Prompt 15: Joy & Pain
"I had no idea I could do that."
Standing beside the hospital bed I put my fingers through hers and leaned down to kiss her damp forehead. ”I did,” I replied with a smile. She was exhausted, physically drained but the exertion was well worth it. Both of us knew that the moment we heard a sharp cry. She wasn’t planning this kid’s career just yet but with a set of lungs like that she could easily have a future in music. She could be a singer. Just the thought of her taking after me made my chest fill up with maternal pride.
I never thought I’d be able to say this but I was ready to be a mother.
After my situations, my history, I hadn’t been sure that this void could ever be filled but with one glimpse at her, my distress dissipated. The sadness of having to make those unbearable decisions all but vanished. It was truly amazing that a baby-this tiny, defenseless, little person-could alter and shift everything in your world. Children were pure but powerful enough to render you helpless. Those lucky enough to have them were incredibly fortunate. I hadn’t just given birth but I considered myself blessed. Already she felt like mine.
She was the seven pound, three ounce human who I had just fallen in love with at first sight.
I didn’t want to leave the bed but she literally dragged me over to her. A pair of nurses stood over the bassinet where she lay, cleaning her off. They printed her hands and feet, which gave me the chance to count her fingers and toes. They were all there. I should’ve known anyway. She was perfect. Tears fell without my consent but these were the blissfully content kind that came from being overwhelmingly happy. I was so overcome that I felt like I was going to combust at any moment. The feeling grew tenfold when she was put in my arms. Her body was swaddled in a white hand-stitched Chanel blanket. It was commissioned and monogramed with her name. Her mother thought it was over the top and unnecessary, especially when she found out how much it cost, but nothing was too good for Davina. She would always get the best because I had every intention of spoiling her. She was going to go places, do great things and I would make sure of it. Anything she wanted she’d have, a hundred times over.
She’d have it easy regardless.
This kid be called adorable but that wasn’t an accurate description. The face of an angel stared up at me. I felt a weight lift off of me when I saw who she resembled. Round cheeks, delicately shaped lips and a head full of pale brown hair. She was gorgeous.
Just like her mother.
Thinking that made me realize that someone else was as eager to see Davina as I was. More actually. Davina meant the world to me in a matter of seconds but I wasn’t the one who carried her for nine months, who felt her grow inside of me and experienced her first kicks. I walked over and placed her in her mother’s arms. It was a moment I would never forget. Cai gazed down at Davina with such love that it threatened to melt me. She kissed the baby then ran her hand over her cheek.
"You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to meet you," she murmured softly. "I know you don’t understand what I’m saying to you right now but you saved my life Davina. I love you. I will never stop loving you. Ever."
Cai tore her eyes away from the miracle in her arms when I wiped her tears away. She was overrun with emotions. Relief, hope, optimism-her feelings now were the complete opposite of what she felt when she first discovered her pregnancy. The circumstances then were horrific, thanks to me, but she had repaired herself, her life, and her relationships. I was humbled that she’d found it in her heart to work on ours. We were in a good place now and it felt incredible that I had the one person who made me whole. I was never going to jeopardize us again. I had weak moments, times when I felt I wasn’t deserving of her. Sometimes I was tempted to go the wrong way but Cai had made her terms. Any dishonesty or infidelity and she were gone. It was self-preservation on her part and I understood her stance. The parameters were defined and I wasn’t going to step outside of them.
I loved her too much.
I needed her in my life. Our time apart had been hell. I could never be without her again. That same attachment applied to Davina.
"She’s all yours," I said tenderly.
"She’s all ours," Cai corrected. "That thing we talked about-I want to start the paperwork as soon as possible."
"Really?" I asked astonished.
"I gave it thought. You’re in my life and I want you to be in hers. If something happens to me, I trust that you’ll take care of her."
She wanted to give me legal rights to her child. The gesture was so enduring, so important that I couldn’t speak for a moment. I kissed her instead, putting my arms around her. Cai, Davina, and I were a unit. This was my family now.
These two were my joy.
But in reality they were my pain.
I woke up abruptly, my own tears wetting the satin pillow my head rested on. The fact that I now cried in my sleep was old news. I had come to expect it, along with the hollow ache that always sat in my chest. I’d been here before but this time around it was far worse. The stakes had been higher. I had gambled and I had crapped out. My dream had been filled with such light but my life as of late was all dark. As usual I kept my face. I forced myself to smile and go through the motions. I had sponsors, a world tour that I was contractually obligated to perform, and a list of other commitments. It was constant work but it did little to distract me. It was hard to enjoy things professionally when my personal affairs were in such disarray.
"Go back to sleep," a voice said from behind me. "Then sun isn’t even up." He’d just gotten in from an after party, the hoarseness in his voice indicating a late night and early morning of smoke and drink. A couple of months ago and I would’ve sounded the same. I’d taken to clubbing again, which would’ve been fine if I hadn’t gone overboard. I couldn’t keep control. First it was just a glass of wine, which gradated to shots, and then it was weed. I could handle those but not when they were compounded by the sex. I had a few random times but those anonymous indiscretions didn’t compare to the ones that took place with the man whose hand was wrapped around my waist. It was too much for her.
I sat up, body heavy and retrieved the framed picture that sat on my nightstand. Since we moved in together he hated that I still kept it this close. We had our first huge blow up over it but this wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t going to hide her just because it made him uncomfortable. I felt his eyes on me as I got up and pulled my robe on. I went outside. New York winters were harsh but it didn’t compete against the cold I felt in my heart. I traced her image with my fingers. She’d been unaware when I snapped the photo. We had made love that evening but hours later I found myself alone in bed. I got up and found her in my living room. With Manhattan serving as a backdrop, she sat on the couch, resting on her knees. In just a bra, her hands held her eight month old stomach. Cai was talking to Davina, taking time for just the two of them. It was just too beautiful not to capture it.
I was grateful that I had.
Besides the memories, this was all I had of Cai and Davina.
I always thought about sending her the mountain of baby gifts I had brought for her but I knew that Cai would never accept them. Not after how everything went down. My dream showed what should’ve been but that’s now how things happened at all. Cai had given birth but she’d been unconscious during it. Davina had been born but instead of her being placed in the arms of a loved one, she was urgently rushed away. And me-I hadn’t been there at all. I was too busy getting fucked against a wall to know that both of them had been in danger.
Everything was bad about that night and it was all my fault.
I was the reason Cai left my place in a compromised state.
I was the reason why Dimitri was nearly arrested at the hospital.
I was the reason why an innocent life was almost taken.
I was never going to forgive myself for that or any of this.
And the sad part was that nothing I could do was going to fix anything. I was beyond redemption and it was slowly killing me on the inside. I guess that’s why I thought nothing of pulling the small vile out of my robe’s pocket. Pills had put me to sleep but this would help me get through the waking hours. I sprinkled the white substance across the back of my hand and brought it up to my nose. I snorted it quickly, sniffing and blinking as it took over my system. I had developed a tendency to do coke in the last few weeks. It was well concealed to those who mattered but I was doing more and more each day. I couldn’t bring myself to care though. I brushed the powder’s remnants away from the glass of the picture and pressed it close to my chest. I had no one to blame for this torture but me. I had lost two of the most precious things I could’ve ever asked for.
I had to cope somehow.
Even if I destroyed myself in the process.
Find prompt here.