I look away from my thorough inspection of my room window at the voice and I sigh. He’s here, I’ve been dreading every minute after I’d called him but I need this. We need this.
“Dr Monroe,” I say as I shift my injure leg so I’m sitting to the side of the bed. “Come on in.”
His black eyes observe me attentively as he steps into my room.
He’s in a white button up dress shirt, black jeans and black gents. His brown locks are longer and like before they still annoyingly fall on his forehead as he moves around.
“Take a seat,” I say gesturing to the chair beside my bed.
He chuckles before walking over to the chair and taking a seat. “That’s supposed to be my line.”
“Well my apologies for stealing your line Dr Monroe but I assure you the job you’re needed for will remain the same,” I chuckle as I make myself comfortable on the bed.
“That’s good to know,” is his only reply.
I nod with a timid smile as I mentally prep myself for this heart aching session ahead.
It’s been two days since Johnattan left. Yes, he left California and went back to New York. He had received a call the day after our magical night saying he was needed in New York and sadly he had to go back because it’s been almost a month since he’s left his company to look for me here. He’s been keeping track of things over here while he stayed in LA but some things just can’t be fixed over the phone.
The day he left he told me he wasn’t sure when he’d be back but he told me he’ll try to be back soon because he didn’t want to spend a day much less a week or more away from me.
When he’d said those words I was on the brink of tears– I’d just gotten him back and now he was going to leave again– and in that moment when he kissed me goodbye, the words I’ve been wanting to tell him since I’d found out at the hospital were clawing to be let out but I couldn’t. I was scared... I was weak.
“What would you like to speak about today Ms Hinds?” Dr Monroe asks as he holds his pen and notepad in his hands ready to evaluate my state of being.
“Hase,” I breathe as I look out at the window. I have to get this off my chest. For Johnattan. For my baby. “My name is Christina Isabelle Hase a-and at age 18 I was r-raped and three years later I’m a suffering from that experience.”
I pause breathing deeply as I try to calm my aching heart as I look at Dr Monroe. He gestures for me to continue and I gulp calming my nerves as I continue.
“It’s weaved its way into the present... I can’t be with a guy without wanting to be in control because I fear if I give in they’ll just ...” My lips tremble and I swallow a sob as I continue. “They’ll just a-abuse me. Blue eyes, the guys I date all have blue eyes like he did and for that reason I feel a need to be in control of them. To take back the control I lost that night when h-he...” Sobs escapes my lips and I cover my mouth as I try to hold back tears.
“Christina,” Dr Monroe says after allowing me to a few minutes to calm myself. “I’m going to ask you to do something for me. Can you recall a moment in your past so I’ll be better equipped to treat you? It may be too painful to remember but I’m asking you please try.”
I dry my tears and I look at his form. He seems a bit tense and his black eyes are sympathetic. I gulp recalling his request and nod in acceptance. “I’ll try.”
The words he say next leaves me frozen and everything goes numb as my heart thuds in my chest menacingly. My breathing slows down and my mind goes numb.
"Can you tell me about the day you found out you were barren?”
He wants to know about the day I broke, the day I lost everything, the day I lost my baby.
My body’s shaking and my mind’s wondering into that dark abyss. That dark abyss I try to stay away from. That abyss which holds my past, that reminds me of how weak, pathetic and broken I was– a state I wish never to return to, a loss I can’t go through again.
My hand moves my stomach unconsciously as I stare out into space and my mind drifts in and out consciousness.
My baby ... gone.
Barren, infertile, useless.
I jut as I feel arms shake my body and my eyes are looking into a pair of coal, black ones. Dr Monroe stares at me with concern as my body shakes, his hands grip my arms trying to steady me but my body’s shaking uncontrollably.
“Christina, it’s okay. It’s in the past. You have to get over it. It’s an obstacle in your life and the more you cower away from the climb you’ll be subjected to its effects.”
I look up at him, his words soaking in and I will my body to stop the shaking. A few minutes pass and my body has stopped shaking but my mind is still drifting. I’m scared, that night scarred me, and it took everything from me. My family, my baby and worse of all... me, that happy go lucky girl. I’ll never be that Christina again.
“Have you calmed down now?” Dr Monroe asks as he sits on the edge of my bed.
I nod slowly and he sighs in relief. “Christina if this is too much for you we can put it off for another day. I hadn’t realized how hard this might be for you and for that I’m sorry. If you don’t want to share today we can try again another day.”
I listen as he speaks and that scared part of me screams for me to put it off but I won’t. As the saying goes, don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today.
