The Voice...


Each and every heart it seems,
Is bounded by a world of dreams.
Each and every rising sun,
Is greeted by, a lonely, lonely one.

Won't you tell me again?
Oh, can you feel it?
Oh, won't you tell me again tonight?

A voice spoke loudly but gently, if that’s even possible, shoving urgently past the controlled chaos in the room.

“That’s it, Nan… her head is crowning. Just another push, honey.” Linda had seen it all, but the wonder never escaped her.

“Oh…Jerry....get this… she’s smiling.”

Linda giggled like a little girl at her first sleepover at the sweet expression on the baby’s face. Nan pushed once more as the newbie slipped out of her and into her best friend’s waiting hands. Nothing needed to get her going; Juliette Marie McNair took her first breath and snorted a bit of liquid through her nose before cooing softly. A tiny fist went immediately under her chin, as if she was already pondering the mysteries of the universe.

“She’s beautiful, Nan….I love you so much.” The voice called as if from far away.

The kiss on the foreheads of both mother and child did only a bit of abating the pain Nan still felt. Nevertheless, it had been all worth it, she told herself as the room began to grow dim and a bit cold. Cooing and laughter were quickly supplanted by the sound of sad weeping, which puzzled Nan until she realiized the crying was hers.....

“It’s okay, honey. I know…shhh…shhh.” Linda’s voice was soothing and warm in the cold room. She leaned over and kissed the girl on the forehead.

“Where….where’s Juliette?” A long forgotten name shared between best friends; two children who wished things had begun differently for each.

The girl looked down at her body and saw a thin white blanket covering her legs and lower torso. She put the back of her left hand over her eyes to shield them from the glare of the overhead light in the recovery room. Almost like a fantasy or fiction piece, it was reality, and her empty arms held nothing but wasted hopes and foolish daydreams.

“Oh….” She moaned and her hand went to her mouth. Linda quickly grabbed a pan and placed it under Nan’s mouth, catching almost everything.

“Probably the anaesthesia, honey.” Just as likely cruel disappointment and harsh reality as any futile medication. Despite the cold feel of the room, Linda placed an ice pack on the girl’s head.

“Jerry? Linda? Where’s Jerry?” Not quite delirious; nevertheless Nan became almost incoherent for a few moments before realizing where she was and what was happening. Linda leaned closer and whispered.

“Shhh ….shhh. I’m here.”

What could have been a great consolation was understandably lost on the girl lying in the bed. Jerry had long since departed following Nan’s revelation. Who could blame him? Who would dare? Not all that sensitive to begin with; he balked upon learning that his girlfriend…the girl he had SAVED himself for… was less than ‘equipped’ to continue the Aurelio legacy.

“You make me sick!”

His last words still stung like a sore whose scab had constantly been picked until the scar built up as a cruel reminder of the wound beneath. Nan looked at her relatively flat stomach and the realization of the moment hit her; implications that went far beyond that place and time and reached into her sad future to tear away at her heart. She felt like cursing herself, as if that accommodation would have made a difference in a heart capable of loving only himself.

“Adopt? No, Nan…if that’s really your name?”

His words had formed into a cruel taunt; hurting more than anything that she’d ever heard because they were a sad contrast to the sweetness he ‘bestowed’ on her only the day before. Words that led her to believe she was safe enough to confess her secret. She really never had a chance. The love she harbored in her heart was a literal mirror image of his; completely opposite to his love of her love for him. Always in a place of being schooled instead of being heard.

She turned her head away and began to sob. It’s one thing to continue to dream of hope deferred. It’s another thing entirely to give into hope destroyed forever, or so she thought. A love that never had been that was wed cruely to the hope of a baby that could never be. And a body that mocked who she had thought she was. Her sobbing literally shook the bed.

Linda shook her head, wondering just what it was that made the girl so blind. She was almost oblivious to her own value and worth, and if she had been able to see beyond that hurt, perhaps… Linda kissed her best friend on the forehead once again and prayed, her own tears mingling with Nan’s in a silent entreaty that love might eventually find a way.
And how many words have I got to say?
And how many times will it be this way?
With your arms around the future and your back up against the past.
You're already falling it's calling you on to face the music.
And the song that is coming through.
You're already falling the one that it's calling is you.

The Voice
Words and Music by
Justin Hayward
as performed by
The Moody Blues

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This story is 937 words long.