The doctor continued to talk long after Carmen had stopped listening. His voice echoed around her, like a badly tuned radio, compared to the numerous voices that buzz like flies inside of her. She stared at the opposite wall, not really seeing it anymore. A chill ran down her back as she was doused in an icy flood of emotions.
“Carmen, I’m so sorry.” The doctor says, gave her a look of sympathy. She nodded, her head moving of its own will. “I’m going to give you some time to pull yourself together before you leave okay,” he says, and her head tilts up and down again. He opens the door and slips out the room, but she barely notices that she’s alone.
“How’s she taking it?” The voice of nurse coming through the cracked door reached Carmen as though it came from far away.
“She seems to be taking it well, but that might just be the shock,” the doctor replied. There was silence for the longest time. It throbbed and echoed as time passed slowly by. Carmens chest ached as she fought for the ability to draw breath. She put a hand on her belly and a tear fell down her cheek as she recalled the joy she’d felt when she found that happy news
‘Now I’m not.’ Her mind reminded her, ‘How can that be right?’ She couldn’t bring herself to think about the next step the doctors would take. Her skin crawled when she thought about it. ‘No, I can’t think about it.’ she decided, ‘I can’t bear to think about it.’
It was a few moments before the doctor came back into the room. Carmen fought to hide her emotion as the doctor explained the next steps. She couldn’t feel or think. She couldn’t even find the strength to breathe. It was as though all of those things had evaded her. He started talking about the next steps, but she only half listened. Her brain worked to process the words he spoke, but she couldn’t take in anything. The world around her had shifted, and she couldn’t get her grip.
The brightness of the outside world stung at Carmen’s eyes as she made her way out of the dimly lit gynecology office. She kept her head bent as she slowly made her way to her car. She kept her eyes averted as she passed other people, not daring to look them in the eye. She got inside of her car and sat there for a few moments, alone. She barely noticed the heat inside as she shut the door and allowed her body to melt in her sorrow. She could barely feel the heat as it engulfed her body. All she could take in was the cold sorrow. Her breath was almost shallow in the smothering heat, but all she noticed was the numbness on the inside of her.
It was a few moments before I she pulled herself together and turned the ignition to the car and find my way out of the parking lot. She let the heat in the car take her in its arms as she drove. She focused on how uncomfortable she was rather than her inner turmoil. She let the sweat pour down her face instead of allowing the tears to sting at her eyes again. It seemed like a good exchange.
She kept her eyes averted from the neighbors and their son when she pulled into her driveway finally. She didn’t want to see the joy they had with their child when all of hers had been taken, all happiness stripped with it. She could see them smile and wave from the corner of her eye, even the boy was grinning. Her heart shattered as she bent her head and walked towards her house, ready to be where the world couldn’t find her. The relief couldn’t come fast enough as she entered the house and dashed for the bedroom. The floodgates broke open as she sprawled out on my bed and let herself fall apart.
“Carmen?” She could hear the man’s voice call her name in her sleep long before she realized who it was. She fought to open her eyes and when she finally did, it occurred to her that Jeremy hadn’t yet entered their room. She had time to dry my eyes and delay the pain for her husband. She didn’t, though. She laid there frozen, knowing he would ask about the appointment, and she would be crying all over again. As he opened the door to their room, she propped herself up on one elbow and looked up at him.
“Hey honey,” She greeted him, trying to make herself sound optimistic. “How was your day at work?” She spoke carefully, keeping my voice even. ‘He doesn’t need to know what happened just yet.’ She decided.
“It was busy,” he sighed, sitting down on the bed. “You know, the usual.”
She nodded and they sat there for a few moments. She know that any second he would ask. She braced herself for the question as she watched it leave his lips.
“How was the appointment?”
She gave him her best sad smile, trying to show that she was okay, she could get through this, but she couldn’t stop the tears from falling down her cheeks no matter how hard she tried.
“Carmen, what’s wrong?” The concern was evident in his voice as he spoke. He pulled himself closer to his on the bed and wrapped an arm around her. She tried and failed to stem the flow of tears long enough to tell him, but she couldn’t tell him. She couldn’t even stop crying. Finally she give up and just let herself sob into his shoulder. She was relieved when Jeremy didn’t have ask what was wrong. He held onto his wife and let her cry until she couldn’t any more. Eventually she sat up on her bed and stared off into the distance. He didn’t speak, he sat in the silence with her and let her be broken.
“Jeremy, I’m so sorry,” she finally sniffed when she found her voice. He looked down at her, confused, and waited for her to continue.
“Did something happen at the appointment?” he finally asked when it became clear that she wasn’t going to speak again.
She nodded and more tears flowed down her cheeks, even though she thought her heart had dried up. That’s when it became clear for Jeremy. He stared off into the distance, and Carmen watched as the sorrow sank into his own soul.
They sat there for the longest time in the silence, wondering how it would break. Carmen pressed herself into him, longing to feel comfort where there was none. He barely moved, only doing so to stroke his wife’s hair.
“So what do we do now,” he muttered speaking to himself. I don’t say anything. Carmen didn’t reply and all words evaded them. Another wave of silence passed over. Carmen sat there in his arms trying to catch her breath, while Jeremy tried to force his way through the fog that filled his mind. He didn’t bother fighting back his own tears.
“I don’t know.” She finally spoke, and sat herself up a little better so she wasn’t leaning against him. As they sat in the silence, she let her mind wander through the day’s events and her internal struggle. She look at Jeremy and decided. She wasn’t going to tell him the whole truth. She couldn’t bear to break his dreams of ever being a father. She couldn’t admit it to herself.