Immersion – A Drama Short Story by Karla S. Bryant – Reedsy Prompts
I need a way out. I’ve been surrounded by sympathetic sighs and concerned smiles every day for two weeks and need a break. Not to be ungrateful for the compassion that’s been lavished on me, but I need to come up for air. So many friends have complained through the years of feeling unsupported during this particular journey. I feel guilty wanting to wave away any of it.
Even Jake treats me like a crystal vase. He doesn’t need to. I want to tell him but worry it will wound him more. We’d both been so excited about the baby coming. It was his loss as much as mine. No one seems to complain about the patriarchy when it’s a man who suffers from it. Each visitor passes him by with, “So sorry, Jake” on their way to see me, to comfort me, to console me while Jake hovers, ignored, behind them. Every now and then our eyes meet. There is only one unspoken word between us: why. The doctors couldn’t answer our questions, so neither could we. It hangs in the air between us.
We’d married when we were both older, but young enough that we could start a family. Our family of three. I don’t think we ever had a discussion or debate about how many children we’d have. We somehow knew it would be one child, one beautiful and vibrant child who would transform us from a couple into a family.
On an August evening, we stood beside each other, staring wordlessly at the at-home pregnancy test stick. Waiting. Waiting. A wave of humid air lifted the curtains in the bedroom. A storm was coming. Waiting. The double lines glowed forward. Jake and I laughed and cried and hugged and kissed and, for the first time since we’d known each other, jumped up and down. Our baby had silently sent its first communication to us. Get ready. Your lives are going to change in so many ways. I am here. SEE THE NEXT PART AFTER