I awoke hours before the alarm clock went off. I curled on my side like the swirl of a shell, hollowed and echoing emptiness within. My hand rested on my belly, swollen beside me.
I showered that morning, letting the hot water run down my face, mingling with tears. My eyes were puffy, the whites traversed with spidery red lines like an atlas of the world. They stared back at me from the swiped clearing I made through the thick steam on the mirror. I was a lost girl. My ragged wet hair dripped onto my bare shoulders like I was being pulled down and drowned by the weight of my pain.
We drove to the hospital in silence. There weren’t any words worth saying.
The doctor would explain everything again while Josh held my hand, churning it in his as if wearing smooth a prayer bead.
I’d sign papers and undress. I’d put on a hospital gown and remove my wedding ring, handing it to Josh along with my things. He helped me climb awkwardly into the bed with the railings locking into place like a trap. And I’d lay my arms open offering my veins for the start of an IV. I’d count the tiles in the ceiling as they wheeled me under the fluorescent lights, clearing my mind out by filling it with nothing.
There would be a rush of people in and out, a swish of hospital scrubs and stethoscopes and the ragged rip of the blood pressure cuff tearing apart to be strapped over my arm as the pressure increased and the thud of my heart pumped in my ears.
It amazed me that my heart could just keep pumping when it was so broken.