Today’s posting is brought to you by the letter “w”. As in; Work really Wore on my Well being today, so I am Wistfully Watching Wrens as I Wallow in my Wine. I’m about two glasses deep so I apologize for what you are about to read. No time for edits, so I am assuming whatever comes out will be filled with POV confusion and tense shifts.
Also, truth be told they weren’t Wrens they were Humming Birds. But they don’t start with “w” so it’s called artistic license.
Here is what I am thinking about…
Michael couldn’t be sure at what point he knew something was wrong. She talked too much. Perhaps it was when he first saw her drawings? But no, it was before that even, he thought back further.
One year ago Sarah’s mother died, his wife. Needless to say times had been hard. Worse than that - too painful for words. Indescribable suffering that never ended. Every morning he woke up feeling as if a hole had been axed into his chest and instead of a heart and organs only freezing air remained. Everyday he prayed this would be the day he realized it had all been a dream.
But he couldn’t mourn could he? He had Sarah, a daughter by any right though not physically. He needed to care for her and provide for her. This was his promise to Sarah’s mother.
The thing was, though he would never admit to anyone, Sarah wasn’t quite normal. Sure all kids were a little weird to him but Sarah really gave him the creeps. He couldn’t explain it really and he would never need to.
Before he lost the love of the life,’ Sarah had been playing in her toy room when he walked by.
“But I want a little brother!” The little girl exclaimed to nobody. Her dolls lay in a neat row along the floor. Ken and Barbie. Their little plastic hands barely touching but stiff as cadavers. Their unblinking eyes smiled up at her as she addressed the blank space on the wall. She had chopped all of Barbie’s hair off to match her own mothers and used a Sharpie on Ken. Michael forced a smile because of course kids were like that weren’t they? Imaginative and silly, especially only children.
Another time he came across one of her drawings. Through squiggly uneven lines he was able to discern a man, a woman, and a little girl. The figure of the man and woman had a fuzzy black circle floating above her head and another over her mid section.
When he asked her about it she replied, “It’s you and mommy and me and baby brother.”
But the man in the drawing had black hair and his hair was blonde. And Sarah’s mother couldn’t bare any more children, but how would you even explain to a three year old, let alone one staring up at you with hopeful brown eyes.
Michael just nodded and told himself that she would be a very smart girl one day with an imagination like that.
The time he can’t forget was when he and his wife were in bed with Sarah. He read the headlines on his phone, his wife smiled as she watched her daughter who bounced incessantly on the bed. Sarah giggled every time her body felt the fleeting moment of weightlessness. Jump. Giggle. Jump. Giggle. Michael was about to snap when the jumping stopped.
Sarah turned to him, the smile now miles away replaced with a look that seemed far beyond her five years.
“I really enjoy wearing your daughter.” She had said as casually as asking for a snack.
And just like that she went on bouncing. Sarah laughed, as did her mom, but Michael sat and stared at the child before him. Goosebumps prickled up his skin, a nagging warning bell in the depths of his mind.
To find out Sarah’s mother had been pregnant when she died was too much for Michael to handle. The fact floated from his mind like a piece of ash floating from a fire.
Now it was him and Sarah.
On the drive home from school today Sarah caught his gaze in the rear view mirror.
She didn’t smile or frown. She simply said, “They told me it was you.”
Michael felt the cold air prickle his skin despite the early summer heat.
“What do you mean Sarah?”
She ignored his question and stared out the window. A few minutes later she talked nonstop about her day at school, but Michael watched her in the mirror.
He never liked Sarah, she always talked too much.
Current Song: "Ghost" by Indigo Girls