My heart sinks down to the back of my spine, detaching itself from its chamber and slides away from its confinement. The odd sensation is as though I have intense pressure on my chest, heavy weight pressing down on my rib cavity and I have no control over it whatsoever. I try to emit a sound, I try to cry out but I have no valid resources other than releasing a long exhausted huff.
Until it stopped.
The pressure, the helplessness stopped and I could feel my lungs swell with life. Swollen and invigorated, my first harsh breath leaves my nose.
Worst mistake I could have ever made.
My body tenses instantly after being forced to bask in a bath of excruciating pain. Every fibre in my body stood erect for attention and my eyes watered at the pain I was forced to endure. I waited, I waited and I waited. The ache didn’t dull, the pain didn’t decrease it’s throbbing and my body didn’t relax.
Slowly, I coax my body with small, feeble puffs and huffs and soon I had the breathing on lockdown. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. Repeat. I was breathing regularly, although the pain definitely there. Breathing in perfect timing brought a tear of happiness down my cheek. To have such a small task accomplished even though I’m in such a state is exhilarating. Breathing alone locks the fact that I am not going to die.
Soon after, sanitizer and a floral scent wafts into my nose. I could smell the gentle fragrance of the rose petals and the strong contrast the lilies added to the mix. My sense of smell made everything come to life. I could imagine even the most scrumptious food just by having the smell drift into my nostrils.
Beeping and a soft, glassy whine resonate into the room. The whine was one of child, soft and I could tell that this was the first whine of many. A smooth voice hums lowly, soothing the whine down until I hear deep sucking sounds. The smooth voice was of a man, a man whom I know we’ve crossed paths before but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint where.
My eyes flutter open and a film of blurriness seeps into my vision. I beguile it away, blinking a few several times until the spinning image stills. Eyes wide, I take in my surroundings and I’m stunned to find that I’m in a room that has translucent tubes inserted in every part of my body. Shutting my eyes in quick evaluation all past memories decided to strike me with intensity.
I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant and I have two beautiful twin boys growing inside of me.
My hands move to my stomach in exhaustion and that’s when I felt my heart drop down to the pit of my stomach. What was once swollen with beautiful life was now flat, too flat for any one of my boys to survive in there.
I lost them, I lost Mickey and Micah and I have failed Mason. Just yesterday I was beaten up like a dog, used and spat at and I couldn’t even stand up for my children. I’m a failure. I’m a failure at being a mother and being a wife that was supposed to bear Mason’s children.
The flood of tears escape the barricade and I cry silent, my hands darting up to my chest where...where I felt my breasts placed in a pressurized system. Each lactating swell was releasing a liquid, liquid that was supposed to nurture my boys and now it was being stolen away from me. I’ve heard of hospitals that took breast milk from women who lost their children and they used it for orphan newborns.
Help! I wanted to cry but my throat was dry and salty due to my tears.
My lips part to emit a loud cry but I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard a raspy low curse.
Aid comes to me in the form of a polystyrene cup filled with water and it is placed on my lips before being tipped back. I swallow down the liquid eagerly and a greedy sound escapes my lips once another cup of water is given to me. Cool liquid slides down my throat, lubricating my flesh and words were a bit easier.
“Thank you.” I mutter exasperatedly “thank you so much.”
“No problem, African goddess.” My eyes widen once I lock a chocolate gaze with Nathaniel, who had an infant cradled to his chest.
I immediately sit up but my bones weren’t ready for such a strain, resulting in them burning underneath my skin. Determined, I mask my pain with a slight scowl before fully taking in my surroundings. My hospital room was like a garden, filled with rose and lily combinations all round.
My precinct of a hospital room wasn’t what aroused my shock. A massively curly-haired infant fisting Nathaniel’s aqua shirt is what made my mouth drop onto the floor. Questions flocked my mind and that’s when I had to ask the million dollar question.
“How long was I out?”
Nathaniel toys with the infant’s locks and that’s when I realized that he had a girl curled in his chest. She had a caramel complexion and was wearing a rose-coloured fleece dress.
“A year and two days.”
A year and two days? I’ve missed so much, including my very own birthday! Crap! That old geyser named Daniel must probably want his senior forensic criminal investigator post back. After all that I’ve worked for only to have it slip from my clutches.
Everything that I have worked for is now gone.
“It can’t be Nathaniel. The cleansing ceremony was in November 2015, Mason and I have been married for six months and it’s now somewhere in June 2016.”
Nathaniel frowns deeply before taking a seat next to my bed, “bella, it’s June 2017.”
That’s when I felt my life crumble into nothing but small, unidentifiable fragments that I couldn’t piece back together. The girl is Nathaniel’s arms squirms in irritation and that’s when my face contorted into slight apprehension. I was supposedly pumping out milk and Nathaniel was experiencing that.
