The lab tech and the pretty Filipino nurse fell in love.
The other Filipino nurses all loved Roger.
"He is our brother," they said.
They married soon and, some months later,
Gloria gave birth to their baby boy.
They had time to exchange a thrilled, ecstatic kiss,
and to name their baby boy Brian,
before Gloria suddenly hemorrhaged, and died.
Roger walked around for weeks,
white and stunned as the walking dead,
clutching his baby, kissing his cheeks
till they spotted with rashes,
from being kissed too much.
The only thing he knew was,
he could not put the baby down,
could not unwrap his arms from him,
for he was all he had left of Gloria,
the gift she had left behind, departing.
The Curley family fostered the baby for seven months,
while Roger confronted his grief, his altered life,
his banished dreams.
But then they said that
they and the baby were getting too attached
and it was better for him to be with his father.
Suddenly, a wedding was announced.
The baby needed a mother.
There was another Filipino nurse -
pretty, warm, loving,
-so like Gloria -
who loved Roger;
and one other - reserved, more plain, quieter,
a more pragmatic choice.
I think Roger felt it would be a betrayal of Gloria
to choose the warm pretty one -
the one he maybe could come to love.
So he chose the quiet one,
so he could keep his son.
Of course, it didn't work.
I passed their house, one afternoon,
Roger standing in the window,
clutching baby Brian, sad eyes looking out
at a dismal landscape: no hope, no dreams, no joy.
She wrote me, the following year,
that she had had a son,
and that the family was two camps:
Roger and Brian,
and she and her son.
That her heart was broken.
Sometimes love goes happily.
Sometimes it hurts way too much.
I wonder how it all turned out,
if they stayed together,
or if there continued to be two camps
of parents and sons -
those two innocents, born into a world of hurt
and misplaced hearts.
Sometimes, love hurts.
Posted for Margaret's Play It Again prompt, where we are asked to choose a prompt out of three selected from the Toads' archives. Cool! I chose Shay's "Lights, Camera, Love!", where we are to write a love story. Sadly, this is a true one.
It happened in 1967, in Alert Bay, BC, a teeny two by five mile island, off north eastern Vancouver Island, where I lived when I was first married. The death occurred one week before I gave birth to my first child - he almost died, too, and I had a traumatic experience in the tiny hospital there. I remember the Filipino nurses, at Gloria's funeral, wailing and stumbling with grief, and how one touched my belly and assured me, "This wont happen to you". I remember the doctor saying to me, as I lay on the birthing table, "It was so sad, watching her die. There was nothing I could do." Dr. Pickup. I just remembered his name.