Short Stories

Part 1 is available at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/gift-of-a-child-1

The hospital room is cold and white. Jake is frantic with worry. All his dreams for their life together have been ruined. He's lucky. Lucky he still has her, his beautiful Sara, but unlucky that the drunk driver of the pickup truck has taken away his chance, their chance at a family.

"Sara, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Jake says for the fifth time since Sara woke up.

Sara sighs. "Jake, it's fine." She nods. "I'll be okay."

"Is there any hope?" Jake asks and as soon as he does the look on his wife's face changes to one of complete indifference.

Sara grimaces. "No. The doctor said it damaged something. We are lucky I will walk." She says fighting to stay calm. Jake's grief is almost physical as he sinks into the chair by her bedside. "Isn't that more important right now?" Sara continues.

"Yes!" Jake suddenly exclaims loudly. Shaking his head he lowers his voice. "I am glad you will be alright, I just wish something could be done so we can have children. We were just talking about it. I was willing to give you time. We can't give up."

Sara rolls her eyes. "I know, but I can't now." She takes a deep breath about to drop the biggest bombshell. "The doctor says there is no cure."

Jake's eyes widen in shock. They didn't tell him that. "Fine." he yells. "I need a minute." he says stiffly leaving the room. "We will just be us…" he mutters as he leaves.

Sara sobs echo throughout the room.

4 weeks after the accident, Jake is bringing Sara home from the hospital. She has been through so much that he's sure she'll be happy to be home. But, as he steps out their new car and goes around to help Sara he notices she is crying. The crutches fumble in her hands and she pauses inside the front door. Jake thinks she is upset to have to be using them. He closes the car door and runs inside moving to assist her to the couch.

"Sara, what's the matter." Jake asks kneeling down next to her.

"My sister just texted me while we were in the car." She says hiccuping. "She's pregnant."

Jake gasps. "Okay…" he says slowly. Sara laughs through her tears at the confused look on his face.

"So," Jake begins again. "Why are you crying?" he asks. "You never wanted kids."

"Yes, I did." Sara argues. She sniffles a bit. "I just wanted to wait until we were settled as married people first."

She takes a deep breath. "I did not want to go from being a wife to a mom quite as fast and you wanted me to."

"Now, that is over." The tears continue streaming down Sara's face as she whispers. "I can't even have a child."

Jake wants to see her smile. So much that he jokes, "We could always adopt."

Sara grins appreciating his attempt at humor in such a serious conversation. She reaches out and caresses his cheek. "Honey, I don't think that's the same thing."

Jake nods again. All he ever seems to do is nod. "True." he says. "But, it would give a child with no home, someone who loves them." he says softly.

"I'll think about it." Sara says yawning. "I just want to take a nap first."

Jake follows Sara up to the bedroom and helps her settle in. He cannot let this go. It is impossible. He wants to have someone else to love. He wants to make them all happy.

Dinner that night is a strained affair. Sara looks much better after some sleep and a shower, but she still seems weary. Jake cannot quit thinking about the idea of adoption. It is ingrained in his brain like the ancient hieroglyphics are on Egyptian stone. He sighs.

"You alright?" Sara asks.

"Fine." Jake answers attempting to smile.

"No you are not." Sara says forcefully. "What is going on now?" She asks.

"Did you want to talk more about adoption?" Jake rushes out. "I think it's a good move for us."

"No, Jake, I don't." Sara says.

"Oh." Jake says softly. "Why not?"

Sara's frustration is apparent, but Jake cannot see it. "We cannot adopt right now. I still have six months of physical therapy to go through." She says.

Shaking her head Sara asks. "What are you thinking?"

"I WAS THINKING I WANT A CHILD!" Jake yells.

"Well, we are not having one thanks to you not being able to keep your eyes on the road while driving." Sara says. "Listen to me." She continues as Jake shakes his head. "You could have avoided that truck if you had been looking at the road and not me. And he we are having a similar argument. I love you, Jake, but I am not adopting right now. So, you can patiently wait for me to get better!"

"I'm-" Jake stutters. "I'm sorry."

"I bet you are." Sara says stiffly. "How do you expect to take care of a baby when you can't think of anyone but yourself right now?" She asks, "When I am the one hurting and in pain!"

"I just didn't think." Jake mutters. Sara smiles.

"I know." She says. "Be patient."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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