8 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Confession Sleep

Confession Sleep abandoned me to the night and the night was long. Nausea twisted me into a miserable knot. I lay in bed listening to Tayla mutter. She was prone to nightmares and sometimes the nightmares leaked into the real world. A siren called from somewhere. Mr. Rothgery’s dog howled in sympathy. I tried to be still as possible. Moving brought on the vomiting. Not moving let it sit in the middle of me like a bag of snakes, wriggling and writhing. The room spun and the darkness pressed on me, a layer of sweat and cramps. When I couldn’t hold my stomach in place anymore, I stumbled into the bathroom and crawled into the shower. Hot water made me less sick. Hot water washed away the misery. Time was a trickle of stones rolling over my bones. I curled in the tub, praying to God to either heal me or let me die. He did neither. Gid whispered at me. He told me that I needed to tell Tayla about the baby. I didn’t want to say anything as long as there was a chance, things would change. I thought if I went with Coy to the doctor, the nausea, the agony of keeping secrets, would slip away. But I couldn’t bring myself to do anything with Coy. “This baby is changing things,” Gid said. “You are no longer who you were.” I shook my head. “Together,” Gid said. “We will last forever.” The water went cold. I twisted off the stream and stumbled out of the tub. My foot slipped but I caught myself and then it occurred to me that I could have let myself fall. If I fell just right, maybe the baby would come loose. I didn’t fall though, and I didn’t have it in me to drop on my own. Out in the bedroom, Tayla waited for me. She sat in the bed, eyes dark and swollen. Her hands picked at the blanket and she frowned like something sour had coated her tongue.

“What’s up?” she asked. “Tell her,” Gid said. “Butter?” Tayla asked. I stood in the doorway, dizzy and weak. I couldn’t keep this secret anymore. Words rose like chunks of metal and I swallowed them again only to have them rise all over. I stood and I stared at Tayla and I stared at Gid who stood in the corner. “Tell her,” he said. I shook my head. “What’s going on?” Tayla asked. “I’m pregnant.” Fire crossed her face. Her lips thinned to narrow white lines. Even in the dark, I saw the blood drain from her face. “What?” she asked. “I’m having a baby,” I said. She stared hard at me, as if she could see right through my flesh at the shadow behind me. “What does that mean?” she asked. “I don’t know.” “You cheated?” she asked. “Only in my dreams,” I said. Tayla got out of bed and came to me. She put her face next to mine. “Details,” she said. “I…” “Who?” she asked. “How?” “I don’t know.” Her hand came up and I thought she was going to hit me. “I’ll be downstairs,” she said and turned away. That was exactly what I was afraid she’d do. I was terrified she would turn away and never turn back.