Every single day he grows weaker. I know that the end is today. Tomorrow. The days are the number to be counted now. I watched in anguishing pain whilst it became harder for my sweet boy to draw in air. Every single second that he spent lying beside me was another second that was lost to me forever with him. I couldn’t lose him, but I knew that I was already standing on death’s doorstep with him. Simply watching, waiting, for the door to finally open. The day was here. It was something that I could feel in my bones from the instant that my eyes opened that morning. It was a feeling.
He was drawing in shaky breaths of air, whilst Trouble was nuzzled to his side, refusing to move. It was so evident now. So obvious that every minute was precious. His siblings seemed to have known that he was struggling. Being that they were triplets they shared a special bond, and both Gabe, and Annabelle had wound up in bed curled alongside him in the night. So had Hope. They knew something was wrong, even if I hadn’t told them what it was.
Eli was almost falling off the edge when all of us woke up in the morning. My eyes however were completely on Cooper. He had a fever, and was breathing in shakily. His eyes opened when my hand met with his forehead to feel him, and he released a low little whimper as well as a sigh.
“Mama…I feel hot…” he mumbled softly up to me, and I bit back tears.
“Everything is going to be alright, sweet baby. I promise.” I whispered to him, before pressing a kiss down on his forehead.
His siblings roused when they heard him speak, and they sat up from their places on his bed, gentle eyes staring over towards him. “Mama?” Gabe questioned me, the most inquisitive of my children, I knew I couldn’t hide all of this from him forever, “I feel like….something is really wrong with Cooper, Mama…”
“Me too…” Annabelle whispered, her eyebrows pulled together as though thinking long and hard.
I couldn’t lie to them anymore. I knew ( call it mothering instincts ) that Cooper wouldn’t last the day. That his condition was near to snuffing out his light.
“Come here…” I breathed out, by now Eli had woken as well, and was watching in silence as I drew my children close to me. Even little Hope whom was just staring in wonder. Annabelle climbed onto Eli’s lap, whilst Gabe, and Hope took mine. Cooper just watched too ill to move from where he was sitting beside me.
“Your brother is very sick. So sick that all the medicine, and prayers in this world can’t help him. He isn’t going to get better this time…do you understand little ones?” I spoke slowly, and with a forced calm resolve. I had tears in my eyes, but I was trying to hold it together to the best of my ability for them. For Cooper whom was staring up at me with confused hues.
“Why can’t the doctor fix him, Mama?” Annabelle asked me.
“Because the medicine isn’t working the way it’s meant to. All we can do now, is try to say goodbye.”
“Do you mean…he isn’t going to live with us anymore?” Gabe asked slowly.
“No baby. He is going to live somewhere else. Where he will be happy, and he will be able to play endlessly with his toys, and other children.” I tried my best to explain, by this point tears were pouring down my cheeks.
Eli put his arm around me, and I leaned into it.
“I don’t want Cooper to leave, Mama…Why can’t you make him stay?! I want him to stay.” Gabe insisted in a heated anger all of the sudden, and I didn’t know what to say to him. I didn’t know how to quell him, when I couldn’t quiet my own tears.
“I…I can’t baby…I can’t….” I whispered with shaky breaths, and Gabe stood from the bed.
“I hate you!” he shouted, and stormed from the room, Annabelle, who was crying as well stormed after him. Only Hope remained behind, confused by what she had been told, and Cooper was too ill to move. He was just staring up at me with sad, hurt eyes. Unable to do much more than sit up, I knew that look. It was one of knowing. He had given it to me in the past, and he shocked me with it every single time.
“It’s okay Mama…I know you tried your best.” Was all he said, reaching out to touch my arm, before he settled back down on the bed, and closed his eyes. Falling back to sleep alongside me, whilst I sobbed into my brother’s chest.
It took Eli speaking to our children to get them to come back into the bedroom, and when they did they insisted that they wanted a bit of time alone with their brother. I couldn’t deny them the chance to say goodbye, I was planning to send them to Anna’s house for the night. I didn’t want them here when it happened.
I stood outside the door however, listening from just behind the wall where they couldn’t see me.
“I want you to have this, Cooper. It’s my favorite toy. If Mama is making you go, then I want you to have it.” Gabe insisted, I knew now why he had taken his little piggy into the room with him. I allowed the tears to fall freely as I listened to the words that my children were speaking to Cooper.
“I wish I could stay too.” Cooper whispered to his siblings, and I watched through the crack where the door hinges were as Cooper hugged his siblings, both of them were crying along with him, and I was soundless as I listened to their words.
