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Horse made of glass - Part 8 Horse made of glass - Part 8
by Katerina Charisi
2017-07-09 08:44:56
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She forced herself to keep her eyes shut but they kept opening. She was checking the clock and each night she found herself up at exactly 1.30am like there was an invisible, soundless alarm somewhere in the house (or inside her head) and after that no matter what she did, sleep was not coming back. She paced around the little house, in the boy’s room with the single shelf standing on two rows of bricks and the used crib, thinking that probably the boy would have to sleep on the floor once the baby comes. “I failed so badly that I can’t provide a bed for my son”, she muttered each time and each time she left the room and went in the kitchen. She spent the rest of the night sitting on a chair with her legs apart, going to the bathroom every now and then for the baby kicked and pushed her bladder down and she thought at times her own bladder would come out of her body.

kat_400Her husband slept on the sofa he brought from the porch and put it in the corner. “You ain’t letting me sleep”, he told her. “You twist and turn and puff and snore all the time.”

“I can’t sleep.”

“Well, I can’t sleep either and I need to work. You have the rest of the whole day to sleep or sit or whatever.”

She wanted to scream that never understood a thing, she never slept or even sit doing nothing, there were so many things to be done and a little boy in case he forgot about it and it was so hard to carry around all this weight when she couldn’t rest at all. She said nothing instead. She swallowed her pain and frustration and ended up spending the endless small hours sitting on the chair in the kitchen, listening to her husband’s snores and resting her head on the table, feeling a bitter knot of thorns scratching her throat in each breath, feeling her eyes dry, feeling that along with her sleep she had even lost her tears, for she couldn’t cry and didn’t know what else to do to release some of her desperation and tiresome before she explodes in millions of pieces.

It was only a few days before the scheduled cesarean when she called her doctor and between swallowed sobs she asked him if they could do it earlier, maybe tomorrow?

“Is everything okay?” the doctor asked.

“I’m just so tired of waiting, so many days that I can’t sleep.”

 “You’re almost there. You won’t feel any pain at all. The epidural will keep you rested and strong during the deliverance and then you will have five days to rest and sleep as much as you wish before you take your son home to meet his big brother.”

He had said everything like having rehearsed it for every phone call like hers. She imagined him thinking how women got all emotional and sensitive and nagging and he counted the times he had to say the same words by adding a cross on a piece of paper on his desk. Her silence made him ask again.

“Are you sure everything is okay? No pain? No discomfort?”

What do you know from discomfort, she wanted to ask him but she didn’t. He would never understand. He was a man.

“I’m fine. I guess it seems longer this time. I mean the waiting.”

“Everything will be okay.”

“Of course.”

When the little one was born she just held him tight on her chest and closed her eyes, focusing on his fast heartbeat and his soft, tiny breaths, leaving every other thought out of her world, all the weeks that had passed all the sounds around in the room she shared with three other women. Door opening and door closing. Relatives and friends coming inside with pink or blue teddy bears and flower pots with the same knotted ribbons. Chit chats and laughter and cooing and cameras clicking.

She just held her baby tight and closed her eyes.

She was alone and probably others had noticed that no one had visited her yet for she thought at times people gestured her side and voices suddenly turned lower. She didn’t really care but maybe she did. Her parents were too far away and busy and she didn’t need (she didn’t want for that matter) any of her husband’s relatives in there. She didn’t want to share those precious first moments of the new life she had brought in this world with any of them. She was just fine on her own.

She felt the pain much worse than the first time, each time she tried to move a little and she watched the tiny pale face and the heart shaped mouth and the closed eyes. Happy, she told herself. I am happy. Complete.

Later that first day a nurse came in the room and asked visitors to “leave please, the mothers need to rest and their doctors are coming to check on them”. She cried out of pain but held her breath as she had to bend to put the baby in the plastic wheeled basket next to her and pulled the little white blanket on him. She sat awfully slowly on her bed and waited for the nurse to take the babies out so she could finally try to get some sleep. She felt her muscles trembling of exhaustion. But the nurse turned her back and walked to the door without any sign of taking the babies. She stopped her almost in panic.

“Aren’t you going to take the newborns for the night?”

“Why, no sweetie, the newborns stay with their mothers.”



“Aren’t you feeling alright?”

Why everybody had to ask her if she was feeling alright?

“I am fine. It’s just that the first time I gave birth the nurses took the newborns at nights so the mothers could rest”.

That was the whole point, wasn’t it? She murmured.

“Oh, it’s your second child darling? Well, lucky you. That’s why you look so confident, you’ve been there before. Well, it’s not the hospital’s policy to take the babies overnight. You weren’t here your first time, right?”

“No, in a clinic.”

The nurse laughed softly and it seemed to her she had rolled her eyes.

“Private clinics have more privileges. They get paid well, as you probably know already.”

Now, that sounded a little ironic.

“I thought it happens everywhere.”

“No, sorry.”

And she left the room.

She didn’t manage to get some sleep none of the days she spent in the hospital. She had the baby constantly with her and people getting in and out all the time. When her husband came to get her and the baby home, she dragged her feet like she was a hundred years old and her heartbeat raced inside her chest in every effort she put to move. Oh god please, how am I going to make it if I’m feeling like this?

She got in the backseat holding the baby and closed her eyes. Her husband started the car and they left the hospital behind them. Finally, it all had passed. She missed her little house. She missed the mountains. Most of all, she had missed the boy. She felt an urgent need to make up for him. She had to make up for him, for all the times she pushed him aside for being too tired, too fat, too fed up with everything to do anything with him. She couldn’t walk him to the woods. She couldn’t push his bike. She couldn’t sit down and play with him. She only wanted to sleep. He never complained. She owed him.

Maybe, she thought, just maybe her mother in law could come over twice a week to be with the baby so she could spend some time with the boy and get out of the house a little. That was a good idea. She would finally take him to the lonely beech for a picnic as she had promised. She could play with him on the floor and read him books and cook together. Oh, she would make up for him.

To her surprise, her mother in law was already in the house when they got there. Of course. The boy wouldn’t be alone. She tried not to show her pain as she got out of the car and walked in the house with the baby wrapped in one of the boys’ old sheets, and she squinted as the summer sun blinded her. When she opened the door the boy lifted his head and screamed out of joy and ran towards her. Her mother in law pulled him by his sleeve and the boy froze.

“Where ya think ya goin’ young man? Your mother needs to rest. The baby needs all of her strength and attention now. You’re comin’ with me as we have already talked, okay? Go get your shoes. Your father is waiting.”

Only then she noticed that her husband hadn’t got out of the car. She felt rage boiling inside her and panic bouncing on her temples and the boy dropped his head like it was made of paper.

“What the hell are you talking about?”


Horse made of glass – Part 1 -Part 2 -Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6Part 7 - Part 8 -

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