I gulp leaning back on my bed frame as the words drift from my lips. This is what I need to do. Get it off my chest.
“I woke up in a hospital room, dazzled and confused. All because of a bad dream but looking back it wasn’t a nightmare. It was my reality...”
My lips quivers in fear, my heart galloping in my chest. Tears stream down my cheeks mixing with perspiration as I thrash beneath my capturer.
“Please let go!” I scream but my protests go unanswered as he continues his assaults.
My eyes stare into his blue ones with fear while his held anger and lust. How can it be that this man that I loved, worshipped and praised is the one inflicting these scars?
His words of disgust causes me to cower in shame, his grip of steel on my skin causes me to yelp in pain and those piercing, furious, ice-cold blue eyes extinguish the flame within me.
“You beg me to stop? To release you?” He asks rhetorically in disbelief. “I won’t! You hear me, I won’t! You are mine. In body and soul! Mine!”
Beep... Beep... Beep.
My eyes flutter open in fright, strands of my brown hair clings to my sweaty forehead and my chest rises and falls as my heart hammers against my rib cage.
The scarce grey room with one dark grey door, a single lounge chair and a few beeping machines tells me that I’m in a hospital. Even if I’d had a doubt or fail to recognize the setting the nurse bursting through the door seconds later confirms that this is indeed a hospital.
Why am I here? How did I get here? All I remember is that I was laying in my bed, a man gave me a pill to numb the pain and telling me to relax. After I was in the appropriate state to start the procedure they commenced.
Pain, that’s all I remembered. Pain shooting through me inside out as he performed his job. I remember calling for my father, for help, but none came. Those pills did nothing to relieve my pain, I felt every blow as they rippled through my body.
“Where am I?” I croak out to the petite, brunette nurse.
“St. Charles’s Hospital,” she replies as she checks my vitals.
“Why am I here? What happened?”
The nurse looks at me with sympathetic black eyes almost like she couldn’t find it in herself to reveal the answers to my questions.
“The doctor will be with you in a minute,” she says instead, dismissing my question.
“Is there anyone here with me?” I probe, hoping my dad is here waiting on me to awaken.
The nurse shakes her head and her eyes become glossy. “I’ll be back.”
With that she leaves me alone and fear constricts my heart as my mind runs crazy trying to figure out what’s wrong with me.
A few minutes afterwards I find myself being wheeled into a small office. A lanky man with black hair sits behind the oval desk staring at me with remorse.
This isn’t a typical hospital, it’s a private hospital, I deduce. No public hospital would allow a patient into a doctor’s office for a “check up”.
“Here’s Ms Hase,” the nurse says before exiting the room.
The man signs, lacing his fingers together. “Hello Ms Hase. I’m Dr Hamilton and might I say–”
“Please get to the point doctor. Don’t beat around the bush,” I interrupt as I run my fingers over the hand rest of the wheelchair. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Right. Ms Hase– may I call you Christina?” I nod. “There is no way to easy way to say this–” he pauses looking at me intensely. “You’re Infertile.”
The word repeats in my head like ripples in water and my body starts shaking.
“H-How?” I ask in shock.
“Well, Christina,” he says softly. “When you were admitted your cervix was damaged, bleeding as if it was being carved with a knife. We did the best we could to treat it but it wasn’t enough. Judging by the remains in your womb you had an abortion ... didn’t you?”
I nod that I remembered, the pain. “I-I was raped. I got pregnant, my father didn’t want it to live.”
Tears pour down my cheeks as I recall my father’s, Matthias, words. Those names he called me, the way he accused me and brushed me off as a disgrace. His words made me feel so filthy that after he scolded me I rubbed my skin red trying to get that filth off my skin. He’d killed me that day he chose to protect Liam rather than his own flesh and blood. His own daughter.
“That abortion was the most gruesome thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of gruesome things in my line of work,” Dr Hamilton continues. “There was just nothing we could do. I’m so sorry Christina but you can never carry a child again you’re –”
He staggers forward as I fall to my knees in defeat. He comes around trying to help me up but I just yelled at him.
I didn’t want his help! I didn’t want to hear him say he’s sorry, it can’t help me! It can’t make me fertile again and it couldn’t bring my baby back.
Shakily, I grab the desk standing on my legs that protest in pain.
“Ms Hase you shouldn’t –”
“Leave–” my voice broke. “Leave me alone.”
He bows his head. “I’m sorry. We tri–”
“There! You said it! Did those words poof my baby back to me?! Did it fix my infertility?” He casts his eyes down unable to look at me. “I didn’t think so.”