“I have someone you need to meet,” Nathaniel announces excitedly and that’s when I heard the familiar whining I heard earlier “he has been dying to meet you.”
Nathan hoists himself from the chair and lurches to a pram that was parked by the window. There he emerges with another infant who was wearing dark jeans and a SpongeBob Squarepants top that boasted SpongeBob’s bright smile. Nathan’s ability to balance two children at once left me gobsmacked and he made a sheepish comment about the breast pump that I had to get rid off before holding the boy.
A sigh of relief left my lips once my breast was free from all the pressure. I released the other breast pump from my breast and place the half-full twin bottles onto my bedside table. Nathan simply tells me to place one breast back into my gown because the whining infant in his arms was in the mood for a meal.
Slowly, I am handed a boy with a sparkling sapphire gaze and for a moment my world seemed to stop. He pushes out his pacifier with his tongue and keeps his wide gaze on me as I near the nipple to his mouth. The boy scrunches up his nose - exactly...exactly like me - and tilts his head to the side in order to escape the boobage game I got on fleek.
“Coax him by pressing your nipple on dip from his nose to his top lip,” I arch a quizzed brow at Nathan and he shrugs sheepishly “I had to gear Mason up with magazines in case you may want to breastfeed.”
In case I may -
I get it now.
I’m a mother. There’s enough confirmation and I have a feeling the girl in his arms is mine too.
I didn’t fail Mason!
I made him a father to two beautiful children.
Grinning in excitement, I place my nipple on the dip, which resulted in a few creamy drops landing into his mouth and that’s when I saw his father’s traits come out to play. My little boy brought his lips to my aching nipple hungrily and latched painfully.
Add another item of pain onto my list please?
Nathaniel coaches me, warning me to never allow the pressure of my breast to settle on his face because he might suffocate and I followed every instruction carefully. My son was an absolute blessing. His eyes were sapphire and wide, his skin bronze like his matching hair and he had a soft approach to him. Often, I would smile for him and he would mimic a smile too, before remembering to suck his milk.
“And who is this little guy?” I ask Nathaniel but my heart slightly tugs when I see his gaze trained on me for more than five minutes “Nathan?”
His eyes are cold, off and somewhat unsettling. He watches my son suckle slowly; his tiny pudgy hand inching up to catch a mucky curl and it were almost as if Nathan wanted to be part of the experience - until it finally hit me.
Mona was pregnant before she died, pregnant with a baby girl and there he was, cradling my daughter closely to his chest. He was robbed of his own daughter and I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that Mona was a very connected woman.
“If...if I married you,” his voice is abrasive, angry yet low “if we were married, their eyes would’ve been brown and doe-like, right?”
I choke on my spit, merely because my son just took an intense suckle but also because of Nathan’s question. Biracial children usually have wide brown eyes, coffee-and-cream coloured skin and wild hair. The twins nearly covered all the criteria but rather stunned us with sapphire gazes.
After what feels like years, which actually was a long moment of thought, I answer him with a question, “What makes you ask that?”
He slackens his jaw and lifts his gaze up to lock it with mine, “answer my question first.”
He...he sounds livid and judging by the squirming of my daughter something tells me that Nathan isn’t himself. My daughter squirms in his arms, locking a brief adorable yet teary sapphire gaze with me before releasing a heavy whine - well hello singer’s pipes.
My heart jolts in my chest but I manage to pull off a stoic look, “they would’ve been gorgeous. Russet hair, coffee eyes and cream skin.”
My conscience releases a loud battle cry; prevent thee from harming thy offspring.
A soft smile ghosts his lips, “Would they have made me weak? Huh? Would they have made me soft to the point where I’d lose my life?”
Composure leaks from my face like a faulty water pipe, “Listen here buddy, I don’t know what your problem is but I will not tolerate such behaviour around my son and daughter.”
“Micah Simba DeLuca and Isabella Malkia DeLuca,” he muses lowly before turning to my daughter and bestowing a feeble kiss on her temple “mommy doesn’t know, does she?”
I coo internally at the names of my children before transitioning into mother bear, “Nathaniel, start talking. Now.”
He sponges another kiss on her wild caramel hair, “she doesn’t know that daddy was shot. Daddy was killed while doing a job and he didn’t bring a weapon because he had changed so much since being a father.”
Bitter tears burn my eyelids, “do not talk like that around my children. Mason is...somewhere and he will see that I’m alive. We’ll leave this stupid mafia business and move to a place far away from all you lunatics.”
“Mason is dead. He had a business deal with the Japanese embassy and they sensed a conspiracy, killing him with multiple stab wounds.”
The tears trail down my cheeks and that’s when I feel Micah release my puffy nipple with teary eyes. He too begins to whine, but due to his voice being thin his whines are glassy and soft. I try to smile for him, wiping my face but then Isabella began to whine once again.
