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Tiny pink shoes

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By JBazPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - February 2024
47
Tiny pink shoes
Photo by Bastien Jaillot on Unsplash

The drive home from the hospital was quiet, I always pictured this day differently. We had so much to say but we kept the thoughts to ourselves, as if it was taboo to speak. I wanted to say something and nearly do, when I glance at her she is looking elsewhere.

So, I drive on.

Knuckles white as they grip the wheel, I watch as raindrops dance across the glass, flying away free in the wind with each push of the wipers. The steady squeak of rubber on glass has a hypnotic tone that echoes with-in the hollowness of the car.

I finally break the silence and ask. “How are you feeling?"

With out turning in my direction, she responds with a standard answer. "I'm fine."

I nod, understanding her spontaneous reply.

A few minutes later she speaks up. "How are you? Maybe we should have asked someone to drive us home."

Keeping my eyes on the damp road, I stoically reply. "I'm fine."

There is a hush tone for the remainder of the drive, which I was told later, is a good thing.

The clouds break and a streak of sun peeks through grey skies, as the rays penetrate the windows the heat rises immediately along with the humidity.

Pulling onto the driveway, in front of our home, we pause before leaving the vehicle. Our eyes meet and all that needed saying is communicated in one look. It took a while for us to gather our things and enter our home. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life.

Hours later I find myself in the living room, surrounded by cards and flowers. Remnants from a party cut short. I ignore them all, my eyes are glued to the tiny pink shoes my wife and I purchased, with soft white ribbons for laces tied into a bow, they were perfect, or so we thought. I realize now that life doesn't always go to our plans, it sometimes follows its own direction. Either way, we are mere puppets on strings that dangle and move to the whim of a greater force.

I set the shoes down and slowly meander towards the unopened gifts waiting for excited fingers to unwrap them, knowing many will be returned, no longer necessary. My fingers, shake as I brush against the lace frills of the dresses and bonnets. There is so much to do yet I cannot find the energy to move on.

Pausing, I hear my wife's voice in the nursery, talking softly. She hasn't left the room since we returned home. I stayed with her, but eventually realized I had to move. I kissed her gently and quietly left the room. I don't know how long I stood and listened at the door, but the afternoon light had faded to a dim haze by the time I walked away. Softly I turned on the lights and wandered around the house by myself. Until I was standing alone in this room, surrounded by items that no longer mattered. We feel in control with all this modern technology, but we truly haven’t mastered control over life.

I feel a vibration in my pocket, the phone hadn't stopped ringing since we arrived home. Yet, I do not have the want to answer. I should and I will but not just yet, this time was for us.

Wandering into the kitchen I prepare a small meal, soup, and grilled cheese sandwich, I put on a pot of water for tea. We need to eat and for now this is all I can put together. I'll have to do better going forward, I know her, she will be consumed for awhile and caring for herself will not be a priority.

I glance outside as this day fades away, where did the time go? I do not wish it to end because that will mean tomorrow begins new and for us our lives will be forever changed. I thought I would be stronger, yet I find I am questioning even the simple things. 'How?' I ask myself does anyone prepare themselves for this. Already I feel like a failure, she is in there while I ramble about aimlessly, lost. All I can think about are the next few days, and how much there is to do.

I’m not prepared.

Outside, I see the willow tree, no more than a silhouette against the rising moon. The streetlights flare to life bathing the street in a dirty yellow glow. This same thing happened yesterday and the day before and will happen tomorrow. Yet, because of today, tomorrow will be different for us.

I pause when I notice a highchair sitting in the corner of our kitchen, a Victorian doll sitting in the seat stares back with vacant eyes. Her parents must have snuck in and set this up while we were ....

The kettle whistles, piercing the calm, I quickly remove it from the stovetop.

Steam rolls off the bowls of tomato soup and vanishes, my hands shake as I cut the sandwiches diagonally, the way she likes it. Taking a deep breath, I place a smile upon my lips and walk to the nursery to get her. Soft crying floats down the hallway. I open the door, a sliver of light enters the dimly lit room and like an angel, a halo forms over her sitting in a chair. For the first time today, I realize we can do this, together we will do this.

Overcome with emotion my eyes tear up as I watch her rocking back and forth, a soothing hum hovers in the air as she gazes into the shadows of an empty crib.

I have never seen her looking more beautiful than at this moment, she looks up to me and smiles while she cradles our new born son in her arms.

fact or fictionparentsCONTENT WARNING
47

About the Creator

JBaz

I have enjoyed writing for most of my life, never professionally.

I wish to now share my stories with others, lets see where it goes.

Born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, I currently reside on the West Coast. I call both places home.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (43)

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  • Jay Kantor8 days ago

    Hi-j ~ I'm in awe of your eclectic offerings. But, your reach-backs always strike a chord with me. I've been doing a lot of reach-backs myself lately. j.in.l.a.

  • Sian N. Clutton2 months ago

    Good grief. This shook me. It was such a harrowing read. I actually had to back and read some bits again after getting to the end. My expression of, 'wait what?' was surely priceless. Very clever, and twists very rarely get me. Loved every word.

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Surprise ending for sure. Congrats on T.S.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    I really like the way you turned this story into something I wasn't expecting, very very good 🌟

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    This kind of had an inverse effect. Excellent story telling, J. Loved it and congrats!

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    Wow! This was masterful! Congrats on the TS!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    OK. Bawling here. I could barely read this. What a story. 😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️

  • Kodah2 months ago

    💖Congrats on ts! Well deserved! 💖

  • If we ever meet face to face, beware. This is amazing. I read, teary eyed wondering how you were going to be saving us. Congratulations on your top story

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    👍🥰

  • Marysol Ramos2 months ago

    Twists are usually the heart breaking part. This was an amazing reading! My heart was attached to the story the entire time!

  • Ashley Shiflett2 months ago

    Oh my gosh. This was beautiful but so heartrenching. Congrats on top story. It was well deserved!

  • Brannan K.2 months ago

    I'm glad you recovered me from that impending tragedy! Congratulations on top story!

  • Alyssa Nicole2 months ago

    This is such a strong and emotional piece. Your storytelling is excellent! Like others, I was not expecting the ending, but I'm glad it was a happier one than I imagined. Congrats on the Top Story!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Liam Storm2 months ago

    Come back to say congrats on the top story! Well deserved!

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    So glad to see this as a Top Story, Jason! Congratulations!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Tina D'Angelo2 months ago

    Oh, thank God for the ending. Thank God there are no empty arms in that house. Just a little change of plans. Congratulations!

  • Test2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Rowan Finley 2 months ago

    Great job!

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    This is such a masterful part of the story: "I do not have the want to answer." The exhaustion of new parenthood? The implosion of grief? The navigating of becoming parents? All of this. I so enjoy your writing.

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