While you sleep

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7

Gwen woke up in a pool of blood, it had seeped through and stained the covers, leaving evidence that something was deeply wrong. She called for Andrew, but swore when she remembered that she was in the cottage and he, in the main house. She pushed the covers aside and looked down at the massive amount of bright red drops. She wanted to cry, but she straightened her back and knew that she had to be strong for her daughter. Please let her be okay.

She pushed herself off of the bed slowly, not knowing if her legs would hold her with the blood loss she had suffered. She wobbled out of the room, not taking care to wear a jacket, she would rather freeze for a few minutes than take the time to put it on. Time was of the essence. She walked as fast as her feet could bring her, her slippers sliding dangerously beneath her. When she reached the front door and opened it, it was almost pulled off its hinges by a cruel gust of wind. She attempted to close the door behind her, but left it wide open when her tries became futile. I don’t have the strength for this.

She walked out into the freezing cold, protecting herself as best she could with what little she had on. She pushed her feet through the thick white snow, cursing it to hell and back for being so cold. When she reached the front door to the main house, she opened it with what little energy she had and fell face first on the ground.

Andrew felt a breeze caress his cheek as he bent down to retrieve a screwdriver from the toolbox. Weird. He stood and went to inspect the source of the cold. He walked out of the kitchen and made his way to the parlor. What he found made his blood turn to ice. His beautiful wife, future mother of his children, was passed out in a pool of her own blood. He ran to her, in a complete daze, not knowing if he would find her alive or already gone.

He found a faint pulse and reached for her as he called for an ambulance. He sat down and held her limp body for what seemed like an eternity. He was so out of it that he didn’t even hear the paramedics at the door, he couldn’t keep his mind quiet. Don’t take them away from me. Take me instead. Please, spare them. He whispered the words over and over again to no one in particular, praying that if there was a God, he would be merciful.


The daze continued in the ambulance, he heard nothing, he just kept repeating the words. As they took her out and wheeled her through the emergency doors, he kept repeating the words. He could not process what was happening. If he did, he would most definitely break down. One paramedic directed him to the waiting room, he sat down on the uninviting floor and stared at it. He kept going over the words, saying them to himself.

Don’t take them away from me. Take me instead. Please, spare them. Don’t take them away from me. Take me instead. Please, spare them. Don’t take them away from me. Take me instead. Please, spare them.

An excruciatingly long amount of time passed and he felt someone tap him gently on the shoulder. He looked up to find the doctor he had seen earlier with his wife. His scrubs were covered in a mixture of blood and fluids, his face was serious, not letting any emotions through. Andrew stood slowly, he feared the words that would come out of the man’s mouth, but he needed to know. The man gestured to the waiting room chairs, Andrew sat down reluctantly. The doctor sat beside him and put his hand on his shoulder.

″Your wife suffered from placenta abruption, it means that the placenta separated from the inner wall of the uterus. She lost a lot of blood and the baby was in distress when she arrived. I am very sorry to have to inform you that your wife didn’t make it.″

Andrew stared blanking at the wall, the words floating in his mind. I’m dreaming, that’s it. This is my worst nightmare, it can’t be real. He went to pinch himself, but stopped. He didn’t want to accept his new reality. He felt the doctors hand pull away and Andrew looked up at him. He could see the doctors mouth moving, yet his mind didn't process the words anymore. His entire body was in shock, he felt numb. He tried to focus on the other mans mouth, seeing if he could at least hear the rest of his dialogue.

″... your daughter is in intensive care. She was born premature but she is a fighter.″

Just like her mother. Andrew smiled at that, showing the first sign of emotions since he had found Gwen almost bled out on the floor.

″You can see her if you like.″

Andrew nodded and felt his body stand up and follow the doctor. They passed by so many doors, it made him dizzy, so he looked down and tried to concentrate. He still wasn’t coming to terms with his wife’s death. He probably never would. He didn’t feel like she was gone, shouldn’t he be feeling alone in the world? Don’t soulmates feel a giant void as soon as they lose their other half? When they reached the room where his daughter was being kept, the doctor stepped aside and showed him where she was. He walked in slowly, not knowing what to expect.

She’s so tiny. Her skin looks almost translucent. She has her mothers nose. She has my toes. Oh my goodness, this is our daughter. She must be so scared with all the wires dangling dangerously around her, looking like an octopus come to suffocate her. She will never know her mother. How will I take care of her? I can’t keep renovating the house now. I need to finish it for Gwen. What will I name her? How can God be so cruel?

His mind reeled, a massive headache threatened to split his head in two. He needed to calm down, but calming down was the furthest thing his mind wanted to do. He touched the incubator that was helping his daughter stay alive. He cried. He finally let it all out, heavy sobs escaping his shaking body. He fell down to his knees, cursing the world for what it had done to them. He had lost his beloved wife and this innocent little girl had lost her mother. She would never know her, never feel her hugs, never hear her laughter. The world was a cruel one. He shouldn’t have been surprised.

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