Abbey, lay still in her hospital bed, save for the rapid rise and fall of her chest. Veins like thick red rivers, clutched her eyeballs as if trying to hold them inside of her face as they danced around the sterile room.
"Dont blink," her mind racing she clutches her body. "They'll steal another part of you... don't let them steal another part of you."
She recalled the screams, shrieks of agony. Blood. Heat. Breath. Pain. Emptiness.
Now stillness. Her dry, eyes somehow able to conjure tears dart at ever sound. The humming of the air conditioner kicking back up. The muffled voice of someone passing her doorway. Her own heart.
"I need it back." She pulls back her sheets, soiled from her nightmare, to reveal her emptiness. Abbey clutching at her belly, cries out. "Whyyyy? Why did they take it from me?" In a moment her grief turned to resolve as she sat up from her bed, ripped out the IV from her arm, stood up and wobbled to her door. Blood and excrement staining her gown.
"I need it back. I need it back," she murmured hobbling down the hallway. Her sweat soaked and matted hair clung to her face, draping her eyes. Her pupil, like a speck of dust in a vast sea of white.
"I need it ba...". Abbey stopped abruptly turning her head slowly to peer through the glass. There it was. Perfect. Simple. Hers. Her tight cracked lips curled upwards at the corner. "My. baby."
It had been a hard day for Nurse Eileen, already. Never had she witnessed a woman die during child birth. And one so young. Coming back into the room would be difficult to bear but she had a job to do.
Eileen opened the hospital room door, head down. She rushed to the foot of the bed, trying to avoid confronting the aftermath of the hours before. "Get it together, Eileen," she told herself. "Your an RN. This happens." And with a deep breath, she looked up at the lifeless body of Abigail Porter.
Nurse Eileen wailed at the sight of Abbey's mangled belly. Disformed. Bulging. Wrong. Full.
What they took from Abbey was back where it belonged.
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