Fields of Barley, Vol. 18
(If you want to read this from the beginning, click the Stories, Short & Otherwise Link above)
"Anna-Lisa, we’ve seen things, events that took place in my life, things I haven’t thought about in years, but I need to be honest. I’m glad you’ve shown me these things, these memories, and I understand the need for me to see them. I also know that I can’t hide anything from you, so I won’t even try. But because you know all these things and millions more, you know what I’m thinking about right now. You know what I’m feeling right now. You know it all, don’t you?”
Mark looked at his companion as she looked away from him. They both sat in silence for what seemed like to Mark as a very long time until finally Anna-Lisa turned to him and smiled.
"Yes," she said in almost a whisper, “I know about what you are thinking. I know how you are feeling, and I know there is a pain in your heart, a pain that you thought you would never experience; a pain you wouldn’t think a person capable of feeling. I know of what you feel and my heart feels that pain too.” She turned from him; her body language told Mark she was feeling what he felt, and that this was a difficult time for her also.
“Mark, I know you are not thinking about all those memories in the past. You are thinking about the future and how the world in which you knew will not include yourself. You are thinking about the child yet unborn, the baby for which you have waited all your life. The small one who was to change your life forever,” she said, her voice tailing off as she again turned her attention to an imaginary point somewhere ahead.
Mark looked forward also, his gaze focusing on a place before him. “The baby was going to change everything,” he said to the void ahead. “We didn’t even want to know if it was a boy or a girl. We didn’t care and it really didn’t matter. We were just happy to finally begin our family. I thought for the first time in my life I would be needed, I would be important, I would be…well, worthwhile.”
“You were waiting to love something that requires love to survive,” Anna-Lisa said. “You could not wait to meet this spirit and have her soul touch yours in a way only possible between parent and child.”
“I thought this baby was the reason I was ever born,” Mark said. “I always figured if I never had children, then I couldn’t really screw things up too badly, I mean, I would not be leaving anything behind when I died. I know that’s a strange thing to say, but the thought of not having kids always gave me a sense of comfort.
“And then I met Janie, and we got married, and years later she got pregnant and I thought, ‘Hey, maybe this having-a-kid thing isn’t so bad after all.’ So that’s when I got really excited about the baby. I thought maybe—just maybe—my life would mean something other than just me. I wanted to meet this kid and be its dad. This was going to be my turn to prove that I could do something right in my life. I guess now I’ll never know,” Mark said with obvious dejection in his voice. “I guess I’ll never know.”
To be continued...
NaNoWriMo Tracker: 2052 words written Tuesday, 2775 words written yesterday,
38656 words total
38656 words total