I stumble away from the desk, sobs vibrating off my chest and tears streaming down my cheeks as I slowly limp out of Dr Hamilton’s office.
A woman scarred, ruined and abandoned that’s who I am. The father I tried to please took everything from me with one stupid decision. No! It’s my fault, I allowed it. I allowed him to kill my baby. I killed my baby.
I stumbled against the wall as the weight of my decision weighs me down. I sit alone crying. No one to comfort me. No one to mourn with me. I am alone with a hole in my heart and blood on my hands.
My baby’s blood on my hands.
I grip onto Dr Monroe’s shirt as I cry in his arms.
“I killed my baby!” I wail in pain. “I killed my baby. I made him make me! I gave him control and I handed my baby’s life on a silver platter to him!”
It was my fault. I was too scared of defying my dad, losing the love I crave from him and at the same time I killed my child. I’m a monster.
“I fear that I’m just going to kill this baby just like I did to the other one,” I cried and I feel Dr Monroe stiffen. “That’s all I am...I’m a killer.”
“You’re pregnant?” He asks in disbelief.
“Yes, I am,” I cry. “By the grace of god I got another chance but I’ll just... I’m a killer. I killed my baby. I’m afraid to tell my baby’s dad... I’m pregnant because I’m scared!”
“You’re pregnant for John,” he clarifies and I nod at the character name I’d made up for Johnattan as I sob into his chest.
“I can’t tell him. It’s too complicated, I can’t look at him without having a panic attack and I’m scared that I’ll kill our child just like I allowed it to happen before. I just can’t!”
“Christina stop!” Dr Monroe sighs and I flinch. “You didn’t kill your baby. You didn’t understand, you were blinded by the want to be loved by your dad. You’re not to blame. You can’t carry that pain with you. You can’t carry that blame. The abortionist, your father and Leo are the ones with the most blame. Your father was the one who introduced you to Leo, Leo was the one that raped you. Your father was the one that forced you into an abortion and that abortionist took your baby’s life and left you with the aftermath. You’re the victim here Christina. Not a murder.”
I cling to him as I cry my eyes out. The pain, blame, shame and burden piercing my heart. I think about his words but I can’t believe them.
You’re not a killer.
He’s right I’m not a killer... I’m worse.
I’m a monster that traded my own child’s life for a love I’d never receive.
I lay in my bed, my heart hurting as the memories of that day replay in my head.
Dr Monroe had left a little after 8 in the night and we’d talk about that day. He took me through it phase by phase trying to show that I’m not responsible for my baby’s death.
I’d listen to each of his interpretations and suggestions on how to cope with the fact that what happened happen and how I shouldn’t let it dictate my life. I tried I really did but deep down I can’t help but feel like I killed my child.
When my dad had suggested I have an abortion I should have fought him, ran away or even report Liam but I couldn’t. I was daddy’s little girl, I worshipped him and I always tried to please him because he was the only true family I had left.
Or so I thought.
My mom was taken from me and I didn’t want to lose my dad. I couldn’t it would have broken me. Ironically though it didn’t break me he did.
“Sun goes down and we are here together.” She sings as she places the cotton sheets over my small chubby body.
“Fireflies glow like a thousand charms.” I continue my voice squeaky and high as I reach out my hand to hold her slender fingers.
“Stay with me and you can dream forever.” She smiles her hazel eyes wrinkling at the action as she squeezes my short, thick fingers.
“Right here in my arms tonight.” I say as I beckon for her to lay beside me. “Can you stay with me until I’m asleep mommy?”
My mother smiles before raising from her seat, she winks with a playful smile and before I know it she pounces on me tickling my tummy.
“Mommy stop!” I giggle as I kick and thrash beneath her wiggling fingers.
She laughs and my heart warms at the look on her face. Mommy had always had a beautiful smile, a smile that made you believe everything could be alright even if it wasn’t.
“Okay my firefly,” my mom says as she jumps on my bed pulling me to her slender frame.
I rest my head on her soft breasts and wrap my arms around her waist. Her arms cradle me and I pop my chin on her breast as I stare into her beautiful eyes.
“You’re smaller mommy,” I say as I ran my arms along her sides. I pull myself up so I’m straddling her tummy and stare. “Why are you getting smaller mommy?”
She looks up at me a little shock before smiling and placing her hands on my waist. “Mommy’s just a little tired so she’s losing weight.”
“Is it because daddy’s not feeding you?”
She looks dumbfounded as I say that and a look of pure horror soon takes over her face.
