20 October 2012


Jayne’s eyes fluttered, adjusting to the light as thin beams of sun sliced up the grey hue of the room. She pulled her blanket tighter and looked around without moving her head. She knew every facet of the room’s interior; she’d been here long enough.

Taking deep breaths, Jayne lifted herself to a sitting position. Her body ached; she rubbed her limbs to release the tension they held. A small knot formed in her stomach as she contemplated her first step.

“Stay strong, Jayne. You will get out of this.” The words were a mantra now. She said them again and again, just as if she believed them.

She stood up, giving herself a moment for the dizziness to subside. She was so carefully tread the same path she took every morning. Jayne stood in front of the door and willed it to open; telling herself that she could, in fact, will it open. She reached out to take hold of the handle, but froze when she heard footsteps.

Jayne backed away.

“No.” She wished. “No, please…no.”

The footfalls, accompanied by loud voices, came closer. Jayne remained still as they passed by.

“Thank God.” Jayne said, expelling her held breath.

The anxiety knocked her off balance, forcing her to sit abruptly. She sucked in air, trying to remember the exercises she had learned during her prenatal classes; the breaths that were supposed to make her forget she was giving birth.

Her kids…what would happen to her kids if she couldn’t get out of this? Would they know the truth? What would it do to them? She pictured them as babies; so young, innocent and small. They were no longer small butthey were still innocent, in need of their mother. Tears spilled down her face as she swallowed her sobs; crying always brought them in when they could hear it. She bit into her blanket, effectively muffling any sound.

“I am so sorry.” She whispered over and over. She imprinted their three beautiful faces on her mind.

Standing again, with determination she ignored the pulse hitting against her temple and the nausea threatening to overtake her and gripped the doorknob. All she had to do was get this damned door open. But voices, only one room away, forced her to retreat to her bed where she pulled her blanket over her head.

“Please, just leave me alone,” she thought.

Footsteps came to the door. It opened and shut and Jayne listened as he came to her side. He took the corner of her cover, pulling it back.

“Jayne? Janie?” Honey, how are you feeling?” Chris asked.

Jayne rolled on to her back, her reddened eyes betraying her. “Hey. What time is it?”

“It’s 3 in the afternoon. The kids are home from school already. Is it another… headache?”

“Uhm…yeah, a bad one,” Jayne said unconvincingly.

“I think we should make another appointment. You can’t seem to get out of bed anymore. You look so… miserable.” Jayne heard how carefully he chose his words.

“Yeah, I promise. I’ll call tomorrow.” She eyed the door over Chris’ shoulder. “Just let me sleep a little more.”

“Sure…sure. I can take the kids out for pizza; give you a little peace and quiet. Would that help?”

A tear trickled down Jayne’s cheek. She clutched Chris’ arm. “Please don’t leave me.”

He placed his hand over hers. “OK, we’ll order in…we’ll stay here.”

Jayne nodded. “Thank you. Let me know when it’s here – maybe I can manage a slice,” she said weakly.

Chris patted her hand. “Sure.”

Jayne watched his strong back as he left the room. She pulled her knees to her chest.

“Tomorrow… I just need one more day,” Jayne said, as she listened to excited voices talking about their day, their dreams, their futures.

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