Just a heads up, the pills don’t really work. Sure, they mask the pain for a while, befuddle the mind and chase away the darkness for a few hours, but it always comes back. That’s the thing about pain and loss, regret and loneliness, they’re stubborn motherfuckers, they’re like leeches, bloodsucking and ravenous, clamped on, determined and relentless.
The mourning is a thick fog, a shadow. It lingers. It clings to you like a cold sweat. It darts furtively at the corner of your eye and pounces when you least expect it…
Memories, like gossamer.
Where do the recollections from the earliest years of my life originate? Fragments of time, old photographs, stories told and snippets taken, all woven together into a flimsy assemblage of vague truths? What is real? What is spun together by a lonely child’s mind, fragile, twisted and not quite right?
Scraps gleaned, accounts recollected, a mishmash of memories become mythology.
Molly Green’s downward spiral began that cold November morning when she discovered she was pregnant. Months of slow recovery were shattered in an instant. Her unbroken heart was torn asunder again by a cruel God, determined to test her faith to its very limit. What more could she endure? How could she dare to love this new life growing inside of her?
The nine months that followed were unbearable. As the child grew so did Molly’s detachment. She felt no emotional connection to “it”, allowed no maternal instinct nor a shred of compassion. It was a burden she had to bear and nothing more. She was but a vessel, a container. The baby would be born, if this was God’s will, and put up for adoption and that would be the end of it. She would forget, over time.
She promised my father that they would try again, eventually. “Not soon, later. When enough time has passed.” He understood, as best he could and hardened his heart. There was no point to forming an attachment to a child that he would never know.
The baby growing in Mommy’s belly was something Helen and Aaron were not allowed to talk about. They were not getting a new brother or sister. This one was for somebody else.
The four of them simply pretended that I did not exist.
Things changed quickly once I was born. My father, so stoic since Gabriel’s passing, finally cracked. He held me in his arms and knew that he would not let me go, under any circumstances. He named me and I was his. Flesh and blood, breath and bone, consequences be damned, he could not give me up for adoption. He knew, after conveying the news, when the blaze of hatred sparked through Molly’s eyes, their time together was coming to an end.
It took six months for Molly to make the final decision. I like to believe that she struggled with the choice, that ultimately it was difficult to let me go, that once they brought me home from the hospital she fell in love, but it was not so. This is not that kind of story.