hands tangled in her hair, pulling her mouth harder down on him, every time she moaned the vibrations electrified him.

She crawled back up his long tense body, and straddled him. “Now is the time to change your mind,” she whispered in his ear. He moaned and let go of his attempt to restrain himself, thrusting into her and almost coming when she moaned his name. His mouth came down hard on hers and they found a rhythm that almost shook the house down around them. Her hands were on his hips pulling him roughly to her as she bucked up to meet him. Each thrust sent electric shocks running through him, he drove into her with abandon and she begged him for more.

She pushed him over to be on top of him, and he let her take control. He hadn’t know this woman was hiding inside his precious elf. He would have never thought that underneath her sweet, smiling, and understated exterior, was the wildly sexual and fiercely erotic woman. The possibility of spending endless nights in her bed, getting to know every inch of her thrilled him. He pushed himself up into a sitting position with her rocking against him in his lap; he wound his hands through her hair and pulled her mouth down to his.

His kiss was slow and sensual and her thrusts down became slow and long. She moaned into his mouth, and he pulled her down hard against his hips. She threw her head back and screamed his name, and his body reacted and white-hot lightening ripped through him. They collapsed against each other in breathless, sweating, satisfied tangle of limbs.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Anna stood in the hallway outside the surgical waiting room. She couldn’t sit in the pastel walled room any longer; it had already been six hours. The surgery should not have taken this long, the doctor had told her two hours would be the maximum, no one had come to tell her what was going on. She turned the rosary bracelet on her wrist absent-mindedly. She had said the rosary so many times that she didn’t think she could make it through another one. She had been praying since the night before that everything would be fine, that the surgery would go well, and this would all be just a bad dream.

She looked up as the doors at the end of the hallway opened, she recognized the nurse that came out, he was one of the OR nurses who had gone in with her Tyler. His eyes were serious and she knew what he had come to tell her would not be happy news. She pushed herself away from the wall and met him halfway; she noticed he had trouble meeting her eyes.

“Dr. Craven would like to meet you in the Quiet Room, will you come with me?” he said softly; his eyes begging her not to ask him any questions.

Unable to find her voice, she nodded and let him lead her through the maze of hallways that made up the surgical floor of the hospital. She was silent; preparing herself to hear the words that she knew to be coming. He pushed open a door and showed her into a small white room with a table and four chairs, he pulled a chair out for her. When she was seated, he took the chair next to hers.

“You don’t have to wait with me,” she said trying to smile while her eyes stung with hot tears she couldn’t let spill over.

“I promised Dr. Craven I would.” He was back to not looking directly at her.

The door opened behind them a few moments later, and the surgeon, Dr Stephen Craven, walked in. He looked much older than his fifty-six years; he also looked as though he was fighting tears. She was a little startled to see a nun with him, she struggled harder against the tears, and all of the hope was slipping away.

“Anna, I’m sorry, so very sorry,” Dr Craven looked pained, “Tyler’s heart was much weaker than we originally thought. The damage was so bad that his little heart couldn’t survive the move back off the heart/lung machine. We did everything we could, but…” his voice trailed off.

“Miss Collins, in times like these we must be strong when it seems that all strength is gone,” the nun said, meaning to be helpful.

Anna sat staring at the wall over the surgeon’s shoulder, unable to breathe. Gone? Her son could not be gone; he had kissed her and said he would see her later as they wheeled him down the hallway to surgery. He had been full of life when he waved to her as the swinging doors closed behind his gurney. He wasn’t gone, it wasn’t possible.

“Miss Collins?” a hand touched her shoulder; she looked away from the point on the wall to see the nurse trying to see if she was okay.

“I…” she paused unsure what to say, “I want to see him.”

The doctor’s eyes glistened with unshed tears, “Of course, is there someone you would like us to call. His father, someone in your family?”

“No, there’s no one to call. I’d like to see my son now.” She stood from her chair and made for the door.

“They are cleaning up right now, it will be a few minutes before you can see him.” The doctor said.

“I will see him now, Doctor. You will let me see him now.” She said softly but with resolve in her voice that the man could not miss.

“Come with me,” he nodded, “But you need to be prepared, it looks bad.”

“You’ve just told me my son is dead, what could be worse?” she pushed past him into the hallway.

The long walk to the OR theater gave her the time she needed to come to terms with what she was about to do. The doctor motioned for her to wait outside the room; he entered and came back for her a few moments later. He stopped her at the threshold, “Are you sure there is no one we can call for you?”
“I’d like to be alone with him if you don’t mind,” she said fighting the urge to push him out of the way. He nodded and stepped aside and let her in. The two nurses still inside kept their eyes down, and walked out of the room leaving just her and her boy.

She walked over to the surgical table, he lie there looking like he was sleeping, she felt the burning in her eyes and throat threaten to overwhelm her. She took his little four-year-old hand in hers, and kissed it, leaving it at her lips she let the tears fall.

“Oh baby.” The sob ripped from her body breaking the words apart on her lips, “My baby, I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.”

She couldn’t help herself; she picked him up his still little body and held him close to her. She pictured him as he had been that morning, smiling and, despite being scared, laughing. They had watched Aladdin, and she had combed his hair so he could look good for the nurses. Anna had promised him a trip to Disney World; she had been saving the money for almost a year without telling him, Tyler was so excited. He had let her kiss him repeatedly though it usually bothered him when she did so.

The tears that blurred her vision stung her skin like acid. She held him and rocked him; she sang his song to him, their special song that she had sung to him since he was born. It had always been just the two of them, now it was just her. Her parents were in New York, Tyler’s father was a non-factor, and she had not bothered to make many friends in New Orleans after she moved there, preferring to devote herself to her life with her son.

She stroked his soft brown hair with her fingers, and had just laid him back down when she heard the door open behind her. She didn’t bother to look to see who it was, she didn’t care. The world outside that room would have to wait, she was saying goodbye to her son, to her life.

“I love you baby, I love you so very much. I don’t think I can do this without you, but I’m going to try. For you I’m going to try.” She brushed his hair back, kissed his forehead, and turned to face Dr. Craven. The tears drying up instantly, she walked to the door.

“I’m very sorry, Anna. Sister Mary is waiting for you, she will take you through the steps of selecting what you would like to do next.” He took her hand in his, “Do you need anything? I can give you something to help you sleep tonight if you’d like.”

She shook her head, “I don’t trust myself not take a bottle of pills if I have them, but thank you.”

“Will you be alright?” he asked her.

“No,” she looked him in the eye, “I will never be okay again.”