“How – who told you that?” She asks her voice small.
“I couldn’t sleep and I was coming to sleep with you guys when I heard shouting. Daddy was saying you’re useless so why should he feed or take care of you. Mommy he said you couldn’t even do the thing you were made for... What does that mean?” I say as small tears start to stream from my eyes. “Doesn’t daddy love you? Why would he say those things?”
She sits up abruptly cradling my body against her torso as I sob against her chest. She rocks me back and forth hushing me as I try to stop the tears.
“Your daddy didn’t mean all those things he said firefly. He was just angry, he has been working hard and he gets tired so sometimes he says things he doesn’t mean.”
“But he hit you mommy,” I whimper. “I saw him, he touched you and you didn’t like it.”
“Christina,” my mom says pulling away so she can look into my eyes. “Mommy and Daddy love you okay. We may not always get along but we love our little firefly and we’ll always do what best for you.”
I look up at her with big hazel eyes and run my hands through her dark hair. “I love you too mommy.”
“I love you too Firefly and so does your daddy, okay?”
“Yes mommy,” I say as she uses her thumb to dry my wet cheeks.
“Good now let’s get you to sleep,” Mommy says as she lies down holding me against her chest.
“Will you sing for me mommy?” I ask shyly.
“Of course mi Luciérnaga,” she coos and I snuggle against her.
“Sounds of day fade away, stars begin to climb. Melodies fill the breeze, sweeter all the time... My love.”
I cry cradling JBear to my chest as I recall that memory. His furry body snuggles against mine.
Barbie, the island princess at age six was one of my all-time favourite movies and Mom, she used to call me her little Firefly because she said my eyes reminded her of their glow. So, the song that Barbie and her mom had sung stuck as our song.
It was a song we both enjoyed and related to. She knew she wouldn’t be here with me for long so she tried to be there with me and promised me that even if we are apart she’d be here with me right here in my arms.
“Sun goes down and we are here together. Fireflies glow like a thousand charms.” I hiccup as I sing our song. I miss her so much. “Stay with me and you can dream forever. Right here in my arms tonight.”
I miss my mom so much. She’d be here to cheer me up and help me through this. She’d be here, she’d love me unlike... Unlike daddy... She promised me that he loves me but I can’t see it because he never did... Not once. Not when Mommy was alive, not when I was hospitalized. He didn’t give a fuck about me.
“I miss you so much mommy. Please come back, please,” I cry as I grip my sheets in anguish.
“Right here in my arms tonight...” She coughs as she finishes our song and I look at her shocked, scared.
“Mom are you okay?” I ask as I run my eyes over her small frame.
“I’m fine Luciérnaga,” she says as she brushes off that awful cough like it was nothing.
“Mom you’re not fine,” I say as I grab her fragile, bony fingers in my own. “Should I go call the nurse?”
“Christina, I’m fine.” She looks at me flashing her signature smile and I relax in my chair that’s placed beside her hospital bed.
I look at her face and I fight the tears that try to fall onto my cheeks. Her once plump, rosy red cheeks have deflated and paled, her face looks sunken and withered but her eyes, those hazel orbs shine as brightly as before.
My mom was dying, it’s obvious. They may not want to admit it but I could see it. She’s finding it harder to moves each day, to even eat. The food she eats doesn’t digest, her body pumps it back up and she’s getting skinner each day.
I run my hand through her hair that’s lost its shine and my lips quiver. My mom’s fading away, she’s going to leave me. Her hand touches my cheek and I flicker my hazel eyes to stare into hers. I see that sympathetic look in her eyes and tears stream down my cheeks as sobs escapes my lips.
“Oh come here Luciérnaga,” she coos pulling me to her bony frame. I clutch onto her arms as I bury my head in her chest sobbing. “It’s okay, Firefly–”
“No it’s not!” I explode as I grab her arms a little tighter. “You’re leaving me! You’re dying! I’m losing you! I don’t want you to die Mommy!”
She cradles my head and I cry out as I cling to her body never wanting to let go. “Please mommy, don’t go please. I love you so much! Don’t leave me!”
She hushes me as I break down in her arms and my heart rips in two at the thought of never seeing her again.
“Christina, I can’t...” My mom starts her voice breaking. “If I could I’d stay but I can’t. I’m dying Firefly. You’re old enough to understand that now, I can’t hide the fact from you anymore. I love you my Firefly and I will always will whether I’m dead or alive. You’re my baby, my lifeline Christina and no matter what you’ll always have place right here in my arms and that’ll never change.”
