Excerpt: Loss

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 Leery eyes went over the nearly identical rows of red brick duplexes that surrounded her, their matching mailboxes and light poles beaten up, dented from enduring man and natures fury, and she parked in the back lot, next to the small flower garden. She pulled up her hood as she killed the quiet engine and got out, closing and locking the outer door. As she turned toward the back hall to her apartment, her sad blue eyes went over the tiny grave among the dead rows of purple violets, heart thumping as her grief snuck up on her. 

    Her tiny, premature son had come in the dark, early morning hours after the War and she had buried him just after daylight, his lungs not ready to work on their own. 

    She had placed him under the wet ground herself, wrapped in the red, white, and blue quilt she had brought her first son home in, and she had never felt more pain that when she began to cover him with the dirty, brown earth. With all her gifts, she couldn’t even save her own child.

     Barely registering the harsh, spoiled smells coming with the wind gusts, the slender woman forced herself to go to the grave, to mourn him, to keep feeling the awful pain so she could make peace with it. The blackness lurking in her mind wanted to block it out,(and everything else) but she knew it would take over completely if she let it, and then she would never see her first born son again. 

The darkness was too familiar, too comforting, too consuming, and she had just spent a decade in its grip as her life passed by, unable to change the huge mistake she had made by saying yes. The wind swelled, blowing her messy black braid against her hip, and the gust rocked her on her feet but she paid no attention, dirty, broken fingernails digging into the pale, cold skin of her palms as she sank to her knees in front of the marker-less grave.

“My baby. “She whispered roughly, tears spilling from dark lashes. It had been four weeks but it still felt like yesterday. She had wanted him so much. His father hadn’t, but she had. Pain, raw and sharp tore through her battered heart, and she let the darkness have its way for a while, her grief unbearable.

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