For the love of a Child (488 words)

A man, early twenties, sun tanned and dull-eyed lies on the hospital bed, staring out of a closed window at the sunny, light-blue sky.

“The damage to James’ spine was too extensive to repair, especially with his weak heart.” Dr. Sanchez flips through his charts. “According to the police officer he was driving over eighty-five miles an hour and rear-ended another driver. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s even alive.”

The hospital door creaks open and a young woman, brunette peeks slowly into the room.

“What the fuck are you doing here!?” Mr. Morgans bellows.

“I wanted to see him. I’m sorry, just please let me see him!” Analese tries to make her way to James’ bedside, but Mr. Morgans grabs her by the wrist, squeezing as he drags her out into the hall.

“Please, I have to explain Morgans—you have to let me explain about the baby, please.”

“It’s Mr. Morgans, for the millionth time! How the hell do you expect to speak to him now anyway? You little bitch! If you hadn’t gone near my son like I told you to none of this would happened!” Mr. Morgans stands over Analese at his full six-foot-five, broad shoulders heaving.

Analese holds her hands up, palms out in front of her chest, as if to keep him away. “Mr. Morgans, I never meant for any of this to happen I swear to you, I loved James, despite what you think of me. I didn’t expect to end up with him when I first started volunteering here. I didn’t expect to get pregnant either, but it happened. Please Mr. Morgans, even if you don’t like me I need to see him.”

“Have you fuckin’ lost it!?” Morgans stares down at the young woman, dark circles under his eyes. “Not now, not ever. I don’t care how much you say you care for him. James already had a bad heart condition, trouble keeping up at school, and then you come around and fill his head with nonsense, get pregnant and for what? So your boyfriend can go and harass him wherever James went? You stupid, filthy whore!”

Mr. Morgans chest heaves as he snatches up Analese’ neck and holds tight. “You brought hell into our lives and you think you can come around and ask to see him?” Mr. Morgans leans in closer. “He stole my car, Analese! He stole it, and drove after your boyfriend in that stupid red Mitsubishi after he found out he was the one who hit you. And now that boy is dead and James is paralyzed from the neck down.”

“It wasn’t like that Morgans, please!” Analese chokes out, trying to pry his hands loose.

James continues to stare out that window, unable to make sense of what’s going on outside of room. He just keeps looking for something red. Not knowing why, only that it has to burn. ©


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