“The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more”.
I have always watched him.
I watched him in my dreams of childhood—when I dreamed of success, of my love for a strong husband who would support my aspirations whatever the cost, a house of our own and a perfect son. I even dreamed his name, Nathan.
But in dreams, the truth is complicated by uncertain futures—by realities that seem so tangible that when you reach for them in the morning they are nothing but the heat-haze Pasodoble of a summer street.
I watched him in the loving embrace of my husband to be. I imagined his smooth silken skin. His eyes of viridian green. His inner strength and playful laugh. The best of both of us.
I watched him on the blurry monitors. Shapes of life in dots of indistinguishable fluid movement. A head? A face? A foot? Is that a wave he gives us? The cold gel on my swollen belly. The ultrasound crackle. Through the muffled sounds like an underwater swim, we hear the rhythm of his heartbeat.
In fleeting happiness, we see the training of their reassuring looks, and for the first time, we feel the words of the consultant wash over us like numbing tides. We feel the evaporation of dreams.
I watched him carried from my spilt open stomach, not concerned for my own health.
I watched from the side of his transparent box—a sanctuary for life, but a prison from us.
I watched his acceptance of the things that came to pass and I came to realise that he was perfect, in every way.
And I when he was eight, I watched his passing in the sterile hospital room. He placed his hands behind my head, his fingers crossed against my tear-filled skull. He kissed me. He told me the angels needed him and everything would be better.
Outside the room, the world still turned.
Follow Mark A. King on Twitter: @Making_Fiction