August 31, 2005
Her breath becomes regular, her arms rest still along her body. Her eyes are closed and nothing betrays her inner torment. She’s sleeping. No, she pretends to be asleep! She has to respect her part of the pact. The part where we’ll watch each other over the first night.
They called us princesses for going through a C-section. They said that if we don’t sleep during the first night, we’ll be forced to sleep. They send our families home with a smile, telling them that we’re completely safe and taken cared of. They lied.
We decided that they’re perverted and dangerous. The pact was simple: we will get out of this damn hospital safe and sane, holding our babies. Her boy and my girl, born almost at the same time. There was another part of the pact…to keep each other smiling, even through stress and tiredness. Postpartum depression will have to wait ’till we’ll be home again.
Somehow, I failed at this second part.
She asked for another painkiller and the nurse laughed, mocking her.
“Come on, little princess, can’t you stand a little pain? That’s how it feels to have a baby. Not all fun and sexy now, isn’t it?”
She got all blushed, almost apologizing until the nurse left. Then I saw her trembling, all white, having trouble breathing. She calmed down almost immediately, but I knew…
-Hey, C., how are you holding up? Still in the mood for chocolate cookies?
She smiles, trying to reach out to my bed, to touch me. Her hand is cold, so cold…
“I never, ever, in my entire life, I never had such pain. I swear, if I make it out alive…”
-What?! Listen, C.! One year from now, we’ll be sipping from some fancy cocktails and eating chocolate, while watching our children playing in the sand. And you’ll be skinny and perfect, while I’ll be complaining about the extra-weight…”
She’s stopping me and that’s a terrible sign. I feel like crying myself, but I have to stay strong.
-Ha! That rosary that you said it’s so heavy that I could kill someone with it!
The rosary was, in fact, a little piece of art. Its beads were made of thick glass and the cross is ironed. Yes, it was big, heavy and completely, totally inappropriate for going to a hospital with it. But, I don’t know why, I just had to take it with me.
-To pray? Now?
-No! I will call the nurse now! I will not pray for you like you would be dying! I wont!
My body is still numb from the surgery, I cannot feel my legs and I cannot move, but I manage to find the emergency button. I push it desperate, I push it like it’s my way to salvation.
No one comes. And, in my struggle, I finally have a better view over her bed. And I cry.
“What? Why are you crying? What’s wrong? You saw something, didn’t you?”
I’m not telling her about the blood, I’m not! I need to wipe out my tears and find a solution. I ignore the blood and I ignore the fact that she’s struggling for her life. All I’m focusing is a way to find help.
But she’s exhausted and she’s clinging to my hand like she would be drowning.
“I dreamed Heaven last night. I knew it’s a bad sign, but I just hoped that…It’s beautiful there…the light is so beautiful and bright…and…”
I can’t hear this! I’m not watching her dying! I’m not breaking the pact! But I can’t move and no one is coming through that door, no one is even looking at us through the glass window that communicates with the corridor. A glass window…like my Rosary…
And I know what to do.
-Know what, C.? Heaven can wait! You owe me some chocolate cookies. And a new Rosary!
The noise awakened all the medical stuff. My Rosary hit the window with a force I never knew I’m capable of. The window broke, the beads fell and got smashed on the ground in million pieces. One of the little pieces bounced back and scratched my forehead. I did not cared at all!
They called me “psychotic” and they even tied my hands to the bed, “for my own safety”. They untied me early in the morning, before my family came to see me. They talked about my “postpartum depression”, about how aggressive I reacted. They threatened to take away my baby…
She was rushed back into the surgery room. She was on the edge, but her life was saved. The doctor came to me, looking down, with a long and complicated story about what happened. A diagnosis I could not pronounce. Along with their apologies.
August 31, 2018
“We took separate ways, but I never forgot you. I never stopped praying for you and for your family. Every year, on August 31, when my boy blows up the candles, I whisper, like a mantra, your words: Heaven can wait…Thank you!”
I read her message in tears. She moved away, far away, probably trying to forget that night…or so I thought until now.
I never broke another Rosary.
But I would do it again, with the same God-given strength!
I found the image at: https://ro.pinterest.com/pin/464574517796545447/?lp=true