My Gift to You: A Short Story

Hey guys! It’s been a while.

For the last few weeks I haven’t really made any post yet as some of you may already notice. I’m not gonna make excuses, I kinda dealing with stuff in real life right now.

Buuuuttt, while I wasn’t making post, doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped writing though! I’ve been writing some fanfiction (which I will disclose some time in the future) and one short story of my own, which I will share with you guys here. Let me know what you think!


 

Every night. Every night I wish this will be the night.

It’s almost midnight in our home. Outside, the moon glows majestically. The house is quiet as my wife and child already went to bed before me. I was sitting at the living room with a laptop on the table to finish my job which I brought home with me. The only thing that accompany me was the tapping sound of my keyboard as I type in words after words on the document.

Just few words in and I shall finally have my reward of good-night sleep, I thought to myself. Not long after that, the document is finally finished, with the only thing left to do is to print it. However, my tired body wouldn’t allow it, so I turn off the laptop and started walking into my bedroom. Before entering my bedroom, I took a peek inside my son’s bedroom, relieve that he appears to be quietly sleeping inside his crib. In my bedroom, I spotted the bed with my wife on the other side of it, tucked in on the blanket and sleeping peacefully. Not wasting anymore time, I immediately bury my body to the mattress and slowly close my eyes, letting the exhaustion took over my mind and fell sleep.

Every night. Every night I wish this will be the night. The night where it all stops.

As soon as I thought that however, a cry was heard in the room next door. It was my son’s. Groggily, I opened my eyes and sit up on my bed. Since I’m the one who have comforted him last time, tonight is my wife’s turn and I tried to wake her up. “Tried” is the operative word here. It appears that she was completely tired to the point where the combination of our son’s crying and my attempt can’t woke her up. Having no other choice, I got up from my bed and head toward to my son’s room. So much for one night of full-sleep, I suppose.

I entered the room and went to my son’s crib. There he lies with his tiny pajamas and reddened face full of tears. I held him up and started comforting him. He doesn’t seem to be in need to get changed since I didn’t smell anything funny, and since he just ate about two hours ago, I didn’t think he was hungry either.

I wondered to myself on how long has it been like this. The little one came into the world just several months ago and taking care of him has been, well, a challenge, to put it mildly. Not a single night pass without at least a single cry coming from him ever since he got out of the hospital, often for no reason I could discern. My wife and I have been taking turns dealing with this, but the burden doesn’t seem to have lessened even for a little.  Sleep deprivation also becoming a daily occurrence, which hampers my productivity at work. I’m almost close to the point where I’m starting to believe this is something that I have to do for the rest of my life.

Even after few minutes of cradling, the crying didn’t cease. In fact, it might have gotten worse. It was then that I remember about the lullaby my parents used to sing for me when I was a child. With no better idea, I attempted to sing that song. Or at least, something-closely-resemble singing. Miraculously, the crying receded little by little until it finally stops after few minutes.

After the crying stops completely, I put him down in his crib once again. His eyes didn’t seem to be sleepy, nor my body was as tired as I was before, so I brought out a chair from the living room and sits on it, staying with him until he fell asleep just in case anything happens again.

As I watched him with my half-closed eyes, my mind wandered back to the past. I just got home from work early because my wife vomited heavily in the morning. When I found her, she immediately ran up to me pronouncing that she was pregnant. Ecstatically, I hug her in respond while loudly pronouncing incoherent words of joy.

We began to arrange a new room for our baby and bought some foods, clothes, toys, anything for his needs. A visit to the doctor few months later revealed the baby is a boy. We then came up list of names for him and we would often bicker over which name is more appropriate to give. We also began to paint the new room and once again argue about which color to choose.

Since then, I started work extra hours to support the new member of our family, while my wife regularly attended the childbirth class. Soon enough, one day when I just finished the long workhour, I got a phone call from the hospital that my wife was in labor. The second I heard that, I immediately went outside, hail a cab, and head towards the hospital. The road there unfortunately was in a traffic jam. After waiting for a while, I paid the cab and just started sprinting on the way there. I ran faster and faster, ignoring the pain that started sprouting in my chest and drops rain that began to drip from the sky. When I finally arrived at the hospital, I was soaked wet and my muscles was aching. Nonetheless, I asked the reception regarding the whereabouts of my wife and head toward her location.

When I entered the emergency room, he was there, blood soaked and crying loudly in my wife hands as she lies in bed surrounded by the nurses. My flesh and blood. My son. Tears started to form in my eyes. I ran up to both of them, unable to contain my happiness, and look closely to him. Even with his appearance then, somehow I could see the both of us in him. His skin and the shape of his face was mine, while his eyes and the shape of his mouth are hers. Together with my wife, we welcome him into our world with the joyous expression we could muster.

To this very day, that is the happiest moment of my life.

Every night. Every night I pray that this will be the night. The night where it all ends.

About half an hour passed, but still no sign that he was about to go to sleep. The air began to become slightly colder and the wind brushed the tree leaves outside. I contemplate on just leaving him and went to bed, but I stay still.

Despite recounting those memories give me slight feeling of pleasantness, there’s nonetheless gnawing anxiety creeping up in my chest.

Even before he entered this world, there’s certain uneasiness in me cropping for every time that I look at him in my wife’s belly. I brushed it off back then, but now that he is born into this world, the feeling grew worse. After a while, it manifested itself as a form of question in my head.

What should I do for him?

I of course knew that he’ll one day stop crying every night. One day, he’ll be able to start walking, talking and reading. One day, he’ll grown enough to go out to the world outside on his own. However, what can I do to prepare him for it?

Inside the comfort of this house, I can always watch him and be there for him. But what about when he’s outside? Plenty of horrible possibilities and what ifs piled up in my mind (what if he hangs out with a bad crowd, for one) when I thought of that. Life is full of pain. For every triumphant achievement and delightful moments, tragedy and despair always just around the corner waiting to happen. Not everything can always go in our way. How can I support him when he’s struck with that realization over and over again?

In some way, I wanted to be him to be like me. But in another, I don’t want to. There’s plenty of wrongdoings that I’ve done in my past and there’s always part of me that I dislike, which I hope from the bottom of my heart he wouldn’t do and inherit respectively. I’ve always wondered how did I manage to survive this far, or how even my own parents did every time I did them wrong for that manner.

I rest my head to my hands as my anxiety grew and grew in my chest. While that happened, I noticed that my son began to look up to me, as if he was wondering about me. I smile sheepishly in respond to him. “What should I do for you?” I quietly ask my son while I reached out my finger to him in desperate need for an answer.

When I did that, my son suddenly grab my fingers with the two of his tiny hands and a wide smile on his face, probably thinking my finger was a toy. From his bright smile and calm expression, there’s a sense of innocent-like happiness and joy from his expression which sends a warm feeling to my chest, vanishing any doubt that I had earlier. Almost as if it never existed in the first place.

It was during that moment. That single moment. Everything just felt right.

Not long after, he finally went to bed and I returned to my own bedroom. Just when I reached the door however, I turned back at my son’s crib. Quietly, I said, “I will do my best,” I paused before continuing while opening the door, “and I will give you everything.” After that, I slept through the night, no longer bothered by his sleep and my own fear.

Every night. Every night I hope that this will be the night. The night where I finally found peace.

And it just arrived.

 

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