“Mama once said we were never supposed to be apart….why would she make us separate now?” Annabelle whispered through her tears, and leaned into Gabe who opened his arms to her, whilst still laying against Cooper.
The thing that hit home the hardest was the fact that both of my children that would survive believed I was taking their brother away. If only I could make them see I would never do such a thing. I wasn’t my mother. I wouldn’t take their sibling from them. This wasn’t my choice, it was god’s. Why did god have to be so cruel? My remaining children couldn’t blame me. I couldn’t lose them too all in one night. God it couldn’t happen.
I left them after that, let them say their goodbyes in private, I left them for a good long hour, and Eli held me on the couch as I sobbed into his shirt.
“He won’t last the night, Eli…I can feel it in my bones…” I breathed into his neck. His arms were wound around me, encompassing my waist. He was wholly silent through all of my crying. He didn’t even have tears in his eyes. In fact he was sitting so rigid, one could have mistaken him for a statue. I pulled back with my swollen, red eyes and stared up into his.
“Tell me I won’t break, Eli…tell me you will put me back together. Please, Eli…please…Tell me everything is going to be alright. That my babies won’t hate me…that you won’t hate me…” I pleaded with him. “I beg of you, please…make it all better…like you always do…” I whimpered into his shirt, kissing his lips sloppily in a quick motion.
“Belle…” he tried to whimper, but I was growing rougher with him, harsher with my kisses, perhaps my frustration, and anger were all pooling out of me to make for one strong emotion. I didn’t care what I was feeling. I wanted to feel something different, I wanted Eli to make me feel something different.
“Right now, Eli.” It was almost a demand, so insistent that I heard a low whimper from his lips.
“I can’t…I can’t…” he started whispering, but I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Gripping his boxers ( he still hadn’t changed from waking up ) I tugged on them, freeing his manhood, and I quickly began stroking my brother. Pumping my hand quickly along the length of him, listening to the low moans that I drew forth from his lips by force.
“Belle…the c-children…” He tried to warn me, but I didn’t care.
I wanted everything blocked out. The pain the sadness, the horror of losing a child. I couldn’t let it swallow me whole. It couldn’t have my soul. I wouldn’t grant it such a prize. Not right this second.
“You haven’t touched me in a month. I need you.” I growled, and leaned in, biting his lips in a warning manner, and he whimpered again, before I pulled my panties, and pajama shorts to the side, and impaled myself on his erected prick.
I knew he felt the same yearning in his parts that I did in mine. I had been parted from my second half for far too long, and he had as well. I could sense his willpower to fight me fading as I began to ride him roughly. I was tight from my time period without him inside of me, and I could feel my walls fighting to stretch for him, and every forceful movement down his prick caused another loud whimper to emerge from his lips, and then my own.
“Belle…” he whimpered softly into my ear, and I pulled back a bit to press my lips back to his. It was shameful, and I was a fucking mess, but it hardly mattered now. So what if the kids came down, and I corrupted them? I had created them out of this sinful lust that neither of us deemed able to control, how much more damage could I possibly do?
Another few thrusts, and I felt myself crashing down around him, and I milked his prick until his seed was pooling within my womb. I could feel it, hot and wet against my walls, dripping down his prick, and over his thighs.
It was over just like that, my emotions hadn’t shifted as I wished they would, and frustration had taken root inside of me even deeper into the center of my belly. There was still a sadness waiting to cripple me, and I knew my tears wouldn’t cease. I had cried even through making love to my big brother. There wasn’t hope for me this time. Not if being with him couldn’t even make it better.
I slid his prick out of me, standing to my feet as I pulled my panties back into place, feeling the heated seed he had left inside of me, beginning to spill out onto the panel, as I stood before him. He too was in shambles, his hair sticking up on end, and his eyes staring down in shame as he moved to tuck his drenched prick back into his boxers. We both knew it was wrong to need each other, we had known it every day of our fucked up lives, but somehow we couldn’t help it. We were doomed to commit the same unspeakable act over, and over again until time itself stopped for us.
We didn’t speak. I had nothing to say, and I marched up the stairs two at a time, back to our babies. Back where I belonged. At their side.
Eli didn’t speak to me again, but the next time he came into the room it was to get prepared for work. He had an afternoon shift, that would lead well into the night, and he moved to sit on the edge of the bed next to both me, and our children. I hadn’t had the guts to send them to Anna’s house. Anna was downstairs in case I needed her, but I couldn’t force them away on the last night of their brother’s life. Not when they could feel his pain as their own.
I could see it on their faces. They were both just as lethargic as he was, both refusing to leave the bed. They wanted to be with him. They needed to be. So there we all were when Eli walked in, scrunched together. Trouble, Hope, Annabelle, and Gabe.
