It was a mistake

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A super-short story I actually wrote a while ago now. I've just been holding on to it for quite some time, not really sure what to do with it. So, here we go! I hope you enjoy.

Submitted: July 19, 2013

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Submitted: July 19, 2013

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A A A


The baby stands in his lap, threads of innocence, happiness, and trust woven into her expression.

I stand behind the window with its view into the back garden.

They look so happy together.

The sunlight forces its way through the constraints of the trees’ plentiful leaves, creating a collage of light spots over their skins. I see the bump in his throat bob up and down, silhouetted against the afternoon sunshine as he laughs. A ray of light illuminates the soft, downy hair atop her head, catching stray pollen mites and dust particles in its path. Even from here I can hear her sweet giggles; the sound makes my heart clench with love for her.

I created her. Pure awe fills me. How is it possible to create someone so perfect? How can I even be holding this much love for someone so small? I have to force my breaths to come evenly, and I swallow down the lump at the back of my throat.

But something about this scene in front of me awakens a snake of anger in my belly.

Something about it is just wrong.

My fingers curl into my palms as the initial rush of seeing my daughter again dies away, and something darker replaces it in return. She does not belong to him. He should not be holding her like that. She is not his to hold. The stubble shading his jaw could scratch her sensitive, delicate skin. His hand is not supporting her back and neck. She could fall. He does not know how to look after her. She needs her mother.

The court was silent as I stood to answer the judge. I begged my voice not to crack. I needed to be strong. For her sake.

I started off slowly and precisely, just as I had practiced over and over again the night before. But the words started tumbling and falling off of my tongue like water down a jagged waterfall, and nothing could stop the tug of gravity pulling it down.

“He was hitting me. He was jealous. He was shouting at me for not giving him any attention anymore. He was jealous of my baby. He shoved me right up against the wall so I smashed my head ... and I was suddenly afraid he’d hurt her. I couldn’t bear him hurting her. She’s just a baby for goodness’ sake ... I just  couldn’t let him do anything to her ... I absolutely couldn’t ... so I pushed him back ... it wasn’t even that hard ... I just wanted him to leave me alone ... and then – he just sort of ... tripped backwards – down the stairs and ... and  ... and then he didn’t get back up.”

I blink hard. The bruise by my temple dully throbs. I take a deep breath in through my nose and out through my mouth.

I continue watching the two outside.

She’s not his.

“She’s mine!” I screamed. Hands restrained my reaching arms by my side. My muscles strained against the resistance, pushing hard against the person holding me back. Their nails tore into my arms and their bodies almost crushed mine in holding me back. But my mind was stronger than their muscles. I wouldn’t let her go. I couldn’t.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we’re going to have to place her in the care of your brother for the time being.”

“She needs her mother,” I sobbed. My baby’s wailing started to fill the room. “Give her back! You’re hurting her! Please! You can’t take her away from me!”

Her cries were killing me. No mother could leave her own child crying and distressed without even attempting to comfort her. But I couldn’t get to my baby. I couldn’t reassure her that everything would be alright. I couldn’t feel her tiny, useless body in my hands. I could only listen to her cries, clenching my heart in a fist of desperation.

“Please! Give her to me! She needs me!”

“It’s only temporarily, ma’am – just until after the court case.”

And then the truth dawned on me.

 “But if I lose you won’t give her back, will you?” I whispered. The social worker’s silence gave me my answer.

“Please! Please give her to me! She needs me! You can’t do this to me!”

But they could. And they had.

The social worker turned and left with my baby in her arms.

My screams tore my throat raw and pierced the deepest corners of my heart. I was losing her. I was losing my beautiful baby girl.

I am free now. Free to take back my baby girl and bring her home. There is no longer that threat that awaits her. No. That threat is never coming back.

My arms itch now to have her back. But still, there is an element of magic in the scene in front of me that compels me to my very core. The beauty of pure happiness radiates from the pair. It feels foreign to my senses. Captivating. Alluring.

Wrong.

Finally, I summon the strength to break the invisible connection, and open the back door.

A warm, earthy breeze of summer air greets me. It feels nice. Good. It has been a long time since I have noticed the simple things.

I look to my brother and daughter sitting together on the grass by the trees and start walking towards them.

My hands start to tremble. I hide them behind my back as I approach.

Whilst I am still several paces away, they both notice me. They turn at the same time, but I have eyes only for my daughter.

Her eyes gleam with laughter – shining and twinkling like the sun catching the glittering waves of a sea of sapphires. Her smile is all gums and dimples in her soft, velvety skin. And I see her short, plump little arms reaching out towards me as she realises who has come to get her.

Threads of innocence, happiness, and trust are woven into her expression as she looks right into my eyes.

And I am finally at peace.


© Copyright 2018 saoirse989. All rights reserved.

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