What If

After a miscarriage, she is left with nothing but questions.

I am lying on the sofa.

All I can see is the ceiling, and there is nothing of great interest up there, but it doesn't matter, because I am not seeing it. I am inside my head again, losing myself in traitorous what-ifs, even though I am trying like hell to forget everything.

What if (I ask myself, and all the while another part of me is screaming shut up, won't you just shut up already), I had moved out of the way?

What if she had lived?

What would she have looked like? Would she have had my hair, my eyes? Would she have been spared my nose; been lucky enough to get a recessive gene from my mother?

Where would we have lived? Would it have been a nice little house where we each had a room? Would we have had a fireplace? A cat? Would we have stuck cloves into oranges at Christmas and used them to decorate the house?

Would she have drawn me Mother's Day cards with red hearts on pink paper? Would her first word have been "Mommy?"

Would she have moved away for college and not come back? Would she have stayed close? Would she have called?

Would she have fallen in love and gotten married, and had babies of her own, or would she end up lying on a sofa somewhere, staring through the ceiling and asking herself What If?

I will never know the answers to these questions.

But there is one that has yet to be asked, and the key rattles in the lock, I ask myself:

What if I killed him?

The door opens.

He walks in, swinging his briefcase and whistling as if he hasn't a care in the world, and of course he hasn't; I am the one still showing outward signs of the gaping hole inside me that once held her life. For him, all traces of her have vanished (because, you see, I am like the ceiling, in that he does not see me even when he is looking).

Suddenly he stops, and he sees me now, finally, as I am lying on the sofa, gun in hand, finger on the trigger.

Right now, I affect him, and these are the only times I become real.

He is frozen.

I pull the trigger.

And now I get to find out:

What if?

The End

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