The Drowning Gull 1 - Page 44

Megan had ever liked about being in a writer’s workshop? She didn’t think so. She only agreed to sign up for the class after her husband threw down the gauntlet and told her that she had to do something other than sit in the apartment and weep all day. This was the perfect choice-- a structured environment in the functional world where she could continue to cry.

By the time Megan got home, the sky was already darkening. It swelled with heavy clouds that suggested that bad weather was imminent. Rain or snow-- she didn’t care which one. Maybe she should have stayed outside and let herself drown. Weather was all anyone seemed to want to talk about with her anymore; as if by grounding her to the earth, the air and the sky, she wouldn’t be able to talk about the baby buried under the ground, disintegrating before it had even had a chance to form. But the baby wasn’t under the ground, or burnt into ashes. They didn’t even let Megan see the sodden detritus of whatever a miscarried foetus looked like-- maybe they had even flushed it down the toilet. It was the same way her mother used to get rid of her dead pet fish; the ones she had won at the street fairs by throwing a ping-pong ball into a fish bowl.

She could have started dinner, but she didn’t. Unpacking boxes from their not so recent move from Chicago, (had they moved last month? or the month before?) was even less appealing. She went into the bedroom and pulled down the Eiderdown quilt Megan's grandmother had made for them for after their wedding.

“It will see you through all the years of your married life,” Grandma had said. “It will keep you both warm, and your children too, when they are afraid and come into your room in the middle of the night.”

The quilt had certainly outlived their child-- and she was the only frightened person that seemed to be taking comfort under the quilt. It was where Kevin found her when he came home at midnight after a gruelling twelve hours in the hospital performing surgeries. He turned on all the lights and began to talk to Megan. It never mattered to him whether she was awake or asleep; Kevin had learned to talk to her either way, happy with whatever he could get.

“Sorry I’m so late,” he said, sliding under the quilt with her. Megan could feel all his protuberances: the cell phone attached to his belt, and his hospital ID card still hanging around his neck. He came to bed the way he went to work, as if any moment Kevin would spring up and return to the hospital if he was needed. He wrapped an arm around her and she nestled into his chest, soothed by the steady beat of his heart.

“Did you go to class?” he said, his voice already drowsy with sleep.

“Yes,” Megan said. And as if that was all the reassurance Kevin needed to slip away, he began to snore softly.

She kept her head on his chest. Megan tried to breathe with him, and willed him to take her along on his peaceful journey into sleep. She was afraid to sleep; afraid of her recurrent nightmare, a foetus ripped repeatedly from her uterus like Velcro. But sleep came anyway. It claimed her like it always did. Sleep forced Megan to look at what she spent every day trying her hardest not to see.

Skateboarding Shadows by Cetywa Powell

The Drowning Gull