Long limbs stretch the length of my lap, auburn curls linger at my cheek. The melody of our rock lulls her sleep and I inhale her weight, her warmth.
Melting to her, our lines begin to blur. I soak in the life I have missed and vow to never leave this space.
As we sway, a pinch of consciousness tells me I cannot continue.
Fighting the urge to drown in our rhythm, I press my back to the worn rocker and lift us.
I settle her into a space that has always been and lay my palm at her back. Memorizing the rise and the fall and the peace, I move away.
The clock is as I remember, the wall is not. A mocking beep swirls, voices echo, my chest burns.
I cannot swallow. Frozen, I cry with no sound.
Hot tears of recognition flow as I piece together where I have been and where I am now.
My eyes reluctantly focus. Tubes protest my head’s attempt to turn.
I see him again, for the first time. Hospital tape suspends his picture to my bed rail. How many hours has he lived without me?
Expectant faces watch a monitor for signs that I can sustain myself.
New life is waiting.
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