In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt Journey.
Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.
And in response to Felicity Johns’s Flash fiction prompt Support
Geraldine took a deep breath; she couldn’t cry. She had cried enough in the past few years. Despair, fear, hope. Too many emotions at once and over long periods of time. She clenched her hand, only to find that it closed against someone else’s. She bit her lips. He kissed her brow and embraced her. The feel of him, the strength radiating like a heat wave from his body. She needed that. She had needed him so much. She couldn’t have gone through this without him.
“It will be fine love.” Jerome said.
That’s what he’d been saying ever since the sword fell with that one word “sterile”. He said it’d be fine, that they could wait for a second opinion. When the second specialist said the same word, he retorted that if that was what it was, they could try IVF. But the price was too much; they didn’t have enough. Even emptying their life savings and remortgaging their apartment couldn’t cover for the number of rounds the doctors expected them to face. They tried, twice; budgeted for it. It failed. Leaving her heartbroken all over again. But he was here, promising it’d be fine. Someday. That he loved her. He fought this battle like a general taking care of his armies, carried her emotionally through the journey, through the struggle. She’d loved him in return but she could never know how much he hurt because of this. He wouldn’t tell her; yet in the way he held her, there was a need sometimes that she understood. He dove into work, convincing her to build their own company. They did; and it became their baby. Something created by the two of them, a project born of parts of her and parts of him. A different type of chromosomes.
He said it’d be fine through the adoption process. Even after their request was refused twice. They were both entrepreneurs, and theirs was the ultimate unstable situation. It didn’t make sense to her. So she took a job, one that paid well but that allowed her to work reasonable hours, while Jerome continued to make their company thrive. But that didn’t prevent the social system to deny their request once more. She thought she’d die after that second refusal. What else could she do? Why wasn’t she enough? Why weren’t they enough?
“I know,” she whispered.
It was cold here, and Jerome’s warmth was welcome. It was more than the heat his body produced, it was the sense of serenity and love that she felt when he held her. After two years they were here.
When they came out, he was the one whose hold tightened. He might be the rock upon which she found her support but she tried to be his too. She looked up to him and she saw the tears, so very rare, in his eyes.
“We’ll be fine love.”
He smiled through his tears and nodded before he kissed her brow again. They turned to face the children coming out of the orphanage. When the twins reached them and smiled, she reached out. They walked into her arms as she knelt, Jerome next to her. A family at last. How appropriate that today was Mother’s day.