“Do not talk like that around them.” I warn him angrily, foam of anger forming in the corners of my mouth “their father is alive.” I rock Micah in my arms, hiking him up a bit so I could kiss his small nose “Mason is alive.”
“Do you not get it?” he roars angrily and that’s when the twins lost their shìt. They were crying fully now, one louder than the other until they decide to switch the roles. The exchanges continue but I could feel Nathaniel’s anger, which happened to be seared in more venom.
“I’m going to kill you.” He promises angrily and that’s when quick, loud beeps monitoring my cardiac cycle thrust themselves into the heat of the moment “your daughter will be stripped without an identity when she’s older and your son will be taught how to execute his first perfect murder at the age of twelve. A whore daughter and a killer son, how charming.”
"Nurse!” I holler loudly, continuing to coax my son into pacification ”nurse! Help me!”
The door bursts open, a crimson-haired woman steps in, obviously stunned at the beeping noises of my machine and the twin crying we currently had going on until a chilling action happened. The once panicked expression tightens and the nurses rushes over to me, relieving me of Micah and handing...handing him back to Nathan!
“My...my son! You bìtch, that man is insane!” I shriek angrily and my aching throat cries out as well. The nurse - who wore the tag named ′Daisy’ close to her perky breasts - unravels a syringe filled with liquid out of her breast pocket.
"Sshhhh...” she coaxes quietly while pushing the syringe into one of the openings of one of the tubes leading from the IV bag “you’re just sleepy and tired.”
“You ugly ass noodle head --” my tongue falls like liquid being poured out and my speech was slow and lagged. Daisy smiles softly, dipping down to press her ruby red-stained lips on my temple and I caught a slight whiff of her coconut scent. She rises to her full height and that’s when I saw the room spinning, rotating on some odd axis that went too fast for my liking.
The sounds around me are low, spanning across some unadjusted wavelength of frequency and I couldn’t gather some of the words. The twins were quietened down by pacifiers in their mouths and my heart ached to hold them just for one more bit. My muscles melted under my skin, the simple task of lifting my hand seemed quite impossible and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Through the hazy speck of my eyes I saw a burly sight, a muscled man with brown hair and he was cowered over as if to greet a child. I tried to blink the hazy vision out, my body lax and flaccid but nothing could enable me to complete simple human tasks.
“Alright!” I hear a voice bellow “Papa, Daisy, Micah, Isabella and Jae, I need to say something now before someone goes sleepy-sleepy-goodbye forever.” Nathaniel is standing proud, the burly man staring at him in awe while Micah was cradled in his arms and I couldn’t help but gawk at Daisy and my daughter.
Nathaniel leans down to me and juts his bottom lip out, “sweet Jae, I know you can help me and I’m ready to come clean. Now, don’t leave your seats because this is about to be good.”
I could literally taste the sarcasm of his words.
“I was married before, married in a wonderful Las Vegas wedding where my wife only had a white lace stocking to use as a veil and I was on cloud nine. That night, in the back of my Range Rover, I beat that newly-wed pússy like a punching bag. Pússy game was on fleek.”
Mona. He’s talking about Mona.
“My beautiful wife thought it would be just lovely to get off my supply and secretly in fact. I saw the changes, the nosebleeds, the swollen veins and wild eyes yet I kept quiet because I loved her. Stupid, right?”
His voice is lowering, becoming deeper and if I was correct, becoming lethal by the second.
“All women - except mama and Daisy - are evil and they deserve to die.” He heckles a bit before turning to me “sweet Jae, you are not innocent at all. Because of you, my cousin, mia familia is dead and it’s all because of you.”
My scalps aches once he grabs some of my hair, “you just had to get pregnant, didn’t you? You just had to be fertile and ruin my life, didn’t you?”
I am female. Females, with assisted masculinity, can produce life that has been created from a few stem cells, ovaries and sperm. I will not be held liable for a decision that was made when two adults decided to do the horizontal tango; my conscience releases a smooth hum after cupping her hands like a prayer during her current transcendental meditation session.
I’m about to be killed and you’re meditating?
I am putting you at ease so you can fúck some shìt up when your bones acquire enough energy.
He releases a sadistic, cruel laugh, ”I killed your sister.” He laughs again ”I murdered Mona. She sniffed carbonic sulphide and I was the one who gave it to her. The bìtch was so bloody stupid that she didn’t notice the colour variations in her ′coke’.” He releases another spine-tingling laugh “the signs were all there. I went up to your lab to see the security, to memorise the building form so I could burn that place down. John, the intern you worked with, put up such a beautiful fight as he fought for your dream but he couldn’t keep us from firing a bullet in between his eyes.”
Stare. Stare. Stare. There was nothing more I could do other than stare.
“I’ve been the murderer you’ve been looking for all along and now you’ve found me.” His face splits into an eerie smile “Jae, what’s good?”
And that’s what I get for being my brother-in-law’s wife.