“I don’t want you to go!” I protest hating the goodbye speech she’s giving me.
“Christina look at me,” I defy her request unable to move. I don’t want to let go. “Christina look at me please.”
Slowly I raise my head and look into her eyes. She smiles and my heart aches at the thought of never seeing her smile again.
“Christina I want you to live your life when I’m gone. Fall in love and all that teenage crap. Don’t let my death stop you from experience the world. You’re a fantastic girl, you’re my girl and I want only the best for you. Promise me you’ll live for me, for you.”
I look into her eyes and I sob as I see tears falling onto her hollow cheeks.
“Promise me Christina,” she whispers.
“I promise,” I say as tears stream down my cheeks.
“Good girl,” she says using her thumbs to dry my tears. “Now will you sing our song for Mommy one more time?”
I give her a small smile and shuffle next to her on the bed. “Yes Mommy.”
I cradle her against me and her head feasts on my chest. She feels so small, so fragile, and weak.
“Sun goes down and we are here together. Fireflies glow like a thousand charms.” I pull her closer as sobs leave my trembling lips. “Stay with me and you can dream forever. Right here in my arms tonight.”
I look down at her with tears and my heart slows down as I look at her still form. “Mom?”
I hear a dead beat from the machine and my body shakes as I look at her in denial. “Mom wake up.”
I shake her but she stays still with a content smile on her face. “Mom?”
I cry out in pain as I stare at her. “Mom! Wake up please!”
The doors to the room opens and voices flood the room but I pay no mind to them as I cry. Strong arms grab me pulling me away from her and I fight their hold.
“Mom! Mommy! Get up! Wake up!”
I scream and ball as I’m pulled away from her body. I’m spun around and I look at my dad’s pained expression.
“Let me go!” I yell as I try to pull away. “You killed her! You did this! Let go!”
“No!” I cry as I thrash in his arms. “I want my mommy!”
He locks me in a firm hold and I beat at his chest in pain. “I want my mommy!”
“I want my mommy!” I yell repeatedly my voice getting smaller as I slump in his arms crying. “I want my mommy.”
I clamp my eyes close as a familiar pain ripples through me and I shake as sobs escape my mouth.
I missed her so much. I need her right now, to comfort me and tell me it’ll be alright. To talk with me and help me... I need her here to be my rock. My shoulder to lean on– The ringing of my phone catches my attention and I grab it before looking at the caller ID.
I wipe away my tears and calm my painful sobs before answering the phone.
“Good night mi diosa," he says in a husky voice and my heart warms at the sound.
“Good night,” I say my voice coming out small and weak.
“Christina are you okay?”
“Yes,” I lie as I try to hold back my sobs. “I’m fine.”
“Christina please don’t lie to me. You’re not okay and it’s okay to let it out I’m here for you all the way.”
At his words I break down and cry, my emotions pouring out with each word.
“I miss her Johnattan,” I cry. “I miss my mother so much. She was my rock, my other half. I miss her so damn much.”
“It’s okay to miss her Christina. You love her and her leaving broke your heart.” He sympathizes. “But I’m here for you. Lean on me and I’ll keep you upright. Trust me and let me help you.”
“She shouldn’t have died. She should have stayed with me,” I rant, doing just as she suggested. I need him and he’s here. “I miss her smile, her eyes and hearing her sing our song. I miss her.”
I cry some more and I hear Johnattan on the other side whispering soothing nothings into the phone. He really cares, I can’t believe after all this heartache I’ve finally found someone to stand with me. I’m so thankful. I’m so grateful.
“Why don’t you tell me about her?” He asks. “Tell me about your mother, it’ll help to get it off your chest.”
I smile as he suggests that idea and I whisper a small ‘okay’ before telling him about my mom. For the next three hours I laugh, I cry and I smile as I recall my mother’s life. All the good she did, all the bad she pretended not to be a victim of and all the struggles she went through. Johnattan stayed on the other line listening attentively as I spoke and never once complaining about my endless stories. By the time I’m winded it’s after twelve in the morning and my eyes are struggling to stay open.
“Did that help?” He asks through the phone and I can’t help but smile.
“A lot, thank you,” I say as I snuggle into my bed.
“It’s my job Christi, that is, to make you feel better.”
“You’re doing a wonderful job Mr Blake.”
“Why thank you Ms Hase. Now please off to bed it’s getting late.” Johnattan states as a yawn escapes his lips.
I giggle at the sound before replying. “Aye, aye captain. Good night JBear.”
“Good night mi diosa, sleep well,” he coos.
“Good night Johnattan.”