Helena - Chapter 17
In the few weeks since moving into their new flat tension continuously hung in the air. The giddiness from the first night lay forgotten and discarded instead they both flinched at the slightest noise and looking over her shoulder had become second nature. Joshua had been to the bank to arrange a new account in their new names and since then neither had left the apartment for more then an hour. They had arranged for food to be delivered. Furniture had come on a daily basis to begin with. On the first night they slept on a mattress on the floor. But now they had pretty much everything they could need. The apartment wasn't too small and they had plenty of room. The second bedroom had been made into a nursery and every time she walked passed the door and saw the cot in the corner she held her stomach in apprehension. What would the baby be like? From what she found out it was half werewolf, all she could imagine was giving birth to a small bundle of fur. Even though she knew that wouldn't happen she couldn't shake the image.
Joshua regularly checked the papers and internet for any signs he could find for the fire or their escape but it was in vain. He knew the Directive wouldn't announce anything and he wasn't even that sure that the Directive officially existed. But he felt that he was at least doing something rather than sitting around waiting.
After struggling into the apartment with yet another delivery they both sat in the living room staring at the large box in front of them. Joshua had ordered anything he could think of in order to have a home birth. The contents of huge box lay around the room in disarray. Towels, surgical scrubs, medical tools even an oxygen cylinder. The sight reminded Helena of her early days in the Directive when they had had her restrained surrounded by medical instruments when she had first woken up. She looked at the man that she had now come to associate with safety. He smiled at her and his eyes crinkled at the edges. His hair was still short but had begun to grow back and gave him a fluffy kind of appearance, He had however continued to wear his contacts. He held her tight. His hands barely touching behind her back.
'It’s going to be a big baby' he smiled.
'You're not the one who's going to have to give birth to it' she smiled back through gritted teeth.
Helena groaned as she felt the urge to go to the toilet again and held her hand out to him to help her up. Whilst looking in the bathroom mirror she looked at her own reflection. Dark circles under her eyes. Paler than usual skin. Sleepless nights filled with half dreams of being chased, worrying about her baby and the possibility of being caught tormented her sleeping. She looked at her now red hair and missed her blond locks. That was a sign of a mermaid, brilliant white blond her. Without it she felt a little bit of herself had slipped away. Why had to had to do these things to herself. Dye her hair. Constantly looking over her shoulder in fear. It was all because of the Directive and their twisted crusade for power. She felt a surge of anger well up inside her and she reached for a pair of scissors from the bathroom cabinet. Breathing in heavily she took a large hand full of her hair by her ear and sliced the blade through the lank hair. Large tufts fell into the sink and the floor around her as she cut more and more off. The red hair looked like blood as it settled into the sink and around her feet. The anger inside her failed to ebb as she cut away more, each snip felt like she was cutting at the Directive.
They did this to me. Snip
The forced me to hide. Snip
They hurt me. Snip
They did this to me...she hunched over in pain.
Looking down she saw the red hair lay around her feet like a pool of blood. She then noticed the red liquid the trickled down the inside of her leg. As she watched the line of blood snake its way down her thigh she felt another stab of pain and this time her waters broke covering the bathroom floor. Letting out a wail of pain she sunk to the floor sitting in a puddle of her waters, trickles of blood and red hair.
The door burst open and Joshua stood in the frame looking down at her. At first he thought she was sitting in a pool of blood until he noticed her short hair and he laughed at her.
'Had a haircut did we?'
She looked at him and he stepped back. Her face was full of such dark thunder he didn't know how he didn't die on the spot from such a death stare.
Helena began grunting and breathing deeply. Through the dark stare and gritted teeth she growled at him. 'My waters have broken you tosser.'
With this he ran out of sight. She could hear banging and clashes from other rooms in the house and he returned a few minutes later. He handed her a wet towel which she threw back at him.
'What the hell am I meant to do with that you prick?' He voice so full of anger she shocked herself.
Trembling her replied. 'It’s for your head, I just need to clean up this hair before I can get started.' He looked so small and scared she felt sorry for him. But right now she didn't have time for that. The pain that was rippling through her stomach was almost too much to bare. She stared at him through narrowed eyes as he tried to clean up the discarded hair around her. She did her best to follow the breathing patterns she had watched in her birthing DVD and finally snapped when he began to sweep the hair into a dustpan.
'Just fucking help me and stop cleaning you knob.'
Again she shocked herself. She had barely ever sworn before and now she seemed completely fluent at it.
Joseph lay towels on the bathroom floor around her a propped a few pillows behind her back and the cold tiled wall. Reaching around the door frame he produced a pair of rubber gloves and more towels. He helped her remove her trousers and she suddenly felt uneasy. She had never been this naked in front of him before. Besides the first night he had slept on a sofa bed. Their relationship had gone as well as good be expected. They'd ordered Chinese food and he had lit candles. They'd rented films and sat on the balcony in the evening watching the sun set. Most relationships have third date rules, but now had his hand between her legs measuring how dilated she was. She laughed out loud sounding a lot crueller than she intended.
'You about half way dilated already' he told her. 'This is going to be quick'
As he said it she wanted to kiss him. She didn't want this pain to last. It came in and out like the tide, so even when the pain wasn't fully there she could still feel it away in the distance waiting for its turn to come back in. she wanted to kiss him and feel the warmth of his lips. She knew by doing that she would feel safe. He was her safety.
Joshua sat next to her. He knew what to expect. He had done his time on the maternity ward when he was studying for his degree but he had chosen another speciality. He knew to expect the cursing and the anger but it had still took him aback. This was Helena, the quiet, sweet girl and suddenly she had turned into the girl from the exorcist. He held her hand as she began panting again and felt her hand tighten. Whether simply through sheer concentration or other more mythical powers he had felt the bones in his hand complain under her tight grip and had to try and wrestle his fingers free.
Since the conversation in the hotel room they hadn't really spoken about what she was. She'd explained to him that when in the sea, mermaids don't exactly have tails but they have different legs muscles. It kind of allowed them to mover their legs in a flipper like motion. Before she had left her home at 13 the local witch doctor had cast a spell on her to hide her scales. She hadn't spoken about much else. About her family about her home and he didn't want to press her.
Helena screamed out loud. She had watched the DVDs, read the books. She had expected pain but this was something else. It felt like her insides where being ripped out, rolled up in a ball, stamped on and then shoved back in. She couldn't quite remember where she had gotten the breathing techniques from, but she was sure a man had come up with them as they were doing jack shit.
'Breath' she heard Joshua tell her.
'Huff, huff, huff. Huff, huff, huff.' He repeated. ‘1, 2, 3, keep breathing Helena.'
She had to bite her tongue so not to tell him to fuck of and go breathe elsewhere, she knew he was there to help her and she had no one else. He was a doctor after all and she had to admit, right now, his forehead covered in sweat, concentration on his face his eyes busy looking away from her He was her best hope of having a healthy baby.
Joseph tried anything he could to look elsewhere. He knew she didn't mean it but he didn't want to look her in the eye, one because he was afraid that she would let rip with another load of verbal diarrhoea but two if he looked at her he knew that she would know something was wrong. He looked down at his hands which were now covered with blood. Not just a little but covered. The towels that lay around they bathroom floor where no longer white but crimson. He tried to move them away and get some more without her noticing but he saw, she had seen.
'What’s that, why is there so much blood.' Her voice was high and panicked. He could see the sweat roll down her face and her the colour drain from her already pale cheeks.
'It’s ok there's nothing to worry about.' He instantly hated himself the moment he said it. He didn't want to have to lie to her but he didn't want to tell her the truth and worry her more.