Eli lowered himself onto the opposing edge of the bed to mine, and leaned down to press a soft kiss to the top of Cooper’s head. “I love you. Even if I haven’t said it much, I love you so much. I just want you to know that I will always love you.” He breathed into Cooper’s ear, before giving him another soft kiss.
“I love you too, Daddy.” Cooper breathed out with soft eyes as he stared up at his father with the same eyes that Eli had given me time, and time again. He had his father’s eyes, and his stare. My sweet beautiful, son.
I watched with teary hues as Eli nodded, and stood to his feet. He left the room in a hurry after changing his clothes. None of us spoke for the longest time in the silence. We all waited, listened. I don’t know how much time passed, but the light began to fade from the sky, and I could see it from the window just across the room.
The blinds were open, and I stared out of them. Just then Cooper opened his own eyes, beginning to watch with me. “It’s…beautiful…Mama….” He breathed out as his breathing turned shallow, and shaky. A low rise and fall coming from his chest.
His siblings were all asleep beside him, but he was lying beside me, a low hum escaping his lips as he stared over towards me.
“Yes, it is, baby.” I whispered into his ear.
“My body…it feels…numb…I don’t feel…much pain anymore…Mama…” He mumbled, his words strangled, and I reached out to feel his forehead. He was burning with fever, and his cheeks were red, and flushed. His eyes sunken in, and his lips light blue. I knew he wasn’t getting enough oxygen, nor was he able to fight the infection from the cancer that lived inside of him. Not from his poisoned blood, or lump-infested spine. He was fading so fast, and I reached for my phone, typing quickly to Eli, insisting he come home immediately.
Cooper shivered a bit as I put the phone down on the bedside table, and pulled him close, until he was completely in my embrace. My fingers brushed through his strands of hair, and tears flooded my eyes. “You are going to feel much better soon baby…I promise.” I breathed out.
“Everything…is blurry…Mama…” he mentioned in response, and I chewed down on my lower lip, hearing my phone buzz behind me, but I ignored it.
“You are going to go to a beautiful place baby. You know the place I told you about? The place where the angels live? Where all the stars live? In the sky?” I whispered.
“I don’t want to leave you, Mama…I don’t want to leave my siblings…they need me…” He breathed into my ear, and I swallowed thickly fighting back sobs that would block my airway.
“Shhh…You won’t really be gone…you will still be near to us…but you won’t feel pain anymore baby, you will be flying high above us. Watching our lives, living just out of sight, but close enough to feel. You can still talk to your siblings. They will hear you, baby, and they will never forget you.” I comforted him, knowing he was going. Knowing my baby had minutes.
“You promise…? It will really be so nice…?” He breathed out shakily.
“Yes, Baby…I promise…but you have to let go first…you have to just let go…you won’t suffer anymore.” I promised him things I didn’t even know were true. I promised on my life.
“I feel…warm…light, Mama…”
Tears began to fall more quickly now, “Go towards the warmth…it will make you better. It will cure you, Cooper...you won’t hurt anymore, no more suffering…” I breathed out.
“I feel it…” He whispered, his voice barely audible.
His siblings began to rouse on the bed, beside him. His fellow triplets awakening and letting out a low whine in unison as Cooper took one last breath, and let it out. All of the life, leaving his limbs, and I felt as all at once he went limp in my arms. His soul was finally free from his suffering, free from the world that he had known so painfully long, and free from the binds that kept him tethered to this form.
There was a warmth that took over my form, as though I could feel his spirit leaving his body, and I trembled as all at once I began to break apart. My baby was gone. Cooper, my beloved son. Born so weak, yet such a fighter that I was convinced he would make it through was gone. His body now lifeless, and unmoving. His eyes closed, and his skin beginning to lose its warmth as the blood ceased to pump, and his heart ceased working.
His siblings launched themselves on top of him, and began to wail. Trouble stood to his feet, and began to howl. Long agonizing howls that caused my blood to run cold, and all at once I began to sob. Heart-wrenching sobs that I couldn’t contain in my chest, and I clung to my lifeless son, and lost any silence of control I previously had, falling into despair so deep there was surely no way I could survive. No way anyone could ever survive. It was a fate worse than death. But one I had to endure. One that would never leave. So long as I lived I would carry it with me, scored onto my heart in searing burning letters. The mother without one of her babies. The cruelest fate the universe could offer. Worse than if he had died as a baby. Worse now, because I had had a taste of little Cooper, and lost him before his time. Lost him before he even knew any of the joys that life had to offer a boy so magnificent as he had been. A soul lost that would forever be mourned, by mine.