Chapter one: Elise


I promised Thomas that I wouldn't scream, and I won't. He sits resolutely beside the bed, calm, relaxed, and I envy the bubble in which he is living. He cannot see my pain, smell it, taste it, or feel it brush against him. If I do not scream, he cannot hear it. And so, to him, my pain does not exist.

I wish I could say the same for myself, but all of my senses have come alive, writhing under the overwhelming embrace that is my pain. It falls over me in waves, reverberating from deep within my body, and spreading like wildfire through my belly and down my legs, up my spine. When it releases me for an instant, I feel drained and weak, panting through the empty space that holds me until the next wave comes. They feel closer and closer together, and there is no relief. I am being eaten alive my my own body. And I know, deep in my chest, that even if it was a thousand times worse, I would bear it gladly. For this.

The florescent lights spin before my eyes, and the room around me begins to fade. I hear voices, footsteps, and a gentle pressure on my belly. I arch my back and strain, sobbing, gasping, and clutching at the sheets, Thomas, anything, oh anything...

And then, suddenly, the world spins back into focus, and it is over.

They put her on my shuddering chest, and as I raise my head, my eyes meet hers.

Large and blue. She is so beautiful. Like Thomas.

My daughter.

My Pastella.

The End

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