Songfic: “Ever the Same”
First, I’d like to take the opportunity to welcome a new blogger to the group: Siobhan Muir will be joining us for our monthly flash fiction posts. Welcome, my darling friend!
This month’s Song Fic is Ever the Same by Rob Thomas.
” Her hands are cold. She’s cold. Someone needs to get her a blanket. Why won’t anyone make her warm again?”
2:13am. Kara’s cries cut through the void of my dreamless sleep, jolting me into awareness. She’s curled into herself, facing away from me. Her bronzed skin looks so pale, a fine sheen of sweat covering the body my hands had been all over just hours before.
After twelve years together, I know better than to try to touch her. She’d inevitably flail about and either give me a black eye or kick me somewhere delicate, desperate to find blankets that weren’t there. Had never been there. Wouldn’t have mattered, even if they had been.
Blankets don’t cure cancer.
“Kara.” I speak loudly enough to wake her, but not so much that I’d startle her. “Baby, you need to wake up.” I gently reach a hand out, touching her thigh with the barest hint of fingertips, jerking back before she has the chance to jump.
My wife has always been a light sleeper, nightmares be damned, so when she sits straight up it doesn’t surprise me. Much. Strands of her beautiful long, dark hair cling to her face. She blinks, unseeing in the dim room lit only by the moonlight streaming through the open window. “Ellie?” Her voice is hoarse from crying, her breath coming in shallow pants.
“Right here, my love.” I pull her into my arms and rock her gently as she sobs into my shoulder. Her tears drip into the ends of my dark curls, leaving them to sit damply on my shoulder and down my back.
I know the images playing through her mind. The same ones that haunt me, even after so many years. Our precious daughter, eyes closed forever, her skin so cold and pale as she lay in her hospital bed. We’d tried so hard to conceive. Found the perfect donor and did everything short of ritual sacrifice to make sure Kara stayed healthy during her pregnancy.
Ava had been born so beautiful, so perfect, so healthy that we never dreamed anything could happen to her. But when she was four, she started to lose weight, and Kara noticed a lump on Ava’s neck when brushing her hair one day. A routine doctor’s visit had turned into a trip to the emergency room. Then a hospital admission. A transfer to the best children’s hospital in the country.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
By the time we caught it, the cancer had spread throughout her body. Rather than discussing treatments, the doctors gave us hospice care options and instructed us on how to make her comfortable.
Tears brim in my own eyes as I remember the last day with Ava. How she tried so hard to stay awake and stay positive for her mommies. Her little hands clasped in ours as we prayed yet again for a miracle that would never come.
Ellie and I don’t speak, letting the silence of the night envelop us. Grief lingers in the air, mingling with so many happy memories of our life together.
That’s it for me this week. Hopefully, the other ladies will have something a bit more upbeat in store for you. Click the links below to see what they’ve written.