I Can’t Be a Mom

Prompt: Write a pregnancy-themed soap using two words.

I can’t be a mother. I tried. I tried to tell myself I was fit. But I can’t lie to myself. I can’t be a mother.

My name is Elise. I’m not your typical girl who dreams of marrying the good boy next door and having a family. I’m the girl who gets into streetfights and sleeps with the handsome rockstar from behind the bar, and preferably on the bar. And that’s exactly how it had happened.

I can’t be a mother.

My belly was already growing. My breasts felt sore, too big—my bra squeezed them flat, and it hurt. I felt nauseous, constantly nauseous. How I hated this.

And the father? He knew. And that’s why I wore this ring on my finger. He had proposed the night before. Romantic. Roses, champagne (alcohol-free, of course), and a beautiful ruby ring. How I hated it. I can’t be a wife either.

I scrubbed the plate I held clean, mechanically, with an everlasting movement I wasn’t even aware of. I had to do these stupid dishes before Lee came home. I had the little pink sponge clenched like I held onto my life. But it was not my life I held onto. It was the start of a new one, the tiny light that developed inside me.

I let go of the sponge and brought my soapy hand to my abdomen, and I rested my palm right there, close to the warmth of a newborn. He, or maybe she, was just two months, but I could swear I already knew him. Which is why I automatically called him a He without thinking. They say a mother knows these things. I hate what they say about mothers.

I didn’t know what mothers did. Mine wasn’t there. My father was the lawyer who raised me and never told me why he had left with me that rainy night. I resented him for it. I resented him for forbidding me to have a mom. Later I found out she had tried to drown me because schizophrenia had made her believe I was the Devil’s child.

I was almost twenty-five, and one of my greatest fear had been to catch whatever had driven my mom to believe the world had turned against her. This is why I can’t be a mother. Luckily, I didn’t hear voices, though, if that’s what you’re wondering. Only my own. The one that whispered to me that my son deserved someone better and that Elise Pace shouldn’t exist. Yet here I was, two months with the seed of life inside me, bride-to-be to the rockstar behind the bar.

I heard the door creak behind me. His footsteps came closer, and he gave me a soft kiss in my neck. He wrapped his arms around me and met my soapy hand. He was so much taller than I was, my head fit in the crook of his chest. He let a small sound of a surprise escape when he saw the dishes.

“Elise, my love, you should take off the ring when you do the dishes!”

I pulled my hand away from the water. Shit! How stupid had I been? I turned to him with sorry eyes. How could I be his wife if I ruined his ring the first week after he’d proposed?

He simply chuckled and kissed me on the forehead.

“I know you worry,” he said, reading my mind. Our eyes then made four. “You’re gonna be a great mom.”

He soothing voice made me relax. He always did that. He always managed to calm me down even when I was the most furious I could be. I hated that. I stared him down with my dragon eyes.

“Don’t coerce me away from my anxieties, Mr Pace!” I ordered, a finger pointed at his breast.

He simply laughed at me. He turned around and headed back into the living room. He stopped by the door to cast a glance at me with the same smile that lured me to the bar table our first time. I didn’t want him to go.

“I can’t be a mom, Lee,” I said, hoping he could somehow relieve me of my impending duties. “I don’t know how to be a mom.”

He turned back to me fully and gazed upon me with his blue eyes, the blue eyes our son could have. “You’ll learn,” he said.

The dimples at the corner of his smile made me melt. Would our son get the same? Would our child get his nose and his hazel hair? He left the room with silent steps, and I turned to finish washing these dishes with the overused pink sponge I needed to replace soon.

Words: pink, dishes

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