FWF: Kellie Elmore, Word Bank: Blanket

1913 photograph of sisters Edith Taliaferro an...

1913 photograph of sisters Edith Taliaferro and Mabel Taliaferro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Twins

Edith, 88, sat underneath the plaid yellow, blue and red blanket she and her twin sister used to sit under every night after dinner. They both lived in the St. Rourke Hospital For Seniors and shared a room until Martha had fallen ill earlier today. Edith didn’t know what to do with herself. She spoke to no one, she could not eat a bite, she didn’t listen to anything anyone said. Without Martha, she didn’t know what to do with herself, it felt like she was missing parts of herself but didn’t know which ones. She felt confused, her whole body trembled and her lips, smeared with orange lipstick, chattered but they did not form words.

“The Twins” as they were known used to sit in the same green and white patio swing set almost every night as long as it didn’t snow. They sat there in the cold season, huddled together, as well as the warm, they always had something to talk about even when they fussed at each other. They had made no friends at the Hospital For Seniors, they had no interest in that, they had each other and that was enough. Neither of them had married and they didn’t need anyone else.

That very morning the Staff told her Martha was ill but Edith already knew something wasn’t right. She was on her way to their room now to check. She was shaking and needed to stop every few seconds to catch her breath. Martha was ill and Edith tried to get to their room but they had already moved her to the attached hospital.

“Martha, oh Martha” Edith said to her sister who lay limp on the bed, eyes closed, tubes and wires attached everywhere while Edith stroked her creamy white hair. Tears were spilling down her cheeks and Martha had not moved an inch. “She couldn’t speak”, the doctors said “there was no brain function” and that “she was not breathing on her own.” Martha was “brain-dead”, the doctors said and Edith should think about “letting her go that night.” “No, Edith said,” she was too distraught and she wanted one more night with her sister. But yes, she sighed, she would do it in the morning if that was okay. “Of course they said, “very reasonable.” They walked Edith back to her room and offered to give her a sedative to sleep. Edith just shook her had no, back and forth, not saying a word. Edith, with tears streaming down her face sat in their room, wiped her face and waited until she could go back and visit with her sister again. Very quietly, she crept, every few feet to get closer to her beloved sister’s room. No one even noticed her. They knew the heart-breaking decision she would have to make in the morning.

Edith climbed into bed with her sissy, Martha, and wrapped her arms around her like they used to do when they were kids taking a nap. She covered them both with their plaid blanket. In her room she had taken as many pills that she could take and still be able to walk. She must have swallowed sixty of them. She tried to take more from the second bottle of pills but she could barely manage to do that. The twins had, between them, almost 150 pills between them for this reason alone. They did not want to live without each other. Edith tried to take more pills now, but she could only take a handful, the rest scattered on the floor.

In the morning, at seven a.m. while doing rounds, the doctor came in and gasped, there were the sisters,” the twins,” arms around each other, frozen in time, in death. They had never wanted to live a life without each other; they used to say their hearts beat for one another and that their souls understood each other without one simple sound. They had planned this all their lives, now, they were at peace.

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The Soul Twin

English: aima n baby boy

English: aima n baby boy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, please sit down,  I need to tell you something. Nothing is wrong, dear, please do not worry. It is something that happened before you were born, I have carried it in my heart, my secret heart for many years. I am old now but I wish for you to know something of our past.

You know your father and I tried for over two and a half years to get pregnant. I was so sad thinking I could never have a baby. Yes, I went to a big city and had all kinds of tests and shots and drugs and procedures but I would have done anything to have you and I knew someday I would. Now, you, Dad and your sister are atheists but I am certainly not. One night I had a dream and God looked down at me from Heaven and He said, “It will take a little more time but you will have a baby and it will be a boy.” God’s message to me was all I needed to keep going and I believed in  this completely. I still, as you know, do.

Months later I got the call. Two nurses were on the phone telling me I was pregnant. There was not a happier person in this world. I remember I closed the door, dropped to my knees, said a prayer of thanks and sobbed with joy. I was in a daze the rest of the afternoon. Immediately my hand cupped my tiny belly like a fluttering butterfly. I told your father in person and he was in shock; I had to repeat the joyous news three times before it sunk in.

Three weeks later, and still I had told no one about my pregnancy except our families. After two and a half years of trying to get pregnant we wanted to wait three months, in our culture that is what we did. One day, I went to the bathroom and as I pulled down my underwear I saw spotting. I was very calm, I called the doctor’s office and they told me to come in immediately.

I got in my car as if I was in a dream, “be brave and strong, be brave and strong” I whispered to you as I headed to the clinic. By the time I got there they rushed me into the ultra sound room but this time there was a lot of blood in my underwear.  I remember saying calmly “this does not look good.” I was still in the room and then the senior nurse spoke up and said  “Wait, look right here, it’s a heartbeat, your baby is fine.” I was so relieved, so happy to see your little heart beating that I thought of nothing else. You were alright, safe inside of me. After a few minutes I asked what happened? They told me that my hormone levels had been very high so that could have been an indication of a twin or perhaps another unhealthy fetus, they were never sure.  Apparently this happens to women all the time many not even noticing the passing of an embryo.

I tried to feel sad and guilty but I couldn’t. You were still inside me and you were safe. I went home to lie down and take it easy. I tried to have feelings if it had been a twin but I couldn’t force myself to feel loss when I didn’t feel it. I had you, my baby, still inside me and that meant everything to me. We were born to be with one another. Your father and I would finish our sentences always saying: “If we should be so blessed” and we were, with you, our first son.

The only reference I have to this is a pair of small twin purple bears that I keep hidden in my bedroom closet. A psychic once said I had a baby floating in the universe that could not go to heaven because he did not have a name and out of my mouth and hers, the name Steven came. His soul was then at peace.

You were in my arms and we were a family. Twenty one months later your beautiful little sister was born, naturally, meant to join our family. Now our family was complete. I needed to tell this story to someone and it belongs to you. I had everything I wanted, a boy and then a girl but my love story is just about over, yours is barely beginning. Take with this what you want and now we can bury the past and only look to the future.